Games for smartphones and tablets are such time wasters. Why not learn something while you avoid work, chores, and your family? Here’s my advice: download Duolingo for your iOS or Android device and see how learning a language can be just as fun as Angry Birds. Plus, it’s free. Yup.
This app is surprisingly fun—and also astonishingly effective—while it teaches students of all ages a new language through a gamified system of language-oriented tasks. You start with the basics: phrases, foods, animals, and plurals. Once you get more advanced, you’ll learn arts, politics, science, future tense, and more.
The app uses a variety of small “assignments”—such as translating a short sentence or choosing the photo that represents a word—to help you make the associations you need with the language you’re learning. Currently, you can learn Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese, and Italian.
Take a look at how it works:
You can even set up push notifications so you can make sure to get in at least a few minutes of Duolingo every day. Once you start, you may be surprised at how much you can learn—and how fun it can be. You’ll be astounding your coworkers with your language skills in no time…and I have a feeling that might be more impressive than your top score in Candy Crush.