Learning a New Language at My Age? You Betcha!


I have started to dream in Spanish. This has never happened to me before. As a monolingual speaker {English} my thoughts, words and dreams have been predictably understandable. Now? I am waking up in the middle of the night as I try to translate the words flowing through my mind.

This is not my first brush learning a new language. I had three years of high school German. It was interesting. It was scary (especially before each test). And yet I never learned the language and I certainly didn’t dream it.

What has changed? Duolingo.

What is Duolingo you ask? “Duolingo is a free service that helps you learn languages with your friends while simultaneously contributing to translate real-world content from the Web.”

It is addicting. It is free, fun, and better than playing solitaire.

So, when I am not spending time at my two jobs, I am learning a new language. Which is coming in handy. Yesterday at work, a toddler said words that previously were not understandable to me. But now, I know she was asking for a drink. Amazing. Inspiring. Empowering. Maravilloso!



13 thoughts on “Learning a New Language at My Age? You Betcha!”

    1. Elyse, Duolingo teaches French, Italian, Portugese, German and Spanish in such an engaging way that I believe you would be speaking French (and any other language) with savoir faire in no time.

  1. Good for you! And I’ll have to check out Duolingo. I took years of French in high school and college, retained very little, but have thought it would be fun to resurrect. I’m also interested in Italian. Thanks for the tip! And I’m very impressed with anyone who can dream in a second language! ~ Sheila

  2. Love! Thank you for writing about this. Signed up and started lessons. I’m a mom quickly approaching 40. My two two young children are both enrolled in a Spanish immersion school. Although I have 3 years’ of college Spanish (close to 20 years ago), my oldest who is in 1st grade speaks better than I do. Appreciate the learn-at-your-own-pace style that can be accomplished on any PC either at home or work (looks like there’s an iPhone app too, I need to check for Android).

  3. So cool! Just signed up. You might try learner.org – Click on Destinos An Introduction to Spanish and try out your Spanish with this neat Spanish mystery. It starts out basic and gradually gets pretty advanced. I hope you love it –the mystery story and the language — as much as I do.


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