I first learned about Duolingo in my high school French class, where my teacher gave us a certain number of extra credit points depending on how many lessons we completed on the website. At the time, I thought it was a cool way to keep my basic French skills sharp. After high school, I pretty much forgot about it. Until recently.
This semester I got back on the Duolingo train, and I'm now learning five different languages: French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Welsh. I'll admit that I've always been a quick learner when it comes it to languages, but the structure of Duolingo's courses makes the process almost intuitive.
If you are already familiar with the language, you have the option to take a placement test so you're not stuck learning "Hola" and "Adios" when you've already taken three years of Spanish classes. However, I've learned that once you get deep enough into learning a new language the basics tend to slip from your mind a little bit, so it's nice that you still have the option to go back and review those basic vocabulary terms.
Once you've taken the placement test, you start your language course. The lessons are structured into different topics such as household objects, family members, and parts of speech like verb tenses or adjectives. Another cool thing about the lessons is that they incorporate vocabulary you've already learned into the new lessons, so you don't forget things quite as easily.
Duolingo recently changed how you level up in the courses, so it's much more convenient for people who can devote a few minutes a day to the courses, but it also gives plenty of opportunities for people who are interested in becoming fluent in a new language.
The best part? It's totally free. People used to have to pay for courses like Rosetta Stone, but this website places a multitude of new languages right at your fingertips.
So what are you waiting for? Not only is a second (or third, or fourth) language a great resume builder, it also opens you up to a whole new culture. And who knows? Maybe you'll impress a cute foreign exchange student in the process.