I am using an IOS app named Duolingo to learn Spanish, in preparation for our trip to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador later this year. I try to spend 20 minutes a day moving through the enjoyable learning tools the program uses. There is even a chance for me to speak a phrase in Spanish and have the app listen for errors. This seems amazing to me. Time will tell whether I have really learned enough of the language to help Darlene and her sister Deb and me when we are on the trip.
Duolingo is like a game, and that is the genius of it. When you get a word right, there is a satisfying ding, and when you complete a lesson a musical instrument celebrates your triumph. I think it’s a trumpet. When new vocabulary arrives, it is with photos of the items described. A favorite game of mine presents about a dozen words in blocks, and you tap on the two that make a correct pair. I fly through those and love the action of making the links on the fly.
Part of my preparation is learning how to create a blog post on my iPhone Six Plus, using a nifty foldable Bluetooth keyboard from Microsoft. The key action is responsive, and the keys have a soft, slightly rubbery feel to my finger tips. The keys on the left and right are separated by quite a gap, which enables the keyboard to fold into a convenient square shape, but my touch typing seems to adapt pretty well to the layout.
I bought a Kmashi cradle for the iPhone, which is okay but I may keep looking for one that enables me to use the phone in vertical mode while using the charger cable. As it is, I can only have the phone powered when I am in landscape mode. What I like is the soft touch to the cradle and how snugly the phone nestles into it.
I plan to use this hitherto largely dormant blog as my travel blog during the trip, so stay tuned!