First of all, I’m sorry Mother-in-Law! We’ve busted out the language software a time or two, but we’ve found ourselves completely addicted to DuoLingo.

Have you thought about learning Spanish, French, German, Italian, or another language? Maybe you don’t want to shell out for (or pirate) Rosetta Stone, or you just don’t think you want to learn that way. Sometimes, when I’m purposely sitting down to learn something, my brain either shuts off, or decides it would be a much better time to polish my nails or read a murder mystery. Or watch SVU. I have bad taste.

DuoLingo is different in many ways, but chief among them: It’s free, and it’s a game. You start with the very basics, and information is grouped in short levels. You have 4 lives, and have to complete 20 translations per lesson. I’ve had to try a few lessons twice, but never 3 times (yet). What I like about it is that if I have 10 free minutes, I can complete a lesson.

The feeling of advancing through lessons is what makes DuoLingo so addictive. You can link it to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, and if any of your friends are working on learning a language, too. This is probably dangerous for the mega competitive part of my personality. I would not recommend it to Spencer Hastings.

On the flip side, if you and your best friend/partner/roommate/parents all want to learn a new language, some healthy competition can encourage you to keep at it, instead of letting your DuoLingo account be just another place on the web that you never use (hey, Vine, what’s up?). Yesterday, my husband was using the DuoLingo app on his iPad (free!), and I realized he was ahead of me. What’s the first thing I did when I opened my computer this afternoon? Duo-fucking-Lingo.

Want to add me?