On Memrise, DuoLingo, and the International Phonetic Alphabet

Not knowing where to begin on this pursuit, I searched the web for advice from others on where they began.  While there is no clear, consistent answer (obviously, as things like this are subjective), I did see a lot of people mentioning Memrise and DuoLingo, and a few who brought up the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

Before this morning, I had at least a cursory awareness of Memrise and DuoLingo (friends and family have used and spoken of both, and I believe I’ve even had an account on DuoLingo in the past), but my knowledge of the IPA is next to non-existent.

I started my journey by registering an account on Memrise (toSpeakinTongues if you wish to follow along) and, having selecting Spanish (Mexico) Level 1, I am on my way. Tonight, I’ll be starting on this path, and my goal is to do 30 minutes per day.

After finishing up my registration with Memrise, I moved onto DuoLingo (again, toSpeakinTongues for those who wish to follow along) and am now on my way.  Here, I plan to do 15 minutes per day.

I’m not sure if there’s a benefit to doing Memrise and DuoLingo side by side, or if the two will simply repeat one another (as though there’s some internationally accepted curriculum for beginning level Spanish education), but I figured “what’s the harm?”

So, that’s the easy part, right?  I’m pretty sure the hard part is going to be learning the IPA, or the International Phonetic Alphabet.

I found an article by a Gabriel Wyner on Lifehacker which included a lot of tips I hope to follow, but he suggested starting with learning the correct pronunciation of the language.  He suggested learning the IPA, and goes so far as to say that “you (will) learn the components of each vowel and consonant and you’ll really understand what makes a French word sound French, and a Chinese word Chinese.”

I’m not sure how well I’ll do with this, but I’m adding it to my list of things to do, and I’m going to give it a shot.

Until next time, folks.


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