Duolingo is a website that helps you learn a language while helping to translate web content for others. The site currently offers Spanish, German and French for English speakers and English for Spanish speakers.
After you sign up for a free account and run through a quick tutorial of how the site works, you’re taken to your personal homepage where you find a thirty-level Spanish skill tree, your progress and the skill points you’ve earned so far.
From here, you can plunge right into the second level if you’re a beginner or you can skip through the easy nodes by testing out of them. If you make less than four mistakes, you pass the quiz and the next level of nodes is unlocked for you.
Each node on the tree contains a lesson, tips and notes, and real Spanish from the web. The latter presents you with an article taken from a Spanish language website that is broken into individual sentences for you to translate into English. You’re not asked to translate an entire article by yourself, but you can if that’s what your heart desires.
In the translation and lesson sections, you can peek at translations of words that you are unfamiliar with by hovering over them and rate translations other people have made.
The Spanish currently offered on the site is Latin American Spanish, so there will be some differences in vocabulary which can be a little frustrating, especially when you’re testing out of a node or level because you can’t hover over unfamiliar words in the test section.
Still, it’s a great way to get some written practice and, you know, do your part for world peace.