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Duolingo podcasts

After two or three years of not paying any attention to Duolingo, a language-learning web site, I thought I'd try poking at it again, for the sake of variety, although I never liked it much. Good thing I did.

They have a new feature. New to me anyway: Podcasts. These are accessible at The language level is said to be "intermediate", but I don't hear so good, at all, and a lot of the Spanish skips right past me. But wait -- there's more.

Each episode has both an audio file and a transcript. Both are half English and half Spanish, in a sort of "call and response" story format, so I can read along as I listen. The English part keeps my head screwed on straight, and the Spanish part is a lot easier to follow when I can both hear and see the words.

The stories are contemporary and are actual stories, not clunky classroom fictions.

Like this snippet:

Episode 26: La Mejor Inversión (The Best Investment)


Martina: When the social entrepreneur Marcela Torres was 29 years old, she met a young man who would change her career path forever.

Marcela: Él tenía 22 años y parecía ser mexicano. Además tenía un pasaporte mexicano, pero hablaba muy poco español.

Martina: That’s because just two days prior, he had been deported from the US, where he had lived almost his entire life.

Marcela: Yo lo conocí en un hostal donde llegaban jóvenes deportados como él.

Might be worth a look if you haven't seen it yet. Listen online or download to your computer. Free too.

Dave Sailer

City: Cuenca