I’ve been using Duolingo to try and learn Dutch. It’s a useful tool and allows me to practice every day. It speaks the sentences to be translated and allows me to hear the language in action. In the main I really like the application though sometimes it has the annoying habit of correcting my English into something that I would never say. Clearly it is American driven software. What isn’t these days?
I mention it though because I am on a one thousand, two hundred and sixty six day streak. For over three years I have used the tool to study the language, on Christmas Day, holidays, every day. I am obsessed. I know that I can stop at any time yet I am driven to keep going.
Why? I guess I am just that personality type. Duolingo does encourage me to use it. Everyday it sends me an email to remind me, usually after I have done my time already. It rewards me with Lingots which I can ‘spend’ on items in the app and crowns indicating how far I have got through each course. There is even a leader board with leagues that allow me to compete with fellow budding linguists.
But none of this is relevant. I have 7714 Lingots, 324 Dutch crowns and am at number 14 in the Gold league (there are two leagues above and two below). It is my own compunction that drives me. Like this blog, once I start something I find it difficult to stop. I have commitment issues, just the other way around.
There are times when I wish I wasn’t so, when I could just let go and be like other people seem, a bit more relaxed and laissez faire, yet at other times I am happy with the way I am. I wouldn’t be me if I changed.
Perhaps there are people who are driven and others that are happy to be driven around.