I’m in the process of trying to learn and maintain several languages on Duolingo. It’s so exciting! So worthwhile.
And it occurred to me just recently that it feels a little bit as though I’m a general with limited resources, trying to wage a war on multiple fronts.
In one language (I won’t name the languages, because they are modern languages beloved to modern peoples, and I won’t want you to imagine me approving of waging war against the actual countries or regions in which these languages are spoken, so I won’t tempt you), I have subdued the entire region, and I have it under my control, but just barely. At any time, the forces of forgetfulness could erupt in rebellion and take back some or even most of the ground I’ve gained. I must check in periodically to ensure that there is not too much unrest, knowing that the longer I can maintain hold of the language, the better are my chances of being able to continue to hold it into the future.
In a couple other languages, I have half the region conquered, but in each of these there is still half a country free from my governing, making my grip even more tenuous. As with the first language, in these cases I must visit periodically to ensure that I haven’t lost the ground already gained, and at the back of my mind I always know that at some point, when I have the energy for it and no other higher priorities pressing on me, I will need to take further steps in securing the parts of these languages in which I have not yet been victorious.
There’s another language which covers a vast region, but in which the inhabitants are very weak in resisting my forces. (It’s a long course, in other words, but thankfully the language is very similar to English and so not as difficult to learn.) I’ve been at war with this language for a long time, and it is three quarters mine. Because the language doesn’t fight back so vigorously, I don’t have to try as hard to keep the gains I have already made in it. However, this is probably the language I’m most excited to learn on Duolingo, and so the long, boring, endless war must continue to occupy many of my hours into the future.
And there’s another language, even easier to learn but with an even larger course, into which I’ve made some small forays but which must, for now, remain a future battleground. Once my current wars are further along, I will give my attention to this other language, and I will do so with gusto! For now, though, it will have to stay on the outer borders of my efforts, never really a focus.
Currently, that is how things stand with my campaign.
To war, my friends! Let’s learn some languages.