My Experience of {Duolingo} so Far 😎

Going into Duolingo was a big leap for me. Not only had I not learned a new language since my school days, but this was an online app which essentially meant I had to learn and teach myself. There is not tutor, and you are guided through each lesson in which you have to comprehend and use a foreign language without input. You may have to read, write, speak or place words in the correct order. I can say this though, I have found it fun to use and it has been a surprisingly rewarding experience so far.

My profile (pictured above in a screenshot) shows that I joined in August, and over 3 months I’ve accumulated nearly 9,000 total XP. This is quite significant. My languages are shown as studying German and Russian. If you want to follow my progress and you are also on Duolingo, feel free to follow and I’ll follow back. I primarily focus on German and have only started to use Russian on Duolingo to consolidate things from a book I use. I have reached many milestones already.

It has been easy to use, navigate and recently they updated the learning tree – which I wasn’t too fond of. The app is online or on a phone and can be used anywhere. The lessons take you through various topics, learning all the essentials, except you will not learning it in order, you will build upon what you have learned. So you may learn how to order in a café and then later learn how to speak the full vocabulary of such an event. For example, you order coffee, then later, you learn how to say things like I would like a coffee please. Or I would like a coffee what would you like? This allows progressive learning in a gamified language learning app.

A big bonus is that it is free. I highly recommend this platform (not sponsoring me, although if Duolingo see this they are free to do just that). Over four months my progress has been remarkable and enjoyable. I’m now soaring through units, learning and retaining information more effectively than reading a book. The repetitive speaking system, in which phrases and words are repeatedly shown the same things multiple times, allows better retention.

Russian is a bit more difficult and as such I am using a combination of sources, like books and audio CDs as well. I feel that you could reach a satisfactory beginner level if you worked through all the units – numbered at around 114 for German. I believe from what I have learned so far that completing all of it would mean you are at least B1 level of the CEFR scaling system. However, this would also be dependent on other factors like frequency of learning, interaction with native speakers and general motivation and of course the learner’s ability to actually remember this information and use it.

I’m happy to rate it at 4 stars up to now: there are flaws and the spoken sections of learning leave something to be desired. It is also flawed in that the majority of the scenarios that are demonstrated in the language you are learning is simply unrealistic.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Unrealistic scenarios include owls not playing football and dogs reading books. But Duolingo’s fun, childlike characters certainly bring a bit of enthusiasm to the learning process.

The site offers a paid option which removes adverts. Aside from this it is now integrating the stories system into the learning, so a milestone might consist of reading a story in the native language you are learning, as opposed to being optional as it was before. This is a good, progress step to keep it mixed up. You also have access to thousands of lessons offered on the site from as low as $2 for an hour. I believe it’s set up for schools too.

Overall, and this is a brief conclusion, it is worth the time. But you need to stick at it daily to actually progress. I cannot imagine anyone progressing beyond introductions, family and dining etc. if they chose one lesson a week. They’d get bored. Consistency and integration into you own life is key. Take the lessons into your real-world experiences to begin to apply the vocabulary to real world situations. Travel or interaction with native speakers is also highly recommended for better learning.

The Worst European Country?!

  1. Introduction
  2. Brief History
  3. The Unrecognised State of Transnistria
  4. How Does Something Become a Country?
  5. Tourism in Moldova
  6. Conclusion


Moldova! A European country.
The flag of Moldova

Wedged between Ukraine and Romania. The primary language is Romanian. The capital is Chisinau.

A population of 2.64 million and a 2019 GDP of 27.27 billion.

Despite being the poorest country in Europe it has a life expectancy of 66 years for men and 73 years for women.

Brief History

In 1812 (the same year as the battle of Napoleonic Wars which took place from around 1800 to 1815. (They were a continuation of the French Revolutionary wars, which ran from 1792 to 1799. Together these conflicts represented 23 years of nearly uninterrupted war in Europe.) – the Treaty of Bucharest granted Russia control of eastern Moldova or Bessarabia.

In 1991, after the failed Soviet coup d’état attempt, Moldova declared independence. In 1994, The Constitution of Moldova set the framework for the government of the country.

In 2014 – Moldova signs association agreement with the European Union, prompting Russia to impose import restrictions on the country’s agricultural produce.

The Unrecognised State of Transnistria

Trans-Dniester. The state or country that seeks independence is not officially recognised at all as a country. It is a country that does not exist. Most people would argue it’s a part of Moldova. But it is supported in most ways – including defence – by Russia.

This separation occurred following a war between. The reality is that it exists and can be found on maps and is recognised by states. Therefore its failure to gain independence doesn’t really mean that much. It’s already a state because it has a clear border and name and authority governing it.

How Does Something Become a Country?

To become a state however, or sovereign country, the place needs to be recognised by the United Nations and needs to satisfy the requirements they set out. – before going further you may be interested in learning about Hobbes –

The route to independence could be between the constitutional theory and declarative theory. The state needs to be a place, have laws etc. and government which will help.

International law does not prohibit a declaration of independence, and the recognition of a country is a political issue. (

Tourism in Moldova

Tourism exists but it isn’t going to be great. The international airport is situated in the capital of Chisinau.

The tourism focuses on the country’s natural landscapes and its history. Wine tours are offered to tourists across the country.

2018. (Despite the low numbers, the GDP is high)

1 Romania2 524 403
2 Ukraine1 069 066
3 Russia322 256
4 Bulgaria78 870
5 Italy46 594
6 Germany30 061
7 Israel28 358
8 Turkey25 936
9 United States25 778
10 Belarus20 039
Total4, 334, 215

There are certainly more visitors from other countries. Maybe they haven’t been documented, but they are on YouTube for you to watch.


It’s a small country with the attached unrecognisable state and a fair sized populace.

Is it the worst? Infrastructure and the economy would say no. I’ve seen worse places with less. Who knows who will like this place. Will you?

Thanks for reading!

(On YouTube you can find the videos) I found this one:

Welcome, in every EU language!

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden

England ~ Welcome.

Ireland ~ Fáilte

Germany / Austria ~ Willkommen

France ~ Bienvenue

Spain / Portugal ~ Bienvenido / Bem-vindos

Italian ~ Benvenuto

Luxembourg ~ Wëllkomm

Belgium / Netherlands ~ Welkom

Sweden ~ Válkommen

Denmark ~ Velkommen

Poland ~ Mile widziany

Czech Republic ~ Vítejte

Slovenia ~ Dobrodosli

Croatia ~ Dobrodosao

Greece ~ Kalos irthes

Hungary ~ Isten hozott

Slovakia ~ Vitaj

Romania ~ Bun venit

Bulgaria ~ Dobre doschell

Lithuania ~ Sveikas atvykes

Latvia ~ Laipni ludzam

Estonian ~ Tere tulemast

Finland ~ Tervetuloa

Riga, Latvia


Riga, Latvia is a developed and wonderous place to see in eastern Europe; specifically the northern Baltic regions of Europe, with Russia to the east, Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the southwest and Belarus to the south. Latvia has a population of 1.91 million as of 2020, which makes this a relatively small population country, but not less in grandeur or stature. With euro as its currency, and a massive GDP of 63.49 billion USD as of 2020. The language of Latvia is called Lettish, spoken by 1.75 million native speakers. It is a part of the European Union as declared on 18 November 1918.

Property Prices

Property prices in Latvia both to rent and buy are by far the cheapest in Europe. This might suggest that the country is poor, but from the GDP we can see they have a significant income. You might also assume that the prices are low to reflect the poor quality of buildings; well think again because the properties are modern, developed and absolutely amazing. You can expect a five bedroom quiet, countryside mansion with tons of space in the garden for €400,000 – €500,000, whereas in the UK you would expect to pay millions, and for little in return. It should also be noted that this country has a high cleanliness, the streets are spotless, the nature beauty unaffected and even Riga itself still hasn’t been corrupted by the pollution that has affected most of developed Europe.

These factors make the country and specifically the fast growing region of Riga a perfect place to invest in some property. Property in Riga averages $1,500-$1,800 per square meter. You can expect a 4% annual rental yield in your property in Riga, if investing in the old town you can also expect the 4% annual yield on your rental. The box below shows an example: (fig 1)

 Rent Per MonthEditRange
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre457.19 €300.00-700.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre335.00 €250.00-500.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre820.32 €550.00-1,500.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre530.00 €
Figure 1

Average income is around €1,300 euros a month.

On the other hand you can get an apartment for as little as €40,000 which is why it is such a cheap country to invest in. There is nothing wrong with the properties, I’ve seen then inside and out and can attest to their modern standards, both houses and apartments. Coupled with the income averages, and cost of living in general, it is a cheap place to have a property to live or to rent out. What’s more if you want to gain residency you should buy a property worth €250,000 and stay in it at least 5 years at which point you can resell it. That is £211,225.00,considering how much you can get for your money – 5 bedroom properties with huge space- this is extremely cheap. I recommend you look into this further if you are interested. You can of course buy a cheaper property to let out and stay there whenever you want.

Holiday Destination – Riga Old Town

I am not going to talk about the Kurmala area of Latvia, which is a coastal region with beaches and hotels, a resort town. This is because you can probably go there and find it to be the same as most other resort places. Instead, I will discuss the Riga old town full of medieval goodness. It is by far one of the most interesting places – full of development and investment opportunities, and brilliant buildings, sites to see and things to do. Depending on how long you want to go, it might be worth planning your trips in advance to discover what you will do. I would say 4/5 nights may be enough to see everything in the days, or not. Depends how you feel about this.

Saint Peter’s Church – just one example of the amazing churches here in the old town.

House of the Blackheads

Riga Cathedral – the biggest in the Baltics

Choices of cafes and restaurants!

The Three Brothers Buildings

Riga Castle

Riga Central Markets(Old Town Markets) – houses in large Zeppelin hangars from the world wars! The largest market in Europe!

Latvian National Opera House – I’m sure you can spend a night here.

A shot of some old buildings added. Seems like quite the serene place.

Travel to the Country

You can travel by air or train. There is no hard or fast rule. You could even get a coach if you wanted. Flights from the UK are cheap and you could managed a round trip for around £50-£100. I found flights-one way – for as low as £45. Check out this round trip I just found:

£59 for a roundtrip? Count me in!

Travel time by plane is quick too and can be 2 hours 30 minutes. I wouldn’t recommend a flight with a stop, because it is so much nuisance at the airport.


I was hoping to spark some interest in this country as a travel destination, specifically to highlight the old town. It’s a must visit destination I think and an under rated country. As I mentioned the investment opportunity is there too. This has to be the second cheapest country to visit after Bulgaria.

Thank you for reading, please like and comment if you enjoyed or reblog.


We all have our fears and desires. We all want something in life. Most people just want to be happy. I want to write, and I want to share it.

It isn’t strange to think we are here now, alive. But it is strange to think at one point things were different, and that nothing will be here one day. To think that it was here to begin with.


Sometimes you kick a stone against a rock

sometimes you begin to just...drop

there's a crow coming along...with flock

knock, knock

fetted behemoth lock

how you shine your dusty cobwebs off

crown and gown and say aloud



dynasty days

my weeping flower

drifting away



the sacred mountain.


I wonder.
I wait.
To see.
The day.
When the people.
Turn ravenous.
Begin to turn society inside out.
Destruction at its peak.
No more weak.
A strong way.
The isolation days.
As high as the trees.
And fire.
Burning our bodies.
The apocalypse is.
And will be.