I Am a Young and Hansdome Owl


Dear H., I am an addict. I guess you’ve noticed it already. The story is simple: they made me do it, although I didn’t want to, I started liking it, and now I just cannot stop. Sometimes this is the only thing I do and think about, while everything else merges with the background. Recently my addiction got even worse. Thanks to you.

Don’t panic. I am talking about learning languages, of course.

When I began learning my first foreign language, English, I was five years old and I didn’t understand a thing about it. School hours were my private hell and my English language teacher was my personal devil, trying to hammer in and then extract out of me the Past Perfect of the verb “to be.” The only thing she lacked was a pitchfork and a pair of pliers. I cried, I froze at my desk, and when my parents arranged her to be my tutor, I thought she would devour me alive. The only thing she did though, was to explain how a language works. Surprisingly, I started liking English. Moreover, languages in general became my favorite subject and remain one of my favorite pastimes ever since. Gradually love towards languages turned into addiction and, quite recently, into a full-fledged obsession.

What my obsession has to do with you, you will ask. Well, it was you who introduced me to that new app for learning languages called Duolingo, after all. There is this funny green bird in this app, which I like, an owl that makes you perform various language drills. This kind of activity is exactly what I need at my level of Turkish. So, it is already a week that I am birding on my mobile whenever I have a free minute and Internet connection – at home, in a park or having a cappuccino in a café. People freak out when I start saying clearly and distinctly this or that phrase for a pronunciation drill. If they only knew what those phrases mean, they would be even more surprised.

The thing is that the app is loaded with all kinds of weird sentences. They are not very practical sometimes, but they make me remember new words and grammar structures much faster.

– Hello, blue bunny.

– An elephant eats a strawberry in the post office.

– I am a young and handsome owl.

Stuff like this. Totally weird. But to tell the truth, the app is like a gust of fresh wind into the dropping sails of my language learning process. Combined with all my Turkish grammar books, the app gives me hope, makes me believe that I will manage this brick of a language, after all.

There is more to it. I was fooling around with the app and decided to check the level of my Italian. I passed some tests and failed some, and at the end got hooked on the app completely. Now I have a list of languages that I want to refresh and a list of new ones that I want to tackle some time later.

I hope that you will find me alive the next time we see each other. Otherwise you will be greeted by a corpse with a phone in its hand and that damned bird chirping in Turkish from inside of it.

With love,


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