A lot’s happened since our last blog post. We’ve launched an awesome version of Lingogo and relaunched an upgraded, amazing, out of this world version of Lingogo.

Now we’d like to introduce you to our first Lingogo Challenge. We’ll throw one of these out every month to help you keep your motivation up and your language learning fun. Post a pic of yourself taking part with our hashtag #LingogoChallenge and you could win a free Lingogo Story! 

This month’s challenge is simple - find a mate who’s learning the same language as you and speak in that language together for ten minutes. Easy, right?

Exactly what I thought when I peer pressured my friend Wiks into testing our wee challenge out with me. Our language of choice? Te reo Maori. Admittedly I’d left out a minor detail when briefing him…

‘What?! You never said anything to me about press ups!’ he said as he looked around the bar I’d chosen for our mission. It was busy. Standing room only busy.

‘You can make mistakes’ I reminded him. The punishment of five very public push ups only applied if either of us switched to English during our ten minutes. 

Before he could protest, I started the timer.

Immediately, every single piece of te reo Maori I know went flying from my mind. You know the fuzzy black and white screen you used to get when tuning a tv? Yeah, that = my brain at this moment.

Wiks started us off with a string of eloquent sentences.

‘Wait. Slow down!’ I said. 

He smiled and pointed to the ground. Ten seconds in and I was already on my first round of press ups.

Other bar-goers stared at me strangely as I dropped to the sticky ground. ‘This is not how it was supposed to go’ I thought as I lowered myself shakily. Wiks, who is pretty fluent in te reo Maori seemed to have come around to the punishment idea and was now laughing hysterically.

As we continued my own spirits sank low. Conversing was turning out to be a lot harder than I’d imagined. My vocab was OK but I could hardly remember any proper sentence structures. Disheartened, I took a large gulp of beer as Wiks happily filled me in on his day at work. 

Then I realised something. 

I could pretty much understand everything he was saying. Little by little my confidence picked up. I literally fist-pumped when I figured out Wiks inherited his green eyes from his great grandmother who came from Wales (he looked horrified and asked me to lower my arm, but secretly I know he was proud).

Ten minutes, fifteen press ups and a lot of hand gestures later, I emerged from my first conversation fully in te reo Maori. And I was stoked. It sounds like a small thing, (and lets be honest, I performed terribly) but to actually use the language I’m learning in a fun way was incredibly motivating (and precisely what Lingogo Stories are for, may I add).

We're going to run with this Lingogo Challenge until the end of March. Tailor it for your language and skill level - if you’re more advanced, stretch the time out! If you’re more sane - try contributing $1 to your combined end bill as a punishment rather than press ups.

Post a photo or video of yourself completing the challenge to Facey, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #LingogoChallenge or email it through to hello@littlemouseco.com. We look forward to picking our fav photo for our first Lingogo Challenge winner!

Karawhiua! Give it heaps!

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