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https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut

Text based game available in six languages, currently free

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lifeline.../id982354972?mt=8=10l3Vy=d_im

I hope this link works, I rarely pass on App Store links except by email direct from the App Store! Lifeline by Dave Justus.

I should first say that this is currently free in the UK (I get the impression also in the US but don't have a way to check), and should be until the 24th.

A lot of games have versions in several languages, but while this has only six languages right now (English, French, German, Russian, Japanese (I am fairly sure it's Japanese) and Chinese), it's an entirely text based game, so it's more of a workout for one's language skills than a graphics based game would be.

It's also relatively seamless to switch between languages without losing your place, so if you fancy practising a different language or you're a bit stuck as to what something means, it's easy to switch to your native/fluent language(s) to double check.

It came up in Russian on my iPad because my system is set to use Russian where possible, which is what made me think it could be a good learning tool. The idea is that you make radio contact with a stranded astronaut, I imagine this will appeal to some more than others, but either way it's vocab and grammar in a gamified structure.

You won't (or at least I haven't yet) be asked to write anything, but it's written for native speakers and it's vocabulary about toolkits and star systems and survival, and whenever you're given a choice of action to take, that will also be in text. So it's more for reading than anything else else. It's all in fairly small chunks (it's just occurred to me to take a screenshot so you can get a better idea, I'll come back and edit it in), and it doesn't appear to have any in app purchases, so you get the whole game without constant requests to buy X Y or Z.

I think the link I posted may be to the US store, but either way, the title is Lifeline and the developer is called Dave Justus.

Hopefully this will be helpful to someone out there!

Screenshot from Russian version:

Russian screenshot

Same screen in English:

English screenshot

Available languages just in case I made a mistake (I'm fairly sure number five says Nihongo/Japanese, and number six looks vaguely familiar from seeing Chinese as an option on various websites and apps, but I'm not 100% confident about either, so if I got either one wrong, please feel free to correct - I figure anyone who's good enough to be using either language will probably be able to recognise the language name better than I!):

list of available languages

2 years ago

49 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger
CharmingTiger
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No Spanish?!?!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
Mod
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Guess you'll have to brush up on your French :P

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Or start Russian.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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I vote for this ;D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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Actually, start Polish. But since there isn't any Polish, start both. :-D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Polish and Russian at the same time? Surely that's cruel and unusual punishment?!? 8-o

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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It is, but I'm subjecting myself to it, so why not other people as well? :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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LOL

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/writchie4
writchie4
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Yeah, that's pretty disappointing. Based on the screenshots, I think I would have been able to handle it in Spanish. Would have been fun...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger
CharmingTiger
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"I think I would have been able to handle it in Spanish"

So humble the man is! I think you would be able to handle it as well, Mr. Writes Out Eloquent Answers in Spanish to Spanish Natives on the English from Spanish Tree Lesson Discussions ^_^

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/writchie4
writchie4
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Haha, my Spanish writing is mostly a facade. I limit it pretty heavily to a handful of tenses I'm comfortable in and some set phrases I know well. When I stray from the bits I know, a SpanishDict tab is always open nearby. I appreciate your confidence though, good to see the ruse has been successful :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger
CharmingTiger
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Hey, thank you for reminding me about that resource! I normally use GT and Linguee, and I just rediscovered Word Reference again. SpanishDict is useful as well, but it seems to make my computer run slower for some reason, so I tend to limit my time with it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/writchie4
writchie4
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Sure thing. I prefer SD to GT, but Linguee is definitely a good one. Word Reference is good too, but I have a hard time choosing it over SD. SD might not have as much information, but I like the cleaner layout with the main translation(s) in big letters at the top of the page :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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In fairness, it's pretty rare for something to be in all those languages and not Spanish - it's usually the other way around! - so let us non-Spanish speakers have this, eh? ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
sloggerPlus
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V. cool, flootzavut! Thanks for posting this. "Adventure" in Russian. Looks like in Russian it is called Квест, acc. to Wikipedia. Does anyone know of a nice (safe) text version online?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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I haven't seen it except as an app, but if I see it I'll let you know...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
sloggerPlus
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Thanks. This kind of "Adventure" game would be fun for reading practice..

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OneAndOnlyJosh

They have the German Version! YES!!!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
Mereade
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Thank you! I love games like this one, I was worried there were too few in other languages than English or Japanese.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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:D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EoghanBostock

YES!!! Finally a game in German!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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:D pretty much my feeling wrt Russian ;D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Footsore_Rambler
Footsore_Rambler
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This looks like a great way for me to practice my French now, and Russian later, once I get better at it. Thanks for the info!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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:D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/XD29
XD29
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Also available on Kindle Fire tablet, but not free (Germany - € 0,91 atm).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ontalor
Ontalor
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This is a fantastic find, thank you! I'm really enjoying going through it in Chinese.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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I so nearly didn't post this - it was just a weird kind of accident that I found it, let alone found it was in all those languages - and I'm so glad I did.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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The sixth is definitely Chinese, and I'm pretty certain the fifth is Japanese. It looks like it, anyway.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Oh good! The Chinese was the one I just had zero idea of/was basically guessing. Japanese I don't know the kanji for language at all, but I'm pretty sure the first two are sun and root, eg land of the rising sun - two of about three kanji total I can recognise LOL :D Thanks :D

Edit: I tell a lie - I think I would recognise moon/month, too. So that's four kanji (as I can recognise, but not write, 'love'); sun/day, moon/month, love, book/root. And that is literally it 8-o

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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I couldn't tell you anything about what the individual kanji mean, but Google Translate says that's what Japanese is in Japanese, and it comes from that part of the world and isn't Chinese. :-D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Hahaha :D

I can write two kanji - the ones for Japan - mostly because I had friends who lived there, and would occasionally write it when I sent them letters. Love I recognise, though I can't even write it neatly when I have it in front of me to copy, never mind off the top of my head, and I think I remember moon/month. And that's it.

Of the three of them: sun is relatively easy because it's supposed to be the sun, and it's a nice simple kanji; moon is a little like sun except narrower and the strokes are slightly different? I think? they sort of extend below the bottom of the part that's like the sun; and root you need to think of as a little plant, showing mostly below ground, with a cross piece on its root. (And it's also the word for book, because books are the root of knowledge... or something like that. I remember the weirdest things.)

That is basically the sum total of my knowledge. 'Love' is the only kanji I can recognise that isn't obviously pictographic.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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I know love in Chinese, but I couldn't write it even close to neatly to save my life. I'm not an artist, and writing in Chinese is art. :-)

I don't think I know any of those yet. But they sound like they won't be too difficult when I get to them. :-) I do know the one stroke ones, and a few two stroke ones (one and two are included, and those are probably the two easiest ever :-)), and they aren't too bad. Some of them make sense, some of them don't, but I'm getting it. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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I don't think I know any of those, even one and two - I have a feeling I've seen them, but I can't remember if the strokes are horizontal or vertical or what!

I'm pretty sure the main reason I remember the ones I do is purely because they're reasonably pictographic... and in the case of sun/root, because I see them used to mean Japanese. Beyond that... I am clueless. Those ones are reasonably accessible, though, even though in theory they aren't as complex as the one and two stroke characters, because they're quite easily linked with their meaning :) Sounds like you're doing great to me!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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一 and 二 Pretty easy to remember, compared to some of them, like 五, which is five (and very hard to get to stick).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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Well, if you know 一 and 二, then you should also learn 三 - it's just more of the same :) ("one", "two", and "three").

Also, random fact: recognising の can be useful to see whether a text is in Japanese, because it's so frequent that any text of any length will have that in it... and 的 would be the Chinese equivalent. (They both mean roughly "of").

的 can also appear in Japanese texts but much less frequently. (There, only with the meanings "-ic" [as in the morpheme that turns words such as "photograph" into words such as "photographic"] or, less frequently, "target (for shooting arrows)".)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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I probably did know three, but I'm still only on the two stroke kanji. :-)

I've seen の before, because it's used in the words for man, woman, boy, and girl (which are the only words I know). It's much easier to remember than the Chinese equivalent. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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I can't write it, but the 'no' particle (I think they call them particles?) is something that brings to mind various bits of Japanese. I think there must be more rattling round in there than I realise. watashi no ___ desu... I can't actually think of a noun to put in the gap. though... oh hang on... watashi no namae wa Sarah desu...? My name is? Is that right?

I usually end up recognising Japanese because of the hiragana and katakana. I can no longer read the vast majority of them - the ha which is also the wa particle, no, the solo n are the only ones I'd be vaguely confident of - but the look of them is so different to Chinese that if a text has a reasonable smattering of loan words and/or grammatical stuff, I'll spot it's Japanese as opposed to Chinese.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Himawari34

The fifth is definitely Japanese XD it reads as "nihongo" (the kanji used are day/sun, root and language respectively). Funny how I translate the Chinese one to "middle sentence" because I recognized the (Japanese) kanji for 中(middle) and 文(sentence/literature) XD

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126
Theron126
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Isn't the Chinese name for China literally something like "Middle Kingdom"? So that translation somewhat makes sense, I guess the idea is along the lines of "writing of the Middle Kingdom".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ontalor
Ontalor
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You got it exactly, nice deduction. It does mean Middle Kingdom, so 中 is used to refer to a lot of things that are Chinese, and 文 means writing or language. In Chinese, Japanese is called 日文.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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I didn't know that! That's cool :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Himawari34

I don't really know Chinese but I think yes ^^ (sorry for my lack of knowledge in Chinese..) but in Japanese, it does mean "middle kingdom/country"; 中国 (chuugoku). If you put it that way, it does make sense XD

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126
Theron126
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LOL first time I've heard someone apologize for not knowing Chinese... :-D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/germanwannabee

hi, you randomly received 2L

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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...\o/ okay, my little happy dude only has one arm, but he's still happy so...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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I thought it was. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/germanwannabee

can I download it on a pc?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lanievjo
lanievjo
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Cool! I will check it out!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Hope you have fun with it :)

2 years ago