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Linguaholic

Fascination with Applications


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I've noticed that lately everyone is obsessed with applications - apps for this, apps for that, for language learning, for vocabulary improvement, for tense practicing, for reading... What is it about these apps that everyone finds so fascinating? I can't but wonder. I've never really used them. I use my phone to send a quick message or a phonecall, and that only when I have to. Sometimes I can't even find my phone. Does no one use dictionaries anymore? Or write things down in notebooks? Are these apps really helpful? Do they make learning things easier?

I must admit I am puzzled with this new trend.

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haha.. i feel you. i myself is not into apps. while i'm not apps-averse, i find the value of using apps. with apps, a specific need is being addressed at a much faster pace. that i believe is where the lure is. compared to browsing a thick dictionary, one can simply just key-in the word and the app immediately yields you a result. (or whatever the app is for.)

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I have lots of apps in my phone and tablet but I admit I rarely use them. I'm sure someone out there is getting much more use out of these but I personally just can't keep up either because usually they just tend to over complicate simple tasks. The only apps that I like are games and specialized ones that I can use to create but as far as utility apps go I'm not too fond of them.

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There are apps that help you learn second languages? Why have I never thought to look that up?! It seems so obvious now. As to answer your question, I think everyone takes it seriously when you say "there is an app for everything". An app for learning a new language, an app to quantify a recipe. An app to turn your phone into a flash light. So I guess it makes sense to use an app for learning a new language.

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Yes, when you put it that way, it makes sense. However, what I'm really wondering is why that is so. What is it about mobile phones that fascinates people? Are dictionaries of no use anymore? I remember trying to find the perfect dictionary for Latin - I had spent days in various antiquity shops, browsing, until I had found what I was looking for. I was among the rare customers. This truly makes me wonder - will books disappear throughout time? Why would people keep publishing them in print if no one would read them? It seems that the people read online nowadays (if at all).

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Applications are simply faster and more efficient than getting dictionaries or glossaries, or even finding a real-life teacher! Plus many of them are free, who wants to pay for something when they can have it for free? I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing - just a shift in perspective and process.

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Sometimes, I can't help but feel that apps make life more complicated.

For example, there are many language learning apps out there. Some are great, many aren't. But if I were to choose, I'd always just search for a language learning course/site on the web, which is almost always more comprehensive and dynamic. I'm not an always on-the-go kind of person, so I use my laptop way more than my mobile device.

Same thing for those jogging/running apps or whatnot. Just run!

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