Duolingo's Chinese course isn't very good. The German course was a lot better developed. Chinese is a tonal language, so you'd think they'd have more speaking exercises for that than German. No, they don't have any. They just spew out a bunch of vocabulary, spring sentences on you early without breaking them down, and there's no writing out what you hear in Chinese. Sure, they write out the pinyin (romanization of characters) for the characters and they have you match the sound, but that's not much. I did learn a little bit, but not much this way. So, I searched for reviews of other apps.
HelloChinese sounded the best, so I got it. It's free, too. It looks similar to Duolingo. There's a trek through the course with bubbles for units. They start with a Pronunciation unit. They go through an intro for pinyin, syllables, and tones. They really break that stuff down. They also have you pronounce things as you go. They let you hear every part if you tap the pinyin. I missed a few, but still passed the quiz for it. I'm actually surprised how many I got right. Especially with the speaking part. Next, I went through Basics 1. This was quite different than the first, and seems to be the setup for the rest of them. They introduced vocab like: mama (mother), baba (father), wo (I/me), ni (you), shi (is/are/am), etc. They did it with 'cards' similar to what Duolingo does. There are sentences to translate. A lot of speaking exercises. There are video recordings of native Chinese people speaking. (They have normal and slowed down speeds.) You have to pick which sentence they said in Chinese. You also get to draw the characters. Has a lot of good stuff packed into it. Types of stuff most language learning apps should have. Hopefully, they'll have a typing in Chinese part soon. That would be good. I apparently did so well in Basics 1, I didn't have to do the last part of it. They put a leaf on it after I passed it. It looks like there's a plant that grows as you progress. Next, is Basics 2. They also have a training game. I haven't played it yet, but it sounds interesting. I'll go through their course, then switch to another language in Duolingo.
I finally decided on a pride shirt. I ordered the Aro Ace Get Out of My Face one. It has skulls, arrows, a spade, etc. It looks a lot cooler than most of the others. A lot of the aro ace stuff is cutesy. While I like that sometimes, I'd rather have something that looked badass. It should be delivered by the 27th. I won't be able to wear it at a few events in between, but there are a couple later. I'll also have something I can wear year round. I wanted that even more. The only pride shirts I have right now are the local Pride organization's official shirts for the last 2 years. That's not really specific to my 'identities' though. Going to get a 3rd shirt from them later today. I like them, and they're good for general Pride stuff. I just want to be out as aro ace and agender as well. I didn't find any good agender pride shirts. It's like we're even more invisible than aros and aces.
Tomorrow is Seattle Trans Pride. I liked that a lot last year. There's a parade we march in that meets back up into a park. The park has vender booths and live music. I'll get to bring my little genderqueer flag this time. It was nice to see people I hadn't seen in a while. There were so many marchers last year, and it was cool to see the people on the sides cheering us on.
The 2nd local Pride picnic we're going to is on Saturday. Then, there's Seattle Pride on Sunday. I'm unsure if I want to be in that parade. Last year, it was really hot, had to climb a steep hill to get to the 'staging area' to meet up with the group, and it was really crowded. This year it's supposed to be much cooler, so that's one plus this time. I can use my little genderqueer flag instead of my huge ace one. A little better. The local Pride group will also be in a local 4th of July parade. I'm unsure of this one, too. There's the local Pride fest towards the end of next month.
I'm thinking of dropping Bordertown. I still can't tell if I've watched the whole thing, and it's not that great either. Even though I only saw one episode of Bad Guys, it was much better.