#best website for learning
Best Free Language-Learning Apps
Surf around the British Broadcasting Corporation’s website long enough, and you may just land on the Beeb’s language-learning content. A few of the most popular languages that English speakers tend to learn are represented, but don’t confuse these with languages in the “quick fix” section. The latter content is merely an ultra condensed list of common phrases. For the fully supported languages, you’ll find assessment tests to help you figure out if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced students, and then a cluster of resources, including PDF vocabulary lists, crossword puzzles, and more. Steer toward the video lessons, which have the right kind of structure for someone looking to actually study a language over the course of several weeks.
Languages: Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish.
Byki is a downloadable flashcard program that you can use to learn new words in any one of dozens of languages. It’s the free component to the much more rigorous and Transparent Language program, and you’ll find a few prods to upgrade or buy the larger software package occasionally (but not too much, which I appreciate).
Languages: Afrikaans, Albanian, Altai, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bashkir, Belorussian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Buriat, Chechen, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dari, Dutch, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Macedonian, Malay, Mirandese, Mongolian, Norwegian, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian or European), Romanian, Russian, Scottish, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tajiki, Thai, Turkish, Turkmen, Tuvan, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Zulu.
Online-only Busuu uses crowd-sourcing as part of its language-learning system. When you first start out, you’ll encounter a lot of flashcards for learning new words and phrases, but as you advance, you’ll have the opportunity to practice writing and answering questions, which will be marked by other users who speak the language you’re learning natively. For any crowd-sourced method, you have to put trust in the fact that 1) you’ll connect with people who are actually willing to give you feedback and 2) the feedback they give you will be something you can understand, because it may be written in the language you’re trying to learn rather than one you already speak. The free parts of Busuu are part of a larger model, and you can certainly get more out of the program by leveling up to a Premium account (from $24.99 per month). Free users can only study one language at a time.
Languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Polish, Turkish, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese.
Duolingo, my favorite service on this list, is extremely well structured for a free language-learning program. It really looks like a paid program. Duolingo has you drill through exercises, which are part of larger lessons, to learn basic words, phrases, and grammar. Then you practice what you’ve learned by working on translations of real-world content from blogs and websites. Other Duolingo users then rate these translations, a practice that has been shown in some studies to actually work (Duolingo was originally conceived at Carnegie Mellon University). Two downers: Not many languages are supported. Jumping ahead to a more advanced level isn’t simple, although it is possible.
Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish.
Jill Duffy is a contributing editor, specializing in productivity apps and software, as well as technologies for health and fitness. She writes the weekly Get Organized column, with tips on how to lead a better digital life. Her first book, Get Organized: How to Clean Up Your Messy Digital Life is available for Kindle, iPad, and other digital formats. She is also the creator and author of ProductivityReport.org. Before joining PCMag.com, she was senior editor at the Association for Computing Machinery, a non-profit membership organization for. More
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