If you’re not a born polyglot, learning a language can be a long and challenging journey if you don’t have the right tools. However, if you are moving abroad and need to learn a new language, being able to speak with the locals will be incredibly helpful when it comes to settling in, finding your way around, and making friends.
Learning a language through lessons in a classroom is one way, but there are many other ways that you can improve your linguistic skills. There are apps and websites that will allow you to practice your language learning and develop your vocabulary at your own pace. Here are a few examples.
This is an excellent free tool that you can use on your smartphone or on your browser. It is very well designed and user friendly, one of the best language learning apps out there. It includes a mix of listening, writing, reading, and speaking and it makes studying fun by awarding you points called “lingots” for your progress. You can learn French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Irish, Dutch, Swedish, Danish and more.
The BBC website offers a fee, fantastic mini-introduction to almost 40 different languages, so take a look and learn the basics. From Albanian to Urdu, you can download the phrases and print them out to practice on the go.
With an international community of more than 60 million people, Busuu relies on customers to teach each other. There are some free lessons including dialogue, writing exercises and audio recordings and there are also paid lessons such as grammar and video. There currently 12 languages to choose from, including Spanish, Japanese, and Russian that you can practice on your computer or through their app.
This resource offers audio materials and lessons for more than 45 different languages. Designed by professional linguists, these materials are high quality and will help you to obtain fluency. They are focused on grammar and repetition and as well as the common languages you can also learn more obscure languages such as Croatian and Romanian.
Are you more of a visual learner? Memrise is a website that contains thousands of user generated flashcards that rely on humor and eye catching graphics that will implant the vocabulary into your brain. You can browse through the thousands of free courses and even complete your own for others to view.
This website will allow you to search for native speakers of the language and schedule a Skype call with them so that you can practice your conversation skills. It’s an exchange, so they will be looking for someone to help them practice English while they help you learn their native language.
This app and language learning software is designed a little differently. All words, phrases, and audio are in your target language, with no translations into English. It attempts to teach you in the way that you would learn if you were a child starting to speak that language. The app is free up to a certain level, and the full version software is often on offer.
This language learning app works by taking real world media such as news, commercials and music videos and turns them into language learning experiences. This means that you will learn the language as it is spoken in real life.
These are just a few of the many apps and other resources out there that are very helpful for learning a new language. Of course, the most important thing to remember is to get out there and practice, even if it means accidentally saying the wrong thing or being a little bit confused. Practice makes perfect, so give it a try!