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Top 20 Foreign Language Learning Tools & Resources

Learning a new language is always helpful, even if you don't need that skill in the immediate future. While English is the de facto standard when it comes to communicating with people around the world, the importance of other widely spoken languages like French, Spanish etc cannot be undermined.

Gone are the days when learning a new language was a big hassle. In this information age, you could start learning it on the internet and could even master it if you are a dedicated self-learner. This article informs you about 20 great tools and resources available on the world wide web that could help you get started with learning a foreign language. Check them out.

Memorista

Memorista is a nice foreign language learning tool which, instead of relying on conventional methods to teach a language, uses mnemonics and memory aids that help you learn the new language faster. This tool is particularly useful to adults because they are likely to be more receptive to the flashcards learning method.

It currently offers learning aids for French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish. And it's free to use.

Mango Languages

Mango Languages is a great website if you intend to learn one of these 11 languages - Spanish, Russian, French, Greek, German, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Brazilian, Italian, Polish and Portuguese. Just enter your email address and start learning. The online courses and lessons offered are comprehensive. You learn through slideshows and can also participate in quizzes to check your progress.

Foreign Language Podcasts

Learning a language via audio podcasts can be fun. Not only you are able to learn the pronunciations of different words easily, you could also practice them correctly. This article at Open Culture has a massive collection of foreign language podcasts. It hardly spares any major language considering that it features 37 languages. Extremely useful for those who want to learn a new language.

LangoLAB

After audio, we come to video. LangoLAB is a website where you can learn a foreign language by watching videos. It makes the learning process entertaining by showing you music videos of the language you choose equipped with subtitles to help you understand. It supports English, Deutsch, Francais, Italiano, Japanese, Chinese, Espanol and Russian

Poppling

Poppling is a website plus a desktop tool based on Adobe AIR which applies an innovative technique to help you grasp a foreign language. It doesn't offer you an online course which needs to be read in continuity. Instead it pops up flash cards in different languages at different time intervals, while you are working on something else. Hence the learning process can continue the entire day as and when you've got time.

BBC Languages

If you like the BBC brand then you would like BBC Languages too. The site is elegantly designed and includes audio and video courses on languages like French, Spanish, German, Italian, Greek, Portuguese and many more. There are various other learning aids and resources on the site for travelers.

Pronounce Names

Even after you've spent hours learning a foreign language, you'd agree that there are areas you cannot master just by going through the courses. One of such areas is pronouncing names. And that's where Pronounce Names helps you. It shows you how to correctly pronounce names when you are in a different land.

CorrectMyText

CorrectMyText is a site which can help you practice writing a foreign language while you are learning it. The concept is simple - submit the language text which you need to get corrected and get it corrected by a language expert on the site. Plus, you could ask for the sound recording of that text.

Google Translation Tools

Google Translate and other translation tools by Google are a must-use for anyone learning a new language. You should bookmark those sites and use them frequently for translation as and when you require it. Translation is usually quick and hassle-free.

NiceTranslator

NiceTranslator is an awesome real-time translation service that translates your text as you type. It is simple and easy to use. Just select the language to translate into (36 languages supported) and start typing in the box provided. It auto-detects the source language and translates it into the selected language in real-time.

LiveMocha

LiveMocha is a community based language learning website that has comprehensive lessons for a lot of foreign languages and also enables you to connect and interact with other people learning that language. It has over 4 million community members, so it definitely is doing some things right.

About.com

The online encyclopedia About.com has dedicated pages to languages (for example, check the Spanish page and the Italian language learning page) which offers beginner lessons, vocabulary building exercises, quizzes and other learning resources for various foreign languages.

HowToSayThatName

HowToSayThatName is a site similar to Pronounce Names which helps you correctly pronounce names. You can search and browse names based on language, and listen to them. You don't need to sign up for the site. You could start browsing and checking pronunciations immediately after visiting it.

ESLAssistant

ESLAssistant is for those who are learning to read and write English. This is a web based tool by Microsoft's research team that helps you correct grammatical errors in your English writing. You could copy paste the text you want to get corrected into the box on that site, and hit 'check' to start the process.

The French Tutorial

The French Tutorial, as the name suggests, is a site that helps you learn French. It has lessons covering all the aspects of the French language, which you could also download as PDF files for reading offline.

SDL Free Translation

SDL Free Translation is a nice translation service which offers both machine based translation and human translation by professionals. You can copy paste text on their website and get the translated version.

Babbel

Babbel is an interactive and community driven language learning site that combines a lot of different things to make language learning fun and easy. It introduces you to new words and phrases using slideshows, listening aids and more. However, it is limited to English, German, Italian, Spanish and French.

Busuu

Busuu is another interactive language learning community based site that lets you master your skills in English, German, French and Spanish. The cool feature of this site is that you can communicate directly with the native speakers of the language you are trying to learn and brush up your skills.

Min Multimedia

For those who are trying to learn the language of the fastest growing nation of this world (yeah, Chinese, you guessed it right), Min Multimedia is a good site to play with. It has text lessons, audio podcasts, practice sheets and much more.

Wikipedia

Last but by no means the least, is our favorite encyclopedia, Wikipedia. While the site may not directly offer language learning courses, it is such a huge ocean of information that anyone who's trying to learn a foreign language and get acquainted with the culture of that land, could make use of this site frequently to add that extra depth to his learning


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