Most of us have always wanted to learn a new language. And why not? Studies have shown that learning a new language has a lot many benefits. Not only it enriches your CV and gives you a competitive edge but it also improves your memory, makes you a multitasker, more perceptive, a better decision maker, an effective marketer, and the list goes on.
❝You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.❞
Learning a new language need not involve an expensive tuition and many years of your life. In this fast-paced-connected world, where learning new languages has become all the more important, below is a list of some great websites that will surely help you to learn any language online(and that too without paying anything).
BBC languages offers easy tutorials based on interactive learning for beginners and post beginners by way of emails in just 12 weeks. The email contains tips and tricks to help you along the way and is followed by an “end-of-course assessment”. You will even get a BBC certificate. Initially it was available for 4 languages but now, it is available for just 2 languages. Also, it has now included video tutorials and interactive video dramas for beginners.
Apart from that, BBC also has a traveler focused segment under which it offers 10 facts , some key phrases and the alphabet in 40 languages.
Memrise has a large user interface and it boasts of free courses on a range of things including many courses on learning languages in many languages. They help in creating mems(snippets of imagination and humor) to enable you to retain the language for longer. They also use a lot of audio and video learning which appeals to a lot of users. It also has a mobile app.
The biggest disadvantage with using memrise is the fact that all the content is contributed by users. But good content is often highlighted by the developers on their site.
Busuu derives its name from the language by the same name spoken in Cameroon. Apparently, only 8 living people can speak this unique language.
Busuu is a site that offers some basic grammar lessons to begin with and backs it up with the integrated chat function which is its USP. The lessons are presented with an audio for the first week and after that you can still read the lessons even though you can no longer access the audio. The best part is that they also give you a free review for each lesson. Busuu also gives you an excellent opportunity to interact with the native speakers of the language.
Livemocha boasts of a wide selection of languages. Currently, it has an option to learn more than 35 languages. Free basic courses are offered in all the languages and advanced courses are available only in 5 languages(with a small fee).
LiveMocha also offers a free chat option wherein you can interact with local speakers. It also gives an opportunity to get your work reviewed by the native speakers.
Duolingo showcases its language learning courses as better than university language courses. It advertises 34 hours of Duolingo as equivalent to 11 weeks of university semester, on its blog. Recently, Apple named Duolingo as the app-of-the-year.
Most of the websites allow you to learn languages like a course. Now, Duolingo seeks to go beyond that and has created a game-like-interface for an addictive approach to learning languages. However, the lessons have a few mistakes and it does not have the provision to allow you to chat with the native speakers.
Foreign services institute
The US Foreign services institute is a public domain website that offers free language courses in more than 30 languages.
The course material for most languages is sufficient although some languages have a very limited number of modules. The website has a simple user interface which may appeal to some of you.
If you are serious about learning a language, BBC Languages is the most comprehensive resource you will come across. Anki and Lang-8 are the most user-preferred resources. Busuu and LiveMocha are very similar. They must be used only to get a very elementary knowledge of the language and should only be used to chat further. If textbook style learning doesn’t interest you, you must try Duolingo at least once.
Although these sites will help you considerably in obtaining a fair idea about the language but the trick to master any language, is to FALL IN LOVE with the language – to read, write and talk in that language.
Any website that you think will be useful to language learners? Do share in the comments section.