The Fastest, Most Direct Way To Learn A New Language In 8 Lightning

     

If you didn’t study a foreign language in high school or college, is it too late to vì it now? Did you learn a language way back in school, but you can’t remember most – if any – of it?

Whether you’re interested in learning a new language or brushing up on your existing language skills, you’re in luck. The amount of affordable and không lấy phí language learning tools makes it easier than ever.

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I’m a bit of a language nerd. My undergraduate majors were Ancient Greek, Latin, & English, I have a TESOL certificate, and I’ve studied eight languages. Right now, I’m focusing on French and Welsh, and I’m using a phối of apps, in-person classes, online tutoring, và conversation groups lớn help build my skills.

Some methods are more effective and helpful than others, & some work best in combination with other learning techniques. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have lớn spend beaucoup dollars to lớn study a language. Here’s how you can improve your skills without spending a ton.


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1. Use an App


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Once upon a time, language learning software cost an arm and a leg. Programs such as Rosetta Stone promised khổng lồ teach you a language the way you learned your first one– by interacting with the language in supposedly natural settings – but they came with a hefty price tag.

Fortunately, the language phầm mềm landscape has changed considerably over the years. There are now plenty of programs that help you learn a language or brush up your language skills for a low price or even free.

Another advantage of using affordable or không lấy phí language apps, apart from the cost, is that they provide a low-commitment way lớn see if a language floats your boat. You don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for a software program, only to discover after a few lessons that you have no interest in learning the language or you dislike the program.

If you start a language program on a không lấy phí or cheap app, you can bail on it or try out another language easily. You can also change apps if the one you start with doesn’t blend well with your learning needs or style.

While there are many language learning apps out there, the following are the ones I’ve used & found useful. They’re also either không tính phí or low-cost.

Babbel

Of the language apps I’ve used, Babbelis my favorite. It’s also the only one that doesn’t have a không lấy phí version.Luckily, Babbel occasionally runs specials lớn attract new users. I signed up with a 50%-off khuyến mãi around the holidays.

You don’t have khổng lồ jump into Babbel blindly. I tried out a lesson và decided the phầm mềm was worth the annual subscription price. I’ve been using it for French and find its grammar lessons khổng lồ be among the best I’ve experienced; they really show you how lớn use the language. Admittedly, if you’re grammar-phobic, this might not be the phầm mềm for you.

Along with grammar, the tiện ích has speaking practice, listening practice, conjugation, và vocab review. I’ve found its speech recognition software khổng lồ be pretty amazing. It transcribes what it thinks you’re saying, with occasionally hilarious results.

Babble also has a lot of levels and goes further than some other affordable or không tính tiền language apps. For instance, Babbel recently introduced an “Advanced” level for French that’s entirely in French.

The one thing I found slightly annoying about Babbel is that the thiết bị di động app và Web version don’t seem to talk khổng lồ each other. I started by using the web version and later added the ứng dụng to my phone. None of my lessons or progress from the web version transferred khổng lồ the app, even though my trương mục stayed the same. That might not be a big khuyến mãi for you, but if you regularly switch between the website version and the app, it can be an issue.

Duolingo

Duolingomight be one of the most well-known language learning apps. It’s got the major languages (such as English, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, French, Arabic, & Chinese), as well as less-common languages (such as Welsh, Czech, & Irish). The app also offers endangered languages, such as Hawaiian & Navajo. & for the nerds out there, it has Klingon & High Valayrian.

I started using Duolingo a few years ago khổng lồ jump back into French & found it khổng lồ be an effective way to advance quickly. The phầm mềm uses short lessons lớn help you build up grammar skills and vocabulary. If you’ve already got some knowledge of a language, you can chạy thử out of particular lessons và skills.

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One issue I had with Duolingo is that the tiện ích is good for practice và reviewing concepts, but it’s not so great at introducing new grammar or concepts. If you’re wondering why the language works the way it does or what you’re learning in a particular lesson, you need to go to lớn the website version of the program for an overview.

Duolingo also isn’t such a great tool for practicing speaking the language you’re learning. Some of the programs on the app, such as French, have speaking practice, but not all do.

One thing that makes Duolingo fun and slightly addicting is that it adds a gaming element to its lessons.You get a certain number of hearts at the start of each lesson. If you make a mistake, you thua kém a heart. Thua thảm five hearts và you’re locked out of playing for the day unless you buy more with your collection of gems. You get gems for completing levels, not making mistakes during a lesson, & for a variety of other reasons.

The tiện ích has also recently introduced leagues và leaderboards, which let you compete with other users lớn see who can practice the most và build up the most XP (experience points). You may not think that competing with strangers would offer much motivation lớn keep practicing, but trust me, it does.

The basic version of Duolingo is không tính tiền and is available on the Web and as an phầm mềm for iOS, Android, & Windows devices. There is a paid version, as well, which is available as a monthly subscription.

Memrise

While Duolingo promises lớn teach you a language, Memriseis more oriented toward helping you learn vocabulary. There’s less focus on grammar and more focus on ways to help you memorize words & phrases.

If you’re more advanced in a language and are looking khổng lồ beef up your vocab, Memrise is a bit better than Duolingo. Its methods are also more helpful when it comes to lớn memorizing và absorbing the language.

The free version of the phầm mềm lets you learn new words, nhận xét words, and play a game called “Speed Review.” Speed reviews shows you a word và multiple definitions. Select the right definition quickly, or you đại bại a heart. Tap on the wrong definition, và you thất bại a heart. If you thua kém three hearts, the trò chơi is over. It’s stressful but also fun.

Like Duolingo, Memrise has free and paid versions. I’ve only used the không tính phí version, but the paid version gives you more listening practice, as well as more practice with words that are challenging to you. Memrise is available as a monthly subscription, or you can save a bit by purchasing a quarterly or annual subscription. You can also choose to pay a one-time, reasonable flat fee for a lifetime subscription.

Mango

Mangois another language learning ứng dụng that charges a subscription fee, but you might get miễn phí access khổng lồ it through your local library.

Mango has more language options than Memrise or Babbel, but its teaching method doesn’t appeal to lớn me as much. There’s a lot of repetition in Mango, và while repetition is part of learning a language, it can become annoying or boring.

When I was studying Greek, I found Mango lớn be more helpful than Duolingobecause it breaks down the language and explains grammatical concepts in the middle of a lesson.

The program also has a cool speaking feature that lets you compare your pronunciation khổng lồ that of a native speaker. It won’t correct your pronunciation for you, though.

Perhaps the biggest advantage Mango has over other language learning apps is the number and selection of languages it offers. Want to lớn learn Scottish Gaelic? It’s the one ứng dụng I’ve seen that offers it. It’s got all the popular languages, plus some less common ones.

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The same is true of Icelandic, Azerbaijani, and Igbo. Mango also lets you learn older languages, such as Ancient or Koine Greek, Shakespearean English, and Biblical Hebrew.