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11 Websites You Can Use to Speak a New Language

11 Websites You Can Use to Speak a New Language
For anyone itching to speak a new language, it’s easier than ever to get started with the help of new communication tools entering the market.

However, with choice comes analysis paralysis, and with all of the options available it’s easy to get overwhelmed before you even start.

To simplify your decision, I’ve taken a handful of language websites and broken them down into different learning categories, so you can choose which style fits you best.

Learning a new language can be broken down into four learning methods:

  1. Algorithm learning
  2. Textbook learning
  3. Course learning
  4. Human learning

how to learn a new language

    Each method has its advantages and its disadvantages, so be honest with yourself about which method you enjoy the most. Do you enjoy traditional textbook learning methods? Or do you thrive when practicing with another human being?

    Second, we need to measure the four important factors for each method:

    1. Time commitment
    2. Engagement
    3. Personalization
    4. Effectiveness

    This article takes an in-depth look at each service, and will hopefully give you a good idea of which solutions fit you best. Here are 11 websites that can help you learn a new language:

    Algorithm Learning

    1. Babbel

    Time commitment: Low
    Engagement: Medium
    Personalization: Low
    Effectiveness: Low

    Babbel is a free tool available on any device that focuses on teaching you the basics of a language from writing, grammar, speaking, listening, and more. As a free app, there’s no risk to trying it out and getting started on learning a new language.

    iPhone

      2. Memrise

      Time commitment: Low
      Engagement: Low
      Personalization: Low
      Effectiveness: Medium

      Memrise is a website that focuses on helping you memorize words. As we’ve mentioned on our language learning blog, memorizing ~2,500 words can help you understand 80% of any language.

      Unlike most memorization methods, Memrise has gamified their learning approach to make it more fun and interactive for you.

      171059000130830154013

        3. Duolingo

        Time commitment: Low
        Engagement: Medium
        Personalization: Low
        Effectiveness: Low

        With over 50+ million registered users, Duolingo is the leader in the free language learning category. Similar to Busuu, they have a gamified approach to teach you the basic knowledge of popular languages from Spanish to Mandarin. You can also get some speaking practice, as they’ll ask you to verbally repeat certain phrases during your training.

        Duolingo-4

          4. Busuu

          Time commitment: Low
          Engagement: Medium
          Personalization: Low
          Effectiveness: Low

          Busuu is another free mobile app that embraces the importance of community, something that Duolingo lacks. But if you’re looking to learn the basics of grammar and vocabulary, there isn’t much of a difference between the two apps.

          Their algorithmic learning method focuses on teaching you the basics of the language if you’re just getting started. This approach is great for learning basic vocabulary and some grammar, but there’s a limit to how far you can go using this method.

          phones

            Course Learning

            5. FluentU

            Time commitment: Medium
            Engagement: Medium
            Personalization: Low
            Effectiveness: Medium

            FluentU refers to itself as immersive online learning. It provides a series of videos and courses to teach you basic and advanced conversation phrases. However, self-motivation will be necessary to go through their video library and to hold yourself accountable if you want to see any type of results.

            language-immersion-online-3

              6. Michel Thomas

              Time commitment: Low
              Engagement: Medium
              Personalization: Low
              Effectiveness: Medium

              Michel Thomas is a well-established language teacher who has created dozens of audiotape programs to help you learn new languages. They’re also a great way to learn basic conversation skills. Their only downside is that is that their practice conversations are one-sided. You’ll need to force yourself to talk out loud and repeat what the people in the audio program are saying in order to practice.

              germanadvanced

                7. Fluent In 3 Months

                Time commitment: Low
                Engagement: Medium
                Personalization: Low
                Effectiveness: Medium

                Fluent In 3 Months is a popular language learning website created by Benny Lewis. He has also created several premium online courses to help you learn languages faster (ostensibly in three months). While it’s hard to expect anyone to become fluent in that short of a time, it’s still worth checking out if you want to learn at your own pace.

                blogpicbenny

                  Human Learning

                  8. Rype

                  Time commitment: Low
                  Engagement: High
                  Personalization: High
                  Effectiveness: High

                  Rype is a personalized language learning website that connects you with language coaches who provide lessons tailored to your needs.
                  As the first language coaching platform, Rype provides accountability and personalization by delivering honest feedback, allowing 24/7 access to your coach, and offering customized lesson packages such as lessons for travellers and lessons for beginners.

                  Although more languages are coming, they’re currently offering Spanish with plans to introduce French, German, and Italian in the near future.

                  Rype personalization

                    9. Conversation Exchange

                    Time commitment: High
                    Engagement: Medium
                    Personalization: Medium
                    Effectiveness: Medium

                    Conversation Exchange is a place where language lovers meet online to help each other learn their native language.

                    For example, a person fluent in German looking to learn English can pair up with a native English speaker looking to speak German. Conversations can take place in-person, over Skype, through text over Whatsapp, or via their chat software.

                    Although the concept is great, finding the right partner is a challenge due to the lack of personalization, a matchmaking system, and schedule coordination. Most students will not be as dedicated because of the lack of commitment involved, and it can take some time before you discover the partner you like.

                    If you’re lacking budget and have the patience and time to go on the journey, this is a great, free way to learn conversation skills!

                    Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 2.52.43 PM

                      10. LiveMocha

                      Time commitment: High
                      Engagement: Medium
                      Personalization: Medium
                      Effectiveness: Medium

                      LiveMocha is an online language learning community by Rosetta Stone that allows you to connect with native speakers. They also have interactive lesson courses that you can go through for over 35 languages to learn basic vocabulary and grammar. However, if you want to take your speaking skills to the next level, this option is limited.

                      Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 3.05.54 PM

                        11. Polyglot Club

                        Time commitment: Medium
                        Engagement: Medium
                        Personalization: High
                        Effectiveness: Medium

                        The Polyglot Club is the most widely-known online language meetup site. It’s a destination where language lovers can organize local events around the world for conversation exchanges, practice sessions, and more. If you want to connect with fellow language learners in-person and practice your speaking skills in person, then you should find an event in your local city using this link.

                        With that said, it may be difficult for you to find native speakers at these events. Many of the people you find may just be getting started like yourself.

                        Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 3.05.34 PM

                          More by this author

                          Sean Kim

                          Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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                          Last Updated on February 19, 2020

                          11 Google Chrome Apps & Features for Getting More Done with Less Effort

                          11 Google Chrome Apps & Features for Getting More Done with Less Effort

                          In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                          Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                          In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                          Minimizing Tabs

                          Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                          Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                          Incognito Mode

                          Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                          1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                          2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                          3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                          This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                          Save Webpages as PDF Files

                          Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                          Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                          Open Recently-closed Tabs

                          Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                          One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                          The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                          Solve Mathematical Problems

                          Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                          For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                          Play Media Files

                          Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                          In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                          Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                          With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                          Stay Focus(e)d

                          Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                          Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                          With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                          This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                          Grammarly for Editing

                          Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                          You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                          Loom

                          There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                          There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                          With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                          Chrome Calendar Extension

                          No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                          Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                          Final Thoughts

                          Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                          Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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