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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

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                          Sean Kim

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

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