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Last Updated on November 25, 2019

9 Great Platforms To Learn Languages For Free

9 Great Platforms To Learn Languages For Free

I honestly feel quite insecure every time someone tells me that they can speak more than one language. One of the disadvantages of English being your first language is that you’re more likely to be a “monolingual” unlike countless others around the world who can speak at least two languages—if not more.

What’s more is that in the diverse, multicultural, and relatively global marketplace these days, knowing more than one language always puts you at an advantage in businesses that are not defined by geographic boundaries—which is a characteristic of most businesses. Hey, even the United States (within its boundaries) is one of the most multicultural places you can work in today!

With more and more research proving bilinguals are more likely to get a job, earn more, and score better on standardized tests,[1] we’re only wondering what we need to do learn another lingo!

Luckily, unlike the past, we don’t have to read piles of books or take expensive courses to learn a language. Thanks to the internet and the vast array of resources available on various platforms, there are plenty of ways we can learn languages for free whenever and wherever we like.

Here’re 9 platforms where you can learn languages for free:

1. DuoLingo

Learn Language Free

    Duolingo is a fairly new platform that has won several awards including iPhone App of the Year 2013 and Google’s Best of the Best 2014.

    Currently, it offers lessons on 19 different languages. The platform will take users through a unique experience with a game-like interface where you can earn points, track your days, and get tips on how to improve.

    The app is available on iPhone, Android and Windows phone, so if you own a Blackberry or Linux-based device, you’ll have to resort to the computer.

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    Check out the DuoLingo!

    2. Busuu

      Busuu is also a lot like DuoLingo, except it offer only 12 languages, but some very unique ones. Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese can be hard to learn and few platforms offer these languages, but Busuu does.

      Busuu also has a very large community of over 50 million speakers. The great part is that you can easily sign in through your Facebook and Google account. However, the app is only available for Android and Apple devices.

      Check out Busuu!

      3. Live Mocha

        Live Mocha was one of the first online platforms to offer language learning for free since its launch in 2007. One of the coolest things about Live Mocha is that it gives you access to natives speakers, teachers, language enthusiasts, and language experts around the world from over 190 countries.

        The community encourages language learning through interaction, which is excellent! So, you get to practice your conversation with people around the globe through comments on practice exercises, lessons with feedback, text or video chats, and more.

        Check out Live Mocha!

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        4. LingQ.com

          This platform has also come a long way since its days of basic language learning and reading lessons. Although it has cartoonish, children’s-type interface, it can be used by any language learner of any age — and at any stage of language learner (beginner to advanced).

          This is a great resource for teachers and classrooms. The only downside is that you won’t get access to unlimited vocabulary or extra features unless you sign up for the premium accounts.

          Check out LingQ!

          5. Lang 8

          Learn Language Free

            What this platform offers is pretty simple: a community of native speakers who connect with you and correct what you write. So, clearly, this is a platform for those speakers who are already proficient in writing and reading a foreign language.

            For example, masters dissertation will help you write in your native language and you can translate it to a foreign language and get it checked on Lang 8. You can return the favor by correcting those who are learning your native language. This one’s best if you’re working on improving how you write in a certain language.

            Check out Lang-8!

            6. Papora

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              Papora will allow you to register for free and learn English, Spanish, French, or German.

              Rather than focusing purely on vocabulary, Papora will also incorporate grammar so that you can form proper sentences. The “bite-sized” lessons are very easy with excellent audio.

              The mobile app takes users through 60 real life situations has over 2,000 keywords and phrases with audio content. This app is great for busy learners!

              Check out Papora!

              7. Memrise

                Memrise uses three simple ingredients to make it one an effective language learning tool: science, fun, and community. When it comes to science, the team addresses the fact that the brain learns faster with the help of mnemonic flashcards. These flashcards are called “mems” and they help aid retention. With the help of games and videos, learning is also made fun.

                Memrise has over 300,000 courses which is pretty extensive and has a large range of languages to choose from. The coolest part is that language is not the only thing you can learn on this website.

                If you’re also interested in learning more about a specific country’s history, culture, or geography, Memrise will give you a free course on that too! You can get this as an app on Android and Apple devices.

                Check out Memrise!

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                8. Lingualia

                  Lingualia is a pretty cool platform that is largely focused on “social networking” for learning a language.

                  One of the best features of Lingualia is the artificially intelligent bot called “Lingu” who will treat you like a student. Lingu will make sure that you improve on areas that are challenging for you and stay motivated to learning your language.

                  For those of you who need consistent motivation, this is a great feature. Even though this platform sadly serves only two languages: English and Spanish, you should just give it a try!

                  Check out Lingualia!

                  9. Digital Dialects

                    This is fantastic platform where language leaning is made fun and easy. Digital Dialect focuses on providing users with games to learn a new language with the help of phrases, vocabulary, numbers, spelling, verb conjugations, and alphabets.

                    You’ll need Macromedia Flash to run the website, but I really love how responsive the website is, overall. The downside to using this platform is that it’s not available as an app and most languages cover only basic beginner-level language skills.

                    Check out Digital Dialects!

                    Alright, that pretty much sums up my favorite list of language learning platforms that are available for free! It’s amazing how the increasing demand of bilingualism has also made learning a new language easy. Well, not easy, but convenient nonetheless!

                    More About Language Learning

                    Featured photo credit: Dai KE via unsplash.com

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                    Sadie Douse

                    Sadie is an executive academic consultant at CorpEssay. She's also a passionate writer who shares lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                    Last Updated on January 16, 2020

                    12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

                    12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

                    The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

                    However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

                    “Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

                    Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

                    1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

                    When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

                    Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

                    2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

                    That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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                    Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

                    3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

                    If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

                    For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

                    People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

                    This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

                    4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

                    Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

                    Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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                    Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

                    Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

                    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

                    5. Crack a smile.

                    If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

                    Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

                    6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

                    Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

                    And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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                    7. Groom yourself.

                    This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

                    A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

                    8. Dress nicely.

                    Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

                    While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

                    9. Do activities you enjoy.

                    Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

                    You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

                    10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

                    Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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                    Why?

                    Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

                    Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

                    Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

                    11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

                    Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

                    Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

                    12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

                    Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

                    The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

                    Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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