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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

                    Reference

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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 September 18, 2020

                    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                    For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                    “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

                    “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

                    Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

                    You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

                    Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

                    1. Take a step back and evaluate

                    When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

                    1. What is the problem?
                    2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
                    3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
                    4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
                    5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

                    Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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                    2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

                    If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

                    At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

                    Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

                    3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

                    Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

                    4. Process your thoughts/emotions

                    Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

                    1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
                    2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
                    3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
                    4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

                    5. Acknowledge your thoughts

                    Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

                    By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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                    Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

                    6. Give yourself a break

                    If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

                    7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

                    A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

                    Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

                    After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

                    8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

                    As Helen Keller once said,

                    “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

                    Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

                    9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

                    In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

                    1. What’s the situation?
                    2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
                    3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
                    4. Take action on your next steps!

                    After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

                    10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

                    A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

                    Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

                    For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

                    11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

                    No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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                    12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

                    No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

                    13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

                    There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

                    After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

                    Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                    Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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