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6 Places You Can Learn a Language Online For Free

6 Places You Can Learn a Language Online For Free

“It’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with” is a quote we have heard time and again. This could also be taken to mean that the people in each place are what truly make a place special.

When we travel, if we can’t communicate with the people in the places we go, we are missing out on a huge piece of their culture, because, after all, the people of the place are the ones who created it. Here are 6 places that you can learn a language online for free, so you can connect deeper with the people in your destinations:

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1. Duolingo

Duolingo is a free language course that starts from the basics and works its way up to more complex grammatical structures and vocabulary. There are a number of additional resources on the site, including materials like articles in your language of choice and self-quizzing options. The structure of the site is also very organized, allowing you to track your own progress. Duolingo currently offers six European languages.

2. Memrise

Memrise makes use of mnemonic flashcards to help users learn new vocabulary. “Mems” on this site are user-generated, and you can upload your own, so as you learn more you can create the mems that work best for you. On the downside, some mems are inaccurate, so when using this site, sometimes it’s necessary to verify the accuracy using a translation tool. Also, Memrise’s approach of assimilating foreign words to similar-sounding phrases in English may be confusing for some users.

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3. Busuu

Busuu also offers a community-based approach to language learning, while providing content from expert educators, such as writing exercises and recordings. The site offers a wider variety of languages than LiveMocha, including Polish, Japanese, Turkish, and Portuguese. What’s more, you can access Busuu on both Andriod and iOS devices, allowing you to practice no matter where you are.

4. Lingualia

Lingualia is the third site in this list that incorporates a social aspect to help users learn a language. Like Duolingo, Lingualia makes it easy to monitor your language-learning progress. It also includes a wide variety of tools, like audio files, flashcards, exercises, and customized lessons that fit both your personal learning style and schedule.

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5. Byki

Byki takes a very similar approach to Memrise by focusing on memorization of vocabulary and phrases rather than on grammar alone. Byki offers the widest variety of languages of any site in the list, with 74. They offer mobile apps in addition to their desktop software and claim they are the “the fastest possible way to lock foreign words into your long-term memory.” Try combining Byki with another, more traditional-style language learning program, such as Duolingo, in order to expedite your learning.

6. Youtube

By far the most unconventional method on the list, but surprisingly effective, Youtube offers a huge expanse of instructional videos in a wide variety of languages for a wide variety of skill levels. Many videos on Youtube are made by native speakers, as opposed to some automated audio recordings from other programs, which allows for better learning of pronunciation.

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In addition to enhancing your travels, learning a language is a critical skill that could put you ahead it today’s competitive job market. With so many free resources available, there’s no excuse not to!

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 13, 2019

10 Things Happy People Do Differently

10 Things Happy People Do Differently

Think being happy is something that happens as a result of luck, circumstance, having money, etc.? Think again.

Happiness is a mindset. And if you’re looking to improve your ability to find happiness, then check out these 10 things happy people do differently.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. -Dalai Lama

1. Happy people find balance in their lives.

Folks who are happy have this in common: they’re content with what they have, and don’t waste a whole lot of time worrying and stressing over things they don’t. Unhappy people do the opposite: they spend too much time thinking about what they don’t have. Happy people lead balanced lives. This means they make time for all the things that are important to them, whether it’s family, friends, career, health, religion, etc.

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2. Happy people abide by the golden rule.

You know that saying you heard when you were a kid, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Well, happy people truly embody this principle. They treat others with respect. They’re sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of other people. They’re compassionate. And they get treated this way (most of the time) in return.

3. Happy people don’t sweat the small stuff.

One of the biggest things happy people do differently compared to unhappy people is they let stuff go. Bad things happen to good people sometimes. Happy people realize this, are able to take things in stride, and move on. Unhappy people tend to dwell on minor inconveniences and issues, which can perpetuate feelings of sadness, guilt, resentment, greed, and anger.

4. Happy people take responsibility for their actions.

Happy people aren’t perfect, and they’re well aware of that. When they screw up, they admit it. They recognize their faults and work to improve on them. Unhappy people tend to blame others and always find an excuse why things aren’t going their way. Happy people, on the other hand, live by the mantra:

“There are two types of people in the world: those that do and those that make excuses why they don’t.”

5. Happy people surround themselves with other happy people.

happiness surrounding

    One defining characteristic of happy people is they tend to hang out with other happy people. Misery loves company, and unhappy people gravitate toward others who share their negative sentiments. If you’re struggling with a bout of sadness, depression, worry, or anger, spend more time with your happiest friends or family members. Chances are, you’ll find that their positive attitude rubs off on you.

    6. Happy people are honest with themselves and others.

    People who are happy often exhibit the virtues of honesty and trustworthiness. They would rather give you candid feedback, even when the truth hurts, and they expect the same in return. Happy people respect people who give them an honest opinion.

    7. Happy people show signs of happiness.

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    smile

      This one may sound obvious but it’s a key differentiator between happy and unhappy people. Think about your happiest friends. Chances are, the mental image you form is of them smiling, laughing, and appearing genuinely happy. On the flip side, those who aren’t happy tend to look the part. Their posture may be slouched and you may perceive a lack of confidence.

      8. Happy people are passionate.

      Another thing happy people have in common is their ability to find their passions in life and pursue those passions to the fullest. Happy people have found what they’re looking for, and they spend their time doing what they love.

      9. Happy people see challenges as opportunities.

      Folks who are happy accept challenges and use them as opportunities to learn and grow. They turn negatives into positives and make the best out of seemingly bad situations. They don’t dwell on things that are out of their control; rather, they seek solutions and creative ways of overcoming obstacles.

      10. Happy people live in the present.

      While unhappy people tend to dwell on the past and worry about the future, happy people live in the moment. They are grateful for “the now” and focus their efforts on living life to the fullest in the present. Their philosophy is:

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      There’s a reason it’s called “the present.” Because life is a gift.

      So if you’d like to bring a little more happiness into your life, think about the 10 principles above and how you can use them to make yourself better.

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