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7 Amazing Resources to Learn a Language Online In Your PJ’s

7 Amazing Resources to Learn a Language Online In Your PJ’s

Who says learning a language has to disturb your busy schedule?

While there are a lot of resources out there to learn languages online, it’s critical to choose the right one. Otherwise, you’re wasting hundreds of dollars, and more importantly, your precious time.

To help you out, we’ve narrowed down the best solutions to learn languages online to help you make the right choice and make life easier for you.

Here’s the criteria we used to evaluate each solution:

  • Personalization — Every person learns differently. This is why having a customized solution or personal attention to meet your personal needs is crucial to effective learning. Think about the difference between having a personal teacher versus being stuck in a 300-seat lecture hall.
  • Time Flexibility —  Let’s face it, most of us are busy individuals. In fact, lack of time is one of the biggest reasons why many people never get to learn a language. Having a solution that allows you to learn on your own schedule is a must.
  • Real-life Immerison/Human Interaction — Have you ever met someone who picked up a language, while living abroad for only a few months?
    This is the power of real-life immersion. A study by NTL Institute shows that humans remember 18 times more from immediate immersion versus listening to a lecture.
  • Accountability — No matter what goal we’re trying to achieve, having someone there to keep us accountable can be the difference between persisting and quitting too early.

* We will rate each solution using this criteria from 1 to 5.

7 Amazing Resources to Learn Languages Online

1. Duolingo

Personalization: 3
Time flexibility: 5
Real-life immersion: 2
Accountability: 2

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Duolingo is a great resource for people who are just looking to dip their feet into the language pool. It’s fun, game-ified, and free for anyone to start learning. However, you do get what you pay for.

From personal experience, there’s a glass ceiling with using a tool like Duolingo, because you don’t get the real-life immersion required to become conversation fluent. If you’re serious about learning a language, don’t expect to stay motivated or accountable after a few weeks using Duolingo.

Nevertheless, it’s a great tool that’s free to use, and it allows you to learn on-the-go.

duolingo_skills

    2. Memrise

    Personalization: 3
    Time flexibility: 5
    Real-life immersion: 2
    Accountability: 3

    Memrise is powerful for not just learning languages online, but for anything you want to memorize. Like Duolingo, Memrise has a game-like approach to helping you memorize words, grammar, and facts in small chunks.

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    It also allows you to learn anytime online, but like Duolingo, it doesn’t keep you accountable to continue learning.

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      3. BBC

      Personalization: 2
      Time flexibility: 5
      Real-life immersion: 2
      Accountability: 1

      BBC has introduced a library content of useful tutorial videos, games, and exercises to help anyone learn languages online. The content is tailored for languages like Spanish, French, Italian, German, and many more that are available for you to watch whenever you want.

      bbc-languages-spanish

        4. Rype

        Personalization: 4
        Time flexibility: 4
        Real-life immersion: 5
        Accountability: 4

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        Here’s a website offering an innovative solution to provide real-life language learning. Rype offers unlimited private Spanish lessons online, by personally matchmaking you with one of their qualified coaches. It’s like having unlimited access to a personal trainer, but for language learning!

        With teachers from 5 different continents around the world, you can learn Spanish on-the-go, anytime, anywhere. Best part is, they’re fully customized to meet your needs and you get to work with a dedicated professional language teacher that is there to keep you accountable.

        You can try it out for free, with 3 lessons from 3 different coaches!

        Rype

          5. Polyglot Club

          Personalization: 3
          Time flexibility: 3
          Real-life immersion: 5
          Accountability: 3

          The Polyglot Club is Meetup for languages. There are over 500,000+ members around the world who can organize, meet, and practice their target languages in-person. While this is not focused on learning languages online, it’s still a great destination that allows you to find in-person language exchanges at your local city or wherever you’re traveling to.

          Screen-Shot-2016-02-04-at-1.17.29-PM

            6. Conversation Exchange

            Personalization: 3
            Time flexibility: 2
            Real-life immersion: 4
            Accountability: 2

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            There are several conversation exchange communities online, where you can connect with fellow language lovers online. It’s basically the Polyglot Club, but done at the comforts of your own home.

            You can narrow down your search filter by languages, country, age, and more. With over 100+ languages and more than 1 million members around the world using conversation exchanges, you’re bound to find a language partner that can learn a language with you.

            Keep in mind that there are several downsides to conversation exchange that you should be aware of. Finding the right partner takes a long time. Scheduling your busy life to meet up and practice your target language is harder than most people think, especially when 50% of your time is going to helping the other person.

            It’s a great solution for people who have the time and don’t have the funds to invest in a more professional solution right now.

            Language-Exchange-Community-Practice-and-Learn-Foreign-Languages-1024x497

              7. Busuu

              Personalization: 3
              Time flexibility: 5
              Real-life immersion: 3
              Accountability: 2

              Busuu is similar to Duolingo, in that it’s a free language learning solution that makes it simple for you to learn the basics of a language online. It focuses on helping you learn vocabulary, sentence structures, and some grammar, but it’s not as helpful in improving your speaking skills.

              A great feature that Busuu has gives you the individual word you need to learn, followed by an example in context (with audio for your first week). They also have a great interface for typing, and allows you to tap into native speakers for help.

              screenshot-LU

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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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                Last Updated on July 29, 2020

                19 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                19 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                Whether you use your Mac for work or just for your personal projects, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to improve your productivity. There are only so many hours in a day, and so much mental stamina you can muster before you run out.

                There are dozens of tricks you can use to improve your own productivity and outlook, but if you’re looking for a more objective, comprehensive fix, the best thing to do is equip your Mac with productivity apps designed to help you do more in less time.

                This Lifehack-exclusive list has some of the best productivity apps to help you feel less tired, improve your energy, and ultimately help you get more done every day:

                1. Todoist

                  Available for all iOS devices, Todoist is a note-taking and organization app that can keep you on top of all your projects—both personal and professional.

                  Its best features are all free to use, including browser extensions, task creation, and interactive boards you can use to organize all your notes.

                  If you want to pay the optional $29 yearly fee, you can get even more advanced features like backups and automatic reminders. Even with the free version, you’ll stay far more organized.

                  Download: Todoist

                  2. 1Password

                    You may not realize it, but you probably spend a ton of time recalling your passwords, especially if and when you forget one to an app you use on a regular basis.

                    1Password is an app for Mac that saves and remembers all your passwords for you in one place, so you can access all your favorite sites with a single click.

                    You’ll save time and keep all your accounts secure simultaneously. A personal plan is $2.99 per month.

                    Download: 1Password

                    3. Bear

                      Bear is a unique kind of note-taking app designed to make it easier for Mac users to jot down notes on the go. With it, you can create to-do lists, give yourself reminders, and outline concepts for future brainstorming sessions.

                      It comes with many different inline styles so you can customize your notes to your personal preferences, and remember the context in which you wrote them. The core version is free, with a $14.99 per year version available as well.

                      Download: Bear

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                      4. Hazel

                        Hazel by noodlesoft is an automated organization tool designed for Mac that will help you automatically organize your files based on any custom rules you want to create.

                        For example, you can set it to move untouched items from one folder into another folder labeled “action items” if they haven’t been addressed within a week. It can save you hours of organization over the course of a few weeks. A single license is a flat $32.

                        Download: noodlesoft

                        5. Alfred

                          Alfred is an all-in-one app designed to save you time with Mac shortcuts and convenient custom actions. You can use it in a variety of ways.

                          For example, you can access Alfred’s clipboard memory so you don’t copy and paste the same material over and over, or set up custom workflows to automate some of your most repetitive tasks.

                          It’s a paid app, with multiple price points based on the features you desire.

                          Download: Alfred

                          6. TextExpander

                            TextExpander does exactly what the name suggests; it allows you to type a short snippet of text, and expand that text automatically.

                            For example, you can create a custom expansion that allows you to conjure a full paragraph you type repeatedly by simply typing a unique abbreviation. Once you get used to your custom combinations, you’ll spare your fingers from typing thousands of words.

                            An individual account is $3.33 per month.

                            Download: TextExpander

                            7. Backblaze

                              If you’ve ever experienced a crash, or theft of your Mac, you know how much time a system restore can cost you. You’ll spend hours replacing the files you lost, and lose thousands of files that are irreplaceable.

                              Backblaze is an automated, inexpensive way to back up your entire Mac for just $5 a month.

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                              Download: Backblaze

                              8. Keyboard Maestro

                                Keyboard Maestro is an older app that still has the power to make your life easier. With it, you can automate any number of tasks based on a certain trigger (such as a hotkey combination, or an event like connecting to a wireless network). A single license only costs $36.

                                Download: Keyboard Maestro

                                9. Snagit

                                  There are many applications for a good screen-capture app, whether you’re trying to illustrate a tech problem you have or just want to make an interesting meme. Snagit makes it easy, with built-in editing for both still images and video. A single license covers two machines, and costs $49.95.

                                  Download: TechSmith/Snagit

                                  10. Bartender

                                    Bartender is the cleverly-named app that helps you clean up and organize all your menu bar icons. You can also access them quickly with keyboard shortcuts.

                                    If you’re like most Mac users, those icons get cluttered quickly and stop you from working efficiently. It’s free to try for 4 weeks, after which you’ll need a $15 license.

                                    Download: Bartender

                                    11. Otter

                                    Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time.

                                    Best of all, it’s free to get started!

                                    Download: Otter

                                    12. Flux

                                      Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or feeling unable to get to sleep after a day of staring at your computer? That could be because of the unnatural blue light that radiates from your Mac.

                                      Flux naturally adapts your display to emit light that matches the time of day, so you can sleep better and feel less tired. It’s also free!

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                                      Download: Flux

                                      13. PDFpen

                                      If you deal with PDFs on a regular basis, you probably find yourself wishing for some kind of tool that can let you mark up those PDFs however you want. Without a dedicated app like PDFpen, this can be difficult.

                                      PDFpen lets you edit PDFs in almost any conceivable way, giving you more power and saving you time. A single license is $74.95.

                                      Download: Smile Software/PDFpen

                                      14. OmniFocus

                                        OmniFocus is all about task management. It has a clean interface that allows you to tag your tasks, schedule events, and even automate certain features.

                                        It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

                                        A standard license is $39.99, while the pro version is $79.99.

                                        Download: OmniFocus

                                        15. Franz

                                          It’s tiring to switch between dozens of different chat programs like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, whenever you want to have a conversation with a different contact.

                                          Franz’s solution is simple; offer access to all these apps in one convenient package. And best of all, it’s completely open source.

                                          Download: Franz

                                          16. MindNode

                                            If you’re the brainstorming type, you need an app like MindNode to help you efficiently organize your thoughts. There are dozens of tools you can use to connect ideas in a mind map, or simply jot down notes for future reference.

                                            The core app is free, with in-app purchases available.

                                            Download: MindNode

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                                            17. Focus

                                              The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully distracting. And if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve interrupted work on a project because of some attention-grabbing site or bad online habit. That’s where Focus comes in.

                                              This app allows you to block the worst offenders with custom time limits and other constraints, so you can focus on the task at hand. A single license is $19.99.

                                              Download: Focus

                                              18. CleanMyMac

                                                Chances are, your Mac isn’t working as fast as it could, thanks to gigabytes of clutter and unnecessary files on your system. CleanMyMac helps you scan your Mac, monitor its health, and ultimately clean it up—so you can handle all your tasks that extra bit faster. A single license is $39.95.

                                                Download: CleanMyMac

                                                19. Grammarly

                                                  A spelling error or grammatical mistake can cost you big time. It could be the source of a worse grade on a big paper, or compromise your credibility in the workplace. Thankfully, Grammarly can help you.

                                                  This Mac-integrated writing assistant monitors all your writing and makes live corrections, so you’re alerted to your potential mistakes before they become permanent.

                                                  A free version exists, but the premium version will cost you between $11 and $30 a month, depending on how you pay.

                                                  Download: Grammarly

                                                  The Bottom Line

                                                  These productivity apps should help you squeeze more productive hours out of every day, but they aren’t the only tools you’ll have to help you find success.

                                                  Make the time to learn about and experiment with all the life hacks that can make you more productive. By improving your devices as well as your outlook and focus, you’ll be able to get far more done in a day, and feel better doing it.

                                                  More to Boost Productivity

                                                  Featured photo credit: Patrick Ward via unsplash.com

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