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Top 17 Websites You Can Use to Learn a New Language (and the Pros and Cons)

Top 17 Websites You Can Use to Learn a New Language (and the Pros and Cons)
  1.  Duolingo

Duolingo should sound familiar to almost everyone reading this. Known as the most popular app for language hobbyists, Duolingo provides a fun, gamified approach to learn over a dozen languages on your mobile — for free.

Pros: Free.

Cons: Not great if you’re serious about getting results. Recommended for hobbyists.

Main Benefit: The main benefit of using Duolingo is that it’s great if you’re just getting started and want to play around with the basics of the language.

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    1. FluentU

    FluentU helps you learn languages through video content, categorizing them into different levels. Topics can range from ordering at a restaurant, listening to music, movie quotes, etc.

    Pros: Intriguing videos to learn in an engaging manner.

    Cons: No ability to practice with a native speaker nor get immediate feedback.

    Main Benefit: Curated video content in one place.

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      1. Rype

      Rype has re-defined the traditional language learning model, by applying a Netflix/Spotify model for private language lessons. For less than the price of a coffee per day, you can have unlimited number of one-on-one lessons with a professional coach, including live classes and premium video lessons to accelerate your skills.

      Pros: Unlimited one-on-one lessons with a professional coach, live classes, and premium video recordings that you can take at the comforts of your home — anywhere, anytime.

      Cons: Currently limited to only Spanish lessons.

      Main Benefit: The benefit of receiving unlimited one-on-one lessons with a professional coach. It’s like signing up for a gym membership and having full-time access to a professional personal trainer for the same price.

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        1. Conversation Exchange

        If you have the time and lack the budget to work with a professional teacher, conversation exchanges are worth checking out. They allow you to connect with fellow language lovers, looking to practice their skills online.

        Pros: Free to connect.

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        Cons: Takes a lot of time, patience, and dealing with scheduling problems.

        Main Benefit: Great place to meet like-minded language lovers and either practice your speaking skills or simply connect and chat about travel, culture, and languages.

         
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          1. Memrise

          When you’re learning a language, memorization is key. Memrise makes the process easier. Using a gamified approach, Memrise has a set of steps you go through in order to memorize your desired words or concepts.

          Pros: Great for memorization, and can be used as a complementary when you’re working with a professional teacher.

          Cons: Only good as a complementary tool, not as a complete language learning solution.

          Main Benefit: The biggest benefit is that it’s a free way to help you memorize more concepts faster, not just languages.

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            1. Rosetta Stone

            Rosetta Stone has been around for decades. It has faced controversial reviews about its promise and effectiveness by several language experts and journalists. Nevertheless, it’s a popular method that is still being used by many language learners.

            Pros: Easy to use. You can learn in the comfort of your home.

            Cons: Expensive. Effectiveness of its solution has been reviewed negatively amongst many language experts and bloggers.

            Main Benefit: The main benefit is the ability to learn at home.

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              1. BBC Languages

              BBC Languages came up with a new section of their website to provide language learning content focused on 8-10 main languages, and more. It contains video tutorials and written content to guide you through the basics of your target language.

              Pros: Free.

              Cons: Great as a starter, but it can only take you so far without practicing what you’ve learned with a native speaker.

              Main Benefit: The main benefit is that it’s free and a great place to start for someone looking to learn a new language.

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                1. Busuu

                Busuu sits in a similar category as Duolingo and the other free mobile apps out there. It provides a simple, yet interactive method of learning, and can be a useful way to learn basic words and vocabulary for language hobbyists.

                Pros: Free, interactive.

                Cons: Not great if you’re serious about getting results. Recommended for hobbyists.

                Main Benefit: Great for getting familiar with the basics of the language.

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                  1. Babbel

                  Babbel provides a slightly more personalized approach, compared to Duolingo and Busuu, as they have different levels for beginners and intermediates, while understanding what demographic you fit in. At the end of the day, it is a do-it-yourself approach, and unless you’re 100% motivated to using the service on a daily basis, it may be difficult to keep yourself accountable.

                  Pros: Easy to use. You can learn from the comfort of your own home.

                  Cons: Do it yourself mode. Lack of accountability.

                  Main Benefit: The main benefit is the ability to learn and review your target language easily on-the-go, or in the comfort of your home.

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                    1. Fluentin3months

                    Fluentin3months is not necessarily a language solution, but rather a destination created by Benny Lewis. It contains forums, articles, reviews, courses, and a book that you can learn from. What this really comes down to is counting on the expertise of the author, Benny, who is a polyglot fluent in seven languages.

                    Pros: Benny has a great track record of providing unbiased, research-backed information.

                    Cons: You can’t necessarily work with Benny, but rather have to learn from his strategy on your own.

                    Main Benefit: Learn from an expert who has achieved significant results in acquiring languages fluently.

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                      1. Livemocha

                      Livemocha, which was acquired by Rosetta Stone, provides online language courses and has an avid language learning community. The company claims to have a methodology for learning a language, but it’s hard to know if it really works.

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                      Pros: Free and an avid community of language learners.

                      Cons: No ability to speak with a native speaker and seems to focus on upselling to Rosetta Stone.

                      Main Benefit: Great for dipping your feet into the pool and enrolling into some free content.

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                        1. Foreign Services Institute

                        The Foreign Services Institute features extensive text and audio resources for more than 45 languages. Designed by professional linguists for the U.S. government, these free materials are of premium quality. It’s also created with the aim of aiding users gain fluency, as it’s organized into several different lessons.

                        Pros: Free and created by professional linguists.
                        Cons: Traditional method and not interactive.
                        Main Benefit: Focuses on many languages (up to 45), and even targets languages that are not as popular, such as Romanian, Igbo, Serbo-Croatian, and many more.

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                          1. The Polyglot Club

                          The Polyglot Club is essentially Meetup for language learners. It allows you to meet people (online and offline) around the world to practice speaking your target language or simply chat online.

                          Pros: Free, simple to use.

                          Cons: Finding the time, patience, and scheduling coordination to actually meet up or commit to practicing with someone else.

                          Main Benefit: Surrounding yourself with a community of fellow language learners is key, so this website is a great place to start.

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                            1. LingQ

                            LingQ is focused on the text-based approach for learning a language. In summary, it’s a digital flashcard for learning languages. While this can provide some value, it may not be a good fit for visual learners (use Memrise instead).

                            Pros: Many languages available. Good if you’re a text-based learner.

                            Cons: $120/year and similar open-sourced solutions are available here for free.

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                            Main Benefit: Targeted at people who like learning solely through text, rather than visual or audio.

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                              1. Reddit (subreddit: languagelearning)

                              Pros: Free.

                              Cons: Unfiltered advice from individuals who have no proven track record of educating others in language learning.

                              Main Benefit: The main benefit is to get an overall scope of how others are learning languages, what resources they’ve tried, as well as what worked and what didn’t.

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                                1. MosaLingua

                                MosaLingua focuses on helping you memorize words and vocabulary. Here’s the approach explained by a language blogger:

                                1. You listen to the word or sentence and record yourself pronouncing it. You then compare your pronunciation to the native pronunciation.
                                2. Once you know how to pronounce the word, the app shows you a word or sentence and asks you to guess its translation. If you guessed right, you click “correct”, if not you click “incorrect”.
                                3. The app then shows you an English word or sentence and asks you to write the translation.
                                4. Finally, you see the English translation and evaluate how well you know the associated word or sentence.

                                Pros: Good for learning words in sentences.

                                Cons: Limited in scope, and doesn’t help in improving your speaking skills or other facets required to learn a language.

                                Main Benefit: Memorizing words in your target language.

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                                  1. Pimsleur

                                  Pimsleur is an audio-based language program that is taught by native speakers, which means you can hear native accents and pronunciations. It’s a story-based learning system (although it sounds fake), which can be a good way to understand how native speakers talk.

                                  Pros: Good for repetition, taught by native speakers.

                                  Cons: Irrelevant context. It seems far too professional, and many of the materials taught cannot be used in everyday conversations, making it seem too formal.

                                  Main Benefit: The main benefit is the emphasis on audio and pronunciation.

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                                    Conclusion

                                    There’s no best solution that will fit everything you’re looking for. What you’ll need to do from here is to evaluate your goals, and understand what your desires are.

                                    Do you lack the basics of memorizing the most common words? Try Memrise or LingQ.
                                    Are you just looking to play around with the language for fun? Try Duolingo or Busuu.
                                    Do you want to be able to become a fluent speaker and work with a private coach? Try Rype.

                                    Whichever methods you try, just make sure it aligns with your goals, and that alone will help you find the right solution for you.

                                    Good luck!

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                                    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                                    25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                                    25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                                    Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

                                    Or even better:

                                    What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

                                    You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

                                    Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

                                    How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

                                    The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

                                    In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

                                    • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
                                    • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
                                    • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

                                    As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

                                    Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

                                    Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

                                    But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

                                    his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

                                    5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

                                    Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

                                    But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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                                    1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
                                    2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
                                    3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
                                    4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
                                    5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

                                    Who can use Excel shortcuts?

                                    There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

                                    • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
                                    • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
                                    • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
                                    • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

                                    Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

                                    With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

                                    25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

                                    Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

                                    1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

                                    If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

                                    2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

                                    If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

                                    If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

                                    3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

                                    Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

                                    =sum(

                                    …and then press F3.

                                    When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

                                    4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

                                    Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

                                    =match(

                                    …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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                                    When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

                                    But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

                                    5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

                                    If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

                                    • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
                                    • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
                                    • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
                                    • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
                                    • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

                                    6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

                                    By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

                                    The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

                                    For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

                                    A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

                                    7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

                                    When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

                                    8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

                                    When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

                                    9. Use filtering

                                    Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

                                    It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

                                    To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

                                    10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

                                    Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

                                    Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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                                    To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

                                    11. See formula results with F9

                                    If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

                                    Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

                                    12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

                                    If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

                                    13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

                                    Here’s how to use EDATE:

                                    =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

                                    =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

                                    14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

                                    Here’s how to use EMONTH:

                                    =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

                                    =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

                                    15. Remove spaces with TRIM

                                    TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

                                    16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

                                    In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

                                    17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

                                    When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

                                    And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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                                    18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

                                    If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

                                    19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

                                    Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

                                    You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

                                    20. Use data validation

                                    This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

                                    • Create dependent drop-down lists;
                                    • Create drop-down lists;
                                    • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

                                    21. Use conditional formatting

                                    It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

                                    22. Use formula auditing

                                    This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

                                    The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

                                    23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

                                    Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

                                    It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

                                    24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

                                    INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

                                    25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

                                    OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

                                    The bottom line

                                    As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

                                    That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

                                    If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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