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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!

                                    More by this author

                                    Sean Kim

                                    Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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                                    Published on August 6, 2020

                                    10 Best Power Banks to Top up Your Phone at Will on the Go

                                    10 Best Power Banks to Top up Your Phone at Will on the Go

                                    The alert beep for low battery serves as a death call when you’re running late for work or are out on the town and need to make a call. Luckily, a super convenient alternative to your regular charger and charging wires is available in the form of power banks[1]. Easy to carry, lightweight, and affordable power banks have become the perfect companion for every mobile phone. In order to assist you in making the right choice for the purchase of power banks, we have compiled a list of the best power banks to guide you.

                                    Why Trust Us

                                    The importance of a well-charged phone cannot be underestimated. Keeping this in mind, our team has gone through many reviews and product descriptions present on the most reliable tech websites. From the smallest and lightest portable chargers to those that come with several years of warranty, our featured power banks will not let you down and will be worthy of your investment.

                                    1. Anker PowerCore 10000mAh Portable Charger

                                      As the best power bank the market offers, Anker PowerCore has a battery of 10000 mAh, which can charge three and a half iPhone 8 or two and a half galaxy s8 charges. The power bank has PowerIQ and voltage boost technologies, which can charge your phone in no time. Large size-to-capacity makes it a convenient item to carry in your pocket.

                                      To ensure the protection of your device, this power bank from Anker comes with a multi-protect safety system. The box also includes a portables charger and micro USB cable. You can carry it around safely with the included travel pouch. An 18-month warranty and friendly customer service are also included to give you a perfect power bank experience.

                                      Pros

                                      • Large size-to-capacity ratio
                                      • High-speed, universal charging
                                      • Red, blue, black color options
                                      • One of the smallest and lightest portable chargers on the market

                                      Cons

                                      • Qualcomm quick charge is not supported
                                      • The battery may not work well after some time

                                      Get this power bank here!

                                      2. INIU 20000mAh Power Bank

                                        Made of top-quality materials, the INIU Power Bank charges your phone 1.4 times faster with UPower+ technology. It works smartly by identifying your device and simultaneously increasing the current output. What’s great is that you can charge two devices at the same time. INUI recognizes its place as the thinnest lightweight power bank on the market.

                                        The paw indicator on the power bank illuminates its remarkable design, and it includes a flashlight inside, which can be used in emergency conditions. You can charge the power bank quickly with a micro USB or a type-C cable. Consequently, it’ll save you the hassle of finding the specific cable for a charge. INUE comes with a three-year warranty to give you peace of mind.

                                        Pros

                                        • Thin and lush design
                                        • Dual 3A output
                                        • Flashlight included
                                        • U Power+ technology

                                        Cons

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                                        • It doesn’t come with a pouch
                                        • Standby time is less than six months

                                        Get this power bank here!

                                        3. Miady 2-Pack 10000mAh Dual USB Portable Charger

                                          An all-in-one power bank solution for your needs, Miady includes two 10000 mAh battery packs. The power bank contains two USB output ports with an equal amount of current distribution. While one can charge 2.4 times for iPhone X, 3.6 for iPhone 8, and 2.2 for galaxy S9, you won’t be needing a socket anytime soon.

                                          You will be able to charge the power bank in 5 hours at 5V and 2A. Miady contains a reliable Lithium-polymer cell, and you can also carry the power bank on a plane. It can power off and on automatically if the device is disconnected for 30 seconds. This portable charger is compatible with 99 percent of smartphones and is one of the cheapest power banks available on the market.

                                          Pros

                                          • One of the best-value options compared to its rivals
                                          • Efficiently distributes current output
                                          • Vibrant color options like yellow and purple

                                          Cons

                                          • Not suitable for big devices like the iPad

                                          Get this power bank here!

                                          4. Anker PowerCore 20100mAh Portable Charger

                                            Anker 20100 mAh Power Core offers a huge amount of battery capacity. As one of the best power banks on the market, the 20000 mAh battery capacity can charge an iPhone 8 almost eight times or an S8 five times. In addition, the power bank can hold a charge for up to seven days, so you don’t have to plug it into the wall again and again.

                                            You can use the voltage boost and power IQ recharge to charge a phone efficiently and quickly. The power bank is also pocket-friendly and certified safe as it ensures protection for your smartphone or tablet and you. Its dual-device output enables you to charge up to two devices at the same time. Anker is made out of premium material to give you the best durable power bank on the market.

                                            Pros

                                            • High-speed charging
                                            • Huge 20000 mAh capacity
                                            • Enormous 4.8-ampere output
                                            • Certified safe

                                            Cons

                                            • It may start charging slowly after a few months of use
                                            • Qualcomm quick charge is not supported

                                            Get this power bank here!

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                                            5. Anker PowerCore 13000mAhPortable Charger

                                              Another Anker, the Anker PowerCore 13000 Portable Charger offers a huge battery capacity in a sleek design and has the ability to charge an iPhone 8 up to 5 times and an iPhone X or an S9 three times. You can also charge your phone or tablet with the two high-speed ports that are included. Anker comes is a smaller size than that of a wallet and is one of the best lightweight power banks compared to its battery size.

                                              Anker is 30 percent lighter than most other power banks. Power IQ and voltage boost technologies are included for fast-charge devices. Power IQ also identifies devices to calibrate the charge to your phone.  Anker has surge protection technology and short circuit prevention. You can rest assured that it will take care of you and your devices. Plus, you are covered with an eighteen-month warranty.

                                              Pros

                                              • Power IQ technology
                                              • Super high capacity
                                              • Red, black, blue, white color options

                                              Cons

                                              • No Qualcomm quick charge
                                              • Wall charger is not included

                                              Get this power bank here!

                                              6. GETIHU 10000mAh Portable Charger

                                                GETIHU offers high-quality power banks with their 11 years of experience in the market. The GEITHU portable charger has a certified Lithium-ion battery, which gets it the approval for airline travel. With the help of an LED display, one can know how much battery is left. You can quickly charge up to two devices with 4.8 Amperes at the same time.

                                                High-speed charging is accompanied by a smart IC to auto fit your smartphones. It can work with both big and small Android devices. GEITHU can easily fit inside your bag as it is slim and portable. Choose to take it with you with the travel pouch and feel comfortable taking it everywhere as it has a three-year warranty.

                                                Pros

                                                • LED display with the battery percentage
                                                • The 4.8-ampere charges two devices simultaneously

                                                Cons

                                                • The LED display may not show the correct amount of charge left

                                                Get this power bank here!

                                                7. Anker PowerCore 26800mAh Portable Charger

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                                                  Anker PowerCore offers a massive battery, which makes it one of the best power banks on the market. The 26800mAh worth of charge can charge phones more than six times. It has three USB outputs so that you can charge three devices at the same time. Power IQ and voltage boost make the high-speed charging available for all three devices.

                                                  You can charge the whole power bank in 6 hours. The two micro-USB inputs double the recharging speeds. It is light and durable, which makes it the best companion for your travel needs. The multi-protect safety system protects you and your devices. Friendly customer services and an 18-month warranty are there to provide you with the peace of mind you need when you get the Anker PowerCore.

                                                  Pros

                                                  • Triple device charging
                                                  • Dual-input power bank charging
                                                  • Superior safety
                                                  • A week’s worth of power

                                                  Cons

                                                  • Performance may decrease over time
                                                  • A bit heavy due to the big battery

                                                  Get this power bank here!

                                                  8. RAVPower 16750mAh Power Bank

                                                    RAVPower offers a vast battery of up to 16750mAh in size. It can charge your iPhone 11 two and a half times, S10 for 3.3 times, or an iPad for a full charge. With a current output of 4.5 amperes, it can charge up to two smartphones at the same time. You can quickly charge the power bank with a two-ampere charger in about 9 to 10 hours.

                                                    The flashlight is included in the power bank for emergency use. RAV is also tested against high temperature. Its iSmart technology tests your device for the optimal current value needed. Premium batteries comprised of lithium-ion can charge a device more than 500 times.

                                                    Pros

                                                    • Impressive 16750mAh battery
                                                    • iSmart technology

                                                       Cons

                                                    • It does not hold a charge well over time

                                                    Get this power bank here!

                                                    9. RAVPower 15000mAh Power Bank

                                                       

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                                                      RAV power bank features a controlling IC and iSmart technology. These come together to offer a fast charge for your smartphone or tablet. You can take your iPhone 11 from 0 to 50 percent in just 30 minutes. iSmart 2.0 can adjust according to your charging device and offers the necessary current. It’s possible to charge up to three devices at the same time with three outputs.

                                                      The portable charger can be charged within 4.7 hours with the ultra-fast charging, thus saving you 40 percent recharging time. RAV can fit comfortably in your pocket or your hand. An LED digital display shows you exactly how much charge is left inside. High-end lithium-ion batteries, along with protection technology, give you peace of mind wherever you take this power bank.

                                                      Pros

                                                      • 30W total tri-output and fast recharge
                                                      • Led digital display

                                                      Cons

                                                      • Weighs a bit more than most power banks

                                                      Get this power bank here!

                                                      10. LANLUK 25800mAh Power Bank

                                                        The LANLUK 25800 mAh portable power bank can charge your phone 5 to 7 times, and it is perfect for any type of work that you are heading out for. You can charge up to two devices simultaneously with the help of two outputs.

                                                        The high-quality lithium A+ polymer battery is used to give you peace of mind as the power bank protects itself from overheating and overcharging. The portable charger is compatible with nearly all the phones and tablets. 18-month customer service is available to give you even more peace of mind. It is an all-in-one power bank solution for your needs.

                                                        Pros

                                                        • High capacity battery
                                                        • Highly compatible

                                                        Cons

                                                        • Not permissible on planes

                                                        Get this power bank here!

                                                        Bottom Line

                                                        Choosing the best power bank is a bit hard task as there are many types of power banks available in the market. The one that you’d like to choose must depend on your needs. If you will go out for a long hike or a long trip with no power socket input, then the one with a bigger battery will be useful. However, if you need a solution to charge your phone while in the office, then something with a lightweight and durable design will be a better choice for you.

                                                        Choose one of the best power banks from above and never worry about your device dying again.

                                                        Featured photo credit: Steve Johnson via unsplash.com

                                                        Reference

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