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10 Time-Saving Language Learning Websites (For Busy People)

10 Time-Saving Language Learning Websites (For Busy People)

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re a busy person.

Either you’ve got a job you work hard at, a business you run yourself, or perhaps you’re out traveling the world (congrats!).
But your goal is to learn a new language this year, and you have no idea how you’ll fit it into your schedule.

No problem. There are great time-saving language learning websites today that allow you to effectively learn a language on your own time without comprising your busy schedule. This way, you can keep working hard (or traveling hard), while expanding your cultural and language knowledge.

Here are 10 time-saving language learning websites to learn a new language if you’re a busy person.

The 10 Best Language Learning Websites For Busy People

When it comes to finding the best language learning websites, I’ve found there are a handful of areas worth investigating and experimenting with.

First is the method of learning, of which there are 4 main categories:

1. Algorithm learning

2. Textbook learning

3. Course learning

4. Human learning

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    Next, we need to dig deeper and measure the 4 important factors for each method:

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    a. Time commitment

    b. Engagement

    c. Personalization

    d. Effectiveness

    Let’s take a look at how these factors apply to each of the follow sites.

    1. Michel Thomas

    Time commitment: Low
    Engagement: Medium
    Personalization: Low
    Effectiveness: Medium
    Cost: $15 – $130

    Michel Thomas provides an audiotape course from a great teacher. It provides everything from beginner to advanced lessons.

    Although it’s a one-sided conversation, it’s not only Michel speaking on the audiotape. Michel provides a real-life conversation scenario by bringing on students to speak with each other and correcting them along the way.

    michel

      2. Duolingo

      Time commitment: Low
      Engagement: Medium
      Personalization: Low
      Effectiveness: Low
      Cost: Free

      With over 50 million downloads and increasing quickly, Duolingo is the most popular language learning mobile app.

      The gamification of the app is great for keeping you entertained and engaged while learning. The app is recommended for anyone who has zero knowledge and wants to focus on learning basic vocabulary and grammar.

      From personal experience, you will get what you pay, and if you want to see real, lasting results, Duolingo will only get you so far.

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        3. Rype

        Time commitment: Low
        Engagement: High
        Personalization: High
        Effectiveness: High
        Cost: $79/mo

        If you’ve ever experienced how quickly you can pick up a language while living in a foreign country, then you’ve seen how powerful real-life immersion can be. Rype brings real-life immersive learning to your screen, so you can learn on-the-go, anytime, anywhere. In fact, studies have shown it can be up to 18 times more effective than traditional lectures.

        rype

          What Rype offers is unlimited one-on-one Spanish lessons with a professional, dedicated coach online. This means that you can book as many lessons as you want (no strings attached). With your membership, you’ll also gain access to premium video classes on-demand, language guides/resources, personalized feedback documents, and more. Think of it as having unlimited access to a personal trainer for getting in shape, but for language learning.

          Since all of the learning is done online, on any device, it takes the time you would have wasted commuting out of the equation. In addition, because coaches are located all around the world, you’re able to schedule your lessons at any time of the day, whether it’s 7 AM in the morning or 2 AM at night. Learn more about how Rype works here.

          rype

            4. Busuu

            Time commitment: Low
            Engagement: Medium
            Personalization: Low
            Effectiveness: Low
            Cost: Free

            Busuu is quite similar to Duolingo, but they do provide more of a community aspect to connect with fellow language learners, if that’s what you’re looking for.

            busuu

              5. Lonely Planet

              Time commitment: Medium
              Engagement: Low
              Personalization: Medium
              Effectiveness: Medium
              Cost: $9

              Lonely Planet is one of the largest travel websites online. They also provide books on language learning, targeted at travellers who want to learn the basic conversation phrases before and during their trip.

              Because of the targeted focus, if you’re a traveler wanting to learn basic phrases in a language, it can be a simple and easy way to accomplish your goal.

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                6. Conversation Exchange

                Time commitment: High
                Engagement: Medium
                Personalization: Medium
                Effectiveness: Low
                Cost: Free

                Conversation Exchange is a place where language lovers meet online to help each other learn their native language.

                For example, a fluent person in German looking to learn English can pair up with a native English speaker looking to speak German. Conversations can take place in-person, over Skype, or through text over Whatsapp or other chat software.

                Although the concept is great, finding the right partner is a challenge due to the lack of personalization, a matchmaking system, and schedule coordination. Most students will not be as dedicated because of the lack of commitment involved, and it can take some time before you discover a partner you like.

                If you’re lacking a budget and have the patience and time to go on the journey, this is a great, free way to learn conversation skills!

                convexc

                  7. Babbel

                  Time commitment: Low
                  Engagement: Medium
                  Personalization: Low
                  Effectiveness: Low
                  Cost: $13/mo

                  Babbel is very similar to Busuu and Duolingo, offering a free way to learn languages using algorithms.

                  This is another alternative if you are looking to experiment before choosing your platform.

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                    8. Memrise

                    Time commitment: Low
                    Engagement: Low
                    Personalization: Low
                    Effectiveness: Medium
                    Cost: Free

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                    Memrise is great for one purpose: memorization. If you read our blog post on How to Learn Any Language in 90 Days, you know that you can memorize 30 words/day for 90 days and be able to recognize 70-80% of a language.

                    You’ll have to face a lot of memorization obstacles when learning a language, and when that time comes, Memrise is a great tool to help you overcome them.

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                      9. Fluentin3months

                      Time commitment: Low
                      Engagement: Medium
                      Personalization: Low
                      Effectiveness: Medium
                      Cost: Free

                      Fluentin3months.com is a language learning website started by Benny Lewis. As stated, he’s well known for learning languages in 3 months, and has courses available to teach you his methodology. Fluentin3months also has an avid community of fellow language learners that you can meet, which makes the website stand out above others.

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                        10. Rosetta Stone

                        Time commitment: Medium
                        Engagement: Low
                        Personalization: Medium
                        Effectiveness: Medium
                        Cost: $499

                        Rosetta Stone has been around for many years now. They provide language learning courses for almost every popular language you can think of. While it’s great for getting started, due to the lack of engagement levels, it’s not ideal for people who want to improve their speaking skills.

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                          Your Turn

                          Which of these time-saving language websites will you try out? If there are any tips or suggestions that we have missed, please let us know in the comments!

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                          Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                          7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                          7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                          Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                          Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                          Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                          So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                          Joe’s Goals

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                            Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                            Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                            Daytum

                              Daytum

                              is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                              Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                              Excel or Numbers

                                If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                Evernote

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                                  I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                  Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                  Access or Bento

                                    If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                    Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                    You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                    Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                    All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                    Conclusion

                                    I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                    What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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