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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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      duolingo

        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.

                      fluentin3months-1024x655

                        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 May 14, 2019

                          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                          Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

                          1. Zoho Notebook
                            If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
                          2. Evernote
                            The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
                          3. Net Notes
                            If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
                          4. i-Lighter
                            You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
                          5. Clipmarks
                            For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
                          6. UberNote
                            If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
                          7. iLeonardo
                            iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
                          8. Zotero
                            Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

                          I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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                          In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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