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7 Best Language Learning Apps and Websites

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7 Best Language Learning Apps and Websites

Hola, ahn young, bonjour!

With so many languages out there to learn, it’s hard to know where to even get started!

While no one knows exactly how many languages exist, there are several thousands of them (a portion of the Bible had been translated into 2,508 different languages). Just like our own ancestry, most languages belong into different families. Indo-European is the origin of most languages that we speak today, including Spanish, English, and Russian.

If you have the urge to learn a new language this year, then you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to share the 7 best language learning apps and websites that will help you learn a language.

1. Duolingo

    Key Highlights: Gamified language learning app

    Duolingo has been leading the trend of gamified language learning, even finding a unique way to monetize their app through translations.

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    While just using Duolingo to learn a language is not recommended, it can be a good way to get the ball rolling to learn basic words and phrases of a language.

    Check out Duolingo here.

    2. Busuu

      Key Highlights: Visual app to learn basic phrases

      Busuu has similar features to Duolingo in that it’s a mobile app that has a gamified, visual approach to learning the basics of a language. While Duolingo is certainly in lead in terms of popularity, Busuu is an alternative you can check out.

      Check out Busuu here.

      3. Babbel

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        Key Highlights: Gamified language learning app

        Babbel also sits in the same category as Duolingo and Busuu, but perhaps with more variety in terms of language. Instead of offering live interaction with native speakers, Busuu uses algorithms to teach you the basics of a language in a fun way.

        Check out Babbel here.

        4. Memrise

          Key Highlights: Simple way to memorize language vocabulary

          Memrise is a powerful tool built to help you memorize anything faster, including language vocabulary. They have categories built specifically for popular languages like Mandarin, French, Spanish, and Italian, allowing you to jump in immediately to start memorizing words.

          Check out Memrise here.

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          5. Rosetta Stone

            Key Highlights: Language learning program to help you learn the basics of a language

            Rosetta Stone is another method that has been around for a long time, which is an online program designed to help you improve reading, writing, and listening skills. Since there’s no real-life interacting with native speakers, improving speaking skills is a little more difficult, especially if you want to learn about a specific culture, like Argentina, France, Colombia, etc.

            Check out Rosetta Stone here.

            6. BBC Languages

              Key Highlights: Quality language tutorial videos

              BBC Languages (from BBC) includes courses, videos, and key facts that you can explore on their website, which includes common languages like French, German, Spanish, and Italian.

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              My personal favorite is exploring their “A Guide to…” which shares intriguing facts like “the number of speakers in X language” or “the origins of a language.”

              Check out BBC Languages here.

              7. Rype

                Key Highlights: 24/7 Unlimited Private Language Lessons For Busy People

                If you’ve ever told yourself that “you’re too busy” to learn a language, then you haven’t met Rype yet. Rype offers unlimited private language lessons (Spanish right now) with professional native speaking tutors available 24/7. By being able to book lessons at any time of the day, any day of the week, you can learn on your own time without interrupting your busy lifestyle.

                One last point to mention is that since you’re interacting live and one-on-one with native speakers, you’ll get the opportunity to improve your speaking skills much faster versus non-interactive methods. In fact, a study by NTL Institute shares that humans can learn up to 18x faster through immediate real-life immersion versus learning through a traditional lecture setting.

                Check out Rype here.

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                More Tips for Language Learning

                Featured photo credit: Siddharth Bhogra via unsplash.com

                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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                Last Updated on November 18, 2021

                10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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                10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

                We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

                A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

                So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

                • honest
                • reliable
                • competent
                • kind and compassionate
                • capable of taking the blame
                • able to persevere
                • modest and humble
                • pacific and can control anger.

                The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

                1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

                All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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                But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

                2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

                How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

                I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

                “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

                Abigail Van Buren

                3. How does this person take the blame?

                Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

                4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

                You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

                5. Read their emails.

                Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

                • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
                • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
                • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
                • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
                • Too many question marks can show anger
                • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

                6. Watch out for the show offs.

                Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

                7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

                A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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                Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

                8. Their empathy score is high.

                Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

                People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

                9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

                We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

                “One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

                Stendhal

                 10. Avoid toxic people.

                These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

                • Envy or jealousy
                • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
                • Complaining about their own lack of success
                • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
                • Obsession with themselves and their problems

                Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

                Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

                Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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