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Last Updated on June 19, 2019

7 Best Language Learning Apps and Websites

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.

     

    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.

      3. Babbel

        Key Highlights: Gamified language learning app

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        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.

         

        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.

           

          5. Rosetta Stone

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            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.

             

            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.

              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.”

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              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.

                 

                More About Language Learning

                Featured photo credit: Siddharth Bhogra via unsplash.com

                More by this author

                Sean Kim

                Sean is the founder and CEO of Pulsing. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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                Published on July 22, 2019

                The Secret to Success Is Failure

                The Secret to Success Is Failure

                You see a job that you’d love to do; and, you decide to go for it.

                You submit your application, and then are pleased to find a few days later that you’re invited for an interview. This goes well, and you begin to have quiet optimism that a job offer will be coming your way soon…

                It doesn’t.

                Instead, you receive a letter saying thank you — but, they’ve decided to go with another candidate.

                At this point, you could allow yourself to feel defeated, sad, and perhaps even a little angry. These are normal responses to bad news. Yet, it’s not wise to let them fester and disrupt your goals. Successful people don’t let failures kill their dreams.

                Sure, they might temporarily feel deflated. But, very quickly, they pick themselves back up again and begin planning their next steps towards success.

                How about you? Do you currently feel embarrassed or guilty about failing?

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                Don’t worry if you do, as most of us have been programmed since childhood to see failure as a bad thing. Yet, as I’m going to show you in the next few minutes, this programming is dead wrong — failure is actually an essential part of success.

                Don’t Be Tempted by Perfection

                The first thing I want you to think about is this:

                Resisting failure is, at its core, seeking perfection. And, perfection doesn’t exist.

                That’s why perfectionists are also likely to be chronic procrastinators.

                As Psychology Today noted in their article Pitfalls of Perfectionism, people who constantly seek for perfection stop themselves from engaging in challenging experiences.[1] That’s because these perfectionists are less creative and innovative than the average person — plus they’re less likely to take risks. Add these factors together, and you have someone who is overly focused on their own performance and is always quick to defend themselves. Unfortunately, these traits prevent them from having the necessary focus when it comes to learning new tasks.

                Let me be clear: Striving for perfection is not the same as striving for excellence.

                The former is a fool’s quest for the unattainable; while the latter is really just about doing our very best (which we can all obtain).

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                And, there’s another problem that perfectionists have to deal with. Namely, when they fail to reach their ideal, they feel dejected and defeated. And — as you can imagine — repeat this often enough, and these people can end up feeling bitter and depressed about their lives.

                So, forget about seeking perfection, and instead, focus on always doing your very best.

                Why Failure Is Good

                I recently came across a Forbes article Failing Your Way To Success: Why Failure Is A Crucial Ingredient For Success[2] that helped explain why most people are opposed to failure.

                The article referenced the work of two world-renowned psychologists (Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky), who were awarded a Nobel Prize for their work. They discovered something very interesting: the effect of a loss is twice as great as the gain from a win.

                Have you ever thought about that before?

                What it means is that failure has a far greater negative impact on us than the positive impact of an equivalent win. It’s no wonder then that most people are afraid to fail.

                And, here’s where it gets interesting…

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                Amazon (which along with Apple, Facebook and Google, is considered one of the Big Four technology companies) has a culture that is tolerant of failure. And Jeff Bezos — Amazon’s founder and CEO — believes that this culture is one of the main reasons for the company’s big achievements over the last 25 years. In a letter to shareholders, he said:

                “Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It’s not optional. We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right.” 

                The truth is, failure can open up a world of exciting opportunities for you.

                How does it do this?

                By constantly showing you new avenues to travel on. And, by helping you learn from your mistakes — so you can be better next time around. It also helps you identify what’s not working for your life, and what is.

                So instead of seeing something as detrimental to success, you should see it as a tool FOR success. A tool that will help you to continually refine your journey in life.

                If you still need some convincing that the secret to success is failure, then take a look at the following excerpts from our article 10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On:

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                • J.K. Rowling encountered a catalog of failures shortly after graduating from college, including: being jobless, the breakdown of her marriage, and living as a lone parent. However, instead of giving up on life, she used these failures to propel her to write the Harry Potter fantasy series — the best-selling book series in history.

                • Walt Disney didn’t have an easy start either. He dropped out of school at a young age in a failed attempt to join the army. Later, one of his early business ventures, Laugh-o-Gram Studios, went bankrupt. He was also fired from a Missouri newspaper for “not being creative enough.” (Yes, you read that correctly.) Was he defeated by these failures? Just ask Mickey Mouse.

                • Michael Jordan had this to say about the power of failure: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

                Embrace Failure, and Prepare for Success

                I hope this has been an eye-opener for you.

                Failure has long been branded a leper; but in reality, it’s a healthy, essential component of success.

                The trick of course is to develop the mindset of a winner. Someone who sees failures as stepping stones to success — and defeats as important learning experiences.

                So, are you ready to embrace your failures and take the proud road to success?

                I sincerely hope so.

                Featured photo credit: Bruce Mars via unsplash.com

                Reference

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