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9 Free Language Learning Online Methods You Can’t Miss!

9 Free Language Learning Online Methods You Can’t Miss!

Learning a second language has all kinds of benefits. If you travel, you’ll be able to talk to people in places that you travel. Studies have shown that learning a second language helps your brain work better. It’s even fun learning a second language with your friends or significant other so you can communicate among yourselves. Here are some free tools you can use to learn a second language.

1. Duolingo

free language learning online

    Pros:
    • Totally free resource.
    • Support for the big languages (German, Spanish, French) along with some others.
    • Full-featured mobile apps on iOS and Android so you can learn on the go.
    • You can sign up and log in using Facebook and Google+ which makes it easy to just jump in and go.

    Cons:

    • Not as comprehensive as others.
    • If you’re looking for stuff like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Farsi, Hindi, and others, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

    Special Features: A full mobile experience lets you use this on a tablet or phone for on-the-go learning. The learning experience is formatted to be like a game to help make the learning process more fun. To try out Duolingo, go to their website.

    2. Busuu

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    free language learning online

      Pros:
      • Free features include study options for reading, writing, and speaking.
      • Free languages include Chinese and Russian along with many others including the usual ones.
      • You can sign up and log in with Facebook and Google+.
      • Mobile apps available for Android and iOS for learning on the go.

      Cons:

      • You don’t get everything in the free version. You must pay to get grammar worksheets and an official certificate of completion.
      • Still missing big languages, including pretty much all Middle Eastern languages.

      Special features: The mobile apps are a nice touch and both of them are rated fairly well on their respective platforms. More languages than most. It allows you to set goals so you can work toward them instead of being free form like others. If you want to try it out, check out the official website.

      3. Foreign Services Institute

      free language learning online

        Pros:
        • Supports a metric ton of languages including African and Middle Eastern tongues.
        • Courses are crafted by professional linguists so they are extremely comprehensive.
        • Audio recordings available for listening.
        • Study materials are PDFs and downloaded audio files which means learning offline is easy and you can put these materials on any smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc and learn from anywhere online or offline.

        Cons:

        • All the lessons are in PDF format and (slightly fuzzy) audio files. There are no fancy graphics, goals, mobile apps, or other features.
        • Lesson plans focus on repetition and some people don’t learn well that way.

        Special features: This is professional learning materials and among the most comprehensive available for free. The PDF format and (slightly fuzzy) audio files are a tad primitive but their portability is unmatched anywhere. This is for serious learners. If you want to check it out, go to FSI’s official website.

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        4. Livemocha

        free language learning online

          Pros:
          • Uses a unique “live learning” technique where learners can observe and learn rather than the usual learning style of repetition and lessons. Don’t worry, they still have classic lessons too.
          • Live instructor-led classes is something unique on this list.
          • You can meet other people learning the same language you are and you can become study buddies, thus adding a social aspect.
          • A doubly unique system allows you to register using your native language. You then grade the work of other people who are learning that language. This allows you to earn points. You use points to unlock more lesson plans. Thus, you must give to get and help others learn in order to learn. Awesome!

          Cons:

          • It’s very social so if you don’t want a social learning environment then this isn’t for you.
          • It’s very possible to run out of points before you purchase your next lesson and you may have to grind to get enough for the next lesson.
          • People who don’t care and don’t want to take it seriously will probably give good greats just to get points quickly. If you don’t plan to commit, you shouldn’t join.

          Special features: The give-and-get dynamic is something truly special here. Help others learn and others will help you learn! Still has the traditional lessons as a base line. Live instructors are essential. If you want to check it out, look at the LiveMocha’s website.

          5. Memrise

          free language learning online

            Pros:
            • Uses “mems” which are essentially mnemonic flash cards to help you learn new vocabulary based on the vocabulary you already know.
            • Facebook log in makes it easy to start up and get started.
            • Community generated which means the content is ever increasing.
            • Great for visual learners!

            Cons:

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            • May not be comprehensive enough for advanced learners.
            • The mem cards and courses are user generated which means the quality varies.

            Special features: The community driven nature of this method means there are new things to learn all the time. The mem cards are unique and offer a much more visually stimulating way to learn.

            6. Internet Polyglot

            free language learning online

              Pros:
              • Flash card style lessons are great for visual learners.
              • You can actually use this without signing up for anything for a while but signing up for an account is easy.
              • Mobile apps let you learn on the fly.
              • Support for a lot of languages.

              Cons:

              • Not very comprehensive so serious learners will need additional tools.
              • The mobile apps haven’t been updated in over a year so if they don’t work for you, you’re out of luck.
              • The website lacks the polish of these other websites.

              Special features: Very simple flash card games are great if you only have a few minutes to learn stuff. Even if they are old, the mobile apps are present and if they work, they’re alright. If you’re up for trying it out, check out the official website.

              7. Lang-8

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              free language learning online

                Pros:
                • Like Livemocha, Lang-8 is social based where other people grade and help you learn while you grade and help other people learn.
                • You keep a journal of the stuff you learn which is a fun way to look back and see how far you’ve come.
                • Unlike most sites, this focuses more on written language. The stuff you post is reviewed by people who speak the language and they correct your errors so you learn.

                Cons:

                • This is for people who either already speak the language or have other tools that are teaching them. Lang-8 itself doesn’t actually have things like lesson plans or anything like that. It’s more of a trial-by-fire type of learning.
                • Signing up for an account is liking signing up for a social media account. It’s very tedious.
                • No speaking tutorials at all.

                Special features: The social media aspect is actually quite fascinating. You post things in your native language and speakers of other languages will correct it so that it reads the same thing in another language. This is an amazing tool for learning sentence structure and how to write in other languages. To check it out, head to the official website.

                8. Anki

                free language learning online

                  Pros:
                  • Downloaded and installed on the computer rather than a web interface so it works offline.
                  • It’s cross platform and you can sync your cards across multiple devices which is nice.
                  • It’s actually not just for languages. You can create custom flash card sets to learn anything from math to people’s faces. The sky is the limit.
                  • Can reportedly handle flash card decks with over 100,000 flash cards. That means you can learn pretty much anything except counting to 100,001.
                  • Supports images, audio, and video flash cards.

                  Cons:

                  • They’re flash cards which means memorization. If you’re not good with that kind of learning then you probably won’t find this much help.
                  • If the language you want to learn isn’t supported, you’ll have to create your own custom flash card set which can be tedious but it’ll help you learn the language better!

                  Special features: This is the best flash card system out there. It’s been around for years, is highly optimized, cross-platform, and you can use it for things other than learning a language. It’s tried and true and that’s what counts! Check out their official website for more details.

                  Like we said earlier, there are so many benefits for your brain and memory and you’ll be able to talk and interact with a whole new culture of people. There’s nothing left to do but pick your poison, dig in, and get started. N’attendez pas commencer!

                  Featured photo credit: Meme Generator via 4.bp.blogspot.com

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                  Joseph Hindy

                  A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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                  Last Updated on October 5, 2020

                  10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

                  10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

                  The success of our day is largely dependent on the quality of our planning. Not to miss out anything in their to-dos, some people prefer to make a list of upcoming tasks in a notebook, while others have long started using digital technology solutions.

                  Calendar applications are some of the main tools that are worth using to organize our life and plan your time carefully.

                  Many people have switched to specific tools; however, there are still some who do not use calendars on a daily basis. They may find some applications uncomfortable to use, non-functional, or expensive.

                  In this article, we are going to check out the best calendars apps to help you stay organized.

                  Before You Download

                  As you are no doubt aware, there are all kinds of calendar apps available. Instead of you sifting through the hundreds of them, we’ve handpicked 10 of the best calendar apps you can get. On top of glowing reviews from each one, we’ve considered the following aspects when creating this list:

                  • User Interface – How you navigate the app should be smooth and simple. The buttons on the app should be clear, obvious and easy to move through.
                  • Synchronization – Whether it’s with other calendar apps or with other apps, syncing apps should be easy and enhance your overall experience with the app.
                  • Additional features – Since there are so many options for calendars, many of these apps offer additional features. These features make the apps stand out from the other apps and provide unique experiences to you.

                  1. Any.do Calendar

                    This calendar has direct integration with Any.Do To-Do List, which gives you a unique tandem of two applications.

                    Apart from its extended functionality, Cal Calendar is easy to use. The creation of events is very simple and fast.

                    What is more, depending on the name of the event, the application automatically adds contacts and geolocation data to the entry description. You can even import your lists and entries from Any.do.

                    Any.do Calendar is a great option for any type of user. It is very convenient and doesn’t overcomplicate the mode of display.

                    Another good thing is that this tool is available for free, so you can use it without spending a dime for the software.

                    Download Any.do Calendar here!

                    2. Google Calendar

                      Google Calendar is the official calendar for Android devices that has been tested out by many users around the globe. If you are right now trying to get away from it, consider changing your mind.

                      Since this application is installed on most Android devices by default, many users think that there is nothing special in this program. They are wrong.

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                      Google has been updating its calendar for quite a few years, and now it comes in Material Design with advanced event features, direct integration into other Google services (for example, supports reminders and Google Now), and comes with Exchange support.

                      The program is super easy and will not cost a dime for you. It is a good thing, right?

                      Download Google Calendar here.

                      3. IRL Event Social Network

                         

                        One of the most unique apps on this list is the IRL Event Social Network app. As you can guess from the name, the core focus of this app is social networking. Unlike other social media platforms, you can consider this platform to function similar to Meetup.com. It’s a site where you can connect with other people within your area that share a similar interest.

                        IRL is that while also providing a convenient calendar for you to schedule events and plan out your day. Though due to it being a secondary focus, you’re lacking a lot of the syncing aspects that other apps have on this list. Regardless, because of this huge social feature, it’s worth considering for those who want to make more connections.

                        Download IRL Event Social Network here.

                        4. Business Calendar

                          Business Calendar is geared towards people who use their calendar for work purposes and business task planning. It offers different modes with wide configuration capabilities.

                          The application gives a default view mode by months, and events can be marked in different colors. Display modes/ sorting can be adjusted to your needs (by month, day, year, or events).

                          You can also set a multi-day viewing mode to see how things look for the next few days. Scrolling up and down moves you by month, and if you check a few days, they will be shown in a more detailed form.

                          The day display mode offers hourly scheduling, and the schedule mode provides a detailed schedule for a single event.

                          Business Calendar is a great tool for planning/ scheduling cases, tasks, and events. There is a support for recurring events, which can be set up in just a few clicks.

                          Having purchased software, you can use it to import and export other calendars, delete, copy, or move several events at the same time.

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                          Android Business Calendar application may seem somewhat chaotic, but it works fine and is easy to work with if you play with it for a while.

                          A full version of the application is available for $4.99, but you can also find a free version for the app test drive.

                          Download Business Calendar here.

                          5. Calendar

                            Calendar is a relatively new app. It works as a web app and for both iOS and Android devices. It is an intelligent app that learns your contacts, schedule and tasks. It also helps you schedule and arrange meetings according to your available time slots.

                            A good thing about Calendar is that it allows you to sync up with other calendars you use such as Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. And so you can manage all the calendars you have in one place.

                            Calendar also gives you analytics of your meetings, giving you a clear picture on how you can improve your time management.

                            Download Calendar: Meeting & Scheduling here.

                            6. aCalendar

                              aCalendar opens our collection of top 10 calendar applications available on the market today. With its appealing design, easy navigation, and great functionality, it is one of the most popular calendar apps in our list.

                              Some of extra functions include color schemes for each case type (48 colors to choose from), different types of demonstrations, different widgets, moon phases, and much more.

                              Taking into account it functionality, aCalendar is a reliable calendar application that has an easy-to-navigate interface with three display options. Scrolling from side to side allows you to switch between the display modes of the month, week and day.

                              When scrolling down and up, you are moving through the calendar at intervals in accordance with the selected display mode.

                              Apart from its time planning feature, aCalendar synchronizes photos from contact lists or social networks to remind you about birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special dates.

                              The program also supports data transfer through NFC and full-screen widgets, which eases your work with any data.

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                              The program is available for free, but you can also get even more features if you buy the extended version of software for $4.99.

                              Download aCalendar here.

                              7. DigiCal Calendar

                                DigiCal Calendar is very similar to Cal Calendar in the fact that the application focuses on design more than on its functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t serve the purpose.

                                With this calendar application, you can synchronize all your calendars and view them in different ways.

                                Along with the basic functions, this program comes with support for Google Calendar, Outlook, and includes some unique and interesting features. You can match keywords to the image or set up a dark theme.

                                The app can even show you the weather forecast for three days. There are many other features that deserve the attention of people who really like to use calendar applications.

                                Download DigiCal Calendar here.

                                8. SolCalendar

                                  SolCalendar can be called a universal application. It claims to be an all-in-one digital solution having a basic calendar functionality combined with some other advanced features, such as weather forecast for a specific day.

                                  The application supports Google Calendar, as well as tasks, widgets, lunar calendar and even Foursquare.

                                  Those searching for a calendar application to cover just everything in its functionality, SolCalendar is a program to consider. There are a lot of interesting things in this application; the program does an excellent job working in “all-in-one” mode.

                                  Test SolCalendar – the application is available for free. You can test it out without purchasing the service.

                                  Download SolCalendar here.

                                  9. Today Calendar

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                                    Today Calendar is one of the most hip and edgy calendars in our list. The solution was one of the first ones that really embraced Material Design and remains one of the few that adhere to the neat style.

                                    The calendar application offers bold colors, simple controls, and great functionality. This is not as heavy an application as many others; it will not eat all the memory of your device.

                                    If you are not searching for something complicated and over-functional, Today Calendar is what you need. You can always test the application before paying for it – the program is available for free.

                                    Download Today Calendar here.

                                    10. Timepage

                                      Timepage is an intuitive calendar app that will manage your time in a way that other calendar apps can’t. It offers the same sort of functions that you’d expect from other calendar apps: opportunities to record events, notifications and reminders, weather, and driving duration to a particular event. However, the app goes beyond those functionalities in two ways.

                                      The first way is that while the app sends you notifications, it also has reminders for you for what is coming up next. That bit of extra time can allow you to prepare and make adjustments to your day if need be.

                                      The second function – which is more important – is the heat map when you go to see the full view of your calendar. This heat map indicates what days you are most busy and other days where you are freer. This heat map provides a quick glance to determine broadly what days are good to add more events and other tasks.

                                      Download Timepage here.

                                      Our Verdict

                                      Searching for the right application to manage your various calendars and plan your busy day can sometimes turn into a streak of obstacles.

                                      Most of us need flexible applications that can be easily used to manage our tough schedule. The application should have all necessary time planning functions and be intuitive.

                                      Stylish design and limitless compatibility also matter. It is not always easy to find such a program.

                                      The above digital calendar solutions fall under the category “worth” of being used. They are modern, multifunctional, easy, and easy. Pick the one you like!

                                      More Productivity Apps for Better Time Management

                                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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