With the world becoming more culturally diverse everyday, it is becoming increasing important for everyone to learn a new language. Whether you are learning for your career, education, or just want to increase you knowledge of other languages, the Internet provides a wide variety of tools that can enhance your learning experience. Here is a list of 15 free language learning tools to explore today:
Popling – Popling is free online web software that is great for practicing language vocabulary without any real effort. This unique software works by having a window (flash card) pop up at certain intervals on your desktop. You can either click on the window to study the full flash card or ignore it and the window will disappear.
Radio Lingua Network – The Radio Linga Network offers free online podcasts that you can use to enhance listening comprehension and language learning skills for 20 different languages. The podcast episodes range from one-minute quick lessons to longer, five-minute lessons.
Livemocha – Livemocha is a free community language learning tool with online interactive lessons, user created courses, and language partners that are ready to practice with you. The language partners are a great way build your language confidence though conversations with live native speakers. You have the option of either using conversation exercises or submitting text and audio files to native speakers for corrections and edits.
Palabea – With this large international language learning community, you can interact with native speakers, find audio and visual learning aids, improve writing and grammar, and even find native speakers in your hometown. Through these tools, Palabea gives everyone the opportunity to learn or study their foreign speaking skills on an international web platform.
Freelang.net – Freelang.net offers free language dictionaries, translations, blogs, and forums to help you increase your language skills. These tools are an excellent way for you to improve your reading, writing, and speaking skills in the language you’re studying. This site also provides links to other translation software, learning tools, and more.
ForiegnWord.com – This site features four different tools that foreign language learners can use to translate text, find language links, and gain access to 265 online dictionaries. Just one of the tools featured on this site, Translate Now, provides access to 28 translators in over 38 different languages.
Lingro – Lingro is a free site with open content dictionaries that provide free online learning in 11 different languages. With this site, you can increase your language comprehension and understanding through online translations, word lists, games, a collaborative dictionary, and more.
Babbel – The Babbel site is a free online learning portal for Spanish, English, German, French, and Italian. Within this site, you will find multimedia learning methods and tools that are easy and fun to use. Babbel also offers a language exchange community with more than 400,000 registered users.
Transparent Language – Transparent Language provides language software that has helped millions of individuals worldwide with language learning. On this site you can find several free resources and tools, including language software, blogs, games, articles, and learning communities to enhance your language skills.
Open Culture – This free site provides podcasts for learning 37 different languages. The podcasts cover everything from Arabic to Yiddish and are perfect for beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners. You can listen to lessons instantly on your computer or download them in MP3 format for listening on the go.
SharedTalk – SharedTalk is an online language learning community that provides tools to practice and study a multitude of different languages. With this site, you can use language partners, voice chat, text chat, and email to enhance your language skills while helping other people to enhance theirs.
Lang-8 – This site encourages language learners to practice writing skills by writing in the language they are studying. Once your writing assignment is complete you can send it to a native speaker for editing and corrections. This site also works as an online exchange community–you will be asked to read and correct the writings of others who are studying your language.
Digital Dialects – Digital Dialects offers free interactive learning games for 58 different languages. The games provide practice with beginning phrases as well as vocabulary builders to help language learners increase their knowledge. The site is updated regularly with new material.
Translation2 – With four free online translators, Translation2 is a good site for increasing your understanding and comprehension in language learning. Translation tools include a text translator, dictionary, text to speech translator, and an IM translator. The text to speech translator is an excellent way to practice pronunciation and can be embedded in emails or web pages.
Karen Schweitzer is an education writer and Guest Blogger for PickTheBrain. She is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes for OnlineCollege.org, an accredited online college resource.
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