After writing about my new passion for learning French I received an awesome amount of support from all of you encouraging me to keep it up and also sharing your own passions to learn a new language. One of the best tools I have discovered to help are language apps/programs. There are so many out there that you are bound to find one which helps you on your search. Since I have been a connoisseur of language apps over the past few months I thought I would share a few that I have found very useful in hopes it helps you on your journey! The following are apps/programs I personally use, although I know there are thousands others yet to be explored. If you ever have any questions or any recommendations for me please send them over – firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best way I have found to fully utilize the apps is to be in a place without distractions. I usually love to listen to these when I am at the airport, in the car, or on a walk. I always think of the scene from Love Actually where Colin Firth is trying to learn Portuguese for his new love. The camera pans down the row and everyone is trying to learn a different language. It looks both encouraging and overwhelming at the same time! As can be said about learning a new language! But, none of us are alone! The best way I learn is by repetition so try to practice a little bit everyday! Once we feel better skilled, I say plan a trip to the country to which you are learning so you have a reward at the end of this very long and often times challenging journey! France, here I come!
Radio Lingua Network – I absolutely love RLN! They label it Coffee Break as each session is 20 minutes long and designed for you to learn while on your “coffee break” at work. I usually listen to this while I am walking my dog Annie! The lessons are extremely quick and really easy to follow. They have a fluent speaker and then a student like you to help repeat the sentences and learn “with you.” You can download this in itunes or to your phone via the podcast app.
Duolingo – I have worked with Duolingo for a while and really like its easy process. Others trying to learn language sing its praise! While in Germany with my in-laws, I discovered their cousin had learned German via this app. That is some serious referral cred. What I love most about Duolingo is that it turns learning into a game. The more answers you get correct the more currency you’ll earn. It aims to teach you a foreign language via repetition, conversation, and audibly speaking. You can play alone or dual with a friend! It makes it fun and easy – just be sure to stay on top of it. Each day you don’t practice you lose currency and have to repeat those lessons. Repetition, repetition, repetition.
Rosetta Stone – I have by far worked with Rosetta Stone the longest. I must admit, I absolutely hated it at first. I grew really frustrated with its process of having you memorize statements and less about learning why a certain sentence formed the way it did. I actually was so displeased with it I signed up for french classes at a local school to learn the ins and outs of french. It wasn’t until recently that I grew to respect Rosetta Stone and its process. While I still don’t love that it doesn’t teach you why, I can honestly say, I learned a lot without even knowing it! These other apps are much easier because I have a solid foundation of vocab words via Rosetta Stone.
Memrise – I am an extremely visual learner so this app is perfect for me or anyone who is similar. It uses visuals to help you learn phrases and words. Each word or phrase is paired with memorable cartoons, sentences, or phrases that should help you remember what that particular phrase means. Typically each one has multiples so you can choose the one that sticks in your mind the best. Each time you’ve learned a few new words, you are then quizzed on what you’ve covered to keep everything fresh in your mind.