No, you haven’t misread… I am about to do something useful in the Bloggosphere! Woaaa…
I’m so wild! I go on for a year and a half rambling about, writing silly stuff, and all of a sudden…
When no one suspects it, I decide to share knowledge that can actually be usefull. So, what is the big fuss about, right? Well, for the past couple of years, I’ve been (trying my best at) learning Danish. There is no certified Danish teacher in Québec, so I’ve kind of become an expert in online ways to improve my skills.
The best would of course be to move to Denmark for months, or even years, and dedicate myself to learning the language. I wouldn’t say no to that, but that’s just not possible for the moment. (See, how I keep my options open anyway, here??)
So, under these circumstances, I had to turn to…. The Internets.
I’ve searched around, and I found quite a few website that offer online exercises. Since a lot of us are on WordPress because we love writing, I am suspecting I am not the only one interested in learning a new language for as cheap as possible, and in the most effective way!
You might think, “yeah, great, but I am not interested in learning Danish!” And to that, I’ll simply reply “how silly of you… Danish although difficult, is a fun language to learn… ” You are right, I can’t force anybody to follow my steps! BUT, if those websites offer Danish classes, you can expect that they cover pretty much any other language. Except Toki Pona, I don’t guarantee Toki Pona…
Babbel is not entirely free. You have a number of free exercises at first, and then there’s a monthly fee to keep building your vocabulary. Babbel teaches words through a series of files under different themes… Food, clothing, feelings…. And you learn both words and phrases. You can interact with other people using the platform, and ask them questions, because there is no exercise regarding grammar (at least, not in the Danish folder).
I recommend it, especially if vocabulary is what you want to work on. Babbel also provides revision exercises daily, based on the words you haven’t seen in a long time, and the ones you have most difficulty remembering.
My favorite so far… Totally free! Working on vocabulary, but also phrasing. Very userfriendly, and the website provides a lot of ways to seek help. You can just leave your question “attached” to a particular exercise. You can join other users to discuss the language you are studying, and even contact people certified to give you tips when you need them.
There is also a a system reminding you which lessons you should visit again, as a revision… And it works a little like a videogame, since you have to work and master a number of exercises in order to unblock certain more advanced modules.
Again… Free! All free!
Verbaplanet is a network to pair up people who are learning a language, and online certified teachers. You can “shop” for a tutor, and book a class paid by the hour. Each teacher sets his/her fee per hour, depending on his/her knowledge and probably the rarity of the language. The classes take place on Skype, one on one. I tried it only once so far, but I loved it. It has the advantage of working on spoken skills. You may have homework if you take regular classes. A little expensive if you use it often, but it is fun to have the interaction of a human being “live”.
I just started using this one yesterday. Like Duolingo, it is entirely free, which is interesting in itself. So far, the ecercises are fun and very progressive. A friend of mine used to use it to learn French, and I don’t know why I didn’t think about trying it earlier. If you have any questions, leave them in the comment box, I’ll try to get you all the information I can dig.
So let me know, if you too, are working on learning another language from home. What is your personal pick? Why are you learning it? Are you using other sites?
Vi snakkes igen snart! (We’ll chat again soon!)