The Best Ways to Learn a New Language – Your Public Library
With all the resources the library has, sometimes it’s easy to overlook your local library when it comes to learning a new language. Frankly, the library is the best place to look to learn a new language. We can help you in every way. These are just a few things we can help you with:
- Need some basic phrases to get you started?
- Decided to make a new years resolution to learn a new language, but don’t know how to start?
- Need to find a place to practice writing a foreign language?
- Can’t take a class?
We’re More than Books – We’re Rosetta Stone, We’re Local Language Periodicals, We’re the technological tools to help you thrive. We’re also people – people who understand you have busy lives. We understand learning is hard, that’s why we love to see you succeed!
A Few Resources through our Databases:
Pronunciator. With the largest batch of languages available for you to learn, it may just become your go-to service for learning a new language.
Tell Me More (Rosetta Stone). The formerly french-owned database was recently purchased by Rosetta Stone. You have a Rosetta Stone product available to you for free with your library card that you never knew about! It’s filled with interactive games, real-life situations and pronunciation practice. There are countless hours of activities available which should keep you busy all of 2015.
Muzzy Online. Made for children, this can help you encourage your children to learn a new language as well as give you an opportunity to learn with them. Languages include: French, Castilian Spanish, Latin-American Spanish, German, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, British English, American English and Italian.
…And we can help find you free online resources
With the internet and the ease in creating new apps, it’s hard to find the best and most innovative language learning applications and websites. But don’t worry; I’m staying abreast of the new services for you. The only thing is that these services change quickly to adapt with the sensibilities and demands of their users. While some things you may like may disappear, they are increasingly using data and analytics of their users (i.e., you) to improve the experience. Here are a few language learning apps that can help you learn:
Duolingo is one of the most popular free language learning tools available. With the option to use the site on the web, in your tablet, or smartphone, it’s the best for people that are on the go. With languages like Spanish, French, German, and future languages like dutch, Esperanto and Gaelic, Duolingo turns language learning into a game. A duolingo app is available for Android, Iphone, and Windows Phone.
Memrise uses similar concepts of gamification to keep you motivated, but it’s specialties are in spaced memorization and user-created courses. Because courses are created by the community, users have to actively explore courses to create an adequate language-learning plan. While originally created with the intention of learning languages, the community has expanded the original intent of the website and now includes courses in science, math, web design and standardized tests. Memrise has a number of different courses, which can be either very general (common expressions) or particular and advanced (-IR conjugations in French).
Lang-8.com is a site from Japan that is used around the world. With a free account (they also have Premium accounts) you can begin to create journals with your writing. As soon as you publish your journal, it posts to native speakers also looking to learn another foreign language. Those users make corrections on your writing and teach you to write just like a native. By helping more people with their writing, the opportunities for your writing to be improved increases. With a paid version, your journal entries are automatically bumped to the top of the page making them more likely to be edited.
Youtube contains some of the best videos with regards to listening to how native speakers pronounce words as well as how fast they talk.
You want to learn and practice with Native Speakers? Here are a few sites where you can do that:
One of the big reasons why people stop learning a language is because they think to themselves, “I’ve learned the basics…but what’s the point if I can’t do anything but practice the language on this website?”. The trick is to find things that you like…chances are that there is a a website or a Facebook group devoted to your likes and interest in another language. Join a few groups and make yourself known!
Another great way to get real world practice is through Skype and Verbling.com. Verbling uses Google Hangouts to create impromptu conversation groups with the community. The site has professional tutors for individual sessions for a fee, although the community section hosts impromptu conversation group sessions which are free.
How to find things you like, in another language
Give yourself goals
Hockey Journalist Bill Meltzer, who wrote the English-Language translation of the book “Pelle Lindbergh: Behind the White Mask” about former Flyers Goalie Pelle Lindbergh. He learned Swedish because a machine translation didn’t make any sense. How did he do it?
I then went online and looked at the sports sections of Swedish newspapers. If I saw a word that I did not recognize, I would underline it and look it up in the dictionary. I would do about 20 to 25 words a day and once I gained enough understanding of the sports sections, I would move on to other sections of the newspaper.”
-Bill Meltzer, English to Swedish: A Hockey Writer’s Journey
Feel Free to Make Mistakes! A long, rewarding Journey awaits!