If there’s one thing I totally love, it’s definitely language learning. Learning a new language is as discovering a whole new world, a world with interesting traditions, fascinating culture, unknown places and different people. It fascinates me how every language is unique, yet somehow very similar to others. I love the fact that there are words in some languages that do not exist in other vocabularies. To me, the existence of a language is just a grand piece of magic.
I adore English and French, right now I’m also attending seminars of Russian and Latin at school. I’m planning to take up Portuguese at university (bye for now, Spanish, I’ve made the decision… I guess) and when (or if, haha…ha) I’ll make it to the second year, I also want to start studying Japanese (Naruto, I love you).
Although I’d like to prattle on about my affection for languages forever, we have some other things to do today. Because I would like to present to you my favourite apps for language learning! Ready, steady, go!
Quizlet is not only a language app, you can learn basically everything in there. It’s simple and it’s my favourite app Number One because I use it the most often. So what is Quizlet about?
It’s really easy. You register, you create a set of how-many-you-desire words (a term and a definition) and then you play various games. I personally use only one game and that’s translating the words by writing, as it works best for me. But there are other games which are more amusing and they’re useful as well. The big advantage of Quizlet is the fact that you can study any words or terms you want to. You can sort the sets to your own folders or you can even create a class with other users and have the same vocabulary for all. Quizlet is just reaally practical!
Duolingo helped me a lot when I started learning French. Especially when it comes to animals, food and clothes – I know all of that thanks to duolingo. In contrast with Quizlet, you cannot create your own sets here – there’s a vocabulary provided by the creators and it’s supposed to guide you from the beginner level to someone who speaks quite fluently. The disadvantage – it isn’t capable of teaching you grammar but it automatically prepares sentences for you with that particular grammar built in them – which means you must learn grammar elsewhere in order to understand what duolingo actually says. I’d say it’s an awesome app for begginers who want to get to know the language, touch the surface – but it’s not very useful if you’re an advanced learner. It’ not enough even if you complete all the lessons.
WRITE IT! JAPANESE
Given the fact that I want to speak Japanese fluently one day, it’s also important to manage all three of their scripts. My friend, Veronika, is now attending lessons of Japanese in Glasgow and the speed of teaching is really fast. Therefore I’ve decided to learn at least Hiragana and Katakana in advance, so I wouldn’t have to be so stressed out later. And this app is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. It is very simple and very effective. You learn by copying given moves and then you scribble the character down on your own. It measures your time and so you can compete with yourself and overcome your own records! And each lesson doesn’t take much time, it’s around one minute ’till you end the practise, so it’s a great app to turn on when you have some time to spare at a bus stop or when you’re bored at work (uhm, uhm).
I used this app when I had a video call with a total stranger from France for the first time in my life. It was really fun, we switched from French to English and back throughout the call. On tandem you can also do ordinary chatting or you can send voice messages (which is what I did most of the time). There are people from all over the world who want to either just chat, or teach you some language in exchange for a lesson of your language. Usually I chatted with French people who wanted to learn English and so we could exchange our knowledge but I also taught Czech a few times!
Wondering why I’m speaking in the past tense? My phone storage isn’t big enough to manage more apps than like 10 and so I had to give tandem up. But it was a great experience and I’ll install it again as soon as I get some better phone.
This is not a learning app, it’s a translator. And it’s the best translating app that I’ve found so far. There are many options of languages and it doesn’t only search for words, it also explains their meaning and shows them in certain phrases etc. There is an online and an offline version, whilst the offline version doesn’t have that many options but I personally don’t mind it at all. It still works properly and helps me learn languages.
To be honest, Memrise is the last one on this list as I don’t use it that often. BUT that doesn’t mean it’s not good – on the opposite, it’s very useful. The system is similar to Duolingo, only on Memrise there are also videos of native speakers saying the phrases that you learn. I’ve tried basics of Portuguese on Memrise and it was really fun! Sinto muito!
That’s all for this post, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it and have a lovely Monday! (as much lovely as Monday can be) Also, let’s never stop learning, because learning is great and learning languages is amaaazing!