Learning a new language is never easy but the internet has utterly revolutionized this process by adding in a host of useful tools and putting them at your fingertips. Today, rather than focusing on the age-old traditional tips on how to learn a language (the kind you can find in dusty tomes at your local library), we are going to focus on how you can get a jump start on the language learners of yesteryear by tapping into the myriad of language resources available online.
How each language presents its own challenges
While many languages share a common ancestry, each one is unique and consequently presents its own unique set of challenges. For instance, English speakers may find languages like Spanish and French challenging but accessible thanks to their similarities in structure, however, other languages such as Arabic and Korean are notoriously difficult due to the fact that their makeup is comparatively ‘alien’. Luckily, not only can the internet offer you many resources to learn a language, but it can also help you tailor your learning to meet the challenges of a specific language. For instance, you can find many resources where you can find Korean torrents with audio and grammar exercise to help you engage with the quirks of this language. So, without further ado, here are our top 5 tips of learning a language online.
Get an app
If you’ve been learning a language for a while you probably know this trick already. If you don’t, then strap in for a whole new way to engage with languages. The most well-known language app is probably Duo Lingo. This was one of the first to combine the magic formulas of gaming and learning together to create an engaging experience, unlike anything that had gone before it.
Since then there has been an explosion of great apps that can help you learn in a way that doesn’t feel like a chore. Duo lingo has over 20 languages including German, Irish and even Klingon if you’re interested! For those looking to overcome a language that is really challenging for them, you can find apps tailored to specific languages such as Dongsa, which is designed to help a user learn the many conjugations of Korean verbs.
Use video and audio online to develop an ear
One of the greatest challenges historically for those trying to learn a language from afar is getting the pronunciation right just from written information. Nowadays you can overcome this problem entirely thanks to the myriad of video and audio available online.
Useful resources include the likes of websites such as FilmOn, which hosts television stations in a multitude of languages and http://www.sbs.co.kr/, which allows you to access torrents of Korean news for free. There is also language software, such as FluentU, that will take videos and content you know and love and convert them into a language lesson for you. This is a good way to make language learning a more engaging experience.
Download exercises and course material online for free
While it is good to take charge of your own learning and create lessons out of your daily media consumption, it is still a good idea to take advantage of the expertise of teachers and language experts to get to your goal. Thankfully, you can now access virtual teachers for next to nothing.
There is a huge amount of free teaching exercises and even entire courses available online if you do a little digging. For instance, if you are looking to master Korean, there is https://www.koreanfromzero.com, which offers an entire teaching course in PDF form, or the famous and now award-winning https://talktomeinkorean.com, which offers a breathtaking amount of teaching material for free with explanations in English and presenters who offer some entertaining conversation.
Chat regularly with native speakers and other learners
Not only can you torrent the sounds and speakers of another language into your home via video and other media, but you can also engage with native speakers directly thanks to tools such as Skype and Google hangouts. The first step is the find a language exchange partner.
Websites such as italki.com are a great way to do this. This is a sort of forum or chatroom for those in the market for an Intercambio. They also allow you to filter according to a number of factors such as age and hobbies, meaning you can find a like-minded person to help make what can be a scary experience (I.e. talking to a native speaker for the first time) a little less so. Once you have your partner, set up a date via Skype etc. and away you go!
Learn to read
It may sound like a tip from an 18th-century school teacher but learning to read a new language is still a central aspect of the process and you can now find an unlimited amount of engaging reading material in your chosen language online. For instance, Newspapermap.com offers access for free to newspapers from around the world. Not only is this a great way to learn things like sentence structure, but it also offers an opportunity for a little cultural background research that will surely come in handy whenever you finally touch down on your language’s country of origin.