Online Language Courses that AREN'T Duolingo or Rosetta Stone


#1

Hey CoG!

As a part of my education for my foreign language class, I go on this free website called Duolingo. There, I’ve been learning Spanish along with French, Welsh, and some Swedish (stopped learning Swedish though). My mother tongue is English so I don’t have a hard time with Romantic languages.

Duolingo is a fairly young website and several language courses are still in the stages for preparation. And I don’t know where to find an easy language learning course that aren’t Rosetta Stone or Pimsleur. I’m trying to learn something for free. I’ve been trying to learn a bit of other languages as well for writing: Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. Several Eastern and Central Asian languages given the setting of one of my stories.

So what websites do you use for learning foreign language?


#2

None, I don’t trust them really. I knew people who got viruses after download some online free learning courses. I just use a good advanced dictionary The Oxford English dictionary. and also I make a good number of grammatical exercises everyday (or I least i try to. It’s not the funniest things in the world) Watching English YouTube videos (normally from themes I like as video games, history …) Or directly posting here, I am a slow learning person but through years I am improving or at least I think so.


#3

I didn’t use any fancy website for my English. But I will share my cheap method (well, way less expensive than having to pay for an academy every month).

I didn’t know much English some years ago (like, it was very broken and barely understandable). I had to learn it in school and I hated it because I didn’t comprehend a single thing. I didn’t feel like going to an academy (too much money and the friends I knew and went to one were unhappy, stressed and usually told me that they didn’t learn much more), so I decided I was going to learn on my own.

Just a plain old dictionary (or an online one) and a videogame in English with a lot of text. First, I learned a ton of vocabulary, and as I played I translated each word. It sounds slow and stupid, but I got used to reading in English and understood most of it. After a while, I stopped using the dictionary (because I knew the words) and started paying attention to the structure/grammar of each sentence.

After that I started reading English newspapers and such, sometimes short stories or text heavy games, like visual novels or graphic adventures (and lately CoG games). Oh, and the forums, though I have to keep urban dictionary close because I don’t understand some slang words. And for the listening/speaking part, English TV programms or voiced games.

So… I can only give you a new method, no websites, sorry.


#4

I never download anything that isn’t a picture. Viruses make me anxious so I do whatever I can to avoid installing something onto my computer. That’s why I go to Duolingo or just random websites that provide you with free info you don’t have to download.

I’ll try the basic sticky-note tactic and post random notes on furniture. I wish I had people to practice language with, though. I don’t have any close friends who are bi-lingual. And I feel like it’d be rude to speak with someone in x language if it’s going to take me ages to reply. But thanks for letting me know! I’ll try and come up with daily exercises for myself.

Whoa. That’s a really good idea. I read a book in Spanish and that helped me with comprehension. If anyone has suggestions for movies or video games that are in Spanish, please feel free to recommend.

I honestly don’t blame you for going to Urban Dictionary. I have to go there all the time and I’m an American. Slang is so temperamental it’s hard to understand what’s going on. It’s like a huge inside joke.


#5

I am Spanish so If you want practice with me you can via pm. About Spanish games well, there are old school style adventure games made by Spanish companies. Hollywood monsters, it’s amazing, same Yesterday. If you’re into really, really oldies (80’s games) Play Opera software games. They made some of early adventure games with images and commands The abbey En el nombre de la Rosa was really famous. If you like games like Skyrim or Fallout there are translations …
And about grammar i recommend you The Oxford English grammar in use style of exercises. And do a small lesson every day or when you can. And about talking in English for me is a nightmare, I don’t know anyone who speaks it,so I tried to play online and practice… Worst idea ever the trolling was so bad :sob: People on Internet aren’t nice.


#6

Thanks for letting me practice with you! I’ve only ever learned Latin American Spanish (for some reason Spanish teachers here have something against Castillian conjugation??) but I think it’d be useful to get a good grasp on Castillian conjugation.

Thanks for the suggestions, by the way. I’m not the best at video games so if I’m lucky I’ll try to watch some “let’s play” videos online.

But the Oxford thing sounds like a pretty good idea. I ought to purchase a Spanish-English dictionary soon!


#7

Well, The truth is Spanish doesn’t work like English language. Here language is ONE, We have a great language academy Who fixes what words are correct or what not, and all grammar. All Spanish language countries have members on it. So basically the conjugation is the same, each country just use it differently and it’s mostly a vocabulary stuff. All are correct, for instance In a Spanish dictionary we have all countries meaning. Basically if you learning Hispano Spanish, you are learning same language 99’9% and just some vocabulary and slang terms are different. That’s the advantage of a single Academy controlling the language use


#8

Oh okay. I’ve always wondered how that worked. So I guess it’s kind of like an American says ‘cookie’ but a British person says ‘biscuit?’ Either way I’m glad you explained, I’ve been thinking about that and trying to come up with an explanation for that forever.


#9

/but the key point here is Mara is that you are trying, and learning and expanding your horizons :kissing_heart: . The best way to learn a language imo is to use it and use it frequently or whatever you learn will quickly atrophy, so if you have friends that speak another language learn that language so you can have real experince using it and practice.


#10

I’ve found that the easiest way for me to learn a new language, has been the same as when I first learned English. When playing a game set it to a language you want to learn and start playing, if you can’t understand something just look it up from a dictionary. When watching movies or an episode of some series, in a language you can understand, set the subtitles to a language you wish to learn. Plus it’s quite effective when writing something you try and say it out loud in the language you’re trying to learn.


#11

I’ve found radio to be very helpful, too. I tend to pick up the written word much more quickly than the spoken word, so with French I’m nearly fluent reading it, but I have a terrible time trying to keep up if people are speaking it.

Music, listening to it or singing it, from the language in question can also be useful. It tends to help with emphasis and phrasing - how the language ‘sounds’, so to speak.


#12

Cookies and biscuits are two different things. We have both in the UK.


#13

Very creative, I like it. Now @poison_mara and @Jjcb just need to start writing COG’s in Spanish :wink:

Note while I’m skeptical about the universal applicability of some of this guy’s claims (it’d likely take me far more than a mere three months to become anywhere near fluent in Spanish, for example).
His website does have a forum community where you can perhaps connect with people interested in practicing your chosen language with you. You can also try some of his tips, though it’s probably not for the truly introverted, like me, provided you live in a large enough city though they’re mostly focused on speaking, rather than writing.


#14

Eh… Latin American Spanish and Spanish from, well, Spain, are quite different. Kinda like British/American English, I guess? @poison_mara, which one do you speak? Edit: never mind the question, I have seen you say you’re spanish.

I’m from Spain, so mine is Castillian: feel free to PM me :blush:

@idonotlikeusernames I wouldn’t call it creative, more like… me being lazy :wink: And I also believe that being fluent in 3 months is kinda impossible… like those adds that say “lose 20 kg in 3 weeks!”


#15

There may be certain very rare exceptions, you know, wunderkinds, like Mozart but of a more linguistical persuasion, for your normal, average person like yours truly, completely true.


#16

Wait really? Darn, then that must have been a pretty poor example.:joy:

If I’m being honest, I’m also somewhat skeptical. But I guess it’s worth a try, and I’ve heard some other stories of people becoming fluent in a matter of weeks (never knew what program they used, though). But regarding where I live, it’s a pretty big place. There aren’t many people I know that speak Spanish, even if their parents are fluent in it. However, there’s a pretty large Latino population. My city’s pretty diverse if you go to the right places.

@Lycoris But if it’s like British and American English, then I suppose I won’t have much of a problem with it.


#17

Let’s just say that the speaking part is VERY different :smile: And Spanish people aren’t very fond of being thought as the same as Latino, to be honest.


#18

Yeah, I watched this mini-series in my Spanish class and my teacher pointed out the different accents from mainland Spain and the Canary Islands. Also, I’m sorry if I was being insensitive regarding Latino and Spanish people!


#19

Yeah, there are tons of accents, even inside Spain (Barcelona, Salamanca, Sevilla, etc.). And don’t worry, you weren’t insensitive or anything, I was just poiting out a little irk of ours. Because even if we speak (kind of) the same language, Spanish and Latin people are vastly different when it comes to culture and such :smile:


#20

Very true, even with those like me who are Latoamericans. It gets on my nerves when people call me Mexican.:triumph:(Even when I’m obviously not)