Something for Everyone: Our Top Ten Language Sites
At Accio we know that learning a language does not come easily and there are innumerable websites, games and apps that are strictly devoted to learning a new language. Because of the amount of these language references, we decided to point out to you the sites we deem most helpful with a top ten language learning list. Enjoy!
- Are you new to this whole foreign language business? Then go to Language 101. It has very comprehensible learning strategies, and is always updating its blog post on little idioms, phrases or jokes in other languages!
- The site Fluent in Three Months is great for those who could feasibly move and immerse themselves in the culture of the desired language. Even if you cannot physically move somewhere, this site is filled with helpful tips for the average language learner.
- Langology.org is a fun site that is devoted to educating about languages. It has articles ranging from why learning a foreign language is a wise choice to different methods and tips on how to go about becoming bilingual.
- The helpfulness of Yabla- Online Language Immersion is included in its name. We all hear that in order to truly learn a language, one must be immersed in the native culture. That is not a choice for all of us, so sites like Yabla help immerse you into the language of choice online. They have a multitude of videos with subtitles.
- If you are looking for literary lists of tips on how to learn language effectively, then go to The Everyday Language Learner. This site is a must visit when people are looking for advice to learn a new language.
- If you are serious about a new language, then its phonetics must be taken seriously as well. John Well’s Phonetic Blog will provide all you need in advice for phonetics.
- Are you raising a bilingual family? Then have fun teaching and/or learning languages with them through Foreign Language Fun. The site is devoted to fun multilingual games for children, and there are photos, language demo’s and app reviews to ensure you go in the right direction for your language apps!
- Jennie n’est plus en France is a great site for those who are Euro-language focused. The site is student focused, and has great site recommendations, multilingual video and audio links, and travel tips for those currently or thinking of living abroad.
- If you are serious about mastering a language, then go to Language Mastery. This site teaches you how to self-immerse in a language, and gives invaluable tips on learning. This site is a must-visit.
- If you are traveling and learning foreign language, then go to Lingolook! They provide essential phrases and following Lingolook will help you blend in by having knowledge of the native lingo.
This is a top ten list from the Accio team, and we hope you find it helpful! Did we miss anything? What are some other sites or apps to bring to attention? Comment and let us know!
Customer Spotlight: Gillian Szemeti
Gillian Szemeti is a language and technology enthusiast. She is a big fan of her Accio apps and knows a good app when she sees one. We asked Gillian some questions about her language usage and favorite Accio products. We had a great time getting to know her!
Accio: Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do, and where do you live?
Gillian: I am a systems analyst and live in small village near Milton Keynes, UK.
Accio: How do you use language in your daily life?
Gillian: I write emails to friends, read emails from friends, and read multiple magazines. I am taking an Italian class in the evenings once per week and I use those skills when I visit Italy once per month.
Accio: Which Accio apps do you use, and how do you use them?
Gillian: I use the Italian-English dictionary every day. It is much quicker than a paper dictionary. It even points you to the right verb if you enter the conjugated form. It shows the gender of nouns, which is essential in Italian. It shows the context in which words can be used too. In class I compete my work long before the others using this dictionary and it keeps history so I don’t forget what I’ve learned. I have not found any other app as good as Accio, though I have tried many others.
Accio: If you had more free time, is there another language you want to master?
We’d like to thank Gillian for answering questions for us and telling us all about her language learning endeavors. If you are interested in sharing your Accio story with us, let us know by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top Tips from Our Team: Study Abroad
This one’s for you, study abroad-ers! We asked some of our team here at Accio to talk about their study or work abroad experiences and brought back the comments to share with you!
What you’ll find: Tips, advice, and surprising stories about travel, culture, and language experiences abroad from Bill, our support guy, and Kelsey, a marketing intern!
Tell us the details about your trips!
Bill: I lived and worked in Brussels, Belgium for 3 months with my family. During this time, I traveled around Belgium and visited London, Paris, Amsterdam. I also went to Spain a couple of times on separate trips.
Kelsey: I traveled to New Zealand for about 6 months in the fall of 2010. I was at the University of Otago in Dunedin, which is on the South Island of New Zealand (which is also the best island, by the way). I traveled almost all of the South Island and parts of the North Island while there. I also took a very brief holiday to Thailand.
What was one thing you wish you knew before leaving?
Bill: I wish I’d known how isolating it would feel to be immersed in two languages I knew almost nothing about (French and Flemish). I could recognize a few words, but had to work hard to have even the most basic conversations with people.
Kelsey: I wish I would’ve researched the weather better! I knew that it would be somewhat chilly where I studied in New Zealand, but I neglected to find the fact that no one there had central heating until I got there! There is a big difference when it’s around freezing and you have absolutely no heat and not much for insulation in the house than here in the U.S. where at least when you’re inside you are toasty warm. Some days it felt colder inside than outside, which was bizarre for me especially being from Minnesota.
What tips do you have for other students who are or will be studying abroad?
Bill: Speak the local language as much as you can. Try even if you’re terrible at it and don’t be shy! Watch tv to learn common phrases and slang so you can talk with native speakers. Remember that you can also use your hands, face, and body to communicate. If you can’t master a language, learn the basic polite phrases (please, thank you, I’m sorry, etc.) and the basic questions that will get you by (and potential answers to the questions).
Kelsey: Branch out and take some risks! It’s great to study abroad with your friends and hang out with other Americans, but my favorite (and most rewarding) experiences are the times where I stepped out of my comfort zone and befriended the “locals”. You learn a lot more hanging out with the locals than just with your friends from back home. Of course, it’s a balance, it’s hard not to get homesick at times when you tell someone proudly you’re from Minnesota and they ask if that’s next to Oklahoma… So that other support system is always nice too.
Did others speak a different language? If so, how did you communicate?
Bill: Yes, I was in a multilingual workplace, but everyone spoke at least 3 languages, including English, so communicating at work wasn’t hard. Outside of work I learned how to order food, ask for directions, catch a taxi, etc. Plus I quickly learned how to ask if the other person spoke English, apologizing for not knowing their language.
Kelsey: No, but it felt like it! The New Zealand (or Kiwi, as New Zealanders are called) accent is very strong, mumbled instead of enunciated, and usually thrown in with a half a dozen colloquial slang words that were not intuitive to me.
New Zealand also has some pretty cool cultural origins. The original inhabitants, the Maori, are still a very big part of the New Zealand culture despite the whole becoming a British colony bit. Maori words like “Aotearoa” (New Zealand), “Kia Ora” (hello), and a lot of other Maori terms for plants, animals and places were used interchangeably with New Zealand English. So communicating in New Zealand was some combination of learning to listen very carefully to different accents, grasping the meaning of slang words, and trying to gain a basic understanding of Maori culture.
“Always in my main screen in my iPod, very useful and practical…”
“I have been looking all over the app store for a good, easy to use Portuguese dictionary, and I’m happy to say I found a great one. I’m much more confident in my Portuguese now that I have a way to quickly find words I don’t know”
“It works perfectly and is super helpful. No glitches to report.”—
Spanish-English and Portuguese-English Dictionary fans.
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