I’m often on the hunt for easy ways to learn languages…and more importantly, FREE ones. A few years ago I did an 8 week community college course in Hindi that I paid quite a substantial amount for. But by the end of it, I pretty much only knew how to read the alphabet (not due to my ability, but rather the snail-paced progression of the course). I guess it has put me off paid tools for a while…but I digress.
Livemocha.com is indeed a free language learning resource. And who doesn’t love a mocha anyways? Great cafe drink…
Whilst this website does not offer beverages, it will help you learn how to order them in over 35 languages!
The biggest strength of this website is that it takes a multi-faceted, community-based approach. Of course the typical flashcard systems are there for learning vocabulary, but you can do them both ways i.e. display English words and you have to remember the Hindi/German/Korean etc etc word – much, much harder compared to the other way round: both are important for retention. It also has listening rounds, where you have to recognise words.
The speaking and writing elements is where the community really kicks in. You can also record yourself speaking and submit written sentences, which are then corrected by members of the Livemocha community who have your target language as their mother tongue. In turn of course, you also correct the submissions of those who are trying to learn English (or whatever your mother tongue is).
There are further features that you can pay for, like live instructor-led classes etc….but I’m happy to focus on the freebies for now 🙂