Author: Smarter Language

We all know language learning takes time and effort – but what’s the quickest, most effective way to learn a language? How are we supposed to figure out what apps to use and how much to study? How can we possibly sort through the myriad blogs, books and channels? Our lives are already busy and we’re all inundated with information – a lot of us simply don’t have a ton of extra time to figure out what really works. If you have one hour to study every day, how should you spend it? In this article we will give you…

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Preply is a Ukraine-based e-learning platform that connects students and tutors from around the world for 1-1 lessons via video call. As of 2021, Preply had more than 140,000 registered tutors from 203 different countries. Users can choose from a wide range of skills to study, such as JavaScript or Email Marketing, but the platform is most popular for its language tutors. Preply offers thousands of high quality tutors for dozens of languages, including less commonly studied languages like Dutch or Hebrew. Preply makes it easy to find a tutor, book a lesson and begin learning a new skill from…

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FluentU helps learners study foreign languages through videos and click-to-translate subtitles. FluentU differentiates itself from standard language learning apps through its use of real world content. The majority of the videos come from YouTube – cooking videos, product ads, movie trailers or music videos. If you click on any of the words in the subtitles you’ll see an English translation, plus images and example sentences. You can add any of the words you encounter into flashcard decks and then review them later on. The app isn’t designed to teach you grammar and there are no actual “lessons” like you might…

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Innovative Language, the creators of the LanguagePod101 products (i.e. SpanishPod101, FrenchPod101, etc.), offer dialogue-based learning resources for 34 world languages. Lessons focus on helping users learn everyday vocabulary by listening to conversations between native speakers. Each lesson introduces a new text or dialogue and the “hosts” walk through it line by line to explain the grammar, help train your pronunciation and introduce useful cultural tips. Learning some Dutch restaurant vocabulary on DutchPod101. Innovative Language products have study material for all levels, whether you’re looking for travel phrases before an overseas trip or seeking immersive practice material as an intermediate or…

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How good are you at your target language? Are you fluent? Can you hold basic conversations but understand better than you speak or are you so fluent that a native speaker could hardly tell? When we hear the word “fluent,” we tend to picture complete mastery in the given language; someone who can hold their own in any given scenario. The reality is much different. Language fluency comes in many forms and it’s not always easy to gauge proficiency. For example, a language learner could be conversationally fluent, meaning they’re able to speak and understand when traveling around in a…

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One of the hardest parts of learning a second language is studying consistently over time.  Every language learner is familiar with the dreadful feeling of realizing, “Oh no, it’s been three weeks since the last time I studied! How am I ever going to actually learn this language?”     When life gets in the way and things come up, it’s easy to put language learning on the backburner. But language learning takes time and dedication; there’s no such thing as a “fluent in two weeks” shortcut. You have to study regularly – ideally every day – for a long period of…

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Learning a new language involves much more than just grammar rules and verb conjugation. We need to learn lots and lots of vocabulary to become proficient in a foreign language. If our goal is “regular interaction with native speakers… without strain for either party,” described as B2-level proficiency on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), we’ll need to learn somewhere around 4,000 words. Click above to read more about the CEFR. Building a vocab base of 4,000 words doesn’t happen overnight though. Our brains can only learn so many new things at once and our memories quickly…

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Rosetta Stone is one of the oldest and best-known language learning programs on the market today. Once easily recognizable by its big yellow boxes sold in bookstores and airports, Rosetta Stone is now available in browser mode as well as on mobile. Rosetta Stone teaches users vocabulary and grammar through “Dynamic Immersion,” which means there are no instructions or translations and you learn by associating words with images. The audio is crisp and clear, TruAccent voice recognition helps you improve your accent, and accompanying imagery helps you form stronger memories. To get the most out of Rosetta Stone, we recommend…

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Duolingo and Babbel are two of the most popular language learning apps on the market today. Both apps offer multiple languages and boast millions of dedicated users – but which one is the best? In short, both apps offer a high quality language learning experience and both are worth using. But the ultimate answer to Babbel vs Duolingo for you will depend entirely on what type of learner you are and what you’re looking to get out of the app. If you’re looking to try out a few different languages and prefer a fun, game-like learning experience, then Duolingo is…

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Lingopie helps intermediate and advanced-level learners practice languages by consuming real-world content: videos, TV shows, audiobooks, podcasts, movies and more. The app features click-to-translate subtitles and a flashcard system to help learners review new vocabulary – picture foreign-language Netflix with clickable subtitles. Lingopie is a relatively new app and still has some technical issues to fix, however the expansive list of titles across eight different languages makes it an attractive tool worth including in your language study routine. What languages are available on Lingopie? Lingopie currently offers English learners eight study languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and…

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