Episode 38: The Best Tools for Language Learning in Spring/Summer 2016

Episode 38 is brought to you with friendly support from italki. Do visit their site and check out the awesome Buy 1 Get 1 Free offer to learn from native speakers today.

Kerstin and Lindsay bring you the ultimate Spring/Summer collection of language learning tools. We each nominated three things we regularly use for learning languages and discussed how to make them teach you a language.

"I'm not as good as I think I am - but that's a good thing because it motivates me to work harder." - Lindsay

And if that's not enough, we then went ahead and created our own language learning chart for you.

Listen to the show to find out our absolute top recommendation.

Here's a quick run-down of the charts:

1) Forvo

Forvo

This is the place you can go if you want to know how to pronounce a word in any language. It's even useful for finding out how to say a word (or a name) in your own language. Forvo's top pronounced words of March 2016 were Cruyff, Slaínte and Leicester.

This one is absolutely perfect for people who are curious and excited about language and how it works. In other words, language geeks like us. If you don't know it, forvo it.

2) Spotify

spotifylogo

Do you like one artist in your target language and want to explore more? Then Spotify is your best tool.

Here is our podcast's own Spotify Language Chart, created for the European Day of Languages 2015 live show.

3) Workflow and Evernote (IOS devices)

workflow

The app Workflow is a way for you to connect different apps on your IOS device to each other. Use it to save audio from anywhere on the internet and save it, so that you can access it offline no matter where you are.

We recommend Workflow for anyone who loves to tinker and build their own little systems for language learning.

Workflow also talks to the Apple watch - have you used it with the watch for flashcards or uploads? I'd love to hear your stories.

3) Snapchat

snapchat

Snapchat is a social network that allows you to use your phone's camera and create your day's story with videos and photos. Use it to practice speaking or snap new words in your target language.

This one is perfect if you're embarrassed to speak, because whatever you upload into Snapchat will disappear after 24 hours. We recommend Snapchat for younger learners, and anyone who loves using the camera on their smartphone.

4) Readlang

readlang

Readlang is an extension for your browser or an app for your mobile device, and it translates any website. With Readlang you can just tap on any word and it will translate it for you - and then you can save it for later or add to your flashcard system.

It makes language learning so much more interesting because you can look at anything that's relevant to YOUR life. We recommend this one for learners who are intermediate to advanced and want to maintain their language levels.

If you're a Welsh learner, there's a similar system built into the BBC Cymru website ("Vocab" button in the top right).

5) Google Sheets Translate

This is the best for anyone wanting to build word lists in several languages. Google Translate has now been added to Google Sheets, so what you can do is build a simple vocab list in a spreadsheet, then set all those words to auto-translate into another language.

Here's the detailed Google article explaining how to use this function.

If you have a csv file, you can even export from your favourite flashcard app and add it back in to google. It's perfect for polyglot learners who are working on several languages.

Honorary Mentions

Welsh-specific:

Everlasting Classics

italki, Memrise (Anki/Quizlet), HelloTalk

Do You Agree With Our Language Chart?

You can get in touch with us and tell us what you thought by

1) leaving us an iTunes review by visiting our itunes page and clicking "Ratings and Reviews"

2) using hashtag #cllp (or #kerstinyouold) on Twitter (I am @kerstinhammes and Lindsay is @ldlanguages).

And once again, thanks so much to our sponsors Italki - please support our show by visiting them today.

Language Linkfest: December 2014

Wow, we're at the end of the year! I really hope that you have enjoyed a wonderful holiday break, and are beginning to put together first plans for the new year.

Fluent's 2014

fluency

2014 was huge for Fluent Language Tuition, because I published not one, but two books. If you are among the wonderful supporters who have read and rated these, I want to let you know how awesome you are. You can continue to get those books of course - here are some Amazon links:

Fluency Made Achievable in the US Store

Fluency Made Achievable in the UK Store

The Vocab Cookbook in the US Store

The Vocab Cookbook in the UK Store

The Audiobook on Audible

I recently blogged about having to close my online store, but if you do want to get a PDF/epub format, or even the popular Combo Pack (a box set of both books plus the audiobook), then email me and I can sell it manually. I'll find a way to bring the store back next year, promise!

My language learning in 2014 has ceded to building up my new business as a coach for other world-changers, but I did revive my French and continue to make progress in Russian in the earlier half of the year. For 2015, I'm considering committing more time to Russian by taking the next italki Language Challenge. I've also found a great new book, Russian Step by Step. Have you tried the challenge or the book?

fluent-best2014

Best Language Articles, December 2014

New Things to Purchase!

You may remember Jade Joddle? She was my podcast guest in April and spoke about introversion and speaking challenges. Jade has just released her first full online course, over at Udemy. Check out the Introvert Cure.

Flashsticks now do box sets!

Have a WONDERFUL start into the new year, everyone! I'm going to be spending two weeks in Germany over the holidays, with a flying visit to Stuttgart to eat as many Spätzle as I possibly can.

Thanks for reading this article on Fluent, the Language Learning Blog. If you are feeling stuck right now, why not subscribe to Fluent and check out our language book shop.