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Paris evening scenery of the Eiffel Tower
Learn French Online Watching Videos with French Subtitles
The idea of learning French can feel like starting a difficult climb up a steep mountains. Words with feminine or masculine articles for no rhyme or reason? Piles of verb conjugations? It’s understandable to be wary about diving in. French, like any language, is a bit challenging to learn and takes some serious dedication, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t fully capable of mastering it with some work!

As a native English speaker who speaks French as a second language, I know that everyone learns differently. Because of this, everyone has pieces of the language that they are more comfortable dealing with. For example, as a visual learner, I find that reading French and working with writing really helps me remember difficult details. This also means that I tend to find myself neglecting the auditory aspects of the language more than I should. That’s where watching French videos with subtitles becomes helpful.

Not only are these videos perfect for learners like me because they have the visual elements along with the auditory, they are also valuable to heavily auditory learners since you get to hear the spoken French along with seeing the video. The more ways you learn a topic, the more likely it will stick. With videos, you get to learn the material both visually and auditorily, making the information more likely to stick in your memory.

There are tons of different options on the web that offer videos with French subtitles to help you learn. These include videos made specifically for beginning learners, videos for more advanced speakers, French music videos, films (and film trailers), and news broadcasts. These "natural" French videos can be found easily on YouTube, and most videos have an option to view captions, just click on the little "cc" on the bottom right hand side of the video and turn click for French subtitles.

French About offers a whole list of video-based beginning French lessons. You can learn basic expressions, adjectives, and verb tenses here. Each of the videos has the option to watch with English subtitles. The lessons are straightforward and easy to work with so you’ll be sure to keep pace and really learn the material.

Frenchteacherforkids YouTube user has compiled a playlist of some awesome children’s stories spoken with French subtitles. This is perfect for beginners of any age, and allows you to pair words with not only their written form but also with illustrations for you visual learners put there.

BBC French is by far my favorite of these resources. The site offers a ton of interactive French videos (with subtitles) in 24 lessons. Not only is the material top notch, but the design of the site and lessons themselves is well-done and makes for an enjoyable time learning. Seriously, if you check out any of these, check this one out.


Photo Credit: Victoria Bouchard

lrngo users in over 190 countries

City bridge in Cheonggyecheon, Seoul Korea
How to Learn Korean Online in One Hour A Day
Korean has been on your list of things to learn for ages, but you just haven’t had the time to dedicate yourself to it, right? Well this is the end of that excuse, because you can learn Korean by simply dedicating one hour each day to your studies, and that hour can be far from boring.

Think of learning Korean as being like a workout for your mind. Instead of spending one day on abs, one day on legs, etc. try spending one hour each day working on a different aspect of Korean. Need help figuring out how to do that? Take a look at this weekly Learn Korean "workout" schedule. It only takes up one hour each day.

Work with a Language Exchange Partner
Start off your week right with an hour-long session with your language exchange partner. Let them guide you through your topics of study and help them pick out tools for you to use later in the week. Your language exchange partner can help you outline which parts of the language you should focus on and make sure that you are keeping a good pace with your learning. This is also the time to work on your growing conversation skills, so chat with your partner in Korean about what you learned throughout your last week. You can connect with your partner in person or online via video chat, making it easy for you to meet up from anywhere.

Interested in finding a language exchange partner but don’t yet have one? Check out LRNGO, a site that offers a free platform to search for a language exchange partner. Simply input what you can teach and what you’re interested in learning and barter knowledge instead of spending money on a tutor!

Use Online Exercises
Since your partner outlined the basics for you, now is your time to practice them on your own. Practice grammar, listening, and vocabulary by working through online exercises so you can test how much you really know.

Listen to Podcasts
Enhance your listening skills by spending your study time listening to Korean podcasts! Be sure to listen to podcasts that match your skill level, be they beginner or more advanced (in which case you could even listen to real Korean radio shows). Podcasts are great to listen to while cleaning, working out, or driving, being the perfect way to multi-task. Check out Weekly Korean for great podcasts along with other resources such as grammar, news, and music lyrics.

Start Reading
Enhance your reading skills by surfing the web for Korean books, comics, and news sites. You can take a look at Naver’s webtoons and you can even read newspapers such as Chosun Ilbo or some of these others for free online.

Watch YouTube Videos
Practice your skills by watching YouTube video Korean lessons such as Korean Class 101 or SEEMILE Korean Class or simply watch Korean clips (be they music videos, film trailers, etc.) on YouTube with Korean subtitles to practice your listening skills.

Get Writing
Download a free Korean keyboard (for Mac or Windows) and start writing! Work on journal entries, opinion articles, or ask your language exchange partner to pick a topic for you. Use tools like Google Drive or Dropbox to interact with your exchange partner and have them check over your work.

Take a TV Break
Since you’ve worked so hard this week, take a break and watch some television shows or movies you’re already familiar with supplemented with Korean subtitles, or watch popular Korean shows. You can find some at Viki.

By spending simply focusing each day on one of these topics, you’ll gain a well-rounded Korean education by working for only one hour each day!


Photo Credit: Luke Ma

lrngo users in over 190 countries

The Madrid Atocha Train Station Memorial remembering 11-M
Spanish Words: Where Do I Start?
Maybe you’re taking a short trip to a Spanish-speaking country or you’re often around Spanish speakers. You may not have time to take a class on the language, but it sure would be useful to know some of the basics in order to communicate. When that’s the case, take a look at this list of English-to-Spanish vocabulary, which is really all you need to know in order to communicate.

Yes  >>>  Sí.

No  >>>  No.

Maybe  >>>  Tal vez

Please  >>>  Por favor

Thank you  >>>  Gracías.

You’re welcome  >>>  De nada

What’s your name?  >>>  ¿Cómo se llama usted?

My name is  >>>  Hola, me llamo…

Nice to meet you  >>>  Mucho gusto.

Excuse me  >>>  Con permiso.

I’m sorry  >>>  Lo siento.

How are you?  >>>  ¿Cómo está usted?

I am well  >>>  Estoy bien

I don’t speak much Spanish  >>>  No hablo español bien

Please speak more slowly  >>>  Por favor, hable más despacio.

Could you write that down?  >>>  ¿Puede escribirlo, por favor?

Could you repeat that?  >>>  ¿Puedes repetirlo?

Where’s the bathroom?  >>>  ¿Dónde está el baño?

Why you shouldn’t stress about knowing more

Think of these basic phrases as a doorway to the language. Nobody’s asking you to speak fluently, all you have to do is be able to communicate. Knowing these phrases shows that you have made an effort to break down the language barrier and will help you establish relationships with people on the get-go. If you’re a bit lost travelling, introducing yourself and saying that you don’t speak much Spanish will aid you and the person you’re trying to communicate with establish grounds on which to help you by.

Other resources are available to you. Just because you don’t know the language doesn’t mean you can’t have access to it. Carry an English-Spanish dictionary with you so that you can look up basic words you don’t know.

Think about when you listen to someone speak without conjugating verbs, such as saying "I to be thirsty". Sure, they may sound a little silly, but in the end you know what they’re getting at. The dictionary won’t be much help when it comes to grammar, but it will provide you with the basic vocabulary that you need in order to get your point across, which is all you need in most situations.

Immersion is a thing. Granted, this will not happen during a short vacation or with occasional attempts at Spanish conversation. But when you need to learn a new language in order to communicate with others effectively 24/7 over a few months length of time, you will pick up on the language if you are genuinely putting in an effort to.

So don’t stress about not knowing more than the basics, they are ultimately all you need in order to get basic communication underway. Remember to be friendly. People are generally willing to listen to you if you’re wearing a smile and are being sincere!


Photo Credit: Felipe Gabaldon

lrngo users in over 190 countries

Persian praying room of the Masr Ol Molk Mosque
Learn Persian Without Books and Homework
If the idea of a traditional language class makes you shudder but the idea of learning a language seems exciting, interesting, or simply necessary, don’t you worry. There are plenty of nontraditional ways to get you learning and using Persian. So whether you’re visiting Iran or another country of Persian influence, or if you’re just interested in expanding your language skills, take a look at these free options.

Language Exchange Partner
This is your best bet to really learn Persian; what better way is there to learn than working one-on-one with a native speaker? Language exchange partners are great because they come ready with a working knowledge of Persian and are invaluable conversation partners with whom you can practice your spoken language. In short, they are a resource to help guide you through the process of learning a language and helping you find useful tools to aid in your learning. Learning from a native speaker also gives you an inside look on the different cultures and helps make the learning process more dynamic.

You can connect with a language exchange partner for free at LRNGO and exchange your time teaching them something (it can be anything—English, even!) for Persian lessons.

Podcasts and Radio
Listening is a great way to get learning a language, especially because you can do it anywhere while doing almost anything. You can listen to podcasts on your phone while you work around the house, take a walk, or drive to work, making it easier than ever to make time for learning. Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation is a great beginner’s course that helps learners get the foundational skills they need to succeed in the language. BBC Persian Radio Select is perfect for a speaker with some Persian foundation to use to strengthen their vocabulary and listening skills.

Videos
Watching videos online is an easy way to learn on your own. Watch some of these engaging Persian teachers and get the benefit of both auditory and visual learning with these videos.

Persian Pod 101 plays on the idea that you can learn Persian in three minutes and features a few three-minute lesson videos for beginners to help build up their vocabulary and expressions.

Mauwood Academy offers learners over fifty videos dedicated to teaching Persian. The videos are clear and helpful and focus on vocabulary and grammar, helping you get a strong grasp on the basics.

As you become more advanced in your Persian skills, try moving onto watching videos (or movies) in Persian with Persian subtitles, allowing you to get more natural exposure and practice to the language.


Photo Credit: dynamosquito

lrngo users in over 190 countries

Driving down a country road in Switzerland
Learn Languages While You Drive
Have you heard? You may be missing out on valuable language learning time! The time you spend in the car—your commute to work, that solitary road trip, your drive to the grocery store—can be used to better your language skills! Start using your time wisely with these tips on how to learn a language while you drive.

Learning a language is multidimensional. You need to be a well-rounded learner in order to function within the language, meaning you have to practice with your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. The more you listen to a language, the more familiar your ear will become with it. You already listen to music and radio shows in the car all the time, so why not switch to material that will help you improve your listening skills and help you better understand and speak a second language?

There are a ton of possibilities to learning your language in the car, and it all depends on your language level and personal learning style.

Listen to podcasts in your language of study. Which podcasts you choose will depend largely on what level of speaking you are at. Some podcast are designed specifically for beginners, but if you’re more advanced, you could begin listening to those aimed for native speakers. This blog post gives some great advice on how to access them.

Radio shows in your language of choice will help your ear get attuned to the complications of listening to native speakers and will help you get accustomed to different accents, inflections, and speeds, all of which you will experience in real world situations. You can find radio shows from all over the world online (TuneIn has a huge selection in many different languages)—so download some of that audio and find something that interests you! You will be much more willing to focus on listening if you’re interested in the topic.

Audiobooks are a great way for you to get accustomed to listening to your language of study. Audiobooks are generally spoken more slowly, and are easier to follow than radio shows. If you are a beginner, choose a story that you are familiar with, as this will make it easier for you to follow along. Once you are more comfortable with your language skills, move on to unfamiliar stories.

Music sung by native speakers is a fun way to pick up on a new language. The key is to listen beyond the beats and try to understand the lyrics. Translate the lyrics at home so that you know what’s being sung and try to follow along. Then jam out and sing along to your favorite foreign songs in the car.


Photo Credit: Timo Newton-Syms

lrngo users in over 190 countries

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