30 Days of Homeschool – Day 22: Languages

(30 posts about free homeschool resources)

Maybe you want to talk to your other-language-speaking neighbors. Or you’re going to visit a country soon, or next semester. Or you’ve read about studies that show that learning a language keeps the brain nimble. Or you’re aware of the economic studies that detail how important it is to know any second language. Whatever the case, here are some free resources to help you along the way.

NOTE: These are for learning to SPEAK a language, not necessarily read and translate that language. Speaking can occur rather quickly, if one studies properly and has an aptitude for it. So these aren’t for properly diagramming a sentence in that language or becoming a translator, but you can expect to be able to dialogue with someone in that language before too long.

Family, Friends, Neighbors, and Coworkers

I’ve had fun talking to some people in our office building. They’ve never had trouble with me asking them how to say such-and-such. People are your number 1 source for language learning! We’ve looked at lots of resources. The really good ones – you have to pay for them. And others that are free – they are the “official” version, which means they’re proper, but nobody seems to actually speak that way (just think of how many people you know who really speak proper English, with no accents, jargon, lingo, colloquialisms, etc.). If you can, get with people who really speak the language.

DuoLingohttps://www.duolingo.com/

If you’re going to look for a free language training program for Spanish, French, German, Italian, and other languages (here’s the list: https://www.duolingo.com/courses), then I can’t suggest this highly enough. We use it for Spanish. It’s for smartphone and the web – all absolutely free. As silly as it may seem when you’re practicing it (Soy un pinguino), it’s actually taking the vital components and working on those – essentially taking the important 20% that will give you 80% of the language basics, enabling you to be agile with the framework.

Collins Dictionaryhttp://www.collinsdictionary.com

This site offers English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. It also has thesauri and translators for those languages.

Open Culturewww.openculture.com

This is a treasure trove of information. I haven’t used it much because 1) we’ve already got all that we need, and 2) It was more than I was looking for (translate that as “information overload”). But it looks to be a highly useful site.

Google Translate – https://translate.google.com/

I like to copy phrases from various sources into the left side (e.g., Spanish) and have it translated into English. Very handy. Or you can just enter google translate into the Google search and it will bring up the fields to enter the translation.

Quizlethttps://quizlet.com/

Great site for creating flashcards, tests and games. On the web and smartphones.

Feliz educar en casa!

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