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Rosetta StoneI just came across SharedTalk.com by Rosetta Stone.

I am not exactly what it is all about, but it seems cool. I haven't created an account yet, but I will.

Rosetta Stone makes commercial language-learning software for many languages. It seems to me that this is a site that will be free for people to use as in interface to meet and talk/IM with people, and that they have built some neat online tools for doing this.

Not sure to what degree they will be pushing for people to buy their products, though!

Lille Podcast Logo

Just came across this podcast for learning the French language with free audio.

From the site:

Lille podcast brings you French courses at home or anywhere you are. With just one click, you have access to our files for free! Click on: "CLIQUER ICI POUR TELECHARGER LE PODCAST" and download files onto your computer. You can play them with your favorite MP3-player and read the text of each episode on the web site. This is a 3-levels learning method: - First level: the text is read slowly - Second level: each underlined word is explained slowly - Third level: the text is read at a normal speech speed. Of course, the whole course is in French. This show is for advanced learners. Enjoy it ! ;)

J'ai une formation en ressources humaines et en communication. Je suis intéressé par la linguistique et l'apprentissage des langues en général. Je travaille dans le secteur marketing.

Visit Lille Podcast.

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EasyAfrikaans.com Logo

Just ran across a nice resource for learning the Afrikaans language.

From the site:

"It is easier to start learning Afrikaans, or any other language, than it is to become good at it. It can also be more fun, because when beginning you can make rapid progress without learning grammar or trying to learn words which only occur infrequently.

Learning a language can vary from knowing ten words to fluency. It all depends on your goal. Do you want to learn enough to be polite, to get by or to be able to express yourself fluently and with confidence.

Easy Afriakaans is aimed at anyone who wants to start learning the Afrikaans language or just wants to learn a few useful words and phrases before their next visit. There are also links to other resources which might be helpful.

One way to use Easy Afrikaans is to pick key or useful words and phrases that you want to learn. For example, as a visitor to another country, the key words in a foreign language are the words which will be of most use to you and which you will use most often.

These key words and phrases will vary from visitor to visitor depending on the purpose of their trip. A businessman, for example, is likely to have different language requirements to the tourist, and when only learning a small part of language may choose to concentrate on a few formal situations.

Or, if you have friends who speak another language, you might learn a few expressions that you can use in specific situations with them. In either case, you are starting to learn the language and if you continue to learn it , then the vocabulary you have learnt will be a great help."

Visit EasyAfrikaans.com

I just ran across a really great resource for phrases in many languages.

Available languages are:

Arabic
Afrikaans
Bulgarian
Chinese
Cantonese
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Dutch
English
Esperanto
Farsi
Finnish
Flemish
French
German
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Indonesian
Irish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Latin
Lithuanian
Malay
Maltese
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Scottish
Slovak
Spanish
Sign Language
Swedish
Tagalog
Tamil
Thai
Turkish
Uighur
Urdu
Vietnamese
Yiddish
Zulu

Have a look at Linguanut.com

These days Mandarin Chinese is growing more and more popular as a second language for people all over the world. This is true mainly because of the evident booming Chinese economy and the current and future market that is growing at a breathtaking pace.

Here are some of the free resources I have come across:

Chinese has four (or five - depending on how you look at it) tones. Here is a page that explains some basic information about the tones in Mandarin Chinese. Also, a link to a Mandarin tone exercise game.

Here is an Audio Tutorial of Survival Chinese

This site has free Chinese lessons.

A fabulous and free online Chinese dictionary.

An assortment of basic Mandarin lessons.

General info about the Chinese language and lots of links to other aspects of Chinese culture, art and more.

Wikipedia info on Mandarin Chinese.

Wikibook on Mandarin Chinese with lessons and information.

I had a synchronous encounter (thanks to a good friend) with someone here in Beijing who is working on a most astounding and incredibly useful project called adsotrans.

From adsotrans read me:

"To use this website simply copy Chinese text into the submission box and click "Adsotate". The text will be automatically annotated -- mouseover any word for a popup with pinyin and english. More control over annotation options and full webpage translation is possible through the advanced interface. If you're simply looking for freshly annotated Chinese texts to read, why not check out our sister site page, which is also open to the public. Students looking for study material should visit News in Chinese."

Indeed, this is a worthy, user-edited and -driven project that is quite impressive.

Their News in Chinese website is a great place for more advanced learners to experience their intuitive user translation interface for reading the latest RSS news feeds in Simplified Chinese from Xinhua. If you are very knowledgable about the Mandarin language, you can contribute greatly to the project with your expertise. Volunteer info is here.

And finally, here are a couple more links for learning Mandarin starting from the basics:

Sinosplice Chinese Language Study Resources

Sinosplice Chinese Study Book Reviews (Great help for choosing a text to use.)

Basic Chinese Phonetics with Pinyin Voice Recordings

Chinese Pronunciation Guide (Requires RealAudio)

There is obviously a lot more info out there, so I encourage you to search around. These links will give a good intro and link to a lot of other sites, but there is so much more out there.

In the words of Mao Zedong himself: "Study hard and make progress everyday." :)

We have recently been contact by CantonesePod! They wanted to let us know that there are now new episodes of the podcast available.

Have a look!


Yamada Language Center

From the site:

University of OREGON Yamada Language Center. A resource-rich learning environment.Courses, audio clips,and a vast array of links to other information rich sites.

Visit Yamada Language Center

I wanted to let the blog folks know that the Indonesian language (Bahasa Indonesia) has been added to the site and we already have four resources.

This is the second language of 12 new ones that we are going to add to the site over the next month or two. The first was Afrikaans.


Learning Thai

From the site:

# VDict (Vietnamese Dictionary) is the best and totally free Vietnamese-English-French Online Dictionary
# You can perform lookup for a word in all dictionaries simultaneously. VDict currently supports 8 dictionaries:

* Vietnamese-English dictionary
* English-Vietnamese dictionary
* Vietnamese-French dictionary
* French-Vietnamese dictionary
* Vietnamese dictionary (Vietnamese to Vietnamese)
* English-English dictionary (Wordnet)
* Free Online Dictionary Of Computing (FOLDOC)
* Chinese Vietnamese dictionary

Visit Vdict Online Vietnamese Dicionary


Learning Thai

From the site:

Sawatdee Khrab!" That is how we say hello in Thai. If you are a girl you will say "Sawatdee Kaa". When you are on holiday in Thailand, you will find many young people like me who can speak English. Most places you go to you won't have a problem. However, we like it a lot when we meet a foreigner who has tried to learn some Thai phrases. Most web sites and phrase books just write down the Thai words using Roman letters for you to try and read. That is a waste of time because Thai is a tonal language. You need to listen to native speakers. That is me, my teacher and friends! On every page you will be able to listen to us speaking Thai.

Visit Learning Thai


Hungarian Language & Culture

From the site:

Face it--whether you are in Indonesia for one week or for 10 years, it is not only polite and useful to know a little of the language, in many cases, it is outright necessary. If you don't want to be trapped at the Hotel Borobudur or restricted to traveling with a translator, you need to be able to communicate with that cheerful, friendly, curious populace out there. This booklet provides one approach to learning a very basic level of the Indonesian language, Bahasa Indonesia, with no strain.

Visit Bahasa Indonesion in 7 days


Hungarian Language & CultureVisit Hungarian Language & Culture

From the site:

Magyar (pronounced /Mawdyar/), as the Hungarians call their language, is spoken by the approximately 11 million inhabitants of Hungary, as well as another 4 million people in neighboring countries and a million others scattered around the world. It belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family, which includes Finnish and Estonian, but its closest relatives are several obscure languages spoken in Siberia. Hungarian is not at all related to the Indo-European languages which surround it, and is very different both in vocabulary and in grammar. Hungarian is an agglutinative language, meaning that it relies heavily on suffixes and prefixes. The grammar is seemingly complex, yet there is no gender, a feature that most English speakers grapple with when learning other European languages. Hungarian does use the Roman alphabet however, and after learning a few simple rules one can easily read Hungarian. Pronunciation is also very easy, especially compared to other neighbouring languages like Czech, German, and Russian.
This course was designed for beginners and no previous knowledge of Hungarian is assumed. However, the lessons may also be helpful for those people who have had previous experience and would like to improve their grammar or just simply brush up.

Visit Hungarian Language & Culture

Vietnamese Language & Culture

From the site:

This Overview of the Vietnamese Web pages is intended to give you some idea of its contents so that you know how to find what you need or what might interest you - a kind of navigation guide. The core of this site is a series of 20 Lessons for teaching you Spoken Vietnamese. A Guide To Pronunciation is an interactive resource that lets you hear all of the sounds of the language: consonants, vowels, and tones. If you want to learn just enough language for travel, you can click on Quick Vietnamese for Tourists. If you need information on travel or currency, follow those links;and much more.

Visit Learn Vietnamese


Learn Swahili

From the site:

This site is presented to help you to learn Kiswahili online. You are welcomed with your comments and suggestions to improve the site. Even though I created this site, my knowledge of Kiswahili is very poor. Any corrections in the presented matter will be greatly appreciated.

Visit Learn Swahili

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