Submitted by: polyglot
Tue, 11/25/2008 - 03:21

LingQCentral or LingQ Central

LingQ has just announced a major upgrade to their unique online language-learning platform. Following is the announcement from LingQ Central.

New Features for LingQ Platform

Major New Release Coming Thursday, November 20

It's been a little over a year since we launched LingQ and we have been constantly improving the site since then. One of the most frequent comments we have received is that users don't understand what to do. "Where do I start?", "What should I do now?", etc...

We know that if we can get people started on LingQ, they will like it and they will stay. The more people that stay, the better the community and the experience for all members.

LingQ Method Language Podcasts


With that in mind we created courses. You will now land on the Courses page when you login to LingQ. If you don't yet have a course, you will be asked to pick one from the list of Available Courses. If you already have a course or courses, your most recently opened course will be displayed.

In every language there will be one free Self-Directed Course as well as Directed courses which are offered by our tutors.

All existing members will already have the Self-Directed Course, containing all the lessons you currently have in your account. The Self-Directed Course is basically the old WorkDesk list. From here you can open your lessons and study them as before.

Directed Courses are identified by level and are made up of 12 lessons selected by the course tutor. Courses are 12 weeks long and include a writing assignment and a conversation each week as part of the lesson. Participants will be able to email their tutor anytime, will be answered on the Ask a Tutor forum and will receive monthly reports. Directed Courses can be bought with a credit card or with points. Directed Courses are a great way to commit to your learning for a specific period of time.

If you do sign up for a Directed Course, you can also have one or more other courses active at the same time including your Self-Directed Course.

Active Assignment Limits Removed, New Active LingQs Limit for Free Accounts

You will be happy to know that all assignment limits will be removed from LingQ. The only remaining limitation will be a 300 LingQ limit on Free accounts. This means that Free members will only be allowed to keep 300 LingQs in their accounts at any one time. If you hit your limit, you will have to either delete LingQs or upgrade. All Basic, Plus and Premium members may create unlimited LingQs in their accounts.

New 5 Steps for Each Lesson and Simplified Lesson Status

Following up on our theme of simplification, we have removed the old assignment page. In fact, we have removed all references to assignments and items. Now we only refer to lessons. Furthermore, we no longer have multiple statuses for each lesson; New, Open, Updated, Completed, Archived, etc.... Now your lessons are either in your active list or they are archived. You will see that you move them from active to archived or vice versa by simply ticking or unticking a tickbox.

LingQ Five Step Language Learning Process

In addition, for each lesson we now assign 5 Steps. These steps are visible on the right hand side of the Lesson page. These steps will help new members, and really, all members get more out of LingQ. Progress indicators show how many steps you have completed for each lesson.

Everyone can post questions on Ask a Tutor

We are also opening up the Ask a Tutor forum to all members. Now, Free and Basic members can also post questions here. Tutors will only be expected to answer questions from Plus and Premium members but I'm sure many of our members will be happy to answer each others questions as well.

New Navigation and a New User Interface

Finally, you will notice the new design and the new navigation. We think you're really going to like the new design which gives a more lively look to the site.

The navigation has been changed to make it simpler for the first time user. There are now two main tabs for Courses and Community. All other tabs are now in a sub menu that is visible once the main tab is opened. There will also be a Welcome tab that is visible when you first open your account. This page is there to help newbies but can be removed once you no longer find it useful.

We realize our existing members will have to get used to the new navigation. We did not do this to confuse you! Rather, we did it to make things more obvious for a newbie. Thanks for your patience and we think that once you are used to it, you will find it at least as convenient as the previous navigation.

We realize we haven't provided too many images of the new LingQ. We're just trying to build up suspense! :-) You'll see it all on November 20th!

As with all changes, we want your feedback. Let us know what you like and what you don't like. We will try to respond to frequent requests. And, of course, although we would hope that you won't find any bugs, please let us know if some squeak through!

Enjoy the new LingQ!

Submitted by: polyglot
Wed, 10/08/2008 - 15:45

Update from ChinesePod

This just in from the folks at Praxis Language's ChinesePod:

1000 Lessons!

Submitted by: cman
Thu, 10/02/2008 - 17:03

Busuu Learn Silbo Gomero Language

Update from

Wow! More interesting news just came in from the folks at Busuu! They've done something, well, unprecedented as far as the Free Language team can tell: they've added an endangered language called Silbo Gomero to be learned right through their website!

This language is not spoken, but whistled (silbar = to whistle in Spanish), and is used by the people of Gomera, one of the Canary Islands off Spain, to communicate between long distances and over rough terrain. How cool is that!

Check out this video from Busuu about this fascinating language:

From Website

La Gomera in the Canary Islands

Become a Silbador!

The existence of the whistled language of Silbo Gomero on the beautiful Spanish island of La Gomera has for years fascinated linguists and language enthusiasts alike.

Silbo Gomero was invented in order to facilitate communication between the people of the island across the deep gorges and valleys long before mobile phones were invented. The tradition continues even now with the local government including it in the educational system of the island.

Learn Silbo Gomero at

Submitted by: cman
Thu, 10/02/2008 - 16:17

Finnish Flag - Learn Finnish Language

Finnish should be on Free Language by now. Ahhh... if only there were all the time in the world! But a recent email from a site user brought Finnish to our attention, and we will make it a point to add Finnish as soon as possible. Since we were unable to email the user back due to email issues on their end, this info is going up here on the blog.

Until a proper section for Finnish is up and running, there are two resources we'd recommend:

A Wikibook for Learning Finnish
Byki Language Freeware for over 70 Foreign Languages (including Finnish)

If you are interested in learning Finnish, please consider signing up for the Free Language Letter so you'll hear about it as soon as Finnish is added to the site!

Best of luck to you in your Finnish learning endeavors! And please recommend Free Language to anyone interested in learning foreign languages. :)

UPDATE: For those with a working knowledge of Finnish seeking listening practice, have a look at the Selkouutiset News in Plain Finnish Podcast.

Submitted by: cman
Wed, 09/10/2008 - 07:51

Busuu Beta Language Community Logo

Just got some news from the folks at Busuu. They have been working hard over in Spain to add some sweet new features to their free social language learning platform built on Drupal.

Check out a screenshot of a bustling language garden:

Submitted by: cman
Thu, 07/03/2008 - 12:54

Linguist List Links Page


The Linguist List, from Eastern Michigan University, has an amazing list of language links that just couldn't go unmentioned. Included are links regarding linguistics, endangered languages, natural languages, constructed languages (conlangs), writing systems, language meta-sites and language families.

From Website

This area of the LINGUIST list contains information on languages and language families, plus links to websites devoted to natural and constructed languages, to writing systems, and to language resources, e.g., dictionaries.

Visit Language Links

Submitted by: cman
Fri, 06/20/2008 - 13:24

eduFire Live Video Language Learning Logo

Yesterday I received an email from Jon at eduFire letting me know that Free Language had been chosen for their Top 20 Language Bloggers on the Web roundup. The blog entry alone is a great resource for those interested in languages in general as well as language learning.

eduFire is a new website for learning and teaching languages online via video chat. In addition to live language tutors, the website has videos, forums, flash cards and other resources. The design is light and bright, there are lots of smiling tutors waiting to teach eager students and it appears to be an overall smooth operation.

eduFire has generously offered Free Language readers a free hour video tutoring session for the first ten folks to email him at freetutoring [at] edufire [dot] com. Just mention that you saw this post on Free Language.

Cheers to eduFire all around for their roundup and offer for free lessons!

Submitted by: cman
Mon, 06/16/2008 - 20:02

VoxSwap Logo

VoxSwap has just added some new features to their social language learning website:

Now people can hear and see each other as well as type messages to one another (using Skype). As you can imagine we're excited about this as we think it will help people progress immensely.

They've also added a video channel with lots of videos regarding language and language learning, some educational and some comical.

Check out Free Language's article on VoxSwap or just head straight to

Submitted by: cman
Wed, 06/11/2008 - 16:21

ItalianPod by Praxis Language

Praxis Language is hard at work! In the last month they have released two podcasts, doubling their previous number of shows by adding ItalianPod and FrenchPod to ChinesePod and SpanishPod.

I suspect they will be releasing at least three more shows in the coming months for Arabic, German and Japanese.

Submitted by: cman
Tue, 06/03/2008 - 17:06

BBC Languages New Look and Feel

The BBC has recently updated its BBC Languages resources! The new look and features are a considerable upgrade, making it easier to see all the resources available and get learning the languages you want to learn.

BBC Languages has always been a great place to access self-contained beginner courses in Chinese, German, Greek, French, Italian and Portuguese. There are also tidbits and goodies in other languages.

Recently, the BBC has revamped it's entire website for more flexibility, personalization and ease of use. In the languages section, this means it's easier than ever to find online courses, grammar info, learning games, dictionaries, self-assessment tests, resources for tutors, info about going abroad, photos, tips, stories, audio, video, related links, local class finder, cool/slang words and phrases... It's all there and packed with good content!

Also available are the Steps in 12 Weeks free email courses for French, German, Italian and Spanish. Plus, intermediate resources have been created for learning French and Spanish, with more languages to follow.

All in all, the BBC's momentum in the free online language-learning department is not slowing down. They consistently add new resources, new languages and interesting content for learners and educators/tutors alike.

Have a look at the new BBC Languages Website.

The BBC on Free Language

BBC Learning English
BBC Better at Languages

BBC Languages French
BBC Languages German
BBC Languages Italian
BBC Languages Portuguese
BBC Languages Spanish

BBC Afrique News in French
BBC Brasil News in Portuguese
BBC Mundo News in Spanish
BBC News in Arabic
BBC News in Chinese
BBC News in Farsi (Persian)
BBC News in Russian
BBC World News in English

Submitted by: cman
Tue, 06/03/2008 - 00:54

Radio Lingua Network One Minute Languages Podcast

Radio Lingua Network has a series of One Minute Languages Podcasts that are great intros for total beginner learners of German, Irish, Luxembourgish, Norwegian and Russian.

One Minute Languages Podcast Series

One Minute Languages German Podcast
One Minute Languages Irish Podcast
One Minute Languages Luxembourgish Podcast
One Minute Languages Norwegian Podcast
One Minute Languages Polish Podcast
One Minute Languages Russian Podcast

Happy St Patrick's Day in Irish

From Website

The Radio Lingua Network: Language-learning on the move

The Radio Lingua Network puts you in control of your language learning.

Our programmes include materials for beginners in Spanish, French, Italian and German, with more languages and levels coming soon. Our materials are aimed at independent learners of all ages: all you need to learn another language is access to the internet and some enthusiasm! You can learn wherever you want to at a time that suits you. By using an iPod or another mp3 player you can take your learning with you - learning with podcasts allows you to learn a language on the move.


Podcasts are online audio or video recordings. You can listen to our podcasts on our website, or you can download them to your computer or mp3 player. The most effective way of using podcasts is by subscribing. This means that every time we release a new show you automatically receive it without having to go and look for the show on our websites. You can subscribe in iTunes and other podcast programs. Best of all, subscribing doesn't cost a penny!

Why podcasting?

Podcasting is changing language-learning for millions of learners across the world. It's no longer a question of going to a bookstore and buying a book and CD. Podcasting gives you free access to expert teachers. You can download what you want, and you can learn at your own pace, where and when it suits you. We believe you learn best when you're enjoying yourself, so learn German at the gym, Greek in the garden or Welsh as you walk the dog! The Radio Lingua Network is language-learning on the move.

And there's more

If you're reading your language-learning book and you have a question what can you do about it? You could ask your teacher at your next class, but if you're learning on your own then perhaps you have no way of finding the answer to your question. With Radio Lingua podcasts, you become part of a community: you can ask your fellow learners through the blogs and forums associated with each series and, in some cases, you can even contact the teacher directly.

Taking it further

All of our podcasts are available free via our websites and directories such as iTunes. However many of our titles also have extra materials which include downloadable pdf lesson guides which explain the language taught in each lesson; enhanced podcasts or and video versions which include flashcards of the words and phrases presented on the screen of your computer or portable media player as you listen; bonus audio podcasts giving you further opportunities to practise the words and phrases you have learned in each lesson; review podcasts which summarise the language covered in previous lessons; and other materials like printable quizzes, online activities and even mobile phone versions of the podcasts. Each series has a different combination of features: visit the individual websites for more information.


Submitted by: cman
Sat, 05/31/2008 - 22:47

Lingro Webmaster Tools

I wanted to quickly bring some special attention again to the folks at Lingro. Not only do they have a cool name and loads of sweet resources for language learners and teachers alike (View Free Language Article on Lingro), they also have some amazing and powerful tools for webmasters to quickly and easily integrate on-the-spot translations and tooltips, badges to translate an entire site and collaborative tools to help build the Lingro database right through your website! Have a look at a sample language learning site to see how this can work in action.

All of this merits much more than a quick blog entry, and I am hoping to interview the folks at Lingro soon as part of the first Free Language podcast. Look for this soon... for now, please have a look at Lingro and, if you like, help them build a truly Free and Open Multilingual Dictionary.

From Website

Lingro is continuously developing tools to help webmasters and language sites access our dictionary database. Click on examples below to see how to easily add the same functionality to your pages, or visit our sample language learning site which demonstrates some of the ways Lingro translations can help your users interact with your website.

View the webmaster tools on Lingro.

Submitted by: cman
Fri, 04/18/2008 - 00:32

LingQCentral or LingQ Central

I've just added two more podcasts from the LingQ Podcast Network: ChineseLingQ and ItalianLingQ.

I'd also like to point out LingQCentral, "where you'll find everything related to LingQ". It's the place to stay tuned to all things LingQ. They put out quite a lot of useful content and work very hard to create effective online resources for learning 10 foreign languages, so check them out!

Hopefully one day I will be able to interview Steve himself, though I don't know if he wants to talk to me again after I didn't follow through last time for multiple reasons. He sent me a copy of his book, which I read most of and enjoyed, but was overloaded with life at the time and didn't properly thank him. Steve: if you're out there, thanks and when you want to try again, just drop me a line. :)

LingQ Language Podcast Network


Submitted by: cman
Wed, 04/16/2008 - 02:09

Palabea the Speaking World Logo

Just got this in from the folks over at Palabea!

We have launched an entirely new section in palabea called ‘Offline LanguageExchange’. This, we hope, will complement the online language learning by promoting a more intimate, offline, learning experience. Using the Offline Language Exchange, you can make and meet friends, share with them your stories and experiences, interests and goals, while you share new languages. Read more...

Cool to see the project continuing to move with momentum. :) This looks to be a cool way to make ethereal online contacts turn into real lasting friendships! It is also something with the potential to motivate folks to truly engage in learning as it brings the language exchange into our daily lives.

Submitted by: cman
Tue, 04/15/2008 - 02:56

I recently added a podcast for learning Hindi and two articles on more resources from the BBC Languages website: German and Mandarin Chinese.

Namaste Dosti: The Learn Hindi Podcast for Grammar and Vocabulary for Beginners
BBC Languages Mandarin Chinese
BBC Languages German

Submitted by: cman
Thu, 04/03/2008 - 23:08

I just launched a very BETA version of what I am calling a "deal finder" for users interested in finding deals on commercial products for learning Spanish:

Spanish Auctions with Deals, Discounts and Specials

The deal finder uses the Build a Niche Store technology, a popular Web software that helps create eBay niche stores.

Hopefully this will be a way for folks to quickly and easily find deals on audiobooks, software, gadgets and electronics, textbooks and more for learning Spanish.

Depending on how the BETA goes, I might launch stores for some of the other more popular languages that Free Language users are interested in, such as Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and English.

Have a look if this interests you! Currently, the deal finder is available for the US eBay Market, but I'll also set them up for other markets in due time if this goes well.

Submitted by: cman
Thu, 04/03/2008 - 17:38

The Eighth Edition of the Free Language Letter was published a few days ago. Lots of good info there, so check it out if you haven't yet.

Also, I added two new podcasts to the new Learn Hebrew section of the site. They are both great resources for Hebrew language learners! Learn to Speak Hebrew at your Leisure with Free MP3 Audio Podcast Downloads Learn Hebrew Podcast with Free MP3 Audio Lessons for Conversational, Listening and Written Practice

Submitted by: cman
Mon, 03/17/2008 - 18:56

Hello to all blog subscribers out there! I want to inform you of some changes to the blog at Free Language.

Historically, the "blogs" on Free Language were a sort of gray area, with some people posting resources, some site updates, some random things, etc.

This is changing now! From now on, the Free Language blog will cover all things related to Free Language as a website, meaning information about updates and changes to the site, recent developments, ideas and plans for the future, etc. The blog will no longer be covering the learning resources themselves, except for periodic lists of all the latest updates.

If you are interested in receiving regular notices of updates specifically regarding languages, language learning and language education, please subscribe to the Free Language Front Page feed, which is:

Thanks for your interest in and support of Free Language. I look forward to continuing to build this resource in a more structured manner, so there is much good information and many excellent resources and methods to come.

Submitted by: cman
Mon, 03/17/2008 - 18:46

I thought the blog subscribers might be interested in knowing that Free Language is rising considerably in the Chinese search engine Baidu. See the screenshot below to get an idea of how much traffic is coming in from this search engine, which peaks at off hours for because it is on the other side of the world!

Submitted by: cman
Fri, 03/14/2008 - 21:24

I have been working hard to make new "overview" pages for each language on the site. These pages include all resources for the language, news feeds, podcasts, info about Internet TV and social language learning, tag clouds, links to feed subscriptions and other such good info.

The idea is to put all the main things site visitors are interested in finding out about for a given languages on one single page (rather than simply lists of resources starting with the latest one). It works and it looks good, too! :)

The process of creating these overview pages is taking longer than I thought, but they are coming along! Currently, there are overview pages for Afrikaans, Arabic, Cantonese and Spanish.

By the end of March 2008, I will hopefully have overview pages for the all the languages on the site.

Submitted by: cman
Sat, 03/08/2008 - 16:32

CaféBabel European Magazine Beta

I recently wrote on Freestyle Language about how Café's Tower of Babel has articles about linguistic variations amongst 7 languages published in 7 languages!

I am planning to take this further by adding to Free Language the seven news feeds in catalá, Deutsch, English, español, français, italiano and polski. This will provide a new range of news articles for use learning and teaching languages.

As they say here in Grenada, West Indies: soon come!

Submitted by: cman
Fri, 03/07/2008 - 16:11

Collins Language Logo - Download Free Trials of Software and Audio for Windows, Mac, iPod


Collins is one of the longest standing publishers of English and bilingual dictionaries. They are currently working to pioneer ways to publish dictionaries for today's world by rapidly increasing the availability of their products in digital format.

The company has created several high-quality, professional digital products that are offered through their online store. Free samples of these products are available for download through the site.

Two of the digital products they currently offer are very useful for travelers and language learners alike: iPhraseFinders and Collins 40-Minute Lessons.

iPhraseFinders are phrasebooks tailored specifically for the iPod. These are currently available in Windows and Mac format for English to the following languages: French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. You can download free samples from the link above.

Collins 40-Minute Lessons are beginner lessons designed to empower learners with the essential phrases necessary to navigate daily life in a given foreign language. These lessons are available for English speakers interested in learning Arabic, Cantonese, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin American Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese. Wow! You can download free samples from the link above.

Collins Language Free Trials of iPhraseBooks for iPod

I know from my experience of testing the free downloads that these digital products are indeed professional, high-quality, practical and useful.

The website also offers a free dictionary search feature, with more comprehensive commercial versions available.

From Website

Free English, Cobuild and Foreign Language Dictionary look-ups available. Subscribe to or download a dictionary to your desktop or mobile device. Learn a language fast with iPhrasefinders and audio courses for iPods and mobiles. Free trials available.

Find out about these products and more at

Submitted by: cman
Fri, 02/29/2008 - 00:09

Over the last few days I've added eight articles on podcast resources from the LingQ podcast network. This is a group that currently consists of eight podcast websites that provide a steady (weekly) flow of listening material for each individual language. Accompanying transcriptions are made available through the LingQ [liŋk] store. Some are free, some are not.

LingQ Method Language Podcasts

Pursue the LingQ above or click on the huge image above to learn more about the LingQ Method.

LingQ Podcast Network


Submitted by: opal myth
Wed, 02/06/2008 - 11:41


LanguageTube LogoPretty much just what it sounds like, is a place to learn languages with YouTube videos.

Currently, videos are available for the Chinese, French, German, Korean, Russian and Thai languages.

Submitted by: polyglot
Tue, 01/29/2008 - 03:40

It's been a very long time since I've actually published a list of the latest updates to the site. So here goes with a healthy chunk of language-learning goodness...

Foreign Language Translation Extensions/Tools/Plugins/Add-Ons for the Firefox Web Browser One Minute Language Lessons for Polish, Irish, German and Russian Survival Phrases in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, French, Swedish, Arabic, Spanish and Vietnamese US Foreign Service Institute Mandarin Chinese Free Audio Lessons Downloads US Foreign Service Institute Cantonese Free Audio Lessons Downloads Instructional Videos on Learning Foreign Languages
The Alternative Dictionary: Slang, Profanities, Insults and Vulgarisms from all the World
Learn Chinese on YouTube with Mandarin Videos from ActiveChinese
Learn Mandarin Chinese Videos on YouTube AskBenny Channel
A Article on Most Difficult and Challenging Aspects of Learning Mandarin Chinese US Foreign Service Institute Arabic Free Audio Lessons Downloads
Dickinson College's Mixxer Free Skype Language Exchange Community
Quick Translation Firefox Extension to Translate Single Words in 17+ Languages
United Nations Declares 2008 the International Year of Languages nciku Free Online Mandarin Chinese Handwriting Recognition, Conversations, Radical Dictionary Podcast is a Fun and Easy Way to Learn Indonesian Online OpenLearn LearningSpace Open University with Free Courses in Modern Languages Free Skype VoIP and IM Language Partner Community
Download Free Open University Courses from MIT OpenCourseWare Foreign Languages and Literatures Department Distance Learning Free Online Language Courses My Happy Planet Private Social Language-Learning Community
List of Free Foreign Language Courses Online at Arabic Language-Learning Games and Activities Afrikaans Language-Learning Games and Activities
English Language Learning and Teaching Article on Wikipedia
A Torrent File for 500 Free Mandarin Chinese Audio Podcast Lessons from Japlish Podcast of Funny Phrases in English and Japanese Languages Voices en Español Bilingual Blog Voices en Español Conversational Spanish Podcast Download Free Language Software for Learning 42 Languages! Mango Languages Free Online Language Courses, Audio, Web Software I Speak Hindi Website, Podcasts, Dictionary and Resources Language Maker Website on Auxiliary and Constructed Languages Website
Arabic Language Course for Arabic Learners Familiar with Arabic Script Bitesized Languages Improve Your French, Spanish or Portuguese Skills with Daily Emails Live Mocha Social Language Learning Course and Networking Website Free Global Language Exchange Community French Language-Learning Games and Activities Russian Language-Learning Games and Activities

Submitted by: freestyle language
Tue, 01/29/2008 - 00:58

Firefox Language Translation Extensions Logo

I use Firefox for browsing the web. Firefox has so many cool tools - known as "extensions" - for translating words, phrases and whole web pages on the fly with one click.

Free Language has published articles on two of these thus far...

Quick Translation Firefox Extension to Translate Single Words in 17+ Languages
FoxLingo Free Firefox Browser Extension Software for Translating Web Pages

...and there are loads more!

With this quick blog post, I just wanted to point out a pre-defined search for "translation" on the Firefox extension download site. Have a look, try out a few and find one or two that work best for your particular target language(s) and needs. These web browser extensions can be a huge time-save, making your language work online more productive.