Why You Should Learn a Second Language

Four lesser-known tools for language learning

Language can be learned in hundreds of different ways. To help you navigate the countless methods out there, today we will explore four lesser-known but great websites and apps that can help you learn foreign languages efficiently. 

Someone attempting to learn a foreign language faces the daunting task of choosing a method or resource to use. Thousands of books, courses, apps, podcasts, and websites exist on the market, which makes deciding among them nearly impossible. 

Even if you do commit to a particular resource, sticking to the program often becomes unmanageable as difficulty increases. The result? You end up repeating the same few lessons over and over or switching between programs without making any progress. 

In the end, you lose time and money. 

I was stuck in this exact cycle when trying to learn French, so I’m determined to help others find a program that works. That’s why today, I’m sharing four affordable resources to learn new languages in fun and effective ways. If taken seriously, these methods are guaranteed to yield results without draining your pocket. Here are the best tools to learn a foreign language. 

#1 Spotify 

Everyone thinks of Spotify as a music streaming service, but not everyone knows that it’s also an excellent tool for learning languages. In addition to thousands of songs, there’s also a ton of language material available. Language podcasts, courses, playlists, and albums can be found on Spotify that will improve your listening comprehension in no time. 

To try, just download the Spotify app to your phone and search for relevant content. I guarantee that you will be surprised how much material is there. 

You can access Spotify content for free (you will have to listen to some ads), or you can buy Spotify Premium to enjoy non-stop content at an affordable price.

An additional advantage of this method is that you can learn while doing other activities. Whether you’re running, taking a walk, cleaning the house, commuting, or on-the-go, you don’t have to press pause on your language learning. 

#2 Repeto 

Repeto is a language-learning website that uses stimulating dialogues and short stories to help you learn several languages (English, French, Italian, German, Polish and Russian). The best part? You remain totally captivated the whole time. 

I really like the idea of the website. You learn by listening to and reading interesting content and doing engaging vocabulary exercises. The site even offers a neat feature where you can click any sentence and hear the correct pronunciation. 

The way this site works is a little difficult to explain, but if you take a look, you’ll be immediately struck by the program’s brilliance. Check out some simple dialogues in English to see what I mean. 

Not only is the design of this site perfect for language acquisition, but it’s also affordable. You can access the first 10 lessons for free, and if you’d like to continue learning, it only costs $4.99 per month. 

#3 Anki 

Do you know the biggest problem with learning a foreign language? Remembering new vocabulary. Imagine if you could easily retain every word you came across—no studying required. You would be a polyglot in no time! 

Unfortunately, our brains seem to be very good at forgetting things, which makes information retention a constant battle. 

This is precisely where an app called Anki can help. Anki—which is available as both a mobile app and a webpage—is a so-called “spaced repetition” program.

It allows the user to create easy-to-use flashcards to practice switching words and sentences between native and target languages. 

The learning process on Anki is also optimised. In other words, if you remember something well, it is displayed less frequently. If you don’t remember something, you see it more frequently. 

One thing to bear in mind when using Anki is not to overwhelm yourself with new vocabulary. If you create too many flashcards in one day, you’ll likely have a hard time keeping up. 

Just do your normal language learning routine, and when you come across an interesting phrase, note it down. At the end of the day, choose the best 3-5 phrases, make flashcards, and use Anki to practice them during a separate daily learning session. 

Using Anki as an aid to your main method yields, in my opinion, the best results. Not only will it enhance the learning process, but it will also help you to remember vocabulary faster. Give it a go! 

#4 Rhinospike 

Not every language is phonetic, which means that when we read foreign words, it’s often difficult to figure out how to pronounce them. However, acquiring both vocabulary and pronunciation skills speeds up the learning process, improves listening comprehension, and enhances speaking ability. 

But what happens if you have a text without an audio file? That’s where Rhinospike.com comes in. 

Rhinospike is a community-driven website with thousands of language enthusiasts across the globe. Just put your text on the site, and one or more native speakers record the audio for you. The quality of the recordings may differ, but they’re all unusually decent. You can download the audio file and listen to correct pronunciation as many times as you wish. 

Rhinospike gives you the first few files for free, but later you need to pay a small fee. However, this fee can be avoided if you help other people by making recordings in your native tongue.

This website is undoubtedly a great idea. It helps people with language learning and creates a community of vibrant learners. What more could you want from a language-learning site? 

That’s all for today. I hope that my article has given you some valuable resources to use for your next language. Please let me know in the comments below what resources you use and can recommend.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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