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Free Online Language Lessons

Original post made by Sanford Forte, Evergreen Park, on Nov 7, 2007

Here's a new service called Mango
Web Link

In light of the interest in foreign language instruction - and realizing there is no substitute for in person instruction - here's a new free service that offers foroeihn language instruction.

Mandarin, Russian, Italisn - and even Pig Latin are some of the offerings. I tried it; it's fun, and an easy way to introduce yourself or a child to the wonders of language, and an introduction to other cultures.

Here's the wonderful BBC foreign language instruction website
Web Link

Finally, a very interesting website that aggregates free foreign language instruction for many common, and not-so-common languages...
Web Link

Comments (7)

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Posted by natasha
a resident of Meadow Park
on Nov 7, 2007 at 7:09 pm

BBC program rocks! I have already learned to say hello, goodbye and where do you want to go in Spanish. Sadly, no Russian program to practice. I'll try Mango for that one. This is very entertaining and educational.

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Posted by Terry
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2007 at 7:53 pm

And at our very own PA Library, you can get FREE access to Rosetta Stone, which I believe is one of the leading online language offerings in the world, and I am told they hawk for $200 or so down at the mall. Here's the link: Web Link

Have your library card handy, you need to supply the number.

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Posted by Language Lover
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 8, 2007 at 12:05 am


Thank you so much for these valuable links.
It is so much fun when a parent and a child can learn a new language together at home, and then later find friends in our diverse community to practice using it.

No lottery, no rigorous demands by foreign language teachers.
If my child likes it, great, if not, we can always try another.

There are many positives to this, and it is truly cost neutral.

Terry, thanks for the info about Rosetta Stone. I have heard that it is an excellent program. I think I will try a few out to make sure we have the language we want, before making the commitment to purchase one.

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Posted by A.L.
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 12, 2007 at 3:55 pm

Thanks Sanford! Where did you find these? Happen to know a similar resource for practicing Swiss-German?

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Posted by Sanford Forte
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 12, 2007 at 4:15 pm

A.AL. - thanks :)

try this - it's in beta
Web Link

Here's a paid resource
Web Link

Some local public libraries *may* have Pimsleur subscriptions

Palo Alto subscribes to Rosetta Stone, but others mnay subscribe to Pimsleur.

Also, you can often find Pimsleur modules on eBay at reasonable rates

here's another link
Web Link

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Posted by logical
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2007 at 9:08 pm

Rosetta's vs Pimsleur. I've used them both, and both are excellent and will captivate your attention. What works best, well, it's what works best with your personality/time commitments. Rosetta's takes time commitment - time from your usual routine. Pimsleur can be used in waste time that you have no control over. Commute time. You will only learn to speak with Pimsleur, not read or write, but that can come later, and is easier once you can speak a bit.

This worked for me, maybe for you too. Learn to speak with Pimsleur during waste time, then follow up with Rosetta's or another program that will take a time commitment.

That's the approach I used, and with it I picked up enough Tiếng Việt to be "functional" after only 3 months of study.

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Posted by ML
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2007 at 11:30 am is a free site for languages. It is a great combination of Rosetta Stone type lessons and social networking connections for language practice. You can practice and chat with tutors, native speakers and other learners. It's fun because you make friends from all over the world!

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