To learn a new language, travelers often turn to time-tested solutions like Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur or actual classes with native speakers. Yet a number of new, creative and often more affordable tools are aiming to help you rattle off “table for two” and “how much does this cost?” in no time.
Will they get you through the most complex grammar? Not necessarily. But beginners are likely to appreciate these fresh approaches — especially if you’ve had difficulty sticking with traditional language-learning programs.Chineasy: Duolingo: Lingua.ly:
Let’s say you’re using the desktop version. When you encounter a word you don’t know, double-click on it. The site provided an audible pronunciation, and the word was added to a master vocabulary list that could be studied later. In April, Lingua.ly introduced an Android app and plans to introduce an iOS app in the fall. Information: lingua.ly.Mango Premiere:
Introduced last year, Mango Premiere includes films such as the Japanese Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge and the Mandarin movie Kung Fu Dunk. You can watch an entire film with subtitles in English, the language you’re learning, or both. Alternatively, you can watch the movie in “engage” mode, which gives plot highlights, words you might hear and cultural notes before each scene. Then you watch the scene with whatever subtitle option you like.
An optional color-coding feature matches words in the English subtitle with the corresponding words in the foreign language subtitle. If you pause the movie, you can hover over the foreign words with your mouse to get phonetic spellings and then click for an audio pronunciation. Information: mangolanguages.com/mango-premiere.