reading

Readlang


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  • Review


    Readlang is an incredibly useful resource to find written and audiovidual materials in more than fifty languages. Its users upload all sorts of contents (be it text or captioned video) that can be reviewed on the go. The beauty of the system is that any morsel of text, word or full expression, can be tapped or clicked to reveal its translation, which automatically becomes a flashcard that can be handled in any number of ways: edited, formatted, exported for Anki… it’s a truly valuable tool for learners of all languages, at any level.

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Lawless French


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  • Review


    In spite of the rather awe-striking name, Lawless French is just Laura K. Lawless’ brainchild, as well as an amazing resource for French learners of all levels. Being that French is my eternal épine dans le pied (look that one up!), I’m always up for finding well organized learning resources. Alors voilà! Lawless French is built with such care and intent that I actually spent quite a while there the first time I visited, taking notes, nodding like a dummy and saying ‘Ouah, je n’en savais pas!’ (Wow, I didn’t know that!). I sincerely hope it’s as useful to you as it was to me!

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Lingvist.io


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  • Review


    Lingvist.io has an interesting foundation story, where (in short) Mait Müntel, one of its co-founders, had to develop a solution of his own for learning French. The meat and potatoes of Lingvist is “Memorize”, a Spaced Repetition based system where you learn words in context, and get them read back to you once you get the answer right. This obviously means that at first you’re going to have (almost) no idea of what’s being asked of you, but this approach is similar to how we learn new words in the real world, so it’s actually a very good idea. It also has a Reading and Listening section with an amazingly large collection of texts and audio (with scripts) that you can use to reaffirm what you’ve learned in the Memorize section. Currently, you can learn French and English from Estonian, English, French and Russian. They’ve also released apps for both iOS and Android.

    I used during my 2015 French language mission, and out of all the resources I used this gave me the highest vocabulary retention rate, without a doubt. I highly recommend it, even while it is in beta phase, but it is worth mentioning that once the beta is over, Lingvist.io may stop being free, although no price chart has been mentioned yet.

    Go to site Currently in beta

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Nihongo e-na


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  • Review


    Nihongo e-na is the largest online collection of links to sites dedicated to learning Japanese. “E-na” actually means “nice!” (as in “niiiice, dude”) in Kansai dialect, which tells you a thing or two about where they want to take things with this website.

    You can find these sites by the following categories: Reading, Writing, Hearing Comprehension, Speaking, Grammar, Vocabulary, Kana, Kanji, Tools, Dictionaries, Culture, Society, and Others. They recently also launched iOS and Android optimized websites, too!

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Issuu


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  • Review


    Issuu is a website and app that offers reading material in a plethora of languages. It’s a rarity in that it is a free (or if you want a premium account, extremely cheap) way to read all sorts of contents in your target language. As long as there’s someone publishing in the language you want to read, you’ll find something interesting; even if you’re a beginner and feel a bit intimidated by the task of reading, in Issuu’s archives you’ll find simpler practice material, such as informational brochures, short stories, and more.

    You can read my long review of Issuu by clicking here.

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Simple English Wikipedia


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    Stop the presses! It seems the English language Wikipedia is not the only version of Wiki in English!

    The Simple English Wikipedia is a version of Wikipedia which is edited using a limited vocabulary of 850 basic and popular English words, with (usually) shorter sentences and a few modifications to the grammar that make it more regular and friendly to a non-native speaker. Although this is not its only one, one of this Wiki’s main goals is to make the same information there is in the regular caffeinated version of Wiki available to younger children or people who might have just started learning this language. It is a pretty good halfway step if you find yourself intimidated by the sea of information that exists in the English version.

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