speaking

Italki


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  • Review


    Italki covers an amazing portion of the needs of any language learner. Written practice with native corrections? You’ve got it. Doubts about grammar? Ask away. Making native friends? Absolutely. Language specific blogs? More than you can count.

    However, what truly makes Italki so amazing is its tutor and teacher directory (in which you can also find yours truly). Outside the Internet, coming across a tutor whose prices and schedule match yours is actually really hard work: the whole process can actually be rather demotivating. That’s where Italki comes in: with tutors and teachers for over 67 languages located all over the world, with tariffs for everyone and classes from 30 minutes to two hours, you will definitely find that tutor you’ve been looking for!

    Go to site

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Ninchanese


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  • Review


    Having started in 2015, Ninchanese is a recent entry to the language learning course world, but one that promises great things for Mandarin learners of all levels. Their gamified approach to learning Mandarin is quite different to the classical standards according to which Chinese is usually learnt: in Ninchanese, a whole level of Chinese aptitude is structured as in an RPG adventure. In order to advance, you clear mini-missions one by one, collecting vocabulary and testing your abilities in each of these sections, and, ultimately “becoming a dragon”. The story is amusing, and its characters and world simple but attractive and well designed. As if it wasn’t enough, Ninchanese also features a separate “Challenge” section through which you can challenge any other member (random, or from your friend list) of the Ninchanese community to a knowledge test; whomever knows more Chinese characters wins.

    I was lucky enough to interview Ninchanese’s co-founder, Sarah Aberman, on the ocassion of a crowdfunding event Ninchanese held in June 2015, and I got some very interesting replies as to why Ninchanese is a necessary new approach to learning Chinese.

    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!

    Go to site

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