Reviews

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Hochdeutsch Students, This Could Blow Your Mind!

5 German, Audio Lessons

Pimsleur, part of Simon & Schuster, offers 10 excellent roughly half-hour audio lessons for Swiss German, and I did all 10 of them in 24 hours. I absolutely do not recommend this approach—you are supposed to do one per day—but I…

Digital Dialects: Some Cute and Actually Useful Games, in Many Languages

4 Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Multimedia, Tests, Vocabulary, Websites, Kids

The Digital Dialects website is an unexpected online pleasure full of free language games for 60 languages, from popular ones such as French and German to less widely studied ones such as Zazaki (spoken primarily in eastern Turkey) and Oromo (which…

Free Quizzes on the Transparent Language Website

Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Yiddish, Tests, Websites

I like free online quizzes and tests, but they aren’t really worth anything unless they’re good.  At least some of these from language-learning company Transparent Language seem pretty good! And plentiful: they are available for more languages…

Transparent Language Online: Try It for Free!

3-5 Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Yiddish, Multimedia, Websites

Nashua, N.H.-based Transparent Language offers a free seven-day trial of its Transparent Language Online products.  When I say “products,” I really mean plural: during the trial you can try out any and all languages they have, and…

Multilingual Motivation

4 French, General, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Vocabulary

Can’t commit to a single language? Go for five at a time, then, with this daily tweet translating an English word into five languages: Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, and German. Today’s word was “train.”  Portuguese:

Schoenhof's Website Is a Window to the World

5 Arabic, Dutch, English, French, General, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Yiddish, Websites, Bookstores/Libraries, Kids

Founded in 1856, Schoenhof’s claims to have the “largest collection of foreign books in North America.” As a student at Harvard, I used to shop at their main store in Harvard Square for my language and literature course materials. I…

Pimsleur German Unlimited on the Bookstore Shelves

5 German, Audio Lessons, Multimedia

Pimsleur offers highly interactive German audio lessons, roughly half an hour each, that give users way more opportunities to practice their oral skills than they would be likely to have in even the smallest of conversation classes. I love Pimsleur…

Home of the Goethe-Institut

5 German, Tests, Bookstores/Libraries, Museums/Cultural, Classes/Conversation

The mission of the Goethe-Institut is to “promote the study of German abroad and encourage international cultural exchange,” as well as “foster knowledge about Germany by providing information on its culture, society and politics.” There are events, exchange programs, classes,…

German Grammar Drills: Not the Most Grammar Fun I've Ever Had

3 German, Books

German Grammar Drills by Ed Swick does indeed provide the drills that its title promises, but the exercises could be better at developing skills and encouraging retention. There is just too much mindless repetition. For example,…