By now, you know how to pronounce words, and you've gotten started learning new words. But you probably don't feel like you know anything really useful yet, and that's not fun. So let's change that.

Get your money's worth


After you decide to learn a new language, it's hard to know where to start. Classes and tutors can be expensive and inconvenient. Many books can be frustrating. And software solutions tend to be extremely expensive!

I like to spend as little as possible on learning materials. In most cases, you can find something just as good for free on the internet. This is particularly true in the case of dictionaries.

Language dictionaries tend to be big, cumbersome books with everything printed twice — once in English to the foreign language, and then once translating back to English. Moreover, they require that you know how to spell the word you're looking for, which is often not the case when you're learning a new language. Basically, dictionaries are junk.

Computers are better


Perhaps the best tool in my language learning arsenal is WordReference.com. Here I can look up words in several different languages and convert them back and forth. If I misspell something, I get suggestions to help me find the word I was looking for, but that doesn't happen often thanks to the autosuggest as I type. Even more, there are helpful forums in all the languages, where you can ask questions about word usage and more!

I have shortcuts to WordReference on every computer I own, and a WordReference window always open on my iPhone. It's possible that I use this magnificent web site more than I use Google. I'm quite certain that you'll find it handy too.

Have you found any other useful web sites for the language you are learning? Leave a comment and share them with everyone else!

 

 

comments powered by Disqus