Providing useful resources for learning languages, travelling and whatever else I find useful and would like to share with the world. Right now, I have resources for Danish, German, Icelandic, Japanese, Norwegian, and Swedish at the moment. I will provide more languages as I either get to learning them or by request.
It took a lot of research to find many of these resources but there are a quite a few that I accidentally stumbled upon that I bookmarked for later. The reason why I added Scandinavian languages first with German and Japanese was that many of the resources out there are actually quite difficult to find and I know that there are several people who want to learn these languages too. It also helps me locate what I need when I am learning my languages.
Think of this as a place to help you set up an immersion environment for the language that you are learning. I don’t know about you but I would rather have some fun while during the learning process? Wouldn’t you too? Before we proceed further let me ask you one simply question: What are your hobbies? Now you may be wondering why I am asking you about your hobbies. Isn’t that one of those questions you have to answer when you are in a language course? I am asking you this because I want you right now to write down all your hobbies and then translate them to the language your learning.
Do NOT use Google Translate or any other online translator. Use a dictionary or use search for “how do I say…..in (insert language you are learning here)” into Google to see if you find results.
Motivation For Learning Languages
Need some sort of motivational pep talk? Read the following articles and videos! They may be just what you needed to keep you motivated in learning your new language!
Why you should keep listening even if you don’t understand
Be a lazy language learner
Effective Language Learning: Just listen and read!
Language is music
Learning the Lingo
Do you need to live abroad to learn a language?
Choosing an accent
How and why polyglots do not confuse languages
Ten Amazing Reasons Why You Should Learn A Foreign Language
Thinking in a Foreign Language: How To Do It And Why
Have you found any of the following in your target language yet?
Subscribe to a podcast that in a category that interests you and then download it to your iPod, MP3 player or Smartphone and listen often and while you are doing other tasks that do not require your complete attention (ex: cooking, jogging, doing chores around the house, etc). This is also ideal to fill your “dead” time when you are forced to wait (for whatever reason) and train your listening ability in the language while still making it enjoyable.
(Ex: Music Videos or Lyric Videos on Youtube, audio with lyrics, CDs, or Google which songs are popular in the language that you are learning.)
Switch the country on Youtube
to one that speaks the language you’re learning to see what is popular and going viral in that country (assuming it’s available). Then switch the language to the target language as well.
Movies and TV Shows/Dramas
Sometimes you can find full-length movies in your target language on YouTube with a bit of searching around. Otherwise see if you can find it elsewhere like Veoh, Hulu, Daily Motion, Vimeo, etc. Or ask for recommendations on forums, from your tutor (if you have one), native speaking friends, etc. (Investing in a region-free DVD player may also be a good idea too.)
This may not work for all languages but if you are learning a language that does, you should definitely take advantage of it. (Note: You will have to purchase a localised version the gaming system too so that way you can play the game in your target language. Bonus points if the game has spoken dialogue with text accompanying it. (Think: Heavy Rain, Kingdom Hearts ([The Playstation versions not the one for Gameboy Advance.])
Books, Comics, Magazines, and Newspapers
Do you like to read? Try finding books that interest you or translations of your favourite books, comics, magazines, etc in the target language. If you like reading about the news then try reading a newspaper. (Reading the newspaper might be better if you have a good grounding in the target language, otherwise, you will be looking up so many words and will not understand a lot.)
Blogs, News (online), Forums and websites that interest YOU in the target language
This should keep you motivated if interests you, right? Like I said before translate and then Google your hobbies and interests to find them.
I would highly recommend that you download and take advantage of this! Especially if you can do practise face-to-face with a native speaker or if you don’t want to show your face, you can opt for voice only. This is especially idyllic for those who don’t have native speakers living in their area.
Where can I find native speakers online?
There are so many places where you can find natives of the language you are learning and chances are that they are probably (not always, it depends on the language) looking to learn your native language too. I know that a popular choice is italki. I’ve been using italki since April 2013 as a Community Tutor for English, Danish, and Swedish and participated in the italki language challenge in January of 2014. I would highly recommend italki as a means of practising your speaking and writing skills. **Note: As of 25 August 2016, I no longer teach on italki but I still use the website for learning my target languages.**
Another place is a more like a social network where you write blog entries in the target language and native speakers will correct your entry and in return you can help correct entries in your native language. I am talking about Lang 8. I have used Lang 8 since 2008 and I have to say that it is a great resource to have so that you can see where you are making your mistakes at and how many you are making. Now not all languages tend to be popular on here so make sure that there are native speakers of the language you are learning on here before you start writing entries. I have also used this to bring native speaker to Skype so that way I could practise my target language and they could practise my native language in return.