There are so many resources out there that you can pay for to learn a new language. With the internet, there are so many great resources for language learning for beginners (even to advance) you’ll ask yourself why pay all that money for a copy of Rosetta Stone? I found two great free sites to help you learn that language and have the resources to practice it with free peer review included. The sites are Livemocha and Busuu.com

Both Livemocha and Busuu.com have free accounts you can sign up for. Each gives you lessons with a vocab review, a writing exercise, an audio exercise, and a chance to have the exercises graded by native speakers (you as a native speaker of a language have the ability to grade others as well) and to chat with native speakers to practice your new found language skills. Both have paid subscriptions where you can have access to more contention and more advanced lessons. Here are some of the differences between the two services:

Livemocha:

Pros:

  • At free level ,able to download vocab lists from the site
  • More languages are available to you to learn at free level (like Arabic and Hindi)
  • Have more flashcards to review and fill in the black word exercises at free level to help you retain vocab and helps you with writing and audio exercises

Cons:

  • The vocab is not conversational in nature (you say things like I am fat, and I am thin)

Busuu.com:

Pros:

  • Vocab is conversational in nature. You learn things like hello, how are you. Welcome. Good day. What is your name?
  • To help with comprehension and vocab review, you are quizzed on a conversation a few people are having in that language. It is spoken at the normal pace and with the vocab you learned.

Cons:

  • Free subscription limits you to only a few languages.
  • To download vocab and print it (like  flashcard review), you need the paid service (also get podcasts with paid service)
  • There is not enough vocab review exercises to prep you for the written and audio exercises. I felt that I retained little when I went into the written exercises and audio exercises.

Both are great tools, it just depends on what you want to learn and how you learn. I would sign up for both and give them a try and see how you like the service. You can use both as well to supplement each other. Good luck!

Livemocha: http://www.livemocha.com
Busuu.com: http://www.busuu.com

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