Nick

Rocket Languages vs Rosetta Stone – Probably Neither

Rocket Languages and Rosetta Stone are widely-used language learning resources that teach a number of languages. They start with the basics and work up in difficulty, though a variety of speaking, listening, and grammar activities.

Both tools use different teaching methods to cover a lot of material. The key difference between the resources is:

  • Rocket Languages includes lots of English and explanations whereas Rosetta Stone only uses the target language.

Both are fairly expensive, neither is really outstanding, and both tend to get boring quicker than other courses.

If I had to choose one, it’d probably be Rocket Languages, though some of their courses are worse than others, so for some cases, Rosetta Stone might be better.

Generally speaking, I’d recommend language learners to check some of the alternatives out there, as many are better and cheaper.

We’ve outlined some of our favorite language learning resources based on the language you want to learn in the table below. (more…)

Online Vietnamese Courses: The Best (And Worst) For 2020

If you’re getting ready to learn Vietnamese, this is the list you need. Whether you’re planning a trip or need to converse with colleagues, learning everything from basic vocabulary to how to read and write will be crucial.

Here, we’re breaking down which Vietnamese courses are excellent resources—and which ones we don’t exactly recommend.

We’ll start with our top-tier picks—the best of the best—that are our go-to resources for anyone learning Vietnamese. Then, we’ll cover the second-tier options, the courses that are still strong resources but don’t offer the full package.

And finally, we’ll take a look at the third tier, which are the courses you’ll likely want to avoid.

Let’s get started with the top-tier options for learning Vietnamese. (more…)

Coronavirus Discounts On Language Learning Resources

 

I think we can all agree on one thing.

Screw COVID-19.

Anyway, several language learning companies are putting their courses on sale right now, so I figured it’d be helpful if I compiled a list of them here.

 

Italy Made Easy

Languages: Italian

Manu of Italy Made Easy has made some exceptionally good Italian courses (review). He never does sales or discounts, not even for Black Friday, but decided to do so now to make the courses more accessible.

Free Italian Pronunciation Course – Get 100% off with the coupon code ‘INSIEME-1’

Any From Zero to Italian Course (Beginner 1, Beginner 2, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2) – Get $50 off with the coupon code ‘INSIEME-2’

Payment Plans (only available for VIP versions of courses) – They cover the ~$10 they’re charged for each payment they process. Coupon to pay over 3 months is ‘INSIEME-3’ and over 6 months is ‘INSIEME-4’.

Visit Italy Made Easy

 

Hacking Chinese and Unlocking Chinese

Language: Mandarin Chinese

These two courses were created by Olle Linge of the incredibly helpful blog, Hacking Chinese. He has a ton of knowledge and experience teaching Chinese which comes through in these courses.

Hacking Chinese: A Practical Guide to Learning Mandarin focuses on general strategies for learning, including how to improve your pronunciation, review characters and plan your studies. It’s for all learners, but beginners should start with Unlocking Chinese.

Unlocking Chinese: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners gives you a solid foundation in all areas of learning Mandarin, including how to learn, which tools to use and how to plan your studies. This course is created for beginners.

Both courses are 50% off.

Visit the Hacking Chinese Course

Visit Unlocking Chinese Course

 

Babbel

Languages: Dutch, Danish, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Spanish and Turkish.

Babbel (review) is an insanely popular language learning app available in several languages. It’s not the most unique or exciting app, but the courses are structured well with a variety of practice exercises. It teaches relevant vocabulary, conversations, and does a good job with grammar.

They’re offering 60% off a 24-month subscription.

Visit Babbel

Do you have a child at home?

We tend to not write a lot about language learning resources for kids because nobody on our team has children. Nevertheless, I came across a couple of really interesting offers for anyone who has some restless young ones running around.

Babbel is available free for three months for students (US only). Their courses are pretty solid (review) and this is super cool of them.

Visit Babbel

Rosetta Stone is also offering three months of free access to their courses for students. Although I’m not a huge of their courses (review), this is a pretty awesome to do.

Visit Rosetta Stone

7 Best Podcasts to Learn Tagalog (Filipino)

Looking to learn the Filipino language? If so, you’ve probably come upon two different languages spoken in the Philippines — Filipino and Tagalog. What’s the difference?

Well, not much. In fact, there’s so little difference that many speakers use the terms interchangeably. While, yes, Filipino borrows some letters from other languages, as well as a few sounds and words from other languages, otherwise, Tagalog and Filipino are pretty much the same. You can’t differentiate between the two the way you would other languages like Spanish and English. So, if you’re worried about learning one or the other, don’t be. They’re basically the same thing.

As you begin your Filipino language-learning journey, one resource we can’t recommend highly enough is online podcasts. Podcasts are easily accessible, often free and touch on a variety of subjects and language skills. They’re an excellent complement to any Filipino or Tagalog language-learning course.

Not sure which Filipino or Tagalog podcasts to start with? Check out these seven options. (more…)

Transparent Language vs Rosetta Stone – Both Are Lacking

Transparent Language and Rosetta Stone are two fairly popular online language learning resources. They offer courses to get beginners engaged in the language they’re learning in a matter of weeks, starting with the basics and progressively getting more challenging. They utilize a variety of different exercises for reading, writing and speaking practice.

For most learners, we wouldn’t recommend using either of these programs as there are much better alternatives available. The main differences between the two include the following:

  • Rosetta Stone only uses your target language while the lessons on Transparent language also include English.
  • Transparent Language offers courses in over 100 languages, including rare languages like Buriat, Kazakh or Turkmen. Rosetta Stone offers fewer, though still covers most popular languages.

Both programs are priced more expensively than competing (and better) resources. They’re both lacking in a number of areas, but if I had to choose one, it’d be Rosetta Stone. The only reason I’d ever consider using Transparent Language is if I were learning a very rare language, but even then, I’d probably look for a textbook first.

To find our top recommendations of language learning resources for some of the most studied languages, see the table below.

(more…)

Speechling Review – I Didn’t Know I Was Saying That Wrong!

Quick Review

4.3 

Summary:

Speechling is a website and app that makes it easy to improve your speaking skills in several languages. The free version is an incredbily valuable resource that makes it easy to practice mimicking native speakers. The Unlimited Plan provides unlimited corrections of your recordings by a teacher.

Quality

Speachling makes it easy to improve your speaking rhythm and pronunciation.

Thoroughness

Lots of different ways to practice speaking.

Value

The free version is better than most paid resources and the paid version provides outstanding value.

Price

The Forever Free Plan is complete free. A monthly subscription to the Unlimited Plan costs $19.99 per month.

Use the promo code “ALR123”” to save 10% on Speechling’s Unlimited Plan.

Languages: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, and Japanese

(more…)

Best Chinese Grammar Book for Beginner and Intermediate Students

In this article, we’re going to look at four of the most recommended Chinese grammar books for beginner and intermediate students.

* Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide (My top choice.)

* Schaum’s Outline of Chinese Grammar
* Basic Chinese: A Grammar and Workbook
* Chinese Grammar Wiki

Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar (MMCG)

MMCG is excellent but not necessarily the best option for everyone. It’s divided into two sections: ‘Structures’ and ‘Situations and functions.’

Structures

The first half of MMCG resembles a traditional grammar book. This is best used to reference various questions you have about grammar usage. For example, if you’re forgetting how to use the passive voice – this is where you would find explanations. It has a lot of breadth but is a bit too short on examples. It starts at the beginning with pinyin and covers lots of topics that beginner and intermediate students would need to learn. The material will probably be too simple for those who have moved past the intermediate level. Although, many people who study independently may neglect grammar a bit too much. So for those, even with a higher level of spoken Chinese, it may still be a suitable book. (more…)

Hiring – YouTube

All Language Resources is looking for someone to take over our YouTube Channel. Mateo, who was previously creating the videos, has had some things come up in life and isn’t available to continue. The videos would primarily be reviews of language learning resources. Our aim is to provide detailed and unbiased information to make it easier for language learners to figure out which resources are worth using.

Job Responsibilities

  • Test out language learning resources
  • Collaborate with blog writer (who also tested the resource), including filling out notes ahead of time and a Skype call to discuss the resource in question
  • Recording and editing videos so that they are not only informative but also entertaining
  • Uploading videos and other misc. tasks
  • Be available ~10 hours per week.

The ideal candidate would be…

  • Passionate about language learning. Ideally, you’d have reached a high-level in multiple languages, with self-study playing an important role.
  • Knowledgable about the landscape of language learning resources and have tried multiple apps, courses, podcasts, etc.
  • Amazing at creating videos and preferably have some sample videos to show.

If you’re interested, please email nick@alllanguageresources.com with the subject ‘YouTube Channel’. Please also include some info about yourself, links to any videos you’ve created elsewhere, and mentions some language-learning resources you like/dislike and why. Also, please include your salary expectation based on ten hours per week.

 

HelloTalk vs Tandem: Our Experience Testing Both Of Them

HelloTalk and Tandem are popular resources for language learners interested in language exchange. They have millions of users between them and use built-in language tools to facilitate communication between native speakers and those learning their language around the world.

Both HelloTalk and Tandem are similar in the experience you’ll gain from them, but they do have their differences, such as:

  • Aside from language exchange, Tandem offers a separate tutoring service, while HelloTalk offers audio lessons in 10 languages.
  • HelloTalk allows users to post life updates and use the app as an all-round social platform, whereas Tandem focuses more closely on its private messaging function.
  • While Tandem has a slick, modern feel to its design, HelloTalk is more cartoony and emoji-heavy.

Both resources are flexible and free to use (although both offer subscriptions for pro versions and additional services). It’s hard to recommend one over the other, and in our case, Tandem comes in slightly higher than HelloTalk, simply for aesthetic purposes. We also had better luck in finding partners on Tandem, but that’s subjective to each individual user.

HelloTalk and Tandem are great choices for people looking to learn a language through language exchange. They make good complementary resources to use alongside a structured language-learning course. You can check out our favorite resources based on the language you want to learn in the table below. (more…)

Busuu vs Memrise: One’s A Course & The Other A Flashcard App

Busuu and Memrise are popular language learning tools available online and on mobile. They teach languages in fundamentally different ways, but both can be useful for (primarily) beginner level students.

  • Busuu teaches languages in a more well-rounded manner, covering different language skills such as grammar, listening, speaking, writing, etc.
  • Memrise is more of a supplementary resource that’s better suited for learning and reviewing vocabulary rather than learning all aspects of a language.

Both Busuu and Memrise have paid plans as well as some community created features that can be used for free. The free content on Memrise is much more robust compared to the limited language exchange aspects that are free on Busuu.

As they do fundamentally different things, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend one over the other.

But, as Busuu is more of a language course than anything else, there are other platforms that provide higher quality courses. There aren’t as many direct competitors to Memrise and Memrise compares favorably to the alternatives. You can also find more language learning apps here.

You can find our most recommended resources for some of the most popular languages from the table below. (more…)