Tara

The Japanese Page

4.3 
Price: Free; free trial; premium subscriptions cost between $3/mo - $10/mo

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The Japanese Page is a website with a variety of resources for beginner to intermediate Japanese learners. Each lesson’s explanations will make you feel like you’re quickly moving through the material, and they are often accompanied by exercises, examples, audio files, and comics to diversify your experience.

Beginners can check out the Beginning Japanese Phrases podcast with an accompanying transcript. These two-minute episodes introduce you to a new word in context while encouraging speaking practice. The Nihongo No Tane podcast is for upper beginner and intermediate learners. Becoming a Makoto member gives you access to a transcript of these episodes, plus other benefits, like the monthly e-zine and shadowing exercises to learn everyday Japanese. The interactive e-zine has articles on grammar, kanji, culture, and art — not to mention short stories with audio recorded by native speakers.

Beginners can enjoy an excellent introduction to hiragana, katakana, kanji, and basic grammar. Upper-beginner and intermediate learners can check out stories, dialogues, blog posts, and songs. Although the content does not go as in-depth as other sites, like Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese or Imabi, they provide a helpful and manageable introduction to complex concepts.

Overall, The Japanese Page’s content seems well-thought-out and would be an excellent place for beginners to gain a better understanding of how Japanese is spoken beyond the parameters of your average textbook.

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Online Italian Club

Price: Free, online classes cost £20/half-hour

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Online Italian Club is a free website with grammar, listening, conversation, vocabulary, and reading resources for A1 – C2 Italian learners. It is well organized and even has a checklist to keep track of your progress.

The site’s major advantage is its abundance of exercises for various grammar topics. There are over 200 listening comprehension exercises with multiple-choice questions and full transcripts, not to mention another 30 articles about the history of Rome with accompanying audio, and 60 conversations that gradually increase in difficulty. Some of the dialogues have accompanying conversation prompts so you can have a similar conversation yourself with a language exchange partner or a tutor.

Online Italian club also offers private Italian lessons, but these are about three times more expensive than your average iTalki teacher.

Each CEFR level has a series of lessons with grammar explanations, listening comprehension exercises with multiple-choice questions, and quizzes. All of these activities can be accessed individually as well.

Some of the A1 exercises will be difficult for total beginners, as they are entirely in Italian. Nevertheless, with the Readlang Chrome Extension and the transcript, the immersive environment may be an enjoyable challenge.

Overall, the Online Italian Club is an engaging and high-quality supplement to your Italian studies. You can also check out One World Italiano for more free resources, also that site is a bit unorganized.

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Instituto Camões Portuguese

3.7 
Price: Courses cost between €180 - €320

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The Instituto Camões Portuguese is a website developed by the Portuguese government that offers self-study Portuguese courses for A1 – C1 learners. Each twelve-week course requires about five hours per week of self-study. The self-study modules incorporate reading, listening comprehension, and grammar, while the basic and premium plans add speaking and writing practice (with the support of a weekly or bi-weekly tutor).

The courses appear to follow a natural progression through the levels, although you will probably find it difficult to go from A1 – C1 without a regular tutor. They also offer a beginner course tailored to Spanish speakers, which may accelerate your learning if you already have a strong grasp of Spanish.

Although the courses are significantly more expensive than those in Practice Portuguese, the self-study program is comparable to a monthly membership with Portuguese Lab. The premium option may be helpful for the intensive learner who wants to thoroughly cover the CEFR levels. Alternatively, you could use an italki tutor with the self-study plan. 

We have not tested the course ourselves, but this Reddit post includes the experience of another user.

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marugoto

Price: Free

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Marugoto Japanese Online Course is a free interactive online course that teaches A1 to A2 Japanese learners. The explanations are available in multiple languages, including English, Indonesian, Spanish, Chinese, and French. If you’re unsure of your level, you can take a placement test on the website.

There are two types of self-study courses: one for casual learners (Katsudoo) and one for more intensive learners (Katsudoo and Rikai). Both courses contain dialogues, videos, and speaking and writing activities. Katsudoo and Rikai adds a level of intensity by getting you to read and write short compositions and dive deeper into grammar topics. There is also an option to pay for group classes with a Japanese tutor while following the Marugoto curriculum.

Overall the courses are of considerably high-quality, with lots of opportunities for listening and speaking practice. One of the most impressive features is the way the course quizzes you on vocabulary in context through a variety of dialogues recorded by native speakers. You will not find yourself repeating the same basic sentence structures; instead, you will learn the multiple ways that Japanese is spoken in everyday life. Additionally, some activities allow you to take on the role of one of the characters and speak as if you are part of a dialogue.

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IMABI.NET

Price: Free

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Imabi is a thorough website that teaches Japanese vocabulary and grammar through text-based lessons. There are over 400 lessons that cover beginner to advanced topics, including over 30 lessons that teach classical Japanese.

The website is entirely text-based and should probably not be used as a standalone resource, as there are no audio files and only occasional exercises. However, there are lots of thorough explanations and extensive examples of how to use new concepts in various contexts.

Becoming a member gives you access to four kanji lessons that cover 60 characters. In these lessons, you will receive a basic explanation of the kanji, learn how it is used in a list of words, and differentiate between different readings. It is important to already have a strong grasp of hiragana and katakana before taking on these lessons.

Overall, it is a comprehensive and well-organized reference guide to support your Japanese studies. You can also check out Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese, another free resource for learning Japanese. It has similar text-based explanations, but also some accompanying videos and comics.

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The Cyber University of Korea

4.3 
Price: Free

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The Cyber University of Korea provides four levels of video courses that can be accessed for free on several platforms, including YouTube.

Levels 1 and 2 cover basic communication about everyday activities and how to carry simple conversations around the city. Levels 3 and 4 cover casual conversation. At the end of level 4, the university hopes that students can achieve a 3.5 score on the Korean language proficiency exam (TOPIK).

The videos have live teachers with slide presentations, dialogues, animations, and flashcards. They will quiz you on new concepts, get you to participate in the dialogues, and encourage you to practice pronunciation. New words are provided in different contexts so you know how to use them.

Beginners should start with the Level 1 of “Quick Korean” playlist on YouTube. There are other Level 1 playlists in Japanese, Spanish, and Chinese, but levels 2, 3, and 4 are in Korean with English subtitles.

For some reason, the third and fourth levels don’t contain any animations or images, and they seem slightly less engaging. Nevertheless, these video courses are an excellent substitute for the hundreds of dollars you might pay for a university class with the same content.

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LP's Korean Language Learning

3.3 
Price: Free

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LP’s Korean Language Learning is a free website with grammar explanations, music videos with accompanying translations, YouTube videos, lessons based on the TV show, “Let’s Speak Korean”, and short audio lessons that explain specific grammar points. You can also download a full PDF with all of the grammar explanations on the website.

All Korean words are written in Hangul, so you may want to have a grasp of the alphabet before reading the grammar explanations. You can use the audio lessons without reading, though, although they do not seem very engaging.

The YouTube channel does not have many video lessons, and the ones that are available are basically videos of the narrator explaining different grammar points from the website.

Overall, the site is a bit unorganized, but the grammar explanations are simple and have lots of examples. You can also check out How to Study Korean for over 150 step by step Korean lessons. These lessons are entirely text-based, but they will give you a solid foundation of the Korean language and writing system.

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One World Italiano

3.8 
Price: Free, courses cost between 19€ - 149€

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One World Italiano provides online courses, in-person classes, and free resources to learn Italian. The website includes 61 beginner and intermediate lessons, plus grammar explanations, formal and informal dialogues, dictations, quizzes, and YouTube videos. It’s a bit unorganized but full of useful practice activities. The entire website is in Italian, so total beginners may have difficulty navigating the site without a tool like the Readlang Chrome Extension.

The free lessons include dialogues with audio recordings by native speakers, basic grammar explanations, and links to supplementary vocabulary for the lesson. At the end of each lesson, there is a multiple choice quiz with links to other exercises, dialogues, or grammar explanations. Although the vocabulary lists are just pages of text, there are matching activities for proverbs and idioms.

The paid courses are for elementary, intermediate, and advanced learners. You will want to have a basic level of Italian, as there are no English subtitles or translations. Each lesson in the course alternates between a video, audio recording, PDF transcription, and quiz. Based on the sample lessons, the courses seem to be engaging and of high-quality. Unfortunately, they are a bit pricey. You could probably curate your own free course using similar materials on YouTube, but this may be a good option if you want to move through the material step-by-step.

You can also check out Online Italian Club for a plethora of well-organized Italian activities for all levels.

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Easy Portuguese

1.5 
Price: Free

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Easy Portuguese is a simple website that presents a handful of vocabulary words, phrases, verb conjugations, and grammar explanations. There is no audio pronunciation anywhere on the site, nor are there any activities to promote recall or interaction.

One part of the website that you may find useful is the grammar section, which explains 24 different grammar points. On the other hand, Practice Portuguese‘s free learning notes may be a better option, as they cover all of the same topics and more, with native speaker pronunciation.

Overall, there are lots of other websites that are more effective at supporting your Portuguese studies. Check out Cooljugator for hundreds of Portuguese verb conjugations that include multiple examples of how to use each verb in context. If you just want useful phrases, Lingo Hut provides hundreds of them recorded by native speakers. Lastly, Portuguese Lab and Practice Portuguese provide lots of free and paid resources to support you on the road to fluency.

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Practice Portuguese

4.3 
Price: €15/mo, €153/year

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Practice Portuguese’s website provides podcasts, videos, conjugation exercises, grammar notes, and more for A1 – B2 learners to improve their European Portuguese. It was developed by a Portuguese-Canadian duo, which seems to allow the site to develop from both a native speaker’s and a learner’s perspective. 

Full transcripts are only available through the members-only course, which includes over 100 units that continually adapt themselves to your current level. However, there are lots of free videos, podcast episodes, and learning notes for your enjoyment. The learning notes use audio recorded by native speakers to pronounce new vocabulary words, which appear as buttons with an English translation beneath them.

For listening comprehension, there are audio recordings with time-stamped transcripts, a vocabulary list, and a quiz. You can listen to the recordings at 0.5x – 2x speed and click on the transcript to skip to different parts of the recording. There is also the option to download the MP3 or PDF transcript.

Overall, Practice Portuguese seems most effective at improving your listening comprehension, and if you engage with the dialogues, it will probably improve your speaking abilities, too. There is no free trial, but you can try Practice Portuguese with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Portuguese Lab is a similar, equally high-quality option with a free trial, but it is twice the cost of Practice Portuguese.

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