Berber (Tamazight) Archives -

Berber (Tamazight)

Tatoeba Mini-Review: A Community Writing Sentences in Context

Tatoeba

Rating 3.3
Price:

Free

Summary

Tatoeba is a sentence-focused reference dictionary, not word focused. Therefore, by searching for a word in any language, you are searching for examples of that word in context. The site is community-driven, but you don’t have to be multilingual to contribute to the site — it needs native-speaking writers to expand the example database and proofread user sentences. All of the translations are interconnected: even if there is technically no direct translation from Zulu to Chinese, an English translation for the same sentences in both languages will provide direct translations between them. Although Tatoeba supports about 388 languages, about 200 of these languages have less than 100 sentences, and about 58 have less than 10. Nevertheless, the database is continuously growing, and with more community members, the less common languages may have a chance to develop further. It is prohibited to use a translation tool or copyrighted sentences to contribute to the translation database. Unfortunately, some contributors write in a language in which they are not proficiently fluent. As a result, the site has grammatical mistakes and sentences that don’t sound natural. You may have to do some digging to figure out if the contributor is a native speaker or not. Because of the potential user errors on the site, you may want to check out WordReference, Pleco, SpanishDict, Kanji Study , and Linguee to find words in context for more commonly studied languages.

Anki Mini-Review: The Go-To SRS Flashcard App

Anki

Rating 4.1
Price:

Free

Summary

It is the go-to app for free (except on iOS) Spaced Repetition System (SRS) flashcards. It has a simple user interface with various features that more hard-core users can dive into if they choose. Your flashcards will appear according to your natural forgetting curve; the app will test you in increasingly spaced out intervals, with more difficult cards appearing more than once in a session, while easier cards spacing out over weeks — or even months and years. An SRS system is the most effective way to drive information into your long-term memory. The cards can sync between the web, desktop app, and mobile versions to keep your flashcards updated and with you at all times. You can add images and audio clips to your cards and change the text formatting (if you use it on your computer). One feature unique to Anki, as opposed to other SRS flashcard apps, is the “Cloze deletion” function, which allows you to block out parts of your card and create a “fill-in-the-blanks” type card format. If you want a resource for how to make effective flashcards, check out the book, FluentForever. The author leaves a whole section dedicated to understanding how to use your Anki deck to advance your skills quickly.

An Honest Review of iTalki With Image of Man Working on Computer

italki Review – The Good, The Bad, & The Just Alright

italki

Rating 4.5

Summary

italki is the most flexible and affordable place to find a tutor for the language you’re learning. They have a huge number of teachers offering classes to students of over 100 different languages. As a learner, you’ll be able to find a tutor that best fits your learning style, schedule, and personality. Teachers are able to set their own prices and make their own schedule.


Quality 4.5

You’ll find everyone from long-time professionals to brand new teachers.

Thoroughness 4.0

The overall platform has tons of useful features but also some room for improvement.

Value 5.0

Huge number of teachers, low prices, and flexible scheduling.

I Like
  • There are large numbers of teachers available even for less common languages.
  • You can find skilled teachers even at low prices.
  • The flexibility to schedule lessons whenever convenient. The huge number of teachers guarantees you’ll find someone to fit your schedule.
  • The extra features in the italki Community make it easy to ask questions, get your writing checked, and find a free language exchange partner.
I Don’t Like
  • Community features are only available through the app.
  • You may need to try several tutors before finding one that fits your learning and personality style.
  • It’s easy to not take classes as often as you should.
Price

The prices vary by teacher and language with some being as low as $5 and others as high as $60 per hour. Most will fall somewhere near the $10 per hour range. Right now italki is offering a $10 credit with your first purchase.

It’s very rare for me to recommend a particular resource for everyone, regardless of the language that they’re studying. Usually each language will have their own unique resources that are great specifically for students of that language.

Italki is the exception to this.

Anyone studying any language would benefit from using italki.

An Honest Review of Cudoo With Image of Man Working on Computer

Cudoo Review — I Wouldn’t Even Use it if it Were Free

Cudoo

Rating 0.6

Summary

Cudoo is an online learning platform that offers courses in over 160 languages. The platform also offers courses teaching soft skills and other professional development courses. Certificates are available upon course completion, and courses are provided to libraries and non-profits for free. We feel that the quality of the language courses is quite low, and that the prices are relatively high.


Quality 1.0

It’s nice to have native speaker audio, but I personally found the course to offer very little learning potential.

Thoroughness 1.0

The course didn’t cover everything listed under “Course Content” and offers no explanations.

Value 0.0

This course is way overpriced in my opinion. I wouldn’t even use it if it were free.

I Like
  • Audio by a variety of native speakers.
I Don’t Like
  • I wanted more explanations
  • Practice opportunities felt severely limited
  • I found the material unengaging
  • Content doesn’t build on itself logically.
Price

Price varies by course, from $4.99 to $24.99, with language bundles costing up to $199.

This seems like a reasonable list of goals, depending on the meaning of “…and more!” even if it is a little bit light for the $25 price tag.

Once you’ve purchased the course, there’s a further list of content that the course will allegedly cover. Unfortunately, the course doesn’t even remotely touch on two of the topics mentioned in the list: the days of the week or how to tell time.

An Honest Review of Speaky With Image of Girl Using Phone

Speaky Review: Better Than Other Language Exchange Apps?

Speaky

Rating 3.7

Summary

Speaky is a social language-learning app for people interested in language exchange. It’s available for iOS, Android, and the web. Users can chat with other language learners, share photos, leave voice messages or even have voice calls. The basic features on Speaky are free to use, but access to more than five translations per day requires a subscription.


Quality 3.0

There are some dedicated language learners on Speaky but not as many as similar apps.

Thoroughness 3.5

The platform is easy to use but lacks advanced features.

Value 4.5

Speaky is mostly free to use, extra features are available for a subscription.

I Like
  • It’s mostly free.
  • It’s easy to use.
  • There are a lot of users.
  • There are tons of languages
I Don’t Like
  • Many community members don’t actually seem interested in language exchange.
  • The web version doesn’t work well.
  • There are no extra social features.
Price

The basic features on Speaky are free to use. A premium membership is available for a subscription.

Speaky is a language exchange app. It facilitates exchange by allowing users to chat with others in the language they’re learning. Its function is pretty simple and straightforward — search for a partner with a reciprocal language combination and say hello.

There are some built-in language tools to make it easier to communicate in a foreign language, and you can practice just about any language you’re interested in.

An Honest Review of Tandem With Image of Girl Wearing Headphones and Writing

Tandem Review: A Tinder-esque Language Exchange App?

Tandem

Rating 4.7

Summary

Tandem is a popular language exchange app with over one million active users. It’s available for iOS and Android and aims to bring language learners from all over the world together. It’s largely centered around its chat capabilities and language tools that facilitate communication, but there is also a tutoring service offered in the app.


Quality 5.0

There are lots of active language learners, especially those looking to pair with native English speakers.

Thoroughness 4.5

The interface is intuitive and the language tools are simple and effective, though you’ll quickly run out of free translations.

Value 4.5

The free version is all most people will need. Tandem Pro doesn’t add a ton of extra value.

I Like
  • There are plenty of language partners
  • The interface is easy to use and attractive
  • The free version offers a lot of value
I Don’t Like
  • You’ll need to use other learning resources as well
Price

There is a limited free version of Tandem and a pro version available at $6.99 for one month, $10.67/month for three months, and $6.67/month for a year’s subscription.

When learning a new language by myself, I often wonder if I’m studying the right things. There’s so much that a book can’t teach you about a language. It’s easy enough to look up a translation of a phrase like “How are you?” for example, but knowing whether people actually speak like that is equally important.

The best way around this, in my experience, is interactions with native speakers. It could be with a tutor, friend, or language exchange partner.

Of course, finding a language partner isn’t usually the easiest thing in the world. More than geographical constraints, organically coming across the right person is pretty unlikely.

Fortunately for language lovers everywhere, smartphones just keep getting better at digitally connecting people.