mini-review

Interlinear Books

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Interlinear Books is a project for intermediate language learners from the creators of Cooljugator. They sell individual e-books in their original language, but with English translations between each line of text. Instead of translating full sentences that capture the spirit of the language, professional translators use literal (but understandable) translations to support you in understanding the original language’s sentence structure.

Another technique that the authors use to support your learning is to highlight cognates between languages. You may find translations for words whose English counterpart looks almost identical to that of the target language, even when those English translations are not the most commonly used. The authors suggest that you don’t read the translations as full sentences, but rather that you refer to them only when you encounter words or expressions that you don’t understand. Each purchase also comes with a unilingual version for you to try out for extra practice (and sometimes they even come with an audiobook!).

For intermediate learners who are tired of looking back and forth between a dictionary and their book, Interlinear may be a good intermediary to support you in the transition to unilingual books. Chinese is not supported yet, but check out Du Chinese or the Chairman’s Bao for graded reading material.

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HSK Online

Price: ¥118/mo, ¥348/half-year, ¥488/12 months, ¥698/lifetime access

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HSK Online is an app that focuses on helping learners prepare for the HSK exams. However, just because it’s a test prep app, doesn’t mean that only those interested in taking the HSK tests can find value in using it. It can help you improve your vocabulary, reading and listening comprehension, writing, and you can even take practice exams.

You can also save 15% on a subscription with the coupon code ‘alr15’.

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Beelinguapp

4.3 
Price: Freemium, $29.99/year

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Beelinguapp makes it easier to read and listen to interesting content in a number of languages. You’ll find short stories, news, fairy tales, music, and more. Their side-by-side reading functionality highlights the sentence in the language you’re learning, as well as in a language you’re familiar with. The karaoke feature makes it easy to follow the audio with the written text. Some of the content and features are available for free, but there are also premium plans to unlock more.

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