Friday, September 19, 2014

free language resources for spanish, german, french, and aramaic

I've recently been introduced to several free resources for those attempting to learn Aramaic, German, or French (among other languages). For your convenience, I've added links for the Aramaic websites on my Academic Resources page on the right-hand side of the screen.

I studied both French and German for reading several years ago in order to be able to read academic books and essays related to biblical studies. However, since then I've been consistently embarrassed that I can neither speak nor understand either language when it is spoken, because I never learned to pronounce them. I've been tempted to spend big bucks to get Rosetta Stone language-learning software to teach me pronunciation and improve my fluency. But I'm so glad I didn't. This week our family discovered Duolingo, a FREE online language-learning program that may even be more effective than Rosetta Stone (with NO ads!). Duolingo offers practice in reading, listening, speaking (if you have a microphone) and translating to and from your target language. It tracks your progress and offers incentives to keep you learning. In just 3 days my ability to hear, speak, translate, and spell in German has improved significantly!

In case you're not yet convinced, here's another testimonial: Our daughter, Eliana, went through all 5 years of Rosetta Stone Spanish and still felt like she didn't "get" it. After a week of Duolingo Spanish, she's finally understanding how the language works and speaking to me in Spanish. Try it yourself and see!

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