Technology has undoubtedly made our lives easier and changed how we exchange information. From sending messages across continents at the speed of light to selling custom-made creations while sitting at home – technology has made the miles to effervesce. With globalization and the Internet of Things (IoT) coming together to fit this world into our little fists, the need for learning different languages has never been more pressing. Here, too, technology has taken care of the urgency by democratizing language transfer. So you no longer have to find out time from your busy schedule and sign up for language classes. Neither do you have to spend a lot of money to pick up a new tongue?
Thanks to technological godsends like tutorial videos, memory games, and online exercises, learning a dialect have become a lot easier than ever. So if learning a new tongue has been on your bucket list for a long time, these 7 technological resources await you.
7 WAYS TO LEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY TO LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
Chuck all the excuses of lack of time and money and pick up a new tongue using these mediums.
1. Device and App Language Settings
Most computers, as well as mobile phones, come with a set of languages built into its software. So the first step you need to take is as simple as changing the ‘Language Preference’ setting of your phone. Your phone comes equipped with a set of display commands in a variety of languages.
For example, when you select French as your display language, you will see ‘Oiu’ and ‘Non’ in place of ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ flashing on your screen. At first, this may seem a little awkward. There will be times when you might have to do a simple task over and over again. Moreover, the translations won’t be perfect either. However, when you force yourself to adopt a different language by interacting with it, you learn it better. Since you know the English counterparts of the commands by heart, you will be able to place and remember the words better.
2. Instant Translating Apps for Simultaneous Learning
There is no function that a phone cannot perform, thanks to the range of applications available at our fingertips. There is a host of translation apps that you can install on your phone and untangle foreign words to English. My advice is that you install an app that comes with a dual version layout. So when you type an English word on the textbox, you get its equivalent in the second language automatically in the second box. Although Google translator is your safest bet, the volume of information available can be a little overwhelming. Also, get a translator that comes with an inbuilt dictionary.
To make things easier for you, here is a list of the 5 best French, German, Japanese and Spanish translation apps that are totally worth your device memory.
3. YouTube and other Tutorial Videos
Hands down, YouTube has the best repository of tutorial videos. Be it DIY craft ideas, or culinary vlogs, or language tutorials – YouTube is chockfull of learning opportunities. There are several online tutors whose channels you can subscribe to learn the desired languages. When you follow native speakers, you not only learn the intonation of the words but also learn how to use it in context. Here is a list of 100 language tutors to choose from.
There are pronunciation demonstration videos too to help you with the native diction. Spelt out elaborately with phonetics, demo videos can help you master the words as they are pronounced to make things more convenient. So you’d know that Croissant is kwah-son and not really kraw-is-ant.
4. Video Chat with Native Speakers
With Skype and Google Hangouts offering free video call services of top-notch quality, you can now easily connect with native tutors and have a real conversation. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you are practically just a click away from a native willing to take your call. You can find native live tutors via sites like My Language Exchange, italki, Craigslist, or Couchsurfing.
You can also choose someone – maybe, an exchange student studying in your college or a colleague at work – from your social media acquaintances to learn the targeted language. Since this will be a two-way process, it will be more beneficial for both of you. While your work or classmate can teach you her/his mother tongue, you could return the favour by teaching them English. Here are some additional resources for finding French/German/Spanish native speakers online.
5. Car Rides for Language Session
With commute taking up so much time of your life, why not utilize the time doing something more productive? Something productive like maybe learning a new language! “A survey has shown that 67% students absorb vernacular lessons better when they are paired with another related task”, says Emma Scott, a Linguistic tutor associated with the academic brand MyAssignmenthelp. Learning a new language from navigation and directions is bound to work for you since you will know that you might get lost if you don’t follow the instructions carefully.
However, make sure that you are familiar with the common phrases for directions. I suggest that you try this ruse when you take your Uber on a familiar route. That way, you will not have to worry about getting lost and focus better on vernacular phrases and colloquialisms. And, if you want to unwind and relax, you can try listening to the music of the language you wish to learn. In case it is Korean that you want to tick off, K-Pop is going to keep you hooked. That’s a promise!
6. Technologically-enhanced Language Puzzles
If the 20th century had flashcards to test vocabulary knowledge, the 21st century brags of online puzzles and game apps. There are several games to make the often-tedious ordeal of learning a language much more enjoyable. The colourful and relevant animations keep the lessons fresh in your memory, making it easier for you to remember all the new words.
There are language scrabble for amateurs where you can pair up with other online players to brush up your skills. You can even go solo with apps like Pictionary, where you have to put in the correct word for the image. There are several Flashcard-type exercises too that you can play. There are several assignment help websites also where you will find endless questionnaires that you can solve.
7. Audio/Visual Translations of Children’s Books
As technology achieves new milestones daily, ebooks have now been dethroned by its better half – audiobooks. Children books are especially turned into audiovisual versions to entertain, engage and educate them, all at the same time. It is basically the technological version of spoon-feeding but the positive kind. Although it may feel silly to read about talking fishes and dancing frogs, the simple literature will be just perfect to learn a new language.
I would suggest that you zero down on a story that has enough visual components so that you get the gist from the pictures shown. Take note of the gestures of the narrator to make out what’s happening in the story. My tip here is that you choose a story that you are already familiar with. You can always fall back on Hans Christian Anderson for a retelling of a fairy tale classic.
Although technology comes with the limitations of passive learning and the absence of human interaction, it comes with the boon of convenience – a mandatory in our busy lives. You can record the lessons and replay them when you have the time and for as many times as needed. You won’t have to learn at the teacher’s pace or worry about missing a class. Everything is right at your fingertips, even before you need them.
So what are you waiting for? Let technology skyrocket your language acquisition. Let’s get learning!