If you learn a foreign language then you probably know that quality of materials you learn from can be quite important to your success. And if you use websites or other sources from the Internet, then you may sometimes feel there are either too many to select the best, or too few to start with. Since that's how I felt when I started using online language resources, I decided to create a list of links with brief descriptions so I knew which sites are worth visiting again. I offer you the list hoping it may help you too.
You can use these quick links to jump directly to the section that interests you most:
Multilingual Language Links
Recommendation system: 5 stars total
1 star - not worth the click
2 stars - you may try it
3 stars - useful, with some glitches
4 stars - really good page
5 stars - highly recommended
FreeLang: My recommendation: 5 stars.
The focus of this page is on its freeware dictionary you can download on your PC and use it offline. There were 68 languages as of April 28, 2004! There are also mirror sites in languages other than English that will give you more options in language combinations. They also have a library of foreign language fonts (300 of them) and a short list of some basic words translated into as many languages as possible. Since this is a volunteer community, you can register as a volunteer translator, help with creating a dictionary in a language not yet represented, or you can submit your request for translation of a short text you have trouble with. It's free, but certain rules apply. Check it for yourself!
UniLang: My recommendation: 5 stars.
Another volunteer community. You can get a
list of 450 "basic" words in
several languages (27 lists on April 28, 2004 - Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan,
Chinese (traditional), Czech, Dutch, Esperanto, French, Gaelic, Georgian,
German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Lao, Luxembourgisch, Polish,
Portuguese (Brazilian), Purepecha (Mexican language), Romanian, Russian,
Spanish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese), pronunciation guides, grammar references and more.
These were all provided to you by the members of UniLang, for free. There is
also a long
list of external links to more language courses, dictionaries, interactive
tests etc. This website is definitely worth visiting.
Goethe Free Language Tests: My recommendation: 5 stars.
An excellent page with free language tests in these languages: Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Swedish, Spanish and Turkish. That's a total of 23 languages with 506 language combinations! That means, if you speak any of these languages and want to learn another, there is an exercise for you! You can practice your vocabulary (100 exercises), there are links to external sites with song texts, and you can find where are the language schools to learn your desired language.
Transparent Language: My recommendation: 3 and 1/2 stars.
You will find here short quizzes in 51 languages (these quizzes are complementary to Transparent Language's CD-ROM "Languages of the World"), you can test your foreign language proficiency (14 languages), find information about a particular language and the culture of the country, or buy the company's language products. However, those languages that don't use the Latin script (like, e.g., Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese or Thai) are transliterated. Also, their Language & Culture page may give you wrong information. For example, they say that "r" in Czech "is considered a vowel". Well, it's not. It is a consonant, it just can, in certain circumstances, create a syllable with other consonants without any vowel ("krk" = "neck").
Hebrew for Me: My recommendation: 4 stars.
As the name suggests, this is a web site for Hebrew learners. If you want
to test your vocabulary, or improve it, visit this site. They prepared
some nice online exercises for you. You will need Java installed on your PC for
the exercises to work properly. Also, you can learn how to type on a Hebrew
keyboard - and you do not need to have one!
Passing Phrase: My recommendation: 4 and 1/2 stars.
If you already know some Hebrew and want to expand your knowledge of daily phrases and idioms used in Modern Hebrew, then Passing Phrase is an excellent site to visit. Regularly updated, each phrase is written in Hebrew, transliterated and translated into English. There is also an audio so you can hear its pronunciation. There are two English translations: literal and idiomatic. Each phrase is then explained and an example for its use is given. The explanation is usually very funny. :-) There is also an archive of past phrases.
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