The ultimate collection of useful language resources for every wannabe polyglot
I’ve collected these language resources for everyone who wants to learn new languages. The following collection contains a lot of high quality tools, which will help you to improve your language skills. The collection of language resources also works from a vast number of different starting points in order to improve your skills as much and easy as possible.
Bookmark this site in your browser under the name Language Resources. Thereby you can find back very quickly and look for other learning tools, when you need them. Most of the sources are in English, but some may be in other languages. If you can’t use them, just skip them.
Language resources highlighted in yellow are recommended in particular and I use them myself frequently.
Free language resources
First words and phrases
BBC – An introduction in about 40 different languages.
WordReference – [e] – A comprehensive dictionary with an affiliated forum for 18 different languages.
bab.la – [e] – With 24 supported languages bab.la excels even WordReference.
eTranslator – [e] – A whole bunch of languages (51 in total) is supported by this comprehensive work.
Glosbe – [e] – With far more than 100 different languages probably one of the most comprehensive dictionaries.
ImTranslator – [e] – A true allrounder. Translator, dictionary, text-to-speech. Everything included.
Google Translate – [e] – Well known and likewise scorned, in some points it still gets the job done. The in-line-translator displays the corresponding translation on the screen while typing, even though the tool doesn’t always deliver top-quality translations of longer texts. It’s still useful to get a glimpse about the content of a text.
MyLanguages – A resourceful site for 95 different languages, specializing on grammar and vocabulary.
duolingo – Learn languages playfully. This platform internalized this concept. Depending on the starting language you can choose between 17 different languages.
Foreign Service Institute – This is a US-governmental institute which provides language courses for almost 50 different languages.
Internet Polyglot – Great courses for a lot of different languages.
Language exchange platforms
Language exchange partners
Language Exchange Community – The name says it all. It’s a platform for people looking vor language exchange partners.
Polyglot Club – Meetings for polyglots in various cities.
Couchsurfing – In a lot of cities there are weekly meetings, where people from all over the world get together. A good opportunity to improve your language skills.
Meetup – You can organize and find meetings for international contacts.
InterNations – Get in touch with people form all over the world.
Optimizing your pronunciation
Forvo – This is one of the most ultimate tools par excellence to improve your language skills. The free website helps you to search for words in different languages. You can listen to them, but also often choose between different regional dialects. If you haven’t bookmarked this site yet, you should do it now.
RhinoSpike – Using RhinoSpike you can listen to your texts, read by native speakers from all over the world. The community works as an exchange platform. So you have to read texts from other people in your mother tongue in exchange.
Optimizing your listening comprehension
RadioGuide – Using RadioGuide you can listen to radio stations from all over the world. Search for your favorite station in your favorite language and learn the desired language with the joy of music.
TuneIn – You can search for radio stations of specific regions using TuneIn. Try some stations out and listen to the one you like the most. In this way you can train your listening comprehension.
Text to Speech – This text-to-speech tool helps you to improve your listening comprehension and your pronunciation in 30 different languages.
Optimizing your reading skills
Wikipedia – Non-English wikipedias are a rich source of native texts. The next time your seeking something in a wiki, try to find an article in the language you want to learn. There are already countless articles in various languages. If you’ve problems to understand switch back to the English article or another language you understand better.
Alexa Ranking – This ranking list contains the 500 top websites of every country. It’s worth to spend some time there, if you like to read native texts of the language you’re learning.
StumbleUpon – ‘Stumble upon’ interesting websites on this web presence. Go to the settings in ‘stumbles’ and use language filters for your desired languages in order to find some websites related to topics you’re interested in in a language you want to learn.
Optimizing your writing skills
Lang-8 – The community on this platform helps you with corrections of your texts to improve your writing skills.
TED – TED Talks with subtitles and a complete transcript of the text are available in many languages. Watching these videos you both train your language comprehension and learn for life.
Use the option:
Instead of [language] you put the 2-digits country code there(z. B.: en; also: www.ted.com/talks?language=en). Or you can use the language filter function on the website.
YouTube – Search for videos of your choice in the desired language. Learn languages using videos related to topics you’re interested in.
Language resources: Apps for smartphone, tablet and PC
Smartphone and tablet
Win) – Anki is one of the best tools to memorize new words and to expand your vocabulary. It’s an app using the Spaced Repetition Flashcards system. There are already a lot of pre-built decks in different languages. Using the PC version of the app you can even build your own deck.
Skype – An essential tool if you want to get in touch with your loved ones at home or if you want to meet up with language exchange partners and teachers from far away.
Anki – The PC version of the Spaced Repetition Flashcards system is perfect to build your own vocabulary decks and to synchronize your other devices.
Blogs, forums and other websites dealing with language learning for motivation support
Ethnologue – A lot of useful background information about languages of the world for everyone who is interested in more than just learning pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and characters.
SEAsite – The Centre for South East Asian Studies of the Northern Illinois University offers a lot of useful language resources and informations about literature and culture of South East Asian countries. Besides general explanations about the language, there are introductive lessons and continuative links to resources for advanced learners.
Language Learning Forum – The name says it all. The forum is not state-of-the-art, but the community is big and it has some good supporting use concerning many language learning problems.
fluentin3months.com – A comprehensive platform for polyglots from all over the world to exchange experiences.
omniglot – A great encyclopedia related to topics like languages and language learning. You can find a lot of input on many aspects of a language.
linguanaut – Another great source to receive informations about many different languages.
Blog posts from Polyglot Traveller for inspiration