donderdag 30 juni 2016

New German language course for English speakers - learn German for free!

The German language is crucial for doing business in Europe. About 95 million speak the language as a native tongue. When Germany played in the 2016 European Football championship, McDonalds advertised with 'Ich liebe es' instead of I'm loving it. So why not give it a try and do my new, free online course?

The German language is very close to the English language, so it's relatively easy for English speakers to learn it. Mann means man. Haus means house. Kommen means to come. The general structure of the sentences is also very similar to English.

Do you speak German? ©
However, the German grammar can be very challenging sometimes. English doesn't have cases, its verbs have only two conjugations for its pronouns, and the genders are not as important as in German.

That is why it is important to practice while learning. If you're in Germany, it's easy. There's German all around. If not, look on Facebook if there's a German expat community around your town. Connect to the German embassy, or the Austrian one. See if they have any events or know any organisations or teachers.

Practice can't be overestimated. Speaking, and writing, are essential to learn German. It takes the learners outside of the study books, ridden with rules. If one focuses too much on the rules, one will fear to make mistakes while speaking. So speak!

Try my free German online course.
More free language tips here.

zondag 12 juni 2016

Learn languages with Udemy - a good idea?

Learning languages online is a challenge, as there's almost no social pressure to attend classes and to ask for your groceries in the language you're learning. That's one of the reasons why many learners prefer to learn languages online.

One of the platforms offering courses is Udemy. That's where I also teach courses. There are many other language courses though, ranging from Chinese to German via Arabic. Let's put some pro's and con's of learning with Udemy next to each other.

Pro: it's cheap. Maximum price is 50$ and there are many free courses available. It's easy. You can learn anytime, anywhere. You can also review any of the lessons anytime, without having to pay. There are different levels, from beginners to experts. You can ask questions to your teacher. There are certificates.
Learn languages online with Udemy ©

Con: no face-to-face contact with your teacher. Some students pay but never start the course. Not all teachers reply to questions (I do!). There are not many options for 'smaller' languages. And, the quiz system is not made for language courses.

Despite these caveats, I still think it's a valuable way to learn a language. Especially if you need to repeat more often than other students. Or if you find a course that really suits your needs.

Some best practices: always check if there are free previews available. Most teachers give some of their content away so students know what to expect. Also, see how many and which ratings the courses have. Udemy strictly checks if those are fraudulous, so you can trust these ratings are right. 52 reviews and a 4.7 rating on a course is better than 2 5-star ratings.

Finally, buying a course is more like a stepping stone: it's the beginning. Many teachers include links to more materials, so use those links!

And don't forget to get 100+ language tips in my free ebook!

zondag 5 juni 2016

Facebook helps you learn languages - secret way

Facebook can help you learning languages. The easiest way is to subscribe to language learning groups and like the related pages. There are thousands of them. The trick here is to find those groups and pages which are at the level of the language you're learning. Automatically, the posts will appear on your main page.

Are you an advanced student? Find the groups and pages that interest you in the language you're learning. Say, you're learning Spanish. Interested in news? Subscribe to El Pais. Like to cook vegetarian? Like the page 'Recetas Veganas & Vegetarianas'.

But here's the secret: if you're really into learning a language, just switch your Facebook language to the language you're learning. You can do so by clicking on the icon on the right above.
step 1

Than, click on settings and then languages.

step 2

step 3

You can choose to show Facebook in another language, and even translate the news on your feed into another language.

Don't forget you can do the same for your smartphone, your laptop and many other electronic devices!

Happy learning! Find more language learning tips in my free ebook!

Note: pictures' copyright: Facebook