Five best ways to learn how to speak a foreign language. How to tap into free resources practising with native speakers.
We believe that today we don’t need to explain why knowledge of foreign languages is so important. Multilingualism opens up completely new opportunities for communication, perception and content creation, work and earnings. At the most basic, you can become much more in-demand as a specialist by knowing several languages, and this often has a positive effect on your income.
But there are many less obvious advantages of multilingualism:
- Expanding horizons.You’re not just learning a language. You’re immersing yourself in a different culture and mentality, and better understanding native speakers, their social connections and principles.
- Brain development. Learning languages forms new neural connections. You begin to absorb and remember new information faster. And the effect of learning languages persists for life.
- Improving knowledge of yournative language. In the process of learning other languages, you automatically improve your native one, and better understand its structure and rules.
Even if you don’t plan to study or work abroad, knowing one or more foreign languages is still a big plus.
And here a question arises: “How can I learn a language most effectively?”
Most linguists agree that the fastest and most effective way is immersion in a foreign language environment and regular communication with native speakers. And this is true. But not everyone has the opportunity, for example, to move to another country for six months. In this case, there is a great alternative — online resources where you can chat with natives. Let’s take a look at some of them.
If you are learning English and want to communicate with native speakers, Tandem is a good choice. This is an application where you can chat with natives from the UK, USA and other English-speaking countries. This means you can learn exactly the local variant of the language that you need. Among other things, Tandem gives a lot of useful tips and recommendations on how else you can learn a language — watch “simple” films in English, listen to themed podcasts, and the like. The official website of the application has several interesting simulators and practical life hacks that will simplify learning. Plus, the site has a large themed blog, in which new articles appear regularly. We recommend you check it out!
The only downside to Tandem is that it’s designed specifically for learning English. So if you are learning another language, the application will not suit you.
PolyglotClub is a free language exchange community that, according to developers, has over a million registered members worldwide. You can communicate with foreigners, learn the language, and also act as a mentor and help others. It’s a good platform for sharing experiences and knowledge, or just for pleasant communication with new people.
The service has a group video chat for those who want to communicate in company and get even better practice at pronunciation by talking to several people with different pronunciation and dialects. In addition, PolyglotClub periodically arranges offline events so that you have the opportunity to communicate not only online, but also in real life.
HelloTalk is an international chat app with over 150 languages and over 30 million potential conversation partners. You can communicate via video, and exchange text and voice messages. Automatic translation into your language is also available for text messages.
Among other things, HelloTalk can “speak” text in a language. This is useful if you want to understand how the selected word or phrase is pronounced so that you can immediately speak correctly without transcription. And if you are not sure that you remember a word or phrase, you can add them to your “Favorites” — the application will save them in a separate section so that you can return to them in the future and consolidate your knowledge. A handy feature!
VideoChat.chat is an unusual video chat service that gives you a lot of freedom. You can choose the country from which the service will select people for you, so you can communicate only with people whose language you are most interested in. Or even combine the learning of different languages, which is very convenient. Just click on the flag image and the free cam chat app will start searching for a suitable chat partner.
If you aren’t confident in speaking any language, this isn’t a problem. VideoChat.chat also has a text chat feature where you can improve your written language quite well. And most importantly, you have access to an automatic message translator in live mode. So even if you don’t understand a phrase or word, the free videochat app will instantly translate them into your language.
By the way, VideoChat.chat is a great free option for those who, among other things, are looking for love on the Internet. Try it, we’re sure you’ll like it.
HiNative is a popular application for communicating with native speakers, the main advantage being a huge selection of languages: several variants of English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and others. The app is available on iOS and Android, so you’ll always have a language learning tool at your fingertips.
An original feature of HiNative is that in the application you can ask questions of interest to natives, and they answer them. All the features of the service are revealed with a premium subscription, but you can also try a free video chat to evaluate the benefits of the application. However, in the reviews users note that sometimes you have to wait some time for a response from native speakers. So if you need an urgent response, HiNative can let you down.
Broaden your mind with a new language today
There are many different ways to learn foreign languages — from simple mobile applications to full-fledged offline schools. Each format has both advantages and disadvantages. But the main problem of most of them is that the learning process eventually gets boring and turns into a routine. Sometimes it is very difficult to force yourself to log into the application every day, open a dictionary, or go to an offline school a few blocks from home a couple of times a week.
This is why learning through communication with native speakers online wins a lot. Because you don’t just learn. You communicate with different people, discuss topics that are interesting to you, and offer your own ideas for discussion. It’s like talking to a good friend, but also learning, which is a perfect combination.
Therefore, if you have tried other learning formats, but they weren’t very effective for you, we recommend you try video chat to communicate with native speakers. It’s a completely different experience that you’re bound to enjoy. Good luck and excellent new acquaintances on the Web!