Tag Archives: languages

Brief Review of Three Language Learning Communities Available On the Web

compare_3_lang_learn.pngVery Brief Review of Three Language Learning Communities Available On the Web: LiveMocha, Busuu, and Hello-Hello

Livemocha, Hello-Hello.com and Busuu.com have free accounts you can sign up for. Each gives you lessons with a vocab review, a writing exercise, an audio exercise, and a chance to have the exercises graded by native speakers (you as a native speaker of a language have the ability to grade others as well) and to chat with native speakers to practice your new found language skills (not available in Hello-Hello.com just yet). Both LiveMocha and Busuu have paid subscriptions where you can have access to more contention and more advanced lessons. Here are some of the differences between the three services:



  • At free level ,able to download vocab lists from the site
  • More languages are available to you to learn at free level (like Arabic and Hindi)
  • Have more flashcards to review and fill in the black word exercises at free level to help you retain vocab and helps you with writing and audio exercises
  • Chat with native speakers
  • Speaking exercises where you record yourself.
  • Written exercises
  • Graded by the community



  • The vocab is not conversational in nature (you say things like I am fat, and I am thin)



  • Vocab is conversational in nature. You learn things like hello, how are you. Welcome. Good day. What is your name?
  • To help with comprehension and vocab review, you are quizzed on a conversation a few people are having in that language. It is spoken at the normal pace and with the vocab you learned.
  • Chat with native speakers.
  • Speaking exercises where you record yourself.
  • Written exercises
  • Graded by the community


  • Free subscription limits you to only a few languages.
  • To download vocab and print it (like  flashcard review), you need the paid service (also get podcasts with paid service)
  • There is not enough vocab review exercises to prep you for the written and audio exercises. I felt that I retained little when I went into the written exercises and audio exercises.





  • The exercises are very practical and conversation in nature.
  • You can create flash cards for each lesson.
  • You can write notes in the notes section in each lesson.
  • Written exercises.
  • Speaking exercises where you record yourself.
  • Graded by the community (you can also ask questions as you go along in each lesson that can be answered by the community too).
  • There also a dictionary and a translator section built into the design
  • Hello-Hello collaborated with the ACTFL (The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) to make this community.
  • Totally free. No upgrade to a paid subscription to access more lessons.



  • You do no have a traditional list of vocab like LiveMocha. You absorb the conversation but there’s a translation box under the lesson. This could be hard for beginners.
  • You can not chat with a native speaker (but this function will be available soon)
  • The audio files did not work in Google Chrome (this may be fixed with future updates to the site)
  • You are limited to a few language choices to learn (English, French Portuguese, Spanish)





Hello-Hello: Online Language Learning Community

hellohello_logo.pngHello-Hello is another online language community. It’s similar to sites like Livemocha, but there is a difference with this site, the ACTFL (The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) collaborated with Hello-Hello to help create the site. The lessons are great because they tackle very particle grammar like introducing yourself, what you look like, etc. You can write notes or create flashcards that you can share with other members of the Hello-Hello community. You can email other members and friend them. As a native speaker of a language listed on Hello-Hello, you can mark other Hello-Hello members’ submissions to written exercises. Another feature that is coming soon to Hello-Hello (it’s currently in beta) is a voice chat function to practice your language skills by speaking to another person. It is free and only has a few langauges (French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese). To try it out and create a free account, click on the link below:


ProVoc: Free and Easy To Use Vocabulary Trainer and Flashcard Maker

provoc_logo.pngProVoc is a free software for Mac that allows for you to create lessons to study vocabulary. You can create traditional flashcards to study your vocab or you can enhance them by adding audio or using a fill in the blank question style (by typing) to study your vocab for a language. What I also like about it is that if you type the wrong word but it is actually  in your vocab, it will give you that hint. You are also able to include video and images into your study lessons too. You can print flash cards, share your lessons or download vocab lessons, and also play your lessons on an iPod. The one drawback to this software is that it is Mac only. The design is intuitive and has a great layout for learning. To learn more, click on the link below:



Learn the Oromo Language (Afaan Oromoo) Online Free

Oromo is a minority language spoken in Ethiopia and Kenya. Here is a list (complied by freelanguage.org) of sites where you can learn Oromo language for free:



More about Oromo language (via http://freelanguage.org/):

"Oromo, also known as Afaan Oromoo, Oromiffa(a), Afan Boran, Afan Arsi, and sometimes in other languages by variant spellings of these names (Oromic, Afan Oromo, etc.), is an Afro-Asiatic language, and the most widely spoken of the Cushitic family. It is spoken as a first language by more than 25 million Oromo and neighboring peoples in Ethiopia and Kenya, such as the Werji. Older publications refer to the language as "Galla", a term that is resented by Oromo people and no longer used." (http://freelanguage.org/)

BabelWith.Me: Real-Time Chat Room in 45 Languages


BabelWith.Me is a free chat room service that allows the participants to chat in 45 languages. What’s great about this tool is that it is free and it will translate the other users’ messages into your native language in the chat room. It also has a copy of the original message in case the chat message was not properly translated. You can also share this conversation in Facebook, email, or Twitter by using the sharing buttons at the top of the the chat room. You can switch you language at any time during your chat session. This is great for people that want to connect with others who speak a language you are trying to learn and vice versa. If you want to try it, or find out more, click on the link below: