Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do 30 Days of GOOD(#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. This month we're going "Back to School" and committing to learn something new every day.
All of my friends have at some point mentioned wanting to learn another language. They usually have the same excuses as I do for not pursuing it. No time for it. I’m too old to start now. It’d be crazy expensive, right?
Luckily, there are lots of high-quality resources online that make learning new languages easier than ever before. And while none of them can perfectly replicate the experience of language immersion, the myriad podcasts, video lessons, and interactive communities devoted to language learning offer a host of simple (and often free-of-cost) ways to get started.
Today’s task is to choose any ten languages and learn to say “thank you” in each of them. While this is mostly just a symbolic exercise (you’re not gonna last too long in France constantly saying “merci” to everyone), it’ll be a fun way to familiarize yourself with the wide world of online language education. Plus, you’ll have a nifty new party trick to show off this weekend.
You’re probably already familiar with programs like Rosetta Stone, which many people around the world have used to great success. If you’re not ready to commit to something that comprehensive (or expensive), take a look at a few other starting points:
- For some real quick basics, check out YouTube accounts likeInDifferentLanguages and japanesepod101. They publish videos that run down how to say common phrases in a variety of languages. (Thesetwo videos in particular will help you complete today’s task.) Once you’ve mastered your hellos, goodbyes, pleases, and such, you’re ready to move on to this handy list of 100 Excellent Language Lessons on YouTube.
- Consider downloading a few audio lessons from a podcast provider like the Radio Lingua Network. Not surprisingly, iTunes is a great place to find a wide variety of language instruction podcasts, but be sure to look at user reviews so you don’t get stuck with a stinker. Also, take a look at the massive directory of free language podcasts compiled atOpen Culture. There’s a ton of options out there.
- The idea behind Lang-8 is pretty cool. It’s a “language-exchange social networking website,” where users can practice writing in the language they’re learning. You write a journal entry, then send it to someone who is a native speaker of your chosen language. That person edits, corrects, and makes suggestions for improving your writing. In return, you check the writing of a user who is learning to write in your native tongue.
- Duolingo, which became available to the public just last month, teaches users new languages via an innovative system that simultaneously crowdsources the translation of websites. It is totally free to use and came about as the result of a MacArthur fellowship and a National Science Foundation grant.
Good Is / Projects
http://www.good.is/projects / * GOOD on Wikipedia * http://www.good.is/post/back-to-school-learn-to-say-thank-you-in-ten-languages-30daysofgood/
GOOD is a collaboration of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits pushing the world forward. Since 2006 we've been making a magazine, videos, and events for people who give a damn.
What Is GOOD?
In a world where things too often don’t work, GOOD seeks a path that does. Left, right. In, out. Greed, altruism. Us, them. These are the defaults and they are broken. We are the alternative model. We are the reasonable people who give a damn. No dogma. No party lines. No borders. We care about what works--what is sustainable, prosperous, productive, creative, and just--for all of us and each of us. This isn’t easy, but we are not afraid to fail. We’ll figure it out as we go.
Call it a new party, call it a 21st century collaboration, call it an army, call it your new home. Or just call it GOOD.We are people, businesses, moms, kids, artists, organizations, policymakers, students, teachers, and engineers. All united in one simple idea, each elevated by being connected. Let’s do what works and never default to what doesn’t. Join us, and together we’ll power what works.
APRENDE IDIOMAS LEYENDO PERIODICOS Y REVISTAS * LEARN LANGUAGES BY READING NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES Imprime de 20 a 30 renglones del texto que acabas de leer. Subraya de 10 a 20 palabras. Anótalas en columna en el espacio disponible abajo del texto o en el reverso de la hoja. Traducelas al inglés u otro idioma deseado. Anota el significado al lado de cada palabra. Revisa tu trabajo y compáralo con el de otros compañeros. Muestra tu trabajo a tu profesor. Pídele que te sugiera otra actividad que expanda lo que acabas de realizar. Copia y conserva est trabajo, y el contenido súbelo a tu blog o página personal, y compartelo. MY HOMEWORK NETWORK * NON-PROFIT SHARING RING * LANGUAGES * COLLABORATIVE SCHOOL PROJECTS * PROF JML * MEXICO