Learning foreign languages has always been something fun for me. I love being able to communicate in different languages and being able to read something before I am able to get a hold of an official English translation. There are a lot of different ways you can learn a language too, from ‘baptism by fire’, where you just immerse yourself in the language and begin picking up patterns and words through context, to the traditional classroom setting, where a teacher teaches you the language in your native tongue piece by piece, to software programs like Rosetta Stone. However, all of these options have the same downside: They all cost some money. The obvious ones are of course paying for a class and paying for a software, but even immersing yourself in the language requires you to be able to have a lot of access to a lot of media in that language, or requires you to have money to travel to countries that speak that language.
However, as long as you have internet and a desktop computer or a laptop, you can learn dozens of languages for free using LiveMocha.
How it Works
To use LiveMocha, you first have to start an account. So just put your name (you can falsify it if you want, no one really cares), put in your native language, and put in the language you want to learn. There are quite a few to choose from; it’s not just your standard English and the Romantic languages selection. Now, there is still Spanish and French and Italian, but there are even more languages to choose from. You can choose to begin learning Mandarin Chinese, or you can take a swing at Arabic; you can even learn Urdu. Those are just the choices you can currently choose from; there are a lot more languages that LiveMocha is currently working on.
Next, you can start ‘buying’ lessons. You start out with a little under 40,000 tokens to purchase lessons, each of which is about 7,000 tokens. During your lessons, you can also purchase feedback from native speakers, who can rate you on your progress and comment on how you are doing. You can earn tokens by going through the lessons you purchase, or you can go into the ‘Help Others’ tab and grade other people’s assignments on learning your native language. You can earn enough tokens for another lesson in just a few minutes of helping other people, and it feels good to help others anyway so it never really feels like a chore.
If you don’t have time for this, however, there are ‘coffee beans’ that you can purchase with your own money to buy lessons and feedback. I don’t feel it’s quite as fun, but you can probably get through courses and lessons a lot faster.
I’ve been using LiveMocha for a couple of weeks now, and, as you might have guessed, I really like it. I particularly enjoy that you can get feedback from native speakers, especially since lessons include parts where you have to record your voice – I’m usually pretty sharp on reading and writing, and I’m pretty good at aural, but my pronunciation is usually kind of subpar, so allowing other LiveMocha members to rate how I’m doing helps me correct the problems I’m having.
The lessons are pretty small, but you can definitely do a couple in a day without taking up too much of your time, and you can always go back into those lessons to kind of review.
What I really love is the sheer amount of languages you can learn. I’m currently trying to learn some more Japanese between now and my next semester of college, but I’m also really interested in trying to learn Arabic as well. You can learn so many languages without having to shill out a lot of money, and I think that’s amazing.
With internet and faster methods of travel, this world seems to be getting smaller and smaller. Business is now on an international scale, and people who are multilingual are extremely valuable in today’s society. So not only is this something cool to do in your free-time, but it can also help your resume to look more appealing. Learning new languages is often a bit tricky, but I think LiveMocha is a really fresh take on learning languages.