If you just want the extension, keeping in mind that it's a little bit experimental, head on over to the Chrome Extension page here. You should also check out my other Chrome Extension to track what languages you're reading web pages in and set reading targets: here. For everybody who wants to read about what this extension does and how it came about, please keep on reading. Some time ago Duolingo switched to a new Crowns system. A considerable number of users found this change drastic. The key complaints being that it no longer gave you any guidance on what to learn through the SRS system and that you couldn't really re-gold your tree anymore. Recently I've been writing an extension to track the languages that people read web pages in, so they can see statistics and set reading t
In the last blog post I mentioned that I was working on a chrome extension. The extension tracks the amount of time that you are spending on web pages in each language. This is really great for language learners, particularly at the intermediate stage, as it gives you an overview of how much you're reading in your second language without you having to track it. Since then I did a bit more work, tidied it up, and added a feature that lets you add a target and gives you a notification when you reach the target. For example, I can say that I want to read 30 minutes of Dutch and 15 minutes of Spanish a day. When I get to 15 minutes of Spanish, a box alerts me that I've hit that target, and similarly for the 30 minutes of Dutch. For those who are super keen, here's the link to the chrome store ...
Travelling in a foreign country and your language skills aren't quite there yet and you just can't understand that sign or even person? Then you'll probably dig out your phone and try the Google Translate app. It's not perfect, but it's hard to deny that it's useful in getting the general idea of what's being said. But - oh no! Disaster strikes when you have no data. The app can still translate but its results are even worse when it can't connect to Google's servers. Until now, or so Google says. Rolling out to the iOS and Android apps are translate improvements that bring AI translation to your phone even without a data connection. "Today, we’re bringing NMT technology offline—on device. This means that the technology will run in the Google Translate apps directly on your Android or i
Yesterday I got curious about how long I was spending on the web in foreign languages. I use Chrome as a browser, people can write extensions. There should be an extension that automatically tracks that, I thought. But there wasn't. If I think about it, it's a little bit similar to the Language Lifestyle kickstarter thing I recently wrote about (that's failing to get funding at the moment, for obvious reasons). The difference being that you don't have to do anything but actually read and check your stats later. So, to keep this post short - I've started writing that to see if it's possible. I have a basic prototype at the moment that is working quite well.
I've been using Memrise for a while, so I thought it about time to put together a quick review as there don't seem to be many memrise reviews available. Memrise is a spaced repetition system that aims to help you learn things. Whilst you can learn many things with Memrise, there's a particular focus on languages. Memrise is available in app form for Android and iOS, but also has a web version. Memrise is available for free, but in recent times has had a pro version for additional features that is virtually constantly on special offer. I've never felt the need to pay for these additional features. Memrise let's you make your own courses, or search for and follow one of the many others that other people have created. This, I would say, is one of the benefits of Memrise. There is a lar...
Since I started playing with the Drops App, I've being enjoying it. Strangely what I'm find a problem is that it keeps giving me free time and keeps giving me more and more of it. I suspect that that's not a problem for most people, but because I was planning on doing 5 minutes a day of each language, that means I'm doing more than I wanted to. Sometimes it's just giving me 30 seconds more, but a couple of days ago it gave me 5 minutes extra. That's not a Drop, that's an entire splash! So I've decided to take a couple of days off to balance that out!
Whilst not chock full with videos, "Learn Dutch with Niels" is a great challenge that gives explanations of some of the more tricky Dutch grammar concepts.
For learners of Spanish, here's a nice set of videos that covers Spanish in an easy to understand way.
There are two interesting language related products on Kickstarter currently. The first one I'm going to talk about has 11 days to go, wants to raise $2000 and currently has $1 pledged. This is for an app called TransVerb. Just with the name we start to see why it's raised so little money. TransVerb is not an app that's about verbs. TransVerb translates slang between Spanish and English. Apart from calling this "Ground Breaking Technology" (which it clearly isn't), the listing is very light on details and there are no rewards. Almost thrown into the mix is another game based app that helps you conjugate verbs. There's no real details, but this sounds like a far better idea to me. If I'm honest the post then reads a bit too much like "please pay to send me to this technology conference t...
Something that I originally found on Apple Podcasts, but that is also available here on Soundcloud, is the "Zeg het in het Nederlands" podcast. This is a podcast spoken in slow Dutch. It also includes clips from the radio and TV that are played at normal speed and then explained in slow Dutch. This is often by repetition and use of synonyms to help you understand words. Because of this there is, in my opinion, a certain level requirement. I feel you should be around a B1 to listen to this. But because of the inclusion of and explanation of natural content from TV and radio, it's also very useful for people of higher levels.