Learn New Languages Using LiveMocha
There are a lot of different ways to learn a language. You can always try going in without any prior knowledge of the language and gradually pick up patterns and words through context and extended exposure to the language. You can take a class on the language, where the teacher will teach you the language section by section, primarily using your native tongue. You can also use software programs like Rosetta Stone. However, all of these options have one unfortunate thing in common: They all cost money. Sudden immersion requires you to have access to texts and media of that language or money to travel; classes cost some hundreds of dollars, as does the software.
However, with the world becoming smaller and smaller as commerce goes international and travel becomes faster, knowing more than one language is beginning to become an extremely valuable skill. What is one to do? Well, with LiveMocha, you can actually learn dozens of languages for free so long as you have internet and a computer.
Are you bilingual or multilingual?
How it Works
In order to use LiveMocha, you have to first start an account. It just needs your name, email address, and your native language. Then, you can choose the language you want to learn. There are 35 languages in total to choose from - it is not your typical set of languages, with only the Romantic languages, German, and English to choose from. There are still your standard Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese to choose from, but you could also learn Mandarin Chinese, or Arabic - you can even learn Urdu. And these are just the languages that LiveMocha currently offers; LiveMocha is working on dozens more languages to offer.
The site is completely free, giving you a little under 40,000 tokens with which to 'purchase' your lessons. Each individual lesson is about 7,000 tokens, and are very short but thorough so you can get as much as possible out of your learning experience. During these lessons, you can also purchase feedback from native speakers, who can rate you on your progress and make comments.
However, these 40,000 tokens never have to run out, as LiveMocha gives you very easy ways to earn back tokens: One way is to go through the lessons you have purchased, which give back a certain amount of tokens every time you finish a section in the lesson or get a correct answer. Another way is to select the 'Help Others' tab and help those who are learning your native language. So for instance, if your native language was Spanish, you would find multiple submitted lessons from people who are trying to learn Spanish, and you can choose the lessons you want to grade first and give your honest opinion on how well each person is doing by rating them using a 5-star system and giving short comments on pronunciation, grammar, and other things. It only takes a few minutes to get enough tokens to purchase a new lesson by helping others, and it feels good to help others so it never feels like a chore to do it.
If you don't care about spending a little bit of money, however, there are 'coffee beans' that you can purchase with your money to buy lessons and feedback. Each individual lesson would cost about 1.00 USD, and a course would cost about 25.00 USD. Personally, I feel that this defeats the purpose of this being a site that allows everyone to help each other out in trying to learn languages, but if you don't have much time on your hands but you don't mind paying a bit of money, this is a good option.
Quick Tutorial on How to Get Started
I've only used it for a little over a month, and I do like it a lot. I particularly like that I can get feedback from native speakers; while I'm usually pretty good at learning reading and writing skills in foreign languages, my oral and aural skills are usually subpar, so it lets me get feedback from actual native speakers so I can try to work on my pronunciation.
The lessons themselves are pretty small. You can do several in a day easily, and you can go back and redo lessons as review. However, sometimes it feels like you don't learn too much per lesson, especially if you have some general knowledge about the language you are learning. The only real complaint I have is that the lessons are far from fast-paced; I'm a quick learner and I like to take in a lot of information at one time and then spend a few days reviewing it, but with LiveMocha it does tend to feel like it drags just a bit.
However, the best thing by far about LiveMocha is the number of languages you can learn. For no money at all, you can at least start learning 35 languages. I think the diversity of languages to choose from, and the fact you won't have to spend any money if you don't want to, far exceeds any complaint I might have about this website.
If you really like languages, I highly suggest checking out LiveMocha, particularly for the harder-to-find languages, like Urdu or Mandarin Chinese. With the internet and faster methods of travel, the world seems to be getting smaller and multilingual people are becoming more and more valuable. LiveMocha is a great site to get started on another language.
© 2014 Haley Booker-Lauridson