[AI] ‘Hi’ in any tongue

vishnu ramchandani vishnuhappy at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 20 06:26:45 EST 2008

‘Hi’ in any tongue

Author: Priyadarshini Nandy
If there’s anything stopping you from saying hello to
your French neighbour, it’s just ‘bon jour’. And
online language courses now help you communicate

We’re not so different, you and I, barring the one
thing that often keeps us apart —  language.
With the world becoming a melting pot and people from
different countries travelling all over (be it for
work or fun), this barrier too is gradually melting

>From generations, people have relied on translators
to  help them communicate with people from other
countries. These days, a lot of people just go
with a learning of basics of a foreign language. It
has been proved that, at least on a professional
level, things often get done better and faster. Even
as a traveller, if you speak a few words in the
language of the country you’re visiting, your trip
might be more comfortable.

But as we juggle life’s different demands, we don’t
always have the time to actually go and attend
language classes. But now, even that excuse is
One can sit right at home and learn almost any
language one wants, on the Internet.

There are many portals  that teach you how to speak
foreign languages — from French and Chinese to Arabic
and Armenian. While some of these courses are
paid for, most are often available to you free of

You just have to make sure that the portal you’re
visiting is reliable and has a structure to assist the
whole teaching process. Like any other website,
these too, need recommendations and verifications.
While some websites give you the basics of  languages,
that are good for quick words and phrases for
communication, there are some that teach you like
any language school would — with proper level
training, tests, practice etc.

Live Mocha is one of them. A visit to the website and
you’ll be able to sign up to learn six popular
languages for free — English, Spanish, French, Hindi,
German and Mandarin Chinese. Their learning approach
is structured with lesson plans of over 160 hours.
Consisting of beginner and intermediate level content,
teaching everyday conversational language along with a
full range of practical reading, listening, writing
and speaking exercises.

They also have audio comments, a good way to give
other users tips on how to pronounce words, peer
review that allows your friends to review your
when you submit a written or spoken exercise and much

Another good place to learn is BBC’s
www.bbc.co.uk/languages/. It has a basic step-by-step
evaluation process that enables you to test your
in a given language and then sign up for a required
course. The best thing about this programme is that
they send all the lessons via email, which you
can learn in your own free time. This course too, come
without any charge.

Other sources:

Arabic: ukindia.mistral.co.uk/zar1.htm

Armenian: cilicia.com/armo_lesson000.htm 

Chinese: chinese-tools.com French: french.about.com

German: german.languages4everyone.com/

 Hebrew: foundationstone.com.au 

Italian: abruzzo2000.com/course

Japanese: learn-japanese.net

Korean: unification.org/ucbooks/kintro/toc.htm

Latin: learnlatin.tk 

Portuguese: easyportuguese.com

Russian: masterrussian.com

Spanish: studyspanish.com

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