Brushing up on your French before your big trip to Paris or trying to bring in new business from international clients? These days learning a language doesn’t mean signing up for expensive classes that require you to squeeze in hours of time during your already busy life. With so many great apps and online options, you can even chat in your chosen tongue while you’re unloading the dishwasher or exercising. Here are three worth checking out.
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Have conversations with native speakers in real time. The platform lets you scroll through teachers from all over the world who you can schedule time with to chat at your convenience. Rates vary, but the average price is $22/hr—far cheaper than a class. Plus, you’re getting 1:1 time with a local. It’s especially good for people looking to brush up on skills and get more comfortable with conversational speaking. If you use the same person regularly, he or she will get a feel for your level and encourage fun, authentic talk-time. Verbaling.com
This free app doesn’t even require you to create an account, and it’s great for visual learners. “Classes” begin by presenting pictures along with audio, so you learn new words by associating them with a specific image. It’s also smart. As you get better or if you’re struggling, it adapts the tasks to your level. A great start for beginners. Duolingo.com
A comprehensive language platform that includes books, video conferencing and e-tutoring, it offers dozens of languages customized to a variety of needs from business language skills and travel needs to more in-depth learning. Online courses start at $25 per month and allow you to tailor a program to your learning style. Livinglanguage.com
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