Online language study for dilettante language nerd
July 18, 2018 5:24 AM   Subscribe

I want to do some online foreign language study, basically for fun. Have done some Duolingo but getting increasingly dissatisfied. Recommend me some good sites. Details below.

I would like to do more online language study, mostly just for fun. I have been doing German on Duolingo but am no longer pleased by it for various reasons. Where should I be going? What I would like to find:

--Possible languages: German, Spanish, Portuguese, maybe Turkish (it just sounds neat, okay?) for the moment (any country/region would be fine for ES and PT)
--Clearly visible list of lessons (like Duolingo's tree, only without the hidden layers where you never know how many levels there are to a given skill)
--Rationally structured order of lessons
--Mostly text-based (minimal listening/etc.)
--Rote practice rather than gamification, for choice
--Range from beginner level to at least upper intermediate
--Divided up into short bursts (I do like Duolingo's 5-10 minute lesson chunks)

...that's all I can think of at the moment? I know there have been many similar questions (I took note of the recent one about technical translation practice), but I didn't have much luck tracking them down, so if anyone has useful links that would be great too.

(I will kind of miss Duolingo's weirdo practice sentences. I got marked down for translating "My cats are reading the newspaper" with "newspaper" in the singular instead of the plural. Clearly the cats have views across the political spectrum and require multiple papers on hand.)
posted by huimangm to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
FSI, DLI and Peace Corps courses on Yojik.
Anki or Memrise for flashcards.
More links here: /r/languagelearning
posted by fritillary at 5:33 AM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

I will kind of miss Duolingo's weirdo practice sentences.

Fortunately for you, there is an entire subreddit devoted to the Shit duolingo says so you can still get your fix of weirdo Duo examples even if you don't play.

Otherwise, I think you may like Mango Languages. It's paid but many libraries in the US have subscriptions, web and mobile and your account will sync between them. It is intended to have audio but it has good visual presentation too--I especially like how it color codes parts of speech in conjugations, etc. The set-up is linear and traditional, a bit like a long powerpoint: each language has units with modules on specific topics, you can see ahead of time what the unit is about, and then work your way through them. The LA Spanish course, which I'm doing, has two major units with something like 100+/- modules each plus review sections, which I think will bring me to a upper beginner/low intermediate level, but different languages have different amounts of content. I find it somewhat boring at times but not as boring as the FSI course and it is easy to use in bits and pieces.
posted by epanalepsis at 5:50 AM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

BBC Languages.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:32 AM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

GLOSS, if you don't mind a certain DoD flavor in your subject matter
posted by theodolite at 7:32 AM on July 18, 2018 [5 favorites]

Wow, theodolite, that's really cool.
posted by Jahaza at 11:24 AM on July 18, 2018

Response by poster: Thank you all very much! I've been looking at bits and pieces of these and will try one thing and another before figuring out which one to settle on for a while, but they all look very promising. Much appreciated.
posted by huimangm at 6:54 AM on July 22, 2018

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