Friday, August 2, 2013

Smartphone and Tablet Apps Aid Foreign Language Study

One of the perfect applications for the unique qualities of smartphones and tablets is learning a foreign language or finding translation assistance while traveling.  The Los Angeles Times collected the best of the apps available for iOS and Android, including dictionaries, games that teach language, live translators available for online chats, and even an avatar-based app that translates your sentences into sign language.  Having what is essentially a small handheld computer in your hands or pocket makes communicating in another language a lot easier than flipping through a dogeared pocket dictionary and vainly trying to pronounce the words on a page.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
Los Angeles Times

Link to article:
Excerpt: "If learning a new language is on your summer to-do list, how about starting with your smartphone or tablet? Sure audio CDs and workbooks help—but they're so old school.

With so many foreign language apps on the market and readily at your fingertips, it's easy to learn a new language at your own pace, wherever and whenever you have the time.

The latest language apps incorporate voice-recognition software, games, vocabulary and other interactive features.

If you have a trip coming up — or just want to brush up on your foreign language skills — we recommend you try out some of these 5 apps: everything from Japanese to sign language! A few of the apps come in multiple language variations so if you find one you like in a given language, keep reading to see if there are other versions.

Busuu (free): If you’re looking to learn Arabic, Polish, Turkish, Russian or German, Busuu is a free iOS and Android app available in 12 different languages. What is unique about this app is that it directly connects learners with native speakers online.

After you’ve spent time sifting through the 3,000 words and key phrases, you can interact with users to practice what you’ve learned via its video-chat feature and peer-to-peer text corrections. The app also uses audio-visual techniques, with high-quality stock photography that does a good job of creating a clear visual context for the words. The basic version is free, with options to upgrade to the full app...

Mind Snacks (free): Hola, Campeones de AplicaciĆ³n! Or, hey, app champs! If you’re looking for a fun and free way to learn a new language, the MindSnacks app uses games to help teach people of all ages. The app consists of different language levels, that are in fact mini-games designed to get you through each learning journey. Each game is designed with a personalized learning algorithm that helps users maximize memorization, retention and contextual usage at their own individualized pace.

Through its interactive play, MindSnacks will teach you essential vocabulary and conversation skills. The app is available in a 13 languages, including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and German. The app is free to download, but you will need to upgrade to a paid account in order to access the entire set of features and lessons."

No comments:

Post a Comment