Languages Online

'Languages Online' is a blog which reviews online language courses, covering a wide variety of languages, ranging from Armenian to Zulu. If you're looking for quality resources for learning a new language, then look no further! Updated every Thursday.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Important Update

Dear readers,

In order to streamline the blogs I run, I have decided to incorporate the language course reviews into my other blog, Aspiring Polyglot. Therefore, this blog will no longer be updated and will be shut down in the coming months. The existing reviews will be transfered to the other blog within the next few weeks.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and continue to enjoy my language courses reviews over at Aspiring Polyglot.

Yours,

Kelly.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

German Language Course for English Speaking Students

Site : German Language Course for English Speaking Students
Language Taught : German
Course Taught In : English

The Good :
+ Very good guide to German grammar with plenty of examples to illustrate points.
+ Deals with issues such as gender and cases quite effectively.
+ Provides a glossary of terms for those who are not sure about the terminology commonly used in language learning (eg. inflection, genitive case, clause)
+ Has a very handy section on German greetings, sayings and set expressions (some of which come with audio files)

The Bad :
+ The colour scheme is not the best and may present problems to those who are visually impaired.
+ The pages are a little too long and cumbersome and may put people off.
+ A little too much focus on grammar and not on the spoken spoken.

The Verdict :
A very good online course for those who want a very good grasp of German grammar but perhaps not ideal for those who are more interested in learning how to speak the language. The site design could be a little better as it is rather unattractive in its current state and may put possible visitors off from exploring the vast wealth of information that the site has on offer. Still worth a look if you're learning German as the grammar guide is an excellent resource.

Tags : , , , , .

Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekly Updates

Starting this week, new reviews will only be posted on Thursdays. This is due to real life committments and to allow time to search and review quality online language courses.

The next review will be posted on Thursday 15th June.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Archive of Reviews

Don't forget that a complete archive of all the reviews posted on this blog can be found here!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Door Into Hindi

Site : A Door Into Hindi
Language Taught : Hindi
Course Taught In : English

The Good :
+ Has a good introduction to the Devanagari script.
+ Course consists of over 20 lessons covering basic Hindi grammar, expressions and vocabulary.
+ The first 9 lessons include a video with script as a teaching aid for listening comprehension.
+ All of the vocabulary lists are fairly extensive and include audio files.
+ Some of the lessons include useful cultural notes and some even include quizzes and exercises to test you on what you have learnt.

The Bad :
+ There are a few too many dead links in the later lessons.
+ Romanization is not used and may be an obstacle for beginners unless they're willing to memorise the script first.
+ Some of the later lessons do not have videos or exercises and may be a little less useful for learners.

The Verdict :
While this site is one of the more extensive Hindi courses online, learners may be put off by the amount of 'dead links' there are. Nevertheless, the consistent use of audio files and Hindi script throughout and the excellent grammar lessons should make this course ideal for anyone who wants to get a basic grasp of this important South Asian language.

Tags : , , , , .

Friday, June 02, 2006

Basic Quechua Lessons

Site : Basic Quechua Lessons
Language Taught : Quechua
Course Taught In : English and Spanish

The Good :
+ One of few online courses for Quechua.
+ Fairly comprehensive grammar guide written in language that can be understood by non-linguists.
+ Very useful thematic word lists and example dialogues.
+ Simple layout with straightforward navigation and no obstructive ads.

The Bad :
+ No audio files available online.
+ Course lacks a real structure.

The Verdict :
Despite its few drawbacks, this site offers one of the best Quechua courses online (which are few and far betweeb) and is a recommend starting point for anyone interested in learning more about this intriguing Andean language.

Tags : , , , , .

Monday, May 22, 2006

Almost Back to Normal

Hello everyone!

I am almost back from my 4-week vacation so I thought I'd just let you all know that new reviews will be posted later this week and the blog will continue to be updated as normal.

Thank you all for your understanding and stay tuned for new reviews of some of the internet's best language courses!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Notice

Hello everyone,

Just a post to say that updates will be a little sporadic over the next few weeks. I will be travelling and thus not be able to update the blog regularly. Things will be back to normal at the end of May.

Do keep checking back as some reviews may be posted over the next few weeks although it will likely be one a week at the most.

Thanks for supporting Languages Online so far and hope to continue bringing the very best online language courses to you in the very near future!

Monday, April 17, 2006

RussianLessons.Net

Site : RussianLessons.Net
Language Taught : Russian
Course Taught In : English

Site Design : Quite a tidy layout with a side menu and making use of a colour scheme based on the Russian flag. Navigation is straightforward and a search tool is available for quick reference. Ads are a little intrusive but not overly so.
Depth of Course : The course covers basic Russian, starting with the Cyrillic alphabet and moving on to basic grammar. New vocabulary is often introduced in context and separate sections are devoted solely to grammar points (including the various cases) and themed vocabulary lists. The 'Verb Machine' will help learners get to grips with the conjugation of Russian verbs and the spelling rules page is a handy reference (albeit brief).
Audio Available? : None.
Video Available? : None.
Other Features : The site also offers an English-Russian dictionary and Russian transliteration tool, both of which will be very useful to beginners. Intermediate learners might enjoy the dual language E-book of 'Crime & Punishment' while all learners can make use of the forums to share their language learning experiences and woes with fellow learners.

Verdict : Quite a good online course although a little short and lacking in real depth. The lack of audio files may put off newcomers to the Russian language unless they are merely interested in learning how to read and write Russian. Nevertheless, the course offered is a good starting point and provides a fairly good foundation in the language which learners can build upon with further study.

Tags : , , , , , .

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mwana Simba

Site : Mwana Simba
Language Taught : Swahili
Course Taught In : French & English

Site Design : Quite basic and perhaps a little too much use of colour. Some font colours blend into the background and might make it difficult for anyone with visual impairments to view.
Depth of Course : The Kiswahili grammar course offered is quite extensive and covers all aspects of basic Swahili grammar, including the various nominal classes. Plenty of examples and new vocabulary are given and learners can practice what they've learnt by making use of the exercises in each lesson.
Audio Available? : None.
Video Available? : None.
Other Features : The site offers a 'Kiswahili Express' for anyone who just wants to know a few basic phrases. Useful tools, such as a Kiswahili verb builder and conjugation tables, are also available as are English-Swahili and Swahili-English dictionaries. There are also a number of pages on Swahili proverbs and music to give learners a better insight into the cultural aspects of Swahili.

Verdict : A very good site for learning Swahili online. The lessons are easy to follow and give plenty of examples to illustrate grammar points. Its main drawback is the lack of audio files to help learners master Swahili pronunciation, although Swahili pronunciation is fairly simple for an English speaker and a pronunciation guide is provided as part of the course. Some people may not like the colour scheme of the site's pages but this is a rather trivial issue. All in all, Mwana Simba is a quality course for anyone who's interested in delving into this fascinating East African language.

Tags : , , , , , .