Audio Links Roundup for Language Learning

Books can’t exactly teach you how to speak or understand a language. Listening is the most important skill to master when learning a language. And that is where the internet comes in. So here’s a short list of audio-heavy websites, most of which I’m sure I’ve already posted about, and many of which are multilingual:

Words & Simple Sentences

  • Forvo: All the words in the world. Pronounced.
  • Swac: audio collections that can be downloaded
  • Le Dictionnaire Visuel: French only obviously, but very specific & technical words
  • LanguageGuide: pictorial vocabulary guides
  • Internet Polyglot: vocabulary in several language combinations, with games
  • Learn Verbs: verb conjugations pronounced
  • Book2: 100 lessons of basic phrases; mp3s can be downloaded
  • Learn with Youtube: collection of videos specifically for language learning
  • HearDutchHere.net: very extensive site with thousands of sound files
  • LangMaster: hundreds of hours of free lessons in French, Spanish, German, and Italian

Slow Speech, Natural Speech & Reading

  • Yabla: language immersion through videos and subtitles; more videos can be accessed for free through the podcast
  • LangMedia Videos: everyday situations and cultural information; transcripts & translations available
  • Ashcombe School MFL Videos: conversations, talks, interviews; transcripts & translations available
  • Audio Lingua: short recordings on various topics; no transcripts available however
  • ListentoFrench and Sonsenfrançais: great collection of French listening resources mostly from TV & films; transcripts available
  • Radio France Internationale: listen to the “easy” news and read the transcript, though it does not match exactly what is said; no translations
  • Un Giro in Italia: videos of Italian culture, with transcripts but no translations
  • Librivox: audio books in the public domain; with texts provided
  • Logos Library: famous children’s books; with texts provided
  • Euronews: videos of news in (mostly) Western European languages
  • Catálogo de voces hispánicas: videos and transcripts of the various varieties of Spanish (and even some Catalan)
  • RAI Corso di Lingua: interactive elementary Italian course
  • France-Bienvenue: interviews on various topics, with transcripts and explanations of cultural vocabulary
  • Deutsche Welle: tons of learning German resources! Why can’t other countries produce material like this?
  • Slow German: articles read at a slow pace, with transcripts and translation of individual words possible
  • 2bDutch.nl: watch videos with subtitles in Dutch or both Dutch and English

Podcasts

I am too lazy to list other language podcasts and I cannot decide which ones I like best. Search for them in iTunes because there are a lot available nowadays. One caveat about podcasts is that many require fees for the transcripts. I’ve tried to include mostly free websites in the links above.

Other Audio Findings that I was Happy to Stumble Upon

  • Agricultural Labor Management: the University of California provides audio for learning basic phrases and agricultural words in Spanish
  • Italian Lives: the University of Western Australia did an audio-video project on Italian migrants in Western Australia
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  • http://twentyeighthofmay.wordpress.com/ Sally

    Hi Jennie,
    Thanks for this – really useful. I’ve just been checking out the Slow German site – absolutely brilliant!

    Sally

  • http://twentyeighthofmay.wordpress.com Sally

    Hi Jennie,
    Thanks for this – really useful. I’ve just been checking out the Slow German site – absolutely brilliant!

    Sally

  • http://shakesrear.livejournal.com/ shakesrear

    It’s not just hearing it either, although that helps enormously. When I was going through my one-on-one French lessons, my teacher had to show me how to shape my mouth to make the ‘e’ sound. I knew I wasn’t making it correctly, but I didn’t know why. She showed me that I have to pucker up and make a tight ‘o’ shape with my lips to pronounce ‘e’, otherwise it comes out sounding like ‘è’. This is probably why anglophones have a hard time pronouncing French words correctly – because they haven’t taken the time or haven’t been instructed to properly shape the mouth for these foreign sounds.
    .-= shakesrear´s last blog ..Infant Potty Training =-.

  • http://shakesrear.livejournal.com shakesrear

    It’s not just hearing it either, although that helps enormously. When I was going through my one-on-one French lessons, my teacher had to show me how to shape my mouth to make the ‘e’ sound. I knew I wasn’t making it correctly, but I didn’t know why. She showed me that I have to pucker up and make a tight ‘o’ shape with my lips to pronounce ‘e’, otherwise it comes out sounding like ‘è’. This is probably why anglophones have a hard time pronouncing French words correctly – because they haven’t taken the time or haven’t been instructed to properly shape the mouth for these foreign sounds.
    .-= shakesrear´s last blog ..Infant Potty Training =-.

  • colin

    These are useful! Thank you Jennie! I read your blog every night .it is good for me to learn English and french. i am Chinese and Worked 深圳特区.

  • colin

    These are useful! Thank you Jennie! I read your blog every night .it is good for me to learn English and french. i am Chinese and Worked 深圳特区.

  • Jason

    Hi Jennie

    Firstly, I enjoy reading your take on living in France. Thank you for taking time to research and pass on the audio links.
    Can I suggest the BBC for their Spanish Mundo podcast ( I believe there is a Chinese one as well) available free via i-tunes? Cheers.

  • Jason

    Hi Jennie

    Firstly, I enjoy reading your take on living in France. Thank you for taking time to research and pass on the audio links.
    Can I suggest the BBC for their Spanish Mundo podcast ( I believe there is a Chinese one as well) available free via i-tunes? Cheers.

  • Jeanie

    Thanks Jennie, these will help me out a lot!!

  • Jeanie

    Thanks Jennie, these will help me out a lot!!

  • http://www.tnnoticias.org/ tn noticias

    Thank you for sharing. I got good information from this page.

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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