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
  • 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!!

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