For those who also love multilingual vocabulary lists or verb conjugations, I’ve updated the Romance and Germanic lists so they fit better on the screen. The Romance languages include French, Italian, Spanish and some Portuguese for the vocabulary part and only French, Italian and Spanish for the verbs. Germanic includes German, Dutch, Swedish, and some Danish and Afrikaans for the vocabulary sections, and German, Dutch and Swedish for the verb conjugations. Here are the index pages with links to each individual page:
Other multilingual sites:
Book2 is my favorite as it provides 100 audio lessons on basic phrases and vocabulary for A1 & A2 level in 40 languages. You choose which two languages to learn or compare, so it is not only English-based.
The MediaGlyphs Project Vocabulary List Generator allows you to select 2-3 languages and a theme for vocabulary to display the lists. It is updated by volunteers and some languages have much more content than others, but many languages are available.
Linguee.fr allows you to search for a term or phrase in bilingual texts (French – English, English – French, English – German, English – Spanish or English – Portuguese) that have been translated by professionals. Many of them are official European Union texts. It is essentially an easier way to search the internet for a specific word, and it turns the texts into a comparative corpus. Linguistics nerd will love it!
Poliglottus offers basic vocabulary of 1,300 words in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian and basic verb forms in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Sardinian – though only two languages can be compared at once and the lists are not labeled (no themes for vocabulary and no tenses for verbs).
Romanica Intercom is a site for comparing and learning the grammar of the main Romance languages (Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Italian and French), though it is a bit hard to navigate and the interface is only available in Catalan or Spanish.
Gilles’ Langues site in French, English, Italian, Spanish and German is very helpful too. He includes some memory games to play as well as PDF and EPUB versions of his vocabulary lists PLUS lots of mp3s of the words.
Internet Polyglot offers lots of language combinations to study lists of vocabulary, many with pronunciation and games.
BePolyglot was a pay language portal about the 5 main Romance languages. Below is an example of one of their free pages. [Unfortunately this website no longer exists, but you can view the free pages using the Internet Archive.]
Multilingual, but more work for you: Theses sites offer plenty of languages, but they are not compared side-by-side like with the sites above. You have to do a little more work to see both languages in action (two browser windows open if you have a widescreen monitor or using one language that you are advanced enough in to learn a second, for example).
LanguageGuide is a pictorial audio vocabulary site. All of the languages use the same format and pictures.
Euronews has video clips of the news in several languages (with transcripts, though not word for word sometimes). Euranet and Presseurop are similar sites, though Euranet has fewer transcripts and Presseurop doesn’t seem to have any audio. Radio Praga is another site for articles with audio.
LingQ uses the same beginner stories in each language offered (the lessons Who is She?, Greetings, Eating Out, etc.) so you could download the mp3s and text for each language you wanted to compare and make your own side-by-side comparison.
Deutsche Welle’s podcasts are available in 30 languages, so you could use your strongest language to help you learn German.
Lastly, if you’re interested in the 23 EU languages, the official site has a recording of the same text in every language so you can see and hear the differences (or similarities) among them.
Updated September 2012
Comparative and Multilingual Books for Learning Languages Simultaneously [UPDATED OCT 2014]
Topic vs. Frequency in Vocabulary Learning
Vocabulary Myths: Applying Second Language Research to Classroom Teaching
Pronunciator: Free Vocabulary & Phrases in 60 Languages
Multicultural and Multilingual Australia
Greetings from Slovenia