Category Archives: Learning Other Languages

Learn two languages together with Duolingo

Learn Two Languages Together with Duolingo

Interested in learning two languages together, or learning a third language through your second?

Although the majority of courses at Duolingo in other languages are for learning English, there are some courses designed for native speakers of other languages to learn languages such as French, Spanish, German, etc. If you’re already used to the interface in English, it is quite easy to change to another language and try the courses available.

And of course, if you already speak another language, you can always use that language to learn another. Depending on how closely related the languages are, it may be easier to learn a third language through your second language instead of your native language. Personally, I prefer to learn Spanish through French rather than English.

As of mid 2016, the following languages offer Duolingo courses in more than just English:

For Spanish speakers – English, French, Portuguese, Italian, German and Catalan, while Guarani and Esperanto are almost ready

Learn two languages together with Duolingo

Duolingo courses currently available for Spanish speakers

For French speakers – English, Spanish, Italian, German, and Portuguese

For Italian speakers – English, French, German, and Spanish

For Portuguese speakers – English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian

For German speakers – English, French, and Spanish

For Russian speakers – English, German, French, Spanish, and Swedish

For Arabic speakers – English, French, German, and Swedish

For Turkish speakers – English, German, Russian, and French

For Chinese speakers – English, Spanish, and French

For reference, English speakers can currently learn the following languages on Duolingo: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Irish, Russian, Turkish, Danish, Norwegian (Bokmål), Esperanto, Ukrainian, Polish, Welsh, and Vietnamese. Hungarian, Greek, Hebrew, Czech, and Romanian will be released next, with Swahili, Hindi, Klingon, Korean, Indonesian, and Yiddish to follow (but not for a while!)

Don’t forget that you can learn two languages together, or multiple languages simultaneously, with our multilingual comparative resources

Best Chrome Extensions for Learning Languages

Best Chrome Extensions for Learning Languages

Best Chrome Extensions for Learning Languages

Extensive reading in a foreign language is an extremely effective way to increase your vocabulary, but without the use of graded readers or interlinear translations, it can be frustrating and tedious using a dictionary to look up words that you don’t know. Luckily there are some Chrome extensions that you can use when reading webpages to instantly translate words and even save them to flashcard decks to review later. These Chrome extensions for learning languages all use Google Translate to produce the translations, but let’s take a look at their different options and features.


Readlang Web Reader

My favorite Chrome extension for learning vocabulary through translation is Readlang because it saves every word you click on as flashcards so you can review them later. The entire sentence is also saved so you have the context, which is very important in learning vocabulary. You can also change the settings so that you hear the pronunciation after you click the word, and import the entire webpage to your Readlang account. The free account gives you unlimited single word translations and 10 phrase translations per day, while the premium account is only $5 a month or $48 a year. You can also install the Readlang bookmarklet on mobile or tablet (Safari or Chrome on iOS and Chrome on Android).

Readlang Web Reader Chrome Extension for Learning Vocabulary through Translation

Readlang Web Reader

Readlang Flashcards created from words you clicked on

The words you clicked on and the entire sentence are imported into your flashcards


Mango Reader Beta

The Mango Reader extension was just released in April and it is still in Beta mode, but it looks promising. After installing the extension, choose the language that you’re learning in the settings, and then just double click on a word. The translation will appear, along with a speaker icon to listen to the pronunciation, plus links to WordReference and conjugation websites. If you have a Mango account, you can sign in and have the option to save the word to your Vocab List to study later. You may have access to Mango Languages for free through your local American or Canadian library, but if not, unfortunately there isn’t a free option to create an account just for Mango Reader. However, for $20 a month or $175 a year, you will have unlimited access to all of their language courses (71 languages and counting.)

One small bug I noticed was that the pronunciation is sometimes an American accent pronouncing the word as if it were English, but the second click produced the correct pronunciation in the correct language. Currently, the supported languages for Mango Reader include: Modern Standard Arabic, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, and Latin American Spanish.

Mango Reader Beta Chrome ExtensionMango Reader Beta

The extension uses both the Ultralingua and Babylon dictionaries as well as Google Translate. Each word you Alt + double click on is automatically added to your word list at – however, there appear to be some bugs since the export words to other applications function does not currently work. is completely free and there are no limits on how many words you can look up or save.

Lingualy Chrome Extension for Learning Languages through Translation

Google Translate

Of course, Google Translate has their own Chrome extension that makes it easy to quickly look up a translation. With the Google Translate extension, you highlight a word to get the translation (and pronunciation, if available). Clicking on More will take you directly to the page.

Google Translate Chrome Extension

Google Translate Chrome Extension


Overall, I prefer to use Readlang because of the minimalist interface and the fact that the entire sentence is automatically saved. Sometimes I just use Google Translate if I’m not interested in saving words to flashcard decks. If you already use Mango Languages often, then their web reader might be a better option so you can save your word lists to your existing account. And if you would like other options besides translations from Google, then try

Any others?

Are there other Chrome extensions for learning languages that you recommend? Let me know!

German Language Tutorial PDF e-book and mp3s now available

Learn German with German Language Tutorial e-book and mp3s

German Language Tutorial Now Available for Purchase!

If you are learning the German language and would like a complete overview of German grammar and vocabulary as well as audio files so you can read and listen at the same time, then this is the product for you.

The PDF e-book includes:

  • over 160 pages of grammar and vocabulary topics and sample sentences,
  • realia images and photos taken in Germany and Austria so you can see how German is used in real life,
  • links to German, Austrian, and Swiss websites so you can learn more authentic German online,
  • plus nearly TWO HOURS of audio (127 mp3s) recorded by two native speakers – the lovely Sabrina and Simone – so you can learn the pronunciation of each word and sentence.

Your purchase also includes FREE lifetime updates to the e-book and mp3s!

Buy German Language Tutorial

Romance Languages Verb Conjugations

Romance Languages Verb Conjugations – now with Portuguese

Romance Languages Verb Conjugations – now with Portuguese

The tables of Romance languages verb conjugations are currently being updated to include Portuguese. The tables are arranged with the columns containing French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese – but you can easily drag the columns into whichever order you’d like:


The tables include present, imperfect, preterite, future, conditional, present subjunctive, imperfect subjunctive, future subjunctive (for Spanish and Portuguese), affirmative and negative imperative, gerund/present participle and past participle, and the auxiliary verb used in perfect tenses (for French and Italian; they do not change for Spanish and Portuguese).

I’ve also created some simple blank charts in .docx format so you can practice writing out the conjugations. You could type the conjugations if you wanted to, but you are more likely to remember what you write with a pen or pencil than what you type on a computer.

Although they are designed to match the layout of the online verb conjugation tables, the charts can be easily modified if you want to compare different tenses/moods of the same language (such as present indicative and present subjunctive side-by-side). I’ve also left most of the labels blank so you can change the order of the languages and tenses/moods.



Conjugation Charts – Letter – Landscape

Conjugation Charts – Letter – Portrait

Conjugation Charts – A4 – Landscape

Conjugation Charts – A4- Portrait


Happy conjugating!

Intercomprehension Websites for Learning Multiple Languages

Intercomprehension Websites for Learning Multiple Languages

Explore Some Intercomprehension Websites

Learning to Comprehend Several Languages at the Same Time

I have previously posted about comparative books for learning several languages together, including EuROM5 which has an accompanying website. Here are some other intercomprehension websites for learning multiple languages at the same time. These projects focus on comprehending languages related to your native language or learning to understand closely related languages. Some of these projects offer explanations in English while others remain in the target languages only (usually Romance languages).

Union Latine – Some Romance language activities in Catalan, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian; six modules for learning all six languages (Romance Itineraries) and the game Limbo for learning Spanish and Portuguese

Euro-mania – Twenty lessons in six languages (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Occitan, and Romanian) on the topics of science, history, geography, technology and math

Euromania - Learn Six Languages Together

Sample page from first module of Euro-mania with integrated sound files


Micrela – Mutual intelligibility of closely related languages project with language game to test how well you can understand a European language related to your native language

European Awareness and Intercomprehension – Platform for comprehending 11 European languages (Bulgarian, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish or Turkish) based around traveling in Europe, with videos

Intermar – project designed to facilitate the reciprocal understanding and learning of languages through intercomprehension in a maritime context; materials in English (as the lingua franca at sea), Romance, Germanic, and Baltic languages

FluentU vs Yabla Language Learning with Authentic Video

FluentU vs Yabla – Language Learning with Authentic Video

FluentU vs Yabla for Learning Languages through Video Immersion

FluentU and Yabla are subscription websites for learning languages with authentic videos. Because they include subtitles (as well as English translations), the videos are a great way to improve your comprehension and learn new vocabulary. In this FluentU vs Yabla review, we’ll start with what both websites offer and then focus on the advantages of one over the other.

Features of both FluentU and Yabla:

  • currently available in six languages
  • ability to show or hide the subtitles and English translation
  • click on a word to see the translation, and add it to a set of flashcards to review later
  • play short sections in loops if you want to focus on a particular phrase or sentence
  • a large library of videos with new videos added each week
  • free videos to check them out before committing to a paid subscription
  • schools/classroom subscriptions for teachers who want to assign videos as homework and track their students’ progress


FluentU offers videos in Spanish, French, German, English, Chinese, and Japanese. (Italian is planned but there is no exact date yet when it will be available.) FluentU costs $15/month for the basic plan and $30/month for the plus plan.

FluentU prices

The video interface is quite neat and clean, with the translations appearing when you hover over the word. Clicking on the word gives you more sample sentences and the option to add the word to a flashcard set.

FluentU vs Yabla Video Interface

If you are learning several languages, then FluentU will be perfect for you because your subscription gives you access to ALL languages. Fifteen dollars a month to learn six languages is a pretty great deal.


Yabla offers videos in Spanish, French, Italian, German, English, and Chinese. Yabla costs $9.95 a month, BUT each language is a separate subscription, i.e. if you wanted to subscribe to both Spanish and French, you would need to pay $9.95/month two times.

Yabla prices

The video interface includes the dictionary on the right if you click on a word, as well as options to slow the video down and play a vocabulary game:

FluentU vs Yabla Language Learning with Authentic Video

Note that you can use the dictionary to look up any words, not just those that are used in the video you are watching.

How to Choose between FluentU and Yabla

I recommend both websites because they offer invaluable exposure to authentic language. So is there a clear winner in the FluentU vs Yabla competition? The best way to decide between the two basically depends on how many and which languages you are learning:

If you are learning only one language (either Spanish, French, Italian, German, English, or Chinese), then Yabla will be slightly cheaper.

If you are learning two or more languages (Spanish, French, German, English, Chinese, and Japanese), then FluentU will be a better deal especially on the Basic plan.

Of course, if you are learning Italian, your only option for now is Yabla.

Likewise, if you are learning Japanese, your only option is FluentU.

Let me know your thoughts on these websites!


Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

Free Learning How to Learn MOOC on Coursera

Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

Learning How to Learn is a free MOOC available through Coursera. It is a self-paced course which just started January 4, 2016, and I highly recommend it if you have trouble studying or remembering what you study. It includes valuable information about how your brain and memory work, and offers advice on how to study, take notes, conquer procrastination, etc. as well as what is NOT good for learning, i.e. constant re-reading and too much highlighting, for example.

This course is actually one of the most popular courses on Coursera, and the instructors deliver the content in a great way. While this course is broad enough to encompass learning material for various subjects, they do mention learning languages and the techniques are just as valid for learning languages as for learning math or science. One technique is the Pomodoro technique. Basically, you should study for 25 minutes (set a timer), and then take a 5 minute break – to stretch, exercise, have a snack, or just relax – and then do another 25 minute session, followed by another 5 minute break, and so on.

They also mention spaced repetition, which you are probably familiar with if you use Anki, Memrise, and other online study websites. The idea is to space out your learning and study over time rather than trying to cram and memorize everything at once. It is better to let your brain rest for a day or two and then repeat the material in order to really learn it.

The course is only 4 weeks long and new sessions start often if aren’t able to keep up with the quizzes this time around. The course is based on the book A Mind for Numbers, written by one of the instructors, Dr. Barbara Oakley. It is not required for the course, but it does delve deeper into the topic of learning math and science.

Learning How to Learn is based on the book A Mind for Numbers by Barbara Oakley

Let me know if you’ve taken this MOOC and what your thoughts are on it.

Scandinavian Languages

Three Scandinavian Languages Compared

Learn Scandinavian Languages Together

Here’s another multilingual video: three Scandinavian languages compared. You can learn basic phrases in Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish (phrases presented in that order). Recordings were created by native speakers from southern Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Tack / takk / tak to Krystallia, Celine, Anders and Bjørn!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Youtube channel for more language videos, and check out 25 Basic Phrases in Four Romance Languages for more multilingual goodness.

If you prefer text-based learning, I am still adding Danish to the Germanic Vocabulary lists, but the lists definitely include German, Dutch and Swedish right now. Hopefully I can add Norwegian sometime soon as well.

Do you know of any other resources to learn the Scandinavian languages together? Preferably ones created for English speakers?

Learn Swedish with Swedish Language Tutorial by

Learn Swedish with Swedish Language Tutorial

Do you want to learn Swedish?

Swedish Language Tutorial is now available for purchase in PDF format or as a print-on-demand paperback!

This tutorial includes the original vocabulary and grammar review, the authentic listening resources with transcriptions and translations (formatted line by line with the English directly below the Swedish for easier reading/listening), and Swedish realia photos taken in Sweden. The mp3s to accompany the tutorial (and labelled by page number) are available to download for free at or if you order the e-book, they are included in the download as a .rar file

The PDF e-book is available for $21 USD through Gumroad, while the coil-bound paperback is available for $31 USD + shipping through You can also preview the book, including the table of contents, at Lulu’s site.

Purchase of the paperback book includes the e-book for free. Simply forward your receipt to

You will also receive free lifetime updates to the e-book, including audio files, as they are made available.

Buy the PDF e-book (Gumroad):
Buy Swedish Language Tutorial e-book


Buy the coil-bound paperback (

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Visit the Store for more information.

Learn the Romance Languages Together: Resources You Need

Learn the Romance Languages Together: Resources You Need

If you want to learn the Romance languages together, you need to use resources that compare the languages.

Romance language books written in English

One of the oldest books intended to help you learn the Romance languages together is Comparative Grammar of French, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese Languages by Edwin A. Notley. This book was published in 1868 so it’s in the public domain and you can download a PDF that I created. Since it is so old, however, there are few spellings and words that are no longer used in the contemporary languages, so you will need to augment your study with more recent materials. Some copies show up on every once in a while, but at a ridiculous price ($1,500!)

The Loom of Language: An Approach to the Mastery of Many Languages by Frederick Bodmer actually compares four Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese) as well as four Germanic languages (German, Dutch, Swedish and Danish), and offers advice on how to study multiple languages at the same time. Though a bit outdated, it is still my favorite book. You can get a copy at for a relatively cheap price. I previously posted a review of this book if you’d like to know more.

Learn the Romance Languages Together - The Loom of Language: An Approach to the Mastery of Many Languages

The Seven Sieves: How to read all the Romance languages right away by EuroCom is a new initiative to promote intercomprehension of Romance languages. You can buy the book in PDF or paperback through Shaker Verlag (site in German) and the paperback through

Another great book is Comparative Practical Grammar of French, Spanish and Italian by O.H. Heatwole. The main drawback is that there are only three languages, and since it’s out of print, it can be a bit difficult to find online. Third-party sellers do sell it on Amazon but it’s usually rather expensive.

Comparative Practical Grammar of French, Spanish and Italian


Romance language books not written in English

EuRom5 (2011) is the most recent multilingual book I’ve seen yet. It focuses on learning to read and comprehend five Romance languages. The book is written in French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan and Portuguese (so it is designed for native/advanced users of any of those languages) with texts and audio files available on the website. You can buy it from or for under 30€. also sells it for 30-40€ and a few copies are available on This book is not quite as “comparative” as the other books in the list since it offers 20 articles in one language with some words glossed in the other 4 languages (i.e. the entire articles are not translated in the other languages). You can also read my summary/review.

One of my multilingual books: EuRom5 - Read and Understand Five Romance Languages

Comprendre les langues romanes: Du français à l’espagnol, au portugais, à l’italien & au roumain. Méthode d’intercompréhension by Paul Teyssier (2004) is obviously written in French for French-speakers to learn to comprehend Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian. A new edition came out in 2012, but I don’t know if/how it is different from the 2004 edition, which is what I bought. Both editions are available via or or you can order it from Librairie Portugaise & Brésilienne in Paris for 29€, and they do ship worldwide. I believe translations of this book in the other languages exist, but I’m not sure where to buy them.

One of my multilingual books: Comprendre les langues romanes - Understand the Romance languages


Romance language resources at

If you want to study vocabulary lists to learn the Romance languages, I have many lists available at Romance Languages Vocabulary Lists as well as some verb conjugations. The tables are set up so that English is first, followed by French, Italian, Spanish and then Portuguese. I chose this order due to how similar the languages are to each other. However, this may not be the order that you want to study the Romance languages in. Luckily, you can drag the columns in any order that you like! Simply click on the name of the language in the first column and drag it left or right. You can also hide/show languages that you are not studying or when you want to quickly test your memory. A few topics also have fill-in-the-blank exercises, such as days of the week:

Multilingual vocabulary lists - Days in the Romance languages available at

Lastly, I’ve been creating videos that teach French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese together. (I have also created a few videos to teach French and Spanish together.) Subscribe to the Youtube channel to be notified when any new videos are available.

I am really interested in finding other books, websites, or videos that help you learn the Romance languages together. Has anyone found other useful resources?