Category Archives: Website

Multilingual Vocabulary Lists and Verb Conjugations to Learn Several Languages Together

Multilingual Vocabulary Lists and Verb Conjugations

Study several languages with multilingual vocabulary lists and verb conjugations

For those who also love multilingual vocabulary lists or verb conjugations, I’m continuously updating the Romance and Germanic pages. The Romance languages include French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Germanic includes German, Dutch, Swedish, some Danish, and a tiny bit of Afrikaans and Norwegian for the vocabulary sections, and German, Dutch and Swedish for the verb conjugations. Here are the index pages with links to each individual page:

Once I am able to add more vocabulary and verbs, I will probably split the Germanic lists and create separate Scandinavian lists (hopefully with Icelandic included). I have also been creating some Youtube videos so you can hear and see the differences among the Romance, Germanic, and Scandinavian languages as well as some fill-in-the-blank exercises for Romance languages.

For the Romance languages, you also have the option of hiding/showing languages as well as changing the order of the languages. This will be added to the Germanic lists soon.

Multilingual vocabulary lists - Days in the Romance languages available at ielanguages.com

 

Other multilingual sites to check out:

The MediaGlyphs Project Vocabulary List Generator allows you to select 2-3 languages and a theme to display the multilingual vocabulary 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.

Book2 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.

Internet Polyglot offers lots of language combinations to study lists of vocabulary, many with pronunciation and games. It is free, but like Book2 you can only choose two languages to view at a time.

BePolyglot was a pay language portal about the 5 main Romance languages that offered multilingual vocabulary lists.  [Unfortunately this website no longer exists, but you can view the free pages using the Internet Archive.]

 

Multilingual, but more work for you:

These 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.

 

If you can help add other languages – from any language family – please let me know!

Updated July 2016

French Listening Resources: Weekly Updates to Podcast

I’ve just uploaded the latest mp3 to the French Listening Resources podcast, so it will be available for download soon through iTunes or immediately through the site. I’m going to try to update every weekend and also provide the transcript right away (in text format and as a new page so you can listen and read at the same time). Currently most of the mp3s have transcripts available, but I’m still working on a few of them. And eventually I will add the translation into English and some notes on the vocabulary.  Any thoughts on what would be helpful for getting the most out of these listening resources? Interactive exercises? Explanations of vocabulary choice or grammar usage? Any requests on topics?

French Listening Resources Podcast Logo

RSS Times Three: Automatic Updates

I now have three RSS feeds for my site (well, four if you count my Twitter). Most of you are probably reading this through my blog feed, but I also have a feed for ielanguages.com website updates and I just created a new feed for the mp3s that I upload to the French Listening Resources page.

So for the RSS junkies, here are all the feeds:

Jennie en France Blog

Updates to ielanguages.com

French Listening mp3s OR you can subscribe directly through iTunes by clicking here

Isn’t technology great?

Refocus on French & Languages

I’ve decided it is grand temps that I get organized and focused on learning languages again. I feel as though I’ve been too distracted and/or lazy lately. I haven’t finished nearly as much as I would have liked on my site and I certainly haven’t been studying the way I used to. So to begin, I’m going to refocus my blog topics and attempt to mostly stick to teaching & learning languages, especially French. Foreign languages is one of the few things I’m very passionate about and I love knowing that I can help others learn through the internet.  And since I can’t exactly teach French in France, I’m going to try my best to do it online and spread the love of Francophonie to everyone.

I will still post about Chambéry and the Alps from time to time, but if you’d like to see beautiful photos and videos from this area, then I suggest you head over to Cynthia’s blog at www.american-in-france.com.  I’m sure I’ll still find some aspects of French culture that boggle my mind, and of course I will keep everyone informed of my love affair with the préfecture and our rocky carte de séjour relationship. (Still no news after 7 months…) But most of my energy is going into helping people learn  languages, and HOW to learn them.

As for my website, I am continuing with the IPA for the French tutorials and uploading more listening resources (exercises to come… someday). I would also like to finish the comparative tutorials because there is a serious lack of multilingual learning material on the internet for those of us learning several languages at once.  Being bilingual will never be good enough for me!

Learning the Départements of France

After a 6 month break, I finally got David to do some more recordings for the French tutorials. We finished up French VII and sections on education, politics, television, geography of France, etc. There are a lot of games online you can play to test your knowledge of the geography of France, but I hadn’t yet seen any flashcards or any that include pronunciation. So I decided to make some audio flashcards for learning the départements and their numbers as well as their régions.

Département Flashcards: Name + Number (Part 1)

Département Flashcards: Name + Number (Part 2)

Département Flashcards: Number + Name (Part 1)

Département Flashcards: Number + Name (Part 2)

Département Flashcards: Name + Région (Part 1)

Département Flashcards: Name + Région (Part 2)

One of these days I’ll get around to adding more sets, especially to include the préfecture of each département. And I’ll probably have to add Mayotte if they vote yes today to become the 101st département! (Their status as an overseas département wouldn’t become effective until 2011 though).

I also added an RSS button to the top of each page, for those who want an RSS feed of the updates of the entire site and not just the blog. I hope this will inspire me to work on my website more often. I have a ton of plans (like the American English, Teaching French, and French Conversation sections…), but it just takes so much time to write and format each page, especially if I’m working with a bunch of sound files. I hope to focus on my site a lot more this summer when I’m not traveling.

Links Roundup for Learning Languages Online (Audio Version)

I’ve been slowly going through my Language Links page to delete dead links and add new ones. Some new language sites that I’ve come across since my last links post include audio prominently:

SWAC Audio Collections provide pronunciations for a wide range of words in 11 languages: Bielorussian, Czech, Chinese, German, English, French, Dutch, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Ukrainian. The audio collections can be downloaded as well, in flac or ogg format. (If you’re looking for a pronunciation dictionary in Italian, try DOP from Rai.)

LangMedia “features authentic language videos filmed in country, depicting everyday situations and conversations. These videos were filmed between 1999 and 2002 by international students from the Five Colleges. Transcripts, translations, audio clips, and still images are also included.” Over 30 languages available.

Sit back… Watch… Learn is a blog that gathers YouTube videos for learning languages: Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Italian, Swedish, Sign Languages, and Welsh. More languages will be added over time.

Internet Polyglot has vocabulary lists and games for over 20 languages, most with audio. You can also choose a combination of languages rather than just the target language + English.

Sons en français is a large collection of audio and video clips to help with oral comprehension of French. A great resource for advanced learners who need more listening practice.

Spanish NewsBites is a “free language-learning website designed to help you learn Spanish at the same time as you learn about what’s happening TODAY throughout Spain and Latin America.” Listen to the article, and then do the exercise to reinforce the vocabulary.

Transparent Languages recently started language & culture blogs for 9 languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. They still have their Word of the Day widgets as well, with pronunciation of the word.

French Phonetics: Listening & Repetition Exercises

Have trouble hearing the difference between les and lait ? How about jeune and jeûne ? Um, yeah, me too. Still can’t say bûche correctly? How many silent letters are there in prompt ? Do you want to cry when you’re forced to pronounce serrurerie ?

Since I’m still on vacation, I’ve been working hard on making a pronunciation tutorial and exercises for French. Thanks to David, I’ve finally got the sound files recorded, edited, and uploaded to go along with the new French Phonetics page. I made two versions of the listening exercises – one in plain ol’ HTML and another with Hot Potatoes – and the repetition exercises have the transcripts available in case you can’t understand what the heck David is saying. (He talks fast sometimes.)

I hope to expand it in the future, but for now I’m already exhausted with just these hundred or so sound files. I love Audacity, but editing sound files is boring de chez boring.

So now, which one is it: les or lait ?

P.S. You can hear my lovely (ha!) Midwestern voice in the stress and intonation sections comparing English to French.

Studying or Learning Multiple Languages Simultaneously

I’ve been working on my French & German Comparative Tutorial this week, and also searching the internet to find other sites that help people learn more than one language at a time, or even multiple languages simultaneously. I am so disappointed.

[Update: I haven’t found many websites but I have found some multilingual comparative books for learning multiple languages simultaneously. Of course, you should check out my Romance and Germanic vocabulary and verb lists too!]

Studying or Learning Multiple Languages Simultaneously

I’ve found a few vocabulary lists, but they’re mostly just showing the similarities among Romance languages. I can’t find any sites that include lessons for learning two languages, closely related or not. I’ve never been able to find books like this either, which is somewhat surprising considering that almost all graduate students must learn two foreign languages and I know I am not the only person in the world who studies French, German and Italian at the same time. Where’s the multilingual love?

Instead, all I’m finding is some misguided “advice” that learning two languages at once is a bad idea. Says who? Every single person learns in a different way. Maybe it’s a good idea and maybe it’s not, but you should at least try. Maybe you can learn as a beginner in two languages without confusing them, or maybe you need to be advanced in one but beginning in the other. It all depends on your learning style.

I took Intermediate French, Beginning German and Beginning Spanish when I was an undergrad and I never had a problem keeping the languages straight in my head. Apparently this is discouraged (!) at some American universities, like Georgetown: “Freshmen interested in pre-registering for multiple language courses must receive permission from the dean’s office. One of the deans will discuss your specific situation with you and help you determine whether or not studying a second foreign language is feasible.” You have to get permission to study languages?? How can studying a second foreign language ever be NOT feasible?? I. just. don’t. get. it. Quite a difference from French high schools, where students must learn two languages!

Of course, if you’re advanced enough in one language, you can always use it to learn another, i.e. learn German in French or learn Italian in Spanish. That’s precisely what I do when I buy language books here in France. I feel like I get two languages for the price of one. Even the cheap cahiers (usually no more than 5 € each) designed for collège-level students are useful for getting the grammar basics of German, Italian, Spanish and sometimes even Latin. LaRousse, Hachette, Magnard, and Hatier Chouette are all good ones.

Anyway, since I want to spread the multiple language love, here are some new resources that I’ve come across this week:

  • Pukka German is a podcast of informal German (slang, idioms, colloquialisms) from an adorable South African-German couple who live in Freiburg. It’s extremely useful since it’s the German that is not included in textbooks, i.e. the way people actually speak!
  • Deutschlern.net is a free Deutsch als Fremdsprache site with online interactive exercises. It’s all in German, which can be a bit intimidating if you’re a beginner.
  • Since there’s no amazon.it, I searched around for online Italian bookstores where I can buy Italian as a Second Language books. I managed to find two, Internet Bookstore Italia and Libreria Universitaria, but shipping outside of Italy is not cheap.

Pour les francophones qui veulent apprendre l’allemand :

Pour les francophones qui veulent apprendre l’italien :

There are other facile.com sites for learning Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Latin and even Provençal! (The English version of the site only includes lessons for French, Spanish and German.)

So if anyone else can find free online tutorials in learning two languages together (not necessarily just French & German or French & Italian), please let me know!