Yes, there's an app for that. Babbel makes one of the best on the market for learning a foreign language. Babbel Mobile apps provide portable, situational travel instruction in seven languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, and Portuguese. Integrated speech recognition technology allows you to assess your pronunciation skills, and the intelligent review manager provides you with feedback on weak areas in your vocabulary—and provides targeted exercises. And, because the vocabulary is arranged by category, you can focus on the lessons you want, such as the vocabulary of travel and business.
For the most comprehensive language-learning sites on the Web, check out BBC Languages. The 40 BBC language websites offer beginners, post-beginners, and intermediate-level students a virtual smorgasbord of learning opportunities in languages such as Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Arabic, and Urdu. Each site features language-specific audio courses, interactive video courses, TV and radio programs, plays, games, fun facts, dictionaries, and weather reports. For example, in the audio course French Steps, visitors can learn important business-related language. You even can watch user-submitted clips of faux pas to help you avoid their same fate.
If you want language-learning software without dropping several Benjamins on Rosetta Stone, check out Byki Express. The desktop software program is available for free in 74 languages ranging from Spanish to Zulu. The free Byki mobile app that allows users to post progress on Facebook, or connect with other users. The Byki approach utilizes online applications, vocabulary lists, articles, and games to help you collect words. Best of all, you can access shared word lists posted by members of Byki's online community that allow you to expand your knowledge in the areas of your choice.
Looking for structured learning online? Livemocha offers beginning-to-advanced courses that were developed in partnership with educational publishing powerhouses Pearson and Collins. The Livemocha community consists of nearly 10 million learners representing 195 countries and 38 languages, including Cantonese, Kazakh, Icelandic, Yiddish, and Sanskrit. A mix of traditional course content and social networking, the Livemocha method involves both independent study and user-assisted assessment. There are flashcards, games, quizzes, and a phrase arcade, which presents vocabulary in the target language with corresponding images and translations. Users can also complete spoken and written exercises and submit them to native speaker users for review.
International television programming, which is available for free on the Internet, is one of the most often-overlooked resources for foreign-language learning. Foreign TV stations created specifically for international audiences are particularly good resources. Say you want to learn Italian. One great station is Italy's RAI Internazionale. Other useful programs for intermediate and advanced learners include TG1, Italy's main television news program, and Gran Sportello Italia (Great Doorway to Italy), which feature the latest information on topics such as business, politics, religion, family, and food.