Hej! I found the most wonderful FREE software last night!
Allow me to introduce Byki! It’s free to download and is available in over 70 languages.
I picked Swedish…why not, right? But there are many other languages available – Afrikaans, Luxembourgish, Dutch, Chinese, Turkish…and of course popular ones like French, German, Italian, Spanish, and even English.
The concept: Flashcards with three different types of practice.
There are different sets of flaschards, organized by theme in manageable sections of 8-13 cards.
- First, you preview the cards by looking at the English or [target language] phrase. (The best part about it is that you hear audio of the foreign language so that you can pronounce it correctly!)
- It gives you the target language side of the flashcard and you type in the English equivalent.
- It gives you the English side of the flashcard. You must type the phrase or word in the target language.
It’s all about repetition – seeing it and writing it back, hearing it and saying it back. That is essential for learning any language! The program tracks your progress, has a good way of checking your answers to ensure that you really are learning the material, and it allows you to review whenever necessary. It’s like having a set of virtual flashcards!
If you want to start learning a new language, consider starting here! This is a fantastic program that can at least give you some basic vocabulary and phrases. There are a few downsides – it seems to be targeted to Americans (or at least native anglophones). (I haven’t checked, but perhaps it allows you to download it in a different language if you’re not an anglophone…it may be worth checking out.) Another downside is that it does not give any grammatical support. However, I believe it can be extremely helpful for understanding initial words, phrases and pronunciation.
Best of all? It’s absolutely free. There is a deluxe version that you can download for a fee, but the free version is wonderful.