Do It Yourself!
Learning languages is fun and the Web is a great place to start.
First of all, you can find do-it-yourself lessons. There are a lot of language lessons sites. Some even have sound! Try these:
The good people in Cyprus have provided 105 lessons in Greek, including sound. This is the most ambitious language learning site we have come across and Greek is a neat language. Give it a try!
For Spanish, French and German, take a look at:
www.studyspanish.com/tutorial.htm for Spanish.
www.jump-gate.com/languages/french/ for French.
castle.uvic.ca/german/149/ for German.
They aren’t as complete as the Greek site, but they’re a good start.
Of course you need a dictionary in the language you’re learning. The web abounds in foreign language dictionaries.
The most impressive one we know of is WordReference.com a multilingual dictionary that goes back and forth among all the European languages. It’s so good we have it bookmarked.
The German dictionary at dict.leo.org/ is also very comprehensive.
Some others are:
For French: humanities.uchicago.edu/forms_unrest/FR-ENG.html
For Spanish: www.activadic.com/Dicc/EnDic.htm
For Greek: www.kypros.org/cgi-bin/lexicon
But be careful when you look words up. Remember, even the best foreign language dictionary is only as good as the person using it.
Once you’ve got a start on your new language, you’ll want to practice reading. We recommend newspapers. The vocabulary is repetitive, so you’ll get frequent reinforcement in those new words you’ve learned. If you read the international news, you’ll find subjects you’re already familiar with. And finally you get an interesting view of what’s going on in the world from the other fellow’s viewpoint. Here are the best ones we’ve found in the languages we’ve talked about above:
For French, try the famous French daily, Le Monde. The language is excellent, the thoughts are very French.
The Colombians pride themselves on the "purest" Spanish, and there’s something to what they say. Look for El Tiempo.
For German, we suggest the Süddeutsche Zeitung. It’s complete and well laid out.
To Vima (The Tribune), a Greek Sunday paper. You’ll need Greek fonts for this one, but they can be downloaded for free from the To Vima site.
This is just scratching the surface of foreign language resources on the net. Look around and have some fun!