How to learn languages and to translate texts with digital assistants

How do you say it? Come it is said? Comme ils disent? Studying a language is something that, despite the promises of some street posters, takes time. Dictionary in hand, many polyglots could not always manage to find the most basic words in a language, either to ask for directions or find out who asked not steamed monkey brain (well, there are tastes for everything) for lunch at the restaurant.

In the twenty-first century may have applications in the phone to learn the basic structures of one or more languages, and pronounce decently to minimally engage in conversation.

 There are also websites that offer courses for language learning, translation of words and documents. Increasingly sophisticated, they not only give the speed, but they also care about the quality and accuracy of translation. This is a selection (buzzword here until June) applications and sites that offer the most interesting methods of learning and language translation:


One option is Duolingo, free application that proposes to learn English, French or Portuguese, among few others, through a tool for smartphones and tablets, as well as a web page, in which images, sounds and self-corrections are combined with a format similar to a game’s levels have to overcome and have a number of “lives” that can go missing each error. Losing all, start again with the lesson.

One of the interesting things is that this system incorporates the collaborative contribution, i.e. the users themselves who are helping to teach languages ​​at the same time studying other.

In addition, there is a relationship between what is being done on mobile devices and the web site. Progress on one side are continued in the other, so that if the battery is just no need to interrupt the learning but can continue from the home PC.

A recent study commissioned its creators University of New York argues that 34 hours studying English with Duolingo equivalent to one semester of college classes, lgo perhaps controversial or debatable, but it reinforces the confidence you have the Guatemalan Luis von Ahn, creator of the system.

With 12 million active users, six languages ​​and versions available for Android, iOS and Chrome, this application receives daily requests to broaden the base of languages, reaching to the fanaticism of some sophisticated enough to apply to unusual things, such as language levels Star Trek Klingon.


Another option is to take a course of Rosetta Stone, which includes many more languages, but with the difference that you can only learn the basics for free, and will need to pay to move to something more advanced.

Unlike Doulingo, requiring only connection to the web to download lessons, the Mobile version of Rosetta permanent Internet connection is required.

Designed for tablets (iPad and Android) as well as smartphones, this course is based on multimedia learning from mistakes, including reviews and videos to reinforce vocabulary and acquire statements. The use of voice recognition technology is to correct the pronunciation each time.


The name may sound very obvious, but hey, someone had to baptize a site and language learning. In Babbel you can learn several languages, with a portion of the course in charge and the other pays. Courses vary depending on the duration and prices. The free version, obviously with its limitations, also provides an extensive amount of vocabulary to learn depending on the selected language, and you can also download additional packages and a “smart” system review, without paying a penny.

It also uses various multimedia tools: photos, text and voice to learn the basic vocabulary and then use in everyday situations.


This service is based mostly on the visual side. Use “mems” or cards that work as a memory aid, to add a nice touch language teaching. You can upload own mems on site to help others learn that language. Sure, there are all original or brilliant. Some are screen prints of Wikipedia, other, photos of Instagram. Anything goes.

But do not stop there. It also has features such as poetry, short stories, history or science to teach more detail.


One application that focuses on more traditional methods is Bussu, through dialogues, written exercises and audios. Also brings the option to video chat with other users, both those who are learning how to teach, to delve pronunciation and achieve fluency in the language.

Teaching is for web and mobile application serves more as a kind of study book review lessons. Yes, but is a good method of teaching, most options (video, grammar) are paid.

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For Livemocha, its interface is like that of a social network (mostly similar to Facebook), with options to add friends and even a chat. Strength based teaching in the opportunity to speak with native people, but also offers the traditional teaching method, through readings, audio and written. There are over 35 languages ​​to learn, and while there is a free version, there is another premium, which can be accessed not only with money but also through credits earned by acting as tutor to other users. That should be edited or written materials that respond to audio recordings that go up to the site.

However, this option also enables you to reach hundreds of orders of protection, style notifications… yes, Facebook.

Having a private tutor native, on the other hand, is a great advantage to learn more ideal way more specific elements of everyday language.


If the idea is simply to try to understand a word, a phrase or a web page, then nothing better than an online translator with varying degrees of efficiency and accuracy. Relying on the “robots” that translate very literally is not always recommended, so several of these sites offer the option to send documents to “real”, i.e. people translators. Sure, take a little longer (and usually will cost a few bucks), but it will be more efficient.

Google Translator

The tool proposes the SUV Google translate texts and websites, celebrating its first 8 years. Year to year was adding more and more languages, reaching more than 70 days. With the same minimalist style that characterizes the search engine, the website and mobile application provide the answers immediately, even offering options to enter first syllable. That is compounded by adding the pronunciation of it, the option to translate entire pages.


Microsoft’s browser provides its own translation service, which can be used on the Web to get an immediate response, or download the application for smartphones running Windows Phone. You can also use the taskbar Bing, or download it for use offline.

Bing booking a surprise that puts a smile on the faces of Sheldon Cooper and his friends from The Big Bang Theory, among many other fans: the option to translate words to and from the Klingon language.

A plug-in for Chrome, which can be used to translate a word so as to learn new, or read articles with varying degrees of difficulty. Installs in the taskbar and from there offers to translate words, texts and websites. But it does not stop there: it also provides reading materials and enables practice through games, learn new words.

It is one of the choices for excellence in translating words from one language to another. With a minimalist style, in the manner of Google, displays a dialog in which to write the word or words to be translated, and then select the language of origin and destination.

Translation is not limited to the meaning of the word, but also provides synonyms and examples in phrases or everyday situations.


It is a history of the online translation. It offers a window for entering words and chooses the source and target languages. Bring the option for translating longer texts done by a human translator, promising to make a page in an hour and “competitive rates”, as advertised on the site.

But Babylon also comes in rod for own tasks, to quickly make a translation, without even entering the website.


A metasearch engine, as were all the rage in the late 90s, but of translators and bilingual dictionaries you have hanging around the Web. Just put the word dictionary in the search box and the site will do the rest. Includes hundreds of dictionaries of many other languages ​​and provides access to language learning software. It also adds information about translation courses, free programs to download and others.


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