by Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA, LLM, ME, EMT
Founder & Executive Director, Break Diving, Inc.
If you are trying to learn a foreign language–TRULY LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE–I wholly recommend that you check out www.Transparent.com.
There are a lot of ‘learn a language’ programs out there, but most assume that you are an idiot, and don’t really work in terms of teaching you what you need to know.
Not so with Transparent, where they really do teach you how to read, write, speak, and listen, lesson-by-lesson, phase-by-phrase, word-by-word. Truly, I haven’t found a better platform than Transparent for totally immersing you in the language, and forcing you to learn (and learn well) all four disciplines: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
While yes, it’s about $200/year, I believe the investment worth the cost, and far more effective that Rosetta Stone (which is absurdly costly) and Duolingo (which is free, but doesn’t really teach you as well as Transparent does).
Don’t get me wrong: I do use many other language learning apps and programs, i.e. duolingo is fantastic for teaching you the alphabets (Japanese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, etc) and is a great review tool; and Brainscape and Memrise are also great at helping with vocabulary. But… where do I go when I actually want to LEARN a new language? Transparent. And I mean ANY language. Try to find the most obscure language on the planet and… you can learn it on Transparent. Swahili? Check! Urdu? Check! Twii? Check!
Check it out. I think you will agree once you start using it that it’s pretty awesome. Plus, you can sign up for a free ‘word of the day’ for any language you want that gets delivered to your email box. Every day. Complete with an example sentence and full audio pronunciation.
On the other hand, if you already speak a language fairly well, and are ready to finally become fluent, we hope you will consider our Break Diving Fluency Project online one-month intensive. If you want to find out if our program is right for you, check out this blog post: Proof That Your Foreign Language Vocabulary Probably Stinks — Take This Quiz!
NOTE: We recommend to our students at the Fluency Project to use as many systems as make sense. I, for instance, study with Transparent regularly, but also get a heck of a lot more advanced word accomplished (and meet other language learners worldwide) by also participating in our Fluency Project courses. I use my spare time on duolingo, brainscape, and memrise. And I dive deeply into the language books by Assimil in France (I study Chinese, Russian, Italian, and French using French textbooks, but Assimil has many programs in English too). I also have most of the programs created by Living Language as well, and even Pimsleur. But:
- In terms of a online self-paced course to learn all four disciplines of a language, NOTHING beats Transparent.
- In terms of an online live course with other students to master the four disciplines of a language, and truly make great progress towards ultimate fluency, NOTHING beats Break Diving’s very own Fluency Project.
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