Saturday, September 10, 2011

Language Tools

The world is shrinking, as a result more and more of us are learning or communicating in other languages. Having taken eight years of French (none of which I can remember) I know how challenging it can be to try learning a new language. Searching for the right tools doesn't have to be one of them. I can freely attest that Rosetta Stone is by far the best language tool I've ever used. (NOTE: I have not been compensated in anyway by Rosetta Stone nor have I had any contact with the company.)

Unlike other tools Rosetta Stone does not force you to memorizelists of words, verb tensesnor the like that often make learning another language so challenging. In fact, I have been using it for a month (to learn Spanish) and not once has it uttered a word in English. In fact, the way its laid out all you are learning is the new language the way a newborn would. I must say this method is brilliant. While I have the vocabulary of maybe a 1 year old so far, The things I know I am completely comfortable with. Soon I hope to actually write my Spanish posts rather than translate them online.

Finally something nice to say about Microsoft! For a while I've been worried I might be viewed as a Microsoft basher, I am not, but when it comes to translation Bing seems to get languages. In my personal life I do quite a bit of volunteer teaching and this some times leaves me providing assistance to teachers who are working entirely in Spanish. Using Google translate, I've been able to get my point across but usually only after the teacher corrects my bad grammer. Bing translate doesn't seem to have this problem and (at least so far) I haven't gotten any crazy looks. Maybe one day their search results will be equally superior to Google's. Of course, they have a way to go..

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