Thursday, August 12, 2010

Language exchanges

Learning a Language From an Expert, on the Web reports on various communities of language learners who help each other out.
"Livemocha, a Seattle company with $14 million in venture capital financing, mixes a social network with lessons for more than 38 of the world’s more common languages.

"The initial lessons are free, but unlocking some of the additional features requires a fee to Livemocha (starting at $10 for a set of lessons) or an agreement to correct the work of others..."

" just maintains lists of people who know certain languages and want to learn others. Anyone can search the database, but only gold members, who pay $24 a year, can send e-mail easily to others."
" set up a market for recordings spoken by native speakers. Anyone can post a selection of text and anyone can post a recording."
"Companies like,, and a surprisingly large number of other Web sites are competing to offer lessons and tutoring to students throughout the world. I found dozens of others offering what was found only on PC software a few years ago.

"There are even more casual approaches that come with even less infrastructure and fewer of the protections for consumers that it may offer. It is easy to find, for instance, people who want to practice languages with a free phone call through the forums run by Skype. One click and you can talk free with someone who wants to practice another language. The standard protocol is to spend half the time on one language and half the time with the other.

"Some sites, like, and, are devoted to helping people practice English but add the elements of sharing photos and interests like a dating service. "

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