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City view of Taipei Taiwan at night.
Learn Taiwanese Quickly
It is proven that the fastest way to learn Taiwanese, or any other language, is by emersion in the language and culture of the people. This forces the learning into daily life, and surrounds you with opportunities to practice speaking, listening and conversing in the local language. It also takes the learning off the page and brings it to life. If you want to learn Taiwanese quickly, there is no better method than diving into everyday life in Taiwan.

This may seem like a far-fetched idea to some, but there are actually quite a few opportunities to work in Taiwan temporarily. One opportunity is to teach ESL in Taiwan. Teaching ESL opens up opportunities all over Taiwan for you to use your English to teach in a variety of school settings. You don’t even have to have experience in Taiwanese to teach, and you will get an excellent surrounding of culture and language to help with your language efforts. You can find ESL teaching jobs in a variety of places, and you can check out LRNGO’s ESL blog for more information on qualifications and certifications necessary to teach, as well as advice on finding a job right for you.

There are also opportunities for you to work abroad for room and board. If you’re interested in farming, check out WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) , which offers tons of opportunities for volunteers to connect with farmers all over the globe for a temporary stay and work opportunity. You could also check out Helpx, with a similar concept of volunteering for room and board, but with opportunities spanning across the board, from helping with small hotels to tutoring hosts in a variety of skills.

You can also work with a native Taiwanese speaker through tutoring or language exchange. You can find a tutor on a variety of sites such as WyzAnt, and a language exchange partner at LRNGO, if you would like to exchange lesson for lesson as opposed to paying a tutor. Working with a native speaker allows you the flexibility of asking questions and having lessons tailored to your learning style and abilities. They also open up doors for cross cultural understanding and are the best way to learn what natural, modern Taiwanese looks like.

You can also find some computer courses to help you learn Taiwanese. These are interactive and a close second to having a private tutor, but often times still cost. Be sure to do your research before opting for this method, and make use of any free trials offered to you so you can be sure that you’re paying for a program that is right for you.

Your efforts to become proficient in a new language will be rewarded by the joy of being able to communicate more freely and explore the opportunities this introduces.

Photo Credit: Luke Ma

lrngo users in over 190 countries

Peles Castle in Romania.
Romanian Made Simple
Interested in learning Romanian? The language is most prominent it Romania and Moldova, but has speakers scattered around various other countries. With native Romanian speakers numbering at about 24 million worldwide, along with approximately 4 million second language speakers, there are ample opportunities to learn the language and add to that 4 million!

Reaching proficiency in a foreign language takes a few singular qualities: drive, commitment, and determination, to name a few. If you feel up to the challenge, then all you need now is a way to achieve your goal. There are a variety of ways you can learn Romanian, and it is often best to combine the different resources out there and gain a rounded understanding of the language as a whole.

Take a Class

If you function best in a classroom setting, consider doing your research on Romanian classes near you, perhaps at your local college, or online. Not all colleges have the option of Romanian courses, so you may have to fall back on the online option. Finding the right class is an important part of your learning, so be sure to read plenty of reviews and try any free trials offered before committing to a course.

Hire a Tutor

This is an excellent option as face-to-face practice is extremely important in any language study. You can check out local classifieds or turn to established tutoring sites like WyzAnt, which posts ads for tutors available both in person or through video chat. The site even includes available tutors’ hours of tutoring experience so you’ll be sure to work with an experienced tutor.

Connect with a Language Exchange Partner

If you would like to learn Romanian without the price tag, then this is the option for you. Because face-to-face learning and practice is so important when it comes to languages, this is an excellent alternative to a hired tutor while still getting the benefits. The idea is that we all have something to learn, as well as things we can teach, so instead of exchange dollar bills for a Romanian lesson, why not exchange your time and teach your partner something you know? Heck, you could even teach English or any other native language whose ability for you to teach you may take for granted. As you probably know, sites like LRNGO allow you to connect with a partner locally or online via video chat so that you can be sure to have options wherever you go.

Explore Online Options

There are plenty of learn at your own pace Romanian resources on the web that are best used when paired with one of the above options (but are incredibly valuable resources for practice and extra study).

Romanian Lessons is a great place to get a grasp of the basics, for free. The free course includes ten lessons so that your foundational knowledge of the language will be solid.

Romanian 101 is perfect for vocabulary and grammar, as well as a place to find links to Romanian radio and news so that you can practice your listening and reading skills while learning about the language’s surrounding culture.

Learn Romanian with Nico is an awesome YouTube channel that helps with grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation. Taught by a native speaker, these videos are very useful for those interested in not only the language, but the culture.

Worldwideliving-Romanian Language is a free podcast on iTunes, giving you the opportunity to listen to bits of Romanian wherever you go, be it in the car, while cleaning the house, or walking your dog, podcasts are a great way to squeeze in some study time in your daily life. This particular podcast plays the audio in both English and Romanian so that you get a better understanding of how the two function in comparison to one another.

Remember that you now have the resources you need to learn Romanian, so get out there and utilize them!

Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis

lrngo users in over 190 countries

Graffiti on the wall saying, Arriba.
Learning to Roll R’s - Alveolar Trill
Spanish; German; Russian; Bulgarian; Greek; There are a surprising number of languages where the trill- commonly known as rolling r’s- is an important part of everday speech. Of course, it is first important to say that not being able to roll your r’s is not the worst thing in the world; being able to do a proper trill is secondary in importance to knowing vocabulary, grammar, being able to understand everyday speech, etc. But of course, if you are striving for perfect “fluency”, mastering the trill is an important part of reaching that goal.

Types of Trills

A common mistake that many people make is to assume that all languages roll r’s the same way. As I was learning Spanish, I quickly realized (to my detriment) that this was not true. I had spent a significant amount of time practicing trills, and I eventually got to a point where I thought I was making the correct trill. Then I was told by a teacher that I was doing something called the Ulvular Trill. You do it by vibrating the Uvula at the back of the throat (that hanging thing that, if you touch it, makes you throw up). For Spanish, the more commonly accepted for of the Trill is known as the Alveolar Trill. This Trill is done with the tip of the tongue, at the front of the mouth. So much to my dismay I began to attempt to learn this new and alien form of trilling. Now, I do not pretend to be an expert on trills. I am also sure that there are other forms of Trills. For example, I have heard of something called a Fricative Ulvular trill, and I profess I have absolutely no idea what that is. All I can offer as advice is how I eventually got the hand of the alveolar Trill. Here are some of the best resources I found online that helped.

Free Resources - In addition to providing a variety of great tips, I really appreciated how this site emphasized repeatedly that everyone has the capacity to learn how to roll R’s. After doing it for many, many weeks, it was nice to hear a little encouragement. – For some reason or another, the way this video explained rolling r’s really clicked for me. I won’t say it will do the same for you, but I recommend you check it out. - I like the tip about loosening up the tongue before trying to practice. Reminds me a little bit of stretching before exercising.

As a final word, for me, learning to roll r's was a lot like learning to whistle. The only thing that seemed to work in the end, and I cannot stress this enough, was simply trying to roll my r's all the time. Make it into an annoying habit. Heck, I got to the point where I would watch movies and be making horrible, guttural sounds the entire time. And eventually you will accidently make the correct sound. And then a little later you will accidently make the correct sound again. That's my approach- learning by complete accident.

Photo Credit: Gabriel Seisdedos

lrngo users in over 190 countries

Castle Square in Poland.
What it Takes to Learn Polish
If you have recently decided to embark on a language learning journey to learn Polish, then you’ll need to be prepared for what it takes to be a language learner. If this is your first time learning a new language, you’ll need to be prepared for some of the challenges you may face, as well as the best way to go about the learning process.

The first step to becoming a language learner is dedication. Learning a new language is an ongoing process, so it is important to make a schedule and stick to it. Immerse yourself in the language whenever possible and keep practicing. To do this, you’ll need the right methods and resources, so read on and discover all of the opportunities you have to learn Polish for free.

There are plenty of sites out there that make it their goal to bring Polish to you in a variety of ways.

As you probably know, LRNGO provides a platform where you can connect with a language exchange partner. The idea is that learning exchange recognizes that everyone has valuable skills that they can teach, as well as skills they wish to learn.

Mówić po polsku (Polish for “speaking (in) Polish”) is a great site for learning the basics of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. The site is easy to navigate and even hosts YouTube and podcast lessons, giving you a variety of platforms to work on!

Learn Polish seems to have it all. From an online dictionary, translations, articles, and a ton of other categories, this site is a great place to explore Polish on a basic level and branch out to intermediate level practice.

PolishPod101 is great if you learn best through videos. With basic Polish in 3 minutes, vocabulary, and listening practices, this YouTube channel is definitely worth checking out.

Polish101 is perfect for some fundamental work, as well as provides useful links to Polish radio and news sites so that you can test and practice your Polish in the “real world”.

Digital Dialects is the place to go to practice what you’ve learned to see what you’ve aced and what you need work on. These online exercises are a fun way to study and test yourself.

That isn’t to say that you won’t face any challenges. Learning a language is no small task, and you will make mistakes. Look at mistakes and struggles as a valuable part of the learning process and keep going! Learning Polish as a second language is feasible!

Fluent in Three Months has a great blog post about learning Polish from a personal viewpoint and how, despite its reputation as an extremely difficult language to learn, it is more than possible to pick up as a second language, so if you need some inspiration, advice, or words of encouragement, check it out and remember: with determination, dedication, and practice, you will learn Polish!

Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis

lrngo users in over 190 countries

National Liberation Day of Korea.
Quick Tips on Learning Korean
Mastering a new language can be daunting, especially if you’re new to the language learning process. You may find yourself coming up with questions such as where do I begin?

Don’t worry, anyone who has learnt a second language has felt like that at one time or another. The good news is you can learn a new language, no matter how daunting it may seem! Better yet, there are some tried and proven ways to help you learn your language quickly and proficiently. So take a deep breath and read on, then you’ll have the basic knowledge you’ll need to start learning Korean.

Be Dedicated
The first step may seem like the simplest, but in fact, being truly dedicated to learning Korean is often the missing piece for many learners. Learning any language takes time and commitment, and you will be sure to face some unwanted and unforeseen challenges along the way. The key is to be dedicated enough in your learning to get through the more difficult times and stick with it. Ask yourself the question: do I really want to learn this language and do I have the time to commit to it? If you answered yes confidently to both parts, then you’ve already passed the highest hurdle in your learning.

Find Your Resources
It would be a little difficult to start learning Korean without any resources at hand, and let me tell you, there are tons out there, both free and for a fee. Here is a short list of some of the many resources you’ll find on the web that give you access to some valuable Korean learning material. Make a quick web search yourself to uncover some more of these gems!

As you probably know LRNGO is a site offering a free platform for you to connect with a tutor, online class, or language exchange partner. If you’re looking for a free way to learn, consider the latter option and connect with a language exchange partner. Use your skills to teach them and let them teach you Korean—without paying a penny.

Whether you make use of a paid option or a language exchange partner, having human guidance during your learning process is essential as they will be able to adjust lessons to fit your needs, give you cultural input, and be a conversation partner.

Korean 101 has it all. From outside links to Korean radio, news, and TV for practice, as well as in-site pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar help, you’ll be sure to find this site valuable no matter what your skill level.

Weekly Korean is a site full of valuable tools, but they are best used for their great podcasts. You can listen from anywhere doing most anything and get valuable listening practice. These are recommended for those who have a grasp on Korean basics.

Korean Class 101 is a YouTube channel that is dedicated to teaching the basics of Korean to beginners, for free. From vocabulary, writing, and pronunciation help, this is a great place to get started on your learning.

Digital Dialects is a site that focuses on providing users with free online exercises to help test their language learning progress. This is a perfect way to take a break from rigorous study and see how much of it is actually sinking in.

Make a Schedule
Because of that dedication and commitment previously mentioned, if you’re truly interested in learning Korean, you’ll have to plan out your study schedule to ensure that you make enough time each day for your studies and that you get well-rounded practice on all aspects of the language. Figure out what works best for you in terms of time and material; just remember that you must keep it consistent. Don’t try to cram once a week and expect to see results, spread your studies out daily or every other day, which is much more efficient than cramming all your studies into one day.

Practice, Practice, Practice!
Now that you’ve decided that you’re dedicated, you have your resources in line, and you have a study schedule, your next step is to really get practicing. It’s important to recognize the multilayered components of a language and dedicate sufficient practice to all of them. Be sure that you work on reading, writing, speaking, and listening to Korean so that you really will have a working knowledge of the language.

Photo Credit: Republic of Korea

lrngo users in over 190 countries

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