A few days ago, my dad recommended I take a look at Live Mocha, which is a free language learning website anyone can sign up for. I’ve been checking it out for the past couple of days and I’m fairly impressed. It’s billed as a superior alternative to Rosetta Stone. I don’t know that I would necessarily call it superior but it’s definitely a very good learning tool. And if you don’t want to pay a lot of money for an expensive class or a program like Rosetta Stone, Live Mocha is a really good alternative.

Once you’ve signed up with Live Mocha, you can enroll in up to 30 different language lessons. There are also premium lessons that you can pay for, like a Travel Crash course (which is unfortunately only available in Spanish, French, Mandarin, German and Italian) but even these are fairly cheap. After you sign up for your language(s), you gradually progress through the lessons. Each lesson starts with introducing you to knew words using pictures, audio recordings and the words in the target language. Once you’ve finished those, you can choose to finish the lesson or do one of their practices. There’s reading, listening and ‘magnet’ practice (magnet is basically sentence construction practice) and you can also quiz yourself. To finish the lesson, you have to complete exercises from the practice sessions (so it’s useful to do them, even if you don’t have to) and you’re done! You can move onto a new lesson or redo your earlier ones.

Right now I’m doing Unit 1 Lesson 5 of Korean, which introduces numbers 1-20. Unfortunately, it’s only introducing the set of Korean numbers used for counting things, while Rosetta Stone does both. It’s a little hard to learn both at once but I like knowing them both. There are a few things that Rosetta Stone has that Live Mocha doesn’t. My big issue with Live Mocha is I feel there’s way too much English being said. For the magnet exercises, example sentences are given in English but it wouldn’t be hard to have them in Korean.

But there’s also one major thing Live Mocha has that Rosetta Stone doesn’t: social networking. Aside from being able to have friends through Live Mocha, you can also interact with people who are fluent in the language. You can also do exercises, either written or spoken, in the target language, which native speakers can then correct. It’s pretty cool. So far, they don’t have any of these exercises in Korean, but they do have them in English so I some times correct the exercises of people learning English. I really like the feature so I hope they expand it to all of the 30 languages you can learn.

If you want to learn a language for free, Live Mocha is definitely a route you should consider. If you’ve already paid for classes or software like Rosetta Stone, I would still recommend checking this out. It’s important to vary the things you do to learn a language and this is definitely worth incorporating into the other things you’re doing.

PS. Just for fun, I also signed up for the introductory lesson of Japanese. They present new words in both Japanese and romanji, which is nice but I think I’ll be focusing on just Korean for right now!

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