busuulogoIf you're like us, then you probably haven't hit up your Spanish text-books from college in years. But in today's society, having a little understanding of a foreign language can go a long way to make you look more professional. If you want to get a little linguistics exercise, but don't have the time or money to spend taking formal courses at your local community college (ugh), then Busuu is for you.
Busuu is a do-it-yourself approach to learning languages. When you join the site, you'll have to provide a little information about yourself, and pick what languages you speak and which you want to learn. Right now, Busuu offers free basic courses in English, German, French, and Spanish. We decided to take the Spanish course for a spin, just because that is the the second most-spoken language in the United State right now, and because if we ever want to understand what's going on during those intriguing Spanish network shows, we had better start brushing up.
ImageWhen you want to start learning a language at Busuu, you have a bunch of different ways to approach it. You can pick a lesson, and get the vocabulary for the lesson, and take a quick review at the end of each section. When you first take an exam, the questions are presented in audio, to help you recognize the pronunciation of the vocabulary better than just reading will allow. When you finish all the sections in a unit, there's a larger exam to make sure you've retained all the information.
One of the cooler and more innovative things about Busuu is the attention they pay to social interaction when learning a language. More than anything else, Busuu encourages users to make friends, chat live with native speakers, and test out your newly-learned linguistic skills by having them checked over by native speakers. You get to meet new people, too, which is always a plus :)Image
Busuu also offers a plethora of information on each language they offer for learning. You can take a course from very basic terms and alphabet, all the way up to advanced and conversational language. You'll be surprised how much you learn in a short time, as well. We found that 3 full units of study only took us about half an hour, and we retained the knowledge perfectly in each unit's exam. So don't just be content speaking blog-slang all the time, learn a new language, and skip your college course fees by trying Busuu!