Lingua.ly is a free web application that teaches languages with news journalism. Though it feels like a web news aggregator made of customizable articles, this website, Chrome extension, and iOS/Android app dynamically codes the foreign-language news (in ten languages—and growing) for translation with several online dictionaries. Lingua.ly structures customized language games and vocabulary lessons around terms that readers select to learn from each news article; readers earn points in practice games that they complete at their own pace alongside other Lingua.ly devotees. Even as they complete Lingua.ly games, individual readers build a vocabulary bank of unknown words for easy-access review.
Lingua.ly's consummate relevance, timeliness, and accessibility of its language content maintains reader interest perhaps as much as the prospect of proficiency does. That readers can customize their up-to-date newsfeed based on language difficulty level, long- or short-form articles, and article topics, too, is just one example of how the program makes sure that the language learning process remains inviting and learner-driven.
Lingua.ly's news sources might be limited. A run-through of French, Spanish, and German lessons reveals that three news outlets provide the lion's share of published articles in each language, respectively. One chasing a bead on a more obscure Russian or Hebrew publication might find that Lingua.ly doesn't provide the translatable access one seeks.
Lingua.ly is functional, practical, and fun. This is the sort of context-dependent learning tool that a reader can use on a regular basis while - not instead of - getting their daily fill of the news. Coded articles are so quick to translate that working through an unknown text might be simpler than it should be, however real the process feels. The relevance of learned words in Lingua.ly also feels tangible and immediate, and it doesn't preclude returning to older, saved vocabulary words at one's will. Here's to hoping the service grows its language offerings up from ten, and quick.ly.
Image: via lingua.ly