mobile apps

Best App to Learn a Foreign Language

There was a point in time when exposure to a foreign language was limited to travel and the books at your local library. Those days are ancient history. Mobile apps now permeate the language learning landscape. Here we’ll discuss some of the advantages of language learning apps, and list some of the top choices for would-be language learners.

Benefits of mobile apps in language learning

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Engagement

Foreign language acquisition is no longer limited to the classroom. One of the chief benefits of using apps to learn a language is that they allow you to use the language in ways that simply weren’t possible before. You can easily read news and print media, or watch videos from anywhere in the world. You can use games and other activities to review grammar and vocabulary. You can quickly translate text and even in some cases audio. It’s even possible to speak with native speakers of your target language, even if they’re on the other side of the globe.

Time

Apps allow you to set aside more time for language learning than would otherwise be possible. Whether you’re waiting in line, riding the bus, or perhaps on a lunch break, apps put language study in the palm of your hand. You can practice and develop your learning skills anytime and anywhere.

Top apps

Google Translate

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Of all the apps on this list Google Translate is perhaps the most essential. The translations on the app aren’t always accurate. Google Translate especially struggles with correctly translating longer portions of text or speech. Still, an app that can instantly translate basic words and sentences is a powerful learning tool.

Oftentimes it’s only a word or two that makes a sentence hard to understand when studying a foreign language. Google Translate is a quick, easy, and natural remedy to this problem. The app also comes in handy when a foreign word is on the tip of your tongue but you just can’t remember it.

The accuracy of the translation will differ depending on which language you’re learning. Google Translate does better when the language is more closely related to English, and it struggles when language is far removed from the English language.

Italki

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Italki is the most popular entry in a long line of online tutoring apps for foreign languages. Italki functions as a global online marketplace, where language students can shop around and book lessons with a language teacher or tutor. Italki teachers are classified as anyone who holds some sort of certification to teach a foreign language. A tutor is simply a native speaker who teaches a language, but doesn’t hold any certification or formal education related to teaching. There are over 130 languages taught on Italki. Users can use the app to book one on one video lessons which range from 30 minutes to an hour and a half. Teachers and tutors follow their own programs and curriculum, so learners may want to browse the site for the teacher that’s best for them. Lesson prices are charged per hour, and the rates depend largely on where a teacher is from. Teachers from countries with a higher cost of living tend to charge more than those who live somewhere with a lower cost of living.

Babbel

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With Babbel users learn a foreign language through lessons centered around quiz-like exercises. In a typical Babbel lesson, you are taught new material and then you take a quiz to review and practice what you’ve learned.

The level of material ranges from absolute beginners (those who have little to knowledge of their target language, up to intermediate (those who can hold basic conversations in a foreign language). Courses for less popular languages sometimes have less lessons that course for more popular languages (like Spanish and French for example).

The Babbel app does a great job teaching core grammar and vocabulary. After working through the app, users won’t be fluent, but they will have a strong foundation in their target language. There are 14 languages available on Babbel. Asian and most middle eastern languages fail to make an appearance on the app.

Duolingo

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Duolingo is without question the most popular app on this list. There are over 30 foreign languages on the app, including many minority languages, and even a couple fictitious ones like Klingon and High Valyrian. The Duolingo method teaches language in the form of a game. The app starts off by giving users a placement test. Based on their score the user can skip ahead over some of the preliminary lessons.

Each lesson focuses on either vocabulary or grammar. The apps show example phrases and users are then required to complete a range of activities using the vocabulary and grammar from those examples. Each time a user answers an exercise incorrectly he or she loses a life. The activities and exercises range from fill in the blank, listening comprehension, pronunciation, word matching, and more.

The effectiveness of Duolingo varies based on which language you are learning. An independent study found that a fully completed Spanish or French course on Duolingo is comparable to four semesters of a college level university course. However the app struggles with languages which aren’t closely related to English. Their Japanese course is a prime example, which you can read about here.

Memrise

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Memrise takes the idea of a language learning game and applies it to flashcards. Memrise starts out by showing users flashcards for basic phrases and vocabulary. Gradually the app incorporates more difficult vocabulary, and the user’s proficiency in the language goes up. While Memrise offers lessons tailored to specific lessons, users also have the option of creating their flashcard decks using images and audio. You can also browse flashcard decks other users have created and then published.

One of the most powerful features of Memrise is that it’s a spaced repetition platform. This means the app uses an algorithm to show more difficult cards more often than cards you easily remember. This allows users to study their flashcards in the most efficient way possible. The main drawback of Memrise is that it doesn’t teach much grammar. Users who regularly use the app will walk away knowing a lot of words and phrases, but they may not understand how to form sentences on their own, due to the lack of grammar taught in the app.

How Using Coupons For Online Shopping Help Save Money During This Crisis

The current pandemic has definitely changed life as you know it. From social distancing to self-quarantining, isolation has become the new norm and will continue to be required as long as there isn’t a cure or vaccine for the coronavirus.

One of the primary changes that you may have had to go through concerns about your shopping habits. While online shopping has been a practice for most consumers for quite some time now, you may fall into the category of people who prefer seeing the merchandise in-person before purchasing them. However, with COVID-19, you have to adjust and opt to shop online instead of risking your health, as well as everyone else’s well-being.

Fortunately, you can find lots of coupons to use when you buy necessities online. You can even enjoy massive discounts and deals on entertainment resources, such as magazine and mystery fashion boxes subscriptions, which are all here, to make the self-imposed isolation more bearable.

You can save money by using coupons for online shopping during this crisis by:

1. Purchasing More Items At A Fraction Of The Price

Taking advantage of coupons allows you to get more value for your money, literally, by enabling you to buy more items. With this, you can stay within your budget, but get more for the same amount that you would’ve spent on regular-priced items.

In this day and age, it’s crucial to be wise in spending money, especially with the economy getting a significant hit from the pandemic. Some businesses have already closed due to the current global healthcare problem, and the trend may continue if the issue isn’t resolved.

You must do all that you can to be frugal with your income. An excellent way to do that is to take advantage of coupons so that you can purchase more for your money.

2. Buying Necessities In Bulk

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One of the primary benefits of couponing is that you can stock up on necessities, like food, toiletries, and other life essentials. In today’s global crisis, you have to ensure that you have at least two weeks’ worth of supplies at home. It has become more crucial now to buy and store up provisions in case a new wave of coronavirus infections returns in the fall.

With coupons, you can buy food in bulk and keep them in your pantry. Just make sure that you store them properly, so you don’t end up throwing them away due to decay.

Here are some couponing strategies to help you save more money:

  • Check Newspapers

Even in this digital age, still, you must not disregard the significance of newspapers and other printed resources as a valuable source of coupons. If you’re still subscribed to a publication, take the time to sift through the pages for the best deals on necessities and items that you want. This is particularly ideal for finding deals among small businesses near you.

  • Use Mobile Apps

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Most brands are also taking advantage of today’s technology to develop exclusive mobile apps. You can easily install their software on your phone and be notified about their sales schedule, as well as other promos. Moreover, be mindful of times when you can use multiple coupons at once to make the most of the opportunity.

  • Master The Timing

Aside from collecting coupons, you can save more money by using them when there’s a sale. Just clarify with the store, however, if they accept promo codes during such an event. As mentioned above, some businesses allow the multiple uses of coupons even during sales since this can help them reel in the profits and boost their relationships with their customers.

  • Follow Brands On Social Media

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Another way to get the most bang for your buck is to subscribe to the social media profiles of your favorite brands. This makes it more convenient for you to be notified of sales and discounts. You can even set the notifications to prioritize highlights coming from these stores so that you’ll always be updated on their promos.

  • Stick To Your Budget

Most people fall into the trap of overspending when they’re using coupons. However, you should make wise purchasing decisions. The primary objective is to get more for the money that you spend. You need to have a budget so that you don’t spend more than your limit and end up acquiring debt.

3. Enjoying Free Shipping

A lot of consumers don’t think about the cost of shipping every time they order something online and have it delivered right at their doorstep. Fortunately, you can save on shipping fees with just a little bit of research and hard work.

When you think about it, shipping fees make your purchases more expensive since they’re additional charges to the total amount of your items. By using a coupon that allows you to save on shipping costs, you’re basically saving money, which you can use for essentials.

4. Trying New Products And Services

If you’ve ever wanted to try a new product or service, but are too scared of wasting money in case you don’t like it, you can try waiting for coupons on the merchandise that you’re eyeing. This way, you reduce the amount of regret you’ll feel when the item doesn’t meet your expectations.

Now is the perfect opportunity to try out new things since you have a lot of time due to the pandemic. Grab this chance and go test that new skincare product or food item that you’ve been wanting to try.

5. Avoiding Infection

Lastly, when you opt to shop online, not only do you save money by using coupons, you’ll also avoid having to throw away hundreds of dollars on medications and hospitalization if you risk venturing outside to buy your groceries and other necessities.

Conclusion

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Online shopping has been a boon for a lot of households in the current pandemic. You can even save more money when you use coupons for your purchases by allowing you to get more items for the same amount that you have budgeted. This way, you can buy necessities in bulk. Moreover, you can enjoy free shipping, try new products and services, as well as save money on hospitalization by avoiding getting infected.

How to Keep Your Identity Safe from Unwanted Calls

Are you constantly receiving calls from random 1-800 telemarketers? The fact is mobile spam calls have become a nuisance in recent decades, and as a matter of fact, it feels like there has been a surge of them in the last few months.

We have to deal with a new barrage of spam calls every single day.  Robocallers have evolved over the years and new trends have emerged. Today, telemarketers mask their robocalls with, genuine looking phone numbers. And it’s funny how sometimes their nonsense can be amusing-picture when you get a voicemail that is disguised as a threat to arrest you over owed back taxes. Well, this can be quite an unwelcome distraction and the Internet of things has made it very easy for scammers to fire off endless calls!

source: consumerreports.org

So if you are as sick and tired as I am, pulling your phone out of your pouch only to see some strange telemarketer’s number, let’s see some options for fighting back and restoring some sense of peace.

But first, how do telemarketers get your number anyway? Here are four facts that might surprise you.

1. You share your number way too much

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Whenever you fill out a form, whether online or offline, there’s a chance that all information you provide ends up with someone else. Remember when you fill out a form for that annual contest entry? Or sign up for an online service eying that discount or in-store credit?

Well, anytime you give out your phone number out there, you expose yourself to spamming risk.

2. You accept Terms of Use blindly

There’s a surge in the number of mobile apps in our stores and all they are interested in is harvesting as much personal data so they can sell it to willing buyers (and there are tons of them). So next time you think of downloading that fancy flashlight utility app you found on Play Store or App Store be sure to check what permissions the app is requesting to access before installing it.

3. Big data has killed privacy

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Just so you know, computers nowadays are so strong and fast that they can crawl every web page on the internet searching for data points. In a snap, computers can now collate nearly every piece of information available on the internet about anyone. Whether it is that Facebook post you liked a week ago or that tweet you sent earlier today. Nothing is hidden from these electronic brains. As a matter of fact, just search for yourself on Pipl.com and you will be amazed at the number of companies that claim to have your personal information out there.

4. Robots can make a zillion random calls in a blink

It’s not news that there are more automated calls today than there were a decade ago. It’s interesting how robots can process a zillion numbers to come up with random phone numbers which they use to make automated calls to unsuspecting receivers and I can bet my bottom dollar that you have fallen victim of automated calls at one point in your life.

Restore some sense of peace with an anonymous number

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While there are a couple of measures you can take to protect your personal data, the ultimate solution to stopping annoying robocalls is proposed by dealfuel.com and it is called the Hushed private phone line app. This app gives you access to anonymous phone numbers that you can use instead of your real phone number when filling out forms either online or offline. The good thing is that you will still be reachable to your near and dear ones through your existing phone number. The difference here though is that when someone tries to reach you through the anonymous number, you’ll answer via the Hushed number instead of your real phone number.

What this means is that you will keep your real identity secret and still receive calls from people that you’d like to hear from, like that warm Uber representative explaining that you won a free ride to your favourite destination.

With the Hushed app, you will enjoy every moment your phone rings even when an unknown international number pops up.

Proxy Phone Numbers and Services

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The most interesting thing about owning a proxy number is not only the anonymity it brings, but also the freedom it offers especially when surfing the internet. You can share your phone number with anyone whether online or offline without necessarily having to worry about the privacy concerns associated with sharing personal phone numbers. What’s more? You don’t have to purchase a second phone!

Here’s the thing, some proxy phone apps offer a second phone number (sometimes temporary). Others provide the option of adding several different phone numbers to manage several lines from one central app. Either way, most proxy phone apps are designed to allow for communication either through, talk, text or picture sharing just like a regular phone operates.

Proxy Phone numbers Allow You to Erase All Contacts any time

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Now this is where it gets even better. Picture this, you filled out an online form that required your phone number in order to submit. Luckily this time you provided the proxy number you obtained from Hushed.  Now you are receiving an avalanche of promotional text messages from telemarketers who are convinced that you are a fertile ground to harvest. Or countless phone calls from several sketchy callers.

Did you know that on top of ignoring their insistent calls and text messages, you can also keep them at bay for good by deleting the number they are calling you from?

This means that the Hushed private phone number app gives you an added layer of security that you need to stay in control of your communication. The anonymous number you get will mask you from scams and cover you from nauseating calls from telemarketers.