BY NICK YINGLING

Lately, during my lunch break, I usually sit at my desk and drop crumbs of food into my keyboard. That’s a terribly boring way to pass your lunch hour. So, naturally, I started watching my favorite show, The Golden Girls, on a streaming TV site. The main problem now is that most sites don’t have full episodes, just the excerpts. So I dug deeper. One site that streams shows is based somewhere in Asia. There are all sorts of foreign characters bannered across the top of the screen and the subtitles can sometimes take up one-third of the screen. How cool would it be if I managed to learn to read Chinese from passively exposing myself to the subtitles on my streaming episodes of The Golden Girls during my lunch break?!

That’s just absurd. There’s no way I’d be able to learn like that. Instead, I’ll just have to rely on this list of Free Language Learning Resources from UniversitiesandCollege.org. They list your standard online college courses and general online courses, but the one cool aspect you’ll find are their link to mobile resources. People on teh go can find listings for podcasts and iPhone & iPod apps. Now you can practice language skills while you’re commuting, which is great when you want to look like a crazy person talking to yourself while you sit in traffic, riding the bus, or sitting on the train.

There are a lot of languages covered on this list, and the more popular the language you’ll find more resources available. There are even resources available for ESL teachers. More obscure languages link out to less learner-friendly and/or comprehensive resources, so, sorry to disappoint you, Telugu learners. For every couple awesome websites for more popular languages, you might run into a niche language website that’s a train wreck.

While we’re on the topic of language resources, check out LEARN NC’S online textbook for learning Mandarin Chinese. If anything, at least study up before you get that tattoo.

I’ve really had a good time talking at you through this posting. It has been fun, but now I have to go. Though I speak many languages, the one word I always have trouble with is… [sniffle] goodbye.

Free Language Learning Resources

Related stuff:

Go beyond basic Spanish vocabulary at Speak Like a Spaniard

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