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One cannot argue with the fact that there are many advantages to reading books, and one of them is the potential for learning a new language. As a polyglot, I have the best of both worlds because I can read in English and three other languages. It helps when I don’t feel like reading something in English or when I want to read a book in its original language. This is the case with Cien años de soledad. I don’t know about you, but reading a book in its original language feels a little better because sometimes things get lost in translation. There is a popular joke in the language learning community that goes like this, “What do you call someone who speaks a language? American. “Well, it doesn’t have to be. Maybe this year you’ll learn a new language just by doing your favorite activity – reading – or rather, listening. The following language learning audiobook apps can help you read and learn languages The only caveat is that all of these books currently only have books in the public domain.
When I started learning Spanish, this app helped me improve my reading and listening skills. It offers fairytale classics in two languages - English and your target language. You can read and compare the texts side by side to see how the sentences are structured. There are also audio versions of the books so you can hear the pronunciation of the foreign words.
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One thing that puts me off the most is the lack of available titles for you to read. It’s also worth noting that most of the features are paid for.
This is another app that is very similar to Beelingua. They also have public domain books and get paid too. The difference is that when you play the audiobooks, the first paragraph of the English version is played first, followed by the first paragraph of your target language. This is accompanied by texts so that you don’t lose anything while listening.
The only downside is that the audiobooks appear to be read by a machine rather than an actual human. There is also a lack of titles to read if you’re looking for a variety.
Do you teach your children a new language? Why not give them children’s books?
As with Beelingua, most of the books here are fairytale classics. The main difference is that they have eye-catching illustrations. There is also the option to play short audiobooks in the app. And in case your kids are learning multiple languages (what an achievement!), There are buttons above each book that make it easy for them to switch languages.
Most of the content is paid for, but there is also a free title.
As the name of the app suggests, the texts of the books are parallel. You choose your target language, choose a book, and start reading.
The fun begins when you click on a specific paragraph and the translation appears below it. Other texts are temporarily removed from the book, with the exception of the paragraph you clicked on and its translation. Some books also have audio versions. However, the selection of books is sparse, just like other bilingual reading apps. However, this can be very helpful in improving your foreign language understanding.
While the above apps aren’t perfect, they do save time – you can kill two birds with one stone.
Would you like more opportunities to read while achieving your language goals? Here’s how to read in another language (before you’ve actually learned it).