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Learn a Language Lately?
Working abroad is an exciting opportunity, but what if you don't speak a foreign language?
One of the best things I did was just walking around Paris listening to people speak. - Michael Klein, consultant
When deciding where to hang your hat in the professional world, the chance to work overseas may be an attractive opportunity. But if you didn't major in French or Spanish, could you pull it off? The few words that you still can't pronounce from your high school classes definitely aren't enough to get you by working abroad. You need to enroll, buy, or log on to one of the many resources that can help you brush up on a foreign language.
Still, one of the better places to learn a new language online is LearnPlus.com, which offers interactive language courses. The site offers classes in Spanish and German geared to beginner and intermediate students. Each of LearnPlus' 30- to 50-hour courses includes lessons, role-playing exercises, and quizzes, each with sound so users can hear the words and phrases they are learning. There is even an option to have a personal tutor. LearnPlus guarantees that within six months (and for $49) you will be able to have basic conversations (such as asking for directions, or placing an order in a restaurant) in your new tongue, and will be on the road to speaking fluently.
There are also a number of translation-oriented sites that aim to familiarize travelers with foreign languages. One of the most popular is Babelfish, which lets users translate simple phrases and entire web sites into other languages. "Before I went to France, I tried reading CNN.com everyday in French," says Michael Klein, 26, a consultant who worked in France for six months and had only taken French in college previous to that. "I was able to pick up keywords and familiarize myself with how news is written there." Some people prefer this non-academic method of learning, as opposed to the classroom structure of other programs.
Speaking the language exclusively
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