You might have used the Google Chrome web browser before. But did you know Chrome is actually a powerful tool for foreign language immersion?
You can chose from the thousands of “browser extensions” available, all of which can be installed at the click of a button.
Many of them are specifically designed to help you with language immersion, whether it's…
- Checking your grammar
- Providing instant translations
- Helping you read or pronounce a difficult Chinese character
You'll discover 15 of the best Chrome extensions for language learning in this post, but first, let’s do a quick rundown on how you can install Chrome extensions on your computer.
How To Install Chrome Extensions
#1: Start your Google Chrome browser
#2: In the upper right-hand corner of the window, click on the menu icon
#3: Click on “Settings” inside the menu
#4: In the menu bar on the left, click on “Extensions”
#5: Click on the “Open Chrome Web Store” link
#6: Click on the desired extension inside the Chrome Web Store, and then click on “Add to Chrome”
The extension will be inside the list, installed and ready to use.
Now that you know how to install extensions, let’s check out some of the most useful ones for language learning.
Specific Language Extensions
They say Japanese is one of the hardest languages to learn, especially when it comes to writing. It’s not hard to believe such a claim, because there are four different writing systems in Japanese: Hiragana, Katakana, Romaji, and Kanji.
Japanese Kanji Quizzer Chrome extension will help you learn all of the Katakana, Hiragana, and Kanji ideograms, so that you can get more language immersion and become fluent in Japanese. It will also present you with multiple choice questions shown in a random sequence.
If you are keen to expand your vocabulary in German, you may want to check out this Chrome extension. All you have to do is click on the app’s button inside your browser, after which you will be presented with an interactive flash card.
The clever part about this extension is that it keeps score of how well you have done, and focuses on testing you more on the words which give you the most trouble. You can also choose between three different ways of interaction:
- multiple choice question
- filling in the text box with autocomplete
- filling in the text box without autocomplete.
3. Zhongwen (Chinese)
If you are interested in learning Mandarin Chinese, check out Zhongwen, which is the most popular Chinese dictionary for Chrome. Every time you hover your mouse over a Chinese word, it will display a translation. It is able to translate over 100,000 words.
4. Rikaikun (Japanese)
Rikaikun is a similar extension, but with one key difference: it is meant to help you learn Japanese. The principle is the same: you hover your mouse over the Japanese word in order to see the translation, along with info on the first Kanji.
One of the best Chrome extensions for learning French. It allows you to conjugate every single verb properly, regardless of the tense, mode, and form.
In addition to that, you can look up synonyms and antonyms of the verb, and quiz yourself. There is also a feature which teaches you how to pronounce each verb.
Linguistic Spanish extension is able to help you learn around 150 Spanish words by simply replacing them in the text of the webpages you are currently browsing, which will help you memorise them. It is completely free. What better language immersion tool could there be?
Multiple Language Web Translators
According to scientists, the best way to learn a new language as an adult would be for you to immerse yourself in it completely. But, if you are not able to spend some time abroad, your options will be fairly limited, unless you decide to check out the Language Immersion extension.
The Language Immersion extension allows you to immerse yourself in the language by placing itself inside your reading material. For instance, it will replace random words inside the text with those written in one of 64 languages. It sounds weird, but it works!
You can learn a foreign language with this extension by clicking on a word that you don’t know while you are browsing online, and it will provide you with the definition of it, after which it will store the word inside your personal collection, and it will even create the appropriate flashcards automatically.
Linguly will also suggest new reading material based on your current knowledge.
This extension not only allows you to create your own personal dictionary, but it provides a variation to the traditional flashcard feature, by offering different exercises for learning new words.
It also allows you to attach your own images which correspond with the words you have learned, thus providing a visual cue in case you forget them. Some of the exercises which can be singled out are the pronunciation practice and a word-builder.
Readlang works like Language Immersion, but in an opposite way, because it replaces the foreign word with its translation after you swipe or click on it. You can also create flashcards in order to refresh your memory and check how much you have learned. It’s an effective way to learn over 40 languages.
Grammar Checkers & Pronunciation
One of the most famous grammar apps is also available as a Chrome extension. You can easily check your work for grammar and spelling, and you can rest assured you won’t repeat the same grammar mistakes again, because Grammarly will spot them, and provide the correct solution.
If you are not too fond of Grammarly, but would still like an equally powerful grammar and spell-checking app, perhaps you should check out the Ginger extension for your Chrome, which will allow you to access its features with a simple click of a button.
If you are keen on developing the verbal aspect of your foreign language studies, you should check out Pronunciation Checker, because it has a voice recognition feature built into the extension.
In addition to that, you can also add whichever audio files you like in order to practice on them. Available in multiple languages.
Compelling Foreign Language Content
Their Chrome extension lets you import whatever you're working with on the web directly into LingQ. So you can use LingQ's study tools with that material.
Who doesn't love sitting down with a good Netflix series of an evening? And if you watch a series or a movie in your target language, then it's a double win.
That said, understanding TV and foreign language movies can be tricky. That's where Language Learning with Netflix comes in. It allows you to add subtitles in 2 languages, slow down playback speed, and look up words in the pop up dictionary.
Foreign Language Immersion With Chrome
Learning a new language doesn’t have to be a boring and exhausting process if you rely on some of these apps for help!
If you use the computer all day, why not turn Chrome into a language immersion tool, so you can learn that little bit faster!
There are many more extensions besides the ones we've highlighted here. So take a bit of time to browse the Chrome Web Store, enter the language you're learning, and see what pops up!
Author’s Bio: Rachel Bartee is a devoted teacher and freelance writer at EduGeeksClub. She would prefer to go without her lunch just to make her thoughts into worthy writings. She is inspired by her morning yoga and the creative writing classes she is currently attending. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.