Language Guides and Resources

About the English language

The English language is a widely distributed language and is the official language of many countries. It is also extensively used as a second language in several countries around the world. English forms part of the Indo-European family of languages.

An estimated 400 - 450 million people speak English as their first language. A recent estimate is that 1.9 billion people, nearly a third of the world's population, have basic English language proficiency. English is the dominant international language in communications, science, business, aviation, entertainment, diplomacy and the Internet.

English is currently the second most commonly spoken language in the world behind Chinese, which has over 1 billion-plus speakers. In the European Union, more people choose to learn English than any other language. It is also the most studied language in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

English Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online English newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the English speaking world.

English Radio

Tune in to English radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of English radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the English speaking world.

About the Spanish language

The Spanish language is an Iberian Romance language and part of the Indo-European family of languages. It is estimated that there are around 410 million people that speak Spanish, making the Spanish language the most widely spoken Romance language in the world.

Spanish originated as a dialect in the Cantabria region of Spain; from that region, its use gradually spread to the kingdom of Castile, where it became the principal language of government and trade. It was later brought to the Western Hemisphere and other parts of the world in the last five centuries by Spanish explorers, colonists and empire-builders.

The Spanish language is spoken on all continents, most extensively in North and South America, Europe, and certain parts of Africa, Asia and Oceania. With mainland Spain and the Balearic islands being popular holiday destinations for many Europeans, the number of people choosing to learn Spanish online for leisure purposes has been increasing, making the Spanish language one of the most popular languages in the world to learn.

Spanish Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Spanish newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Spanish speaking world.

Spanish Radio

Tune in to Spanish radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Spanish radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Spanish speaking world.

About the French language

The French language is the third-largest of the Romance languages in terms of number of native speakers, after Spanish and Portuguese, being spoken by about 150 million people as a mother tongue or fluently. French forms part of the Indo-European family of languages.

As a Romance language, it is a daughter language of Latin, although there has been significant borrowing from Ancient Greek. French is an official language in 30 countries and whilst the status of French as the leading language for international communication has declined since its peak in the 18th and 19th centuries due to the rise of English, it maintains a prominent position, including being one of the few languages to be spoken officially in five continents.

Although there are many French regional accents, only one version of the language is normally chosen as a model for foreign learners. This is the educated standard variety of Paris, which has no commonly used special name, but has been termed 'fran├žais neutre'.

French Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online French newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the French speaking world.

French Radio

Tune in to French radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of French radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the French speaking world.

About the Italian language

The Italian language is a Romance language spoken by about 70 million people, primarily in Italy and San Marino. It is also one of the official languages of Switzerland and is the second official language in Vatican City. Italian forms part of the Indo-European family of languages.

The history of the Italian language is quite complex but the modern standard of the language was largely shaped by relatively recent events. Italian was first formalized in the first years of the 14th century through the works of Dante Alighieri, who mixed southern Italian languages, especially Sicilian, with his native Tuscan in his epic poems known collectively as the Commedia.

Dante's much-loved works were read throughout Italy and his written dialect became the standard that others could all understand. Dante is still credited with standardizing the Italian language. Italian is widely taught in many schools around the world and is the fifth most taught non-native language, after English and German.

Italian Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Italian newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Italian speaking world.

Italian Radio

Tune in to Italian radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Italian radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Italian speaking world.

Rai

About the German language

The German language is one of the world's major languages and a member of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family.

Around the world, German is spoken by approximately 110 million native speakers and another 18 million non-native speakers, primarily in Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and in two-thirds of Switzerland.

German is one of the official languages of the European Union, and one of the three working languages of the European Commission, along with English and French. The German language was once the primary language of central, eastern and northern Europe and remains one of the most popular foreign languages taught worldwide, being more popular than Spanish as a foreign language in Europe.

German Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online German newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the German speaking world.

German Radio

Tune in to German radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of German radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the German speaking world.

About the Chinese language

The Chinese language forms part of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. With approximately 1.5 billion speakers in the Mandarin dialect alone, Chinese is the most commonly spoken language in the world.

About one-fifth of the people in the world speak some form of Chinese as their native language. Interest to learn Mandarin Chinese has recently risen in the Western world in part due to the acceleration in China's economic growth. It is estimated that there are now around 30 million people learning Chinese worldwide, many of whom are opting to learn chinese online.

All varieties of spoken Chinese use tones. A few dialects of north China may have as few as three tones, while some dialects in south China have up to 6 or 10 tones, depending on how one counts.

Chinese Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Chinese newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Chinese speaking world.

Chinese Radio

Tune in to Chinese radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Chinese radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Chinese speaking world.

About the Japanese language

The Japanese language is spoken by over 130 million people, mainly in Japan, but also by Japanese emigrant communities around the world. Japanese forms part of the Japanese-Ryukyuan language family.

Unlike most western languages, the Japanese language has an extensive grammatical system to express politeness and formality.

The Japanese language is distinguished by verb forms and vocabulary which indicate the relative status of the speaker and listener, reflecting the hierarchical nature of Japanese society.

There are two forms of the Japanese language considered standard, Hyojungo or "standard Japanese", and Kyotsugo or "the common language", though many of the distinctions between the two have blurred. Hyojungo, or standard Japanese can be subdivided into Bungo or "literary language" and Kogo or "oral language".

Bungo has less relevance today with Kogo being the predominant method of speaking and writing Japanese and that which is taught in schools and used on television. International interest in the Japanese language dates to the 1800s but has become more prevalent following Japan's economic bubble of the 1980s and the global popularity of Japanese pop culture in the 1990s and beyond.

It is estimated that around 2.3 million people are learning Japanese worldwide.

Japanese Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Japanese newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Japanese speaking world.

Japanese Radio

Tune in to Japanese radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Japanese radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Japanese speaking world.

About the Russian language

The Russian language belongs to the family of Indo-European languages and is the most widely spoken language of Eurasia and the most widespread of the Slavic languages.

Within the Slavic family, Russian is one of three living members of the East Slavic group, the other two being Belarusian and Ukrainian.

While the Russian language preserves much of its common Slavonic word base, modern Russian exhibits a large stock of borrowed international vocabulary for politics, science, and technology. A language of great political importance in the 20th century, Russian is one of the official languages of the United Nations and over 145 million people speak Russian as their first language worldwide.

Russian Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Russian newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Russian speaking world.

Russian Radio

Tune in to Russian radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Russian radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Russian speaking world.

About the Portuguese language

The Portuguese language is an Iberian Romance language, of the Indo-European family. It originated in what is today Galicia (Spain) and northern Portugal.

Portuguese is ranked sixth among the world's languages in number of native speakers, with over 200 million, and first in South America where around 51% of the population speak Portuguese. It spread worldwide in the 15th and 16th century as Portugal set up a vast colonial and commercial empire spanning from Brazil in the Americas to Macau in China.

Portuguese is with Spanish the fastest growing western language and is also starting to gain popularity in Asia due to increased Chinese diplomatic and financial ties with the Portuguese speaking countries.

Portuguese Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Portuguese newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Portuguese speaking world.

Portuguese Radio

Tune in to Portuguese radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Portuguese radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Portuguese speaking world.

Pending...

About the Danish language

The Danish language was once widely spoken in the northeast counties of England and is part of the Indo-European family of languages.

As a consequence, many words of Danish origin such as gate (gade) for street, still survive in Yorkshire and other parts of eastern England colonized by Danish Vikings. The city of York in England was once the Danish Viking settlement of Jorvik.

Because English and Danish are related languages, many words are similar in the two languages. For example, the following Danish words are easily recognizable in their written form to English speakers: have, over, under, give, salt. When pronounced however, these words sound quite different from their English equivalents.

Danish Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Danish newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Danish speaking world.

Danish Radio

Tune in to Danish radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Danish radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Danish speaking world.

About the Arabic language

The Arabic language is the largest member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family and is closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic.

Arabic is spoken throughout the Arab world and is widely studied and known throughout the Islamic world with around 270 million speakers. Classical Arabic has been a literary language since at least the 6th century and is the liturgical language of Islam. Because of its liturgical role, Arabic has lent many words to other Islamic languages, akin to the role Latin has in Western languages.

During the Middle Ages Arabic was used widely in science, mathematics and philosophy, with the result that many European languages have borrowed numerous words from it. In common with other European languages, many English words are derived from Arabic, among them every-day vocabulary like 'sugar', 'cotton' and 'alcohol'.

Arabic Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Arabic newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Arabic speaking world.

Arabic Radio

Tune in to Arabic radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Arabic radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Arabic speaking world.

About the Czech language

The Czech language is one of the West Slavic languages, along with Slovak, Polish, Pomeranian and Lusatian Sorbian.

It is spoken by most people in the Czech Republic and by Czechs all over the world equating to some 12 million native speakers in total.

As in most Slavic languages, many words (especially nouns, verbs and adjectives) have many forms (inflections). In this regard, Czech and the Slavic languages are closer to their Indo-European origins than other languages in the same family that have lost much inflection. Moreover, Colloquial Czech differs considerably from the standard language, even in many morphological features.

Czech Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Czech newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Czech speaking world.

Czech Radio

Tune in to Czech radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Czech radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Czech speaking world.

About the Turkish language

Turkish is a Turkic language spoken by the native people of Turkey. It is also spoken by sections of the community in Cyprus, Bulgaria, Greece, Republic of Macedonia and other countries of the former Ottoman Empire. Turkish forms part of the Altaic language family.

In total there are around 65 million Turkish speakers worldwide. The development of the Turkish language was significantly influenced by the adoption of Islam by the Ottomans as their religion.

During the course of over six hundred years of the Ottoman Empire the Ottoman language acquired a rather large collection of loan words from Arabic and Persian, consecutively influencing the Turkish language. Whilst older generations of Turkish speakers tend to use words of Arabic origin, the younger generations favour using new expressions. Consequently, older and younger people in Turkey tend to express themselves with a slightly different vocabulary.

Turkish Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Turkish newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Turkish speaking world.

Turkish Radio

Tune in to Turkish radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Turkish radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Turkish speaking world.

About the Polish language

Polish is the official language of Poland and the main representative of the Lechitic branch of the West Slavic languages which form part of the larger Indo-European language group.

Polish originated in the areas of present-day Poland from several local Western Slavic dialects, most notably those spoken in Greater Poland and Lesser Poland.

The Polish language was once the primary language used in various regions of Central and Eastern Europe, mostly due to the political, cultural, scientific and military influence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Although no longer having as great an influence outside of Poland, due in part to the dominance of the Russian language, it is still sometimes spoken or at least understood in western border areas of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania as a second language.

Polish Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Polish newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Polish speaking world.

Polish Radio

Tune in to Polish radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Polish radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Polish speaking world.

Pending...

About the Norwegian language

The Norwegian language is a Germanic language spoken in Norway forming part of the Indo-European family of languages.

Norwegian is closely related to and generally mutually intelligible with Swedish and Danish. Together with these two languages as well as Faroese and Icelandic, Norwegian belongs to the North Germanic languages, also referred to as the Scandinavian languages. In total there are approximately 5 million speakers of Norwegian worldwide.

There are in fact two official forms of the written Norwegian language being the 'book language' and 'New Norwegian'. There is however no official spoken standard of Norwegian, but there is a de facto spoken standard being 'Standard East Norwegian' which is spoken mainly by the urban upper and middle class in East Norway. 'Standard East Norwegian' is the form generally taught to foreign students.

Norwegian Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Norwegian newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Norwegian speaking world.

Norwegian Radio

Tune in to Norwegian radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Norwegian radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Norwegian speaking world.

Pending...

About the Hungarian language

The Hungarian language is a Finno-Ugric language, and has little relation to the other languages of Central Europe. As one of a small number of modern European languages which do not belong to the Indo-European language family, it has always been of great interest to linguists.

It is spoken in Hungary by approximately 10 million people and by around 3 million people living in neighbouring countries. Hungarian forms part of the Uralic language family. The Hungarian name for the language is magyar which is also occasionally used as an English word to refer to the Hungarian people as an ethnic group.

It is thought that Hungarian separated from its closest relatives approximately 3000 years ago, probably in the vicinity of the Urals so the history of the language begins around 1000 BC. The first written accounts of Hungarian, mostly personal and place names, are dated back to the 10th century. Hungarians also had their own writing system, the Old Hungarian script, but no significant texts remain from that time.

Hungarian Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Hungarian newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Hungarian speaking world.

Hungarian Radio

Tune in to Hungarian radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Hungarian radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Hungarian speaking world.

About the Finnish language

Finnish is a member of the Finno-Ugric language family and is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland as well as being an official minority language in Sweden. In total there are approximately 6 million Finnish speakers worldwide.

Finland was annexed to Catholic Sweden in the Middle Ages. Prior to this, Finnish was an oral language. Even after, the language of larger-scale business was Middle Low German, the language of administration Swedish, and religious activities were held in Latin, leaving few possibilities for Finnish-speakers to use their mother tongue in situations other than daily chores.

The first comprehensive writing system for Finnish was created by Mikael Agricola, a Finnish bishop, in the 16th century. He based his orthography on Swedish, German, and Latin. His ultimate plan was to translate the Bible, but first he had to define rules on which the Finnish standard language still relies, particularly with respect to spelling.

The dialects of Finnish are divided into two distinct groups, the Western dialects and the Eastern dialects. The dialects are almost entirely mutually intelligible and distinguished from each other by only minor changes in vowels, diphthongs and rhythm. For the most part, the dialects operate on the same phonology, grammar and vocabulary. There are only marginal examples of sounds or grammatical constructions specific to some dialect and not found in standard Finnish. The Finnish language forms part of the larger Uralic language family.

Finnish Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Finnish newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Finnish speaking world.

Finnish Radio

Tune in to Finnish radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Finnish radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Finnish speaking world.

About the Dutch language

The Dutch language is a West Germanic language spoken by around 22 million people, mainly in the Netherlands and in the northern half of Belgium where it is often referred to by the dialect name Flemish. Dutch forms part of the Indo-European family of languages.

In addition to the many dialects of the Dutch language many provinces and larger cities have their own accents, which are usually accompanied by a particular dialect making Dutch a very diverse language. The history of the Dutch language begins around AD 450 - 500 after Old Frankish, one of the many West Germanic tribal languages, was split by the Second Germanic consonant shift. At more or less the same time the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law led to the development of the direct ancestors of modern Dutch Low Saxon, Frisian and English.

Dutch vocabulary is predominantly Germanic in origin, considerably more so than English. This is to a large part due to the heavy influence of Norman on English, and to Dutch patterns of word formation, such as the tendency to form long and sometimes very complicated compound nouns, being more similar to those of German and the Scandinavian languages. The Dutch vocabulary is one of the richest in the world, the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal "The Dictionary of the Dutch language" is the largest dictionary in the world in print and has over 430,000 entries of Dutch words. Like English, Dutch includes words of Greek and Latin origin.

Dutch Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Dutch newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Dutch speaking world.

Dutch Radio

Tune in to Dutch radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Dutch radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Dutch speaking world.

About the Swedish language

The Swedish Language is a North Germanic language, also referred to as the Scandinavian languages, and is spoken by more than nine million people, predominantly in Sweden where it is the de facto standard language and in Finland where it is one of the two official languages.

The vocabulary of Swedish is mainly Germanic, either through common Germanic heritage or through loans from German, Middle Low German, and to some extent, English. Along with the other North Germanic languages, Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. It is currently the largest of the North Germanic languages by numbers of speakers.

Standard Swedish, used by most Swedish people, is the national language that evolved from the Central Swedish dialects in the 19th century and was well established by the beginning of the 20th century. While distinct regional varieties descended from the older rural dialects still exist, the spoken and written language is uniform and standardized. Some dialects differ considerably from the standard language in grammar and vocabulary and are not always mutually intelligible with Standard Swedish. These dialects are confined to rural areas and are spoken primarily by small numbers of people with low social mobility. The Swedish language forms part of the larger Indo-European family of languages.

Swedish Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Swedish newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Swedish speaking world.

Swedish Radio

Tune in to Swedish radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Swedish radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Swedish speaking world.

Pending...

About the Greek language

The Greek language is distinguished by an extraordinarily rich vocabulary and has a documented history of around 3,500 years, the longest of any single language within the Indo-European family.

Greek is also one of the earliest attested Indo-European languages, with fragmentary records in Mycenaean dating back to the 15th or 14th century BC. Today the Greek language is spoken by approximately 15 million people in Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Italy, Turkey and emigrant communities around the world.

The vast majority of modern Greek vocabulary is directly inherited from ancient Greek, although in certain cases words now have new meanings. One of the most notable features of the Greek language is its long association and use within the sciences, in particular physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine.

Greek Newspapers

Taking the time to read foreign newspapers is a great way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Our index of online Greek newspapers will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Greek speaking world.

Greek Radio

Tune in to Greek radio stations from around the world. Listening to radio will build your comprehension skills and develop fluency.

Our directory of Greek radio stations will help you improve your language skills and keep you up to date with what's going on in the Greek speaking world.

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