Are you learning a foreign language? Do you need a little bit of extra help? Great, because this article is exactly about Google Chrome extensions that you can use to learn languages! If you don’t know what we are talking about and you’re curious, all you have to do is to read this article: we’ll explain what these extensions are, and we will tell you everything you need to know about six of the most useful ones!
GOOGLE CHROME EXTENSIONS: WHAT ARE THEY?
Extensions are precisely this: browser extensions, additional features that modify your Google Chrome and make it more powerful, giving it characteristics that it did not have before. Basically, we can compare them to caravans because they are supplementary tools for the car in the same way extensions are supplementary tools for your browser – the only difference is that extensions are almost completely free.
There are extensions for many different purposes, but in this article, we will be talking about the most helpful extensions to learn foreign languages, in a super easy and engaging way.
USEFUL EXTENSIONS TO LEARN LANGUAGES
1 – LANGUAGE REACTOR
Let’s start off with the extension that is probably the most popular and most used one among all the ones on this list: Language Reactor, the perfect extension for those who love to watch videos, films, and TV series! It works very well with YouTube and Netflix – using it to enhance the latter, for instance, gives you double subtitles, meaning that you can have two subtitles in two different languages at the same time. It works by using the catalog and the languages that are available on the platform, obviously. For example: if you’re watching a TV series in Spanish -such as the extremely popular Las Chicas del Cable– by using Language Reactor you can have subtitles both in the original language (Spanish, in this case) and in your language (Italian, English, etc.). So, you can learn how to spell and pronounce many new words by simply watching a film or a TV series.
If you want to have double subtitles in two foreign languages, you can easily do so: this extension allows you to customize the commands of whichever platform you use (Netflix, YouTube, etc.)…and there’s more! If you want to read a book or a website page in a language that you don’t master, you can simply import the text on Language Reactor and it will add an automatic translation in your language – it can also read it aloud with a super realistic voice, if you want.
2 – READLANG
You don’t like watching movies, TV series and videos as much as reading? Then this extension suits you perfectly, because Readlang makes it easier to read the text of any webpage in a foreign language.
This is how it works: once you download it, you just have to open a website (in the language you want to learn or are currently learning) and start reading – when you stumble upon a word or an expression you don’t know, you can click on it and it will show you the translation. This will help you learn many new words with the context, the circumstances in which you would normally find them in the original language. Also, it allows you to save all the words and expressions that you have checked, together with the sentence they were in – these extensions make it so much easier to gather new words, to revise them and to learn them!
Another very useful aspect is the possibility to create your own flashcards, or study from the pre-made ones. You can also study texts, videos, and more contents sorted out by difficulty, content, and length.
If your preferred method to learn foreign languages is by watching videos, do not worry: this extension works with YouTube as well. Watching a video, the subtitles are automatically highlighted when a word is pronounced, so you can click on the ones you don’t know to find out what they mean. Seriously, Readlang is an incredible resource, and it supports 500 languages!
This extension is almost perfect… it has just two minor flaws: it seems like it doesn’t work well with Facebook, and it works much better with languages that use the Latin alphabet – so, if you’re learning a language that has a different alphabet, you should probably find a different tool.
3 – GLOSS
This extension has a principle that is similar to the one we’ve just seen: it allows you to translate words and expressions on any website that is in the language that you’re learning. It does so by using Google Translate but, unlike Readlang, any time you read anything on Chrome, Gloss highlights in red certain words and it translates them in advance. Generally speaking, it selects expressions, verbs and other words that it consider useful to know and learn.
Gloss has many other features, such as the possibility of listening to the pronunciation of a word or expression by hovering over it with the mouse and the availability of over 30 languages, including Spanish, French, German, Latin, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Russian… and many others.
4 – TOUCAN
This extension translates web pages and provides you with the translations of words and expressions, just like Readlang, but it also helps you with the process of learning languages: the Toucan that you can find both in the logo and in the name, will quickly become your best friend, and teacher!
The little blue bird gets to know you better and to understand how you learn: it translates key words and phrases, reads them for you (if you wish); also, as your level grows, it introduces new words and more complex phrases to learn. If you want to brush up on the things you didn’t know to see if you’ve learned them, you can play the mini-games available and put yourself to the test! In addition, it always keeps your motivation high by keeping track of your progress and evaluating it, giving you rewards when you deserve them – after all, who doesn’t like to receive rewards?
5 – FLUENTCARDS DICTIONARY
If you use Anki or Memrise to create your own personalized flashcards and revise them in an amusing way, this is the right extension for you!
Essentially, when you are on a website and you are reading something in the language you want to learn, if there’s a word or an expression that you don’t know the meaning of, you can look it up on an online dictionary…with just one or two clicks! After you have found said word, the extension will save it with its context, so that you can find it with all the other flashcards you have created by using this extension.
If you want, you can easily export the list of flashcards to your Anki or Memrise, to revise them as you’re accustomed to…you simply accumulate a list of words and then you exported them on your trusted website to revise them, without having to do it manually each time!
6 – NordVPN
The last extension that you must download is NordVPN, which allows you to safely surf the Internet as if you were abroad.
When you’re online, you think you’re protected but the truth is that if the connection is unsecured, anyone could see what you are doing! Sites that don’t have the acronym HTTPS before the domain are nor encrypted and if you connect to them, you could easily become victims of hackers…and this happens because the data traffic -when it’s not encrypted- can easily be intercepted by ill-intentioned people!
The NordVPN extension for Chrome, Edge and Firefox is ready to save you by encrypting all your movements so that you are completely protected… even if you use sites that are not so safe!
It only takes a minute or so to turn your browser into a hacker-proof fortress! You just have to follow a few steps:
- subscribe to NordVPN;
- download the extension for your browser (Chrome, Firefox or Edge);
- click on the extension and log in to your NordVPN account;
- with a simple click you’ll get connected to a NordVPN server and, with two clicks, you can choose the server of a specific Country, whichever you like!
… And you’re done!
Obviously, when you connect using the IP address of a specific Country, you will also have the possibility to access all those sites that are usually only visible in that Country (and that you cannot view otherwise). For instance, if you use NordVPN to connect to Italy, you will be able to view many contents in Italian that are normally blocked in your country, such as TV networks and newspapers.
What are you waiting for? Subscribe to NordVPN, and don’t forget to use our coupon code LearnAmo to pay just a couple of euros per month! Click here to subscribe to NordVPN right now!
Well, I hope you can learn lots and lots of new words and expressions using these extensions – let me know in the comments! I also recommend you read our article on the best Italian TV series to watch if you want to improve your Italian!