Byki Online is available to current members of the MIT community courtesy of the MIT Libraries. Foreign Languages and Literatures Librarian Patsy Baudoin, who spent a year evaluating online language products, recommended Byki for its winning combination of quality, affordability and accessibility, including a mobile option.
Byki’s approach helped seal the deal: The service is based on learning phrases as they are spoken by native speakers, rather than focusing on grammar (although each language has a "grammar" tab where you can learn the basics). Byki uses flash cards in a variety of ways to fix phrases in memory. There’s also a “slow sound” button that lets you hear how each syllable in a phrase is pronounced.
Baudoin notes that Byki’s pragmatic flash card/spoken phrase approach works especially well at a place like MIT, where people often learn languages because they plan to study or work in another country.
Wherever you are, you can take a tour of Byki Online.
Resources: here, there and everywhere
Byki Online is tuned into the busy pace of many language learners and offers several options for building language skills on the fly.
- Byki Mobile provides apps for Android and Apple devices, so you can learn a language of interest on the go. To find out how to get started with Byki Mobile, read the MIT Libraries News post “Learn a language with Byki Mobile. ¿Entiendes?”
- Word of the Day. Byki offers a Word of the Day in several languages. You can access this feature in various ways – from bookmarking the Word of the Day page to signing up for a daily email to getting the word in your Facebook or Twitter feed.
- Language and Culture Blogs. Transparent Language’s 25 language blogs are usually written in English but include more than a smattering of the featured foreign language. Posts may tackle language questions or give you an insider’s look at a country’s culture (e.g., “Norwegians Know Good Bread”). As with the Word of the Day, you can access the blogs in many ways.
- Online Communities. Byki and social media make a perfect match. The Facebook page for a given language features the Word of the Day and articles from the language blog; you can also ask questions and share content, such as vocabulary lists, with other learners and with language experts. If you prefer, you can follow a language on Twitter.
Do you like Byki? Not a fan? Either way, just say the word. While the Libraries get usage statistics from Transparent Language, they are looking for feedback on the service: take a minute to tell them what works, what could be improved, and whether you find the service valuable. Send those comments to Patsy Baudoin.
Sampai jumpa lagi! Da svidaniya! La revedere!