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May 6, 2012 / carlispina

Practice a Language While You Browse the Web with Language Immersion

For this post, I thought I would stick with the language-learning theme started in my last post on Duolingo. And, the new Language Immersion Chrome extension from Google fits perfectly into this category. Once added to the Chrome browser, this extension becomes a very impressive tool for practicing a language while browsing the internet. The tool translates portions of the website you are reading into the language of your choice as a way of improving your vocabulary in any of the available languages. You can also opt to have the translated passages read aloud to improve listening comprehension and learn proper pronunciation at the same time. The tool offers several immersion levels from novice to fluent with each level presenting a different portion of the page in translation – the novice level only shows selected phrases in the language whereas the fluent level shows whole paragraphs. The extension currently offers 64 possible languages from common, such as French or Spanish, to less common, such as Icelandic.

Overall, I think the extension can be a good supplement for language learning or for keeping up on your language skills. I have found that it works particularly well on longer articles, since it gives you an opportunity to see language vocabulary in a larger context. The translations seem quite good, but are, of course, not perfect and, the shorter passages sometimes aren’t translated to fit the larger context exactly. However, the extension is a good way to integrate language learning into another aspect of your daily routine, and as Google notes, it is currently in an experimental stage so it will likely improve in the future. It is well worth a try for students of any of the 64 available languages. Check out the video below to see it in action.


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