Multilingual languages sites

General Language Portal. This site has a sophisticated online dictionary with a good number of language pairs, including Arabic, Chinese and Hindi as well as the 'usual suspects'. Results are detailed, including usage examples, sound clips, synonyms and hyperlinks to related terms. The site also has:

The site interface is available in all the featured languages. Quite a gold mine, and kept up to date. Recommended.

BBC Education - Languages. Lots of online resources and exercises to back up BBC foreign language courses.

BBC World Service. News, articles, and RealAudio broadcasts in a wide range of languages from the World Service.

Bücher. Links to online books in German, French, English, Latin, Greek, and Russian.

COERLL: Centre for Open Educational Resources for Language Learning. A directory of Open Educational Resources (OER) in a range of European and non-European languages, including American Sign Language, Hindi, Arabic, and Japanese. Hosted by the University of Texas at Austin, in the USA.

Country names in various languages. A list of names of countries in a wide variety of languages, including many minority languages, sorted by the English name of the country. A nice little reference for when you forget, say, what "Sweden" is in Gaelic.

DIALANG. A multinational EU project to develop diagnostic language assessment tools in all the EU's official languages plus Irish, Icelandic and Norwegian (14 languages in all).

Electronic Text Collections in Western European Literature. Page that lists Internet sources for literary texts in the western European languages other than English.

European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages. The EBLUL primarily promotes minority languages and cultures within Europe, lobbying the EU to defend and safeguard minority languages and communities. The site has a useful database of links to sites related to lesser-used languages.

Firefox international versions. A list of all the language versions of the Open Source Firefox browser.

Foreign Languages for Travellers. Basic words and expressions in a wide range of languages, both text and sound. You can also search for a particular word/phrase to be translated into all the languages.

Foreign Language School - Resources for College & High School Students. A small annotated list of links to resources for language learners, categorised by language (French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, German).

Goethe Tests. Language and vocabulary tests in 16 languages, including lesser-taught languages (eg Finnish, Czech, Estonian), for printing out and using in class. There's also a directory of language schools in the target languages. Site text in all the target languages.

Guide de la Radio et des Medias. Links to thousands of webcasting radio and TV websites worldwide, sorted by country and by type. Website text in French.

High School Foreign Languages Resource Center. A useful collection of links to language learning resources in Chinese, Russian, French, German, Italian, Latin and Spanish. Many of the linked resources are themselves link collections, so to some degree this is a site with 'pointers to pointers'.

ICT4LT. A multinational EU project to develop online training courses in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for language teachers in the UK, Finland, and Italy.

International Station. RealAudio radio broadcasts in Polish, Russian, Austrian and German, Arabic, Bulgarian, and Serbian.

Intute: Modern Languages and Area Studies. Given the staggering amount of usable languages-related resources online, often the hardest task for teachers and learners is finding diamonds amongst the dross. Intute is a 'portal' which provides selected, inspected and catalogued resources in a very wide range of languages for educational users. You can browse and search for resources, and there's also a Virtual Training Suite offering "free tutorials on Internet research skills to help with your university course." Funding for Intute has ceased but the records will remain online for the foreseeable future, though won't be updated so expect a little linkrot.

Jim Becker's resources for foreign languages. Includes resources for French, Spanish, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Latin, Italian, and a list of best sites for language teachers. The text-only version is a little easier on the eyes than the default version.

Language Guide. A useful audio vocabulary resource in a range of European, Semitic and Asian languages. It contains images with hotspots which, when you mouse over them, play vocabulary by native speakers. Site interface in multiple languages. This is a collaborative project which you can join in to volunteer your expertise.

Languages Made Clear. Free online beginners courses in a number of (mainly European) languages, including Russian and Esperanto, together with detailed grammar references. The lessons are text only, but there are some audio clips in the pronunciation section. Languages Made Clear is an ongoing non-profit project which anyone who's willing to contribute can join as a member and help out with the website.

Language software reviews. Reviews of popular language learning software, sorted by language. The packages reviewed are mainly from well-known software series - Rosetta Stone, Natively, Transparent. You can compare packages in a language in an at-a-glance table. As the lowest rating is 80%, and every review ends with a 20% money off offer for the package, the reader may well think that each page is more promotion than review, but if taken with a pinch or three of salt this might be a useful overview site.

Learn a Language. Lessons, Flash games and activities in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese and Japanese.

The Learning Group: Personalised Learning Games. Create your own language learning game online (as a Java applet), or play games created by other authors.

The Less Commonly Taught Languages Project. Resources for LCTLs (defined as all languages bar English, French, Spanish, and German). Hosted by the Centre for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA).

Lingua Estrangiera. A large collection of teaching resources for Portuguese teachers of foreign languages. Site text in Portuguese.

Linguanet Europa. A multilingual, virtual resources centre to support the teaching of foreign languages, offering access to a collection of over 1000 resources. Lingu@net Europa is accessible in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Le Monde Diplomatique. The French left-wing weekly paper online, including translations in German, Italian, and English, with back issues online.

My Language Exchange. Online community where language learners can find a native speaker partner to help each other improve foreign language skills. The site facilitates online language exchange learning via email, text chat and voice chat by providing guidelines and lesson plans. It claims to be one of the largest language communities on the web today. It also has a fun section where members can exchange expressions and slang by creating, playing and discussing phrasal Hangman word games. A real 'omnibus' site with language lessons in a wide range of world languages across the continents, not just European. Many of the lessons include audio files. A handy site for getting a basic grounding quickly in a language.

NETGLOS: The Multilingual Internet Glossary Project. An online glossary of Internet terms in 10 different languages.

The On-Line Books Page. A searchable database of links to over 12,000 books online, the vast majority English-language. There's also a page of links to online libraries of non-English-language texts. 

Producing Open Online Learning Systems (POOLS). An EU project which has developed authentic video materials and transcripts (PDF) in 9 languages: Basque, Danish, Dutch, English, Gaelic (Scottish), German, Lithuanian, Romanian, and Spanish. The videos are professionally-shot and available for free download. Recommended.

Project Romanova. A new, neutral "interlanguage" for speakers of Romance languages, consisting of words taken from French, Italian, Spanish, and Portugese. The site has a pronunciation guide, and brief grammars and dictionaries. Site text in English and the Romance languages.

Verbix. Online conjugation of verbs in over 50 languages, and large vocabularies of verbs between language pairs (eg Catalan-Italian). When you get a verb conjugation (eg finire), you also get cross-references to similarly-conjugated verbs, and to equivalent verbs in many other languages. You can also download a trial version of Verbix for Windows. A very useful resource for language learners. Recommended.

Online Dictionaries and Grammars

NB: This category contains links to multi-lingual dictionaries/grammars and lists of dictionaries/grammars. Those dedicated to a particular language (eg French) or language pair (eg French-English) can be found in the appropriate language category.

Alternative Dictionaries Words you wouldn't usually find in dictionaries (slang, idioms, swear words) in a wide range of languages. You can contribute your own entries to a dictionary. Language Portal. This site has a sophisticated online dictionary with a good number of language pairs, including Arabic, Chinese and Hindi as well as the 'usual suspects'. Results are detailed, including usage examples, sound clips, synonyms and hyperlinks to related terms. The site also has:

The site interface is available in all the featured languages. Quite a gold mine, and kept up to date. Recommended.

Clilstore. Described as "Teaching units for Content and Language Integrated Learning", this unsung project has a cornucopia of language learning materials for a wide variety of mostly European languages, though non-European tongues such as Arabic and Afrikaans are also represented. Choose a language and level, and you'll find a range of videos and, innovatively, transcripts with hyperlinks to relevant dictionaries - click on a word and it'll bring up the relevant entry in one or more online dictionaries, so that you don't have to leave the video.Clilstore is part of the wider project funded by the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme. Very highly recommended.

Collins Online Dictionaries. This impressive site has bilingual (from/to English) dictionaries in French, Spanish, Italian, and German, as well as an English dictionary and Thesaurus. The detailed but clear lookup results give definitions, usages, and hyperlinks to related words. Additionally, and perhaps uniquely, there are usage examples drawn from corpora, and graphs of word trends over time. You can create an account on the site which allows you to comment on entries, and suggest new entries. The Words and Language section has interesting articles on the dictionary languages, such as 'how to text in French' and 'social networking in Spanish'. The Language Learning section has useful articles on learning French and Spanish, including pronunciation guides, letter writing and idioms. Recommended. 

The DICT Development Group. A project to develop a protocol and tools to develop and query online natural language databases. The site currently features an interface to several online English dictionaries, allowing the user to query all or any of them at one time using advanced search criteria. Online searchable English dictionary, including links to other English and non-English online dictionaries and a glossary of English jargon terms.

Dutch-French-English Contrastive Verb Valency Dictionary. An "on-line dictionary that contrasts the syntactic behaviour of verbs which are often used as each other's translations but which are invariably 'false friends', syntactically as well as semantically. The CVVD systematically outlines to what extent they correspond and where they differ."

FoxLingo. A Firefox browser extension which adds translation tools to the browser enabling you to translate full web pages using online translation tools. At the time of writing (March 2007) FoxLingo supports 45 languages.

Glosbe. A multilingual dictionary, working on both crowdsourcing and scraping methods. It appears to get its definitions and translations from existing online dictionaries, with attribution and links, but it does solicit translations and pronunciations from users. It lists "almost every live language" so the word pairings run into the thousands. An interesting experiment and meta-search engine, though some users may prefer to go directly to the source(s) that Glosbe scrapes. An online dictionary with a near-compendium of world languages enabling translations in thousands of language pairs (Finnish - Afrikaans, anyone?), often including audio clips. The founder's express goal "is to help prevent endangered languages from extinction". You're encouraged to register with the site to contribute your expertise. The site also provides a translator match-up - select your language pair to find registered translators; this appears to be how it funds itself.

The Internet Dictionary Project. "The Internet Dictionary Project's goal is to create royalty-free translating dictionaries through the help of the Internet's citizens." You can search online dictionaries for English words in selected European languages, or vice versa, and download a Windows application allowing you to search offline.

Insultmonger. Includes the Swearsaurus, or "How to insult, swear, cuss, and curse in 180 languages!". Surely a fine companion to the long-running Alternative Dictionary.

Internet Public Library: Dictionaries Ready Reference Links to online dictionaries.

ITU Telecommunication Terminology Database (TERMITE). Search the ITU database for technical terms in English, French, Russian, and French. A multilingual dictionary covering English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Russian, and Turkish. The dictionary gives simple one word results. Site text in English, Turkish, and German.

List of Dictionaries. Primarily links to bilingual (English + another language) and monolingual English dictionaries, including 'informal' works such as the Hacker's Dictionary, but also some non-English dictionaries.

NETGLOS. A multilingual glossary of Internet terminology. Look up Internet terms in a wide range of (mainly European) languages.

Oxford Reference: Modern Languages. Online, searchable versions of Oxford bilingual dictionaries giving full definitions and etymologies, with a useful cross-reference feature to follow leads. Language pairs currently served are English-French, -German, -Italian, and -Spanish.

Roget's Thesaurus. An online search form for the famous English thesaurus.

travlang's Translating Dictionaries. Online dictionaries in a wide range of languages, including 'minority' languages such as Danish and Dutch and even Esperanto. There's also a downloadable freeware dictionary called Ergane. A highly recommended site.

A Web of Online Grammars. A list of links to online grammars and language lessons, sorted by language. This is now part of the website.

Textile sector dictionaryA searchable dictionary of textile technical terms, in Spanish, English, German, and French.

Webster's Online Dictionary - the Rosetta Edition. Non-searchable dictionaries/glossaries of in a wide range of non-English languages, including many non-European and minority languages. Entries are sorted alphabetically by page. A quite stunning collection of links to online dictionaries, including speciality dictionaries, in a wide range of human languages (and some non-human, such as Klingon). The site also has an searchable English dictionary (Webster's) and thesaurus, a translator between English and four European languages, word games, grammars, and much more. Recommended. (This site incorporates Robert Beard's Web of Online Dictionaries.)

WordReference. An online dictionary covering English to Italian, Spanish, German, and French, and vice versa. It returns full definitions of words, multiple definitions when words have multiple meanings (eg "present"), and phrases and expressions using the word. You can also translate words on a web page simply by double-clicking them. Recommended.


Guide de la Radio et des Medias. Links to thousands of webcasting radio and TV websites worldwide, sorted by country and by type. Website text in French.

RealAudio site guide. A searchable list of sites using RealAudio technology.

Kidon Media-Link A comprehensive collection of links to media sites (including newspapers, magazines, TV and radio) worldwide, sorted by continent and country. Perhaps the most comprehensive list of its type on the Internet.

The Paperboy. A comprehensive list of online newspapers, sorted by country.

TV Schedules at EuroTV. Programme schedules for all the major TV channels in Europe, sorted by country.

Voice of America. News reports and audio webcasts in a wide variety of languages, particularly non-Western, as well as English transcripts. A useful language resource, albeit a little politically unsound.

World Radio Network (WRN). Recorded and live radio feeds from over 20 countries worldwide.

Resource sites

Audiolingua. A repository of freely-usable audio clips (MP3 format, streaming and download) recorded by native speakers, aimed at teachers and learners to aid oral comprehension . The clips and the site text are in multiple languages, including non-European languages such as Arabic and Mandarin, and "may be used freely for non-profit associations, personal, educational or professional purposes".

European Literature - Electronic Texts. A collection of links to European Literature electronic texts on the WWW, sorted by language.

Free Language Tutorials. Basic text lessons for beginners in Spanish, Italian and French. Includes some vocabulary and useful phrases. A web-based machine translation service which translates free text, or whole web pages, fairly quickly. At the time of writing, the system can translate from English into six other European languages, and from three of those languages into English.

Language Box. A public repository of language learning materials, developed by the FAROES project at the universities of Southampton and Portsmouth, UK. Teachers can register for an account then share their languages materials. The site "is for anyone who teaches languages and who wants somewhere to host and manage their materials, it's also for language students that want to record and share good stuff that they've found. It is free for everybody to use". Language Box is free to use, and all materials deposited within it are available under a Creative Commons licence, although you can restrict materials that you deposit to just yourself or registered users. Information on language courses, certificates, and organisations world wide. The site has a 'Course Finder', via which you can carry out detailed searches for courses in a particular language.

Languages and Integration through singing. Learn various languages through song. This site has songs with videos, transcripts, exercises and even karaoke. The site is divided into teacher and student sections, with the songs sorted by learning level. At the time of writing, songs were available in Italian, Romanian, Russian, French, Spanish and Portuguese, and the site has interfaces in these languages.

Memrise. The free version of Memrise comprises short drill and practice sessions in a very large number of world languages. Each session has audio clips and interaction. The wrinkles are that your progress is tracked, and the social networking aspect of the site which allows you to follow other learners. The paid version offers more, but the freebie is handy for practice.

Multi-language apps. A useful directory of mobile device apps, both multi-lingual and language-specific, including teaching aids (eg dictionaries), media (eg internet radio), news, travel, voice recording, and more.

Project Gutenberg. The official website of the project to make literary texts available in electronic form. The project currently has thousands of texts by a wide range of classical authors in the original language and in translation.

The Romance Languages Resource Page. A very large collection of links to sites related to Romance languages, sorted by language. Recommended.

SACODEY: European Youth Language. A "web based system for the assisted compilation and open distribution of European teen talk in the context of language education." Essentially its a concordancer with corpora of 'teen talk' in a number of languages - English, French, German, Italian, Lithuanian, Romanian, and Spanish - and videos. The videos require RealPlayer to view. An EU Socrates project.

. A 'flash card' style vocabulary teaching application, focussed on the 5000 most used words in a language. There's a range of source and target languages which you can pair, and you can choose a 'course' based on learning level or particular vocabulary (eg travel, leisure, hotels etc). All words are presented with audio, images and with progressive intervals of repetition, and the methodology looks to be based on sound pedagogical practice, at least going by the references in the FAQ. There's also an option to create your own custom flashcards 'course'. A nice technical touch is that the application is implemented solely in Javascript (jQuery.jPlayer) without any proprietary plugins.

World Online Cinema: online resources for films. Links to native language movies on DVD,, and more importantly useful resources related to the films, such as commentaries, study guides, vocabularies, exercises and more. Resources are available for movies in a range of European and non-European languages, including French, German and Iranian.

Links on this page last checked: 31/05/11

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