Language forums are some of the most useful websites for language learning I’ve found. They’re informative, usually there are lots of people on them so you can ask questions about various languages. What facets of the language I want to learn are the hardest to master? How to get over this or that hurdle? Where can I find free resources online?
Currently there seem to be two main forums (although both Lang-8, Italki, and LingQ all have smaller forums on their respective sites).
I first started using How to Learn Any Language forum in 2009. I mainly read rather than post anything. There are loads of useful posts about resources and (what is my favorite part) — logs of different people studying various languages. Unfortunately, the forum restricts posts after a certain time period so that only premium users can read them.
This is incredibly frustrating. It was frustrating when I first logged into the site and could see that people had answered my question before but I couldn’t access the post. However it has become increasingly more frustrating as comments and posts and questions that I’ve posted before are now restricted.
There is an alternative however — Fluent in 3 Months Forum. Unlike the How to Learn Any Language forum where useful posts about resources are mixed up with people arguing endlessly about which language is the hardest the Fluent in 3 Months Forum focuses on providing resources, information and encouragement.
The Fluent in 3 Months Forum is also completely free. A log I kept last year of a fourteen day trip hitchhiking across Turkey learning conversational Turkish is still there and available. Other people’s Korean study logs are also still online and accessible. Given Benny’s public commitment to providing free resources (such as an online version of Learning with Texts) and building a more free culture, I think we can be confident that forum posts will remain accessible to everyone.
If you are learning a language it’s really helpful and encouraging to keep some kind of learning log or a blog. WordPress is probably the best, but if the log is just for a short time or you’d like less hassle, start one at Fluent in 3 Months Forum. Whatever you do please, please don’t keep any language log at the How to Learn Any Language forum.
Update: It seems there is a (somewhat convoluted) way to get around the HTAL firewall — reader Renati writes: “If you go to “search” on HTLAL and then use the “tab” G-Search you can comfortable look for any post, no matter how long ago it was written.” Thank you Renati, for the info.^^