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Learn a new language while Web surfing in Chrome

Wish you had time to learn a new language? Check out this Chrome extension that adds words in your target language into the sites you're already reading.

Language Immersion for Chrome. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

You've probably heard that immersion is the fastest and most comprehensive way to learn a new language. However, immersion is not an easy task when you don't live in a country where your target language is natively spoken. To help with this issue there's an awesome extension called Language Immersion for Chrome.

With this extension you can add as much or as little of a new language to your everyday Web surfing habits as you like. The extension supports most of the languages offered by Google Translate (roughly 64 of them), and can help you learn the target language by translating random words, sentences and even paragraphs. So as you read a Web page on the novice setting you'll see a word or phrase in your chosen language every 30 to 40 words of your native language. And in case you're a little more advanced than that, you can turn the difficulty level up to Intermediate or even Fluent so larger chunks of the text will be translated.

Settings for Language Immersion for Chrome.

First you'll need to grab a copy of the Language Immersion for Chrome extension. Just click on the blue Add to Chrome button. After that, you'll want to adjust the difficulty setting and make sure the extension is switched on. This can be done by clicking on the extension's button in your Chrome toolbar. You may also want to enable "Speak translations" by clicking on the wrench icon and then the check box.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Now you're ready to start surfing the Web. If you want an easy start, read something that you've read before. This will make piecing together the words or phrases that you are not familiar with much easier. Each time you come across a word translated to the target language, you can click on it to hear it spoken (provided you have this enabled) and to show the translation in your native language. While some slang will get lost in translation, you can still use this extension to build a vocabulary base and learn how to say the words or phrases without too much of a hassle. Plus, turning the extension off can be done with just a few clicks if you need a break from learning.

An example of Language Immersion for Chrome. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

You may also want to check out Babbel Mobile for Android if you're looking for something to complement the Chrome extension when you're away from your computer.

What tools do you use on the Web or your mobile device to start learning new languages? 

(Via Lifehacker)