Are you tired of getting out the credit card every time you want to obtain a new foreign-language learning tool? When you start to tally up, the bottom line can be shocking: a couple of software programs, listen-and-speak audio package(s), dictionary, grammar textbook(s), reading material, audio books … KaCHING! It adds up quickly.
However, there is a plethora of FREE foreign language reading material available on the Internet. Whenever you have a few minutes to spare, you can read on your computer, Blackberry, smartphone, PDA or other electronic reading device. It is easy once you know how. This article explains.
The first thing you must do is to obtain software. Mobipocket.com (an Amazon.com subsidiary) is your first stop. Go to the “Free Downloads” area on the left hand side of the page and click on “Free Software”. Download and install both Mobipocket Reader and Mobipocket Creator.
Return to the Mobipocket.com home page and select “Download free eBooks”. Pick the language you are learning and download the eBooks in which you are interested. Within just a few minutes, you can be reading public domain classics. The software bookmarks your spot whenever you leave a book, so you never lose your place.
As this article is written, Mobipocket hosts over 11,500 free books in more than 25 different languages.
You can find even more books at Project Gutenberg – Gutenberg.org. Some books at their site are already in mobi format. Others can be formatted very quickly and easily by using Mobipocket Creator to import text, html, pdf, or Microsoft Word files.
Under the Project Gutenberg “Free Books” area, choose the link for their “Online Book Catalog”. Choose a foreign language and alpha browse by author or title – or scroll down on the page until you see a book of interest. This site presents over 50 languages with more than 28,000 books. They also have partners and affiliates, increasing the total number of titles available to over 100,000. That should keep you busy for awhile!
Some books at Gutenberg also have audio files.
Librivox (Librivox.org) is another good stop. Their goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books. They are a totally volunteer, open source, free content, public domain project. You may be able to supplement your reading material with an audio presentation.
Be sure to check the above websites for links to others providing similar or complementary services.
Still looking for more? Try a search in your favorite search engine for “free books online”. Alternatively, try something like “free books online German”, substituting “German” for the foreign language you are learning.
You will never lack for reading material – and it is absolutely FREE.
(c) Copyright Kathy Steinemann: This article is free to publish only if this copyright notice, the byline, and the author’s note below (with active links) are included.