Featured Quote

"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
~Arthur C. Clarke

Find: BYKI

If you're into language study and can't afford Rosetta Stone or other similar language learning software, I have an alternative solution: try BYKI.  BYKI, or Before You Know It, has a lot of great stuff to help with language.

HOW TO GET IT:
You can go to http://www.byki.com/. There you have two options.

  • FREE DOWNLOAD:  That's right.  FREE.  There are only about 12 lists to study, but it's not a trial that goes away or asks you to buy in 30 days.  You can use them over and over again whenever you want.  It's a great taste of a language and a nice basic reference.
  • DELUXE EDITION:  You can get the deluxe edition for something like $70 .  I did not purchase this, and have only used some basic functions on Rosetta Stone, so I could not say which one, cost to benefit ratio, is the better value.  Still, any time I can save cash and achieve at least part of my goals makes me happy.
I recommend trying the free download first, and see what you think.  If you like it, try the Deluxe Edition, and then please post your final verdict on the software in a comment on this post.  It seems that you can download as many as you want.  You just input your email (I always recommend using a junk email account for any new site you sign onto), check or uncheck the options, and then click on the permissions from that email.  The first language you download installs the software in general.  Each language you download after only installs that language's set of lists, which is nice, because really, who wants a hundred sets of the same software?  To date, I have added lists for Russian, Spanish, Italian, French German (the main languages I study), as well as Japanese and Irish (which I want to start studying next).

 FEATURES: 
  • No Spam: As a novice computer nerd, I know a lot more about how to take care of my computer than most, but I'm no genius.  So I always try to be careful when downloading anything from the net.  I checked out some reviews on BYKI off-site, and the general consensus at this point seems to be no spamming or corruptions of any kind.  If anyone hears different, or encounters something icky as a result of downloading it, I would very much like to know.
  • PRACTICE & REVIEW/TESTING SECTIONS: The software has steps, first having you practice the lists and then testing you on them.  The software notes where you have trouble with specific phrases and keeps throwing them at you until you get them down.
  • ORAL/AURAL: The great thing about most software as opposed to books (even those that include a limited CD) is that you get to hear the language, a vital aspect to learning it.  How can you speak it if you don't know what it sounds like? 'Nough said.
  • WRITTEN:  So they show you the word or phrase written out, including special punctuation and pronunciation accents.  When you have to do the answers in written form, there is a keyboard so that you can get used to writing with accents and in different alphabets (like Cyrillic).
  • COMMUNITY: It seems you can get an account on BYKI in order to take part in the online community and create your own lists.  I just now discovered this as I was getting more information from the site to write this post, but I intend to check it out more fully when I get time.  I imagine that part of this community will include discussion boards and possibly finding like people to meet up with in your areas.
This is a sort of preliminary review, but overall, I like what I see from this software.  I will more than likely post again in a few months when I have a bit more experience with it.  For now, I will say that, overall, this software is pretty awesome.  I'd love to hear any other thoughts on this software: experiences, likes, dislikes, etc.

Best of luck!


© Content property of Andromeda Ross, all rights reserved.

No comments: