Chrome Extensions Review: French, Japanese, and Spanish Word of the Day
When studying languages, forcing yourself to study isn't always the best approach. A daily non-threatening and gradual method works for most people and an unobtrusive way of studying is recommended especially for busy professionals. Since a web browser is an application we use every day on a laptop, workstation, or netbook, then a web browser extension is a great platform for learning a language without having to remind yourself regularly.
Declan Software provides word of the day extensions for French, Spanish, Japanese, and other popular languages. Once installed, the language extension sits on the Chrome toolbar. Once clicked, the extension displays the word for the day, its meaning, and if necessary, an alternate way of writing the word. It's easy enough to click on the extension all throughout the day to remind yourself of the new word.
The extension offers a button to listen to the word as spoken by a speaker, but it didn't work on the machines where I installed it. If you need to listen to how a word is spoken, you can always visit Google Translate, enter the word there, and click the Listen icon. One of the advantages of browser extensions is that it's cross platform, which means you can install French Word of the Day or any of the other language extensions on Windows and Linux laptops. And yes, you can install it on Chromium as well.
A limitation of the extension is that it prevents you from copying and pasting the displayed word, which would actually be handy for Arabic and Japanese vocabulary. I record my daily dose of foreign words by taking a screenshot using Lightscreen or Shutter and pasting it on to Microsoft Office OneNote at work and Cherrytree for Linux at home. Once I've accumulated enough words, I'll export the list to PDF for reviewing on my iPad or iPod Touch.