Virtual Library

This WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources is a frequently updated Internet directory of over 2000 annotated links to high-quality English-language sources of information and analysis in a wide range of international affairs, international relations, international studies, global studies, and global education topics. These sites are carefully selected for their long-term value, favoring those with cost-free, authoritative information and analysis online. Each website is described only in general terms because of the typically rapid changes in details of its contents and features.


Translations, Dictionaries, and Glossaries
Sites for Learning English
Languages and Language Learning Generally

Search Engines for Foreign Language Sites

Search Engine Colossus and Search Engine Guide are comprehensive global master directories of local search engines for regional, country, or language-specific searches. Yahoo! provides country-specific, regional, and official government site search options. Glearch allows you to search for language and country-specific content in "top results from Google, Yahoo and Bing as well as the most popular search engines for the selected country."

Internet broadcasts in many languages are accessible through the International Radio and Television page of this WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources.

Translations, Dictionaries, Glossaries

Try Google Translate, the Bing Translator from Microsoft, and SystraNet to translate text and web pages. Context-based Linguee is "a unique translation tool [among several European languages] combining an editorial dictionary and a search engine with which you can search through hundreds of millions of bilingual texts for words and expressions." IATE, the European Union's inter-institutional terminology database, gives translations of EU technical terms, abbreviations, acronyms, and phraseology among two dozen European languages.

Cambridge International Dictionaries Online-- Look up meanings of English-language words, idioms, and phrasal verbs, plus English/Spanish.

Dictionarist-- "Free online multilingual and talking dictionary service which can provide translation in English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Russian, Turkish, Dutch, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean." Wide variety of English language tools, including interactive translators, flashcards, crosswords, English and English-Spanish-English dictionaries, thesauruses, and more.

Dictionary of Slang-- Large searchable source for English-language slang, from a UK perspective. The links section is a rich compendium of sources on slang usage in English and a few other languages.

Free Dictionary-- "The world's most comprehensive dictionary: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian, Greek, Arabic, Polish, Turkish, Russian, Medical, Legal, and Financial Dictionaries, Thesaurus, Acronyms and Abbreviations, Idioms, Encyclopedia, a Literature Reference Library, and a Search Engine all in one!"

Freelang-- Multi-purpose site for language learners, offering free online and downloadable dictionaries in many languages, common expressions in many languages, fonts, quizzes, and more.

Language Dictionaries and Translators-- From Word2Word, links to numerous dictionaries and translators, online language courses, chat sites in many languages, audio, language-specific search engines, and language learning and practice aids.

Lexicool-- "Directory of "all" the online bilingual and multilingual dictionaries and glossaries freely available on the Internet... for translators, linguists, language students and all those interested in foreign languages... currently has links to over 7500 dictionaries and glossaries, many... created by translators working in specialist fields."

Merriam-Webster Online-- "The most up-to-date [English-language] dictionary on the Web," with thesaurus, video clips, word of the day, and word quizzes. There is also a Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary Online and a Learner's Dictionary of American usage for ESL, EFL, and TOEFL test students.

One Look-- Dictionary search engine to find the meaning of words in English and several other languages, covering millions of words in over a thousand online dictionaries.

Verbix-- "Independent non-profit organization that aims to promote and protect linguistic diversity... This site contains verb conjugations for hundreds of languages, ranging from national and international languages to regional and even extinct languages." Online English language dictionary that provides narrative definitions for frequently looked up words and explains the difference between often confused words, with over 100 million sentence examples. "Easiest to use on-line dictionary and thesaurus... simple, straightforward definitions that actually make sense along with example use cases for the most popular words, [plus] quick-click access to more in-depth information including specialty definitions and related articles."

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Sites for Learning English

American English Speech-- Free online audio speech course from Carnegie Mellon University, emphasizing the "standard" pronunciation style.

BBC Learning English-- Large, varied, thorough, and well organized site for English learners at most levels from the world service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. Enter an English language verb and receive the full conjugation of the verb in all persons and tenses.

EFL.NET-- News items, features, poetry, songs, puzzles, online games for EFL students, with ComAudio played while the corresponding text is displayed on your screen.

English Grammar-- Blog that offers tips, lessons, videos, and so forth: "Grammar lessons, exercises, and rules for everyday use."

English as 2nd Language--'s colorful and helpful guide to ESL.

ESL Cyber Listening Lab-- Very useful site with many English language conversations in audio files and accompanying sheets, "mainly designed for (1) self-access learning where students do the listening activities on their own, and (2) teacher-directed learning." Large number of audio samples of English language pronunciations, in words and sentences, for nine different varieties of English, plus several other languages.

Howjsay-- Instant audio feature presents correct pronunciation for well over 150,000 English language words, in Standard British English, with World English alternatives.

Learn English Feel Good-- Grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, and pronunciation exercises and quizzes for beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, with audio and video, idioms, phrasal verbs, resource packages, US/UK language differences, and "Travel English." Links to several related cost-free sites on learning English from the same organization.

Materials for Teaching and Learning English-- From the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, "high quality, targeted English language materials and programs in order to promote understanding of American language, society, culture, and values... These resources are aimed at supporting teachers of English outside of the U.S."

U.S.A. Learns-- From the U.S. Department of Education, "an easily accessible Internet learning tool that contains instructional materials... to teach basic English skills and help adults improve their English proficiency... [and] designed to allow learners with low-level literacy skills to use the tool independently, but it can also be used with a teacher or tutor." Requires free registration.

Using English-- "General English language site, specialising in English as a Second Language with a wide range of resources for learners and teachers of English... Different varieties of English are used; there are contributors from the United States, Canada, Pakistan and non-native speakers, but much of the site uses British English as it was set up in the UK." Includes weblog and forums.

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Languages and Language Learning Generally

Center for Applied Linguistics-- From a private, non-profit American organization of language scholars and educators, a fine online reference for the best language learning and teaching resources for teachers and students. Free online resources include "downloadable digests, informational brochures, frequently asked questions and more."

Effective Language Learning-- Foreign language guides, learning tips, sources for free lessons, and reviews of commercial language courses.

Ethnologue: Languages of the World-- Web version of entire printed "encyclopedic reference work cataloging all of the world’s 6,909 known living languages," viewable by countries and various cross-classifications.

Foreign Language Teaching Forum-- Integrated service for foreign language teachers, with this web site, academic discussion list with archives, and the FLNews server, from the State University of New York College at Cortland.

Foreign Languages and Literatures-- From MIT OpenCourseWare, free downloadable courses in many languages, literatures, and cultural studies, as taught at MIT.

Free Foreign Language Lessons-- Well arranged and annotated directory for lessons in many languages through several types of media and feeds, from Open Culture.

FSI Language Courses-- Independent website providing free access to courses on many languages, as developed by the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State.

Global Language Monitor-- "Documents, analyzes and tracks trends in language the world over, with a particular emphasis upon Global English... [with] expert analysis on language trends and their subsequent impact on politics, culture and business."

Goethe-Tests-- Thousands of free online language tests in many languages and ability levels, with answers, from the Goethe-Verlag in Munich.

Indo-European Languages Tutorials-- Free online tutorials, some with mp3 files, in many Indo-European languages, with complementary information about linguistics, language learning, and living as an expatriate in France.

Internet Polyglot-- Free lessons in many languages and between many languages, with pronunciations.

Language Guide-- "Offers free sound integrated resources for learning languages [for over a dozen languages]... developed collaboratively with the help of volunteers." "Place your cursor over an image and hear the word associated with it pronounced."

Language Materials Project-- From the University of California, Los Angeles, a large database of learning resources for over 100 less commonly taught languages of the world, such as bibliographies of and links to dictionaries, texts, grammars, phrasebooks, videos, language profiles, and teaching institutions.

Learn a Language--- Created by the U.S. Institute of Languages, a site where you can learn up to 8 foreign languages for free with audio lessons and games.

Learning Languages on the Web: Online Tools-- Review article, with hyperlinks, from the February 2013 issue of College and Research Libraries News, of the American Library Association.

LINGUIST List-- Run by linguistics professors and graduate students, "dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world." Superlative for all kinds of  language and linguistics resources--"world's largest online linguistic resource."

Livemocha-- "World's largest language learning community with [millions of] members... designed for all language goals and skill levels, Livemocha offers free and plus learning options that actually work – and make learning languages social and fun." Offers "courses in 38 different languages, over 160 hours of lessons for each, helpful tips from native speakers, [and] focus on conversation skills." Requires free registration.

Mixxer-- From Dickinson College, "free educational community for language learners and teachers to find a language partner for a language exchange. The language partner is someone who speaks the language you study as their native language and is studying your native language. As a member of the Mixxer community, you can communicate with your language partner via Skype to practice speaking. You can also submit documents and ask native speakers to correct your writing."

National Capital Language Resource Center-- "Joint project of Georgetown University, The George Washington University, and the Center for Applied Linguistics... created to improve and strengthen the nation's capacity to teach and learn foreign languages," with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Posts resources in the areas of "testing, learning strategies, materials development and methodology, technology, professional development, and dissemination of information on commonly and less commonly taught languages."

Omniglot-- "Guide to the writing systems and languages of the world. It also contains tips on learning languages, language-related articles, quite a large collection of useful phrases in many languages, multilingual texts, a multilingual book store and an ever-growing collection of links to language-related resources." This site allows you to type unique characters in many European languages easily, even if you don't have a specialized keyboard, then to edit your text in the box and copy it to your document, e-mail message, etc.

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This section of the WWW Virtual Library system was created, and is edited and maintained, by Dr. Wayne A.Selcher, Professor of International Studies Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2288  U.S.A., as a volunteer and non-profit public service. This website copyright 1997-present by Wayne A. Selcher. E-mail: