If you’ve ever been on the question-and-answer site Quora, you know it’s home to some of the smartest people on the internet. Sure, any forum site will have some trolls and posers, and it’s important to be skeptical sometimes. But by and large, Quora’s users are very knowledgeable in their subject areas of expertise and happy to help those who want to learn. That’s why it’s such a great supplement to your language-learning routine. You can use the site’s Q&A feature to practice your reading and writing skills and to ask questions about any part of a language you’re struggling to grasp. We’ve put together a list of tips for making the most of your time on the website, starting with how to change your Quora language to the one you want to learn.
Tips For Successful Quora Language Learning
1. Add Your Target Language(s)
One of the cool things about Quora is that you can set a primary language and then add additional languages that you can toggle between whenever you want. So even if your default Quora language is English, you can easily switch it to Spanish and your feed will be filled with questions and answers in Spanish. To add languages, click your profile image on the top right of the screen and select “Languages.”
2. Explore Quora In That Language
Now that you’ve added the language you’re learning, toggle on over to that language and start scrolling. Reading other users’ questions and answers can be a good test of your comprehension skills. When you feel ready, consider moving from lurking to interacting by answering some questions in your target language. This will help you sharpen those writing skills. Native speakers may reply to your comments with corrections, but don’t take it too personally. Mistakes are the best way to learn! You may even want to admit in your comments that you’re practicing a second language and welcome any feedback.
3. Jot Down New Words And Phrases
Whether your Quora language is set to English or the one you’re learning, you should always have a document open or a notebook nearby so you can write down any words or phrases that you come across on the site. Keeping a list of unfamiliar vocabulary will help you remember it going forward. Many of the answers on Quora are lists of words or phrases and their translations, especially on “spaces” (Quora’s word for curated communities of posts about a certain topic) specifically related to language learning. We’ll talk more about spaces in tip #5.
4. Ask Questions
The purpose of Quora is to ask questions and crowdsource answers from people who are interested in and knowledgeable about a particular topic. So if you aren’t sure what a word means or need advice on when to use a certain phrase or have a grammatical question, don’t be afraid to ask. It’s worth it to check that your question hasn’t been asked and answered. But as long as you make sure to share your question to the appropriate spaces, you’ll probably get an answer (or multiple answers). And like your teachers always said, if you have a question, someone else probably has the same one.
5. Follow Everything Language (And Other Spaces)
The content you see on Quora primarily depends on two things: which posts you’ve clicked on and interacted with in the past, and which spaces you’re following. If you’re using the site to learn a language, you should be interacting with plenty of language content, but you should also make sure to follow some language-learning spaces. To start, you can follow Babbel’s space, Everything Language. This will give you access to a community of language learners, teachers and enthusiasts, whose insights will be extremely valuable to you as you work on your language skills. You’ll be able to give back to the community, too, just by asking and answering questions and upvoting posts you find helpful.