Easy Languages is a non-profit video project that aims to help people learn languages through authentic street interviews. The videos also showcase the street culture of the participating partner countries, through its portrayal of typical, everyday situations—situations that otherwise wouldn’t be covered by regular media. Episodes focus on different topics, and are produced at various locations around the globe. Every Easy Languages video is subtitled in its local language and in English—a valuable feature for learners of all levels.
Easy Languages started as Easy German, a multimedia learning project by The Global Experience at Schiller High School in Münster, Germany. Its free, accessible format, and original approach to language learning made the videos popular on YouTube, attracting a worldwide audience interested in foreign languages and intercultural exchange. In 2013, Easy Languages became a social franchise, with an ever-growing community of co-producers from all over the world.
Co-producers create videos in the local language according to the Easy Languages guidelines. They are strongly supported by the Easy Languages Network, e.g. through multimedia training or assistance in finding sources of funding. Co-producers receive 70% of the ad revenue that their videos earn on the YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/learnlanguages). If you are interested in becoming a co-producer, feel free to contact us.
Janusz is the founder and producer of Easy German and co-founder of Easy Languages. He is originally from Poland and moved to Germany in 1984. Janusz has been a truck driver for several years, before turning his passion onto media. Today he works as a video producer and media trainer in schools and institutions all over the world. Janusz uses his own experience of learning a foreign language and moving abroad to come up with new concepts and ideas of multi media learning.
Cari is the co-founder of Easy Languages, host of Easy German and co-founder and manager of The Global Experience, an international youth media network focused on intercultural dialogue. Cari dedicates most of her time organizing events and activities that connect young people from different parts of the world. The idea of Easy German also originated from the network of The Global Experience, before being hived of as Easy Languages in 2013. Cari is also the co-founder of the Digital Participation Camp, an annual conference for young digital change makers. Connect with Carina: www.carisafari.de
Ben is the partners manager of Easy Languages and a video producer and freelance translator from York, England. He trains and guides new co-producers in the Easy Languages network and is also the translator of the Easy German series. Ben studied German and economy in Sheffield and has lived abroad in Germany and Poland before moving back to England in 2016. He also co-created the Easy German exercises and regularly joins us as a media trainer for workshops and courses.
Manuel studied Multimedia Production and has hosted and produced several Easy German episodes. He is currently on a two-year world trip, making videos about traveling, tech and minimalism along the way on his personal YouTube channel.
Michael is a software developer and the good soul of our website 🙂
Co-producers create videos in the local language according to the Easy Languages guidelines. They are strongly supported by the Easy Languages Network, e.g. through multimedia training or assistance in finding sources of funding. Co-producers receive 70% of the ad revenue that their videos earn on the Easy Languages YouTube channel.
HOW TO GET STARTED?
First of all: becoming a co-producer is easy. Many of our current co-producers started with no equipment and no experience. You can do it too!
Ask yourself these three questions:
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR EQUIPMENT
First step is choosing your equipment. You need two things:
1. A video camera: Basically any video camera will do! Obviously, the better the recording quality, the better the look of the resulting video. If possible try to find one that can record in full High Definition (HD). 2. A microphone: You need an external microphone to record audio that’s most suitable for the Easy Languages format. You can use a relatively inexpensive handheld recorder, like the Zoom H1. You have to synchronize the audio with the equivalent video in postproduction, however. Alternatively, a cable or radio microphone that records directly to your video camera works just as well.
Watch this video to see what equipment other co-producers of Easy Languages use.
HOW TO FUND MY EQUIPMENT?
In general we ask our co-producers to fund their equipment themselves. Consider this as an investment: Sooner or later you should be able to earn enough through YouTube to recoup some (or all!) the money you put into the purchase of equipment. In addition, you invest furthering your skills, by consistently producing videos and improving as you go along. Once you have a healthy portfolio full of videos, go ahead and use it to market yourself and what you are able to do. The Easy Languages team does not guarantee any funding to purchase equipment in line with the project. We are, however, more than happy to assist in identifying sources of possible funding, both private and public.
HOW DO I LEARN HOW TO SHOOT AND EDIT VIDEOS?
Many of our co-producers self-studied and improved their craft on their own! YouTube has tons of tutorials that cover almost every commercially available video-editing software in the market. We’re happy to give you tips and tricks on how to shoot and handle the camera and avoid the common mistakes that first-time co-producers may make in the Tutorials section of our channel. Remember that you may not need to watch all of the tutorials—look through the entire playlist and view those relevant to what you have. Also, don’t get scared: Things look much more difficult in the beginning than they really are. Producing videos is easy, not to mention gratifying, and we have nothing but encouragement for you.
Apart from regularly producing new video tutorials we also offer online training via Skype or Google Hangout to our co-producers.
SOUNDS ALL INTERESTING – WHERE DO I START?
Raring to go? Contact us at info(at)easy-languages.org. We can’t wait to work with you.
Easy Languages goes offline! – Welcome to our Easy Language Classes!
As avid language learners, we believe that the most successful way of learning a language apart from watching nice videos is through experience – to live through the language. Language learning is about the environment, motivation, enthusiasm and encouragement. What we want to do at our classes is very much connected with how we teach languages online: Easy Languages Classes should be connected to authentic life in Germany, contain lots of fun and evoke passion for language learning in our students. We therefore connect all our lessons with practical exercises and fun activities like cooking, going out, bike tours or walking tours to exercise our grammar and vocabulary.
Easy Language Classes are currently available for Easy German only. Check www.easygerman.org/#summerschool for further information.
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