Feed the hungry + improve your vocabulary at the same time (for free)

So how many of us here know about FreeRice.com? I was introduced to this website by a friend last year and have recently rediscovered it.

I know, I know. With a name like “FreeRice” it is either a p*rn website or a phishing scam. Ya, well it is neither. In fact this is probably one of the best ways the modern day e-commerace business plan has been put to use.

FreeRice.com is a website where you play a game and every time you submit a correct answer to the game, 10 grains of rice is donated to the poverty stricken (interestingly enough, it us to be 20 grains per answer last year). What game is this you ask? The game is quite simple: you are prompted by vocabulary related questions and you must answer them with the click of your mouse. For example, right now the following question is displayed to me:

lag means:

give up


be behind


All I have to do is pick what I think is the right answer. If I pick the wrong answer, a page loads that tells me “Sorry, not quite correct. Please try another word.” and gives me a new question to answer. If I get the question right, 10 grains of rice is donated to the needy and you are given another question to answer. The games goes on for as long as you like; the difficulty changes depending on how many questions you get correct. There is no penalty for wrong answers either. Originally when the website started, it was only English vocabulary questions. Now the website has expanded to include:

  • Art questions about famous paintings.
  • Chemistry questions about chemical symbols.
  • English grammar (in addition to the already mentioned English vocabulary).
  • Geography questions about countries and capitals
  • French, German, Italian, and Spanish questions to help you learn words.
  • Math questions concerning Pre-Algebra topics and the multiplication table.

If you think “man these people must be getting rich”, be assured that the website and the people running it are not making a dime. 100% of the money that comes into the website goes towards the rice they donate. Their revenue is totally dependent on how many people visit the websites because it is the sponsers that pay the bills.

By visiting FreeRice.com, not only can you help out the hungry, but also improve your IQ. Give it a try: FreeRice.com.

P.S. I love their “WARNING” at the bottom right.

Side note: For anyone really into helping the needy, there is also TheHungrySite.com where just by visiting and clicking on ads you can tunnel the money earned by sponsors to charity. However, I don’t think that all the proceeds from their online store, where you can purchase certain products, will go to charity.

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    Thank you very much ASHRAF for this GEM!!

    It looks perfect for English “lovers” (and learners) like me who struggle to improve their (poor) English vocabulary every bloody day….LOL!!

    Other good websites to improve the English vocabulary and spelling are the following ones:



    The second site offer a huge number of Common Idioms and slang expressions that foreign students can’t find in any dictionary or textbook….LOL!!

    It also offers FREE PODCAST giving you a lot of free English listening.

    Even better, every podcast also has text (just look under “Recent Posts” on the right menu on their website) so as to improve not just the listening skills but also the vocabulary and the grammar.

    Of course I know many other similar COOL WEBSITES but since you are (lucky you..LOL!!) an English Native Speaker I guess that you are not interested in them simply because they are too easy for you…LOL!!

    You know my current level of the English language is close to the PROFICIENCY one but honestly I have to admit that I’m still not happy with it especially as for as the LISTENING and SPEAKING skills are concerned (no one is able to speak a good English here in ITALY, including the English teachers…LOL!!).

    By the way: do you think that my (written) English is ok?

    I used to live in LONDON (UK) for 2 years but in the end I realized that LONDON was not the best British city to learn it as 70% of Londoners were not born there and the London Business English Schools are just TRAPS designed to make money at the expense of naive foreign students like the unsersigned…LOL!!

    That’s why I strongly believe that the best way to learn ENGLISH or any other foreign language is to listen real native speakers, for instance by watching (British or American) satellite TV channels as I do here every day thanks to my satellite dish (I learned English here at home by watching English TV much more than in 2 years of residence in London…LOL!!).

    In fact the real question foreign students should ask themselves when they start learning English in their country or abroad, should be: how can I be a native-like English SPEAKER?

    Most people here in ITALY are good English READERS but not great English SPEAKERS: just 20% of Italian people (usually TOP MANAGERS of BANKS and big American Multinational companies) are able to handle a debate in English or at least to understand native speakers’ conversations, maybe because the English textbooks does not teach people the REAL English conversations foreign students like me actually need.

    For this reason I strongly believe that most of the English courses around the world are just SCAMS designed to pump MONEY out of poor and naive foreign students like me, as they don’t teach real English conversation since the “conversations” in most books are fake and not real.

    So to understand native speakers you must listen to real conversations and not fake textbook actors and at the same time to speak easily to native speakers you must live with them 24 hour per day, but how can you do that if you don’t understand them??

    Luckily with all of the technological advances that we have made in recent years thanks to the growing use of the Internet, it’s definitely much easier to learn a foreign language nowadays as long as you have a broadband connection at home which unfortunately is not my case (ITALY is a crappy country from this point of view…treble sigh!!).

    For instance TEXT TO SPEECH PROGRAMS like the one offered by GAOTD a few weeks ago (TEXT ALOUD) along with AUDIO BOOKS, besides being originally designed for computer users who suffer from a low vision disability, are in my humble view nowadays the most effective way of learning English or whatever else foreign language you like.

    In my case learning English by using audio books or Text to Speech program has broadened my vocabulary and helped me understanding rapid speaking but more than all it is in my humble view the only method that helps you learn the right pronunciation unless you hire a private mothertongue teacher in the flesh who usually charges you 50 or 60 EURO per hour.

    What do you make of it Ashraf?

    By the way, a couple of weeks ago a guy called “alsitn” (do you know him??) sent this comment in the GAOTD forum:


    About Text Aloud (see yesterday) there are many good and free alternatives on the web. The most noticeable one is hosted on sourceforge. Cannot save mp3 but can save wav. which is not a big problem.

    Also, I’ve been able to find another free software developed by an hospital+research center which aim to assist people with reduced voice functionalities. Still free and more complete (you can register your own voice and put it inside the program).


    I had asked him to publish the link of this FREE SW but he didn’t do it!!

    Do you know what he refered to?

    If you read another message written by him, please ask him to send you the link because it would be extremely important for me to use this SW as TEXT ALOUD, given earlier by GAOTD, doesn’t have any AT&T natural voices unless you buy them on their official websites (but amazingly they cost more than the SW itself…LOL!!).

    Finally, if you are interested in a patented English grammar and proofreading professional SOFTWARE that automatically works with any text based application enabling your plain English sentences to become more professional and impressive, there is a program called “WhiteSmoke” which can be exceptionally bought spending as much as 100 BUCKS rather than 400 $ (75% OFF – 1 General Writing Version + Business Writing Version + Creative Writing Version + Multi-Lingual Dictionary + 2 Pro Versions + English Video Tutorials)



    Have a good evening!!

    Cheers from Italy!!