Everyone learns differently. You could be a video person, a podcast person, or a straight-to-the-dictionary type of student. However you like to learn, there are amazing resources being created every day to help you learn a new language. We’ve listed a few of our favorites.
Learning vocabulary and basic phrases is an essential part of learning a language, but if quizzing yourself with homemade flashcards sounds tedious, try Memrise. Memrise has interactive flashcards where you can listen to vocabulary words or phrases – so there’s no guessing at pronunciation. And yes, there’s an app available for your phone, too.
The alphabet, numbers, basic phrases, and vocabulary from many languages are taught at 50 Languages. You can practice your skills by choosing from various topics, taking quizzes, and watching videos. The site also links to numerous foreign language radio stations. Take some time to listen - you might be surprised by how much you understand.
Don’t let the simple interface fool you. Surface Languages is a lovely, simple resource for learning common expressions and words in many different languages. It has audio, flashcard, and game components. The words comprise common phrases you’d hear on holiday, meeting someone new, or trying to travel around.
If you’re looking for a website that is free from distractions and has a look reminiscent of the ‘90s, head to Digital Dialects. You can play simple games for practicing everything from numbers and colors to telling time.
In BBC Languages you can learn all about the different British languages and dialects like Gaelic, Welsh, Ulster Scots, and Cornish. In addition, there are audio and video courses and assessments for 40 languages. The resources here vary, and incorporate fun cultural elements like maps, documentaries, and children’s shows.
With many languages to choose from, Duolingo gamifies language learning, sort of like a simple video game. You decide how much you would like to practice each day – anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes – and then you can get started. If you’re brand new to the language, you can start with the basics, but if you’ve studied it before you can take a placement test to help you jump ahead. Most people use the app, but there’s also a website.
While foreign language learning often focuses on listening and speaking, reading is another important component of language. Beelinguapp gives you the ability to read anything, from fairy tales to novels, in the language you’re learning. Read with your new language and your native language side-by-side, or “Karaoke Style,” wherein you listen to a native speaker and repeat it.
Brainscape helps you learn things faster with a Confidence-Based Repetition (CBR) system. Their adaptive learning algorithm is personalized by difficulty level and frequency. You can create your own flashcards and sync them between your mobile devices.
If you want to practice your language on-the-go and play some fun games while doing it, take a look at Mindsnacks. You can practice French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, Portuguese, and Japanese. There are eight or nine different games that teach vocab and grammar.
Drops offers language learning games that are simple and fun to use. They use mnemonic devices to make learning vocabulary easy and boost your memorization skills. Drops has over 80 languages available, including Icelandic, Hawaiian, Maori, and Samoan.
If you’re a fan of YouTube, then you need to check out Streema. While Streema is not designed as a learning tool, you can watch television for free from over 100 different countries around the globe. You can easily browse by country or even topic of interest, such as “Tourism and Travel.”
Fluent City Online Group Courses
If you’re looking for a fun way to learn through video while also engaging in a small group setting, check out Fluent City’s online group classes. They’re perfect if you learn best in a small, social, and interactive setting.
Easy Languages has interviews real people around the world and showcases over 30 different languages. The subtitles are great as they are in both the foreign language and English – making it easy for you to follow along with the conversations. You’ll love their culturally relevant discussions, for example how to tell time in Catalan or what Greek people eat for breakfast.
The Travel Linguist
The Travel Linguist on YouTube is a great place to start when you’re beginning your foreign language studies. They offer language videos with a simple follow along and repeat method. There are three different levels of learning, and the videos are categorized so you can easily find a specific topic of interest.
News In Slow
News In Slow is one of the more special language-learning podcasts. Because native speakers tend to talk too fast for a novice learner to understand, News In Slow brings current events to you at a slower pace. They also offer some basic lessons related to grammar, expressions, and pronunciation on their website.
This podcast offers short lessons on many languages and includes some additional resources when you subscribe. The hosts are pretty high-energy, offering concise explanations and breakdowns of concepts that learners may find difficult to understand.
If you need some help staying motivated to learn a foreign language, take a listen to Actual Fluency. Host, Chris Boholm, has a variety-show rotation of guests that cover all sorts of language-related topics. It feels like a fun conversation with friends.
Of course, conversation is key when it comes to learning a language. If you’re looking for an interactive way to learn, build your confidence with conversation-based courses at Fluent City.