Ways to learn new languages for free (with benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 7 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you can communicate in multiple languages, you can increase your capability to do many tasks. Multilingual individuals may often spend hours before they can speak proficiently in a new language. Discovering ways to learn a new language for free can allow you to find the right resources that may fit your requirements. In this article, we enlist ways to learn new languages for free, outline the importance of learning a new language, highlight tips to help you learn a language and provide answers to frequently asked questions.

Ways to learn new languages for free

Availability of technology and the Internet may provide users with better ways to learn new languages at no cost. Learning many languages can be an essential skill, especially for better teamwork among professionals from different cultures. Here are ways you can learn a new language for free:

Blogs and websites about language learning

Blogs and websites can provide guidance and community as you start your language-learning journey. If it is specific to a particular language, a blog may offer you practical advice on vocabulary, the basics of grammar and even important cultural information. Some websites may also have voice features where you may learn how to pronounce certain words by emulating a voice assistant or live user. Sometimes, you can interact with other learners via chat rooms where you may find the motivation to learn and guidance in certain areas.

Free language courses

These courses may teach you basic grammar and vocabulary in specific languages. The content may also have levels whereby level one can involve basic content while level nine may contain more complex information. This can allow you to learn the language systematically that may promote better understanding. In some courses, they may use gamified software that uses points and levels like video games to keep you motivated and to make the process fun.

Related: 20 careers and jobs in linguistics (with salary information)

Native podcasts with transcripts

These are podcasts that native speakers may host to teach listeners new languages through actively teaching about the language or by engaging in useful conversation. Podcasts may be a useful tool for learners who may have already learned about the basics of grammar and intonation. The podcasts may also provide transcripts for learners to refer to and for them to use even after the podcast hosts have completed the show.

Public domain textbooks

Textbooks may contain information on the history of a language and different words, which can help you appreciate a language better. They may also help you acquire more knowledge of conjugations or noun cases and can also have easier beginner-level texts that help you practise. You may also pair the old textbooks with more modern versions to get information on modern terminologies, which may change after certain periods.

Language applications

You can download applications that developers may specifically create to help users learn languages. These apps may offer more interactive learning opportunities, such as games, fun associations and reminders to help you constantly learn. Some applications may also offer live lessons with verified language teachers who have certifications.

Assimilation

Assimilation is the process whereby an individual merges with a community and associates with them. Assimilation can be a useful way for you to learn about a community's culture and language. In the modern age, you can practise assimilation by attending classes, visiting a family that speaks the language or travelling to a country where people speak the language you're practising. This can allow you to learn specific word arrangements and informal language that may not be available in textbooks or websites.

Related: How To Work in Germany as a Citizen of the United Kingdom

Importance of learning a new language

Here are some reasons it may be important for you to learn a new language:

Improves your memory

Learning a new language may be comparable to learning a new concept in a physics class. It may be an intensive task that can involve cramming new grammar rules and vocabulary. A new language may allow you to train your memory to remember new words, make connections between them and use them in contextual situations.

Connects you with others

Learning a new language may allow you to communicate with a wider range of people in your personal and professional life. This may also allow you to have an easier time when settling in a unique area where the language may be foreign to you. You may also attract native speakers if you show interest in their culture by learning their language.

Advances your career

Language skills can be a significant competitive advantage that many recruiters may desire. Careers in other countries may also be available if you want to learn the country's language. Some lucrative universities may also accept students who know the university's primary teaching language.

Related: How to become an interpreter (with skills and FAQs)

Improves your skills

People who can speak over one language may have better problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration and better listening skills. Being bilingual or multilingual can also help to delay mental ageing and cognitive decline, since learning a new language may be a complex task. A new language may also improve your social skills since you may be better able to converse with more people compared to monolingual individuals.

Fosters connections with other cultures

Being able to communicate in another language may expose you to unique cultures which may help you appreciate the traditions, religions and art. Language may also be a great way for you to learn the history of the people, since most stories may only be in that language. A greater understanding of culture may also increase tolerance and acceptance of people who may differ from you.

Improves travel experiences

Travelling as a speaker of a local language can make a trip abroad more enjoyable and memorable. While monolingual travellers can visit the same places, travellers who know over one language can easily navigate around an area with minimal help. You may also connect and interact with the people in a way that can often be inaccessible to those who may not be familiar with the language.

Related: 4 types of communication (with examples)

Tips to learn a new language effectively

Here are tips that may be useful when you are learning a new language:

  • Write things down: This may be essential as it may help you memorise certain words since it can be an active and engaging process. Writing can also help you learn how to write in a specific language and may also provide you with material that you can reference later.

  • Use music: You may attempt to sing songs or listen to music from the language you're learning to make the experience more engaging and fun. Music can also help you learn a language at a faster pace compared to textbooks and websites.

  • Watch TV in that language: You may experience the language on a television show which may help with comprehension skills, pronunciation and grammar. For content that may be in a language you understand, you can also use subtitles.

  • Connect with language teachers: This may be a useful resource, as people who speak that language may help you better pronounce the words. You may find language teachers in certain online sites, forums or applications where you may pay a fee to get a guide.

Related: Interpersonal communication: Definitions and examples

Frequently asked questions about learning a new language

Some common questions about learning new languages for free can include:

What is necessary for a language learner to be successful?

Here are the main things that any language learner may require:

  • Motivation: You may choose to create a list of objectives that can motivate you to learn a language every day since the practice can be challenging. Motivation may also be important for you to look for resources, such as textbooks and teachers who may not be easy to access.

  • Good resources: The resources you can use to learn a new language may influence your motivation and the pace at which you learn the language. A good learning resource may be interactive, engaging and fun.

  • Time: Learning a new language can be an engaging process that may require your time every day. If you are busy with work, you may choose to integrate the lesson into your routine, such as during break times, commutes or in social settings.

Where can I get learning material?

You can foreign language learning materials in bookstores, libraries and on the Internet. The Internet may offer many kinds of language materials, including free sites that may contain introductory lessons for beginners, grammar explanations, vocabulary lists or short videos. Online bookstores may also be a great place to read textbooks and novels in different languages.

Related:

  • Guide: what jobs with a languages degree can I do?


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