If you’ve ever traveled to a foreign country and stuttered and stammered your way around the attractions because you don’t know the local language, you do know what it feels like to not know a language other than your own. To some people, to show up in a new country without knowing the language is to live up to the reputation Americans have overseas of being uninterested in the rest of the world . Well, if learning a language has been on your list of things to do in life, all you need to do is find a way to scrape the $500 it takes to buy one of the well-regarded language learning software packages – something like Rosetta Stone, for example. But before you do that, perhaps you should look up all the ways there are to learn a new language for free.
Have you ever read the French newspaper La Figaro? How about La Republica from Italy? That’s right, language teachers usually recommend that those who are interested in skills in a new language really should make a point of really maintaining a sort of touch with the language they aim for by reading newspapers or magazines in that language. All the time. It’s one thing to watch and listen to software that tries to teach you and quite another to learn in the natural way coming in contact with regular language as it is really spoken and written. It can be a great way to learn a new language for free.
People hate looking up dictionaries. That’s why online dictionaries are as popular as they are. But you do still need to look those words up. It can be a real hassle stopping in the middle of reading something to look the word up. How about instead, watching a foreign movie with subtitles? Having a movie scene to associate words with can work great for your ability to remember new words.
If you’re trying to learn a new language for free and it’s a language that’s common around the United States – like Spanish or French for instance – you could try a local community center that serves people of that community. This is especially easily done with Spanish. You’ll find that even if the native speakers you get to be around are little children, it makes a great difference that they are actual native speakers. You learn so much more quickly this way. You just have to go volunteer at one of these places. Try VolunteerMatch.org.
BBC Languages has a bunch of online courses for those who wish to learn a new language for free. Once you get past a certain point, you can get help from native speakers on LiveMocha too. They put you in touch with native speakers across the world who are willing to coach your you little bit.
A native speaker podcast from CoffeeBreak can be great, too. Remember, to learn a new language is to make your life easier too. You’ll be more hireable in the job market. And you’ll be more admittable in college.