Learning a new language can be one of the most rewarding, and challenging, hobbies you can ever hope to pursue. If you’ve ever wondered how to learn a language, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this day in age, you have more than a few options to begin the journey of learning a new language. The best option is to just buy a one-way ticket to the country of choice, tell the spouse to watch the kids, and spend the next three years emersed in the language of the land. Ok ok, that may not be the most realistic options to learn different languages. Lets instead figure out what the best way to learn a language is, from the comfort of your own home/country.
As far as language learning websites go, italki is absolutely the best. italki is one of the newest and best approaches for how to learn a language fast. It’s a platform that links you and a teacher together to learn any language you’re interested in. I’m guessing they have just about every language you would ever want to learn.
In the past, language learning websites have been poorly put together. They consisted of forums and grammar exercises will no real context of general conversations. italki manages to bridge the gap between the slower aspects of grammatical structure and actual conversational understanding of the language. italki has provided me with some of the best online language courses I have ever had.
As italki is still our #1 choice for how to learn a new language, it does come with a few pros and cons.
- Extremely wide range of teachers to learn from
- Very affordable (The prices range from $5 to $50 an hour)
- Scheduling is very easy
- High quality educated teachers
- You have to add credit to your account or insert payment information every time
- Trial and error to find the best teacher for your needs
The next best option after italki is Pimsleur. If you hadn’t heard of it yet, Pimsleur is language learning software you can use from the comfort of your home. It is one of the oldest language learning strategies created by the language learning pioneer, Paul Pimsleur. His strategy was first created in 1927 and it has become one of the more popular go-to for language courses. What separates Pimsleur from the pack is a proven technique called the ‘Pimsleur Method’ which forces you to basically repeat a word over and over until it sticks. Each successive repeat is spaced out a little longer between repeats, forcing you to remember it. Doesn’t sound very interesting right? But it works. If you’re wondering how to learn a language fast, this is a great place to start. It’s easy to learn different languages through Pimsleur and they have a great range of languages to choose from.
- Easy to start
- Plenty of languages to choose from
- A proven method that has lasted throughout the years
- Has been called “slightly boring”
Here is the most updated version available on Amazon:
Learning a second language is never easy but Rosetta Stone is a great place to start. Rosetta Stone is a good way to learn language fast as you become “immersed” in your language of choice. Rosetta Stone works by showing you images while you listen to a native speaker explain the image, whether in the context of vocabulary or explaining an ongoing conversation between people.
I personally believe that immersion is probably the best way to learn a language. That’s what I was talking about when I said to pack your bags and move to another country. Rosetta Stone does it’s best to fill this need from the comfort of your couch. You will not hear any of your native languages while you are using the software (aside from hearing “Lesson 1” etc). It’s a great way to go from beginner to fluent for anyone wondering how to learn a new language.
- Proven immersion technique
- Easy to spend 15 minutes a day learning
Here’s the most updated price on Amazon.
Other options for learning Languages
I truly believe that the options above are some of the best ways to learn different languages. They are not free but they will provide you will all the tools you need to become fluent in no time.
Although, if you prefer to go for a cheaper route, here are some options for you to consider on your road to learning a second language (or third or fourth!).
Buying a book in your language is actually a great way to get started learning. I hesitate to recommend this option first simply for the fact that learning through reading does not allow you to hear the native language. You will find that your accent and pronunciation will be off if you were to only read through books while studying a new language.
Although I will say that the best way to learn a language is to utilize one of three top options while following along with a book of your own. Books provide insight into the much-needed understanding of grammar in your chosen language. If you’re curious about the best way to learn Russian, you will quickly find out that you will need a Russian language grammar book to follow alongside any language learning medium you choose to use.
A great option to learn another language is to buy a dual language book. Dual language books are twice the size of a normal book as one side of the page is written in your native language, and the other side is in the language you are learning. I recommend that you read the new language side first as you force yourself to try to understand every sentence. It won’t be easy, but learning a new language never is! After reading the foreign language side, feel free to read the page in your native language. If you do it the other way around, you are cheating yourself out of learning as much as possible.
One of my favorite things to do when trying to learn different languages is to search the internet for foreign films in the language I’m hoping to learn. Sometimes it’s hard finding good language learning sites and having thousands of foreign language movies at your fingertips is a great option. As with books, I would recommend that you use movies as a supplement to more formal language courses. Not only is it very convenient to watch a foreign movie in your language of choice but you get the added benefit of hearing the words spoken out loud. This will ensure that you pick up the nuances of the accent and pronunciation, which can be very difficult to learn from a book alone.
One word of caution about using movies as your main source of learning a language. There is no substitute for hard work, and if you’re hoping to learn another language fast, simply watching movies isn’t going to get you there. Watching movies in your foreign language of choice is a great way to learn but the downside is that it makes it too easy to not put in a lot of effort into learning your language. The best way to learn Russian is not to watch Russian movies over and over. You may think you are gaining a large amount of knowledge, but it’s an easy way out for not actually sitting down and studying the core of the language, or speaking it out loud with the help of a teacher. Just keep that in mind the next time you tell yourself you did your studying for the day because you watched 30 minutes of a foreign film.
Well, there you have it. You’re ready to get out there and start learning all the languages of the world. All it takes is a little bit of confidence and a whole lot of determination. But you didn’t come here because you weren’t motivated to learn, you came here because you are determined to learn a new language! The best way to learn a language is to stick with it no matter how hard it gets and to follow all the tips above to ensure that this hobby stays with you throughout your lifetime.