Here are your first steps to learning a new language for free!
So you have decided which language you want to learn?
You can start learning any language for free right away! All it takes is a laptop or any device that has an internet connection.
It’s easier than you think, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to start learning any language from zero, totally free, right here, right now.
Here are all the steps you have to take to get started immediately.
STEP ZERO – DOES THE LANGUAGE HAVE A NEW ALPHABET?
That’s an optional step, as not all languages have different alphabets from the ones you already know. If it has, I recommend starting from there. A different alphabet may be intimidating at first, but at the end of the day it’s just one extra thing to learn about your new language, and you’ll get used to it the more you study it.
All you have to do is go on Google or YouTube and search for “Learn X alphabet”, where X is your target language. There are dozens of free guides out there that can help you. Take all the time you need to get used to the new alphabet.
Now let’s move on to the necessary steps.
STEP ONE – FIND YOUR FIRST PHRASES
Now you may want to search for free learning resources in the language.
Not so fast!
That’s a trap because chances are you’ll spend too much time looking for the perfect resources instead of learning something new in the language.
What to do instead?
How about learning your first words and phrases in the language?
Simply google “Basic phrases in X”, where X is your target language. So, if you want to learn Spanish, type “Basic phrases in Spanish” and see what comes up.
Since we chose Spanish as our example, let’s take a look at what we can find:
Google’s first page as we search for basic phrases in Spanish
As we can see, Google already lists some of the basic Spanish phrases at the top of the page. The phrases we will find will most likely have to do with
asking how the other person is
saying thank you
asking for information
other useful phrases, such as talking about hobbies
That’s a great start!
But maybe there are way too many phrases in the page you found. Does that mean you have to memorize all of them?
You can take the much easier next step.
STEP TWO – CHOOSE YOUR FAVORITE PHRASES
So, the first website you found may list many phrases you can learn. But the good news is… it’s just a website! It’s not a language course you have to take! So you don’t have to learn every phrase from there and say it out loud as if you wanted to take a test and prove your knowledge to an imaginary teacher.
Here’s where the magic starts:
You are the leader. Which means: your learning, your rules. There’s no teacher.
So you can pick any of the phrases you would like to learn immediately.
How to do that?
Imagine yourself using the language right away. What would you most probably say about yourself or to the other person?
Maybe you’d want to greet the other person, say your name, ask for the other person’s name, and talk about your hobbies. Simply find any corresponding phrase you know you would use, and learn these.
STEP THREE – LEARN THE NEW PHRASES
How to remember new vocabulary? Thankfully there are dozens of apps and websites out there that can help you with this. Since you’ve already chosen what to learn, you can use:
These are apps in which you can create your own list of phrases and test yourself to see if you remember them. This can take as long as 2 minutes and it’s something you can do daily or ever more often until you remember everything.
Some of the websites you find may have recorded pronunciation of each of the basic phrases you chose, especially if you used YouTube. If this isn’t the case, you can use Forvo to find out how each word is pronounced, so that you know you pronounce everything correctly.
You can also improve your pronunciation from in other ways:
STEP FOUR – LISTEN TO THE LANGUAGE
Apart from learning your first phrases, you’ll want to get to know how your language sounds from early on. Getting used to the new sounds and flow helps a lot, even if you don’t understand what’s going on at first. Listen to any source of the language you like:
Videos in the language
STEP FIVE – CHOOSE A FREE COURSE
If this seems too spontaneous to you, or you like structured learning right from the start, you can look for free courses in your target language. If you like watching videos, you can try looking for language courses on YouTube. For example, if you’re learning German, German with Jenny or Anja are two great channels to follow. If you like interactive courses with units, exercises and tests, you can look for “Free X course” where X is your target languge, or check out Memrise and Duolingo. Just like with learning new phrases, you can use any of these courses daily.
As soon as you finish these courses while listening to more and more of your language, you’ll have a basic foundation which will allow you to explore and learn from more resources.
But that’s only the beginning.
There are dozens of fun ways to learn any language out there. As soon as you discover them, you won’t want to return to paid language learning ever again. Like I never did up to this day.
YOUR NEXT STEPS
You can find out more about my complete strategy to learn any language for free while having immense fun in my book, Fluent For Free. In this book, I write about the exact methods I followed to learn 7 different languages and live and work in a country in which one of them is spoken.