Learning another language is incredibly rewarding. Among the benefits of learning a second (or third or fourth!) language are improved memory, a reduced risk of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and even stronger English skills. But making time for formal classes can be difficult, along with expensive.
Luckily, there are plenty of free and/or inexpensive resources to help get you started on your language journey. Here are five that are worth your time.
Probably the most well-known language app, Duolingo allows you to pick from more than a dozen languages. Beginners can choose from a variety of skills lessons that cover topics like basics, phrases, and plurals, while more intermediate learners will appreciate the Stories section, where you’ll read short stories in the language you’re learning and then complete a quiz to test your understanding.
This site and app combines courses created by Memrise with those made by expert users, so you get a variety of teaching methods. It also incorporates local accents and more than 20,000 native speaker videos, so you’ll get exposed to different variations of the same language.
Busuu allows users to learn 12 different languages. Its strength is that it connects you with native speakers, though that requires a premium subscription (starting at about $8 AUD). You can download lessons to practice when you don’t have online access and can even earn completion certificates from education giant McGraw-Hill.
If you’re past flashcards and solo learning, it might be time to try your skills with another human. This site makes it simple to look for a language partner that meets you requirement, from a pen-pal who will help with reading and writing to someone who’s willing to video chat in real-time.
This language powerhouse features thousands of hours of content in 14 different languages. Lessons include real-life situation simulations, interactive dialogues, and review sessions curated to your learning pace. You can also choose the type of vocabulary with courses ranging from business to travel and more.