I love language.  Hello? I have an English degree.  And I hate that I’m not at least bilingual especially considering I’m half Mexican.  So for the past two months, I’ve been really focusing on learning Spanish for just a few minutes a day.

love it.

It’s one of the best things I could’ve done for myself.  It challenges me, keeps me looking productive at work, and just overall benefits me in the long run.  Studies have shown that learning a new language (really any kind of problem solving) helps reduce your likelihood of developing dementia/Alzheimer’s and a plethora of other mental degenerative and just plain mental disorders.

I’ve recently discovered so many free options out there to aid those who are looking to learn a new language.  With that, there is absolutely no reason why we all shouldn’t be learning one right now.  It’s beneficial to you and you can get a good start at no cost.

Here are a list of some free resources to get started in learning a new language:

Duolingo
You may have heard some snobby people completely disregard Duolingo as a legitimate learning tool.  It won’t make you fluent, they’ll say. And they’re not wrong; I’ll admit that much.  But if you have no knowledge or even just a basic understanding of the language you want to learn, Duolingo is a great starting point.  I strongly recommend using the app in conjunction with the website.  The app is great for on the go learning; perfect for commuters.  And the website is great at offering grammar lessons that the app doesn’t give as well as some features you can’t access on the app.  I particularly love their Stories page as it helps me with my listening and comprehension skills.

Once you have a good start on Duolingo, you can begin moving forward to other places.

Tandem
I recently started using this app.  The function of it, is it introduces you to people from different parts of the world who can or want to practice speaking the language(s) you know and are fluent in the language you want to learn.  You can start a conversation with them to practice texting/reading and if you feel comfortable enough with them, you can start a video chat through the app.  I’ve met so many different people through this app and I’ve gotten some good help on figuring out Spanish grammar.  And, I’ve gotten to help some people practice their English as well.

Coffee Break Spanish
This site offers free podcasts in the following languages: French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Chinese.  So while not as diverse as the previous apps I’ve mentioned, it may still help some of you.  These podcasts are dedicated to help you practice your listening skills.  Many people (myself included) are fantastic readers, but listening to people speak naturally and fluidly in their language is difficult.  This podcast will help with that.  They also offer lessons if you wish to pursue the language further, but they do come at a cost.

With all of these free available resources to help you get started, there’s no reason to not start learning a new language.  It will challenge you and better you, making you more desirable to future employers.  And on top of that, if you travel to a country that speaks your new language, you can converse with the people there!

If you have any other free resources you’d like to add to this list, comment it below.

I’ll see you next Wednesday!

With Love,

Meagan