Have you ever wanted to learn a foreign language, perhaps for travel or even just the fun of it? Do you want your children to be multilingual to better equip them for the growing globalization of our communities? Do you need to learn a new language for business? No matter what your reason, there are many free language learning tools available online these days. Why not take advantage of them? There’s no risk and a lot to love.
To help you get started, here are five places to learn a language online for free.
The BBC’s online language learning courses are some of the most well-known on the Web. You can learn French, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, and Chinese through audio and video courses. And there are several resources if you’re interested in other languages as well — from pronunciation help to quick vocabulary if you’ll soon travel and want a simple guide. Beginner foreign language courses last 12 weeks, although you can work at your own pace. You’ll even get a BBC certificate when you complete one of these 12 week courses.
One of the best aspects of Internet Polyglot is that you can choose not only your target language but also your starting language. For example, you can study English-French, German-French, Farsi-French or one of countless other combinations for learning your target language. There are 32 starting languages featured, meaning you’re bound to find foreign language tools that work for you. These tools work through vocabulary lists and audio pronunciation guides.
Livemocha offers both free and paid online language learning resources. You have to register on the site to access the courses. Not only can you work through a foreign language course, but you can also learn about the corresponding culture and interact with native speakers of the language you’re learning. Courses are available in over 30 languages. You get a free trial for the full courses, but they’re paid after that via either a monthly or yearly subscription. The vocabulary starter courses remain free.
These online language courses are available through The Open University. You can find courses here in several languages including English, French, Gaelic, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese. You can also find general language courses (such as the history of the English language).
If you learn better through a game-oriented approach, you might like Digital Dialects. There are 60 languages featured, and you can learn phrases, verb conjugation, and basic vocabulary through audio and quiz-style games. Note that audio clips aren’t available for all vocabulary lessons.
Do you have any other favorite online language learning resources? If you plan to try one of these sites for free language courses, which language do you want to learn and why? Tell us about it in the comments below.