On a recent service trip to the Dominican Republic, I realized just how little Spanish I knew. I have been eager to learn more so I can communicate better in my travels and I began thinking about the quickest way to learn a new language and the best sites to learn a foreign language.
Have you also been itching to pick up a new language, or just want to learn a few phrases to be a more well-rounded world citizen? Check out my top suggestions below to learn a second language quickly, easily, and for free!
Quickest Way To Learn A New Language
While on the service trip mentioned above, I met a fantastic woman who is a Spanish teacher in her home state of Maryland.
We discussed how I was thinking about buying some of that expensive software to get myself going on learning a new language, but she nixed that idea and told me you can get amazing results using a free service that works both on your desktop or via an app right on your smartphone!
Duolingo is a free program that gives access to anyone wishing to learn another language.
The Duolingo site states:
Everyone learns in different ways. For the first time in history, we can analyze how millions of people learn at once to create the most effective educational system possible and tailor it to each student.
It’s hard to stay motivated when learning online, so we made Duolingo so fun that people would prefer picking up new skills over playing a game.
I have been using this program (mostly on my Samsung Galaxy S7 – provided by U.S. Cellular) ever since it was recommended to me and have found it to be very easy to use, I’m actually retaining the things I’m learning, and the app is fun! It truly has been the quickest way to learn a new language for me.
Find the Free DuoLingo Smartphone App HERE!
You can set up competitions with others using the program, you can track your progress against those on your friends list, and you can earn what are called ‘lingots’ to grant you access to additional features. You earn them simply by completing lessons!
Once you’ve developed an understanding of the language you have chosen to learn, you can add your progress directly to your Linked-In profile so others can see that you are able to speak another language!
Additional Tips For Learning A New Language
- Listen to podcasts or watch videos in the language you are trying to learn to familiarize yourself with actually hearing the language as spoken.
- There are many easily accessible language-learning videos and podcasts out there. Non-education podcasts and videos, such as sports news or children’s cartoons, are also great ways to become familiar with a secondary language.
- A next level trick you can try is changing the language on your smartphone to your new language. Going to Japan next summer? Change your phone’s GPS app to Japanese to start practicing using the language in everyday life.
- Try additional smartphone language apps for fun games to practice while on the go. Mind Snacks (iStore) or Babbel (Google Play or iStore) are both good options.
Smart Devices Make It Easier To Learn A New Language
The ability to continue education in bite size pieces provides an opportunity that traditional language education cannot. Whether enhancing more traditional language education programs or on its own, the convenience of being able to practice your Japanese or Spanish or Italian while in line at the grocery store elevates any language learners practice.
Most smartphone owners are rarely without their device nearby, making it even more convenient and the quickest way to learn a new language!