Category | Language Learning Tips

No Budget, No Problem: How to Learn Languages for Free

As the saying goes, the best things in life are free. It’s even possible to learn a language without spending a single cent! Yes, you heard right. Read on to find out how. [fluentu-toc] Is It Possible to Learn Languages …

Don’t Panic! Here’s How to Learn a Language with Ease

Are you interested in learning a language, but feel that you aren’t quite ready to take the plunge? Learning a foreign language may seem scary at first because it’s completely new and unfamiliar. However, it’s not as intimidating as you …

Open New Worlds: Learning Words in Different Languages

Speech. The phonic frontier. These are the adventures of aspiring language learners. To explore strange new words. To seek out new terms and verbal expressions. To boldly use idioms from around the world! Why Learn Words in Different Languages? As …

How to Become an Interpreter: A Comfortable 5-step Guide

Night after night, you keep having the same dream. You hear voices whispering… then getting louder and louder. Frantic voices. It’s dark. The voices around you sound confused. Agitated. Maybe even afraid. At first, you can’t understand what they’re …

33 Fab Foreign Language Writing Prompts for All Levels

When your language teachers and tutors advise you to get more writing practice, it can be hard to follow their guidance. If your daily life isn’t action-packed, keeping a diary in your target language can get boring and repetitive, …

Step Up! 4 Paths to the Ability to Learn Languages Quickly

It’s a fast-paced world out there. How many times have you seen someone waiting at the bus stop, constantly checking their watch, getting more and more frustrated with a delay of just two or three minutes? It’s no surprise, then, …

How to Become a Translator: 7 Steps to Your Dream Job

Everyone has a dream. Or maybe a sueño. Or perhaps yours is a мечта. Or a rêve. But if you really enjoy toggling between all these options, there’s a strong chance that your dream is being a translator. In …

How to Conquer the 4 Top Foreign-language Speaking Fears

Xenoglossophobia: The fear of foreign languages. When it comes to using a foreign language, even many well-educated speakers get sweaty palms, an upset stomach and the urge to find the nearest hiding place. And beyond just making you feel uncomfortable, …

Language Learning On a Shoestring: The Cheap Fluency Guide

It’s hard to separate languages from money. All around the world, people are paying top dollar for access to language education. In most places, that means English classes—anything from English immersion preschool to business English refresher courses. In the English-speaking …

What’s Your Type? How to Type in Another Language

If you plan to do any writing in the language you’re learning, you’ll want to eventually be able to type its unique letters. Like with practicing any skill, the more you do it, the better you’ll get. …

6 Ways to Keep Your Language Study on a Roll After Duolingo

Among language students, Duolingo certainly has a reputation as being one of the cool kids. Using spaced repetition, Duolingo presents students with material in an organized manner designed to maximize learning while minimizing time and effort. But …

Certified! Your Guide to Language Certificate Success

Picture it. A large, shining (yet tasteful) trophy. The plaque reads “World’s Best Language Learner.” And underneath? Your name. A language certificate is a lot like a sports trophy. You can have a wonderful time playing sports—or learning languages—without ever …

Fluency Unwrapped: 6 Ways to Answer “Am I Fluent?”

It’s a question that has plagued mankind since the beginning of time. Okay, maybe the beginning of time is a bit of an exaggeration. But it’s a question that’s probably plagued mankind for the last 50,000 to two million years…

The Four Language Skills: What They Are, How to Max Them Out

Have you ever wished that you could just mix the right ingredients, say the magic words and—poof!—be fluent in the language of your choice? In the real world, it’s not that easy: Language learning requires concentration, dedication and …

Independent Language Learning: The Freer Way to Fluency

Independent language learning. Sounds like some new movement of which you might be skeptical. Something cool and exclusive. And possibly weird. Something news publications are claiming is the latest “millennial” trend. When in fact, it’s just a flexible, …

Google Secrets: How to Learn a Language Using Google

On the journey to fluency, you might think of Google as a road. You use it to get to important places—like language courses or study materials. You might not realize that Google is a language learning destination itself. But …

How to Keep a Language Journal: 6 Ideas for Endless Entries

What did Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci and Mark Twain have in common? Well, besides the hideous facial hair. They all kept journals! They wrote regularly about their thoughts, plans and experiences. And it’s safe to say they were all …

The Simple 5-step Guide to Successful Language Shadowing

Ever had a parrot? Even if you haven’t, you know what they’re famous for: repeating what you say, for better or worse. Depending on the conversations you have at home (or just to yourself) this could be enlightening, hilarious …

4 Convenient Ways to Keep a Language Learning Log

Studying a new language? You could learn a thing or two from Harriet.  Who’s Harriet? She’s the titular character in “Harriet the Spy,” an award-winning kid’s book written by Louise Fitzhugh. The book was published in the sixties, …

3 Ways to Put a Stop to Translating in Your Head

It’s like grasping at straws at the beginning of learning a language. You’re trying to make sense of anything. Anything. The strings of sound coming at you are difficult to decipher. Been there, done that. Albeit exciting, there’s a lot …

How I Learned to Speak 5 Languages (and You Can, Too)

Do you want to learn how to speak five languages? As of this writing, I’m an expert in Berber, upper-advanced in Arabic, advanced in English and intermediate in French and German. If you’re an aspiring polyglot, I’ll show you the …

Raising Bilingual Children: How Any Family Can Get It Right

Families make so many difficult decisions for their children. Deciding on the best way to discipline them. Looking for good role models for them. Saying “no” to chocolate ice cream for breakfast even though that would be awesome… Fortunately, there’s …

Light Up Your Brain with 10 Quotes About Language Learning

“There’s no place like home.” “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” “Winter is coming.” Whether you mean for them to or not, chances are your favorite quotes work their way into your daily life. But quotes …

How to Master the 5 Stages of Language Learning

Grab your backpack and your Five Star notebook. It’s time to go back to school. Don’t worry, this is school without the lunchroom drama or surprise math quizzes. This is language learning in five easy-to-understand stages, each of which …

Let’s Get Classy! 4 Language Level Classification Systems

Classifications may seem kind of stuffy. Nerdy, even. But they’re super important. They’re used to distinguish between different animal species. They’re used to organize libraries so you can find your favorite book easily. Heck, they’re even used to declare …

7 Ways to Take a Bite Out of the Intermediate Language Level

As an intermediate learner, there are certain challenges you’ll face. Whether you’re an intermediate Spanish learner or an intermediate German learner, the road ahead probably looks quite similar…and sometimes quite daunting. But it’s okay since you can totally …

Hungry for Fluency? Get There with Intensive and Extensive Listening

Delivery!  Here’s that large slice of listening practice you ordered. “I don’t need any more listening practice. My listening skills are perfect.” Said no language student ever. And there’s a good reason for that. Listening skills are incredibly important, …

The Relationship Between Language and Culture Explained

Learning a language without comprehending the culture is like going to the vibrant Mexican marketplace pictured above and only eating hamburgers from McDonald’s. Will your food be okay? Sure. But you’re kind of missing the point. You’re not getting the …

8 Ways to Make Language-learning Friends and Learn Together

Being around friends is the best. They support you when you’re down. They laugh at your jokes even if they aren’t funny. They’ll even tell you you’re totally justified in being angry that unicorn-themed food just isn’t magical enough. But …

4 Trusted Tips for Overcoming Foreign Language Anxiety

Love. Life. Fear. What’s up with four-letter English words having so much gravity? That last one in particular throws us for a loop, making the other two more complicated than need be. But fear has a purpose. Though it limits …

The Recipe for Becoming the Perfect Language Learner

A dash of study scheduling. Mix in some authentic target language media. And don’t forget a heaping cup of learning motivation. The recipe for language learning perfection is easier to follow than you think! Now, it’s true that you don’t …

4 Ways to Become a Language Learning Genius by Taking Notes

Think taking notes is boring? Well, if you’re learning a language, taking notes not only can be interesting and exciting, but it may be essential! Believe it or not, taking handwritten notes on a subject you’re learning isn’t just …

The Dos and Don’ts of Learning Romance Languages

Romance languages—just the name can make you swoon. But while it’s true that Romance languages like Italian and French have reputations for being a bit seductive, they actually don’t earn their name from romantic connotations. Instead, they all derive …

How to Learn a Language in 6 Months According to the Experts

Go ahead. Mark your calendar. Six months from today. The day you’ll have learned a new language. Don’t believe me? The idea of learning a new language can definitely be overwhelming. So many words! Such unusual grammar! Maybe even a …

The Dreaded Language Learning Plateau: How to Rise Above It

You’ve already come so far with your language learning. In theory, having learned even some of a language is pretty great. The view from the intermediate level should be beautiful. But it’s hard to enjoy the view when you’ve hit …

10 Untranslatable Words You Should Add to Your Vocabulary Arsenal

Sometimes you just don’t have the right word. You can stammer and gesticulate, but without the right word, you’ll be like a fish out of whatever-it-is-that-fish-live-in. And the unfortunate thing is that sometimes the word you’re looking for simply doesn’t …

How to Turn Your Passive Vocabulary into Active Vocabulary

“I am lost for words.” How often do you catch yourself thinking this? What a new significance this expression takes on when thinking of the foreign language you’re learning! Of course, there’s tons of research and discussion about how to …

10 Secrets for Learning Grammar in a Foreign Language

Grammar. It’s a love-hate dynamic for many people. Mostly, it’s more hate than love. If most of us were asked to give a talk titled “Grammar Tips 101″—using our native language as the focus—we’d probably try to find a way …

3 Mindsets That Fire Up Your Motivation to Learn a Language

It’s hard to stick with learning a language. Like cooking, dancing, knitting, martial arts, archery or any other skill that needs practice to emerge, a language requires focus and devotion. And devotion of that level requires real commitment. Maybe …

The Secret to Learning Languages Is Right in Front of You!

Which class was easier for you in high school: trigonometry or gym? How about chemistry or driver’s ed? If you’re like most students, you probably struggled most with those math and science classes. And even if you loved the idea …

8 of the Best Business Languages for Professional Polyglots

The business world is becoming a tougher place every day for monolinguals. The most successful CEOs of the 21st century are presenting business plans in Mandarin and dialing into conference calls in French. Nowadays business is global. Investors in South …

Use Foreign Language Podcasts to Propel Yourself to Fluency!

There are lots of podcasts out there specifically made for language learners, but the best option for language immersion is listening to podcasts made by native speakers for other native speakers. Not only will your listening skills bloom, …

Mind to Mouth: How to Speak a New Language Fluently Faster

You’re doing it wrong! Well, only if you’re not focusing the brunt of your attention on speaking your new language. Are you building your language learning process upon grammar rules and written exercises? Focused on those little details of …

7 Tried and True Language Learning Techniques for Any Skill Level

Curse words are often the first things people learn in a foreign language. That’s because they get the most mileage—especially when you’re frustrated tackling beginner lessons. Learning a new language is one of the hardest things you can do. There, …

How to Improve Language Listening Skills: 5 Secrets for Success

Listening is the mother of all language skills. Okay, so traditionally it’s been treated more like the under-appreciated younger brother of language skills. But it should be the mother of all language skills. Remember at school, when you were supposed …

The Dynamic Duo: Music and Language Learning Join Forces

Music and language learning is the best combo since peanut butter and jelly. I boosted my Spanish to fluency by listening to Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony and Shakira at full blast. I got truly passionate about Portuguese after discovering Joao …

5 Fab Tricks to Learn Any Language on a Busy Schedule

No, language learning isn’t just an activity afforded by students, retirees and the independently wealthy. While getting comfortable in a new language takes a substantial time investment, you could absolutely work language learning into a busy schedule. So …

The Art of Online Language Exchange with Skype

By the end of this post, you’ll have done 3 huge things. 1. You’ll have saved yourself $1,200. 2. You’ll be able to meet someone who’ll drastically change the trajectory of your linguistic journey. 3. You’ll look at Skype in …

How to Find a Language Exchange Partner and Get Fluent Now

The clearest path to fluency is finding a language exchange partner. Read on and I’ll explain the benefits of language exchange, tips on how to get the most out of your language exchange sessions and, of course, how to find …

3 Creative Language Learning Methods: Improve Fluency with Translation

So, you think you’ve tried every language learning strategy? Think there are no stones left unturned? Let’s go to the checklist: Flashcards? Check! Follow-along podcasts? Check! Books and e-books? Check! Cooking shows? Check! Foreign movies? Check! Foreign songs? Check!…

10+ Ways to Language-learning Success by Setting Goals

You can equate the language learning process to a hike up a long trail. This path is filled with challenging obstacles you must conquer, such as devious false cognates, cumbersome idioms and off-the-beaten-path words you don’t believe exist.…

12 Wicked Fun Ways to Learn Any Language

Looking for minimum stress and maximum fun? Too many “fun” ways to learn are just typical study tactics in disguise. C’mon, flashcards are never going to hold a candle to video games. It may sound strange, but you can’t …

Learning a Language by Reading Books: 5 Super Strategies

Wish you were fluent last week? You’ve seriously got to slow your roll. But, hey, I get it — most language learners want to hit fluency as fast as possible. Nobody likes floundering around in basic linguistics like a toddler.…

9 Imaginative Tips for Absorbing Vocabulary Like a Sponge

Language learners of all levels share one thing in common. Every last one of y’all needs to learn more vocabulary. That’s right—even you, Ms. Almost Fluent. Whether you’re still stumbling over putting a sentence together or you’re pretty much …

5 Unconventional Tips for Becoming a Polyglot

Becoming a polyglot is serious business…or, is it? All over the world, you’ll find average, everyday people speaking 2 or more languages.  Like, no big deal. In the United States, we often think that polyglots, or those who speak multiple …

8 Ways to Get Daily Language Practice on Your Coffee Break

Taking the time to practice every day will work wonders for your progress. The eight activities in this post take under 10 minutes and are great for slipping in some daily language practice even on the busiest of days.  [fluentu-toc]…

37 Amazing Polyglots Who Are Happy to Show You How They Do It

What’s your number? By number, of course, I’m referring to the number of languages you speak. Whether you’re an aspiring polyglot or can already speak multiple languages, you probably have some serious language learning goals. You probably also know that …