Ever feel like you’re all alone out there in the big scary world of learning a new language?
Like, you’ve got all the “how-to” walkthroughs and “expert” advice you could ever hope for, but you’re just missing that human touch, someone who really gets what you’re going through.
As language learners, we’re people first, and there’s nothing like a human perspective to motivate us and remind us that we’re not alone in our endeavors.
We feel frustrated by our own awkwardness in a second language, when we just can’t figure out how to pronounce that one awful sound or when we hit a pothole on the road to fluency.
It’s easy to get discouraged when your language learning isn’t progressing along perfectly according to plan, but don’t give up—there are plenty of bloggers out there who are living the struggle with you, and they’re writing about it as they go!
The Internet is crawling with blogs ranging from general linguistic geekery to learning a specific language in a particular country. Sorting through all that digital noise and trying to figure out which blogs to add to your reading list can be absolutely overwhelming, which is why we’ve put together a solid reading list for you.
We’ve mentioned some of these blogs on FluentU before (because we think they’re that awesome!), but most of them are fresh faces that we’re adding to our own content feeds.
Here are 12 of the best language learning blogs on the Internet for powering up your language learning game and reminding you that you’re not alone in your linguistic struggles.
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12 Brilliant Blogs for Learners and Lovers of Languages
1. Comical language learning: Itchy Feet
Language learners across the web love Itchy Feet because it’s as hilarious as it is spot-on.
Malachi makes comics on every language topic you can imagine, and they nearly always deal with the struggles and frustrations that we learners face as we study and use the languages we love. And there’s something about putting those everyday obstacles into comic form that just makes for a great way to let go and giggle a bit at the weird linguistic world we live in.
Some of the Itchy Feet comics are tailored to one particular language, but even those generally deal with the universal anxieties and challenges of language learning. Popular posts like “View from the Top” portray the shared struggle we all face in climbing to the top of “Mt. Fluency.”
There’s also a super handy random comic button at the bottom of the homepage, a solid way to click away an entire afternoon while yelling “no, but it’s so true!” at your computer screen.
2. Self-taught success: Talk Foreign to Me
Despite growing up with two passports and three languages in her home, Ruth of Talk Foreign to Me was a monolingual English speaker until her mid-30s. Throughout her youth she lived abroad, studied French and Spanish, and even did a Hebrew immersion course, but all to no avail. It seemed that linguistic greatness was just not in her destiny.
But when she took a solo trip to Argentina in 2014 something clicked, and she finally figured out how to teach herself languages. Now she shares the fruits of her language learning labor on her blog. Talk Foreign to Me is so appealing because of the firsthand experiences of both success and failure that Ruth shares from her own language learning journey, both of which she spins into spectacular inspiration for her readers.
You’ll find tons of information here tailored to learning French and Spanish. Even if you’re not learning one of these languages, give her inspiration tag a click whenever you need that extra dose of positivity!
3. Globetrotting language learner turned linguist: Travelengua
Elica is a language-obsessed polyglot who turned her passion into a profession, and she writes about both at Travelengua. Her blog often views language learning issues through the lens of her studies in Applied Linguistics, but fear not: She drops the jargon and does a great job translating all that science and theory into practical how-to’s and actionable advice.
The blog’s best posts artfully blend Elica’s academic perspective with her accessible personal one, like in “The Difference Between a Linguist and a Language Learner.”
She’s an expert, but one with a very human face who isn’t afraid to share her own personal relationship with languages in honest detail.
4. Learning 19 languages in one city: Words and Worlds of New York
Ellen at Words and Worlds of New York documents the many languages and cultures of her city, as well as her experiences interacting with and often learning them. It’s a beautiful look at the linguistic and cultural layers of a global city like New York, as well as in many ways a practical guide to how you can learn a language without moving to a far-flung corner of the world.
Ellen’s a language learner’s language learner, with lots of great and thoughtful reviews of various learning products out there. If you’re looking for a relatable personal perspective on learning and using a new language in day-to-day life, read some of her first-hand accounts of meeting speakers of her target languages in her home city, like this one on becoming an official Big Apple greeter.
5. It’s never too late to learn: Adventures in Midlife Spanish
Newell never learned a new language until his 50s, and now he’s debunking the myth that there’s such a thing as being “too old” to learn a language. Adventures in Midlife Spanish chronicles his experiences both in Mexico and at home in Minnesota working with Spanish-speaking immigrants and refugees, blending the perspectives of learning abroad and learning in your own back yard.
This blog is great at integrating language and culture and presenting them as two parts of one whole, like in Newell’s post about joining a Hispanic congregation near his home in Minnesota. While this blog’s focus is on the Spanish language and Mexican culture, its insights are golden for anyone who wants to learn a language as they near their golden years.
6. Language learning without end: Language Surfer
Language Surfer is one of the most successful language learning blogs out there, and that’s because Ron knows his stuff. This blog is in many ways about accepting imperfection in language learning: Ron says that you can never truly master a language, only “surf” it. He explains that he tries to “coexist with it, figure out its patterns, and express myself in it,” and one look at his blog shows you that’s working for him.
All language learners can relate to the struggles with imperfection that Language Surfer talks about. There are plenty of posts about personal experiences, like what it feels like to fail a translation exam and how to keep moving forward towards your goals after a setback.
We’ve definitely all been there, and sometimes it’s nice to know we’re not the only ones. Especially for the perfectionists in the room, Language Surfer is a worthwhile read and a personal look into a familiar challenge.
7. Learning languages by blog and vlog: Lindsay Does Languages
Lindsay Does Languages is the chronicle of the namesake author’s experiences and insights as both a language teacher and a language learner. Her goal is to empower you to teach yourself a language, and she does that best through the motivational and informative combination of her blog and the accompanying vlog, videos from which are helpfully embedded in nearly every post.
When you watch one of the videos Lindsay posts on her blog and vlog channel, you see an enthusiastic language teacher who’s got the know-how but isn’t afraid to let you see her own language learning endeavors as the works in progress that they are. Rather than lecturing you on the language topic of the week, Lindsay visibly learns along with her readers and viewers, like in her latest script challenge, where she shares her progress learning various language scripts from around the world.
If you want a language teacher who’s not afraid to do some learning right along with you, she’s your gal!
8. Slow and steady wins the race: The Polyglot Dream
The Polyglot Dream is one of the better-known blogs on this list, and rightly so: Luca speaks ten languages fluently (and isn’t afraid to prove it in video).
When you find out that he only spends thirty minutes a day practicing a language, you’re likely to assume that he’s some kind of genius, but that’s not the case. He’ll show you over and over again that he’s just like you and me: someone who loves languages and is never afraid to take on a new one.
Luca’s blog frequently confronts and debunks language learning myths, and it’s all based on his fine-tuned and scientifically solid philosophies. A good starting point is his discussion of studying vs learning a language, and what that means for how you approach your language learning goals. The Polyglot Dream will convince you that you’re no different than the crazy hyperpolyglots of the blogosphere, and with the right tactics you can follow in their footsteps!
9. Language, travel and music: Eurolinguiste
The Eurolinguiste is a musician by profession, and that offers her a unique perspective on all things language learning. Shannon’s blog details her journeys—both geographic and personal—as she travels the world learning and practicing the languages it speaks.
We already know that music and language learning are a match made in heaven, so Eurolinguiste‘s concert of helpful resources are perfect for helping you fine-tune your own language learning strategies. In posts like “How Studying Music Made Me a Better Language Learner,” she offers not only a glance into her own background but into how you can use music for language learning.
Aside from the more musically-inclined posts, Shannon also shares frequent updates on her own language learning strategies and progress, which she conveniently curates under the Language Resources category on her blog. Whether you’ve got the rhythm or you’re totally tone deaf, Eurolinguiste‘s tips and tricks will be music to your ears!
10. News and updates from the lingosphere: All Things Linguistic
All Things Linguistic is the perfect blog for the general language geek who also happens to be interested in learning a language or two. Gretchen curates posts about, as you might expect, all things linguistic on this Tumblr blog, from funny charts and memes to full-length scientific articles. Language enthusiasts beware: this blog will suck away hours of your time.
Posts like the language learning link roundups are super practical for language learners. You may also be familiar with some of this blogger’s more viral content, like her linguistic analysis of Doge that appeared on The Toast. If you’re not just a language learner but an obsessive consumer of all things linguistic, you’re sure to find a familiar sense of humor and take on language learning on this blog.
11. Speaking from day one: Fluent in 3 Months
No list of language learning blogs would be complete without Benny the Irish Polyglot and his blog Fluent in 3 Months. This blog is built on the principle that any language learner should be speaking and using their language from day one, no ifs, ands or buts about it. To that end, Benny frequently sets out to debunk the myths that keep us from speaking soon enough, like that Northern Europeans will only speak English to foreigners.
Particularly helpful for learners looking for personal accounts of language learning is the success stories section of the blog. Here you’ll find firsthand accounts from Benny and other language learners of how they’ve met their language learning goals, complete with advice on how you can do the same.
12. The nuts and bolts of language learning: Language Acquisition News
For the scientists in the audience and those who need to understand the why before they’re satisfied with the how, Language Acquisition News is a priceless resource. Straddling the categories of scientific journal and blog, Language Acquisition News pulls content from its parent website Science Daily and curates a wealth of cutting-edge scientific findings on language learning and language acquisition.
All the other blogs out there have plenty of great tips on how to learn languages, but the articles you’ll find on Language Acquisition News are the scientific community’s most up-to-date understanding of what’s going on inside the language learner’s brain and why that all matters. The great benefit is that so much of this research is directly applicable to your language learning, like this one on “Learning in your sleep, the right way.”
Most of the articles on Language Acquisition News are written for a general audience, so you won’t need a dictionary to get through it. If you like to constantly learn about your own learning, scientific articles like these can give you some priceless insights into what’s going on inside your own head as you make your way through your own linguistic journey.
These language learning bloggers understand your struggle!
Learning a language can be the most frustrating, complicated, challenging, anxiety-inducing task in the world, but at the same time the most rewarding, energizing, and worthwhile endeavor. Most of the bloggers on this list are “pros” in some form or another, but even they struggle with the same ups and downs that the rest of us do.
Following the right blogs is a crucial part of your language learning strategy because it reminds you you’re not the only one. Whatever challenge you’re facing in your own language learning, there’s a blogger out there somewhere who’s been through it too. And no amount of studying can replace the value of learning from others’ experiences!
If you’re looking for some blogs tailored to the language you’re learning, we’ve got plenty of recommendations, from German and Japanese to Chinese and French. Even easier, you could just sign up for our weekly newsletter below and get tips like these sent straight to your inbox!
Do you have a favorite language learning blog that wasn’t mentioned here? Tell us about it in a tweet to @FluentU!
And One More Thing...
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This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you
can take anywhere.
Click here to get a copy. (Download)
Jakob is a full-time traveler, obsessive language learner, and dedicated language teacher. He writes about language, travel, and the many places they meet on the road at his blog Globalect.
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