Your YouTube addiction might make your parents proud.
It may sound unlikely, but it could just happen if you use YouTube to learn a language.
Anyone can self-study a language with the help of the internet, and if you do it successfully, you can improve your career prospects and open up a whole world of possibilities.
In the same way, anyone with a camera and a dream can have their own YouTube channel.
But just like firing up YouTube in the hopes of learning a language doesn’t make you fluent, filming yourself and your friends goofing around in your college dorm room doesn’t make you a star.
In fact, more often, this last scenario tends to result in ill-advised stunts and public embarrassment.
But thankfully, the availability of YouTube also means that people with incredible language skills and generous spirits can share their knowledge with the world.
Yes, there are a lot of great language learning YouTube channels to teach you languages as well as polyglot YouTube channels to inspire you. There are even some comprehensive programs that use YouTube content as the primary medium for helping you learn a language.
And watching YouTube can be just the thing you need to make yourself a language learning success.
Below, we’ll look at more than 20 of the very best language learning YouTube resources for multiple popular languages where you can subscribe to learning. We’ll also link you to some more thoughtfully created lists of awesome YouTube content for the specific language you’re learning.
How to Select the Right YouTube Language Learning Resources for You
- Pay attention to regional dialects. Each YouTube channel may use a specific dialect, and if you choose a dialect other than the one you’re studying, you might be confused. For instance, if your focus is on Levantine Arabic, a channel that teaches North African Arabic won’t be as useful.
- Look at the level of the content. Ideally, you should look for YouTube channels that focus on your level. For instance, if a channel posts exclusively beginning vocabulary, it isn’t a great choice for advanced level learners.
- Check how frequently videos are posted. It can be helpful to go and look at old videos, but it’s even better if a channel posts frequently since this will be a helpful reminder to study the language.
- Watch a couple videos to see if you like the style. Each channel has a different production style, and educational channels frequently have different teaching styles. Watching a couple videos on any channel you’re interested in will help you determine whether you like the style enough to keep watching.
- Don’t hesitate to mix and match channels. Thankfully, there’s no one stopping you from watching any and all channels you like. Not only will this give you more material, it will also give you different perspectives on the language.
20+ YouTube Resources to Learn World Languages
Innovative Language Pod101
When it comes to language learning YouTube channels, Innovative Language’s Pod101 series is at the top of its game, providing friendly instructional material for learning multiple world languages at all levels. New videos are usually added on Tuesdays and Fridays, so there’s always plenty of content to enjoy.
While they offer easily accessible content on various YouTube channels—which include videos covering common words and phrases, providing listening practice and even sometimes providing reading practice—Innovative Language also makes it easy to access a whole wealth of goodies by subscribing on their website, including not just audio and video but PDF lesson notes and a learner community.
Pod101 is available for Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and more.
While learning programs like Pod101 teach you languages directly through videos, FluentU pulls together fun, authentic YouTube videos from all over the world—like music videos, movie trailers, news, vlogs and more—and combines them with supportive, flexible learning tools.
With FluentU, YouTube videos created for a native audience become educational tools with interactive, annotated captions including definitions, example sentences and associated images. Plus, you can click a word to see how it’s used in other videos.
You can even use FluentU’s Learn Mode for a unique, innovative learning experience that combines videos, images and example sentences into flashcards and exercises.
Since FluentU uses a special algorithm, the questions you see will be based on your learning history to ensure your FluentU experience builds on what you’ve already learned. Aside from that, FluentU offers video content for six different levels as well as for various regional accents and dialects, so you can easily find content that’s right for you.
You can even customize your experience further by turning your own word list into a flashcard set and learning your target vocabulary from real-world video clips automatically compiled just for you.
Start using FluentU online for Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian or Spanish now—or download the app from iTunes or Google Play.
Maha is a language teacher who generously shares her knowledge of the Arabic language with her subscribers.
Videos cover vocabulary, culture and cooking. For instance, you might watch “Situational Arabic: At the Doctor” to learn phrases you may need to know if you ever require medical treatment in an Arabic-speaking area, or you might watch “Hummus Recipe” to learn how to put together a quick and delicious dish. We won’t judge which is more essential to your survival!
New videos tend to appear sporadically on this channel—sometimes there will be a bunch in a short period of time, but sometimes there will be a gap of a few months between videos. However, there’s plenty of content already available, so you should have enough to keep you busy for a long time.
Dr. Imran Hamza Alawiye, an experienced Arabic teacher, offers YouTube videos that are much like learning Arabic in a conventional classroom, which may be a big plus for learners seeking a straightforward teaching approach in a more convenient format.
For complete beginners, the videos start at the most basic level. As the lessons progress, the material becomes increasingly advanced. For instance, complete beginners may benefit from “Lesson 1 Arabic from the Beginning,” while more advanced learners might prefer “Let’s Speak Arabic Unit Two, Lesson 27: Seasons and Weather.”
While there are usually multiple videos added each month, there are sometimes longer gaps between videos. But you can always go back through old lessons to reinforce your learning.
Can’t get enough? There are plenty more Arabic YouTube channels out there.
Yoyo Chinese is run by Yangyang Cheng, a TV host turned Chinese teacher. It should come as no surprise, then, that she packs some powerful learning material into her well-produced, easy-to-watch videos.
Videos cover a wide array of topics, including thematic vocabulary, grammar, learning tips, songs and so much more. For instance, the “Practice Chinese Tones with Yoyo Chinese” playlist will help learners nail down some complex sounds. The more musically inclined might enjoy videos like “Learn Mandarin Through Songs with Yoyo Chinese: La La Land Theme Song.”
Yoyo Chinese usually posts about once a week, so there’s a lot of great material available.
Learn Chinese with Yi Zhao
Chinese teacher Yi Zhao offers YouTube videos for Chinese students covering a variety of subjects. Whether you’re a beginning learner, an intermediate learner or just studying up for travel, Learn Chinese with Yi Zhao has videos for you.
Videos cover Chinese characters, grammar, vocabulary and life. Beginning students may benefit from “Learn Chinese lessons for beginners 14: How to express what happened in the past,” while intermediate students might like “Shanghai life – 1.1: What is inside of every steamed bun,” in which Yi Zhao describes steamed buns in Chinese and English.
New videos are posted about once a week.
If you want to learn even more Chinese, check out more Chinese YouTube channels.
Learn French with Vincent
French learners rejoice! Learn French with Vincent offers beginning through advanced level lessons.
Videos include dialogues, vocabulary lists, listening activities and more. Beginning students might enjoy thorough videos like “145 minutes to learn French grammar,” while more experienced learners can benefit from quick lessons like “Learn French verbs and expressions #44.”
There are generally several new, short videos posted each day.
Learn French with Alexa
Experienced French teacher Alexa Polidoro offers a helpful channel for French learners along with an entertaining presentation (complete with the occasional costume change).
Videos cover the standard vocabulary and grammar, but that’s not all! There are also videos featuring interviews in French, and there are a number of videos specifically for children. Beginning students might enjoy the videos that go through the conjugations of specific verbs, such as “Pouvoir (to be able to) in 5 Main French Tenses.” More advanced students might enjoy “Alexa meets a pastry chef in Lille market.”
There are usually a couple videos posted each week.
If you’re studying French, you might also want to try other French YouTube channels.
Get Germanized aims to help viewers learn about German language and culture, all while being thoroughly entertained.
There’s material for beginning through advanced level students here. Videos cover vocabulary (including slang), culture and learning resources.
For a fun twist on learning German, Get Germanized also offers videos in slow German, videos exclusively in German and videos of Germans reacting to different things.
Viewers might enjoy options like “10 Funny German Words” and “US/English Holidays Translated into German.”
Get Germanized posts three new videos each week.
Learn German with Anja
Anja is a German teacher with a penchant for fun, so don’t expect stale, boring videos here.
Learn German with Anja will instead give you energetic offerings, including comedy sketches, short stories, pronunciation lessons, vocabulary lessons and grammar lessons.
Have a travel bug? Practice your listening with “24 Stunden in Singapur” (“24 Hours in Singapore”). Prefer to work on your verbs? Try “The 10 Most Used German Verbs (+ Their Conjugation).”
Learn German with Anja usually posts one or two videos each week.
There are plenty more German YouTube channels that learners will love.
Learn Italian with Lucrezia
If you’re learning Italian, chances are good that Learn Italian with Lucrezia has videos you’ll love.
Learn Italian with Lucrezia offers videos for beginning through advanced level learners. These videos include vocabulary lessons, grammar lessons and vlogs in Italian.
Beginning students can hit the ground running with “Learn Italian: the alphabet.” More advanced students will benefit from “Q&A in Italian: education, elections, jobs and religion,” which pairs listening practice with valuable cultural lessons.
Learn Italian with Lucrezia generally posts one or two new videos every week.
Italy Made Easy
Italy Made Easy offers something for everyone!
Whether it’s basic grammar lessons for beginners, conversational videos for more advanced students, travel hacks or vlogs in Italian, Italian students will find plenty to watch on this channel.
For instance, potty-mouthed Italian students will love “Italian Swear Words.” Looking to test out your listening skills? Try this comprehension exercise.
Italy Made Easy usually posts new videos about once a week.
Here are some more Italian YouTube channels for your enjoyment.
If you’re an intermediate or advanced Japanese student, there’s nothing quite like Nihongono mori.
Most of Nihongono mori videos offer Japanese lessons entirely in Japanese, which is a great way to get in some listening practice while you learn more about the language. Depending on your leaning needs, you might enjoy this Kansai dialect lesson or this grammar video.
Nihongono mori usually posts several new videos each month.
Like anime? Enjoy Japanese culture? Want to perfect your Japanese language skills? Learn Japanese has you covered on all these fronts.
Not only will Learn Japanese help you learn valuable grammar, vocabulary and kanji, it will do all of this in a fun way. For instance, there are a number of anime videos to help you learn phrases. You might try “Learn Japanese with Anime ‘All I need to know is that there are people who need help!'” which features a clip from “Black Clover.” Learning videos, like “How-to Use Commas in Japanese” are also quite useful.
Learn Japanese usually posts several new videos each week.
But that’s not all! Be sure to check out these other Japanese YouTube channels.
Talk to Me in Korean
If you’re looking for innovative videos to help you improve your Korean in new and exciting ways, check out Talk to Me in Korean.
Talk to Me in Korean features study tips, vocabulary lessons, grammar lessons and more. There are even some fun features you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. For instance, Talk to Me in Korean offers “Korean Soft Spoken ASMR- Korean Idiomatic Phrases Using 바람 (wind)” to soothe you with colloquial phrases and “Korean Tongue Twisters” to help you test out your skills.
Talk to Me in Korean usually posts several new videos each week.
Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean
Learning Korean from a native speaker is a great way to go, but it can also be a little intimidating. If you’d like to learn from someone who’s experienced all the challenges that non-native speakers face when learning Korean, you’ll enjoy Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.
These videos are taught by a non-native speaker who has studied the language extensively. He offers lessons ranging from basic (like “Learn Hangul in 90 Minutes”) to more advanced (like “Learn Korean Ep. 99: Korean Counters”). Whether you want to learn about vocabulary, grammar or culture, there are plenty of videos for you.
Each week, Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean usually posts one or two new videos.
If you like these, you might also like some other great Korean YouTube channels.
Hello Rusty has a lot to offer Portuguese students.
Basic grammar and vocabulary lessons will give learners a running start. However, there’s also some content here that you may not have even realized you needed. For instance, “Brazilian vs European Portuguese” is a good way to learn more about regional variations. Meanwhile, “Ordering food in Brazil” is a helpful way to prepare yourself for your next vacation.
Videos are posted inconsistently, but there are enough existing videos that you’ll have plenty to watch.
If you want to learn European Portuguese, Portuguese Lab is a great option. Since many resources focus exclusively on Brazilian Portuguese, this focus is not too common.
Portuguese Lab’s videos feature grammar lessons, vocabulary lessons, dialogues, stories, music and more. Beginning students can beef up their vocabulary with the “European Portuguese – vocabulary” playlist. Intermediate students can get their fill of listening practice with the “European Portuguese – short stories” playlist.
Videos are often posted weekly, so check back frequently.
And while you’re at it, check out these other Portuguese YouTube channels.
Antonia Romaker offers Russian learning videos. If you’re looking to bone up on your English, though, she’s got you covered there, too.
Her Russian videos are second to none. They cover vocabulary, grammar and more. If you’re wanting to learn some thematic words, “Russian vocabulary – зарядка, physical exercises, workout vocabulary” can help you expand your vocabulary. If you’re one of those people who listens to Christmas music year-round, try “Russian Christmas Song.”
Usually, a couple new videos are posted each month.
Need to brush up on real, usable Russian? Maria Zdorovetskaya has some great material for you.
This channel focuses primarily on real places and scenarios to show you vocabulary in action. While this channel is most appropriate for intermediate learners, there’s also plenty of material beginning students will enjoy. For instance, anyone can benefit from “Are You Shy? – How to Speak Any Language with Confidence,” while intermediate students will also enjoy “Russian Food | Where to Eat in Moscow,” which uses the Russian language exclusively.
There are usually several new videos each month.
Want to take your Russian YouTube experience to the next level? Check out these Russian YouTube channels.
If your Spanish skills need a strong foundation, check out Learn Spanish.
Learn Spanish aims to teach you the foundational structures you’ll need to put together ideas on your own. To do this, the channel posts simple videos that teach grammar and vocabulary. For instance, “Quick Ways to Expand Vocabulary and Conversation” teaches some simple vocabulary and shows how to put it together into basic phrases. If you’re looking for words you’ll use often, you can’t go wrong with “20 Must Know Spanish Verbs for 2018.”
Learn Spanish usually posts a couple new videos each week.
If you’re looking to spread your wings in the Spanish language, give Butterfly Spanish a try.
Videos cover pronunciation, vocabulary, verbs, grammar and travel Spanish. There are also some unique offerings that you won’t find in most textbooks, like “Hispanic first names, last names, and nicknames,” which might spare you embarrassment when you meet people, and “50+ words that are the same in English & Spanish,” which is a helpful tool to expand your Spanish vocabulary quickly and easily.
Butterfly Spanish usually posts a couple new videos each month.
There are plenty more Spanish YouTube channels you may want to follow.
So subscribe to these language learning YouTube resources to see your language skills soar!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn languages with real-world videos.