Proficiency in one or multiple foreign languages comes with many benefits and opens up a world of opportunities. A new language enables you to appreciate other cultures, connect with global audiences, take advantage of global job opportunities and gain a new perspective.
With increased globalization, global economic shift, and the increased need to vacation in exotic locations beyond borders, the language learning industry is booming. According to verified market research, the online language learning market is worth more than $12.50 billion and is expected to hit $25.73 billion by the end of 2027.
Want to know the most effective ways to learn a new language? Read on:
10 Best Ways to Learn a Language
The internet is filled with posts and videos on how to learn a new language. But our curated list will make the process easier, shorter, fun, and fulfilling.
1. Watch Movies and TV Series
Watching movies is one of the most effective ways to learn a language in the comfort of your home. Watching foreign movies and TV series can be a challenge if you don’t know the language basics, but one advantage is that most movies and TV series today come with subtitles. Most are even translated into other languages.
Try watching the movie or TV series first in your native language so you understand it, then watch the translated version with subtitles on. Have a pen and notebook handy when watching so you can keep track of any new words or phrases you want to learn or practice.
Learning a new language this way is not only fun but allows you to learn that language’s culture as well.
2. Use Online Tools and Apps
The internet is loaded with tools and resources to help you learn a new language. A great tool to play around with as a beginner is Google Translate. It’s easy to use and simply translates text from one language to another.
For example, if you’re learning French and come across a word that you don’t understand, you can paste it on Google Translate, and it will be interpreted into your native language.
If you’re interested in a more comprehensive online tool, consider an online language app like:
Like watching tv or movies in another language, an effective way to learn a new language is by browsing the internet and reading international blogs, check out news sites in other languages, or follow social media accounts that feature another language.
3. Listen to Music
It’s easy to succeed when you do something you love. Everyone loves to listen to music because it’s fun and makes us feel good and listening to music in another language is a great way to learn the language.
Research shows that listening to a song over and over helps you memorize the word (lyrics), enrich your vocabulary, and acquire the language’s accent. To learn a new language using music effectively, download a couple of foreign music on your device and listen to them repeatedly. Another great way to learn is to have the lyrics to the songs on hand to hum along while listening to the songs.
4. Make Friends With Someone from Another Country Who Speaks The Language You Want to Learn
Making multi-lingual friends is a great way to learn a new language.
Not only can you learn the basics of another language by conversing with someone, but you can also learn a lot about a certain culture and other aspects of a language that you might not learn anywhere else.
Don’t make friends with someone just to learn their language and be mindful not to assume that they might not want to teach or converse in their first language. You might even consider hiring your friend as a language tutor.
5. Enroll in a Foreign Language Class
Nearly all school-aged children and adolescents are exposed to some type of foreign language, but maybe you’re interested in learning a different language than what you learned in school.
Enrolling in a foreign language class is the most popular method people use to learn a new language.
Not only are you taught by a language expert who knows the ins and outs of foreign language learning, but you can meet other students who are eager to learn the language. If you have trouble understanding anything, you can easily ask the teacher or fellow language students to explain it to you.
The thriving language learning market has driven the upsurge of language schools across the country. Check out your local college or university to see if you can enroll in a course or see if there are any in-person classes available in your community.
6. Use Phrase books and Dictionaries
Phrase books are a good language learning option if you afford to enroll in a language class or have a busy schedule. Most phrase books and dictionaries are small enough that you can take them wherever you go, so you can brush up on some basics like learn simple greetings, words, numbers, and tourist phrases during your lunch break at work or during your commute.
While it might take you longer to learn a new language with a phrasebook, it’s a great introduction to the basics. It’s also a great companion to online apps
7. Listen to The Radio
Besides watching movies and TV series, you can learn a language quickly by listening to a radio in your target foreign language. You can listen to the radio in your car, while at home, on a podcast, or online.
One plus to listening to the radio is that it’s easily accessible and free. To make the most of language learning with radio, choose programs that you like, repeat words that you’ve heard a loud, and have a notebook on hand to write down words that you don’t understand and check them out in the foreign dictionary later.
8. Travel or Live in a Country That Speaks Your Target Foreign Language
Traveling to or living in a foreign country is one of the best ways to learn a new language. If you don’t have spare cash to cater to your living expenses in that country, you can live with a host family that speaks your target foreign language.
The awesome thing about going abroad is that you immerse yourself in a foreign language and culture. You can take in a lot of information in a day and learn the language quickly using this technique. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand. And make sure to speak the foreign language, not your native language, if you want to learn quickly.
9. Enroll in Online Language Courses
The internet is filled with both paid and free language courses that you can utilize to learn a new language. One benefit of online courses is you can take them in the comfort of your home and on the go. They eliminate the hassle of attending physical classroom sessions.
Plus, it’s cost-effective because some of the courses are free, and even the paid courses are relatively affordable. Some of the best online language courses include Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, and Coursera.
10. Frequent Restaurants That Offer Global Cuisine
Do you frequent the family-owned Greek restaurant down the street, or do you love treating yourself to Vietnamese cuisine at the end of a busy week? Visiting and frequenting restaurants that offer global cuisine is a unique and effective way to learn more about a new language.
If the owners and staff are multi-lingual, engage in conversation, ask questions, and learn more by reading the menu.
Whether you’re trying to land a specific job that has opportunities for international travel, or you just want to challenge yourself with learning something new, becoming multi-lingual is beneficial in many ways.
As with learning other things, understanding a new language takes time, and what might work well for one person might be the most effective method. While many people prefer to learn through more traditional methods like taking an in-person or online course, others like to challenge themselves by learning through various media, conversations with friends, or traveling.
There’s no one best way to learn a language. Try a few things methods or combine a few of the methods we listed above. Even if you’re fluent in more than one language, learning a new one may be a challenge and take a while to master. Be patient with yourself as you learn, create a learning schedule and plan that works best for you, and don’t forget to make it fun and interesting.