How to learn a language for free

How to learn a language for free

by Erin McGann

Updated February 9, 2021

We’ve all heard the stories of people learning a language from watching soap operas at home on TV. Okay well Erin is here to tell you that two seasons of How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) and two and a half seasons of Dark did not teach her German (also what’s going on in Dark, we are all really confused?). But really, how can you learn you learn a language for free – is it even possible?

Can you really learn a language for free?

Technique 1: Free apps

If you’ve ever mentioned learning a language out loud anywhere, in real life or online, someone will pop up and say: ‘Have your tried that green-owl app?’ It’s a rule. I’m sure you’ve already heard the call of the green owl, because we all have. It seems so easy – answer simple questions, no human interaction, listen to some stories and I will be magically bilingual! Unfortunately, it does not work like that. I know, I wish it did. But badly translating sentences about invisible bears and magical potatoes does not, in the end, really make you any better at speaking German, French, Spanish, or English.

Still think apps will replace language teachers? Think again.

Technique 2: Watching TV

To be fair, relentlessly watching TV and films in your target language will definitely help you get closer to speaking like a native, but they don’t generally include grammar lessons in heist movies. You will get really good at saying things like: ‘He’s over there!’, ‘Get him!’, ‘I don’t really feel that way about you’, and ‘But I love him!’. I’m not sure whether your life is more exciting than mine, but I definitely need more: ‘Where is the fresh yeast?’, ‘I need to update my resident parking permit’, ‘I have to reschedule my appointment’ and ‘I was in the queue first, actually’. It’s true, these are the boring parts of life films and TV skip over, but unfortunately we’ve got to work our way through them.

How to get English TV in Germany

Technique 3: Raise a child in your target language

I can tell you from experience that raising a child in a country that you didn’t grow up in is a learning experience, even when it’s a language you speak. When you then add in a language and culture that is not your own – you’ve got an uphill battle and a deadline. I’m already at the point where my son can speak to his friends quickly enough in German that I’m not sure what’s going on. I ask him to explain, and he’s pretty patient about it right now. Will I ever watch enough TikTok and films to catch the cultural references? I’m not sure, the clock is ticking!

Learn a language online and boost your career

Technique 4: Lingoda Sprint

Okay so if you really want to learn language without the random holes and a few cultural references too, the easiest way is the Lingoda Sprint. I know you’re impatient and you want results fast. Honestly, if you’re a bit inclined towards apps and not talking to folks in person, this is for sure the easiest and most effective way. I’ve tried all the apps, I’ve tried books, I’ve tried watching TV – I need the accountability of a native speaker correcting me, gently, in real time. Lingoda delivers. If you join the Lingoda Sprint, you commit to three months, at 15 lessons a month. If you do them all, you get 50% of that cost back. And if you’re really properly keen, you can do the Lingoda Super Sprint with 30 lessons a month for three months, and you get a 100% refund. I’m serious, you can do an intensive language course for free. Learn more about how the Lingoda Sprint and Super Sprint works here. It doesn’t get better than that.