Here’s How You Can Have Fun Learning a New Language Online
The journey of learning a new language can be pretty fun! Come check out how.
There are lots of known and traditional ways of learning a language out there on the internet. You can easily find tons of online courses, grammar textbooks, websites and mobile apps.
But, let’s be honest, most of these resources are pretty boring and the results take an eternity to show up.
On this article, I’m gonna share with you a few tips that have helped me learn languages over the years while having a lot of fun.
First of all, let me introduce myself. I’m a 21 years old brazilian boy who have always had this passion for travel and languages within, but never had any money to study abroad or backpack around the world.
Therefore, I had to find free, but also fun, ways to fulfill my desires (linguistic desires ok?). And that’s what I did. Today, besides Portuguese (my native language), I do speak English, Italian and French. And here’s how I learned these three languages without ever spendind a dime and without getting bored:
1. Find your motivation
Please, believe me, it’s gonna be a hundred percent easier to learn a foreign language if you have in mind a strong motivation to do so.
And it can be literally anything. For example, my motivation to learn italian was very simple: pleasure. I find the language beautiful, it sounds like music to my ears and I love the italian culture. Consequently, when I first started to study it, it came nice and easy.
I actually feel delight when I seat in front of my notebook, with my hot cup of coffee and read some sentences out loud.
So my first tip is: stop for a second and think about why you want to learn that specific language. And there’s where you’re gonna find your motivation.
2. Focus on what really matters
In order to master a foreign language, you DO NOT need to know how to say “cousin-in-law” or “shrimp” (alert of exaggeration).
What you absolutely need to know are the words that are most commonly used. Do not worry about knowing every single color or every single profession by heart, those things come naturally with the other tips that I’ll give you.
If you want to simply be able to express yourself, start with “100/1000 most used words in *insert you target language here*”. That’s your head start. Of course, you can adapt that and include any topic that you are particularly interested in.
For example, if you’re into cooking, you might want to learn all the kitchen vocabulary. That’s ideal for you, because you are way more likely to actually use those words than me, for example.
Another simple tip: learn your connective words (the most used ones)! These simple words will be your best friends when you start to form your first sentences in your mind, you’ll see.
3. Netflix is your best friend, trully
I can effortlessly say that my language skills would not be the same if it weren’t for Netflix. I thank the Lord everyday when I wake up for its existence. Just kidding, but not really.
Nowadays you can easily find tons of content in a lot of different languages on Netflix and you must take advantage of that. Here’s an amazing fact: you’ll finally be able to tell your mom that all those hours you spent in front of the TV, you were actually learning something (and it will be true!).
While watching a movie or a TV show in your target language, you will improve your listening skills, you will learn a lot of new vocabulary (including slangs and curse words) and you will learn the language as it’s actually spoken by its native speakers (and not that robotic way text books and apps try to teach you).
And the best part is: you will have fun while doing it. You’ll rarely get bored, because if the first show you try is not actually your cup of tea, you can just switch to the next one.
After all, it’s not like you’re stuck in a classroom or in front of a textbook trying to remember verb conjugations.
Everything will simply come to you and sometimes you won’t even notice. Of you course you won’t memorize every single word at once, but they’ll start to sound very very familiar to you. And soon enough, boom, you know them.
I must add a few thing about subtitles. At first you can watch with subtitles in your native language or in any other language you already speak.
But once you get a little bit more confident in your target language, you should definitely put the subtitles in that language. Even if at first it will seem super hard and you’ll miss most of what is beeing said, you must persist.
You’ll see, this is the ULTIMATE exercise to learn a language. You’ll be learning vocabulary, listening to the correct pronunciation and reading how things are written, ALL AT ONCE. You’ll learn so much at that your mind will blow.
4. Harry Potter made me a polyglot
It seems weird, but it’s true. An addiotional fact about me: I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter. And I also take that as an advantage when I’m learning a new language.
As you all have probably noticed already if you live in a country like mine (Brazil), it’s not quite easy and affordable to find books in a foreign language.
But trust me, you will find Harry Potter! And it won’t be expensive. In Amazon, for example, you can find all the books in numerous languages.
And, if you’re a Potterhead, like me, you have certainly watched the movies thousands of times and probably have already read the books in your native language as well.
Very good, now all you have to do is: reread them in your target language. I know, it sounds hard and almost impossible for a begginer, but trust me, you already know the story and once you get through the book, you’ll see that it’ll start to get easier and easier each page. By the end of the books, you’ll see how much you’ll have improved.
I’m using Harry Potter as an example here, but it can be any other book you like or a TV show (read Friends) that you already know the story by heart. This way, you can reread it or rewatch it in another language, have fun and learn A LOT.
5. Praised be the Youtubers
Now, if you want to actually study grammar but not in a textbook, Youtube is the answer. All over the world, there are amazing people who teaching language on the platform for free!
You can easily find them online and give their videos a try. If, eventually, you don’t like the way one’s didactic, you can just move on and look for another one. I’ve been able to find some online teachers who are very very fun to watch.
This way, the process of studying grammar can become truly amusing.
Other than that, on Youtube you can also easily find content made by native speakers of your pretty much any language, on any subject you might be interested in.
If, like me, you’re into travel vlogs, you can go on Youtube, find a French Vlogger, for example, and improve your language skills at the same time that you watch the kind of content you enjoy. The same applies to cooking vlogs, beauty vlogs etc.
Youtube is wide, just go ahead and give it a try.
6. Keyword: FUN
As you all probably have already noticed, I’ve been highlighting the word fun the whole article. There is a simple reason to that: the secret to learn a language faster and more effectively is to have fun on the process.
Therefore, my last advise to you is: try to adapt the tips I gave here to your own tastes, so that they can bring joy to you. You’ll see, once you find these things, learning a new language will become a hobbie.
Hope you enjoyed the article. If you want to jump into this journey of learning a new language, give the tips above a try. They can also serve as a complement to the methods you are already using or to the classes you’re having with a tutor. They will positively surprise you.
Now, just go ahead, grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and have fun!
Bisou bisou, bye.