How come most people never reach fluency in a foreign language?
It turns out there are two main reasons: using the wrong method, and lack of time.
In hindsight, we can attribute these two factors to just about anything we want to learn, do, and achieve. Luckily, when it comes to learning a new language, there are time-saving websites we can use to learn a foreign language even if you’re busy.
Want to learn 90% of any language in just 100 days?
Research from the top language experts show that if you can learn the first 1,000 most common words in any language, you can familiarize yourself with ~90% of the oral language!
This 100-Day Language Challenge will send you 10 new words in your target language every morning, sharing the English translation, pronunciation, and an example of how to use the word in everyday conversations. Each email takes only 3-5 minutes to read.
By the end of 100 days, you’ll learn 1,000 words and familiarize yourself with ~90% of your target language!
Make friends online that also want to speak your target language! If you’ve never heard of a conversation exchange before, it’s where language lovers around the world come together to talk about languages and even practice with each other.
It’s great for hobbyist language learners, since conversation exchanges aren’t meant to connect professional teachers with language learners, but a destination for language lovers to meet and mingle.
Now if you want to get serious about learning a language without interrupting your busy schedule, Rype is worth checking out.
As the first website to offer 24/7, unlimited private language lessons online (think Netflix for private language lessons), you can book as many lessons as you want, at anytime of the day, any day of the week. It’s primarily focused on Spanish right now, but being able to work one-on-one with a professional native speaking teacher can do wonders for accelerating your language skills.
If you’re more of an audio learner, or someone who enjoys listening to language podcasts, Michel Thomas can be a good option for you.
With pre-recorded audio tapes in various languages, Michel works with students to review lesson materials to improve your language skills. Keep in mind that this is a one-sided conversation, so you may find yourself speaking out loud to yourself in order to practice your conversation skills.
With over 50M downloads, Duolingo is recognized as one of the most popular language apps out there. Their gamified approach makes it a fun and seamless way to learn the basics of a language, while you’re on-the-go.
Since the app is based on algorithms, it’s a good way to learn basic vocabulary, but not ideal for improving your speaking skills.
Busuu is a similar app to Duolingo, but is not as gamified. It offers a straightforward process of helping you identify and discover new words and phrases in your target language.
The ability to take it with you on-the-go makes it easy to learn when you’ve got some ideal time in your schedule.
Recognized as one of the most popular blogs for language learning, Benny Lewis talks about everything you need to know about language learning.
Benny also has programs and a popular book that you can check out if you want to learn some of his best kept secrets, and how he managed to become a polyglot in such a short amount of time.
Memrise is a great website for memorizing just about anything, not just languages. You can find pre-made “flashcards” and “quizzes” on their website for your target language, such as learning the most common words in Spanish, French, Italian, etc.
BBC Languages (created by BBC) has video tutorials, quizzes, and articles that you can check out to learn your target language online.
It provides content that’s useful for real-life situations, such as ordering at a restaurant to understanding the basics of a foreign language, including grammar, vocabulary, sentence structures.
Babbel is a desktop and mobile application that helps you learn the basics of a language, through visual slides and pre-recorded audio recordings. It has a clean, yet slightly messy interface, and costs around $15-20/month to use.
Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype App, the first personalized language learning website.