Learn 48 Languages Online for Free: Spanish, Chinese, English & More



How to learn languages for free? This collection features lessons in 48 languages, including Spanish, French, English, Mandarin, Italian, Russian and more. Download audio lessons to your computer or mp3 player and you’re good to go.

Amharic

  • Foreign Service Institute Basic AmharicAudioTextbook
    • Lessons with dialogues, drills, exercises, and narratives will teach you the basics of this language spoken in Ethiopia. Includes samples of speech, explanations of basic language structures, and a variety of practical exercises. Features two textbooks (PDF) and eleven audio lessons (MP3).

Ancient Greek

  • Ancient Greek IntroductionWeb Site
  • Introduction to Homeric GreekYouTube
  • Learn Ancient GreekWeb Site
    • Leonard Muellner (Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies at Brandeis University) has posted 64 videos on YouTube, which, “present all the content covered in two semesters of a college-level Introduction to Ancient Greek course.”

Arabic

  • Arabic Lessons on SpotifySpotify
    • Over 12 hours of Arabic lessons for beginners.
  • Arabic for Beginners 1 – YouTube Free
  • Arabic in JordanWeb Site
    • These lessons from the Peace Corps will help you learn normal conversation in Jordan, rather than focusing on formalities.
  • ArabicPod – iTunes Free
    • Includes mp3s and PDF transcripts.
  • DuoLingo ArabicWeb Site
    • Learn Arabic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.
  • Foreign Service Institute Written ArabicWeb site
    • Spoken exercises in Arabic and the printed transcriptions. Four textbooks (PDF) and 31 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Levantine Arabic – Web site
    • Introduction to pronunciation. Textbook (PDF) and 19 audio lessons (MP3). Scroll down to the second set of lessons on this page.
  • Foreign Service Institute Saudi Arabic – Web site
    • Covers the urban Hijazi dialect. Textbook (PDF) and 51 audio lessons (MP3). Scroll down to the third/bottom set of lessons on this page.

Bookmark our free Arabic lessons section.

American Sign Language

  • Introductory American Sign Language Course – YouTube
    • By the end of this course you should have a basic bank of ASL words that you are able to use to form simple sentences. Begin to identify ASL sentence structure, which is different than English sentence structure. Understand what regional differences of signs are.

Bambara

  • Bambara in MaliWeb Site
    • Lessons from the Peace Corps.

Bulgarian

  • Foreign Service Institute BulgarianWeb site
    • Two textbooks (PDF) and 75 audio lessons (MP3).

Cambodian

  • Foreign Service Institute Basic CambodianWeb site
    • Two textbooks (PDF) and 45 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Contemporary Cambodian – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and 60 audio lessons (MP3).

Catalan

  • One Minute Catalan – iTunes FreeFeed
    • A good way to get going with a language still spoken by some 12 million people, many living in Northeast Spain.

Chinese

  • Real Chinese – Web Site
    • Presented by the BBC. A lively introduction to Mandarin Chinese in 10 short parts with video clips from the Real Chinese TV series.
  • Beginner’s Chinese – iTunes Free
    • Introductory audio lessons provided by the Open University.
  • Chinese for BeginnersFree Online Video/MOOC
    • This is an ABC Chinese course for beginners, including introduction of phonetics and daily expressions. From Peking University.
  • Chinese: Start Talking with 1.3 Billion PeopleMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Introductory Chinese language course from Tsinghua University emphasizes basic language skills for everyday life in Mandarin speaking countries. The course utilizes pinyin, the standard system of Romanized spelling for transliterating Chinese, so learners will find it easy to understand and study the language.
  • More Chinese for BeginnersMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Also from Peking University, this is an advanced course for Chinese for beginners. Learners will expand vocabularies about personal information, daily life, food and drink, health, and more.
  • Chinese Course – Seton Hall
  • Chinese Lessons with Serge Melnyk – iTunes Free
    • Weekly lessons in Mandarin that get very strong reviews from iTunes users.
  • Chinesepod.com iTunes Free
    • A series of well-reviewed lessons that will let you learn Mandarin on your own terms.
  • DuoLingo ChineseWeb site
    • Bite-sized Chinese lessons. Fun, effective, and 100% free.
  • Easy ChineseiTunes Free
    • Easy Chinese is designed specifically for non-native Chinese language learners at the introductory level. It aims to teach learners to absorb practical oral expressions in a short amount of time.
  • Fall in Love With MandarinMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
  • Foreign Service Institute Basic CantoneseWeb site
    • Two textbooks (PDF) and 30 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Standard Chinese: A Modular ApproachWeb site
    • Designed to give a practical command of spoken standard Chinese with nine situational modules. Each module consists of tapes (MP3), a student textbook (PDF), and a workbook. In addition to the core modules, there is a resource module and eight optional modules.
  • iMandarinPod.com – iTunes Free
    • This series of lessons teaches Chinese by talking about Chinese culture or what is happening today in China. More advanced than others.
  • Learn Chinese in Your CarSpotify
    • Grammar and vocabulary to beginners, offering guidance in pronunciation and language fundamentals.
  • Learn Chinese on SpotifySpotify
    • A collection of audio courses on Spotify, that will take you from beginner lessons to advanced conversations–featuring essential travel phrases and vocabulary.
  • Mandarin Chinese Characters – iTunes Free
    • Created by Emory University, this series of video lessons will help you draw several characters and numbers.
  • Mandarin in China – Web Site
    • Lessons courtesy of the US Peace Corps
  • Numbers and Radicals – iTunes Free
    • Emory University teaches you the proper form for writing numbers and radicals. In Video.
  • One Minute Mandarin – iTunes Free – Feed
    • A quick way to cover the very basics…
  • Popup Chinese – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Offers lessons for beginners and also students at intermediate and advanced levels. In addition to language lessons, Popup Chinese provides annotated short stories, HSK test prep materials and a variety of speaking and listening exercises. They broadcast out of Beijing, and all voice actors speak the standard northern dialect.
  • Slow Chinese – iTunes Free
    • A cultural podcast for Chinese learners. Features narratives by native Chinese people read in Mandarin at a slow speed (2~3 characters per second). Topics vary from language, knowledge, tradition and culture to opinions on social phenomena.

Czech

  • Foreign Service Institute Czech FastWeb site
    • Textbook (PDF) and twelve audio lessons (PDF).

Danish

  • Duolingo Danish (for English Speakers) – Web Site  
    • A popular free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. As users progress through lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents.
  • One Minute Danish – iTunes FreeFeed
    • We get a lot of requests (believe it or not) for Danish. So here’s another useful primer created by the One Minute series.

Dutch

  • Duolingo Dutch (for English Speakers) – Web Site  
    • A popular free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. As users progress through lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents.
  • Introduction to DutchWeb Site
    • Learn to speak, write and understand basic Dutch, with this free, three-week, introductory foreign language course. By University of Groningen.
  • Learn Dutch – iTunes Free
    • Culturally relevant lessons that are easy to listen to.

English

  • Basic English 1: ElementaryMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Learn basic English for everyday situations and improve your listening skills with this online English language course. From King’s College London.
  • Basic English 2: Pre-IntermediateMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Develop your basic English skills for use in everyday situations and build more confidence in your reading and listening skills. From King’s College London.
  • The English We Speak – iTunes Free – Web Site
    • Each week, the BBC looks at phrases used in the English language.
  • American English Speech – Web
    •  The OLI American English Dialect course from Carnegie Mellon supplies the necessary reinforcement of dialectical structure, audio, production technique and phonetic representation for each sound.
  • 6 Minute English – iTunes Free – Downloads – Web Site
    • Learn and practice useful English with the BBC.
  • Better @ English – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Focuses on conversational English, with an emphasis on idioms and slang.
  • Business English: Finance and EconomicsMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • From Arizona State, this course helps students learn English using common business situations in finance and economics.
  • Business English – iTunes Free
    • Learn the English you will need to function effectively in an American business environment.
  • Connect with English – YouTubeRelated Course Information
    • Featuring the story of Rebecca, an aspiring singer on a journey across America, Connect With English offers 50 fifteen-minute video programs that will teach English as a second language to high school students, college students and adult learners. Produced by WGBH Boston.
  • Effortless English – iTunes Free – Feed
    • An English podcast that gets solid reviews.
  • English as a Second Language – iTunes Free – Feed
    • A very well liked collection of ESL lessons. Over 100 episodes in the collection.
  • English for Academic StudyMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Prepare to study at university, explore the qualities of a successful student, and learn key vocabulary in an academic context. From Coventry University.
  • English for Business and EntrepreneurshipMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • From the University of Pennsylvania, this course is designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in learning more about business English and the global business economy.
  • English for Business NetworkingMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • From the University of Washington. Introduce yourself in English, keep a conversation going, and leave the conversation. Write professional emails to make new contacts and follow up with people in your network.
  • English for Career DevelopmentMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • From the University of Pennsylvania, this course is designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in advancing their careers in the global marketplace. In this course, you will learn about the job search, application, and interview process in the United States, while comparing and contrasting the same process in your home country.
  • English for HealthcareMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Develop your language and communication skills for a career in healthcare and learn new healthcare vocabulary in English. From King’s College London.
  • English for JournalismMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • From the University of Pennsylvania, this course is designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in developing the skills needed for a career in modern journalism. In this course, you will explore print and digital media through authentic readings and video lectures, while expanding your vocabulary and increasing your ability to read, research, and develop local and global news stories.
  • English for Science, Technology, Engineering, and MathematicsMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • From the University of Pennsylvania, this course is designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in improving their English skills in the sciences.
  • English Pronunciation in a Global WorldMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • In this course, you will improve your English pronunciation skills and learn about speaking English in today’s globalised world. From Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Grammar Girl – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • Grammar Girl provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing. Whether English is your first language or your second language, these grammar, punctuation, style, and business tips will make you a better and more successful writer.
  • Speak English Professionally: In Person, Online & On the PhoneMOOC/Online Course
  • Tricky American English PronunciationMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • From UC Irvine: In this course, you’ll practice the sounds of American English that might sometimes be confusing. You’ll practice both consonant and vowel sounds.
  • Tu Ingles! – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • “Tu Ingles” is designed to help Spanish-speakers improve their ear for English. The weekly program features drills of verb conjugation, interviews, advice about idioms, and excerpts of speeches and other recorded spoken material from famous English speakers.
  • USA LearnsWeb Site
    • A free website that helps adults learn English online by providing engaging videos and educational activities. Built by the Sacramento County Office of Education, with funding by the U.S. Department of Education and the California Department of Education.
  • Write Professional Emails in EnglishMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Farsi/Persian

  • Learn Persian with Chai and ConversationiTunes – Web Site
    • Offers 50 lessons via podcast, each running about 15-20 minutes, which will help students learn conversational Persian for free. Each lesson builds on previous lessons, so to get the most out of the course, start from the beginning. The site also offers affordable premium learning materials.
  • Easy PersianWeb Site
    • Easy Persian offers online lessons in listening, speaking, reading, and writing Persian or Farsi as spoken in Iran. In addition to Persian language lessons, the site introduces contemporary Iranian poets with English translations of their poems. You’ll also find free Farsi/Persian software, Persian names with English translations, Farsi writing drills and much more.
  • Learn Persian Farsi Easily, Effectively and FluentlySpotify
    • A 3-hour series of lessons that’s freely available on Spotify.
  • Persian of Iran TodayWeb Site
    • This two volume textbook interweaves grammar- and vocabulary-building exercises with narrative elements in order to engage and develop students’ abilities in Persian. The web site includes the textbook itself and related audio/visual files. Persian of Iran Today is published by The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies Publications program. Hard copies of the textbook can be purchased online (volume 1 and volume 2).

Finnish

  • Foreign Service Institute Conversational FinnishWeb site
    • Transcripts of the Finnish dialogues with idiomatic English translations plus notes on structural pattern and explanations of essential points of grammar. A variety of exercises with instructions in English.
  • Special Finnish – Web Site
    • For listeners with some command of Finnish YLE Radio Finland offers daily broadcasts in “Special Finnish”. The five minute broadcasts cover items of current interest. To ease understanding, we simplify the language and slow down the delivery. Some grammatical forms are not used at all. The level of Finnish used is planned to match the expected ability to understand Finnish shown by persons in Level Two Language Command (ofFinnish) as defined by the Council of Europe.”

French

  • French in Action – Free Web Site
    • Produced by Yale University, these video lessons uses the storyline of an American student and a young Frenchwoman’s adventures in Paris to teach the language.
  • Ma France – Web Site
    • The BBC offers 24 video lessons that will teach you French.
  • Duolingo French – Web Site
    • A popular free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. As users progress through lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents. Check out Duolingo’s iPhone and iPad apps.
  • Easy French Poetry – iTunes Free
    • A French as a second language program, using poetry as a topic for discussion using everyday conversational French.
  • Foreign Service Institute Basic Course Web SiteSpotify
    • The course is designed to enable you to reach conversational proficiency. You learn how to control the French sound system by listening to the tapes and repeating each phrase. The dialogues present natural spoken French in a variety of contexts, such as, greeting people, registering at a hotel, getting a train ticket, and shopping.
  • Foreign Service Institute Basic Course: Phonology – Web Site
    • The Introduction to French Phonology course provides additional drills for those who wish to sound like a native speaker of the language. The course may be used beneficially at any stage of learning the language.
  • Foreign Service Institute French Fast – Web site
    • Designed to familiarize you with situations encountered abroad, and to provide you with the language skills you need to cope effectively with those situations.
  • Foreign Service Institute French: Headstart for Belgium – Web site
    • Textbook and culture notes (PDF) and sixteen audio lessons (PDF).
  • Foundations of French for Global CommunicationMassive Open Online Course (MOOC) – King’s College London
  • FrancolabWeb Site
    • French Canadian site provides resources for language learners and teachers. Includes videos, quizzes, interactive modules, audio-visual presentations, and a wide selection of Canadian programs covering a variety of social and cultural topics.
  • French Beginner’s Serial and Oral Course 2016YouTube
    • Learn basic French with the Manesca French Course. 91 videos on YouTube.
  • Le Journal en français facile – iTunes Free – Feed– Web Site
    • Nightly news from RFI presented in slowly spoken French to assist you with your comprehension.
  • Learn French – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • A well-reviewed series of lessons for beginners and those who want to brush up on their French.
  • Learn French in Your CarSpotify
    • Grammar and vocabulary to beginners, offering guidance in pronunciation and language fundamentals.
  • Learn French with Coffee Break French – iTunes Free – Web Site
    • The producers of the very popular Coffee Break Spanish now offer a program that will teach you French.
  • Learn French with Daily Lessons – iTunes Free
    • These lessons are brought to you by French teachers from Paris. They are best suited for those who already have some beginning French under their belts.
  • Learn French with SpotifySpotify
    • A collection of audio courses on Spotify, that will take you from beginner lessons to advanced conversations–featuring essential travel phrases and vocabulary.
  • News in Slow French – iTunes Free – Web Site
    • Program discusses the Weekly News, French grammar, and French expressions in simplified French at a slow pace.
  • Speak and Read FrenchSpotify
    • Three albums of a French language course, Speak and Read French, created by Armand Bégué, a professor at Brooklyn College and his wife, Louise Bégué, in 1959. For basic and intermediate levels.
  • Talk French – Web Site
    • A lively introduction to French presented by the BBC.
  • University of Texas: Francais interactif – Web Site
    • UT provides a series of interactive vocabulary lessons. Media can be downloaded from the site.

Frisian

German

  • Deutsch – warum nicht? Web Site
    • An extensive collection of introductory German lessons put together by Deutsche Welle.
  • Deutschtrainer – Web site
    • Use the Deutschtrainer to effectively learn basic vocabulary needed for everyday life and to improve your pronunciation. The 100 lessons are bilingual (English-German) and address various situations – from greeting people and going to the doctor, to shopping and finding accommodations. From the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
  • Deutsch im BlickWeb site
    • A free online textbook for learning German from the University of Texas. It’s the web-based first-year German program developed and in use at the university.
  • Dialogue for German Learners: Beginner’s Level – iTunes Free
    • Created by the University of South Wales, these dialogues will help you to practice and consolidate some of the language skills you are learning, either as part of a language course or as something you need for your work.
  • Mission Berlin – iTunes Free – Web – RSS
    •  Learn German through a mystery adventure. Created by Deutsche Welle.
  • Radio D Series 1 iTunesSeries 2 iTunesSeries 1 RSS – Series 2 RSS
    • German for beginners: Paula and Philipp are Radio D reporters who have several mysterious cases to investigate. Join them as their research takes them across Germany — and learn German along the way! Created by Deutsche Welle.
  • Slowly Spoken News – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Deutsche Welle provides a nightly news broadcast in German that’s spoken slowly so that you can work on your comprehension.
  • Talk German Web Site
    • A lively introduction to German by the BBC. Presented in ten short parts.
  • Deutsch InteraktivWeb
    • 30-part self-study course in German. Features authentic videos, slideshows and audio texts that convey a vibrant picture of life in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Created by Deutsche Welle.
  • Duolingo German – Web Site 
    • A popular free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. As users progress through lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents. Check out Duolingo’s iPhone and iPad apps.
  • Foreign Service Institute German Programmed IntroductionWeb site
    • The text (PDF) and tapes (MP3) present, in a programmed learning style, the structural features and vocabulary contained in the first six units of the FSI German Basic Course. Serves to accelerate the progress of students who subsequently move to the Basic Course.
  • Foreign Service Institute German Basic CourseWeb site
    • Two textbooks (PDF) and 24 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute German Fast – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and ten audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute German Headstart – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and fourteen audio lessons (MP3).
  • GermanPod 101 – iTunes Free – RSS
    • Offers materials for beginners, intermediate and advanced.

Greek

  • Foreign Service Institute Greek Basic – Web site
    • Representative of the Kathomilumeni variety that is the “standard” speech of educated Greeks. Three textbooks (PDF) and 75 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Learning GreekWeb Site
    • From the Hellenic American Union, these lessons will teach students Modern Greek. For those who already have some foundation in the language.

Hebrew

  • HebrewPod 101 – iTunes
    • A way to learn some quick Hebrew on the fly.
  • Biblical Hebrew Grammar I  (YouTube) and Grammar II (YouTube)
    • These are courses taught at The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, California.
  • Foreign Service Institute Hebrew Basic – Web site – Spotify
    • One textbook (PDF) and 40 audio lessons (MP3). The Hebrew Basic Course is designed to teach spoken and written modern Hebrew that is the ordinary, informal speech of educated native Israelis. It is not intended as a text for the study of the Old Testament or other Hebrew literature.
  • Learn Hebrew (Biblical) – YouTube
    • Classical Hebrew taught using the serial and oral method. Features 56 videos. This introductory video presents the outline for the course.

Hindi

  • DuoLingo HindiWeb site
    • Learn Hindi in just 5 minutes a day. For free.
  • HindiPod 101iTunesYouTube
    • Learn Hindi with fun, interesting and culturally relevant lessons that are easy to listen to.
  • Hindi: An Active Introduction – Textbook
    • A short textbook by DN Sharma & James Stone on behalf of Foreign Service Institute (FSI).

Hungarian

  • DuoLingo HungarianWeb site
    • Learn Hungarian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.
  • Foreign Service Institute Hungarian – Web site
    • Two textbooks (PDF) and 24 audio lessons (MP3). Also includes a graded reader.
  • Let’s Learn HungarianiTunes Free – Web Site
    • Learn with Steve or Gyorgyi, a native speaker.

Icelandic

  • Icelandic Online Web Site
    • Created by University of Iceland. The lessons use various media – text, flashcards, videos and so on. Lets you track your progress. Available up to expert level. (Requires registration.)
  • Viltu læra íslensku? Web site
    •  21 TV episodes of Icelandic lessons. Each episode deals with daily life and common situations in Iceland. Accompanying every episode is a thorough summary, explaining the subject of the episode. The episodes have Icelandic subtitles, making the dialog easier to follow.
  • A Beginners’ MP3 course in Modern IcelandicWeb Site
    • This is an experimental eight-hour beginners’ Icelandic course, based on Alaric’s experiences living in Iceland in 2010,

Indonesian

  • Learning Indonesian – iTunes Free
    • A complete online Indonesian course geared towards developing conversational fluency in the Indonesian Language.
  • Indonesian NewsiTunes Free
    • This is the latest news in Indonesian from NHK World Radio Japan. For more advanced learners.
  • SBS Radio Indonesian Language Program – iTunes FreeWeb Site
    • For more advanced learners, SBS Radio Indonesian Language Program offers extensive coverage of international, national and local news and current affairs, including interviews with Indonesian community leaders and other cultural programs.

Irish

  • Duolingo Irish (for English Speakers) – Web Site  
    • A popular free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. As users progress through lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents.
  • Irish Lessons on SpotifySpotify
    • Learn some essential Irish, and hear poetry, prose and songs in Irish.
  • Irish 101: An Introduction to Irish Language and CultureMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • From Dublin City University, this course offers an introduction to Ireland’s culture by learning the basics of the Irish language. This is the beginning of a larger course sequence.

Italian

  • Talk ItalianWeb Site
    • A lively introduction to Italian presented by the BBC.
  • BBC ItalianissimoWeb SiteYouTube
    • Italianissimo was a TV series to learn Italian first broadcast in 1992 and repeated regularly over the next 10 years. You can watch the videos online.
  • Italian Language and Culture: BeginnerMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • In this language course from Wellesley College, you will learn the four basic skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) in the context of major themes in Italian culture. By the end of the course you will be able to describe people, events and situations, both in the present and the past, and you will have acquired the necessary vocabulary to communicate about everyday situations.
  • Italian Language and Culture: IntermediateMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • In this language course from Wellesley College, you will enhance your Italian language skills, enrich your vocabulary and expand your conversational skills. You will learn how to have exchanges on a variety of topics, and continue your immersion in the Italian culture through unique videos and interviews. You will also become more confident as you continue practicing your reading and writing skills.
  • Italian Language and Culture: AdvancedMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Learn how to perfect your skills in Italian (speaking, listening, reading and writing), and by the end of this course you will be able to express opinions and hypotheses, and sustain an argument using a variety of registers. You will also expand your vocabulary to include topics beyond everyday conversation. This course is from Wellesley College.
  • Duolingo Italian – Web Site  
    • A popular free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. As users progress through lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents.
  • Foreign Service Institute Italian Head Start – Web site
    • Textbook, glossary, culture notes (PDF) and 21 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Italian Fast CourseWeb site
    • Includes a textbook (PDF) and 30 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Italian Programmed Course – Web site
    • Textbook and instructor’s manual (PDF) and 24 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Introduction to ItalianMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
  • Let’s Speak Italian – iTunes FreeFeed
    • This collection will help you learn Italian in small, manageable 5-minute bites.
  • Speak Italian with Your Mouth Full – Web site
    • MIT instructor Dr. Paola Rebusco uses cooking to help her students learn to speak Italian.

Bookmark our free Italian lessons section.

Japanese

  • DuoLingo JapaneseWeb site
    • Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.
  • Easy JapaneseWeb site
    • A free course from the Japanese national broadcaster, NHK. This audio and text-based course of 48 lessons is designed for beginners.
  • Easy Japanese for WorkWeb site
    • Accelerate your Japanese language skills! Learn practical, effective workplace expressions, understand business culture and improve your kanji. From NHK.
  • Easy Travel JapaneseWeb site
    • When traveling in Japan for the first time, what phrases do you need? Each 3-minute episode provides simple expressions you can put to use as soon as you land. The program also offers tips for getting around the country.
  • Easy Japanese: Grammar LessonsWeb site
    • Learn grammar from NHK.
  • Foreign Service Institute Japanese – Web site
    • Student guide, textbook, glossary, flashcards (PDF) and nine audio lessons (MP3).
  • JapanesePod101.com – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Over 100 quality lessons aimed at the beginner. Users give it high marks.
  • Let’s Speak Japanese Basic – YouTube
    • 26 video lessons produced by the Japan Foundation.
  • Let’s Learn Japanese Basic II – YouTube
    • 25 video lessons produced by the Japan Foundation.
  • Marugoto Japanese Online CourseWeb Site 
    • The Marugoto Japanese Online Course is a course for learning Japanese language skills comprehensively. It’s operated by the Japan Foundation.
  • Weekly News in Simple JapaneseWeb site
    • From the Japanese broadcaster NHK.

Bookmark our free Japanese lessons section.

Korean

  • First Step KoreanMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • From Yonsei University, this is an elementary-level Korean language course, consisting of 5 lessons with 4 units, and covers 4 skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The main topics include basic expressions used in everyday life, such as greetings, introducing yourself, talking about your family and a daily life and so on. Each lesson covers dialogues, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, quizzes and role-plays.
  • Introduction to KoreanMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Get an introduction to the language and culture of Korea, with this online Korean course from Hanyang University in Seoul.
  • Foreign Service Institute Basic KoreanWeb Site
    • Includes the original and updated courses, each with textbooks (PDF) and audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Korean Headstart – Web site
    • Textbook, cultural notes, and eight units of audio lessons (MP3).
  • KoreanClass101 – iTunes Free
    • Features daily audio lessons, video lessons, word of the day, etc.
  • Korean Learning for Correction Pronunciation Web Site
  • Let’s Speak Korean Season 1 – YouTube
    • 130 video lessons produced by Arirang TV.
  • Let’s Speak Korean Season 2 – YouTube
    • 130 video lessons produced by Arirang TV.
  • Let’s Speak Korean Season 3 – YouTube
    • 130 video lessons produced by Arirang TV.
  • Let’s Speak Korean Season 4 – YouTube
    • 100 video lessons produced by Arirang TV.
  • Let’s Speak Korean Season 5 – YouTube
    • 26 video lessons produced by Arirang TV.
  • Online Intermediate College KoreanWeb Site
  • Pathway to Korean: Beginning Spoken Korean from ZeroWeb Site
  • Talk to Me in KoreaniTunes FreeWeb Site
    • Korean learning made simple and easy. Quite possibly the most thorough, frequent, slick, and entertaining language-instruction podcast of any kind.

Lao

  • Foreign Service Institute LaoWeb site
    • Basic textbook, reading textbook (PDF), and two parts of audio lessons (MP3).

Latin

  • Nightly News in Latin – Web Site
    • “Nuntii Latini – News in Latin – is a weekly review of world news in Classical Latin, the only international broadcast of its kind in the world, produced by YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company.
  • The London Latin Course – YouTube
    • Learn Latin from the ground up. This is a serial course, structured to bring you to a high level of Latin fluency. The pace is slow and unhurried. This course is suitable for all ability levels. Restored Classical Pronunciation. Find related course materials here. You can also find lessons on advanced vocabulary here.
  • Latin Introduction – Web

Lithuanian

Luxembourgish

  • One Minute LuxembourgishYouTube
    • Another niche language covered by the Radio Lingua Network.

Maori

  • Toku Reo – Web Site
    • Learn Maori, the language of New Zealand’s indigenous people. Although these lessons accompany a television programme that is currently running, the essential bits of the episodes are available to be watched right here on this site. The course starts at square 1. Site includes video lessons. Another useful site for learning the grammar can be found here.

Norwegian

  • Norwegian for Beginners 1Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Master the basics of the Norwegian language. Gain confidence in speaking and understanding common phrases. From the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  • Norwegian for Beginners 2 – Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Continue to improve your understanding of the Norwegian language and Norwegian culture.
  • Norwegian for Beginners 3 – Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Continue building your understanding of the Norwegian language and culture with the third online course for beginners from NTNU.
  • Introduction to NorwegianMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • From the University of Oslo. Start learning Norwegian today. Learn to speak, write and understand basic Norwegian with this free four-week course.
  • Introduction to Norwegian 2Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Learn to write, speak, and understand intermediate Norwegian with this fun and engaging four-week course.
  • Foreign Service Institute Norwegian Headstart – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and eight audio lessons (MP3).
  • One Minute NorwegianYouTube
    • Learn Norwegian in minutes with the Radio Lingua Network.
  • Easy-to-Read Newspaper Text
    • This is not audio, but it’s useful nonetheless. A newspaper that helps you learn Norwegian by using large fonts and basic language.
  • Norwegian on the WebWeb Site

Polish

  • One Minute PolishYouTube
    • Another helpful audio series provided by the Radio Lingua Network.

Portuguese

  • Língua da gente – iTunes Free – Web site 
  • Brazilian PodClass – iTunes Free
    • Free podcast is released once a week, for all levels, with a focus on conversation, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and popular expressions.
  • Brazilian Portuguese 101iTunes Video Free
    • 45 lessons by Semantica.
  • Duolingo Portuguese – Web Site
    • A popular free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. As users progress through lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents.
  • Foreign Service Institute Portuguese Programmatic CourseWeb site
    • Two volumes including textbooks (PDF) and audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute From Spanish to Portuguese – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and three audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Brazilian Portuguese FastWeb site
    • Two volumes including textbooks (PDF) and audio lessons (MP3).
  • Ta Falado: Brazilian Portuguese Pronunciation for Spanish Speakers – iTunes Free – Web Site
    • Created by the Texas Language Technology Center in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UT-Austin.
  • Talk Portuguese – Web Site
    • From the BBC, a video introduction to the language in 11 short parts with audio clips for key phrases.

Romanian

  • One Minute Romanian  iTunes Free
    • Quick lessons by the creators of the One Minute language series.

Russian

  • Russian for Beginners Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • From Saint Petersburg State University, this series of 4 courses is aimed at learners who are interested in exploring the Russian language, and provides everything you need to start this journey.
  • Business Russian – Web
  • Foreign Service Institute Russian Fast – Web Site
    • Textbook (PDF) and eight audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Russian: An Active Introduction Web site
    • 11 lessons and a textbook.
  • Learn RussianWeb Site
    • A free course by RT.com that covers all aspects of Russian including alphabet, phonetics, vocabulary and grammar. It also has multiple grammar tables and tests. RT.com is a Russian 24/7 English-language news channel.
  • Learn Russian Fluently, Easily and Effectively Spotify
    • A 4-hour series of lessons that are freely available on Spotify
  • Russian GrammarYouTube
    • 50 free, short videos on topics in basic Russian grammar. Funded by a grant from the University of South Carolina, the videos were created by Curtis Ford, a senior instructor at the University.
  • Russian Literature – Web Site
    • Also presented by UCLA, the lessons help users improve their comprehension and vocabulary by listening to excerpts from Tolstoy, Gogol, Chekhov and other Russian literary greats.
  • One Minute RussianYouTube
    • Learn the absolute basics of Russian with a 10-lesson course of “espresso-break” episodes. In this course you’ll learn to greet people, say that you’re learning the language, introduce yourself and ask people how they’re feeling, and lots more.
  • RussianPod101 – iTunes Free
    • Helps you learn Russian and Russian culture at your convenience.

Bookmark our free Russian lessons section.

Serbo-Croatian

  • Foreign Service Institute Serbo-Croatian Basic – Web site
    • Includes two textbooks (PDF) and twelve audio lessons (MP3).

Sign Language

  • American Sign LanguageWeb Site
    • Lessons that will get you started with the sign language prevalent in North America.

Spanish

  • 5 Minute Spanish 1  – iTunes
    • Self-paced course from University of Arkansas offers a good introduction to Spanish for those who have never studied it before, or a good refresher for those who have. The course focuses almost exclusively on Spanish grammar.  If you would like to take a more well-rounded approach to learning Spanish, click here for David Nance’s Spanish textbook, available free for the iPad.
  • Basic Spanish 1: Getting StartedMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Learn Spanish and explore Spanish culture in this introductory language course, designed for English speakers. Created by the University Polytechnica Valencia.
  • Basic Spanish 2: One Step FurtherMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Beginners course for learners of Spanish that focuses not only on language, but also on cultural aspects, specifically designed for English speakers. Created by the University Polytechnica Valencia.
  • Basic Spanish 3: Getting thereMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Beginners course for learners of Spanish that focuses not only on language but also on cultural aspects, specifically designed for English speakers.
  • Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish – Web Site
    • This telenovela, or Spanish soap opera, immerses students in everyday situations and teaches speaking, listening, and comprehension skills in Spanish.
  • Coffee Break Spanish – iTunes Free – Web Site
    • Learn Spanish in a low-key, effective way.
  • Coffee Break Spanish: To GoYouTube
    • Build your Spanish comprehension by listening to real native speakers.
  • Duolingo SpanishWeb Site
    • A popular free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. As users progress through lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents. Check out Duolingo’s iPhone and iPad apps.
  • Show Time Spanish iTunes Free
    • Produced by the same folks who created Coffee Break Spanish, this podcast is for intermediate and advanced learners.
  • Foreign Service Institute Basic CourseWeb site
    • This course in the Latin American dialect prepares students to function effectively in conversations. Pronunciation, inflection, and intonation are heavily stressed.
  • Foreign Service Institute Spanish ProgrammaticWeb site
    • Two volumes including textbooks (PDF) and audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Spanish Headstart for Puerto Rico – Web site
    • Student text, glossary (PDF), and four modules of audio lessons (MP3) with self-evaluation quizzes.
  • Foreign Service Institute Spanish Headstart for Spain – Web site
    • Textbook and cultural notes (PDF) and four modules of audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Spanish Headstart for Latin America – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and fifteen audio lessons (MP3).
  • Learn Spanish: Basic Spanish VocabularyMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • This specialization is designed for the beginner who may have no experience with learning a second language but who wants to be able to read, write and speak Spanish for personal, travel or business use, or who just wants to learn a second language and build cultural awareness. From UC-Davis.
  • Learn Spanish in Your CarSpotify
    • Grammar and vocabulary to beginners, offering guidance in pronunciation and language fundamentals.
  • Learn Spanish on SpotifySpotify
    • A collection of audio courses on Spotify, that will take you from beginner lessons to advanced conversations–featuring essential travel phrases and vocabulary.
  • Medical Spanish for Healthcare Providers – Web Site
    • This site is presented as a free medical Spanish immersion, with vocabulary including greetings, history, examination, and everyday speech, all with translation and audio. It is designed to be helpful for a variety of medical personnel. Created by a general surgeon turned Spanish teacher.
  • Notes in SpanishiTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • Produced by Ben Curtis and Marina Diez, a husband-and-wife team out of Madrid, Spain. Ben is British and Marina is Spanish and they too have built quite a large following for their conversational Spanish lessons, (for beginners, intermediates and advanced students), which promise to teach listeners “real Spanish” the way it is actually spoken every day in Spain.
  • One Minute Spanish – YouTube
    • Covers the absolute basics of Spanish, focusing on the pronunciation used in most parts of Spain.
  • Spanish for BeginnersMassive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Learn Spanish online and discover the Spanish-speaking world with six free online Spanish courses, created by The Open University.

Bookmark our free Spanish lessons section.

Swahili

  • Foreign Service Institute SwahiliWeb site
    • Includes “Swahili: An Active Introduction” and basic course with textbook (PDF) 150 audio lessons (MP3).

Swedish

  • Duolingo Swedish (for English Speakers) – Web Site  
    • A popular free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. As users progress through lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents.
  • Foreign Service Institute Swedish Basic – Web site
    • Includes textbook (PDF) and sixteen audio lessons (MP3).
  • Klartext –  iTunes Free  – Web site
    • News in easy-to-understand Swedish.
  • Swedish Lessons on SpotifySpotify
    • Some essential grammar and vocabulary gathered on Spotify.

Thai

  • Let’s Learn Thai LanguageMassive Open Online Course (MOOC) – Universiti Malaya
  • Foreign Service Institute Thai – Web site
    • Textbooks (PDF) and 50 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Learn Thai: Free English Thai Audiolearning Course – iTunes Video  Web Site
    • Apparently the lessons are good, but they’ve been having some technical problems and not all lessons are always available.
  • Thai Alphabet iTunes Free
    • Emory University presents flashcards for recognizing letters in the Thai alphabet.

Turkish

  • Foreign Service Institute Turkish – Web site
    • Textbooks (PDF) and 50 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Hands On TurkishWeb site
    • Features a short course for absolute beginners, and a full course for people learning the language for business purposes. The project was funded by the EU.

Twi 

  • Introduction to the Twi Language Web Site
    • 17 audio lessons by the Peace Corps will get you started speaking Twi, one of the most widely spoken of the 70 languages in Ghana.

Urdu

  • Introduction to Urdu Alphabet iTunes Free
    • Emory University offers a quick primer on the Urdu alphabet and pronunciation.

Vietnamese

  • Foreign Service Institute Vietnamese – Web site
    • Included familiarization course and basic course with two volumes of textbooks (PDF) and audio lessons (MP3).

Welsh

  • Say Something in Welsh – Web Site
    • 25 half-hour lessons available for free.

Yiddish

  • The Center for Yiddish CultureWeb Site
    • Includes a 20-lesson introduction to the Yiddish alphabet, basic vocabulary and sentence structure. There are also some more advanced lessons.

General How-To

  • GLOSS – Defense Language InstituteWeb Site
    • These lessons (6,000 in total) are developed for independent learners to provide them with the learning/teaching tools for improving their foreign language skills.  Reading and listening lessons are based on authentic materials (articles, TV reports, radio broadcasts, etc.) and consist of 4 to 6 activities. GLOSS offers certificates providing documentation of work accomplished.
  • The WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources Web Site
    • This website directory, which is part of the WWW Virtual Library System, features over 2000 carefully selected, annotated links in 37 international affairs categories. The site offers a great way to understand our changing world, but it also includes its own section of language learning resources, and it includes sections dedicated to Spanish, French and German.

Our collection of foreign language lessons has been featured in the New York Times, The New York Times again, and yet once again in The New York Times.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.