Nine free or inexpensive ways to learn a new language - ForumDaily
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Nine Free or Low-Cost Ways to Learn a New Language

In an increasingly connected world, learning a second language is an incredibly valuable skill. The process of studying it itself is usually very exciting. This is a chance to immerse yourself in another culture, to gain insight into another part of the world. And this is a practical trait that makes your resume winning. In short, the benefits of learning another language are enormous. But the price of such pleasure is also rather high. Edition Money Talks News talked about free and cheap ways to learn languages.

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Countless studies and publications show the very real benefits of bilingualism, including an average 19% increase in salary, and about 40% of bilingual job seekers cite language skills as a reason for getting a job.

Plus, there's evidence that it improves mental health and problem-solving skills, in addition to everything else.

Obstacles to learning a new language

So why, given the benefits, doesn't everyone learn a second language?

First, mastering this skill can be difficult and time-consuming.

Most people have the opportunity to learn a second language in high school or college, and while these activities can be beneficial, very few people become fluent in a second language.

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Additionally, tuition fees may be prohibitive. If you don't take into account the cost of college classes, the average rate for a language course starts at $20 per hour without paying for course materials.

Some languages ​​cost even more depending on how far they are from a person's native language. An Englishman learning Mandarin Chinese could end up paying up to $80 to become fluent in it.

Luckily, there are effective ways to learn a second language that cost next to nothing. For would-be linguists, there are plenty of ways - from phone apps and websites to community organizations - to help you learn a language while saving a fortune.

1. Smartphone apps

As with everything else, there are many apps available these days to help you learn a new language.

Many of them take unique approaches to language teaching so that people who want a non-traditional learning experience can take advantage of them.

The most popular programs also have affordable or even completely free options to help you get started.

2. Duolingo

Duolingo is the most popular app for learning new languages, according to Statista. In the application you can learn more than 40 languages, including not very common ones - Swahili and Welsh.

For fun, the app also includes completely fictional languages ​​such as Klingon and Valyrian.

Duolingo teaches through a variety of mini-games and short lessons. All of its core features are available for free as long as you want to learn any of these languages.

There is also a paid plan for Super Duolingo, which costs $6,99 per month and has a number of benefits, such as no ads.

Super Duolingo also has a family option that can help you save even more money.

3. Bussuu

This is another application that can also be used online. Bussuu offers free flash cards and writing exercises in 14 languages. However, other exercises and programs can be purchased with a premium plan.

It may cost as little as $7 a month, but in exchange, Bussuu claims it can teach you the basics of a language in less than 24 actual hours of instruction, which is much less than traditional classes.

4. Beelinguapp

Beelinguapp takes a new approach to language learning through audiobooks, music and literature to teach 14 languages, comparing word for word your native language and the language you want to learn.

The basic program is free, but like Duolingo, you can purchase a premium plan for $1,99 per month or even $22,99 for life.

5. Other language applications

For budget-conscious students, there are many other apps that can help you save money. PC Magazine has a great chart comparing several language apps and their prices to help you make your decision.

Each of them has a rating according to its specialization. For example, Duolingo is rated best for ease of use, and HelloTalk is rated best for those who want to learn to speak another language naturally.

As with any product purchase, it is important to keep in mind what you want to get most out of it.

6. In-person classes

While the thought of in-person classes certainly sounds like an expensive prospect, there are benefits to learning one-on-one or simply being in a classroom.

And if you want to take full-time classes, you will definitely find an opportunity to save a lot of money.

7. Public libraries

One important place that should not be overlooked is the local library. Many public libraries offer a variety of free activities for the public, including language courses.

For example, in Orange County, Florida, all public library branches offer free Spanish courses.

The type of activities you find in your area depends on the local history and culture.

Public libraries in states such as California and Texas may offer Spanish courses, and libraries in states such as Michigan may offer French courses through the French Institute of Michigan.

In addition, there are many language reference books in library catalogs that can be borrowed for free.

8. Private tutors

If you're looking to find a tutor for one-on-one tutoring at a great price, Preply has a network of tutors covering 24 languages, and you can compare the prices each offers.

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For popular and in-demand courses, such as Spanish, Chinese, or German, there are many tutors that can be hired for the below-average price of $20 per hour.

Groupon also has several courses with discounts from various sources.

9. Self-learning resources

There are plenty of opportunities to find free resources if you want to learn a new language on your own.

For example, the Open Culture website has a database of free lessons in 48 languages. Courses come from a variety of sources, including professors at universities across the country, Spotify podcasts, and non-profit organizations.

Class Central has a collection of free online courses in dozens of languages ​​from universities around the world. These include written materials, tests and YouTube videos.

For less academic and more professional training, Yojik has a collection of courses used by the US government and Peace Corps to train people working in foreign affairs.

In addition, it is possible to access a huge catalog of language textbooks through the Open Textbook Library - a database of textbooks covering a huge number of subjects, including languages.

Thanks to databases like these and public libraries, there is no shortage of learning materials for anyone to start mastering a new language.

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