Four completely free ways for you to start learning a new language

WOULD you like to speak French or Spanish? Oui, senor.

A quarter of us think it’s more important than ever to learn a language, according to the British Council, which promotes our culture abroad.

You could pick up French, Spanish, Italian or even Chinese with these free methods


You could pick up French, Spanish, Italian or even Chinese with these free methodsCredit: Shutterstock

Find your way with these free methods.

NO-CASH COURSES: If you want to mix culture and course work, try a free Open University course.

Go to, click on free courses and then follow the link to language courses.

You might choose beginner’s Chinese or to learn the lingo of Italian food and drink.

An online mooch around the city of Avignon will introduce you to French, while you can learn how to navigate your Spanish holiday with a Beginner’s Getting Around course.

’APPY LEARNING: One of the most popular ways to pick up languages is through an app on your phone.

Duolingo is the most well-known, offering bite-size lessons in more than 35 foreign tongues.

Other platforms include Memrise, which gives you the chance to practise with an AI tutor, and Busuu, which claims you can learn to speak a language in just ten minutes a day.

GO NATIVE: A good way to practise your fledgling skills is to talk to a native speaker.

Look out for conversation groups in your area. Join to find groups (though some may charge a fee).

April fools 2019 – Learning app announces a much pushier reminder system Duolingo Push

You can also use an app such as Tandem or Hello Talk to swap language skills with someone who wants to learn English.

They practise English with you and you practise their language with them.

LISTEN AND LEARN: Listen to foreign music and radio, and watch foreign films, to immerse yourself in a different country.

You may not be able to understand everything, but you’ll pick up the accent and get a window on the culture.

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