7 Ways To Learn A New Language Without Taking Classes

If you want to learn a new language without forking out the money to attend classes, the only thing that’s stopping you is… you. With the Internet at your fingertips, it’s a lot easier to pick up languages if you actively put in the effort to do so.

I haven’t taken a Swedish language class but I’ve managed to pick up the basics of it throughout the past five years. Of course, my progress in learning the language would be sped up if I dedicated a set amount of time each day to it. However, I’m not in a rush to master the language. For me, it’s more of a hobby. Though, if I were to move to Sweden within the next few years, I would invest a lot more time into it.

I’ve compiled this list for those of you who are interested in picking up a new language but want to ease into it gradually. These tips are also great for those of you who are serious learners… because it all comes down to one thing, and that is to surround yourself with the language.

So, let’s get to it.

1. Keep a notebook where everything you write is in that specified language

Keep a journal

I find that there is no better way to learn a language than to write it. When I was learning French in university, I kept a separate journal where anything I wrote in it had to be in French. It was hard at first, but overtime you begin to find ways to express yourself with the vocabulary you know.

If handwriting isn’t your thing, you could even start up a blog where everything you post is in your chosen language.

2. Listen to music in that language

Listen to Music

Listening to music is a great way to pick up common words (especially if it’s to do with romance or heartbreak). When I first listen to a new song, I like to read the lyrics along with it. Then, I start mumbling along. Eventually, I’ll know the lyrics off by heart. I’ll usually tweet out my favourite lyric of the song or if it’s really good, I’ll turn it into a work of art.

Along the way, you’ll find that Google Translate is your best friend.

3. Watch movies and TV series with English subtitles

Watch TV Shows and Movies

Do a bit of research online to find foreign films or TV shows in the language you want to learn. Make sure it comes with English subtitles so that you can follow along. This is a great way to pick up slang language, learn pronunciation and accustom yourself with the intonation.

4. Read children’s books

Read Children's Books

If you have some money to spare, why not buy Children’s books in your desired language? It’s a great way to learn the basics and to expand your vocabulary. Once you’ve mastered the children’s books, you can move on to young adult novels.

I once read Fifty Shades of Grey in French (Cinquante nuances de Grey)! It was a lot easier to figure out the words as I had already read the novel in English, so knew what was happening plot-wise.

5. Follow people online that post in that language

Follow people online

Look up prominent figures that post content in the language you want to learn. YouTubers who make videos in their native tongue are great (especially if they’re kind enough to have English caption options). Follow social media influencers, local musicians and well… anyone, really. So long as they tend to post in their native language.

6. Take advantage of free apps

Take advantage of free apps

There are heaps of free apps out there that will help you on your journey to learning a new language. Though I don’t use it often, every now and then I’ll pop over to Duolingo to practice my Swedish and/or French. I love the gamification of the learning process and that you can set yourself daily goals.

If you need a boost and some extra resources to get you started on your language learning journey, I recommend giving Duolingo a try.

7. Find a buddy who you can talk to

find a buddy

Put all that passive learning to practice with a buddy who speaks the language! Even short five minute conversations can go a long way. They’ll teach you new vocabulary, phrases and fix any grammar mistakes you might have.

So, those are the ways that I’ve managed to pick up the Swedish language over the past five years. Remember, surround yourself with the language and practice, practice, PRACTICE! If you want specific tips and resources on learning Swedish, be sure to check out my post here.

Are you about to learn a new language? Let me know if my tips have helped you out!

Thanks, merci, tack, 谢谢,
Leonie

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  • Christine Tandean

    Hi,
    Thank you for your blog post.
    I am excited to see that someone who also love Sweden as me.
    Can I know how long have u been learning Swedish? 🙂
    Anw, can i know from which website do u watch Swedish TV series that provided the subtitles? Hard to search it.
    Have u ever watched Welcome to Sweden?
    Our blog post really motivates me.
    Thank you 😀