The 15 Best Free Language Learning Websites of 2019

Learn German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, and more

Why pay for expensive language software when you can use dozens of language learning websites for free? These websites use lessons, videos, images, games, and interactions to help you learn a new language or brush up an existing one, just as expensive programs do.

You can learn dozens of languages for free, including Spanish, English, German, Greek, French, Italian, Hebrew, Chinese, and many others including sign language.

In addition to these websites, there are free mobile language learning apps, which are great for learning a new language while you're away from your computer. Some of the websites below have their own free app.

If you're looking for a more interactive way to learn a new language, free language exchange programs allow you to practice with someone who actually knows the language.

01
of 15

Duolingo

Duolingo logo

What We Like

  • Great visual design and quality.

  • Lots of languages available.

  • Lessons include verbal responses to train pronunciation.

What We Don't Like

  • Not a lot to purchase with earned gem currency.

  • If your daily streak is broken, repairing it costs $6.99.

Duolingo is one of the best places you can visit for learning a new language for free. Duolingo also offers an "Immersion" section where you are given real websites that either need to be translated or are already translated to practice your reading and translating skills.

At any time, you can switch to a different language to learn more than one at once without losing your place. 

Languages you can learn: Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, French, German, Greek, Hawaiian, Hebrew, High Valyrian, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Klingon, Korean, Navajo, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Welsh

02
of 15

Busuu

Busuu logo

Busuu Ltd

What We Like

  • Subscriptions for long-term learning with good value.

  • Initial placement tests that gauge the best starting level for learners.

  • Lessons are varied, well structured, and challenging.

What We Don't Like

  • Smaller selection of languages compared to some others on the list.

  • Free account doesn't offer any advanced grammar lessons or interaction with native speakers.

Featuring beginner, elementary, and intermediate sections, Busuu also lets you chat with native speakers of the language you're learning,

Busuu offers both free lessons and paid ones through a premium plan. 

Languages you can learn: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish

03
of 15

Memrise

Picture of the Memrise logo
© Memrise

What We Like

  • User-generated content in addition to official learning tools.

  • Most features are available for free.

What We Don't Like

  • Some features require a premium membership.

  • User content may not be of consistent quality.

Since Memrise's courses are created by users, some languages have many different free courses available.

Memrise provides techniques for remembering each and every concept you run across. You collect points as you complete courses. Some options require a paid membership.

Languages you can learn: English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Norwegian, Danish, Japanese, Korean, Icelandic, Slovenian, Arabic, Turkish, German, Swedish, Polish, Italian, Chinese, Russian, and Mongolian

04
of 15

123TeachMe

The 123TeachMe logo.

What We Like

  • Registration is not required to start learning.

  • Variety of Spanish lessons specific to situations or careers.

  • Lessons and games for children.

What We Don't Like

  • Only available for Spanish language.

  • Site is not as inviting as some others, and feels a bit dated with more clicks to get to where you want to go.

123TeamMe lets you learn only Spanish, with games, quizzes, lessons, and audio files that assume varying degrees of skill. There's also a sentence maker, verb conjugator, and Spanish-English translator.

A placement test can tell you where you should start learning if you're unsure. There are lots of free resources, but also you can buy a premium subscription.

Languages you can learn: Spanish

05
of 15

Mango Languages

Mango Languages logo

What We Like

  • Free in libraries that offer the program.

  • Large selection of languages available.

  • Useful cultural notes relating to current lessons being learned.

What We Don't Like

  • No fun, game-like elements.

  • Lessons can seem dull after a while.

Mango Languages lets you learn over 60 languages for free, but only if your public library offers a subscription to the website (find out here). Otherwise, there's a monthly fee.

The website and mobile apps are simple to use, offering interactive lessons where you can listen to particular words of a sentence over and over until you get it right. With a microphone plugged in, you can test your pronunciation with a side-by-side comparison of your voice versus the one spoken in the lesson.

Languages you can learn: Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Cherokee, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Ancient Greek, Koine Greek, Haitian Creole, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latin, Malayalam, Norwegian, and others

06
of 15

Internet Polyglot

The Internet Polyglot logo.

What We Like

  • Game oriented.

  • Lesson game style can be changed for replayability.

What We Don't Like

  • Not a traditional language learning program.

  • Limited game types available.

Internet Polyglot is more of a massive flashcard game. After selecting the language you want to learn, you can browse through a number of lessons that teach you a handful of words and phrases.

To test what you've been taught, you can go through the lessons again, but this time in the form of picture games, guessing games, typing games, and matching games.

Languages you can learn: Amharic, Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Ukranian

07
of 15

Livemocha

Picture of the Livemocha logo
© Livemocha

What We Like

  • Courses are broken down by days.

  • Facebook interaction so you can chat with other people learning the same language as you.

What We Don't Like

  • No games.

  • Lessons can get redundant.

Livemocha is different than these other sites because it demands your participation in helping other people learn your language before you can take lessons.

It works by connecting you with other users who are learning a language you already know. After you correct their mistakes and help them learn something, you're given points, which you can redeem for learning your chosen language.

Languages you can learn: Arabic, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Marathi, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu

08
of 15

LearnALanguage.com

The logo and header from the LearnALanguage page.

What We Like

  • Some lessons are offbeat and fun.

  • Good site for improving on a language you've already been introduced to.

What We Don't Like

  • Not as comprehensive as many language sites.

  • Lesson content is inconsistent from language to language.

  • Site design is outdated.

This website supports a good handful of languages, but it's not nearly as comprehensive as some other websites here. Some languages only feature a list of basic words and phrases with pronunciation help, while others have full courses with flash cards, slang, greetings, and more.

LearnALanguage.com is best for brushing up on basic and common words only after you have a good introductory feel for the language.

Languages you can learn: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish

09
of 15

Nativlang

The Nativlang logo.

What We Like

  • Offers languages others do not.

  • Interesting information on languages and linguistics.

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't offer some common languages, such as French.

  • Some languages have more resources, lessons and guides than others.

Nativlang includes unique languages some of these other websites may not support. Not all of the languages have the same learning structure, but most all of them will teach you pronunciation, grammar, alphabet, writing, and phrases.

Videos show you how to write and speak the language.

Languages you can learn: Portuguese, Icelandic, Aramaic, Italian, German, Middle English, Spanish, Modern Greek, Ancient and Koine Greek, Sardinian

10
of 15

FSI Languages Courses

The title from the FSI Language Courses website.

What We Like

  • Courses were used by the U.S. government for training.

  • Languages are covered thoroughly.

What We Don't Like

  • Content can be outdated.

  • Courses tend to be dry and uninspiring.

The resources at Foreign Services Institute (FSI) Languages Courses were developed by the U.S. government and are now freely available in the public domain. Everything on the website is ordered by units, featuring an MP3 file for every tape within each unit. You can follow along with the audio tapes using the attached PDF files, and some of the units also include a workbook for practice.

Languages you can learn: Amharic, Arabic, Bulgarian, Cambodian, Cantonese, Chinese, Chinyanja, Czech, Finnish, French, Fula, General, German, Greek, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Igbo, Italian, Japanese, Kirundi, Kituba, Korean, Lao, Lingala, Luganda, Moré, Norwegian, Polish, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Shona, Sinhala, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Twi, Vietnamese, Yoruba

11
of 15

Living Language

The Living Language logo.

What We Like

  • Offers fictional Dothraki (from Game of Thrones) as a language.

  • Good resource if you're brushing up on language skills you already have.

What We Don't Like

  • Only basic lessons and PDFs are free.

  • Flashcard-based lessons growing boring after a while.

Living Language doesn't have free lessons that walk you through different skill sets. Instead, you're given free PDFs that have thousands of essential words and phrases.

All the PDF files are meant for beginners and can be downloaded without a user account.

Languages you can learn: Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese

12
of 15

Speak7

The Speak7 logo.

What We Like

  • Good for references and for brushing-up on skills.

  • Useful samples of everyday situations.

What We Don't Like

  • Site is outdated.

  • No interactive lessons or videos.

  • Available resources vary between languages.

Speak7 is entirely text-based, so there aren't any videos or interactive lessons, but its very useful how-to samples help with common sentences, like asking for directions, writing letters, making a phone call, creating a reservation, dealing with law enforcement, and seeking medical help. 

Not all of the resources are the same for each language, but some of them also have vocabulary lists, pronunciation help, and grammar instructions.

Languages you can learn: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish

13
of 15

Effective Language Learning

Screenshot of the Effective Language Learning website

Effective Language Learning

What We Like

  • Good for beginner essentials.

  • Lots of language information available.

What We Don't Like

  • No audio or pronunciation learning.

  • All text-based, no interactivity or video.

  • Only five languages offered as free courses.

Effective Language Learning has over 35 free lessons for French and several for Spanish, Italian, and German.

You can learn numbers, greetings, dates, telling time, accent marks, grammar, shopping, dining, and several other topics. All of the lessons here are in text form, so you won't get pronunciation practice through audio files.

Languages you can learn: French, German, Italian, Spanish

14
of 15

MIT Global Studies and Languages

Picture of the MIT logo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

What We Like

  • Broader range of language-related courses.

  • Useful if you want to expand your knowledge beyond basics.

What We Don't Like

  • Site's content is somewhat difficult to navigate.

  • Language resources are inconsistent.

MIT's list of language courses isn't well organized, making it rather difficult to identify resources. The website also doesn't have a consistent set of lessons, which means some languages may have only audio files, others just PDFs, only videos for some, and maybe even assignments without answers.

Consider it if you've exhausted all the other websites in this list and are still looking to learn more about the two available languages.

Languages you can learn: Chinese and Spanish

15
of 15

StudyStack

The StudyStack logo.

What We Like

  • Community-created flashcards.

  • Variety of games and puzzles.

What We Don't Like

  • User generated content might not always be accurate.

  • Primarily flashcard-based.

StudyStack is a simple language learning website that offers flashcards and other games to help you study a new language.

You can also learn a set of words through crossword puzzles, quizzes, matching, word scrambles, and other games. Since each game uses the same set of words, you can test yourself numerous ways.

Languages you can learn: Arabic, Cantonese, Chinese, French, Spanish, Latin, German, Dutch, Russian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Irish, Italian, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Japanese, Esperanto, Sanskrit, Slovak, Finnish, Swahili, Swedish, Czech, Dene, Kazakh, Turkish, Welsh, Yiddish