14 Best Free Language Learning Websites of 2020

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

The Ultimate Guide to Online Learning at Home
The Ultimate Guide to Online Learning at Home
Introduction

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, even 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
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Duolingo

Duolingo learn page for German
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 the custom currency.

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

Duolingo is one of the best places for learning a new language for free. The website is clear and easy to grasp, there are tons of languages to pick from, and you're incentivized to learn through a fake currency.

This free language learning site has several functions. There's a Learn section for starting with the basics, Stories to challenge your reading and listening skills, Discuss for interacting with the user forum, Events to find language learners near you, Dictionary for on-demand translations and sample sentences, and Shop to buy things with the credits you earn throughout the site.

At any time, you can switch to a different language to start that course without losing your place in your current one.

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, Latin, Navajo, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Welsh

02
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Busuu

Busuu language learning page for Polish
What We Like
  • Subscriptions for long-term learning with good value.

  • Initial placement tests that gauge your best starting level.

  • Lessons are varied, well structured, and challenging.

What We Don't Like
  • Smaller selection of languages compared to similar sites.

  • Free account doesn't offer advanced grammar lessons or interaction with natural speakers of the language.

Busuu features beginner, elementary, and intermediate language learning lessons. You can skip to any lesson you want and easily monitor the progress of all of them from one page.

There's also a Social tool on Busuu that lets you chat with natural speakers of the language you're learning. This type of language exchange allows both you and the other person to learn another language through normal conversations.

There are lots of free language learning lessons but you can also pay for Busuu for more features; there's a Premium and Premium Plus plan.

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

03
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Memrise

Memrise free language learning courses
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.

Memrise is another free language learning site that provides techniques for remembering each and every concept you run across. Some of these courses are provided by Memrise and others are created by users like you.

There's a good handful of languages to pick from and you can jump around to any course you want; you don't have to follow a standard start to finish order. You collect points as you complete courses, and there's a leaderboard you can use as inspiration to keep learning and compete with other members.

You can also make groups on Memrise to study with friends, classmates, or other people you know.

Some options require a paid membership. You can pay a monthly, annual, or lifetime price depending on how long you plan to use it and how much you want to spend.

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
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123TeachMe

123 Teach Me Spanish lessons for work
What We Like
  • Registration isn't required to start learning.

  • Variety of Spanish lessons specific to situations or careers.

  • Lessons and games for children.

What We Don't Like
  • Only lets you learn Spanish.

  • Dated-looking site that isn't super user friendly.

  • Lots of ads.

123TeamMe lets you learn Spanish for free with games, quizzes, lessons, and audio files. There's also a sentence maker, verb conjugator, and Spanish-English translator.

A Spanish placement test can tell you where you should start learning if you're unsure.

There are lots of free language learning resources here, but if you want no ads and extra features, you can subscribe to the Premium Content package.

Languages you can learn: Spanish

05
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Mango Languages

Mango Languages Irish lesson
What We Like
  • Free in libraries that offer the program.

  • 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.

  • Common languages cost.

Mango Languages lets you learn a handful of languages for free, but to access more, you can either sign up through your local library (if they have a subscription to the website; find out here) or pay.

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, 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: Cherokee, Chaldean Aramaic, Pirate, Dzongkha, English, Ancient Greek, Hawaiian, Irish, Potawatomi, Scottish Gaelic, Tuvan, and Yiddish (others are available through libraries or at a price)

06
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Internet Polyglot

Internet Polyglot English to Korean language learning
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, Belarusian, 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, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian

07
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Livemocha

Livemocha online language learning lesson
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: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Portuguese, Turkish, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Romanian, Greek, Dutch, Vietnam, Korean, Polish, and Hindu

08
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LearnALanguage.com

LearnANewLanguage Russian verbs
What We Like
  • Some lessons are offbeat and fun.

  • Good 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 language learning 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, and Turkish

09
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Nativlang

Nativlang ancient greek
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.

  • Audio files don't play in your browser (you must download them).

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
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FSI Languages Courses

FSI Languages Courses Cambodian audio files
What We Like
  • Courses were used by the U.S. government for training.

  • Languages are covered thoroughly.

What We Don't Like
  • Some content is 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. There are 72 language learning courses here.

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: French, Spanish, Arabic, German, Italian, Korean, Cambodian, Japanese, Portuguese, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, and several others

11
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Living Language

Living Language Italian To Go PDF
What We Like
  • Good resource if you're brushing up on language skills you already have.

  • Includes pocket guides for travelers.

What We Don't Like
  • Only basic lessons and PDFs are free.

  • Flashcard-based lessons grow 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, and Vietnamese

12
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Speak7

Speak7 French language learning
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.

  • 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, Russian, Spanish

13
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MIT Global Studies and Languages

MIT OpenCourseWare Japanese language learning lessons
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 this free language learning resource if you've exhausted all the other websites in this list and are still looking to learn more about the few languages it supports.

Languages you can learn: Chinese, French, Spanish, Japanese, and others

14
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StudyStack

StudyStack Kazakh language learning flashcards
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, Bisaya, Cantonese, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Turkish, Yiddish, and others