Best Ways to Learn a Language

Figuring out the best way to learn a language is as challenging as it is frustrating. There are only so many hours in your day, and constantly learning new techniques can be downright tedious.
However, as they say, good language learners are made, not born. Indeed, we all have days where learning a language seems way more work than it's truly worth. What initially seemed a fun endeavor is now tiring and boring. But that's okay. It happens!
As long as you have the right approach, you'll be able to switch through multiple languages in no time. To help you with your journey, follow these tried-and-true tips and tricks:

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

When learning a new language, motivation is key.
Ask yourself this: why are you learning a language? Is there someone you want to impress? Or are you simply in love with the language, and want to be part of the culture it represents?
Whatever your motivation is, you need to commit to it. Keep your eyes on the prize. If you're not motivated to learn, there’s a big chance you won’t achieve your goal.

Set Realistic Mini-Missions

Most of the time, the idea of learning a new language is incredibly daunting. Without a clear objective, it's easy to get overwhelmed. This is why you should always set realistic mini-missions throughout your journey.
Draw up a language learning plan with a number of goals you must achieve in a day, a week, and a month. For instance, learn 20 new words in a day or hold a conversation about your favorite movie in a week. Once you've achieved your main goals, try to amp up the difficulty the following day or week.
The most important thing here is to set realistic goals. Keep it challenging yet achievable. Set a schedule and stick with it.

Don't Rush–It’s Not a Race!

No matter what expert polyglots say, you can’t reach native-level fluency in just two months. Fluency takes years, sometimes even decades. But don’t let that discourage you. Taking the first step is always the hardest. It gets easier eventually.
Instead of rushing through a whole lesson on language pronunciation in 10 minutes, you might find it beneficial to do the first part today and the second part tomorrow. Repeating lessons until you achieve 100% accuracy is a brilliant strategy, too.
Remember: learning a foreign language isn't a race. Going slow allows you to learn things more thoroughly and confidently.

Master the Basics First

The English dictionary has over 500,000 words. Even so, the average American uses only 20,000-30,000 words.
When learning a new language, master the basics first. Learn the top 100 words of that language and use them in a variety of sentences. By focusing on the "right" words, you'll reach basic fluency much quicker.

Find a Language Partner

Studying with a partner is better than studying alone. Not only will this motivate you to study harder, but it also gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge together.
When finding a partner, pick someone who's roughly at the same level in their target language as you are in yours. This will help you keep track of your progress and keep you entertained. If you don't feel like you're making progress, don't hesitate to change partners.
If you're really serious about language learning, study with your language partner every day. Find out the best times for both of you to chat or meet and discuss how long and how often your sessions should be.

Don't Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Learning a new language is far from easy. The less you know of the language, the harder it'll be to comprehend, speak, and write. If you're embarrassed by making mistakes and feel self-conscious of your abilities, your overall learning will suffer.
Therefore, sometimes, making mistakes is the best way to learn.
Let go of your grown-up inhibitions and embrace your inner child. Don't worry about sounding touristy or try-hard. You won't perfectly speak a language without putting yourself out there. No matter how good your lessons are, they can never truly compare to real-life conversations.
Tell a joke, order food, or ask for directions. If you can, travel to the country you're learning the language of and converse with strangers.
Don't be offended if you get corrected. It’s bound to happen sooner or later, especially if you’re talking to a native speaker. Constructive criticism helps you get better.

Consume Media in Your Target Language

Learning languages shouldn't be all work and no play. Instead of solely focusing on grammar techniques, spice things up by watching a subtitled or dubbed movie or TV series of the language you're learning.
You can also read books or listen to songs or radio broadcasts of the same language.
Integrate your chosen language into as many aspects of your daily life as possible. Doing so helps you identify and understand common words, as well as become accustomed to the cadence of the language.

Take Notes

When learning a language, nothing beats the old-fashioned pen-to-paper method. According to recent reports, writing helps retain and absorb information better than typing. The more you write, the easier spelling and reading will be.
Here are some tasks you can do with pen and paper:
  • Take notes while watching a movie in your target language
  • Create flashcards
  • Create a script for your next session with your language exchange partner
  • Write a short story or comic in your target language
  • Write the lyrics of the song you’re listening to in your target language


Learning a language is like building a brick house. Without a properly built foundation, the house will collapse. Therefore, it’s best to go slow. Don’t rush. Focus on laying a single, expertly-placed brick at a time. More importantly, have fun and be patient with yourself.