How to Read Body Language: Examples from Around the World

how to read body language

If you want to make a great first impression no matter where you are, learning how to read body language is key. And while you may be familiar with the customs and nonverbal cues of your own culture, traveling abroad is a different story.

Different cultures have their own interpretations of body language. For example, direct eye contact may be expected in one country, but be inappropriate in another.

Some other important nonverbal cues to pay attention to are hand gestures, personal space, and even posture. Included below are some helpful tips on how to read body language, as well as a few examples of body language from around the world.  

5 Tips on How to Read Body Language

1. Proximity

Paying attention to how close someone stands to others during conversation is vital. If you stand too close to someone, it might be a sign of aggression in their culture. On the other hand, if you stand too far away, it might come across as insincere.

In Japan, it’s common to have more of a distance between others. One reason for this need of extra space is the bow made when greeting others.

This is quite different from Latin American cultures, which are very tactile and affectionate. When speaking with someone from a Latin American country, be prepared to stand very close to the other person.

2. Face and Eyes

Many times, observing a person’s facial expressions can tell much more than their words. Is the person looking away, or at someone else? This might mean that he or she is not fully engaged in the conversation.

Direct eye contact on the other hand is typically a sign of genuine interest. Another sign of sincerity is a smile that involves the entire face. A smile that involves just the mouth might be a forced smile.

3. Hand Gestures

Always be sure to observe the hands of whoever you’re speaking with. Are they motioning with their hands as they speak, or are their hands folded? In what context do they use certain gestures or signs?

A seemingly small gesture can have a positive meaning in one country, but a completely opposite meaning in another. In the US for example, a thumbs-up sign signals a confirmation. In the Middle East, however this same gesture is offensive!

body language examples

4. Arm and Feet Positioning

Posture is also key in understanding body language. Pay attention to how others’ arms and feet are positioned while speaking. In some cultures, folding your arms across your chest appears standoffish and even insulting.

Sitting positions are also very important. Positioning your feet to show your soles while sitting is considered very rude in most Middle Eastern countries.

5. Mirroring

Appropriate body language in a culture will usually be mirrored. So one of the most important tips on how to read body language is by merely observing the other person to see if he or she is mirroring your movements.

It’s always on the safe side to shadow what you see others doing in another culture. Over time you’ll learn to adopt that culture’s customs so you don’t stand out too much from the crowd!

Body Language Examples From Around the Globe

Check out this animated infographic with examples of how body language differs around the world. Be sure to click on each magnifying glass for more details!

Here are some more body language examples that represent the many cultural differences around the world.

Head Movement

Head movements can have very different meanings in different parts of the world. For example, in India, a side-to-side head tilt is used to confirm something. In Japan, a nod means that you have been heard, but not necessarily that there is agreement.

Eye Contact

In most Western cultures, eye contact shows that you are being attentive and interested in the speaker. Constant eye contact in Japan can make people feel incredibly awkward.

In Spanish and Arabic cultures, strong visual contact is very common between people of the same sex and not looking back is often considered disrespectful.

Nose Contact

Blowing your nose into a handkerchief is a typical action in Western cultures, but it’s considered dirty and rude to the Japanese. Tapping your nose in Italy means “watch out,” while it means that something is “confidential” in the UK.

Lips and Kisses

In the Filipino culture, the lips are used to point toward something, while Americans would use their fingers. Kisses in public are a normal way to say hello or goodbye to a loved one in some European cultures, but in Asian cultures, these gestures are considered intimate and are often left for the privacy of one’s home.

body language examples

Finger Signs

It’s important to be cautious when using finger gestures in other countries. Here are the various meanings of joining the thumb and index finger to form a ring:

  • This is positive sign in the US, meaning “OK.”
  • In France and Germany, this signals “zero” or “nothing.”
  • In Japan, this sign means “money” if you’re in a professional setting.
  • In some Mediterranean, Arabic, and Latin American countries, this gesture is an obscenity.

Proximity

Personal space varies greatly across cultures. It’s common in China for people to stand very close to one another, while Americans are accustomed to a lot of physical space. Latin American cultures are very tactile and affectionate so they also stand closer to one another.

Physical Contact

While an almost automatic response for some people, touch is very important to consider when with people from other cultures. In the British culture for example, they are more conservative with their tactile gestures. In the US, Americans are more open to handshakes and hugs.

Other countries where it may be considered rude to touch others include:

  • Japan
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal
  • Scandinavia

Some countries where it’s generally okay to touch the other speaker include:

  • Turkey
  • France
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • Spain

Learning how to read body language can truly enhance any cultural or travel experience. If you’re interested in learning more, studying a foreign language is another excellent way to gain insight into communication styles that differ from your own.

Check out TakeLessons to learn the language of your choice and be introduced to its culture by a native speaker. Or join an online language class today for free!

Post Author: Jinky B.
Jinky B. teaches French and ESL in Jacksonville, Florida. She has a Bachelors in French, French Literature, and Psychology from Florida State University and over five years of teaching experience. Learn more about Jinky B. here!

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Top 25 Biggest Benefits of Studying Abroad [Infographic]

Benefits of Studying Abroad

There are dozens of benefits of studying abroad – travel, new friends, and unforgettable life experiences, to name a few. There are just as many study abroad programs available for students looking to take advantage of these benefits.

Some universities partner with schools in other countries to make study abroad trips possible. If you’re looking for a program related to your field of study, check with your academic department or the study abroad office on your campus. There are also a number of organizations outside of the university that facilitate study abroad trips. 

However you choose to go abroad, you’re sure to have a memorable journey. To get even more excited for your trip, check out the 25 biggest benefits of studying abroad below!

Benefits of studying abroad

Top 25 Benefits of Studying Abroad

#1 Travel

Studying abroad allows you to broaden your horizons, be a tourist, and go sightseeing around your host country. You won’t have your nose in the books the entire time! You’ll be experiencing a whole new culture, and you’ll come home a more well-rounded person.

#2 New Cuisine

You’ll get to try the local food and drink wherever you go – whether it’s the empanadas in Spain or the bouillabaisse in Southern France. If you’re a foodie, then this will be one of the most memorable experiences of studying abroad. You’ll definitely gain some new favorites to add to your recipe book (and maybe a few extra pounds)!

#3 Language Acquisition

Immersion in another country is the quickest way to become fluent in another language! And if you get a head start before taking off for your trip, it will be even easier. Remember that communication is a vital component of traveling abroad – both in your coursework and in social gatherings. Check out TakeLessons to start working on your language skills today.

#4 New Cultures

Whether you’re studying in a fast-paced or more relaxed culture, you’ll come to appreciate a new way of life. Life moves at different paces in different places. For those used to the rapid-fire daily routine of western countries, studying abroad may introduce you to a new, slower way of life. (Of course, this depends on where you travel!)

#5 Lasting Friendships

You’ll form lifelong bonds with fellow students when sharing an experience as intimate as studying abroad. Studying abroad offers the opportunity to become friends with people from all over the world, including your home country. Oftentimes, connections are made during study abroad trips that lead to future opportunities to travel more.

#6 New Hobbies

Whether you catch the “travel bug” or bring home a new favorite sport, studying abroad is the perfect time to explore new interests. Perhaps you’ll get to travel to other cities within your host country, or maybe you’ll learn to play cricket. Since you’re already stepping outside of your comfort zone, it’ll be even easier to try new things that you normally wouldn’t.   

#7 Networking

One of the many career benefits of studying abroad is that if you find a local job or internship, you’ll get the chance to form authentic business relationships with people on the other side of the world. Career advancement often rides on a person’s ability to network, and making connections abroad could provide serious advantages down the line.

#8 Spiritual Growth

Certain countries have unique religious perspectives you may not have considered before. Moving abroad, even if only for a short time, allows you to become more open-minded, disconnect from your everyday routine, and reflect on a new way of life.

#9 New Laws

Some destinations will have a different system of government, and laws that you’re not used to. For example, in the UK the legal drinking age is 18. Certain restrictions may work in your favor, while others may seem strict. For example, heading to Singapore? Don’t get caught spitting out chewing gum or you’ll face a hefty fee!

#10 Lower Tuition

Countries such as Norway, Finland, and Germany offer more affordable tuition. Imagine how much you could save in just one year abroad! Higher education is expensive in the US, so take advantage of the lower tuition fees in other countries. Even one semester or year of studying abroad can save you a lot of money.

#11 New Career Paths

During your time abroad, you may have the chance to take new classes in a different field of study. This can open your eyes to an opportunity you hadn’t discovered back home. 34% of students said studying abroad helped them choose their future career. Who knows – the entire course of your life could be drastically altered.

#12 Improved Academics

After returning home, students saw an increase in their overall GPAs, according to a study by the University System of Georgia. Those term papers at home will seem like a breeze after the experience of studying abroad. You’ll find new ways to manage your time and your study methods will be put to the test in new settings!

#13 Timely Graduation

There are many academic benefits of studying abroad. UC San Diego research showed that studying abroad can increase your likelihood of graduating in four years. Feeling unmotivated? Perhaps a change of scenery, lifestyle, and pace is in order. Changing it up might give you the final push you need to finish college on a high note.

#14 Higher Education

The statistics show that studying abroad is worth it! For example, 90% of students who have studied abroad get into their first or second choice of grad schools. This is one of the most compelling, academic benefits of studying abroad. It not only enhances your undergrad experience, but it prepares you for the future!

#15 Resume Boost

Studying abroad looks great on a resume, and is the perfect way to get a leg up on the competition when applying for your first job. The studies prove it: 64% of employers value international experience when recruiting, while 90% of study abroad alumni landed a job within six months of graduation!

#16 Higher Salaries

Another one of the career benefits of studying abroad is that it could help you earn more money in the long run. Employers value global competency. According to a study by UC Merced, students who studied abroad ended up making 25% more than their peers who did not. 

#17 Self Awareness

Studying abroad inevitably leads to more self awareness and confidence. Even stepping onto that plane takes a big leap of faith that whatever awaits you on the other end will be rewarding! This is probably why 96% of study abroad alumni felt they gained increased self confidence as a result of their experience.

#18 Problem-Solving Skills

International travel often requires split second decision making, and it develops stronger critical thinking skills. Whether you’re trying to navigate your way around a busy city or communicate with the locals, these seemingly small experiences are very beneficial over time.

#19 Money Management

From booking travel plans to budgeting for social outings, living abroad will help you gain a new understanding of finances and how to manage them. You’ll get better at budgeting through finding housing, going grocery shopping, and more. Running out of money on the other side of the world is a scary experience, and a mistake you’ll certainly want to avoid!

#20 Tolerance and Respect

There are cultural benefits of studying abroad, too. Experiencing unfamiliar places while studying abroad leads to a greater appreciation for nationalities other than your own. In fact, 98% of students said it helped them better understand their own cultural biases.

#21 Leadership Skills

Personal development happens at an accelerated rate while studying abroad. Students often develop a keen sense of leadership and maturity after making due on their own in a foreign country for a while. If you hope to be in a leadership role someday, you should definitely consider studying abroad!

#22 Flexibility

This is another one of the personal benefits of studying abroad. If you struggle with change, studying abroad will help you adapt to new surroundings more easily when you get home. You’ll become more flexible and able to “go with the flow.” 

#23 Organization

International travel is a true test of your organizational and time management skills, from packing to planning out your class schedule. But don’t worry! You’ll have lots of opportunities to hone these skills abroad. Get ready to come home a more organized and prepared person.

#24 Social Skills

It’ll be much easier to make new friends after returning from your study abroad trip. Why? After stepping outside of your comfort zone in a foreign country, you’ll come home much bolder. A study from Friedrich Schiller University found that students often return more extroverted!

#25 It’s Just Plain Fun!

The ultimate reward of studying abroad lies in the irreplaceable experiences and memories you’ll come home with. If you need a change from the routine of life, this is an excellent way to add some more fun into the mix.

Now that you know all the benefits of studying abroad, what are you waiting for? Keep in mind that whether your sights are set on France, Argentina, or Japan, learning a bit of the language of your host country prior to studying abroad will greatly enhance your overall experience.

Start learning basic to intermediate conversational skills with the free online French classes or Spanish classes offered at TakeLessons Live. Looking for another language? Try taking a few private language lessons before you go. Good luck and bon voyage!  

 

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Guest Post Author: Tim Wenger is the Content Manager at Teacher Indie. His wanderlust keeps him on the road frequently, and he’s now visited 17 countries across Asia, Europe, and North America with plans to visit many more.

making time for hobbies

Here’s the Secret to Finding “Hidden” Time for Your Hobbies

making time for hobbies

“If you had an extra hour in your day, how would you spend your time?”

Your answer to that question can tell you a lot about yourself, and it’s fun to think about.

But the reality is: 24 hours is all you get. (Sorry!)

You can’t quit your job. You can’t ignore family commitments and responsibilities. If you want to learn a new skill, improve your current talents, or work toward a big learning goal, it’s up to you to make that happen. So how do you balance that with a busy schedule?

It’s simple: learn to budget your time the same way you budget your money.

Here are the steps you can take if you feel like you’re too busy to learn or take up a new hobby, proven to work by some of our top students.

1. Decide you WANT to learn.

find time to learn

The first step to financial success is deciding to have a budget. And that budget is often dictated by your short- and long-term goals. Maybe you want to pay off your student loans or mortgage within five years. Or maybe you just want that new jacket you saw at Nordstrom.

Now let’s translate that into learning: what are your goals there? Do you want to be able to sing confidently in front of a group? Play guitar at a friend’s wedding? Speak Spanish fluently on an upcoming vacation? Write these down, and put them somewhere you can see them every day.

Excuses will always come up. And heck, life will sometimes get in the way. But if you’re excited about improving your skills, that’s the first step.

2. Be realistic.

finding time in your schedule for music lessons

You wouldn’t set a $300 budget for going out to eat if you only had $50 discretionary cash per week. Similarly, be realistic about the time you can commit to practicing and taking lessons.

If you’re juggling a busy schedule, a 30-minute lesson once per week may be all you can find time for. Or maybe you can’t even commit to that — fortunately, you can find teachers who are more flexible week-to-week, and rescheduling is always an option if something comes up.

Once you have your lesson time penciled in, then it’s time to schedule your practice time. But be realistic about that, too! You may not be able to practice for hours every day, and that’s OK. Even a short practice session will help you stay on track, if you make it efficient.

3. Find the right hacks.

skype with language exchange partner

If you’re a super-budgeter, you probably know all the tricks. You hold out for great deals, look for coupons and discount codes, and so on.

Same goes for budgeting your time. If you break down your schedule, you may find you have extra time in your day for your hobbies. And yes, that may mean skipping the Netflix marathons, or cutting back on the time you spend browsing social media.

You were probably expecting that advice, right? But look: there are even more hacks you can try. Here are some ways TakeLessons students have made time for their hobbies:

  • Take online lessons. Ordering takeout for dinner is a great time saver. What if you could get music or language lessons delivered to the comfort of your home, too? Turn on your computer, pull up the TakeLessons Classroom, and you can meet with your teacher instantly — no travel time required.
  • Take advantage of your workspace. If your company allows it, consider taking your online lessons during your lunch break. If you prefer in-person lessons, find a teacher close by your work, so it’s not a hassle to get to. You can also use your time going to and from work. As a language learner, for example, you can practice listening to your target language during your commute!
  • Find a flexible teacher. If you need to reschedule a lesson every now and then, don’t stress. While a designated lesson time each week will help you stay accountable, we understand that things come up! If you have unique scheduling needs, feel free to use our Ask a Question feature before booking your lessons, to find a teacher who can accommodate.
  • Use your guilty pleasures to your advantage. Learning a new skill doesn’t have to be all work, no play! Musicians: jamming with community groups or going to karaoke is a fun way to add music to your day. Language students, consider changing the language settings when you’re watching TV, or pick a foreign movie with subtitles.

4. Adjust as needed.

practice guitar

Budgets ebb and flow — unplanned bills show up, salaries go up and down, and can’t-miss opportunities arise. The best financial advice is to stay flexible and adjust your budget often.

Similarly, sometimes the time you’ve budgeted doesn’t go as planned. We get it: life gets busy. So don’t beat yourself up if you need to reschedule a lesson or if you miss a practice session. Stay positive, and fit in what you can!

Planning ahead can help, as well. Work with your teacher to create a 15-minute practice routine, if you’re short on time one week. Or, make a list of ways to fit practice into your everyday life.

Even the most successful people have “off” days. Get back on track when you can, review your goals again, and envision where you’d like your skills to be in one year.

5. Pay yourself first.

pay yourself first

One of the best money tips out there is to pay yourself first.

What does that mean, exactly? In terms of finances, it means setting aside funds for your future self before anything else. (Think: emergency funds, retirement accounts, and so on.)

So, apply the same strategy to how you’re spending your free time. Want to stay sharp? Learning a musical instrument is linked to improved memory, concentration, and IQ. Want to get ahead in your career? In today’s job market, learning a second language will make you a more valuable employee, and may even lead to a higher salary.

Or maybe it’s a more personal goal. Many of the adult students we talk to mention they took music lessons as a kid, and wanted to bring that joy back into their lives.

So the question is… do you want to invest in yourself? When you think of it that way, making time for your hobbies seems like a no-brainer.

Readers, how do you make time for yourself? Have you ever felt like you were too busy to learn something new? Leave a comment below and share your experience! 

Photo by Will Foster

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50+ Fascinating Language Facts You Didn’t Know [Infographic]

Looking for interesting language facts? The world is full of diverse and unique languages, from the exotic sounds of Japanese to the romantic expressions of French. How all of these languages originated is often debated.

Ideas such as the “bow wow” theory say that language began with humans imitating the sounds animals make to communicate. Others believe that language was a divine gift, but most agree that all languages developed from a single language into the thousands we have today.

How much do you know about foreign languages? Whether you’re a student learning a second language, a polyglot, or a translator, check out the graphic below. There are dozens of interesting language facts on this list that will inspire you!

50+ Fascinating Language Facts to Inspire You

Language Facts infographic

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50+ Language Facts In Detail

  • There are over 7,000 languages worldwide, and most of them are dialects.
  • Cambodian has the longest alphabet with 74 characters. Try making that into an alphabet song!
  • The Bible is the most translated book, followed by Pinocchio.
  • The English word “alphabet” comes from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet – alpha and beta.
  • 2,400 of the world’s languages are in danger of becoming extinct and about one language becomes extinct every two weeks.
  • The first printed book was in German.
  • There are over 200 artificial languages in books, movies, and TV shows, such as “Klingon.”
  • The Papuan language of Rotokas only has 11 letters, making it the smallest alphabet.
  • Only 23 languages account for more than half of the world’s population!
  • About ⅔ of all languages are from Asia and Africa.

  • French is the main foreign language taught in the UK.
  • Of all the language facts, this one fascinates us the most- at least half of the world’s population is bilingual!
  • Many linguists believe that language originated around 100,000 BC.
  • Basque is a language spoken in the mountains between France and Spain and it has no relation to any other known language. (They didn’t get out much).  
  • South Africa has the most official languages with 11.
  • More than 1.5 million Americans are native French speakers.
  • The Florentine dialect was chosen as the national language of Italy. Most regions in Italy primarily speak their own dialect to this day.
  • Kinshasa is the world’s second largest French speaking city, after Paris. Kinshasa is the capital city in the Congo.
  • There are about 24 official languages spoken throughout Europe.
  • Other than English, French is the only language taught in every country.

  • On average, people only use a few hundred words in daily conversation, while most languages have 50,000+ words.
  • German words can have three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Most languages only have either masculine or feminine.
  • The United States has no “official language.” Most people just assume it’s English.
  • The language of La Gomera spoken off the coast of Spain consists entirely of whistles. (…but what if you can’t whistle?)
  • Over 20,000 new French words are created each year.
  • About 30% of English words come from French.
  • Botswana has a language made up of five primary “click” sounds.
  • Spanish contains about 4,000 Arabic words.
  • German is the most spoken language in Europe. Four countries have it as their official language.
  • Physical contact during a conversation is completely normal when speaking Spanish.

  • Papua New Guinea has the most languages, at 840.
  • Italian is a minority language in Brazil.
  • Over 300 languages are spoken in London alone. No matter what, you have a pretty good chance of finding someone to speak with!
  • The languages spoken in North Korea and South Korea are different. They have distinct vocabularies and grammatical rules due to being separated for so long.
  • The English language contains the most words, with over 250,000.
  • Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world.
  • Multiple studies have shown that learning a second language can improve the memory and slow the process of aging. This is one of our favorite language facts!
  • Argentina still has a high number of Welsh speakers, due to settlers inhabiting the Patagonia mountains hundreds of years ago.
  • Russian was the first language spoken in outer space.
  • People who speak Chinese use both sides of the brain, whereas English only uses the left side.

  • Twenty-one countries have Spanish as their official language, making it a great choice for travelers.
  • Hindi didn’t become the official language of India until 1965.
  • The Pope tweets in nine languages, but his Spanish account has the most followers.
  • Hawaiians have over 200 different words for “rain.”
  • The culinary and ballet worlds use mostly French words and terms.
  • In Indonesian, “air” means “water.”
  • Japanese uses three different writing systems: Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana.  
  • The U.S. has the second highest number of Spanish speakers, after Mexico.
  • Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world. If you speak it, you can speak to 13% of the world’s population!
  • Cryptophasia is a language phenomenon that only twins, identical or fraternal, can understand.

Did these fascinating language facts leave you feeling inspired to learn a new language for yourself? Being multilingual opens up many doors from travel opportunities, to friendships, to new careers. It also helps improve creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

If you’re ready to get started, TakeLessons Live is the perfect resource for those wanting to learn a new language, or sample a few different languages before deciding on one. Try the online classes for free today!

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Sources:

  1. lingualinx.com/blog/12-interesting-facts-languages
  2. twentytwowords.com/25-fascinating-language-facts/5
  3. edudemic.com/language-quiz
  4. spanishtomove.com/blog/item/interesting-facts-about-the-spanish-language
  5. lingualinx.com/blog/interesting-facts-about-the-french-language
  6. thelanguagefactory.co.uk/facts-japanese-language
  7. ethnologue.com/guides/how-many-languages
  8. ancient-origins.net/human-origins-science/origins-human-language-one-hardest-problems-science-003610
  9. listenandlearnusa.com/blog/9-surprising-facts-about-the-german-language
  10. indianeagle.com/travelbeats/hindi-language-history-facts
  11. thelocal.it/20170203/21-mildly-interesting-facts-about-the-italian-language
  12. thechairmansbao.com/10-interesting-facts-figures-mandarin-chinese
How to Learn Russian

How to Learn Russian Fast & Easy with 8 Simple Steps

So you want to know how to learn Russian – the seventh most spoken language in the world. With around 300 million speakers, you certainly won’t have trouble finding other students to practice with!  

There are dozens of good reasons to learn how to speak Russian. Perhaps you admire Russian culture, or maybe you’ve always wanted to visit Moscow or Saint Petersburg as a tourist.

Whatever your motivation, Russian is not an easy language. However, it isn’t as hard as you think either! Follow these eight steps and you’ll start your learning journey on the right foot.

How to Learn Russian in 8 Simple Steps

1) Master the Russian Alphabet

how to learn Russian - letters

If you want to know how to learn Russian, the alphabet is the best place to start. The Russian alphabet is easy to learn because it’s very phonetic. Russians use the “Cyrillic” alphabet, named after the Greek monk, St. Cyril.

The alphabet consists of 33 letters, and it may seem unfamiliar at first. However, it has many similarities to the English alphabet. Some of the letters look and sound exactly like their English counterparts: A, B, D, K, L, M, O, and T.

On the other hand, some Cyrillic letters have the same pronunciation as English letters, but look differently. For example, the Cyrillic “г” sounds like the English “g,” and the Cyrillic “ф” sounds like the English “f.”

There are really only a few new sounds that need to be learned, but the rules of Russian pronunciation are simple. With a few exceptions, you typically pronounce words as they’re spelled and spell them as they’re pronounced.

Realistically, you could learn Cyrillic in a day. While you may make a few mistakes at first, practice will help you learn to distinguish between the English and Russian alphabets.

2) Learn Common Russian Words First

how to learn russian - common words

Every language has words that are more commonly used than others, so it’s helpful to learn these first as they’ll come in handy during daily conversation. Start by learning the words listed below.

  • Здравствуйте (Hello)
  • Привет (Hi)
  • Доброе утро (Good morning)
  • До свидания (Goodbye)
  • Как Вы живёте? (How are you?)
  • Было приятно познакомиться с Вами (Nice to meet you)
  • Да (Yes)
  • Нет (No)
  • Пожалуйста (Please)
  • Спасибо (Thank you)

If you’re learning Russian for a specific purpose, such as travel or business, there will be a set of vocabulary terms that you should work to memorize first. Be sure to let your Russian teacher know your goals and he or she will help you learn the most useful vocabulary right away.

3) Find Cognates in Russian

how to learn Russian

When wondering how to learn Russian quickly, one of the first steps you should take is to find words that have the same meanings in both Russian and English. 

There are many words in Russian that sound just like their English counterparts. Start with the examples below.

  • Телефон (telephone)
  • Компьютер (computer)
  • Такси (taxi)
  • Аэропорт (airport)
  • Лампа (lamp)
  • Технология (technology)
  • Температура (temperature)

4) Learn the Rules of Russian Grammar

how to learn russian grammar

Russian is a very rule-based language. For example, just like in French and Spanish, each noun has a gender assigned to it that you must memorize.

There are three genders in the Russian language: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Here are the rules for determining which gender a certain noun is. Look at the last letter of the word.

  • If it is a consonant, or “й”, the word is masculine.
  • If it is “а” or “я”, the word is feminine.
  • If it is “о” or “е”, the word is neuter.
  • If it is a silent letter, like  “ь”, then it could be either masculine or feminine.

There are very few exceptions to these rules, but the notable ones occur mainly because of physical gender. For example, the following exceptions occur because the person you’re referring to is male, so the word is masculine.

  • Папа (Dad)
  • Дядя (Uncle)
  • Дедушка (Grandfather)
  • Мужчина (Man)

There are many more grammar rules to learn, such as how verbs change tenses, how nouns become plural, etc. It’s best to learn these rules from a professional language tutor to ensure that you’re practicing them properly.

5) Take Advantage of Flexible Sentences

the best way to learn russian - practice writing

Word order in Russian sentences is very flexible and different from the firm, “subject-verb-object” structure that English speakers are used to. For example, in Russian there are several ways to express the statement, “I live in Miami.”

  • Я живу в Маями. (I live in Miami)
  • В Маями я живу. (In Miami I live)
  • Живу в Маями. (Live in Miami) – You can skip the pronoun altogether!

Here is another example using the question, “What did you talk about?”

  • О чём вы говорили? (What did you talk about?)
  • Говорили вы о чём? (Talked you about what?)
  • Вы говорили о чём? (You talked about what?)
  • О чём говорили? (About what talked?)                              

To use the flexibility of Russian sentence structure you need to understand the system of declension which means that nouns, adjectives, pronouns, and numerals change their endings depending on gender, number (singular or plural), and one of six grammatical cases.

You’ll also have to learn how to properly conjugate verbs. For help with some of these trickier concepts, see the next step.

6) Learn From a Russian Teacher

Best way to Learn Russian

Private lessons from an experienced Russian teacher are the best way to learn Russian – whether you take in person or online lessons. A professional, native speaker can provide a structured learning plan that is tailored to your individual needs and goals.

They can lead you through tricky concepts like grammar rules, and give you feedback on your accent and pronunciation.

To find a qualified Russian teacher, check out TakeLessons. Here, you’ll get to search through dozens of teachers’ profiles until you find one who is the right fit for you.

On a teacher’s profile page, you can learn about their background, rates, and read reviews from students who have worked with the teacher before.

7) Read Children’s Books

how to learn Russian - read books

Children’s books are an excellent way to build your grammar and comprehension skills. You might feel silly at first reading a book for children, but keep at it, as this will help lay the foundation for mastering Russian.

If you’re not quite ready to start reading in Russian yet, try listening to audiobooks or use dual language books that show the English and Russian translation side by side. “The Little Prince” (Маленький Принц) by Antoine de Saint Exupery is a great dual language book to start with.  

One of the most popular children’s authors in Russia is Korney Chukowsky. Many have referred to him as the Dr. Seuss of Russia. Here are just a few of his incredible audiobooks that you can find on YouTube.

  • Doctor Ouch (Доктор Айбоит)
  • Telephone (Телефон)
  • Moydodyr (Мойдодыр)

8) Practice Speaking & Writing

best way to learn Russian

The best way to learn Russian quickly is to use every opportunity to speak it. Become more confident and comfortable in your speaking skills by memorizing Russian idioms, common sayings, and practicing short dialogues daily.

When communicating with native speakers, be brave and ask them to correct your mistakes. Need someone to practice with? Find a language partner near you, or online, with sites like Meetup and My Language Exchange.

Lastly, don’t forget to work on your writing skills. Writing is secondary in learning a foreign language, but absolutely necessary.

Keep a vocabulary journal and find a penpal to write to. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and put all the skills you’re learning into practice!

In Conclusion

Now you know the best way to learn Russian. Everyone is capable of mastering a foreign language, but with these tips and tricks under your belt, you’ll be on your way to learning Russian faster.

Once you master Russian, you’ll be able to better appreciate the rich Russian culture – including the famous writings of Leo Tolstoy, brilliant composers like Tchaikovsky, and the glory of Russian ballet.

If you’re a world traveler, you’ll also be able to explore spectacular beaches, experience the taiga with its diverse wildlife, and visit the Russian Far East like a local.

There is so much to do and see in Russia. Speaking the native language will help you fully experience all that Russia has to offer, and meet all sorts of fascinating people along the way. Get started today!

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What Language Should I Learn? [Quiz]

What language should I learn

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “What language should I learn?” There are so many unique and beautiful languages you can learn, that choosing just one can be a challenge.

Some individuals are a perfect match for the romantic tones of la langue française (the French language), while others are more suited for the staccato rhythms of modern Italian. Are you up for the challenge of learning a new alphabet for Korean and Japanese, or would you prefer a more accessible language like Spanish?

This helpful quiz will show you which language best suits your interests and personality. Keep reading after the quiz for more helpful tips on how to decide which language you should learn!

What Language Should I Learn?

There are over 6,900 living languages spoken in the world today, which means when you’re considering which one you’d like to learn, you are definitely spoiled for choice!

Some of the most common languages for English speakers to study are the Romance tongues – Spanish, French, and Italian. That’s because there’s a long tradition of contact between the speakers of these European languages and English culture.

Languages from Asia, including Japanese and Korean, are also growing in popularity as more Westerners consider living and working abroad.

Deciding which of these exciting languages to learn is a process that involves some inward reflection on your goals and interests, as well as how much time you can realistically commit to studying. Keep reading to learn more about five of the most popular languages to learn and discover which one is the best fit for you.  

5 Popular Languages to Learn

Spanish

What language should I learn - Spanish

Spanish is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. There are a number of reasons for this, including the prevalence of Spanish speakers in the world. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, and the second most spoken language in North America! So you’ll always be able to find a native speaker to practice with.

You should be aware that there are two main dialects of Spanish – the language spoken in Spain, and Latin American Spanish. The two are broadly similar in grammatical structure but the accent and vocabulary can be quite different. Decide early on where you hope to use your Spanish and choose a tutor accordingly.

The Spanish culture is famous for being extremely open to foreigners. No matter where you travel, the locals will appreciate your willingness to learn their mother tongue. 

French

What language should I learn - French

One advantage of learning French is that about 25% of our English vocabulary comes from French, so you’ll have a big head start if you choose this language! Even as a complete beginner, you’ll already know the meaning of a number of words such as intelligent (intelligent), liberté (liberty), thé (tea), and more.

What’s tricky about French is that there are some complicated word-endings and new vowel sounds. However, you won’t be complaining when you’re indulging in the abundance of wine, cheese, and delicious croissants in France! If that sounds wonderful to you, French just might be the answer to your question – What language should I learn? 

If you’re lucky enough to visit France, you will find the locals think very highly of their language. If you show them you love it too and are willing to learn, they’ll appreciate your effort. Bonus tip: Kissing on the cheeks in France is called faire la bise and it’s how they say “hello”! 

Italian

What language should I learn - Italian

Unlike English, the Italian language is pronounced exactly how it is written. It really requires you to get your mouth muscles moving in order to form the different sounds – think of “bru-sche-tta,” where the “ch” sounds like a “k.”

Italian has a sing-songy rhythm that people either love or hate – but almost everyone falls head over heels for it! It helps that Italy is a country rich with history (Rome – the capital of the Roman Empire), beauty (the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s “David”), and pasta (there are over 250 different, locally-produced types).

Remember that if you decide to learn Italian you will probably only be able to use it in Italy. But there is so much to see in Italy, from the fashion runways of Milan to the canals of Venice. Just don’t forget to learn a few hand gestures along with vocabulary as they can make a big difference in getting your point across to the locals.

Korean

What language should I learn - Korean

Korean may seem difficult from the outside, but at heart, it’s a made-to-order language for eager learners. That’s because its alphabet was developed back in the 15th century with the primary goal of being easy to learn. It only contains 24 letters and is entirely phonetic, so if you can read a word, you can pronounce it correctly 100% of the time.

Yes, there are Chinese characters to master and politeness is a big deal so you need to make sure you understand how to show respect, but that’s just a part of the fun of learning this new language.

There are about 80 million people in the world who speak Korean. Korea is also home to Samsung technologies and some US military bases, so there are plenty of expats around if you decide to go abroad for work or travel.

Japanese

What language should I learn - Japanese

People who like a challenge will love learning Japanese. That’s because it has not one, not two, but three different writing systems (including those ever-present Chinese characters). The good news is that unlike Chinese, Japanese is a lot easier to speak. In fact, Japanese only has five vowel sounds and the consonants generally overlap with English sounds.

Japanese grammar is different, but not nearly as complicated as some Romance languages can be. Another benefit of learning Japanese is that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice your listening skills, as Japan exports the famous Manga and Anime programs that make for great learning material.

Japan itself is full of variety, from the modern city of Tokyo to the ancient temples of Kyoto and the snow-capped tip of Mount Fuji. It’s also very fun to visit because your Japanese will surely come in handy, unlike other countries where you can get by with just knowing English.

We hope this article helped you answer the question, “What language should I learn?” Now that you know which language suits you best, leave us a comment to let us know what you decided. Still haven’t made up your mind? Consider signing up for TakeLessons Live where you can sample beginner-level classes in a variety of languages for free!

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Guest Post Author: Meredith C. is a linguist and polyglot who has spent the last 10 years in various roles from teaching to curriculum development. She holds a Master’s in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition from the University of Oxford.

How to say Cheers in different languages

How to Say “Cheers” in Different Languages [Video Tutorials]

How to say Cheers in different languages

Have you ever wondered how to say “cheers” in different languages? Think of all the situations in which the word “cheers” is used and you’ll quickly realize the versatility of this common expression that spans across cultures and nations.  

Whether you’re traveling, studying abroad, or simply making new friends of another culture, being able to say “cheers” in their language shows that you respect their traditions enough to make an effort to learn something new.

Keep reading to learn how to say “cheers” in different languages, 20 to be exact, and use this new vocabulary when you celebrate graduations, milestones at work, weddings, birthdays, holidays, and more!

How to Say “Cheers” in Different Languages

How to Say “Cheers” in Chinese (Mandarin): 干杯

  • Pronounced: Gon-bay
  • Meaning: Dry cup

China has an entire drinking etiquette and respect plays a huge role in the society.

How to Say “Cheers” in Russian: На здоровье

  • Pronounced: Nah-zda-rov-yeh
  • Meaning: To health

If you’ve ever heard about Russians being heavy drinkers, this is not a stereotype but reality!

How to Say “Cheers” in Spanish: Salud

  • Pronounced: Sah-lud
  • Meaning: Health

People in Spain start to drink very late, but they also party longer than you can imagine!

How to Say “Cheers” in Japanese: 乾杯

  • Pronounced: Kan-pie
  • Meaning: Dry glass

In Japan, it’s impolite to turn down a drink. If you’re traveling there soon, make sure to try the national drink – Sake!

How to Say “Cheers” in Arabic:  في صحتكم

  • Pronounced: Fe-sah-ḥe-tek
  • Meaning: Good luck

In general, Arabic countries share an under-the-table drinking culture since most religions prohibit the consumption of alcohol.  

How to Say “Cheers” in German: Prost 

  • Pronounced: Prohst 
  • Meaning: May it be good for you

Did you know that Oktoberfest originated in Germany? If you haven’t been to one of these festivities yet, you’re missing out!

How to Say “Cheers” in Portuguese: Saúde

  • Pronounced: Saw-OO-de
  • Meaning: Health

Many Portuguese drink slowly and steadily throughout the entire day. It’s not uncommon for the party to start around 3 PM and continue onto an after party.  

How to Say “Cheers” in French: Santé

  • Pronounced: Sahn-tay 
  • Meaning: To your health

One bonus about drinking in France – you can find an exquisite glass of local wine for only three euros!

How to Say “Cheers” in Vietnamese: Một hai ba, yo

  • Pronounced: Moat hi bah yo
  • Meaning: One, two, three, cheers

Vietnam is one of the top countries for beer consumption. Sometimes beer is served with ice and if one person drinks, everyone has to!

How to Say “Cheers” in Korean: 건배

  • Pronounced: Gun-beh
  • Meaning: Empty glass

Korea is home to some unique hangover cures from soups to spas to specially made beverages.

How to Say “Cheers” in Polish: Na zdrowie

  • Pronounced: Naz-droh-vee-ay
  • Meaning: To health

Zubrowka is the most famous brand of vodka in Poland. It’s served chilled and in 50 milliliter shots.

SEE ALSO: How to Say “I Love You” in Different Languages

How to Say “Cheers” in Italian: Salute 

  • Pronounced: Saw-lu-tay 
  • Meaning: To health

In Italy, an aperitivo is a pre-meal drink similar to our “happy hour.” Its purpose is to stimulate your appetite!

How to Say “Cheers” in Thai:  ชนแก้ว

  • Pronounced: Chai-yo
  • Meaning: Hit glass

Fun fact – In Thailand, alcohol can only be purchased or served between 11 AM to 2 PM, or 5 PM to midnight.

How to Say “Cheers” in Turkish: Şerefe

  • Pronounced: Sher-i-feh
  • Meaning: Honor

Raki is the national distillated drink in Turkey. Istanbul has an incredible nightlife, but be careful – it’s not cheap!

How to Say “Cheers” in Dutch: Proost

  • Pronounced: Prohst
  • Meaning: May it be good for you

In Belgium the legal drinking age to drink wine and beer is 16, however the age for spirits is 18!

How to Say “Cheers” in Afrikaans: Gesondheid

  • Pronounced: Ge-sund-hate
  • Meaning: Health

Have you ever tried Amarula? This creamy liqueur is made from the fruit of African marula trees which surprisingly, elephants also enjoy!

How to Say “Cheers” in Greek: ΥΓΕΙΑ

  • Pronounced: Yah-mas
  • Meaning: Health

The Greeks love their wine! If you’re traveling there soon, try Retsina. It’s a unique wine that gets its flavor from pine trees.  

How to Say “Cheers” in Swedish: Skål

  • Pronounced: Skawl
  • Meaning: Good health

Alcohol is very expensive in Sweden. There is only one chain store in the country that sells alcohol and it closes at 3 PM on Saturdays!

“To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.” – Chinese Proverb

Learning a new language improves your travel experiences, helps you build cross-cultural friendships, and develops an appreciation of other cultures. You’ve made a great start by learning how to say “cheers” in different languages.

Want to learn more useful phrases in the language of your choice? TakeLessons Live offers the chance to try out a variety of languages with access to 300+ online classes. Find out how you can improve your conversational French, Spanish, Korean and more today!

Guest Post Author: Michaela F. from Study Abroad Apartments.

free language lessons

Looking for Free Language Lessons? 3 Reasons to Try TakeLessons Live

free language lessons

There are many places to find free language lessons on the internet, from YouTube videos to apps like Duolingo, but they’re not all the best way to learn a foreign language. In fact, some of these free apps and sites can hinder your progress in conversational skills and proper pronunciation.

Without face-to-face interaction with other speakers of your target language, and a knowledgeable teacher to guide you, the road to fluency will be a lot longer. Wondering if there are any free resources that combine quality instruction and speaking practice? Keep reading.   

Free Language Lessons That Actually Work

TakeLessons Live is a great place to start if you’re looking for free lessons that will be truly beneficial for your language studies. With a free month-long trial, you have access to more than 200 live classes.

Classes are held online in a virtual classroom, where you can ask a teacher questions, get feedback on your accent, and practice your speaking skills in a group of other students from around the world. You also have the freedom to try out multiple different languages (as well as teachers), and learn on your own terms.

Free language lessons

There are many reasons to take advantage of the free language lessons offered at TakeLessons Live. Keep reading to find out more.

3 Reasons to Try TakeLessons Live

Flexibility to try out multiple languages

Perhaps you’re not sure where to start in your language learning journey and you’re torn between two languages. TakeLessons Live is the perfect solution for these kinds of students as it allows you to try out multiple languages, all at no cost.

For example, you could try out a French class Tuesday morning and a Korean class Wednesday afternoon. Having the flexibility to sample a few different languages will help you make a more informed decision about which one you’d like to learn.

No matter where you’re at in your language studies, there is a class for everyone at TakeLessons Live. You can learn about the basics, get conversation practice, or fine tune your grammar. There are also classes for travelers, those in the healthcare, or the business field. Classes are currently available in Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, and Sign Language.

Finding the right teacher for youfree language lessons

Everyone has a unique learning style. Another great part about TakeLessons Live is that you have the opportunity to work with many different teachers. Instead of paying for a private tutor you might not mesh well with, you can use your first month of free language lessons to interact with a variety of teachers.

Each subject has multiple teachers with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise so you can determine which is the best fit for you and if you’d like, continue taking private language lessons with him or her.  

SEE ALSO: 30 Incredibly Effective Tips & Tricks to Learn a New Language

Convenience of learning anytime, anywhere

The best feature of TakeLessons Live is that you can access your free language lessons whenever, wherever. With more than 200 weekly classes available, it’s easy to fit learning into a busy schedule. Plus, you never even have to leave your house!

Our virtual classroom allows you to take a class wherever you feel most comfortable, whether that’s in your living room or a local cafe. All you need is a webcam and internet access. This feature is most convenient for students who live in rural areas. It also benefits homeschooling parents as an educational and fun extra-curricular activity for their children.

free language lessons

While TakeLessons Live is only free for your first month of classes, the subsequent months cost much less than hiring a personal tutor. At only $19.95 a month, you get unlimited access to all of our weekly language classes.

Speaking another language opens up a world of new opportunities from jobs, to travel, to new friends. Pre-recorded videos and apps can help you get there over time, but working with a knowledgeable tutor and interacting with other speakers of your target language is the quickest way to reach your goals.

How to Learn a Language Quickly with 3 Foolproof Steps

how to learn a language quickly

Fact: a native Spanish speaker will have an easier time learning French than they would learning Japanese.

According to the U.S. Foreign Service Institute, one of the biggest factors affecting the speed of language acquisition is how different your target language is from your native tongue. Languages in the same “family” typically have similar alphabets and tones, making it easier to branch out as long as you stay within the same grouping.

No matter what language you’re learning though – whether it’s French, Korean, or Spanish – there are a few foolproof steps you can take to get fluent faster. Keep reading to find out how to learn a language quickly and effectively in three simple steps.

How to Learn a Language Quickly

Step 1: Find a Language Teacher

how to learn a language quickly

Yes, learning how to introduce yourself is important, but to quickly progress past the basics it’s highly beneficial to work with a language teacher. A language tutor can cater to your individual needs and learning style.

A teacher can also catch mistakes you’re making in pronunciation and help you work on your accent – something no app or software can do. Face time with a quality teacher gives you the personal attention you need to quickly master and move past concepts that are particularly challenging to you.

There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the best language teacher for you. Here are some questions to ask about a prospective language tutor’s background:

  • Did they study the language in college?
  • Have they lived in a country where the language is spoken?
  • Are they a native speaker?
  • How much teaching experience do they have?

Answering each of these questions will help you narrow down your options. You should also consider a few logistics when looking for a teacher. Would you rather take online lessons or in-person? How often would you like to meet and when?  

Many students find it beneficial to take hour-long lessons twice a week. Browse through the language teachers at TakeLessons to get the help you need to meet your language goals as quickly as possible.

SEE ALSO: 8 Questions to Help you Find the Right Private Teacher

Step 2: Practice. Practice. Practice.

how to learn a language quickly

To become fluent faster, you’ll need more than weekly lessons. It’s necessary to reinforce all you’re learning in lessons by practicing every day as much as you can. Constant practice throughout your day will help you successfully develop speaking, reading, and writing skills.

There are dozens of fun apps that can help you memorize common phrases quicker with games and quizzes. Use apps to brush up on your skills during your commute or on lunch breaks. Some even have a hands-free option to help you learn while driving.

Another way to learn quicker is to label items around your house with their names in your target language. Before you know it, you’ll be able to make shopping lists in your new language!

Here are a few more fun ways to take advantage of your free time and practice your target language throughout the day. Remember, it’s important to practice both with others and on your own.

  • Read books and magazines in your target language
  • Subscribe to a blog
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Record yourself and listen to how you sound
  • Write to a penpal in another country
  • Write in a language journal
  • Call up a friend who speaks your target language
  • Teach someone else what you know

Step 3: Immerse Yourself

how to learn a language quickly

The final step you should take to learn a language quickly is to immerse yourself as much as possible – surround yourself with the language! There are a few incredibly easy ways to do this.

First, change the language settings on your phone and laptop. This will allow you to get familiar with everyday vocabulary and actually think in the language throughout the day.

Swap out your usual radio stations or shows and listen to music or watch movies in your target language. Experts agree that music aids memorization, and movies allow you to see and hear conversations in your target language. Put on the subtitles so you can follow along!

Another way to immerse yourself while practicing conversational skills is to find a language partner near you. Pick a time to meet up regularly and agree to only speak in your target language. If there isn’t anyone available locally, there are many online language partners to choose from.  

If you have the resources, the best way to learn a new language is complete immersion. Any amount of time in the country of origin will be well worth the effort, as long as you make a commitment to speak only your target language with the locals. Being surrounded by the new language and forced to speak it will help you become fluent much faster.

Now you know how to learn a language quickly! How fast do you think you can pick up your new language? Be sure to set goals for yourself along the way that are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

Each of the steps mentioned above are fundamental to becoming fluent in a language and they should be done simultaneously for the best results. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Take lessons from a private tutor to ensure you’re learning the best way possible
  • Make practice a part of your daily routine
  • Lastly, try to immerse yourself as much as possible

Follow these steps and you’ll be speaking like a native before you know it!

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Language learning games

Top 10 Language Learning Games for Students of All Ages

language learning games

No matter what language you’re learning, games make the journey to fluency more fun and exciting! Board games, apps, and group activities also help you practice your skills more efficiently in between private language lessons.

For memorizing those vocabulary words and mastering your grammar, here is a list of the top 10 language learning games available today.

Top 10 Language Learning Games

Language Learning Games to Play on Your Phone

language learning games for your phone

1. Languages By Lyrics

  • Cost: Free, with a Pro Version available for $9.99
  • Student Level: Beginner to advanced
  • Requirements: OS X 10.11 or later

Memorizing phrases in your target language is easier with the help of a little rhyme and rhythm. With this fun app, you get to select songs in the language of your choice, see the lyrics translated, and learn to sing along. The Pro Version of the app comes with more advanced exercises.

2. Star Languages

  • Cost: Free
  • Student Level: Beginner to advanced
  • Requirements: Windows 10, OS X 10.8 or later

For more comprehensive practice, this app allows you to choose from a variety of learning games such as spelling tests, crosswords, and hangman. Each game tests a different skill, so you can apply your knowledge about spelling, vocabulary, sentence structure, and more.

3. Vocabulary Games

  • Cost: Free
  • Student Level: Beginner
  • Requirements: Works best on Chrome web browser

These vocabulary games are another great way to boost your memorization skills. Choose from several games including Letter Blocks, Unscramble, and Slang Game. You can play on a computer at home, a tablet, or a mobile phone.

SEE ALSO: 30 Incredibly Effective Tips and Tricks to Learn a New Language

4. MindSnacks

  • Cost: Free for one lesson, with 50 lessons available for $4.99
  • Student Level: Beginner to intermediate
  • Requirements: iOS 6.0 or later

With its addictive quests and challenges, the MindSnacks app helps you practice vocabulary, grammar skills, basic verb conjugation, and spelling. This game is available in multiple languages and will keep you motivated as you learn.

5. Lingo Arcade

  • Cost: Free for one level, with more than 150 levels available for $0.99
  • Student Level: Beginner or intermediate
  • Requirements:  iOS 8.0 or later

If you’re a visual learner, this app is perfect for you. Lingo Arcade will help you with word identification and sentence structure using over 3000 visual aids. The app is currently available in Spanish, French, German, and English.

6. Drops

  • Cost: Free, with optional in-app purchases
  • Student Level: Beginner
  • Requirements: iOS 9.0 or later

How much can you learn in five minutes? With this app, you get the chance to test your vocabulary knowledge by matching words and swiping as you learn. As you increase your speed and accuracy, the game will “drop” more new vocabulary words.

Fun Board Games for Language Learning

language learning board games

7. Kloo

  • Cost: Retails for around $16
  • Student Level: Beginner to intermediate
  • Requirements: Kloo deck of cards and 2 or more players

Practice how to build sentences with these unique color-coded cards. To play the game, you’ll match cards with different words until you create a grammatically correct sentence. Each card correctly matched is worth one point.

8. Scrabble

  • Cost: Retails for around $18
  • Student Level: Beginner to intermediate
  • Requirements: Scrabble board game and 2 or more players

Scrabble is a fantastic way to practice your spelling and vocabulary skills. Have a friend join you for this fun game where small, lettered tiles are placed onto a board to form new words. Scrabble is available in multiple different languages.

Language Learning Games for Groups

language learning games for groups

9. Bingo

  • Cost: $5-$10
  • Student Level: Beginner
  • Requirements: Bingo cards, game chips or coins, index cards, and vocabulary words

To make your own Bingo game in the language of your choice, create a set of vocabulary-themed Bingo cards in a 6×6 pattern. In each box, include the vocabulary words you want to practice. Next, write the vocabulary words on a set of smaller cards. Choose a player to call out the words. The person who completes their card first wins the game!

10. Jeopardy

  • Cost: $5-$10
  • Student Level: Beginner to intermediate
  • Requirements: Poster board with 4-5 columns, markers, and buzzers or bells

To play Jeopardy with a group of others who are learning a language, choose 4-5 categories you’re familiar with such as food, people, places, and animals. Each of these categories will be its own column on a board with five rows. Fill in the boxes with the answers to a set of predetermined questions. Remember, one player will need to be the host.

Each of these interactive games will help you improve your language comprehension skills. You can play these games in between language classes to review and reinforce all you’re learning in a fun way.

 

BarbaraSPost Author: Barbara S.
Barbara S. has been teaching Spanish since 2011 and is a native speaker from Argentina. Her teaching style is flexible, cooperative, and understanding. Learn more about Barbara here!