The art of learning a foreign language is just that—an art—and more. Like art, a foreign language is something you savor and appreciate: the pronunciation, the lilting grammar, the way a phrase is stressed and presents, and when you learn to speak like an Italian, for example, with hand gestures, too—well, it’s all-consuming.
Likewise, whenever you learn something new, whether it’s a skill, or a subject, or a language, you improve yourself. So, by learning a foreign language, you’ve improved yourself. When you go to a foreign country and communicate in the language of the people, then you’ve achieved something wonderful. People appreciate foreigners who have gone to the trouble to learn their language and you will find, without exception, that they will be more hospitable and more anxious to help you when you do.
If you can’t find a language class near you, go online and subscribe to a language class membership or purchase software. Rated among the top Babbel, FluentU, LingQ, Busuu, LangaugePod101, Mondly, Rocket Languages, Lingoda, Lingoget, and many others. Once you decide which language you want to learn, go online and read reviews to determine which suits you, and your wallet, best.
Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone have long offered language courses on CD with a study guide. This is the least expense way to gain a solid, beginner’s level vocabulary and you can learn at your own pace.
Likewise, you can download language programs from iSpeak, Michael Thomas, Living Language, and one of the oldest names of all in language learning, Berlitz. Put in your earbuds and learn as you jog, walk, or drive (keep your eyes on the road!)
Wyzant.com offers a different approach. You can meet with a tutor on Zoom or in person for one-on-one learning. This personal approach is generally the most effective and the quickest way to learn a foreign language. There are no upfront fees or costly packages: you pay anywhere between $35 to $60 an hour, charged at the end of each lesson to your credit card.
Best of all, if you happen to have a neighbor who came over from the Old Country and you happen to be going there, invite her over for a cup of coffee and chat—in her language. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to learn.