How to learn a new language in 2020
How to learn a new language in 2020

How to learn a new language in 2020

Inarguably, it is now possible to make your first steps in learning a new tongue with the help of many, non-traditional methods. Quite frankly – you could just adapt your everyday life to some rather entertaining activities and start progressing in the art of new languages.

With limited time during university, and in many cases, 12 years at school gone to investing in only a single foreign language, we believe that we can offer you a set of helpful ideas that can be most useful while, for example, studying a Masters degree in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, a combination, or simply non-native!

Learning a new language at home

Since it is 2020, and there is now access to tons of platforms that allow listening or watching media content, why not starting with the following 3 enjoyable practices?

  • Start following a documentary, series or show in a foreign language – with the help of Netflix, or a similar platform in your country, there are currently a bunch of exciting new titles narrated in different languages. While having subtitles, you can attempt to enhance your hearing capabilities and understand certain expressions and ways of speaking in a given tongue.
  • Subscribe to YouTube channels with content in your chosen language – from streaming to vlogs, choice is quite rich in terms of categories when going through thousands of creators. By watching some daily, you can gain lingual knowledge in some specific areas and soon begin filtering recognisable sentences and words by suggestions, especially if you combine this idea with the one in the first point!
  • Switch to listening more foreign music and podcasts – as perhaps the most time-efficient suggestion of all, learning through musical experiences or long narrations during your free time or while studying and working is quite beneficial. Along with Google Play and Spotify, you can check out Audible.

Last but not least, it is a neat idea to have somewhere to write down some words or even series of dialogues that caught your attention. You can afterwards go through them again and even discuss with your fellows if you are into a show together! Which also leads us to our next part:

Mobile applications for learning a language

Aside from dedicated apps for developing and progressing your lingual skills, it is worth mentioning that you can also make use of mobile games. However, you would have to narrow down to story-based, offline titles that can immerse you into an enjoyable learning and gaming experience.

As one of the most famous apps for the purpose of studying new languages, Duolingo is based on completing lingual challenges based on your level, which increases upon investing more of your time. There is also a fluency score and a grading system, allowing you to receive an actual overview of how you are developing your knowledge in a given language.

In a similar manner, Memrise is a great application that focuses on videos of actual native speakers. You can choose from a diversity of categories and learn more specific words or easily go through a course, which guides you through a step-by-step learning process. Of course, there are also quizzes and practice games included.

With 24 languages to choose from – including an option to use the app while offline, Rosetta Stone is our final recommendation in this list, emphasising on overviews of common phrases, reading stories and making use of audio lessons in your chosen language. You can test it out for free before subscribing.

Finally, as a mobile application that is not ideally constructed for learning a new tongue, we would suggest making maximum use of Google Translate as your trusty sidekick whenever you stumble upon a foreign word or expression.

For example, imagine that you have set your subtitles in Spanish for the popular Netflix show “Elite” – and you find yourself in a situation unable to understand a meaning or logic of a sentence. Or you heard a funny word in your audiobook and are in a desperate need to find it through a list of suggestions. For similar cases, you can always switch to this app, as long as you remember to check if your proposed translation is verified by the Translate Community for more lingual accuracy.

But hey, no need to stop here – you can check out the Education category for your Android device on Google Play and iPhone, iPad or Mac through the App Store for more useful applications!

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Study a Masters in a foreign language

When it comes to Masters degrees, one of the biggest advantages is the possibility of choosing between hundreds of course opportunities in new languages and varieties of fluency requirements. However, it is rarely possible to enroll for a programme without even knowing a word in the chosen language of instruction – but it is a good idea to search for options at the intermediate level, or above!

Needless to say, there are countless advantages of studying an area in a foreign language, especially when combining this with everyday communication between you and your fellows and tutors. The Masters Search can help you with finding universities that can offer you programmes in chosen languages within a matter of a few clicks! Furthermore, you can also explore study destinations in Europe and overseas, that can match your language and educational interests for an unique Masters abroad!


  • Study and start your career with the most employable Masters degree of Luxembourg!
  • Drive digital innovation and create economic and social impact
  • Barcelona GSE Data Science Winter School 2020: Applications are now open

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