Learn 48 Languages Online for Free: Spanish, Chinese, English & More

How to learn languages for free? This collection features lessons in 48 languages, including French, English, Mandarin, Italian,

How to learn languages for free? This collection features lessons in 48 languages, including Spanish Russian and more. Download audio lessons to your computer or mp3 player and you’re good to go.


  • Foreign Service Institute Basic Amharic – Audio – Textbook
    • Lessons with dialogues, drills, exercises, and narratives will teach you the basics of this language spoken in Ethiopia. Includes samples of speech, explanations of basic language structures, and a variety of practical exercises. Features two textbooks (PDF) and eleven audio lessons (MP3).

Ancient Greek

  • Ancient Greek Introduction – Web Site
    • The UT-Austin Linguistics Research Center provides an overview of Ancient Greek and 10 lessons based on famous Greek texts. It is all text-based.
  • Introduction to Homeric Greek – YouTube
    • A series of 15 videos presented by The Center for Hellenic Studies, at Harvard University.
  • Learn Ancient Greek – Web Site
    • Leonard Muellner (Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies at Brandeis University) has posted 64 videos on YouTube, which, “present all the content covered in two semesters of a college-level Introduction to Ancient Greek course.”


  • Arabic Lessons on Spotify – Spotify
    • Over 12 hours of Arabic lessons for beginners.
  • Arabic for Beginners 1 – YouTube Free
    • A series of video lessons from Dalarna University in Sweden.
  • Arabic in Jordan – Web Site
    • These lessons from the Peace Corps will help you learn normal conversation in Jordan, rather than focusing on formalities.
  • ArabicPod – iTunes Free
    • Includes mp3s and PDF transcripts.
  • DuoLingo Arabic – Web Site
    • Learn Arabic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.
  • Foreign Service Institute Written Arabic – Web site
    • Spoken exercises in Arabic and the printed transcriptions. Four textbooks (PDF) and 31 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Levantine Arabic – Web site
    • Introduction to pronunciation. Textbook (PDF) and 19 audio lessons (MP3). Scroll down to the second set of lessons on this page.
  • Foreign Service Institute Saudi Arabic – Web site
    • Covers the urban Hijazi dialect. Textbook (PDF) and 51 audio lessons (MP3). Scroll down to the third/bottom set of lessons on this page.

Bookmark our free Arabic lessons section.

American Sign Language

  • Introductory American Sign Language Course – YouTube
    • By the end of this course you should have a basic bank of ASL words that you are able to use to form simple sentences. Begin to identify ASL sentence structure, which is different than English sentence structure. Understand what regional differences of signs are.


  • Bambara in Mali – Web Site
    • Lessons from the Peace Corps.


  • Foreign Service Institute Bulgarian – Web site
    • Two textbooks (PDF) and 75 audio lessons (MP3).


  • Foreign Service Institute Basic Cambodian – Web site
    • Two textbooks (PDF) and 45 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Contemporary Cambodian – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and 60 audio lessons (MP3).


  • One Minute Catalan – iTunes Free – Feed
    • A good way to get going with a language still spoken by some 12 million people, many living in Northeast Spain.



  • Foreign Service Institute Czech Fast – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and twelve audio lessons (PDF).


  • Duolingo Danish (for English Speakers) –

    Web Site


    • A popular free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. As users progress through lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents.

  • One Minute Danish – iTunes Free – Feed
    • We get a lot of requests (believe it or not) for Danish. So here’s another useful primer created by the One Minute series.


  • Duolingo Dutch (for English Speakers) –

    Web Site


    • A popular free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. As users progress through lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents.

  • Introduction to Dutch – Web Site
    • Learn to speak, write and understand basic Dutch, with this free, three-week, introductory foreign language course. By University of Groningen.
  • Learn Dutch – iTunes Free
    • Culturally relevant lessons that are easy to listen to.


  • Bookmark our free English lessons section.


  • Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation – iTunes – Web Site
    • Offers 50 lessons via podcast, each running about 15-20 minutes, which will help students learn conversational Persian for free. E

      ach lesson builds on previous lessons, so to get the most out of the course, start from the beginning. The site also offers affordable premium learning materials.

  • Easy Persian – Web Site
    • Easy Persian offers online lessons in listening, speaking, reading, and writing Persian or Farsi as spoken in Iran. In addition to Persian language lessons, the site introduces contemporary Iranian poets with English translations of their poems. You’ll also find free Farsi/Persian software, Persian names with English translations, Farsi writing drills and much more.

  • Learn Persian Farsi Easily, Effectively and Fluently – Spotify
    • A 3-hour series of lessons that’s freely available on Spotify.
  • Persian of Iran Today – Web Site
    • This two volume textbook interweaves grammar- and vocabulary-building exercises with narrative elements in order to engage and develop students’ abilities in Persian. The web site includes the textbook itself and related audio/visual files. Persian of Iran Today is published by The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies Publications program. Hard copies of the textbook can be purchased online (volume 1 and volume 2).


  • Foreign Service Institute Conversational Finnish – Web site
    • Transcripts of the Finnish dialogues with idiomatic English translations plus notes on structural pattern and explanations of essential points of grammar. A variety of exercises with instructions in English.
  • Special Finnish – Web Site
    • For listeners with some command of Finnish YLE Radio Finland offers daily broadcasts in “Special Finnish”. The five minute broadcasts cover items of current interest. To ease understanding, we simplify the language and slow down the delivery. Some grammatical forms are not used at all. The level of Finnish used is planned to match the expected ability to understand Finnish shown by persons in Level Two Language Command (ofFinnish) as defined by the Council of Europe.”



  • Introduction to Frisian – Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • Did you know that, besides Dutch, a second official language is spoken in the Netherlands? It’s a language even more closely related to English than Dutch. This language is called Frisian. From the University of Groningen.


  • Bookmark our free German lessons section.


  • Foreign Service Institute Greek Basic – Web site
    • Representative of the Kathomilumeni variety that is the “standard” speech of educated Greeks. Three textbooks (PDF) and 75 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Learning Greek – Web Site
    • From the Hellenic American Union, these lessons will teach students Modern Greek. For those who already have some foundation in the language.


  • HebrewPod 101 – iTunes
    • A way to learn some quick Hebrew on the fly.
  • Biblical Hebrew Grammar I  (YouTube) and Grammar II (YouTube)
    • These are courses taught at The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, California.
  • Foreign Service Institute Hebrew Basic – Web site – Spotify
    • One textbook (PDF) and 40 audio lessons (MP3). The Hebrew Basic Course is designed to teach spoken and written modern Hebrew that is the ordinary, informal speech of educated native Israelis. It is not intended as a text for the study of the Old Testament or other Hebrew literature.
  • Learn Hebrew (Biblical) – YouTube
    • Classical Hebrew taught using the serial and oral method. Features 56 videos. This introductory video presents the outline for the course.


  • DuoLingo Hindi – Web site
    • Learn Hindi in just 5 minutes a day. For free.
  • HindiPod 101 – iTunes – YouTube
    • Learn Hindi with fun, interesting and culturally relevant lessons that are easy to listen to.
  • Hindi: An Active Introduction – Textbook
    • A short textbook by DN Sharma & James Stone on behalf of Foreign Service Institute (FSI).


  • DuoLingo Hungarian – Web site
    • Learn Hungarian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.
  • Foreign Service Institute Hungarian – Web site
    • Two textbooks (PDF) and 24 audio lessons (MP3). Also includes a graded reader.
  • Let’s Learn Hungarian – iTunes Free – Web Site
    • Learn with Steve or Gyorgyi, a native speaker.


  • Icelandic Online – Web Site
    • Created by University of Iceland. The lessons use various media – text, flashcards, videos and so on. Lets you track your progress. Available up to expert level. (Requires registration.)
  • Viltu læra íslensku? – Web site
    •  21 TV episodes of Icelandic lessons. Each episode deals with daily life and common situations in Iceland. Accompanying every episode is a thorough summary, explaining the subject of the episode. The episodes have Icelandic subtitles, making the dialog easier to follow.
  • A Beginners’ MP3 course in Modern Icelandic – Web Site
    • This is an experimental eight-hour beginners’ Icelandic course, based on Alaric’s experiences living in Iceland in 2010,


  • Learning Indonesian – iTunes Free
    • A complete online Indonesian course geared towards developing conversational fluency in the Indonesian Language.
  • Indonesian News – iTunes Free
    • This is the latest news in Indonesian from NHK World Radio Japan. For more advanced learners.
  • SBS Radio Indonesian Language Program – iTunes Free – Web Site
    • For more advanced learners, SBS Radio Indonesian Language Program offers extensive coverage of international, national and local news and current affairs, including interviews with Indonesian community leaders and other cultural programs.


  • Duolingo Irish (for English Speakers) –

    Web Site


    • A popular free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. As users progress through lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents.

  • Irish Lessons on Spotify – Spotify
    • Learn some essential Irish, and hear poetry, prose and songs in Irish.
  • Irish 101: An Introduction to Irish Language and Culture – Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
    • From Dublin City University, this course offers an introduction to Ireland’s culture by learning the basics of the Irish language. This is the beginning of a larger course sequence.


Bookmark our free Italian lessons section.


  • DuoLingo Japanese – Web site
    • Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.
  • Easy Japanese – Web site
    • A free course from the Japanese national broadcaster, NHK. This audio and text-based course of 48 lessons is designed for beginners.
  • Easy Japanese for Work – Web site
    • Accelerate your Japanese language skills! Learn practical, effective workplace expressions, understand business culture and improve your kanji. From NHK.
  • Easy Travel Japanese – Web site
    • When traveling in Japan for the first time, what phrases do you need? Each 3-minute episode provides simple expressions you can put to use as soon as you land. The program also offers tips for getting around the country.
  • Easy Japanese: Grammar Lessons – Web site
    • Learn grammar from NHK.
  • Foreign Service Institute Japanese – Web site
    • Student guide, textbook, glossary, flashcards (PDF) and nine audio lessons (MP3).
  • JapanesePod101.com – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Over 100 quality lessons aimed at the beginner. Users give it high marks.
  • Let’s Speak Japanese Basic – YouTube
    • 26 video lessons produced by the Japan Foundation.
  • Let’s Learn Japanese Basic II – YouTube
    • 25 video lessons produced by the Japan Foundation.
  • Marugoto Japanese Online Course – Web Site 
    • The Marugoto Japanese Online Course is a course for learning Japanese language skills comprehensively. It’s operated by the Japan Foundation.
  • Weekly News in Simple Japanese – Web site
    • From the Japanese broadcaster NHK.

Bookmark our free Japanese lessons section.



  • Foreign Service Institute Lao – Web site
    • Basic textbook, reading textbook (PDF), and two parts of audio lessons (MP3).


  • Nightly News in Latin – Web Site
    • “Nuntii Latini – News in Latin – is a weekly review of world news in Classical Latin, the only international broadcast of its kind in the world, produced by YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company.
  • The London Latin Course – YouTube
    • Learn Latin from the ground up. This is a serial course, structured to bring you to a high level of Latin fluency. The pace is slow and unhurried. This course is suitable for all ability levels. Restored Classical Pronunciation. Find related course materials here. You can also find lessons on advanced vocabulary here.
  • Latin Introduction – Web
    • The UT-Austin Linguistics Research Center provides an overview of Latin and 10 lessons based on famous Roman texts.


  • Lithuanian Out Loud – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • Offers beginners, intermediate and advanced lessons.


  • One Minute Luxembourgish – YouTube
    • Another niche language covered by the Radio Lingua Network.


  • Toku Reo – Web Site
    • Learn Maori, the language of New Zealand’s indigenous people. Although these lessons accompany a television programme that is currently running, the essential bits of the episodes are available to be watched right here on this site. The course starts at square 1. Site includes video lessons. Another useful site for learning the grammar can be found here.



  • One Minute Polish – YouTube
    • Another helpful audio series provided by the Radio Lingua Network.



  • One Minute Romanian – iTunes Free
    • Quick lessons by the creators of the One Minute language series.


  • Business Russian – Web
    • Presented by the UCLA Center for World Languages, this series teaches students the essentials of Russian business communication.
  • Foreign Service Institute Russian Fast – Web Site
    • Textbook (PDF) and eight audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Russian: An Active Introduction – Web site
    • 11 lessons and a textbook.
  • Learn Russian – Web Site
    • A free course by RT.com that covers all aspects of Russian including alphabet, phonetics, vocabulary and grammar. It also has multiple grammar tables and tests. RT.com is a Russian 24/7 English-language news channel.
  • Learn Russian Fluently, Easily and Effectively – Spotify
    • A 4-hour series of lessons that are freely available on Spotify
  • Russian Grammar – YouTube
    • 50 free, short videos on topics in basic Russian grammar. Funded by a grant from the University of South Carolina, the videos were created by Curtis Ford, a senior instructor at the University.
  • Russian Literature – Web Site
    • Also presented by UCLA, the lessons help users improve their comprehension and vocabulary by listening to excerpts from Tolstoy, Gogol, Chekhov and other Russian literary greats.
  • One Minute Russian – YouTube
    • Learn the absolute basics of Russian with a 10-lesson course of “espresso-break” episodes. In this course you’ll learn to greet people, say that you’re learning the language, introduce yourself and ask people how they’re feeling, and lots more.
  • RussianPod101 – iTunes Free
    • Helps you learn Russian and Russian culture at your convenience.

Bookmark our free Russian lessons section.


  • Foreign Service Institute Serbo-Croatian Basic – Web site
    • Includes two textbooks (PDF) and twelve audio lessons (MP3).

Sign Language

  • American Sign Language – Web Site
    • Lessons that will get you started with the sign language prevalent in North America.


Bookmark our free Spanish lessons section.


  • Foreign Service Institute Swahili – Web site
    • Includes “Swahili: An Active Introduction” and basic course with textbook (PDF) 150 audio lessons (MP3).


  • Duolingo Swedish (for English Speakers) –

    Web Site


    • A popular free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. As users progress through lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents.

  • Foreign Service Institute Swedish Basic – Web site
    • Includes textbook (PDF) and sixteen audio lessons (MP3).
  • Klartext –  iTunes Free  – Web site
    • News in easy-to-understand Swedish.
  • Swedish Lessons on Spotify – Spotify
    • Some essential grammar and vocabulary gathered on Spotify.



  • Foreign Service Institute Turkish – Web site
    • Textbooks (PDF) and 50 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Hands On Turkish – Web site
    • Features a short course for absolute beginners, and a full course for people learning the language for business purposes. The project was funded by the EU.


  • Introduction to the Twi Language – Web Site
    • 17 audio lessons by the Peace Corps will get you started speaking Twi, 

      one of the most widely spoken of the 70 languages in Ghana.


  • Introduction to Urdu Alphabet – iTunes Free
    • Emory University offers a quick primer on the Urdu alphabet and pronunciation.


  • Foreign Service Institute Vietnamese – Web site
    • Included familiarization course and basic course with two volumes of textbooks (PDF) and audio lessons (MP3).


  • Say Something in Welsh – Web Site
    • 25 half-hour lessons available for free.


  • The Center for Yiddish Culture – Web Site
    • Includes a 20-lesson introduction to the Yiddish alphabet, basic vocabulary and sentence structure. There are also some more advanced lessons.

General How-To

  • GLOSS – Defense Language Institute – Web Site
    • These lessons (6,000 in total) are developed for independent learners to provide them with the learning/teaching tools for improving their foreign language skills.  Reading and listening lessons are based on authentic materials (articles, TV reports, radio broadcasts, etc.) and consist of 4 to 6 activities. GLOSS offers certificates providing documentation of work accomplished.
  • The WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources Web Site
    • This

      website directory, which is part of the WWW Virtual Library System, features over 2000 carefully selected, annotated links in 37 international affairs categories. The site offers a great way to understand our changing world, but it also includes its own section of language learning resources , and it includes sections dedicated to Spanish French and German

Our collection of foreign language lessons has been featured in the New York Times, The New York Times again, and yet once again in The New York Times.