Learning a language changes people’s lives. FACT.
It creates new life experiences you could never imagine. It connects families. Expands minds. Brings pure happiness! Yet for some reason… many people think actually learning one is more of a dreamlike fantasy rather than an achievable reality.
To that we say: “NONSENSE!”
You CAN learn a language. And after reading this complete guide to learning a new language… you WILL learn a language.
The ability to communicate and be understood in another language is at your fingertips. For real. So we’re going to share some tips, links, key advice and videos to help you learn a language for effective use in the real world.
Sound good? Hope you enjoy the ride 👀
Learning a second language doesn’t just let you go crazy with your travel plans. It can open multiple doors for you in your life. Personally. Professionally. Socially. Romantically. Geographically. Culturally. Mentally. We could go on…
A language lets you connect with new people, cultures and countries. This opens up new opportunities and experiences. Trust us: the feeling of communicating with someone in another language is an incredible feeling like no other.
So should I learn a new language? Why bother?
Many raise a questioning eyebrow to unfamiliar cultures. Speaking with locals in their native language brings an understanding, appreciation and love for their traditions and ways of life. Immersing yourself in a foreign language is a reminder that it’s not all about you. Now go and explore cool cultures and make friends along the way!
Did you know approximately 1.2 billion people are learning a new language as you read this? That’s right. You’re late to the party.
We believe there has never EVER been a better time to learn a new language. Seriously. Here’s why:
Make friends anywhere in the world!
The world is becoming more diversified and multicultural by the minute. 258 million people live in a different country to their birth country. This means language helps you make friends, anywhere!
Stuck inside, why not improvise?
COVID-19 told us to stay at home and eat crisps. Just me? The point is: it’s been super reflective. People are re-assessing their goals, looking at past regrets, making bucket lists. The end result? Motivation is high. Let’s learn.
Learn a new language online in a low-stress learning environment
Language anxiety holds people back because speaking in another language for the first time in front of people is scary! The rise in language learning technology (*cough* cool apps like us) creates a safe learning space where mistakes are welcome and you can practice without fear.
Want to grab these advantages of learning a foreign language with both hands? Starting learning with native speakers by registering online now.
Heads up. You might lose count…
Language can help you find and explore your interests, mould your personality and become whoever you want to be! Professional sushi eater? Bull runner? You decide.
Understand and communicate with real people. Make friends with people you never would’ve never met without a second language.
Language carries the culture of a country or place within it. So when you learn one, you become a part of that culture too! It also gives you increased perspective and open-mindedness – which boosts your cultural awareness.
Need to know how to say ‘will you marry me?’ in French? You’d be amazed how many lovers meet through using a second language.
Always dreamed of living in another country? Never had the courage to take the leap? Learn a language and take the leap.
Boost your employability prospects and advance your career:
U.S. job postings asking for bilingual candidates more than doubled between 2010 and 2015. And the 3.5 million job openings posted by job site Indeed.com in 2020 saw increased demand for bilingual candidates in sales, marketing, customer service and childcare especially. The business world is globalised, meaning bi-linguists are required EVERYWHERE.
Japan has one of the world’s strongest economics and is home to mega-corporations like Toyota Motor, Mitsubishi, Honda, Sony, and Softbank. Learn Japanese to make work in Japan or/and speak with clients.
Companies are always looking to do business in China: the world’s 2nd largest economy. Equip yourself with some Mandarin and you can speak with around 13% of the world’s population.
With the 3rd largest economy in Europe, French is an important language for business. It’s also widely used throughout the United Nations, African Union and European Union.
Did you know about 527 million people speak Spanish globally? Speaking Spanish means you can work and speak with people from Spain, Mexico, the US, and across South America .
Germany has the largest economy in Europe and is also spoken in Austria and Switzerland. Say yes to those European business trips.
Learning a language literally makes your brain bigger! Check these benefits out:
Language learners are less likely to experience dementia and other memory problems later in life.
Knowing another language doubles your cognitive recovery rate within a year of suffering a stroke, and allows you approximately an extra 4 to 5 years of symptom-free living if you have Alzheimer’s.
Improves cognitive functions like decision-making, observation and overall memory.
Speaking a new language can increase your attention span and ability to multitask as you translate words in your head while you’re talking.
It helps you make meaningful connections with others – which can prevent loneliness, anxiety and depression.
Boosts confidence and self-esteem, plus your own self-awareness.
Learning a new language has to be fun, easy, and fit in seamlessly with your lifestyle and motivations.
Do you want to show off a few Spanish words to your friends at the tapas restaurant down the street? So what? Or do you want to strike up cool conversations on the beach in Barcelona, cocktail in hand?
Believe it or not… you’ve learnt a language before. After you were born: the first thing you did was learn a language! Easy to forget, right? Our brains are wired to learn a language. This means you can learn a new language again. You just need to know how… 👀
The point of using language is to understand it and speak it to others, right? To interact with real people. Sounds simple. But it’s amazing how many learners get bogged down in the books and forget about this.
To survive (and thrive) in another country you need to use language in real-life situations. This is why you need to be Street Smart (NOT Book Smart) with your language learning.
Nope, this isn’t about using street slang! ‘DUDE!’ This is learning what you’ll actually use to converse with people in different life situations. NOT how to memorise a textbook… or pass an exam.
Textbooks bored me to death at school. I remember writing out French verb endings in class only to then turn up at a patisserie in France and get brain freeze. I didn’t know how to order anything. The server gave me this look…
I needed real-life language. Real-life competence. I needed to be Street Smart, not Book Smart!
This is what makes us different at Memrise. We truly believe this is not just the best way to learn a language, it’s how you learn a language for real-world use.
Interested? Pick one of our language courses to get started!
People aren’t born with special skills needed to learn a language…
You don’t learn to swim by reading a textbook. You jump in and give the strokes a go.
So what are you waiting for? Practice little and often. Whether that’s 3 minutes listening before bed… some speaking in shower… or putting sticky notes on the cupboard where you keep your chocolate.
The ultimate question: how to learn a new language effectively? Do I have time? 🤔
Life is busy. We really feel this in adulthood So the time you spend learning has to be put to best possible use! Need to put the kids to bed? Travelling to an evening language class on the other side of town might take time you don’t have…
So before thinking ‘how do I learn?’ Ask yourself:
When do I have time to learn?
Can I learn a language on my own?
Why do I want to do this? And how do I keep myself motivated?
It MUST fit into your life easily, letting you learn at your own pace and on your own time, while keeping you motivated.
Nope. We’re not talking about changing your phone to another language. We mean understanding how a language works in real life. By immersing yourself in it and figuring out how it works in real life. Learn language for the streets, folks!
Spending time in another country is a little tricky right now (thanks COVID). But you don’t need to book an expensive holiday or time off work to immerse yourself in a language.
Language immersion means replicating the experience of living in your target language country. By putting yourself in quasi-real-life situations and hearing the exact language you’re going to hear.
Our app means you can do this from home, wrapped in a blanket, while eating ice cream…
We use 1000’s of audio and video clips of REAL locals speaking their native language in REAL situations.
This teaches you both how words & phrases are used, when they’re used in different situations, and how to say them yourself (... and be understood saying them.)
Our Street Smart learning cuts to the chase. Open your phone and be instantly face-to-face with REAL locals people speaking to you in their native language. Yep, the one you’re trying to learn. All in context and with their natural tone of voice, gestures and accent. You can then speak these words and phrases aloud, without the embarrassment of getting it wrong. This is the most effective way to learn a language.
The end result? Communicate with confidence. Connect with real people. Fall in love with language.
Already got a language in mind? Begin your journey and pick out a language course.
Sign up to classroom-based language classes and learn from a language teacher, or find a class online.
Find a language exchange partner to practice speaking with online.
Watch TV shows and films in your target language (with subtitles). Or listen to a podcast in that language.
Listen to music and follow the lyrics as you listen!
Read children’s books in the language you’re learning to familiarise yourself with words, phrases and sentence structure. Diving into an adult novel is only going to confuse you at this stage.
Let’s be clear. If you wake up tomorrow and decide to live in the Netherlands, Germany, or Korea (whatever country it may be)… Walking around in circles or staying there for a certain length of time won’t magically make you fluent. There’s not something in the water.
So when we say immersion is the easiest way to learn a language. We DO NOT mean this... because this is ‘submersion’. And it’ll leave you feeling like…
You can learn a new language at ANY AGE. The idea that only children can learn a new language and there’s a cut-off year for effective language learning is rubbish.
Children soak up new information easily, sure. But you CAN grasp a language, at any stage in life. Quick tip: attack it with the fearlessness of a child and welcome those mistakes. Many end up regretting not learning a second language. The good news is… your time is now.
Whether you’re 6 or 66, learning a language IS possible.
Life is hectic as an adult. Job, kids, bills, cooking, cleaning, and other life admin. That’s why learning a language MUST NOT feel like one more chore on that never-ending to-do list. It has to be fun. Easy. Simple!
Practise little and often. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. (Did we mention repeat?) We promise you’ll learn to love these short & sharp sessions. It takes you 15 minutes to get into work? Perfect timing.
Hear 1000’s of videos of real people speaking their native tongue. Sign up online to learn with locals from any of our 22 languages now!
While there is no certified ‘fastest way’ for someone to learn a language, we believe immersive language learning can help you learn at a good pace!
Asking ‘how many hours to learn a language?’ is a waste of time.
It depends on:
Your motivations for learning a language: looking to travel without stress or for complete fluency?
The amount of learning practise you put in.
How you choose to learn (*apps like us are pretty good… just saying*).
Good news! Whether you have 1 week, 1 afternoon, or just 10 minutes while your pasta cooks… especially just 10 minutes… you have time to learn language! Equipping yourself with the right tools to be Street Smart lets you learn a language fast. In fact, after reading this guide, you’ll have the tools to learn a language in 3 months, if you really want. 👀
You CAN do this!
Once you conquer a language, you won’t be able to wipe that smile off your face. Read these tips and take your first steps to learning a language.
Keep doing the stuff you love – but in another language!
Why only follow your interests in your native language? Whether you love watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S, listening to the sports news, or watching food videos. Seek it out in another language. It’s a great way to keep you engaged.
Test Yourself! 🏋️♀️
If you’re not making mistakes… you’re not trying hard enough. Embrace mistakes and learn from them. Test yourself with thousands of short clips of native speakers using real language in context here!
Be Street Smart, not Book Smart
You NEED to be Street Smart (not Book smart) with your language. Learn what you’ll use in the real world. We really cannot emphasise this enough.
Learning on your own is completely different to learning in a group classroom. Remember: you are now your own boss! Which is pretty exciting: you decide the time you put in, the learning goals, what you learn, EVERYTHING. But you’re not entirely on your own… the Memrise app’s learning reminders give you that extra bump you need when you’re feeling a bit lethargic. We got you!
You need a language learning system that fits into your life without disrupting it. After all, you’re probably trying to advance your career, keep up with friends, maybe even look after the kids (?) all at the same time.
Do you really have time to go to a language class!? Unlikely.
You need a way of learning that fits into your life without stress. Wouldn’t it be easier to practise phrases on your walk to the shops than drag yourself to a language class after a long day’s work? We think so!
As we listed earlier, there are a number of cool ways to learn a language. We often get the question: do you think dictionaries are useful for learning a language? And while they can be a useful resource to supplement your learning by adding vocab… just having a brain full of words isn’t going to get you anywhere. You need to know how to use them. We’re talking about real-life proficiency here. It’s called being Street Smart, not Book Smart.
Remember when you had a phone without google maps!? When it comes to learning a language, technology is your friend. No need to stare at thick grammar books until your head hurts or fly somewhere and hope the language seeps into your skin! The rise of online learning software makes learning a language more accessible than ever. 😎
Always dreamed of speaking a second language? Curl up with a cup of tea, open your phone, and make it a reality. How? Get started here.
Whether it’s an online course, a speak-with-a-friend program, or an easy-to-use app (ummm hi 👀)… you’ve got a few options when it comes to learning a language online. With a working internet connection you’re spoilt for choice. You just need to pick out one that suits you best.
You might be thinking: ‘surely an app is just a textbook on my phone, right!?’ And yes… a handful of apps are like this. They use the same artificial and bored voices that you might’ve heard during your school listening exams.
You need – no, DESERVE – something that’s super fun and engaging. Like an app that puts you face-to-face with local speakers from the comfort of your sofa. One that uses real-life words and phrases in context with the gestures, intonations, accents that come with it. The full package. This is language immersion.
Memrise is awesome for:
Learning on the go! Take learning with you wherever you are in the world.
Learning a language at home in your pyjamas with a glass of wine.
Learning a language through listening to hours of videos and audio of real native speakers teaching you (no robot voices here!).
Immersing yourself in language without booking an expensive plane ticket.
People who want to learn super useful vocabulary and phrases that they’ll actually use!
Motivation. Our courses are fun: reach into your pocket and start learning on your own time. Easy.
Memrise is less awesome for:
People who only want a piece of paper or certificate to prove they’ve learned something.
If you want to speak like a bored robot… (whatever floats your boat).
Wait a minute. You’re just saying this because this is Memrise.com!? Actually… NO.
Learning a language should be fun and easy! That’s why our dedicated team of language specialists have worked long & hard to create what we genuinely believe to be the best language learning software out there.
We created our language learning software to do all the things we see missing in other classes, books, videos and apps out there. Letting you learn vocabulary that you find useful. All while having fun, staying motivated, and surrounding yourself with REAL language spoken by locals – which all gives you the confidence to communicate.
We have a website for those who want to learn at home on a computer and an app for those busy bees who learn better on the go. We teach you with videos of speaking common phrases in the accents, pace, and body language that makes language come to life. You can choose different levels to learn from, meaning you can spend time with the parts that you find the most interesting and fun!
Life is short. So forget learning for the sake of learning. You need an app that teaches you phrases you’ll actually use to connect with people. That’s why our app has real native speakers teach you to speak like the locals do. So you can connect to different people, countries and cultures. Now that’s cool!
It’s designed for an agile learning experience. Anytime. Anyplace.
Memrise only highlights useful phrases which give you real-world language competence. 😎
Fancy learning two languages at once? No problem.
Our fun videos of native speakers teaching you (and testing your pronunciation!) throw you into the country where the language is spoken!
Need to stop your lesson abruptly? No problem. Our app automatically saves your progress so you won’t lose anything.
It also keeps track of your daily streak to hit you with that extra boost of motivation to keep learning!
Out of signal? Rather not use mobile data? Our offline mode lets you download all the content on your phone so you can learn a language without needing WIFI or mobile data.
Congratulations! You’ve made it through our complete guide to learning a language. This means you must be excited about getting started!
Our app immerses you in 22 different languages. Whatever language you want to learn, we’ll help you get there.