Knowing a secondary language is par for the course in today’s ultra-connected cultures and global workforces.
Being multi-lingual can catapult you to career success. Plus, significant research has shown people who learned a second language at a younger age were likely to have more advanced grey matter in their nervous systems.
Communication skills comprise the tip of the iceberg when expanding your cultural know-how, such as trying food from other parts of the world, making friends from a new country or even packing up and heading to a new continent.
And apart from that, language is fun!
But there’s no need to head for the Rosetta Stone or pay for a tutor. You can start your journey around the world simply by watching a few YouTube videos.
We even put the theory to the test. Watch the video above as I try to learn Russian through YouTube.
To get started, search within YouTube for your language of choice. Sift through the vast pool of available tutorials. Once you weed out the less helpful ones, you’ll see there are plenty of educational channels dedicated to specific languages. (Check out the gallery below for some of the best channels and videos for language learning.)
The best practice for learning a language is to repeat popular words and phrases. But make sure to repeat out loud, not in your head — it’s the only way to practice pronunciation and accent nuances. Most of the videos even pause and wait for you to repeat the phrase. And you can always rewind to work on troublesome words and phrases.
Also, take notes. Even though YouTube is great for casual learning, treat the videos as if you were in front of a teacher. It will help you focus. Notes also create a good study guide for later reference.
Since most of these channels host several videos, give yourself a goal of learning one video a day. Trying to cram too much information can get confusing.
And just because you’re virtually learning a language doesn’t mean you can’t practice in the real world. Initiate conversations with native speakers — the process will become more intuitive, while reinforcing key words and phrases.
So, head to YouTube with good luck, bon chance, buena suerte and buona fortuna!