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Forget About the Paywalls: Learn French for Free

Until now, you may have been saving up to pay for your first French class. Maybe you’ve been eyeing a subscription to a language learning app that keeps showing up in your news feed. Or, perhaps you’ve given up all hopes of learning French because it will cost too much.

What if we told you that you could learn French without touching your wallet? That you can start your learning journey today, for free?

It’s true.

With our experience testing hundreds of resources, we know that it’s possible—and we’ll show you how. You won’t need to put aside money for monthly payments or splurge on a new textbook; all you need is your motivation and a digital device.

So keep reading and let’s explore a ton of high-quality resources to keep your French studies free!

Choose Your Resources

If you want to learn French for free, you may need to adopt an eclectic approach to French resources. What is limited access in one may be free in another, so don’t get discouraged if you hit a paywall.

We’ve made sure to include resources that tackle reading, writing, speaking, and listening. You can mix and match, but at the beginner and intermediate levels you may want to establish an overarching structure with step-by-step courses.

We’ll first introduce some course options, then offer some podcasts, YouTube channels, and reading tools to enrich your studies.

Next we’ll point you towards a plethora of practice activities to refine your skills and some reference sites for when you need a quick answer for grammar, pronunciation, nuances and more.

It’s often more fun to learn with others, so we’ve also handpicked some community sites for language exchanges and writing and speaking feedback.

Finally, you’ll find out how to get some paid resources for free and assess your French level based on the CEFR scale.

And don’t forget, if you sign up to be an app tester on the ALR website, you can get free access to paid resources in exchange for your honest opinions.

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14 Best Arabic Courses: Stories, Dialogues, Reading, and More!

You may be getting ready to take your first steps in learning Arabic—or, you may have been studying for a while but are seeking more structure in your studies. With about 30 varieties of Arabic to learn, it can be difficult to know where to look for guidance.

Though there are not many comprehensive courses available to Arabic learners, we’ve collected some great picks to support your studies. Even some of our lower-rated suggestions may provide inspiration and motivation. 

Whether you’re learning for everyday communication, making new friends, or reading the Quran, you’ll likely find something enjoyable and educational on this list. So let’s get started!

Sort By:

4/5
Price: $14.95 OR $19.95/MONTH
Interactive audio lessons with speaking practice

If you are keen to get speaking from day one, Pimsleur’s audio courses may be just what you’re looking for. You won’t spend much time reading or writing in Arabic, but you will learn to have basic conversations relatively quickly. 

The course uses backchaining to rapidly improve your pronunciation and fluidity. It also effectively builds on each of the previous lessons, so you won’t feel lost moving from the beginner to advanced levels. 

Through interacting with dialogues and responding to prompts from the narrator, you will soon be speaking full sentences in Arabic. You can also top up your skills with some quizzes and flashcards, though these aren’t necessary to succeed in the course.

Pros

  • Structured lessons
  • Practical speaking practice
  • Intuitive user interface

Cons

  • May be a bit slow for some learners
  • No reading or writing practice
  • No real-world listening comprehension practice
4.2/5
Price: $8-$47/MONTH
arabicpod101
Hundreds of audio lessons with flashcards and transcripts

If you want to learn Arabic and gain insight into Arab culture, look no further than ArabicPod101. With comprehensive grammar explanations, lesson notes, transcripts, and quizzes, you can enjoy many hours of learning in one place.

You won’t have to worry about repetitive topics with the numerous lesson paths to choose from. You also won’t get bored listening to the hosts, as their interactions with each other and their listeners are both friendly and personable.

Some lessons appear more like phrasebook dictionaries, but you can pick through dozens of lesson paths to see which one suits you best.

Pros

  • Lots of content in multiple dialects
  • Hosts have a nice dynamic
  • There is less English as the lessons progress
  • Great cultural context

Cons

  • Not very structured
  • The website is a bit confusing and has lots of advertisements
  • Not much speaking or writing practice
3.3/5
Price: $9.99/month for Premium, $13.99/month for Premium Plus
Structured design with speaking and writing practice

Busuu’s Arabic course leaves a lot to be desired, but it can be both fun and educational if you already have a basic understanding of grammar and pronunciation. There are about 115 lessons that follow a logical progression and loosely adhere to the CEFR scale. Each lesson teaches practical language that you can use in your everyday life. 

If you have no background in Arabic, you’ll likely find it more difficult to follow along. The course teaches you through quizzes and repetition, but it makes little room for you to understand grammar or pronunciation before advancing to the next topic. Luckily they provide both the Arabic script and romanized script, so you won’t have to learn to write before using the app. 

One awesome feature that Busuu provides is the opportunity to practice your writing and speaking skills with fellow community members. Busuu invites free and paid users alike to interact with each other through correcting exercises in their native language. 

Our rating for Busuu would be higher if it wasn’t for the Arabic and Chinese courses, but it’s still a fine resource to provide structure and keep you motivated.

Pros

  • The design is engaging and the interface is easy to use
  • Conversation lessons are especially useful
  • The social feature is free

Cons

  • Some exercises don’t include translations
  • Grammar explanations aren’t the best
3.2/5
Price: $30/MONTH, $299.88/YEAR
Glossika Logo
Speaking and listening practice for intermediate learners

Glossika won’t teach you explicit grammar rules, pronunciation, or the Arabic script—but if you enjoy learning through repetition and speaking, you may enjoy its extensive phrase bank. 

This resource uses spaced repetition to drill key phrases, then invites you to practice what you’ve learned through dictation and speaking exercises. Don’t worry if you haven’t yet learned the Arabic script, as you can read and type the romanized characters. 

Though Glossika will familiarize you with the Arabic language through extensive repetition, this isn’t the best resource if you are looking for dynamic practice and direct instruction for grammar and pronunciation.

Pros

  • Vocabulary covers a wide range of topics
  • Uses spaced repetition
  • Has audio recorded by native speakers

Cons

  • Expensive for what it offers
  • No grammar explanations
  • Can get too repetitive
  • Doesn’t break down pronunciation
4.3/5
Price: FREE
Understand Arabic without memorization

Don’t worry about having to memorize extensive vocabulary lists or drill repetitive phrases.
With Language Transfer you’ll problem solve, deconstruct and build your own sentences, and identify patterns in the Arabic language. The goal is to understand Arabic—not memorize it—making you more confident to tackle more advanced material in your future studies.

This course is for beginners with little to no exposure to Arabic and is entirely audio based. You won’t need to take notes, but you will need focus to engage with Mihalis’s practice activities and prompts.

The best part? It’s 100% free.

Pros

  • Free
  • Has well-structured lessons
  • Thoughtfully developed

Cons

  • No native speakers
  • Uses a lot of English
  • The pace might be too slow for some learners
4.3/5
Price: $11.99/MONTH OR $55.99/YEAR

Who wouldn’t want to learn Arabic in the company of an adorable deer with glasses?

If you’ve tried Duolingo, you’ll be familiar with LingoDeer’s format. But, you may be pleasantly surprised to find something that Duolingo’s Arabic course has yet to develop: detailed grammar explanations. LingoDeer adds short readings to its gamified format so you can get more out of your studies.

It may be difficult to get through the first four lessons of unit one without prior knowledge of the Arabic alphabet, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be home free to learn basic conversational topics.

Keep in mind that the Arabic course is still in the beta phase. They currently have 30 units for total beginners, but you may want to hold off on getting a membership if you are looking for more than the absolute basics. Luckily, you can also test out several lessons without signing up to see if you like it.

Pros

  • Detailed grammar explanations
  • Native speaker audio
  • Fun

Cons

  • Limited speaking practice
  • Only has content for absolute beginners
  • Need to look elsewhere to practice the Arabic script

FSI and DLI courses

4.3/5
Price: Free
Outdated but comprehensive courses for multiple dialects

The Foreign Services Institute (FSI) and Defense Language Institute (DLI) are probably the most comprehensive, free language learning resources in the world. Unfortunately, they are also very outdated.

With the FSI’s moderate focus on politics and the DLI’s attention to military terminology, you will probably need to learn and forget several sections of the course. But, if you are motivated and disciplined, you can follow in the steps of past diplomats who persevered through hundreds of hours of self-study course material. Your hard work will pay off when you have your first conversation with an Arabic speaker—though you may want to spend time listening to recent podcasts or videos to update your vocabulary beforehand.

Beginners can choose a dialect and start studying today. If you already speak Egyptian or Levantine Arabic, the FSI’s Comparative Arabic Course will help you transition into the other dialect.

Pros

  • Free
  • Teaches multiple dialects
  • Courses are structured and comprehensive

Cons

  • Can be dry and boring
  • Outdated and sexist language
4.3/5
Price: free
Learn the Arabic Alphabet

Arabic Quick! dedicates its text-based lessons to teaching you the Arabic script. It has an attractive, colorful interface that gives you clear structure for your learning and is probably the most comprehensive free guide you’ll find on the internet.

The lessons are dedicated to each letter of the alphabet, which are broken down by how they are written at the start, middle, and end of a word. You’ll find examples and explanations for different pronunciation rules, plus mnemonic devices to easily remember how each letter is written. Arabic Quick! also helps you compare differences between similar-looking letters so you are prepared to avoid mixing them up in the future.

This is a great place to start or continue your studies of the Arabic script. It can easily be used alongside other resources that teach you conversational Arabic.

Pros

  • Detailed explanations of how to write each letter
  • Color-coded examples 
  • Helps you remember each letter and the differences between them

Cons

  • No quizzes or writing exercises
  • Very little audio pronunciation
  • Requires a lot of reading
4.2/5
Price: $8-$47/MONTH
arabicpod101
Hundreds of audio lessons with flashcards and transcripts

If you want to learn Arabic and gain insight into Arab culture, look no further than ArabicPod101. With comprehensive grammar explanations, lesson notes, transcripts, and quizzes, you can enjoy many hours of learning in one place.

You won’t have to worry about repetitive topics with the numerous lesson paths to choose from. You also won’t get bored listening to the hosts, as their interactions with each other and their listeners are both friendly and personable.

Some lessons appear more like phrasebook dictionaries, but you can pick through dozens of lesson paths to see which one suits you best.

Pros

  • Lots of content in multiple dialects
  • Hosts have a nice dynamic
  • There is less English as the lessons progress
  • Great cultural context

Cons

  • Not very structured
  • The website is a bit confusing and has lots of advertisements
  • Not much speaking or writing practice
4/5
Price: $14.95 OR $19.95/MONTH
Interactive audio lessons with speaking practice

If you are keen to get speaking from day one, Pimsleur’s audio courses may be just what you’re looking for. You won’t spend much time reading or writing in Arabic, but you will learn to have basic conversations relatively quickly. 

The course uses backchaining to rapidly improve your pronunciation and fluidity. It also effectively builds on each of the previous lessons, so you won’t feel lost moving from the beginner to advanced levels. 

Through interacting with dialogues and responding to prompts from the narrator, you will soon be speaking full sentences in Arabic. You can also top up your skills with some quizzes and flashcards, though these aren’t necessary to succeed in the course.

Pros

  • Structured lessons
  • Practical speaking practice
  • Intuitive user interface

Cons

  • May be a bit slow for some learners
  • No reading or writing practice
  • No real-world listening comprehension practice
4/5
Price: Free
duolingo
A fun way to dip your toes into learning Arabic

If you’ve been too intimidated to start learning Arabic, you’re in luck. Though Duolingo’s Arabic course has less than 50 sections, it may be one of the more fun options to start learning the basics.

The lessons teach you through patterns and repetition, and you’ll probably have to follow along with a pen and pencil to get the most out of each lesson. But, the supportive owl and gamified format will ensure that you won’t get bored.

Once you’ve learned a bit of the script, you can progress through the learning tree to acquire new vocabulary and grammar structures.

Duolingo won’t teach you very practical language, and you’ll have to look elsewhere to learn the more complex aspects of the Arabic script. But, it will help you dip your toes in the language without getting discouraged.

Pros

  • Free
  • The gamified aspect is fun and potentially motivating
  • The repetition builds basic skills
  • Makes the Arabic script unintimidating for new learners

Cons

  • Only teaches the basics of the Arabic script
  • Impractical language
  • Only teaches Modern Standard Arabic
3.5/5
Price: $7.99/month for one language, $17.99 for all languages
Mango-languages-Logo
Learn both formal and colloquial Arabic

Though Mango Languages isn’t usually our first choice for resource recommendations, its Arabic courses are surprisingly high-quality for beginners. Not only do they teach Modern Standard Arabic, but they also teach three different dialects: Egyptian, Iraqi, and Levantine. This way you’ll be able to engage in both formal and informal communication.

With 5 separate units and hundreds of lessons, you’ll go from making introductions to talking about your feelings and career. You’ll probably be able to have simple conversations by your last lesson, but the lack of attention to grammar means that you’ll need to look elsewhere to have more complex discussions.

This resource also has a unique feature that compares your voice recording to the original speaker in real time. By playing the recordings simultaneously, you can make a more accurate assessment of your pronunciation.

Pros

  • You can compare your voice in real time to the original audio recording
  • Some libraries offer it for free in the US and Canada
  • Effective drilling of new concepts
  • Cultural explanations

Cons

  • Material only covers the beginner level
  • Lack of grammar explanations
3.3/5
Price: $9.99/month for Premium, $13.99/month for Premium Plus
Structured design with speaking and writing practice

Busuu’s Arabic course leaves a lot to be desired, but it can be both fun and educational if you already have a basic understanding of grammar and pronunciation. There are about 115 lessons that follow a logical progression and loosely adhere to the CEFR scale. Each lesson teaches practical language that you can use in your everyday life. 

If you have no background in Arabic, you’ll likely find it more difficult to follow along. The course teaches you through quizzes and repetition, but it makes little room for you to understand grammar or pronunciation before advancing to the next topic. Luckily they provide both the Arabic script and romanized script, so you won’t have to learn to write before using the app. 

One awesome feature that Busuu provides is the opportunity to practice your writing and speaking skills with fellow community members. Busuu invites free and paid users alike to interact with each other through correcting exercises in their native language. 

Our rating for Busuu would be higher if it wasn’t for the Arabic and Chinese courses, but it’s still a fine resource to provide structure and keep you motivated.

Pros

  • The design is engaging and the interface is easy to use
  • Conversation lessons are especially useful
  • The social feature is free

Cons

  • Some exercises don’t include translations
  • Grammar explanations aren’t the best
3.2/5
Price: $30/MONTH, $299.88/YEAR
Glossika Logo
Speaking and listening practice for intermediate learners

Glossika won’t teach you explicit grammar rules, pronunciation, or the Arabic script—but if you enjoy learning through repetition and speaking, you may enjoy its extensive phrase bank. 

This resource uses spaced repetition to drill key phrases, then invites you to practice what you’ve learned through dictation and speaking exercises. Don’t worry if you haven’t yet learned the Arabic script, as you can read and type the romanized characters. 

Though Glossika will familiarize you with the Arabic language through extensive repetition, this isn’t the best resource if you are looking for dynamic practice and direct instruction for grammar and pronunciation.

Pros

  • Vocabulary covers a wide range of topics
  • Uses spaced repetition
  • Has audio recorded by native speakers

Cons

  • Expensive for what it offers
  • No grammar explanations
  • Can get too repetitive
  • Doesn’t break down pronunciation
3/5
Price: From $8 – $47/month, less for longer subscriptions
A massive lesson library and thorough explanations

It’s difficult to find comprehensible input for beginners that gets incrementally more difficult. Usually, podcasts and resources divide their content into three or four levels; Arabic Workshop, on the other hand, divides its content into 15 difficulty levels from beginner (A1) to intermediate (B1). 

You can listen to short monologues or dialogues about practical, everyday topics with animated drawings. Or, you can read along with an interactive transcript. Though the lower levels take most of the content, the team behind this resource seems to be continually adding to the library. 

Keep in mind that other than listening to the audio multiple times or doing self-study activities, Arabic Workshop doesn’t add anything to reinforce what you have learned. Also, the transcripts only have translations for individual words and no romanized script. 

Check out some of the free sample videos before subscribing to a monthly membership.

Pros

  • Manageable jumps in difficulty
  • One of the few resources with comprehensible input for beginners
  • Teaches practical vocabulary

Cons

  • No full-sentence translations
  • No activities to reinforce what you have learned
  • Expensive for what it offers
2.8/5
Price: free
For learners studying the Quran

If you are learning Arabic to communicate in your everyday life, you’ll definitely want to look to other resources. But, if you are interested in learning classical Arabic to read the Quran, then you can use Madinah Arabic as a free, comprehensive resource.

With some self-discipline you can learn a lot from the text-based lessons and quizzes. Start with the Arabic script or dive into almost a hundred beginner lessons. There are also vocabulary lists with animations showing how to write specific words.

The website design feels a bit clumsy, and it isn’t very pleasing to the eye. But, the lessons are free and can provide your studies with some structure.

Pros

  • Free
  • Very comprehensive

Cons

  • Unattractive user interface
  • Won’t teach you to speak Arabic
  • Not very engaging
2.7/5
Price: $36/QUARTER; UP TO $179 FOR A LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION
Expensive and repetitive, but helpful for beginners

Though Rosetta Stone can get a bit repetitive, stick around if you’re a total beginner looking to develop a strong foundation of basic vocabulary and sentence structure.

Rosetta Stone has excellent audio quality recorded by native speakers, plus a logical progression from one lesson to the next. You’ll spend a lot of your time matching pictures and words, and no time building sentences or reading grammar explanations. This makes it a better option for individuals looking to learn grammar and vocabulary through immersion.

Recently, some extra features have been added to the resource’s curriculum. The Stories feature invites you to simultaneously read and listen to various texts, then record yourself reading aloud. And, instead of providing translations for keywords, you’ll see images to ensure you maintain an immersion environment.

Also, if you subscribe to Lifetime Plus, you can join other learners in 25-minute lessons with live tutors. These lessons focus on specific units, so you can pick one that directly relates to what you are learning.

Given the limited course options currently available for Arabic learners, Rosetta Stone is actually a fine choice to help you establish a foundation of basic Arabic.

Pros

  • Helps you learn basic vocabulary
  • Lessons get increasingly difficult
  • Interesting stories for reading, listening, and speaking practice
  • Livestream tutor if you subscribe to Lifetime Plus

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Repetitive format
  • Nothing for advanced learners
2.7/5
Price: £59 – £250
Maybe suitable for some learners

We wouldn’t recommend Arabic Online to total beginners, but their Advanced Arabic and Grammar Explorer courses may be helpful to intermediate learners. With interactive activities and texts, you’ll practice sentence building, reading comprehension, and grammar.

Unfortunately, we found that the beginner levels repeated several of the same themes and weren’t very engaging. These levels also had a lot of bugs in their programming.

If you’d like to try something new and just want to keep motivated, you can give Arabic Online a go. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to check out the other resources we recommend.

Pros

  • Reading comprehension activities at higher levels
  • Specifically designed for Arabic learners

Cons

  • Repeats a limited variety of themes
  • Lots of bugs that slow down the website
  • Expensive for what it offers
  • Dashboard is confusing

17 Awesome Podcasts for Your Arabic Studies

Though most language learning resources teach Modern Standard Arabic, the spoken Arabic you might hear in the real world depends on the regional dialect. Arabic podcasts will help turn your textbook Arabic into something to connect with people in everyday life. Plus, they provide an excellent means of improving your listening comprehension and getting to know Arab culture.

With some digging, we managed to find these 17 podcasts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners alike. Though most of them focus on Levantine and Egyptian Arabic, many touch on other dialects as well. With the wide range of topics and thoughtful lessons available, we’re sure that you’ll find something to enrich your communication.

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Improve Your Korean with 16 Fabulous Podcasts

Now that K-Pop has made its way to the top-40 charts in North America, you may be keen to start learning Korean. Or, you may have already decided to improve your language skills after finishing season 5 of your favorite K-drama.

Wherever you are in your Korean studies, podcasts are an excellent medium to listen to authentic conversations with Korean speakers and improve your listening comprehension.

We have searched the internet for these 16 podcasts to support your learning endeavors. We hope you find something educational, or at least entertaining, to take with you wherever you go with your digital device.

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20 Best Podcasts To Learn Italian In 2021

Finding a great Italian podcast won’t only help you improve your listening comprehension, but it will also bring Italy closer to you. And don’t worry about spending hours searching for that perfect fit—we’ve already done that for you.

Below are 23 podcasts to improve your Italian, organized by level. Most of them are 100% in Italian, and many have free transcripts. We’re sure you’ll find something that can accompany you in your Italian studies that will be both challenging and fun.

You may also want to check out our list of Italian YouTube channels, as some of them have recordings in podcast form.

All Levels

Podcast Italiano

Davide is an experienced online teacher and polyglot with a degree in translation and interpretation. His high-quality YouTube channel and podcast provide excellent Italian immersion for all levels of Italian learners.

With Davide’s podcast, you’ll get free transcripts, vocabulary notes, and translations for each episode. Plus, you can even listen to a series of unscripted conversations to take your comprehension to the next level. 

You can download the audio for all of the episodes on the Podcast Italiano website.

News in Slow Italian

Step into the excitement of Italian current events with News in Slow Italian. Though typically a paid resource, there is some free intermediate content available on Spotify.

The website publishes news at a level-appropriate speed, highlighting important grammar points and expressions in the transcripts.

Upper-level beginners can check out the “Get Up to Speed” course, which will cover the foundations needed to start the intermediate program. Read our full review for more information.

Italianpod101

Although ItalianPod101 requires a paid membership, it comes with some advantages. There are thousands of bite-sized podcast-style dialogues for beginner to advanced learners, plus lesson notes, quizzes, flashcards, and translations.

The site can be a bit confusing with all the available lesson paths and episodes, but once you find your lesson path it will probably be worth your while.

There’s a 7-day free trial when you sign up for a free account, and if you use the promo code “ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES”, you’ll save 25% on a subscription. Read our full review of ItalianPod101 here.

Beginner

Language Transfer

Language Transfer provides a series of introductory audio courses for several different languages — including Italian.

You won’t spend as much time immersed in the language, but you will go into depth about how the Italian language works. You’ll learn major grammar points and develop vocabulary and pronunciation. You’ll also hear the instructor, Mihalis, interact with a beginner student and correct their mistakes. The goal is to respond to prompts as if you yourself were the student.

Language Transfer can support anyone looking to understand the ins and outs of learning Italian. If you’d like to get a better sense of what it’s all about, you can read our full review.

Coffee Break Italian

The Coffee Break Languages series—available in French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Chinese, and Italian—gives you language lessons that last about the duration of a 30-minute coffee break.

Each Italian conversation has an English discussion and analysis, making it a great option if you prefer to have more context to your learning. You’ll get the most out of this series by responding to the prompts aloud. It’s also best to start at episode one if you have no background in Italian.

Extra lesson notes and video pronunciation practice are available in the Premium version. But, you’ll be fine listening to the podcasts on major streaming platforms. To learn more, check out our full review.

Intermediate

Oggi Parliamo

Join Andrea, a certified Italian teacher and CELI examiner, for a different Italian experience four days per week. Mondays you can explore the arts—opera, literature, music, history, and more. Or, tune in on Tuesdays to focus on grammar, follow current events in Italy on Wednesdays, and discuss common Italian expressions on Thursdays.

Supporting Andrea on Patreon will give you full access to the transcripts. You can also sign up for a free trial class with him on his website.

Simple Italian

In Simple Italian, Simone delivers authentic Italian immersion to your home. You’ll hear about some of his personal experiences, gain new perspectives from interviews with other Italian speakers, and get accurate, researched information about topics like sleep or the history of lesser known cities.

If you pay for a membership on his website, you’ll receive transcripts with vocabulary notes in English and German.

Italiano Bello

You might feel more like you’re listening to someone’s train of thought than a structured podcast, but Italiano Bello will give you bite-sized insights into daily life in Italy. Learn about Italian culture, language, and literature, and get some language learning tips along the way.

These 10-minute episodes provide excellent practice for intermediate learners to improve their listening comprehension.

Radio Arlecchino

Created by the University of Texas at Austin, Radio Arlecchino has 22 engaging dialogues to reinforce a series of grammar points: the subjunctive tense, past tense, imperative form, pronouns, and more.

Unfortunately there aren’t more episodes available, but the free PDF transcripts with cultural and grammar notes make this limited series an excellent resource to refer back to throughout your studies.

Keep in mind that, besides the dialogues, this podcast is mostly in English.

Italian Stories in Italian

This relatively new podcast focuses on learning Italian through natural language rather than extensive grammar explanations. Their 10- to 20-minute episodes use Italian at a slower than natural speed, but cover interesting topics like Dante Alighieri, multiple intelligences, carnivals, and festivals.

Each episode comes with a free transcript and vocabulary notes on the Online Italian Classes website.

Upper Intermediate

Quattro Stagioni

Though you can’t see her, Laura’s voice is so dynamic that you may find yourself imagining her facial expressions. She has three different series in her podcast, Quattro Stagioni:

In the main Quattro Stagioni series, you can learn about Italian culture and things that spark curiosity in Laura’s everyday life. If you’re more of a foodie, join Laura as she talks about Italian cuisine in In cucina, or travel around Italy in In viaggio. Every episode is a bite-sized piece of Italian immersion with Laura as your guide.

You can pay for a subscription to receive transcripts of every episode to help you follow along.

Pensieri & Parole

What makes this podcast stand out is the thoughtfulness that Linda puts into every episode, and the skill she demonstrates in her storytelling. She covers a wide variety of topics, from big ideas—like culture, literature, and language—to seemingly simple but important topics—like salt and hand gestures.

If you enjoy these episodes, you can buy study packages for the episodes on the Piccolo Mondo Italiano website.

Italy Made Easy Podcast

Italy Made Easy’s creator, Manu, delivers one of our highest rated Italian courses—and you can get a ton of free material from his free podcast. His lively and engaging personality will make your journey to fluency fun and easy.

Listen to these 100% Italian episodes on major streaming platforms, or sign up on his website for free access to transcripts, transcript translations, and comprehension questions. You can even download the podcast audio onto your computer or phone.

Beginners can check out his YouTube channel for more content in English.

Learn Italian with Lucrezi‪a‬

You may already know Lucrezia through her YouTube channel, but her podcast can keep you company when you need your eyes free. This channel doesn’t focus so much on grammar as it does on interesting information about the Italian language, customs, and festivals. There are also some interviews with inspiring Italian learners and polyglots to give you a boost of motivation.

Make sure to keep an eye out for the images and articles that Lucrezia provides in the description of her podcast episodes.

Ila Zed

If you like well-organized information in audio form, Ilaria has dozens of podcast episodes for you. Besides talking about grammar and culture, she also motivates you with conversations about learning Italian. Get tips about reading articles, watching movies, or creating a daily routine while immersing yourself in the language. Ilaria also shares free transcripts for each episode on her website.

Be Italiano

Stefano has over 5 years’ experience teaching Italian and now produces courses, YouTube videos and podcast episodes to take Italian students closer to fluency.

He invites a variety of guests onto his show—his friends, students, and even his mom—to discuss topics like cooking, distance learning, and what it’s like to get Italian citizenship. With these episodes you can train your ear to different Italian accents, or you can join him for his solo episodes to learn about Italian culture and holidays.

L’Italiano Vero

Inspired by All Ears English, Massimo and his team produce this podcast to make Italian simple and fun. Their entertaining, natural dialogues discuss all sorts of topics: television quiz shows, the hosts’ everyday lives, or advertisements whose influence created popular catchphrases.

They have several interactive transcripts available for free on their website, but for $1 per month you can access all of them—plus download the audio and PDF transcripts to your computer.

Arkos Academy

Arkos Academy reinforces your listening comprehension by recording the same script at a fast and a slow speed. They even provide free transcripts and comprehension questions on their website. Learn about major historical events, or listen to stories about famous people throughout history with these carefully written episodes.

Advanced

Con Parole Nostre

If you want to listen to content for native speakers but you still feel like you’re missing something, Con Parole Nostre wil bridge the gap. This trio of friends speaks in authentic, fast Italian—and they don’t speak with you in mind.

You’ll feel like you’re listening to a conversation on the streets of Italy, but there’s a difference: with Con Parole Nostre, you can follow along with a full transcript of the audio, so even if it’s challenging, you won’t get lost.

You’ll have to sign up for the newsletter to receive a free transcript with each new episode, or you can purchase past ones from the website.

Senza Rossett‪o‬

This feminist podcast dedicates each season to women of different time periods from a literary perspective: season one discusses the challenges women faced in the past; season two identifies prejudices and stereotypes that women experience today; and season three looks to the future for answers on how to establish gender equality.

Advanced learners can listen to the two hosts and authors discuss a variety of subtopics—and maybe get some ideas for their reading list.

Daily Cogito

Rick Dufer is an accomplished writer, performer, and philosopher. Even if you don’t speak a word of Italian, you’ll be impressed by the energy he brings to your ears. Listen to his podcast and improve your Italian through philosophical topics, critical thinking, literature, and pop culture. He often conducts interviews with influencers or professionals in various fields.

Scientificast

Scientificast has over 250 episodes with topics on physics, biology, and medicine. With a group of experts as your hosts—including but not limited to particle physicists, biotechnologists, and astrophysicists—you can explore hypothetical particles like axions or understand why octopuses punch other fish.

It won the Best Italian Podcast in 2016 at the Macchianera Italian Awards.

Rai Radio

From sports to music to news and more, Rai has endless content for advanced Italian learners to immerse themselves in the Italian language and culture. There are also multiple stations for kids so your family can enjoy Italian immersion together.

Final Thoughts

We hope you found something (or many things) to enjoy on this list. If you’re looking for more structure in your Italian studies, you can explore our favorite online Italian courses. Or, you can check out our list of Italian YouTube channels.

Look No Further: 30 Best Podcasts to Learn Mandarin Chinese

You don’t have to travel to another country to create an immersive Chinese environment, nor do you have to stare at a screen for hours on end. With a digital device and a pair of headphones (or speakers), you can bring immersion to you—for free.

And we’d like to help you with that. With hours of research and testing, we came up with this list of what we believe to be 30 of the best podcasts to learn Mandarin Chinese. Pick an episode, choose a streaming platform, then have a listen while you commute to work, do chores, or relax on the couch.

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23 Fantastic YouTube Channels For Learning Italian

If you’re learning Italian, you’ll find plenty of podcasts and online courses, but some of the best learning strategies are available for free on YouTube. Since Italian is known for having lots of hand gestures, YouTube videos can give you additional insight into the mannerisms of the language that a podcast just can’t cover.

Whether you choose to learn from a native speaker or someone who’s studying Italian just like you, here are a few of the best YouTube channels to put on your playlist.

They’re loosely organized based on the learner’s level, but there can be some overlap, so intermediates shouldn’t necessarily skip right over the beginner section. (more…)

Stay Motivated with 35 Mandarin Chinese YouTube Channels

Your day is coming to an end and you want to squeeze in a bit of Chinese practice, but you can’t muster up the energy to study on your own. Why not try a new YouTube channel to relax and learn at the same time?

Below are 35 YouTube channels for learning Chinese at any level—tested and approved by us. Whether you want to learn for a minute or an hour, we’re sure you’ll find something to enjoy.

All Levels

ChinesePod


If you’re looking for some structured learning on YouTube, ChinesePod has got you covered. Beginner to upper-intermediate learners can enjoy a series of video courses split into 5 levels. The hosts combine cartoons, dialogues, and funny interactions to break down vocabulary and grammar.

But don’t worry—if you don’t feel like following the video course, you can learn about Chinese characters, idioms, and slang in their other videos. They also have a channel with identical videos for those who are learning traditional characters.

If you enjoy these free videos, check out our full review of the ChinesePod subscription.

Mandarin HQ


With Angel’s guidance, you don’t have to worry about sounding like a broken record in Chinese. Gone are the days of saying “谢谢“ to every kind gesture, or “不客气” when the roles are reversed.

Mandarin HQ will help you express yourself like a native Chinese speaker, teaching you hundreds of useful idioms, slang terms, and common expressions. You’ll be able to politely end a conversation in five different ways or choose from seven different ways to respond to good news.

Whether you’ve been studying Chinese for a week or a decade, Mandarin HQ will surely give you some new words to use in conversation.

Mandarin Corner


You’ve been studying Mandarin for a while now. But when you listen to a Chinese Movie or talk show, you hear your brain yelling, “what!?” Well, Mandarin Corner might be the answer. The host, Eileen, bridges the gap between real-world Chinese and the Chinese you learn in school.

She interviews a variety of Chinese speakers to train your ear to different accents. Plus, she will help you understand the nuances of the language, must-know sentence structures, and even spend an hour helping you understand the many different measure words. The best part is, most of her videos are entirely in Mandarin.

Chinese Zero to Hero


We like Chinese Zero to Hero’s online courses, and we also like their YouTube channel. Learners at any level tackling HSK material will find clear grammar explanations and examples of how to use key concepts in multiple contexts. 

The hosts vary their presentation media and include videos, skits, stories, and images. They also have some listening comprehension exercises with poems from the Tang dynasty.

Mandarin With Miss Lin


Miss Lin (from Taiwan) is a Chinese teacher in France. Instead of just talking about real-life situations, she will take you through them in real-time. Prepare for your next adventure abroad by watching her check into a hotel or buy things from a convenience store in Mandarin.

Through these types of situations, interviews, movies, and more, you can enjoy her content wherever you are in your Chinese studies. Each video is well structured and contains simple but thorough explanations. Also, many of her videos have English subtitles, and you can support her on Patreon to get Chinese transcripts and download the audio.

GoEast Mandarin


Check out over 200 videos that teach you useful Chinese slang that you won’t find in your textbook. Each video, which is entirely in Mandarin, engages you with funny skits and explanations (with English subtitles). Learn how to tell someone off for arguing for the sake of arguing or for crossing the line. While you’re at it, you can add that they don’t have a conscience or that they’re speaking nonsense.

Beginner to advanced learners will probably get the most out of the “Beyond Class” and “Chinese Listening Practice” playlists.

Read our full review of GoEast Mandarin’s online classes here.

Hanbridge Mandarin and HSK Test Preparation and Practice


Hanbridge Mandarin offers online and in-person courses. Their beginner videos teach basic writing, pronunciation, and introductory phrases. But, the videos that stand out address “the difference between the words:” These videos, usually for HSK 5 learners, identify words with similar characters or pronunciation, giving you examples of the subtle nuances between them.

Also by Handbridge is the channel, HSK Test Preparation and Practice, which has lectures and exercises for HSK 2-5 learners.

WenYu Chinese


This channel takes a systematic approach to teaching Chinese through movies. If you find yourself unmotivated, you can count on Wenyu to create a fun and practical experience. He will help you improve your Chinese grammar, vocabulary, and listening comprehension with all types of films.

Wenyu highlights different aspects of the language through one or several movies. First, you’ll watch specific scenes with Chinese and English subtitles. Then, you’ll analyze the dialogue. Wenyu breaks down both basic and advanced concepts in many of the videos, making it accessible to learners at any level.

Everyday Chinese


The lessons in Everyday Chinese are filmed with actors of all ages. This way you’ll be able to train your ear to different vocal ranges and accents.

You can explore idioms, cultural nuances, HSK content, and more. Most of the videos contain valuable tidbits or comprehensive grammar explanations. For beginners, they have 40 free intro lessons that seem to lead up to the Everyday Chinese 101 course (a paid product on their website). They use English up until the HSK 3 videos but then switch to Chinese in HSK 4.

Chineseclass101


If you can get past the spammy advertisements, ChineseClass101 has some helpful videos for all levels. There are listening comprehension and reading exercises, plus tons of videos with common phrases and vocabulary words. If you enjoy these videos, you can check out our full review of ChineseClass101 to see if you want to pay for a subscription to their website.

SyS Mandarin


SyS Mandarin started up with short lectures on Chinese sentences and stories, but now it also teases you with short movie and song clips to teach you Chinese. Each clip passes in a matter of seconds and is followed by a thorough vocabulary and grammar explanation. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or advanced student—if you struggle to understand everyday spoken mandarin, you’re in the right place.

Beginner

Chinese For Us


Not only is Chinese For Us our highest-rated course for Chinese learners, but it also has an excellent YouTube channel. You will learn from Lili, who has taught Chinese at several universities in China and the United States.

She has a master’s degree in Chinese Linguistics and is also a certified HSK and YCT examiner. Her experience teaching Chinese is obvious in the design and presentation of these lessons.

If you want a structured and in-depth approach to learning Chinese from day 1, this is an excellent place to start. Check out our full review of the Chinese For Us courses to continue learning with Lili—and for a discount.

YoYo Chinese


YoYo Chinese’s creator, YangYang, is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable Chinese teacher. Her presentation skills were fine-tuned by years of experience as a TV host and reporter. On her channel, you will learn Chinese from an English-speaker’s perspective and engage in effective exercises for learning Chinese pronunciation. Plus, YangYang will introduce you to stories and mnemonic devices for 300 of the most common Chinese characters.

You can check out the beginner and intermediate lessons, plus authentic interviews with locals on the street. Many of the YouTube videos are live streams with current students of the YoYo Chinese Courses (check out our review here), and they contain a wealth of helpful tips to help you speak Mandarin.

Yimin Chinese艺敏中文


Yimin provides free HSK 1, 2, and 3 video courses with movie clips, slideshows, and funny GIFs to provide context for each lesson. You’ll be sure to enjoy these videos with Yimin’s sunny personality and notable knack for organization.

If you’d prefer to learn Chinese through songs or movies, Yimin does that, too. She’ll also help you identify common mistakes and nuances in Chinese.

Learn Chinese With Litao


This channel may not stand out at first glance. But, for anyone who wants a solid introduction to Chinese pronunciation and pinyin, look no further.

The host, Zheng Tao, dedicates almost 2 hours to pinyin alone. He provides excellent explanations for key grammar concepts and introduces you to basic Chinese characters. HSK 1 and 2 learners can engage in listening comprehension exercises as well.

If you like these videos, you can buy their online courses for more videos and quizzes.

Grace Mandarin Chinese


Grace doesn’t have a step-by-step approach to teaching Mandarin, but she provides techniques and tips to improve your studies. You can learn important expressions, improve your pronunciation, or explore practical resources for improving your core language skills.

Growing Up With Chinese


In this 100-episode series by CCTV News, you can learn Chinese through a combination of lessons and TV-show-style videos. First you’ll watch a short English introduction, then you’ll observe a short skit with Chinese-speaking actors. The host will then explain the vocabulary and grammar points. Though it may feel a bit dated, these videos provide an excellent introduction to the Chinese language.

ShuoShuo Chinese


Every week, Shuo uploads YouTube videos exploring Chinese vocabulary, grammar, and culture. She understands Chinese learners’ potential missteps and explains how to avoid them. Even the beginner videos contain concepts that advanced learners may not have considered.

Shuo shows you how to use simple concepts to advance your Chinese. She diversifies her videos by adding video clips and images, dressing up as different characters, and reenacting scenes from her life. She makes the lessons fun—and if you pay close attention you’ll notice that she also has an excellent sense of humor.

Hit Chinese


In Hit Chinese, Mia uses comprehensible input to teach Mandarin Chinese. She uses props, images, drawings and acting to effectively deliver her message. The videos cover a range of topics with both basic and specialized vocabulary. Although the channel doesn’t have a lot of videos yet, those that are available seem most appropriate for beginners with a basic understanding of Chinese.

Slow & Clear Chinese


Slow & Clear Chinese is most suitable for learners with a basic foundation of Chinese vocabulary. The site combines text and audio to provide listening comprehension practice. Listen to the audio alone, or read the pinyin, traditional and simplified characters, and English translations with the narration. In many of the videos, the narrator will first read the text slowly and then again at a faster pace.

If you like these videos, you can download the app, Immersive Chinese. It includes eight levels of stories, from absolute beginner to intermediate, for $1.99/mo.

Learn Chinese Now


Ben Hedges is an established talk show host in Taiwan and a Chinese teacher on Learn Chinese Now. Though he is a native English speaker, he provides clear explanations for tricky grammar particles, like 被, 才, 了, and 就. He also introduces idioms, new vocabulary in context, and teaches you about Taiwanese and Chinese culture.

That’s Mandarin


That’s Mandarin is actually a Chinese language school in China, but they also have a fun YouTube channel with quick videos to teach you basic phrases and homonyms, usually in under a minute. It’s a great place to get quick and structured explanations for common topics, such as how to differentiate between 的, 得, and 地, or how to use 把.

HelloChinese


We rated Hello Chinese as one of the best apps to Learn Chinese in this review. The app is free, as are the videos on its YouTube channel. You’ll finally understand the Chinese nicknames for American celebrities and familiarize yourself with popular expressions. If you don’t have much time, take only a minute or two to learn a new word in the Minute Mandarin series.

For anyone looking to learn more about Chinese culture, you will also find a podcast on the channel. This is mostly in English, but the hosts do introduce some useful Chinese phrases.

Intermediate

PeggyTeachesChinese


Peggy is an enthusiastic Chinese teacher from Taiwan, and her videos are great for beginner and intermediate students. She tries to use as much Mandarin as possible, but you’ll hear her use English translations to convey main ideas. Joining her live YouTube classes will feel like you’re hanging out with a Taiwanese friend while practicing your Chinese at the same time.

Peggy also interviews locals on the streets of Taiwan to give you a taste of authentic Taiwanese Mandarin. If you want to see more of Taiwan, she also has travel videos that take you to famous tourist locations and teach you important vocabulary along the way.

Chinese Podcast


Are you struggling to concentrate on your HSK 3 and 4 material? Is it because you’re bored? If that’s the case, then Chinese Podcast is here to make your day a little better. In many of these videos, the host introduces 5-8 new HSK words and a grammar point, then incorporates them into an original story. You can follow along with the text at both a slow and a fast speed. Other times you may be asked to answer comprehension questions.

This channel can support any intermediate learner, but it’s probably most helpful to those following the HSK curriculum.

Happy Chinese


Happy Chinese is a Chinese-immersion sitcom-like series for Chinese learners. It follows the story of an American woman staying with her Chinese friend’s family. Two or three times per episode, an elaborate cartoon will interrupt the story to provide examples and explanations of key concepts—but that won’t stop you from getting immersed in the plot. The series is most suitable for intermediate to advanced learners, but with English subtitles, anyone can enjoy it.

Advanced

杨老师中文小课


In this series, 杨老师 provides insights into teaching Chinese for parents and teachers. But, the structure of many of these videos allows advanced learners to follow along as if they themselves were taking the class. You will learn nuances between words, like 有一点 and 有点儿, and differentiate between different synonyms and homophones. This is a channel for anyone who wants to engage in subtle analyses of the Chinese language.

JOKER STUDIO


Are you an advanced learner interested in learning, or at least understanding, the Beijing dialect? Wordy Klay can make it happen. He produces dozens of videos that help both native speakers and Chinese learners identify Beijing-specific pronunciation and vocabulary. Each video is quite short, but Wordy Klay provides clear explanations and multiple examples of how to use each word in context. You’ll be able to start using your new vocabulary right away.

This Group of People


This hilarious sketch comedy group from Taiwan is the closest thing you’ll find to College Humor in Chinese. They depict relatable situations in everyday life—such as going to the doctor, the dentist, or school—and then let comedy ensue. With both English and Chinese subtitles, learners at any level will forget that they arrived at this channel for studying rather than fun.

优优独播剧场—YoYo Television Series Exclusive


Are you looking for a Chinese TV series but don’t know where to start? Well, you can start with YoYo Television Series Exclusive. It has dozens of Chinese TV shows available for your enjoyment—涩女郎 (Brilliant Girls), 暴风眼 (Storm Eye), or 庆余年 (Joy of Life), just to name a few. Viewers can contribute to community subtitles, which means that sometimes you’ll find subtitles in 15 different languages.

家有儿女


家有儿女 (Home With Kids) was a popular Chinese sitcom in the early 2000s. It’s reminiscent of many North American sitcoms from the same time period. The characters encounter a clash of personalities and misunderstandings when two divorced families join as one. Through hundreds of episodes, you’ll grow attached to these endearing characters as they navigate their new relationships.

轻风乍起


Imagine that you like movies, but not enough to watch them all the way through or listen to any of the dialogue. In fact, you’d rather watch a 10-minute summary of a movie. In Chinese.

Now if this is true, 轻风乍起 is an excellent channel to meet your needs and help you improve your Chinese at the same time. This is a channel for native speakers, but the host, 轻风乍起, articulates clearly enough that advanced speakers won’t have a problem following along.

Thomas阿福


Thomas is a major celebrity in China—and a genuine people person. Originally from Germany, he now lives in China full time and speaks fluent Mandarin.

With him as your guide, you can explore the food, culture, and sites of China (and Europe!). A major focus of the channel is on food, but he also spends a lot of time with locals—whether it be driving with a taxi driver to his hometown seven hours away or interviewing people at 3 in the morning. Sometimes he challenges himself to try different diets or do absolutely nothing for an entire day.

His videos are entirely in Chinese with English and Chinese subtitles.

杰里德Jared


Jared may not be a native Chinese speaker, but his Chinese will inspire you. He grew up in Hainan but had to relearn Chinese as an adult after moving back to Canada. Now he lives in China full time and produces entertaining sketches about the differences between North American and Chinese customs. Sometimes he will take you to interesting sites in China, pull pranks on his friends—or take 5000kg of snow from Northern China to an elementary school in Southern China.

His videos are all in Chinese, but they have both English and Chinese subtitles. Sometimes he collaborates with or prank calls Thomas阿福.

Kevin in Shanghai


Kevin is a Chinese YouTuber who depicts cross-cultural differences within and outside of China. You’ll have lots of opportunity to hear different dialects and accents, and listen in on conversations between groups of people. You might notice that Kevin’s videos have a lot of similarities with 杰里德Jared’s channel. These two friends often collaborate to make cross-cultural comedy sketches.

These videos are mostly in Mandarin, but many of them have English subtitles.

Final Thoughts

These are only a handful of the many YouTube channels for learning Chinese, but we think we captured some of the best. If you’re looking for something to structure your Chinese studies, you can explore our favorite online Chinese courses. Or, if you want to get away from the screen, we recommend you check out our list of Chinese podcasts.

29 Carefully Curated YouTube Channels for Learning French

Though French is a popular second language, it can be difficult to find high-quality YouTube videos appropriate to your level. We hope to solve that problem with this carefully curated list of our 28 favourite YouTube channels.

Whether you’re a beginner or almost fluent, we’re sure you’ll find something here to enrich your French studies.

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35 Best Podcasts to Improve Your Spanish at Any Level

Podcasts are an excellent resource for language learning. Not only can they improve your listening comprehension, but you can also use them to practice speaking. Shadowing and the interview method are just two of the many self-study activities you can pair with podcasts to enrich your experience.

You can also enjoy learning two things at once, such as Latin American History or the inner workings of your own mind — all while increasing your Spanish vocabulary.

But, as we know, anyone can publish a podcast. So how do you know which ones are both enjoyable and level-appropriate?

That’s where we come in. Below are our top 35 recommendations for Spanish podcasts, organized by level for your listening enjoyment. Choose one or many to accompany you on your Spanish learning journey.

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