Five Fun and Frugal Ways to Learn a Foreign Language

Blog | October 2nd, 2013

Five Fun and Frugal Ways to Learn a Foreign Language

If traveling to a foreign country and learning the language
there is financially implausible, there are other ways to pick up a language
right here at home. Some language programs you may have looked into cost
hundreds of dollars, but there are several, more frugal ways to learn a foreign
language. ¡Buena suerte!


Offering over 35 languages, Livemocha is a comprehensive,
affordable source for language learning. After you sign up, you can choose from
a variety of lessons and other learning options, such as live classes
(primarily for English learners) and private tutoring. The community-based
learning format is also useful for learners who would like to interact with
native speakers.


I discovered this website last year and it helped me learn
over 1,200 words in the three months before I visited Germany. Needless to say,
I’m a fan of this site (and free app!). When you sign up, you get free access
to a few courses in the language you want to learn (mostly European languages
are offered). If you want a more intensive learning experience, you can sign up
for a full subscription, which currently costs $12.95 per month, $8.95 per
month if you sign up for three months, and $7.45 per month if you sign up for
six months. Babbel’s courses help you learn languages quickly by using
appropriate visuals for the words and reinforcing each lesson’s concepts by
encouraging you to practice. It also helps with grammar, writing, pronunciation
and more. Best of all, Babbel offers free apps for language learning on the go
(available in the iTunes, Android, and Windows stores).

Language Program

If you’d rather have a full course language program without
requiring an Internet connection, then you may want to look into coupons and
coupon codes for programs such as Pimsleur
and Rosetta Stone. Hailed for being
highly effective but also quite pricey, these programs might be able to kick
start your learning curve like no other method can. They provide immersive
training that encompasses much more than mere memorization: writing, speaking,
identifying words, grammar, conjugations, etc. Nobody wants to pay full price
if they can avoid it, so if you’re looking into buying a language program, be
sure to scout around for coupons and other discounts prior to purchasing.

Community College

If you would feel better with a qualified instructor guiding
you, then taking a language class at a local college can be a viable
alternative to expensive tutoring programs. The cost per unit at community
colleges varies from state to state (e.g., one unit costs $46 in California),
but it costs much less than a regular four-year university and, unlike other
language courses, this class is something that can enhance your resume. You
also get to be in an interactive environment with other language learners,
something you can’t fully appreciate in an online setting. Although this option
is more costly than say, Livemocha or Babbel, the benefits of having a
qualified instructor and motivated classmates around you might make up for the
added costs.

Local Meet Ups

If community college is simply too expensive, then look into
local clubs or meet ups. You won’t have an instructor guiding you along, but
you’ll be surrounded by fellow language enthusiasts and be able to partake in
fun, cultural activities.
is a popular resource for finding groups that share a common interest, such as
speaking foreign languages. It’s often said that the best way to learn another
language is through immersion, so give meet ups a try!

Kelly Kehoe is a staff writer for Money Street Smart and works with, a site full coupons and coupon codes.