100 Free Foreign Language Classes Online
March 1st, 2010
If you have always wanted to learn a language but were too put off by the high cost associated with most classes, then take a look at all these great opportunities to learn a foreign language online, at no cost to you. With so many learning opportunities online, it is a shame not to take advantage of all that you can, so be sure to spend some time with these classes. Whether you want to learn one of the major world languages or want something a little less popular, there are sure to be lessons here to help you start to speak whatever language you are interested in learning.
If you want to learn French, no matter your experience level, then check out these free classes.
- BBC Languages French. Beginners and intermediate French students can find a wealth of lessons and activities here.
- The French Tutorial. Select the standard edition of this class to get free access to 13 chapters of lessons and over 200 audio files to help you learn French.
- Français Interactif!. This course from the University of Texas, Austin provides lessons, audio, video, vocabulary, and more based on a summer program in Lyon, France.
- French I. From MIT in Cambridge, this beginning French class focuses on vocabulary and grammar.
- French II. The second class of the French courses offered at MIT is here with even more French lesson fun.
- Introduction to French Culture. Be sure you already have a working knowledge of French before starting this course that covers French culture and society since the Revolution.
- French I and II. Carnegie Mellon offers French I and French II here. Each course takes approximately 15 weeks to complete and includes the basics to learn French speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing.
- French: Ouverture. Audio, video, and printed materials will help you learn French from this course that explores the French people on vacation.
- French: Le quatorze juillet. Following from the prior course, this one takes a look at the history and current celebration of Bastille Day.
- French: En ville. This intermediate French class will help you learn all you might need to know to navigate around a French town.
- French: Bien dans sa peau. Learn French while exploring what it means to keep your mind and body healthy in this intermediate class.
From the basics to more advanced college courses in Spanish, see what is available in this listing.
- Learn Spanish. Sign up for a free membership here to get a ton of great tools and activities to help your Spanish lessons take off.
- BBC Languages Spanish. Learn beginning Spanish, find out about cool Spanish language, test yourself, and complete crosswords in Spanish.
- Spanish Language and Culture with Barbara Kuczun Nelson. Get nine study modules plus plenty of other activities to help learn Spanish here.
- Spanish 1. If you are starting from the beginning with no knowledge of Spanish, then this is a great place to begin. This course from MIT is based on 26 half-hour video lessons.
- Spanish 2. Continue with the video-based lessons that will strengthen your listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.
- Spanish III. This intermediate-level class has students participating in a variety of different activities to enhance their Spanish language skills.
- Spanish 4. Examine social, political, and cultural issues of Spanish-speaking communities around the world while you continue to learn Spanish.
- Oral Communication in Spanish. This second-year intermediate course from MIT asks students to practice their Spanish through watching Spanish-language films, writing Spanish journal entries, and preparing for a simulated trial.
- Spanish Conversation and Composition. Continue with this third-year intermediate Spanish course that features three group projects as well as viewing of films and readings of plays and short stories.
- Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition: Perspectives on Technology and Culture. This course, taught in Spanish, explores the impact of technology on a variety of cultural and societal issues in Hispanic societies.
- Introduction to Contemporary Hispanic Literature. Study important works from 20th century Spanish and Latin American literature in this class that requires all reading and writing be done in Spanish.
- Twentieth and Twentyfirst-Century Spanish American Literature. Explore a variety of forms of literature and film from modern Spanish American sources in this class that is conducted in Spanish.
Learn German from these free classes.
- BBC Languages German. This beginner’s course offers weekly tips, a phrase of the day, quizzes, stories, grammar help, and more.
- Deutsch Interaktiv. Whether you know a little German or none at all, this free course is just right for you.
- Learn German Online. This site offers 10 lessons for beginners and 24 lessons for students with more advanced German knowledge as well as other resources to help you learn German.
- German I. From MIT, this is the first in a series of courses that starts out with an introduction to German culture as well as the language.
- German II. Keep learning German in the second class that provides more vocabulary and grammar practice.
- German III. Speaking, reading, listening, and writing are emphasized in the third of this series from MIT.
- German IV. Students will continue their German language lessons by studying both literary texts and contemporary media texts.
- Germany Today: Intensive Study of German Language & Culture. This course from MIT is designed for students who plan to work or live in German and provides many opportunities to strengthen German language skills while learning about the culture.
- German: Lebensumstände. This intermediate-level German class explores the German family while emphasizing speaking, reading, and writing.
- German: Regionen, Traditionen und Geschichte. Explore German cultures, including their history and politics, while studying the German language in this advanced class.
Some of these Italian classes are from Italian websites, so you know it can’t get much more authentic than this.
- Italian Language Course. Use this open-content text book full of lessons, grammar, and more to help you learn Italian.
- BBC Languages Italian. This class includes many fun features such as a 10-part video introduction to Italian, tips, phrases of the day, and suggestions for how to get the most from Italian radio and TV.
- Dentro l’Italiano 4.0 Corso Elementare. This free course is straight from Italy and promises to get your lessons off to a great start.
- Oggi e Domani. Find 20 lessons in this course that teaches the basics of Italian.
- Centro Studi Italiani. If you know the basics, try this online classroom for expanding your Italian language skills.
- Italy Magazine Italian Lessons. Scroll down this page to select a series of lessons for beginners, intermediate, or advanced students.
- LearnItalianPod. Subscribe to these free podcasts to learn Italian in just five minutes a day.
- Parliamo italiano!. With about 60 different lessons available, this free resource is sure to have you speaking Italian like a pro.
- Start Learning Italian. This course from About.com provides a ton of great resources and lessons to help you learn Italian.
- Speak7 Learn Italian. Find seven lessons here to teach you the basics of Italian.
Whether you want to learn Brazilian or European Portuguese, these classes will help you out.
- BBC Languages Portuguese. In addition to learning beginning Portuguese, you will also learn about Portugal and Brazil, get quick fixes, worksheets, and tips.
- Learn Portuguese. Find 12 beginner lessons and 11 intermediate lessons plus plenty of other great tools to help you learn to speak Portuguese.
- sonia-portuguese.com. This teacher focuses specifically on Brazilian Portuguese, but also has resources for European Portuguese too.
- Introduction to Portuguese. Get a text and nine lessons with this introductory course available through Wikiversity.
- Learning Portuguese. This course provides helpful information on pronunciation, grammar, conversation, and a reference guide.
- Tá Falado. This site is specifically designed to help those with a background in Spanish learn to speak Brazilian Portuguese.
- Learn Portuguese Now. Find lessons, pronunciation tips, common words, and much more here.
Master Japanese when you take these great free classes.
- Beginning Japanese I. Learn the basics of Japanese with this class from MIT that will have students learning katakana and hiragana as well as 50 kanji.
- Beginning Japanese II. By the time you finish this second unit in the series of Japanese classes from MIT, you will be able to carry on a basic conversation in Japanese.
- Intermediate Japanese I. Take this class to build on what you learned in the first two classes plus gain another 80 kanji.
- Advanced Japanese I. Continue working on polishing your speaking skills in this class that has students practicing conversation in a variety of settings.
- Advanced Japanese II. Speaking, listening, reading, and writing Japanese comfortably is the goal of this final class in the series from MIT.
- BBC Languages A Touch of Japanese. Learn about the three alphabets used in Japanese, study basic phrases, find out how to avoid embarrassing yourself with social gaffes, and get basic facts about Japan.
- Nihongo o Narau. This site is packed with information that is all free of charge and designed specifically for English speakers to learn Japanese.
- Japanese Phrases for Travelers. A voice actress in Japan provides the audio for these lessons that cover everything from ordering food to being polite.
Find plenty of awesome free classes here to help you learn Chinese.
- Chinese I. This class at MIT is the first of a long series that teaches Mandarin Chinese.
- Chinese II. Take up your basic Chinese lessons with the second in this series of free classes.
- Chinese III. Focus on building the basics of reading, writing, and speaking Mandarin in the third of the series.
- Chinese IV. Round out the first four classes from MIT with this one designed to strengthen reading and listening skills.
- Chinese V (Regular): Chinese Cultures & Society. The next class in this series moves on to building more advanced Chinese language skills while also learning about the culture.
- Chinese VI (Regular): Discovering Chinese Cultures and Societies. This final class from MIT continues studying the culture and societies in China while improving language skills.
- Mango Languages. Mango Languages provides free online Chinese lessons through your public library.
- Learning Chinese Online. This course focuses on everything from pronunciation to learning numbers to grammar.
- CSLPod. Get lessons, podcasts, and more in this course when you sign up for a free membership.
- Peace Corp Mandarin in China. Courtesy of the Peace Corp, get several lessons, sign up for their podcast, and more.
- BBC Languages Chinese. The learning games, pinyin guide, tone guide, and other great features of this class will have you speaking Chinese in no time.
From learning the Russian alphabet to mastering the art of hearing and understanding Russian, these classes cover it all.
- BBC Languages A Touch of Russian. Become familiar with the Russian alphabet, get basic phrases, and even study a Russian soap opera written just for learning the language.
- Ruslan Russian Language Services. This lesson is the only one provided for free, but is a great start if you don’t know any Russian.
- Russian in Kazakhstan. Download the text and listen to 14 lessons in this course from the Peace Corp.
- Best Russian Websites. While this site doesn’t offer just one specific course, it is a compilation of several different resources collected by Jim Becker of University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA expressly for learning Russian.
- LearningRussian.net. This course offers free lessons, audio recordings, dictionaries, Russian literature, and more.
- RussianLessons.net. Learn about the Russian alphabet, get resources to help with vocabulary and grammar, and much more with this free course.
- MasterRussian.com. This course offers tons of free lessons that range from common words to personal pronouns to greetings as well as plenty of other resources to help you master Russian.
- Listen 2 Russian. The beginner’s course and lessons here are designed to help you understand the spoken word instead of just learning to read Russian.
- Russnet. These learning modules here provide advanced Russian language students an opportunity to strengthen their Russian while learning about Russian culture.
Browse through this list to find classes offering free lessons in Greek, Arabic, Farsi, Swedish, Kenyan Sign Language, Thai, and Ukrainian.
- BBC Languages Greek. Get lessons on basic Greek, learn about the Olympics and Greece, find worksheets, and much more.
- Learn Greek. You will find seven Greek courses ranging from beginning to advanced and even an ancient Greek course here.
- Filoglossia. This free course is for those learning beginning Greek and is based off a CD program that is available for a fee.
- Arabic Reading Course. This course provides 18 lessons to help you learn to read Arabic.
- Arabic Language Course. After taking the Arabic Reading Course, move on to this course that will help you learn to master Arabic.
- Arabic in Jordan. Subscribe to this podcast or get ten lessons and a few bonus materials in this class from the Peace Corp.
- Farsi 1. Learn the basics of Farsi with these five lessons.
- Bjorn Engdahl’s Swedish Course. This online course features a pronunciation guide, seven lessons, a list of irregular verbs, and a final exam to see how much you learned by the end.
- Kenyan Sign Language. This video tutorial was put together by six Peace Corp volunteers and teaches Kenyan Sign Language.
- Thai. Find 14 lessons as well as additional resources here to help you learn Thai.
- Ukrainian. Get 20 Ukrainian lessons, music, a story, and more here.
These sites offer free classes for a range of different languages, so check them out no matter what you are learning to speak.
- Languages Online. Select from French, German, Spanish, or Italian to get lessons and grammar tips for free.
- Word2Word. Select from over 100 languages to take free classes here.
- eLanguage School. Get lessons on a variety of languages from this resource, including Chinese, Dutch, French, Korean, Russian, Japanese, German, and more.
- Internet Polyglot. Find a huge number of language lessons on this site where you can select both your native language and the target language you wish to learn.
- FSI Language Courses. These language courses are developed by the Foreign Service Institute and offer free classes in everything from Arabic to Vietnamese.
- Peace Corp Translations. This multimedia site provides a variety of lessons where students can hear conversations and folk tales told, watch slide shows, and watch videos in a variety of languages, including Chinese, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
- UniLang. Find over 150 courses of varying length, watch videos, listen to podcasts, connect with native speakers, and much more at this site that provides everything for free.
- italki. This site provides opportunities to speak with native speakers of the language you want to learn, participate in group discussions, and more for all the major languages.
- Livemocha. Choose between free lessons or premium lessons for a fee here, plus take advantage of all the other free services such as being a part of a language-learning community and tests to see how you are progressing.
- xLingo. Get flashcards, language partners, and participate in forums to practice whatever your target language may be.
- MyHappyPlanet. Get member-created lessons, practice with native speakers, and more on this free site designed for language learning.