I’ve never learned languages easily, but being able to speak multiple languages has been a bucket list item for me since the 4th grade. For some reason, I took German in middle and high school (Why? Why did I do this to myself?). I was so bad at it, my sophomore German teacher told me not to come back for 11th grade. I slid through Italian in college with my solid B-. Needless to say, languages have not gone well for me. As a grown human person, I am trying again, with much better luck.
The 6 UN languages are:
(7. I’m going to throw Italian in here too, just because.)
I think I’m doing okay so far in English, so I’ve chosen to tackle Spanish as language #2. Here’s are some quick resources which have worked for me:
1. DuoLingo – I probably don’t need to describe this app to you as it is incredibly popular, but it has been a godsend. Accessible format, competing against myself, and achieving “awards” makes it feel like a game and I feel like la jefa.
2. Memrise – This website also is a game format, as you learn through repetition and application. More than anything, this has helped my ear and my verb tenses. Also, there is a leaderboard, and I’m competitive enough that I will spend hours kicking butt to get to the top ten.
3. BBC Mundo – Simplified versions of real, current news stories. This is so much better than trying to read children’s books.
4. Berges Institute – Useful only for NYers, but I found a GroupOn for affordable beginner classes at this Spanish-only language institute. 7 classes down, 3 to go!
5. Harry Potter y La Piedra Filosofal – Harry Potter is part of my DNA; it’s the guidebook my generation used to become decent humans. What better way to learn an unfamiliar language than to pair it with my most familiar story? I now own copies of HP & the Sorcerer’s Stone in Spanish, French, and Italian. It’s slow going as I keep flipping back and forth between English and Spanish, but I wholly recommend finding your favorite book translated into the language you’re trying to learn.