Six Ways to Learn Languages Free

Language Learning Tips on Using Free Wikimedia Resources

This article points out six useful ways to use Wikimedia content from Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikiversity, Wikinews, Wiktionary and Wikiquotes for learning languages free.

What's highlighted here is also great for teachers because it is licensed via Creative Commons and available to use for free.

Spanish is used as an example here, but the same ideas are applicable to all languages for which content is available.

1) Know General Info about Your Target Language

Find out general information about a language by viewing that language's Wikipedia entry. For example, here's the Spanish language entry on Wikipedia:

It contains loads of general information, as well as specifics about grammar, alphabet, pronunciation, etc.

2) Use Wikibooks and Wikiversity Courses to Get Started

For beginners, use Wikibooks free language courses to establish a foundation. For example, here is the Wikibook for learning Spanish:

See all available free language Wikibooks here.

Another Wikimedia resource with language courses is Wikiversity, which has created a Center for Foreign Language Learning within their Language and Literature School.

View a Free Language write-up on here.

3) Find Some Content That's Interesting to You

Browse topics of interest to you in your target language's Wikipedia - best for intermediate to advanced learners. For example, here's the Spanish Wikipedia entry about football/soccer:

See all available languages here.

4) Find Vocab with Wiktionary and Remember it with Wikiquotes

Use Wiktionary - a free user-edited dictionary - to explore unknown terms, learn synonyms and expand your vocabulary. Simply search for something in particular or browse through the volumes of words in the index. For example, here's the Spanish Wiktionary entry for "actitud":

See all available languages here.

Once you have words that you're working on learning, help yourself memorize them with quotes from Wikiquotes. For example, here are quotes in Spanish that use the word "actitud":

5) Follow World Events with Wikinews

If you are intermediate to advanced, you might also be interested in following news and current events for the country or countries in which your target language is spoken. For example, view today's news in Spanish here:

6) Read Wikibooks in Your Target Language

Also of interest to intermediate and advanced learners is, once again, Wikibooks. However, in this case it involves reading books in the target language on Wikibooks (rather than learning a language with an instructional Wikibook). For example, here is the Wikibook about the Spanish language and written in Spanish:ñol

Extra: For the Polyglot Explorer

For polyglots and language lovers, feel free to revel in the multitude of topics with Wikipedia entries in numerous languages. This involves a bit of freestyle Wikimedia surfing to read about topics you're interested in your target language's Wikipedia.

We've put together an article about how to do this here.

About Wikimedia

Wikimedia is owned and operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to bringing free content to the world.