How to Learn a Language on a Budget

Learning a new language is an enriching experience that opens up new opportunities in work, travel, and personal growth. However, the cost of language learning courses and programs can be prohibitive for many people on a budget. Fortunately, there are many ways to learn a language without breaking the bank. In this article, we will explore some budget-friendly strategies for language learning.

1. Use Free Language Learning Apps

In recent years, language learning apps have become increasingly popular as a convenient and affordable way to learn a new language. Many language learning apps offer free plans that provide access to basic language lessons and vocabulary. Some popular free language learning apps include Duolingo, Memrise, and LinguaLift.

While these apps can be a great way to get started with a new language, it is important to keep in mind that they are not a comprehensive language learning solution. To truly master a language, you will need to supplement your app-based learning with other resources.

2. Watch Foreign Language Films and TV Shows

Watching foreign language films and TV shows is a fun and engaging way to immerse yourself in the language you are learning. Not only does this help to improve your listening skills, but it also exposes you to different accents and dialects.

To get started, look for foreign language films and TV shows on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Many of these services provide subtitles in your native language, making it easier to follow along.

3. Attend Language Exchange Meetups

Language exchange meetups are a great way to practice speaking with native speakers of the language you are learning. These events are usually free and open to the public, and they provide an opportunity to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds.

To find language exchange meetups in your area, check websites such as or Eventbrite. You can also search for language exchange groups on Facebook.

4. Use Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources (OERs) are free online materials that can be used to supplement your language learning. These resources include textbooks, audio recordings, and interactive exercises.

To find OERs for language learning, try searching on websites such as Open Educational Resources Commons or MERLOT. These websites provide access to a wide range of free educational materials that can be used to supplement your language learning.

5. Read Foreign Language Books and Newspapers

Reading foreign language books and newspapers is a great way to improve your reading comprehension and vocabulary. You can find free foreign language books and newspapers online, or you can check out books from your local library.

When reading foreign language books and newspapers, it is important to start with materials that are appropriate for your level. You can also use a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words and phrases.

6. Join Online Language Learning Communities

Online language learning communities provide a space for language learners to connect with one another, share resources, and practice their language skills. These communities can be found on social media platforms such as Facebook, Reddit, and Discord.

To find language learning communities online, try searching for groups related to the language you are learning. You can also join language learning forums and discussion boards.

7. Take Advantage of Free Language Learning Resources from Libraries and Universities

Many libraries and universities offer free language learning resources to the public. These resources include language learning software, textbooks, and online courses.

To find free language learning resources at your local library or university, check their websites or ask a librarian for assistance.


Learning a new language on a budget is not only possible, but also an enriching experience. By using free language learning apps, watching foreign language films and TV shows, attending language exchange meetups, using open educational resources, reading foreign language books and newspapers, joining online language learning communities, and taking advantage of free resources from libraries and universities, you can improve your language skills without breaking the bank.

Learn a Language With AI 5x Faster

TalkPal is AI-powered language tutor. Learn 57+ languages 5x faster with revolutionary technology.