Have you ever wanted to learn a new language, but found that you don't have the money (or even the time) to do it? Well, here's a few tips on how you can start learning without having to spend a penny. If you have any more tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
1. Avoid paying
The first tip is the simplest: don't pay. At all. I mean, obviously don't steal anything or resort to internet piracy - I won't be held responsible for the legal consequences. But all those websites that say you can "learn a language in 3 months!" are just trying to fleece you - at the time of writing, Rosetta Stone is offering a 24-month subscription for $249 ($499 at the standard rate), which is frankly ridiculous. Look for free resources before you resort to opening up your wallet.
2. If you do pay, don't waste it
Paid language learning websites aren't simply a way for you to spend money to gain instant fluency. You still have to put in the work, and if you don't, you're gonna see $10+ a month go down the drain without getting anything in return.
3. Go Duo
Duolingo is a great website for language learning: it lets you take things at your own pace, it's designed to help you develop a natural way of speaking and most importantly of all it's completely free! The only downside is that all courses are user-created, which means many languages (most notably Chinese, Japanese, Hindi and Arabic) aren't up there yet. Personally, however, I would highly recommend it.
4. Go secondhand
Many secondhand and charity bookshops will have books about learning languages, and if you're lucky they may even have books in your target language - if you're at a higher level, it's a great way to practice your reading skills. And of course, if you decide you don't want them anymore, you can always sell them back to the shop.
5. Watch and learn
The next time you're having a movie night why not make it a film in your target language? Even if you watch it with subtitles you're still improving your listening skills and getting used to the sound of the language. Unfortunately foreign-language films can be hard to find on TV sometimes, so you might have to pay to buy or rent a DVD.
6. Talk to people
If you have friends (or friends of friends) who are native speakers of your target language then sitting down for a chat with them (in the language, of course) can be an enormous help. After all, the best way to learn is through practice.
7. Practice on holiday
Foreign holidays are expensive, so why not make sure you're getting value for money by spending your holidays in a country that speaks your target language? A word of warning - make sure you avoid places where a lot of tourists go, otherwise most people you meet will speak English and you won't get the opportunity to practice. Ideally you should immerse yourself completely in the language - it can be daunting at first, but its a massive help.
8. Start earning
Once you're at a high-enough level, you can start looking at making money with your language skills. Consider working as a freelance translator via sites such as Freelancer and Upwork, and if you're really good you could even become a private tutor!