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20 ways to immerse yourself in a new language at home

It is always said that the best way to learn a language is through immersion. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to spend months of vacation time in a country where they speak another language. But don’t be discouraged. Thanks to the miracle of technology, and some human ingenuity, you can surround yourself with a new language anytime, anywhere.

  1. Change the language settings on your phone. Let’s start easy.
  2. Watch a TV show you like with subtitles in another language. Netflix has a handy section that lets you search by subtitle language. And if you need extra help, we have a guide on how best to learn by watching TV, as well as recommendations for TV shows by language.
  3. Listen to music in other languages. No, not just “Despacito” Music can be a great tool, whether you diligently translate the lyrics in your head or just put songs you like in the background (language immersion doesn’t mean you have to pay attention to vocabulary and grammar all the time). If you don’t know where to start, we have playlists for beginners in German, Swedish and Spanish.
  4. Label everything you have with post-it notes. This will also show your guests how educated you are. It will also help you get regular exposure to the language you are learning, so you will really feel like you are immersing yourself in the language.
  5. Cook a meal with recipes in another language. This can combine your love of the language with your love of food, and allows you to experience a new culinary culture. Be careful, any mistakes you make will be very visible during the meal.
  6. Listen to a podcast or the news in a new language. Yes, I know you don’t need to listen to podcasts anymore, but do it anyway. There are many great options, including Babbel’s selection of learning podcasts in Spanish, French and Italian.
  7. Read the news in another language. Admit it, you’re tired of reading the news in English. The BBC offers many languages, but you can also read local news to get a feel for the culture of the language you are learning.
  8. Explore parts of the internet in other languages. Yes, the lingua franca of the internet is English, but there are many sites in other languages. If you need help finding good resources, here are some tips for making the most of the Internet for language learning.
  9. Get a pen pal who lives in another country. You can try to find someone who is learning the same language as you, or you can find someone who is learning English and do an exchange.
  10. Watch movies from other countries. You can’t really enjoy Ratatouille until you see it in French. There are also a lot of good movies that weren’t originally in English. The rise of streaming services has made exploring your options easier than ever.
  11. Write your to-do list in another language. Adding simple tasks like these to your day will help you practice the language at least a little, even if you don’t have time to sit down for a lesson. As long as you don’t get stuck remembering what you wrote.
  12. Order food in another language. It may seem condescending if you start speaking in Spanish when ordering tapas, for example, but if you find a jovial, bilingual server, it may be worth a try. And try to get your pronunciation right
  13. Play video games in another language. This may involve changing video game settings or playing multiplayer games with people who speak another language. There is no reason why the only language you should learn in World of Warcraft should be Elvish.
  14. Talk to your colleagues in another language. It will help if they are interested in the language. Who knows, you might even convince your entire office to jump on the language immersion bandwagon
  15. Create a finsta for your language alter ego. If you love fashion, food or travel, we have Instagram accounts you can follow in Italian, French, Spanish and German. And if you don’t want to fill your main Instagram feed with content in another language, create a second Instagram just for learning! @mary is a normal girl, but @marita can be whoever you want her to be.
  16. Start tweeting in another language. Like Instagram, on Twitter you combine your interests with learning a language. We follow the recommendations for Spanish and French, but it’s not hard to find accounts in any language. If the Pope can tweet in Latin, so can you.
  17. Read translated books. Reading in translation is great, but being able to understand literature in the original language is a fantastic experience. If you are just starting out, you will probably want to have a dictionary handy.
  18. Read BuzzFeed in another language. Don’t pretend you’ve never clicked on their articles. While many websites offer multilingual versions of their articles, BuzzFeed offers enough content to interest all learners.
  19. Join Facebook groups. Although a few years ago it seemed like everyone was leaving Facebook, Facebook groups have brought many people back. There are groups devoted to all sorts of topics, whether you want to find a community devoted specifically to language learning or just find fun memes in Spanish. After all, memes are the only universal language.
  20. Write a journal in another language. This is also a good way to record your language journey, and you can see how you improve over time. Depending on how creative you are, you can create an Instagram-worthy language journal that is both useful and beautiful.

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