Resources for beginners in language learning

Learning a language is one of the most common resolutions in the beginning of the year. And, I always get emails from people asking for advice. To help these people to learn a language in 2016, here are the resources I recommend.


Aslogoassimilanimesimil is always the first course feature on my list; Assimil took the first place on my list after I finished the French course, see the review here. The course is simple; the lessons are short and progressive. Grammar is explained, but it is not the focus of the course and the vocabulary is fairly extensive.


All FSI courses are alike, but some are better than others. They are old, some more fitted to diplomatic situations. The courses are dense, sometimes difficult and boring. Take a look at my review of the FSI French course here and decide whether to use it or not. For me, is the perfect complement to Assimil. Here you can find the courses for free.

Grammar book

Grammar is part of a language, and to speak and write well you need to know at least the basics. There is a wide range of books; I made a post about the books that I know here. But don’t overdo it. One grammar book is often enough.

Language partner


There are several websites that offer linguistic exchanges. The most famous of them is italkiVladimir Skultety who was interviewed here, created another option the website SharedLingo.

Vocabulary & Writing

Use an application for learning vocabulary, as Duolingo, Anki or Memrise. Each has its own style and you can customize your own phrases with photos, audio, etc. Moreover, what about to train your new vocabulary writing a bit? Two good options are Lang-8 and again, Italki.

There are many more resources. But to get start and achieve a good level (B1, maybe B2) these resources are more than enough.

Christmas gifts for polyglots

We are almost a month away from Christmas and polyglots, like everyone else, love to receive Christmas presents, but in a more nerdy way. Check out some tips to give a present to a polyglot friend, son, partner or even yourself.

  1. Assimil

Assimil is one of my favorite methods; you can check my review of the French course here. The course focus on dialogues with few grammatical explanations. All dialogs are translated in the other side of the page. Each course has its own dialogues. For Francophones, there are over 70 languages courses available, so it is probably the reason that Assimil is the most popular course in France. For English speakers, there are only 12 languages ​​courses available, for Spanish speakers there are 13 courses and for Portuguese speakers there are only 5 courses. Continue reading