Post by guest blogger Jamie McGhee: Jamie McGhee is a novelist, playwright and aspiring polyglot currently making her way through East Africa with a backpack.
Even though language exists in order to facilitate communication, learning a language can feel a bit lonely sometimes.
But when you’re struggling to motivate yourself over a plateau, or when you’re cramming vocabulary alone in your room for the third night in a row, it’s easy to feel discouraged. You might feel like the only person in the world who has tried to learn another language.
Luckily, you’re actually part of a vast community of language-learners, all of whom have weathered through the same struggles you have. Whether you want to laugh, want to learn or just want someone to sympathize with, these 20 bloggers are here for you.
Kerstin Cable runs one of the most in-depth and comprehensive language-learning blogs in existence, and produces a sleek podcast on the side. Her advice ranges from general “What are the best ways to increase my vocab memory?” to the specific “What are the best podcasts for English-learners?”
Learning a language isn’t always easy. Sometimes, you need to laugh. Itchy Feet, a hilarious comic created by a cartoonist who is constantly on the road to new countries, can sympathize with all of your language-learning ups and downs. Sometimes, it hits too close to home.
Joy of Languages
Katie is all about encouragement, encouragement, encouragement, and her fun blog will keep you on track--or gently nudge you back on if you’ve fallen off the bandwagon. She speaks German, Mandarin, Spanish and French.
I Will Teach You a Language
Olly Richards, speaker of eight languages, uses a story-based method to teach himself--and others--languages. On his blog, he outlines his experiences pulling off mammoth tasks like learning Korean in 4 days.
Fluent in 3 Months
Benny the Irish polyglot was not always good at languages. In fact, until his twenties, he struggled to speak anything but English. His blog, which includes language-learning tips from a wide range of enthusiasts, tackles everything from Japanese culture to the Vietnamese alphabet. It is an inspiration for anyone who has never considered themselves “good” at learning languages.
The Busy Linguist
Lina Vasquez speaks eight languages--and juggles a full schedule. She’s a testament to the fact that you’re never too busy to learn, and her bite-sized motivational posts will keep you in high spirits.
Linguists and language nerds will love the technical behind-the-scenes of Travelengua. Although updated only a few times a year, it contains a treasure trove of information about endangered languages such as Ainu.
Lindsey Does Languages
Lindsey is a quirky and knowledgeable language-learner who is as relatable as she is excited about languages. No matter what stage of your journey you’re on, she’s been there--and she has advice. She also offers tips for teaching foreign languages virtually to others.
All Things Linguistic
If learning a language isn’t enough, and you also want to know the intricate inner-workings of how the field of linguistics works, then this blog should be your next stop.
Black Girls Learn Languages
This blog, started by a New Yorker who moved to Germany and decided to master several languages, aims to connect learners of German, French and Spanish. However, the blog has built a community that extends far beyond these three.
This polyglot is focused on Asian languages, specifically Korean and Japanese, although she also goes into her experiences with Mandarian and English.
5 Minute Language
You always have five minutes to dedicate to your language. Agnieszka learned Spanish, German and Swedish--while holding down a full-time job. So she knows what she’s talking about when she teaches you how to fit language-learning into your day.
Although this blog focuses on Japanese, it also offers practical tips across the entire range of the language-learning process, from creating your own blog as a langpreneur, to creating an immersive language-learning environment anywhere in the world.
The Urban Eve
Eve has always been obsessed with languages. She grew up speaking German, English and a Ghanaian language, then moved to Paris and added several more. Her blog covers not only her language-learning experiences, but also travel guides and fashion tips.
How can you become a polyglot? It’s all about the mindset. Conor Clyne and the other writers behind this blog help you mentally prepare to endure the language-learning process. They also review technical products and even compare languages in order to help you choose the best one for your goals.
Sometimes it’s not enough to just learn a new language. Sometimes you also want to travel to a new country--or to dozens of new countries. The Linguist offers not only language-learning tips but also insight into globetrotting and learning on the go.
This blogger is notable not because of his successes--although he has plenty--but because he’s open about his failures too. He failed at learning Japanese. Big time. And his openness about his mistakes can help you avoid your own.
Actual Fluency offers advice that is both relevant and thoughtful. You won’t find any flashy “How I learned Mandarin in 12 hours”-type posts, but rather meditative insights into the language-learning process, enhanced with a regular podcast.
Smart Language Learner
The creator behind Smart Language Learner knows that you can get bored. Easily. Let’s face it, grammar exercises start to lose their luster after hour number 6. They’re here to help you cut through that boredom, with posts like “You don’t want to learn a language” and “10 Ways to Beat Boredom When Learning a New Language.”
The bloggers behind Mezzo Guild offer relatable, helpful advice across a wide range of languages. They also offer specialized language topics, such as help choosing the best Koine Greek theology textbooks to the best places to learn Irish in Ireland.
What’s your favorite language-learning blog?
Leave your answer in the comments below! And if you don’t yet have a favorite, consider starting your own.