Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, which means that I may get a small commission if you click on any of those links and make a purchase. The online language courses included in the list below were selected based on my experience and those of other students. All reviews reflect honest opinions and aim to help other language learners.
I love the fact that online language courses exist and you no longer need to spend endless hours in a classroom wondering why you haven’t learnt anything but the very basics.
Nowadays it’s so much easier to learn on the go whenever you feel like it and choose between different methods until you find the one that works for you.
But since anyone can now put together some slides, get them online and call them ‘an online course’, it’s getting harder to find high-quality content at an affordable price.
That’s why I made this list of fantastic online language courses which meet all my criteria for an effective teaching method.
Well, a couple of them are created by me but they, too, match my understanding of what works best when learning a new language.
Most of these online language courses are paid (but reasonably priced), and some of them are completely free. It’s never been more affordable and accessible to learn a new language.
45 online language courses that are actually useful
Arabic language : How to Read and Write – easy way! This comprehensive course will teach you how to read and write in Arabic. If Arabic alphabet looks intimidating to you, don’t worry, here it is broken down, so it is easy to understand and remember.
MSA Arabic complete course – For foreigners! Beginner to Pro This is a massive online course in Arabic with loads of materials and explanations on grammar and vocabulary. It’s perfect if you really want to dive deep into the Arabic language and master it.
Arabic of the Quran from Beginner to Advanced This Arabic online course teaches Quranic and Classical Arabic. It is suitable not only for Muslims but for everyone interested in Islamic culture.
Basic Bulgarian language Bulgarian is considered a fairly difficult language to learn but, as with anything unfamiliar, it looks hard at first until you understand the logic behind the language and learn the first 100 words. This Bulgarian language online course will teach you how to have basic conversations and use the most common words and phrases in Bulgarian spoken today.
Chinese in 9 weeks: Introduction course (FREE) It’s a quite interactive and engaging online course, and perfect for your start with the language. Chinese characters are explained and broken down logically, so they’re easy to remember. I also like the teaching methodology that they use. They call it ‘domino effect’ because each lesson builds onto the previous one.
Chinese Made Easy L1: Understand 65% of Chinese in 10 hours It’s provided by the same teachers as the free introduction course above. If you loved the free lessons, you should go on with the remaining part of level 1.
College Mandarin Chinese Course on Your Own–Beginning Level This is another great Chinese online course with an excellent teacher. It is more affordable, and has a more traditional approach.
Learn Dutch Online | Get Started! This course will help you learn the basics of the Dutch language. The instructor promises that this won’t be one of those boring online language courses out there. She’s definitely made her best to create an engaging and interactive course. Her enthusiasm is contagious and helps you learn fast without any stress.
Accent Reduction This course is great for non-native speakers who want to improve their pronunciation and get rid of their accent. It is suitable for people of all nationalities with a traditionally strong English accent, such as Indians, Latin Americans, Asians and some Europeans.
Business English Online Course (FREE) Business English is required in most professional settings where English is used. That’s why it’s crucial for non-native speakers to be able to use business English with confidence. This course provides a lot of vocabulary and real-life examples in text and audio format, as well as practice activities.
Master polite English Politeness is an essential part of communication in English, especially British English. This course can teach you practical things, such as how to refuse, express disappointment or irritation politely in English. It also gives a lot of examples from different situations. This knowledge will get your English to a completely new level.
Learn Conversational Filipino (Tagalog) This course is suitable for complete beginners. It doesn’t focus on grammar, instead it will teach you useful phrases. You would also get to learn about Filipino culture along the way.
Tagalog for Beginners: A Fun and Easy Way to Learn Filipino Do you want to know more about how Tagalog (Filipino language) works? Learn some basic grammar, as well as useful phrases? Then this course is for you,
Conversational French made easy This is a great course to get the basics of conversational French. It is easy to follow and very informative. It deals with practical topics, such as staying in a hotel, asking directions, using transportation, dining out, etc. So it’s suitable both for people who want to start learning French and for those who just plan on traveling to a French-speaking country.
Practice and Perfect your French – Intermediate Level This one is absolutely amazing, one of my favorite online language courses of all times. If you already know the basics, you should take the chance to improve your French and get it to the next level. The entire course is in French with French subtitles but the teacher speaks slowly and clearly, so it is easy to understand everything she is saying.
Check this page for more suggestions on different ways to practice French and enjoy it.
Deutsch Intensiv – Intensive German Course for Beginners I know the sound of German can be intimidating. That’s part of the reason why I didn’t learn much of it in high school. However, this course makes it easy to understand and learn the basics. It’s perfect for beginners, and has lots of practice activities.
German for beginners A1 This is another great course for beginners in German. Even though it’s just level A1, I learnt much more from this course than in 4 years of studying German in high school.
German Audio Course (FREE) An excellent audio course by Deutsch Academie. There are audio lessons with transcripts in English and German. It’s an excellent way to improve your listening comprehension and learn a lot of vocabulary at the same time.
Greek for Beginners. The complete Method. Level 1 Part 1 This course covers the basics of Greek language. You can get a detailed review of the alphabet, as well as some simple phrases. It is entirely in Greek with Greek and English subtitles, and it’s great for a start with the language.
Learn Greek for Beginners: The Ultimate 95-Lesson Course This course has more content and is actually more affordable. It teaches Greek through listening comprehension, so you get to listen to lots of conversations in everyday situations. And you can learn a lot along the way. Just like you would if you were actually in Greece listening to locals speak their language.
Hebrew for beginners This one has an excellent teaching method which is clear and effective. A lot of people recommend the course and say it’s the best Hebrew course they’ve every tried.
Learn to Read Biblical Hebrew This is another Hebrew course for beginners but it’s cheaper than the one above. It also includes original passages from the Bible as a way to immerse yourself in the language.
Online Hebrew Course with Audio (FREE) Do you already have a basic understanding of Hebrew? Then this audio course will help you improve your listening comprehension and learn new words and expressions.
Italian for travelers (FREE) Of course, you could travel to Italy without knowing a word in Italian but you’d lose on some of the most valuable interactions. The ones with locals who can recommend the shortest route, the best restaurant, or tell you the story of their city. This course is going to give you some of the most fundamental knowledge when it comes to traveling in Italy.
Italian for beginners This Italian online course contains more than 50 lessons divided into 15 modules. They cover all fundamental grammar principles without dragging on about unnecessarily complicated concepts.
Here are some other ideas on how to improve your Italian and have fun along the way.
Online Japanese Beginner Course The Japanese writing system is unique in its structure. Two of the three components of this system are called hiragana and katakana. So this is where you start with Japanese, and that is the focus of this Japanese online course. The teacher is speaking in Japanese and there are English subtitles.
Online Japanese Kanji Character Course Kanji is the third script of the Japanese writing system. Each character has its own meaning and corresponds to a word. You need to learn some basic Kanji characters as a basis of your Japanese learning. And this course is perfect for this.
Online Japanese N5 Course This course builds onto the previous two. It’s a course for beginners who already have an understanding of all three scripts used in the Japanese writing system. The information provided in the course is concise, detailed, and well-explained.
CORE KOREAN 1: Build up Korean Foundations through Practice This is an amazing course with high-quality videos. Korean characters are carefully explained and broken down for an easy understanding. It’s a grammar-oriented course and is not focused on vocabulary. Learning too many words at the beginning could be overwhelming, especially with Korean which is complicated enough as it is. That’s why the instructors try to teach you how to form basic sentences instead.
Learn Korean Perfect Pronunciation – Actually Sound Korean! This Korean online course is focused on pronunciation and aims to help students improve theirs. It’s suitable not only for beginners but for students of all levels.
Learn Korean! Start Speaking Korean Now! Some online language courses like to challenge the conventional understanding of teaching and learning a language. If the word ‘studying’ sounds offputting to you but you still want to learn Korean, this course is for you. It has a unique methodology which aims to help you learn on the go without having to make an additional effort.
Learn the Maltese language: speak and write Malta’s language This is a Maltese course for beginners. It teaches some basic grammar and vocabulary (300+ everyday words), and it’s quite easy to follow. If you already know some Italian (Sicilian) or Arabic, it will be even easier as these languages share common roots.
Learn Portuguese Now (FREE) This is a series of Brazilian Portuguese audio lessons. It’s perfect for you if you want to learn how to speak and don’t care much about grammar. There are tons of different combinations of essential phrases, and they can all be used in everyday situations.
3 Minute Portuguese – Course 1 This Portuguese course for beginners offers bite-sized lessons – each one is around 3 minutes. The approach is simple but effective, and will help you learn lots of practical and useful vocabulary. It will have you make complete sentences from the first lesson.
Conversational Russian for beginners This course will teach you how to read and speak in Russian. It covers basic grammar in a detailed way and vocabulary (2000+ words). It’s a lot of content for a very low price and a real deal compared to most online language courses.
The Secrets of Successful Russian – Learn Russian Quickly Another course for complete beginners or people with basic knowledge in Russian who want to understand how the language works. It uses a great teaching method and an excellent way of explaining grammar rules.
Serbian 101 – Serbian (in its standard form) is spoken mainly in Serbia nowadays. However, if you know some basic Serbian you could understand the languages used in most former Yugoslavian countries. And traveling around the western part of the Balkans (Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia) would be a richer experience. This course covers all important beginner-level grammar aspects. It’s engaging and easy to follow.
Conversational Spanish made easy The teacher in this course is a native speaker from Costa Rica. Still, you’d have the chance to listen to different accents from other Spanish-speaking countries inside the course. It’s suitable for beginner and intermediate levels, and there’s a lot of content on practical topics.
Spanish 1-4: Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced If you feel ambitious and need a complete course in Spanish, this is a good one at a really low price. It’s massive and covers a lot of grammar and vocabulary. The pace is relatively slow, which is great for beginners. Still, if you find it too slow you can always change the lesson speed according to your own pace.
Learn Spanish With Stickers in 4 Weeks – Full Basic Fluency This course offers a different approach from most online language courses. So it’s ideal for people who are fed up with traditional ways of learning and find grammar overwhelming. It’s also great for people with good visual memory. The instructor is not native but he demonstrates the method that he used to learn Spanish, along with other languages.
Here are some other suggestions on practicing Spanish (for free!).
Conversational Swedish This is a great Swedish online course for beginners. Swedish pronunciation can be a bit tricky but the detailed guide provided by the instructor is really helpful. This course will teach you basic grammar and lots of practical words and phrases. What’s more, it has an effective and engaging approach.
Learn To Read Thai & Impress Your Friends! This course will teach you how to read and pronounce Thai words. The instructor claims you can achieve this in two weeks. Indeed, you don’t need more time when everything is explained in such a clear way.
Thai Language For Beginners This basic Thai online course is really practical. It includes tons of phrases you might need while traveling in Thailand. It doesn’t use the Thai alphabet (if you don’t want to bother learning it), it uses Latin characters instead. That’s why it’s great if you just want to learn how to speak in Thai.
Learn to Speak Vietnamese Like a Native The title of this course may seem to set unrealistic expectations – that’s what I thought at first, too. But the instructor is actually a native English speaker who learnt Vietnamese using the strategies presented in the course. His pronunciation is that of a native Vietnamese, which is not an easy thing to accomplish. So he really knows what it takes to become fluent, and you can learn from him.
Vietnamese Idioms & Phrases – This course is for those who are already familiar with Vietnamese tones and alphabet, and have some basic understanding of the language. It will build onto that with a comprehensive set of phrases and idioms in Vietnamese. You can use them in all kinds of everyday situations, so they could be useful for your stay in Vietnam.
What is your experience with online language courses? If there are some that you’d recommend to others, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can include them in the list.