12 Reasons to Learn a Language in 2018


If you’re anything like me then you won’t need much inspiration to learn a language in 2018. But if you need a reason to learn a language in 2018, then this is the place to get that last bit of motivation and help you decide what to learn!

If you're anything like me then you won't need much inspiration to learn a language in 2018. But if you need a reason to learn a language in 2018, then this is the place to get that last bit of motivation and help you decide what to learn!

Spanish

I’m biased but there’s some kickbutt reggaeton floating around right now. Following Despacito, it’s surely just a matter of time before another Spanish song takes over the world. Be there first and know just how filthy those lyrics are (or aren’t) compared to 2017’s record-breaking Despacito.

To get you started in this post-Despacito world, try Mi Gente, Shakira’s album El Dorado, and Residente’s debut album.

I’m determined to spread the word about that last one in particular. Residente took a DNA test and headed off around the world to make an album inspired by his ancestral roots. Here’s the trailer of the film of the project to give you a little taste…

Get started with Spanish

There’s a few blogs here on Lindsay Does Languages that’ll help you if you’re interested, such as these ones:

5 Essential Grammar Tips for Spanish Beginners to Get it Perfecto

10 Essential Spanish YouTubers to Help You Learn Spanish

Language Hacking Spanish by Benny Lewis Review

And if you’re looking for more, here’s my favourite Spanish resources.

Russian

With the World Cup happening this summer in Russia, what better excuse to learn a little Russian?

There’s bound to be plenty of texts, videos, and other online resources in Russian about the event so you won’t be short of stuff to use and inspire.

For the last World Cup in Brazil in 2014, I’d just started blogging and decided to learn Portuguese and documented my progress here on the blog – including live commentary of some of the final matches!

Get started with Russian

Not a language I’ve ever learnt so not much I can help you with on that front, but Eurolingusite has a great resource page here.

Slovene

I’m excited to (hopefully!) make it to my second Polyglot Conference this year.

I went in Novi Sad, in fact it was my first language event, but ever since then the timing didn’t quite work out (including getting married at the same time as the event in 2016, so you know, a little pre-occupied).

So finally, I’m hoping this one will work out better timing wise for me.

If it fits for you too, then it’s the perfect reason to learn some Slovene this year.

Get started with Slovene

ISpeakSlovene.si looks like a great place to start for the basics.

And for a little inspiration, check out Learning Slovenian in Slovenia.

Slovak

But maybe you can’t wait all the way until October? No worries! You’ve got the Polyglot Gathering in Bratislava in May/June.

I learnt some Slovak last year for the event, and it was fun! I recommend giving it a go if you’re headed to this event.

Get started with Slovak

I used slovake.eu back when I was getting to grips with the basics.

French

The final big language event of the year (we’re doing these totally out of calendar order by the way!) is LangFest in Montreal.

If you do or don’t already speak French, it’s a lot of fun to learn some of the Quebec-specific vocab and accent features.

And as this episode of Language Stories proves, there’s plenty of languages beyond French and English used in the city, so you’ll be able to practise more than you might expect…

Get started with French

Plenty of blogs here on Lindsay Does Languages to get you started with French! My favourties include:

10 Essential French Films to Fall in Love With to Help You Learn the Language

5 Essential French Grammar Tips for Beginners

My Favourite Resource to Learn French Online

But if you’re looking for something more, check my favourite French resources here.

Japanese

I’m beyond excited that there’s a new series of Terrace House on the horizon!

If you’ve not yet got into Terrace House then, I assure you, it’s only a matter of time. This is the simpliest, most compelling, least set-up reality TV I’ve seen since Big Brother still had chickens.

And it’s in Japan (back to Japan for this next season after last season in Hawaii), and there are six Japanese people in the house at one time, as well as the panel of 6 comedians and TV personalities there to discuss the goings-on so you feel like you’re watching with them.

It’s addictive. And it will make you want to learn Japanese. You’ve been warned…

Get started with Japanese

I studied Japanese back in 2014/15 and blogged a bit along the way right here. Some of my favourite posts about Japanese here on the blog include:

When Taylor Swift Met Japanese Music

How to Use JapanesePod 101 Every Day (+ free checklist!)

8 Free Japanese Learning Resources

If you’re curious about learning Japanese but reality TV isn’t enough of a reason for you (I get it) then here’s 9 more…

And for my favourite resources for Japanese, here’s your list.

Korean

If football isn’t your thing, then no problem! The 2018 Winter Olympics are happening in February in South Korea.

Korean is a language like no other I’ve studied and if you’re up for a new challenge, it’s a fun language with plenty of great high-quality resources to help you along.

Get started with Korean

When I studied Korean, it was a project with my study buddy Shannon Kennedy from Eurolinguiste so lots on the blog about this one too:

How I Taught Myself Hangeul in Under 2 Hours

Why Can’t I Learn Korean Vocabulary? (+ what I’m doing to fix it)

5 Ways to Use Music to Learn Korean

My 10 Favourite Things for Learning Korean So Far

19 Korean Words Learnt From K-Drama Boys Over Flowers

Because I’ve studied this one, I’ve also got a resource page right here.

Italian

So…Quidditch is real?!

During my research for this post, I had to rub my eyes a few times when I found out that the International Quidditch Association (IQA) is a real thing, and there’s a Quidditch World Cup, and it’s happening in Florence this summer.

Say whaaaat?!

So yes, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’re looking for a quirky event to travel to this summer, or you’re just looking for an excuse to learn Italian, this is for you.

Get started with Italian

I’ve never written much about Italian on the blog but there’s a great guest post from Cher at The Iceberg Project sharing 3 common Italian words everyone should know.

It was one of the first languages to get a 9 Reasons video, so if you need more inspiration, voila…

And because it’s another I’ve studied, check your resource page right here.

Portuguese

The love him or hate him Salvador Sobral (personally, love him, he was my hands-down favourite) won Eurovision last year for Portugal, which means the competition heads there this May.

Although most of the songs are sung in English nowadays (boo!) it’s always fun to cheer on the handful that go brave with singing in their original language. Heck, Salvador Sobral even won it last year singing in Portuguese so it’s possible!

To visit and enjoy the event live in Portugal would be a great reason to learn some Portuguese in 2018.

Get started with Portuguese

There’s not many posts that’ll help you learn here, just lots of my personal updates. But I do have a couple of videos that might inspire!

The main thing to decide before starting Portuguese is whether you want Brazilian or European, that’ll help you to find the best resources for you.

But of course, if you’re headed to Eurovision, Portuguese from Portugal would be your choice there.

Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian

The Baltic nations celebrate 100 years of statehood in 2018, making it a great time to visit, and consequently a great reason to learn the languages of these beautiful countries.

These websites have info on what to expect in the three nations across the year for Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.

Get started with Estonian, Latvian or Lithuanian

Latvian was the first language from the region to get a 9 Reasons video recently.

And I’ve got a few videos to inspire you below too as part of the Learning X in X series.

As for resources, you’ve got the option of Glossika for any of these three (note – their new plan means you’d get access to all languages! Which is pretty awesome!).

And then of course, all the usual suspects will have something to help – Memrise, Colloquial etc.

So there we have it! Some motivation to get into language learning in 2018. Which language will you be learning this year and why? Share in the comments!

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About Lindsay Williams

Why hello there!
I’m Lindsay and I do Languages. I blog, vlog and teach all things language. I blog about languages right here at Lindsay Does Languages, and about travel over at Mundo Trundle. If you’re looking for language learning inspiration then stay a while. You might find just what you’re looking for. :)

  • Angelica Kiyazova

    Good luck with Russian and all the other goals! I’m a native speaker of Russian and you’re always welcome in case you need any help!

  • Soliman Eid

    thank you lindsay

  • Colette Good

    Great post Lindsay. Very informative. This year i am tackling my first Add1Challenge and already have my ticket for Langfest. All three days this time so i can take it all in. I have also met some terrific ladies, one Russian and one Korean so i am dabbling in basic phrases with them.
    Have fun everyone. Happy New Year!!

    • Thanks, Colette! Great you’ll be going to Langfest! And good luck with the Add1Challenge! 🙂