Learning languages with online videos

There are millions of videos online in a huge number of different languages. Most of not specifically designed for language learners, but they can be very useful nonetheless.

Today, for example, I was asked to find some phrases in Amharic, one of the languages spoken in Ethiopia, and did a search for Amharic phrases in Google. I found a number of useful pages, such as this one, but none of them have recordings of the phrases so it’s hard to know how to pronounce them. When I looked in the video results though I found some handy videos, such as this one, which show the phrases in the Amharic script and the Latin alphabet, and also have people saying them.

There are also video lessons for plenty of other languages, including American Sign Language, Thai, Arabic and Tibetan. The quality of the lessons and the videos varies considerably, but they’re all free and a good way to start learning a language.

Others videos are useful for giving you practise at listening to languages you’re learning. Many are made by ordinary people, others are TV programmes, clips from films and music videos. The music videos are very handy if you enjoy singing and would like to learn some songs in the language you’re studying.