100 Excellent Language Lessons on You Tube

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June 8th, 2009

By Caitlin Smith

Learning a new language from a book is certainly helpful, but it’s even better when you can hear pronunciation and see interaction between those speaking the language. Luckily, there are plenty of people who have videos on You Tube offering excellent language lessons that are totally free for you to watch. Save your money for your travels instead of on language schools and check out this sampling of the many videos teaching Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, and American Sign Language.


Whether you are just visiting or studying abroad you can get a good start on the basics of Spanish with these videos, some of which are specialized by country.

  1. Spanish Lesson 1 Introductions. Learn how to say hello no matter what time of day it is, ask someone’s name, and more in this video.
  2. How to Speak Spanish : Common Spanish Phrases for Events. These helpful phrases will be handy if you are attending an event in Spain.
  3. Spanish For Beginners. This video teaches important basic phrases, numbers 1-10, and days of the week for those learning to speak Spanish.
  4. SPANISH LESSONS: EL VERBO ESTAR – THE VERB TO BE. Learn how to use this important verb, including forms specific to certain countries.
  5. Spanish Lesson 5 The Alphabet. Asking how to spell someone’s name and the Spanish pronunciation of the alphabet are the focus of this video.
  6. Learn Spanish Lesson video. Using the direct method, this video teaches Spanish in Spanish and focuses on several modes of transportation.
  7. 01 Spanish Lesson – La ropa. This video teaches vocabulary of the different types of clothing.
  8. 02 Spanish Lesson – Reflexive Verbs (part 1). Learn what a reflexive verb is and how to use them correctly in Spanish.
  9. Learn Spanish with Joaquin Chacon, the video lessons …. From Spain, this teacher provides basic Spanish questions and answers that are translated in subtitles below.
  10. 01037 Spanish Lesson – La Familia. Learn vocabulary for family members in this video.
  11. Spanish classes – Clases de español 3. Explore what’s in a typical house by learning these vocabulary words.


Learn pronunciation, basic phrases, and even how to say "I love you" with these videos.

  1. Basic French Lesson 1: Learn basic French. Start with some basic French such as learning pronouns and some beginning verbs in this video.
  2. French lessons on numbers. Not only can you learn the French words for 1-30, you also get two different camera angles showing the proper shape of the mouth while saying the numbers.
  3. Common French Phrases : Useful French Words & Phrases. Learn basic phrases such as "Please," "That’s right," and "You’re welcome."
  4. Common French Phrases : French Phrases for Getting to Know Someone. The phrases in this lessons include questions and answers useful when getting to know someone.
  5. Common French Phrases : Common French Phrases for Restaurants. From asking for a recommendation to making a reservation to ordering food, learn what to say here.
  6. ParisByPod French lessons – pronunciation exercise n°5. Listening and pronunciation are the focus here where you see photos and hear French as you attempt to identify two target words.
  7. Months in french pronunciation. Learn the months of the year and how to pronounce them in this video.
  8. BY REQUEST: French: the language of love (1). Perhaps recognized as one of the most romantic languages, learn the French to tell someone you love them.
  9. French Lesson Video: French Lesson 6. Learn how to ask questions with some basic sample questions here.
  10. French lesson: Using the superlative in French. Take your descriptions to the next level by learning how to use superlatives for adjectives and adverbs.
  11. Learn French for free with Coffee Break French – episode 5. This video teaches how to say the words describing family and a few other words, too.


From straightforward language lessons to fun on-the-street interviews, these videos will help students of German.

  1. German Lessons Unit 1. Learn German by listening to real people on the street responding to the same question from this popular and entertaining series.
  2. German pronunciation 1-R. This video offers pronunciation demonstrations of how the letter "r" is used in various places of specific words.
  3. Learn German – Lesson 1. Get a basic German lesson including identifying in which city you are located and personal pronouns.
  4. Learn German – Lesson 2. Continue the previous lesson with this one that puts your newly-learned words into action.
  5. Learn German – Lesson 3. This video will teach you about plural definite articles and plural nouns.
  6. Learn German numbers, "How much?" + "I’ll take it!". Listen to this song to learn numbers and how to ask how much something costs.
  7. Learn How to Speak German. Get some basic vocabulary with this video, including "Thank you" and "Good."
  8. German Verbs haben & sein. Learn about these two "foundation" verbs to help provide a good basis for your German language skills.
  9. Traveling Germany: Basic German Phrases & Tips for Travelers : Dining & Ordering in a Restaurant: German Phrases for Travelers. This video will help you know how to order food and beverages as well as other necessary phrases for use in a German restaurant.
  10. German language: greetings. Find out the different ways to introduce yourself and greet others in both formal and informal methods.
  11. Traveling Germany: Basic German Phrases & Tips for Travelers : German Phrases for Traveling By Train. Explore Germany by train with the helpful language and cultural lessons in this video.


These videos are from both native and non-native speakers and offer a great beginning to speaking and understanding Italian.

  1. Italian Lessons: Lesson 1. This video offers Italian basics from non-native speakers who provide plenty of energy with their helpful lesson.
  2. learn Italian – learn numbers in Italian & how to tell time. From the LearningLikeCrazy series, this video teaches numbers and telling time.
  3. Learn Italian – Time expressions in Italian. Take the previous lesson further with more time expressions in Italian.
  4. Learn Italian – Learn The Days Of The Week. Get pronunciation and written versions of the days of the week here.
  5. italian lesson 1. This video offers basic words and phrases such as "Yes," "Thank you," and "Excuse me."
  6. Basic Italian Conversation. Learn to introduce yourself and how to exchange greetings with this video.
  7. My Daily Phrase Italian – Lesson 73. With this lesson, find out how to order wine and beer at an Italian bar.
  8. Learn Italian – Vocabulary: Colors. Learn how to say the basic colors in Italian here.
  9. The Travel Linguist – Italian 101. Get ten basic words and phrases to start you off with your Italian lessons.
  10. ITALIAN LESSON – GRAMMAR – part 1 [Definite Articles]. Learn about the six definite articles in Italian from this video.
  11. italian lessons 4. Visit the airport and learn how to get around with these airport phrases.


From learning the alphabet to counting to greetings, these videos offer a glimpse into the Russian language.

  1. Russian Language Lesson :01 Formal Greetings. Learn formal greetings in Russian for situations with people you don’t know.
  2. Russian Language Lesson :02 Informal Greetings. Continue your greetings lesson with this video which teaches you how to greet those you know well.
  3. Russian Alphabet – Russian Language Lesson :03. Discover the history of the Russian alphabet as well as how to read and pronounce each letter.
  4. Learn Russian: Useful Phrases. Get a quick look at a few useful phrases for beginners with this video.
  5. Beginners Russian, the best tips and Learn another language. This video helps you learn more about proper usage of formal and informal while also teaching some usage and vocabulary for basic Russian.
  6. The Best of Russian – Easy Tour. Learn how to say phrases such as "No, thank you," "Pardon me," and "Do You Speak English?" with this video.
  7. Learn how to count in Russian. This video will teach you how to count from 1 to 20 in Russian as well as how to read the numbers.
  8. Russian survival words. From "Hello" to "Where is the bathroom?" are taught on this video.
  9. Tips for Learning Russian. This Russian tutor offers several tips on making learning Russian a bit easier and understanding how to approach grammar and pronunciation.
  10. RL102 – 1 Basic Russian grammar lesson 1. Start learning the basics of Russian grammar with this video.
  11. animals in russian. Learn the Russian words for many common animals here.


Get a start of the three writing systems used in Japan, learn vocabulary, and find out how to use greetings with these videos.

  1. Japanese Lesson 1. This video offers a good introduction to understanding how Japanese grammar works.
  2. Japanese Lesson 2. Continuing from the previous lesson, this lesson explains how to ask questions.
  3. Japanese Lesson – Hiragana 1. Learn to read the Japanese writing system, hiragana with this lesson that starts with the vowel sounds and also offers some vocabulary.
  4. Japanese Lesson – Hiragana 2. Move to the next hiragana lesson with ka, ki, ku, ke, ko and related vocabulary.
  5. Japanese Lessons – Katakana 1. Katakana is the Japanese language system that includes all foreign words. Get started learning katakana with this video.
  6. Japanese Lessons – Katakana 2. Keep going with basic katakana lessons here.
  7. Japanese Kanji Lessons. Get some practice listening to Japanese as well as learning about the kanji for "car" as well as other related kanji. They also present the words in hiragana.
  8. Speak Japanese Fast – Parts of the Face. Listen to the parts of the face spoken by a native Japanese speaker and see the words written in hiragana also.
  9. Japanese lesson – The weather. The Japanese like to discuss the weather, so brush up on these Japanese weather phrases that are spoken, written in kanji and hiragana, and in romanji.
  10. Japanese lesson – Fruit Names. This lesson provides names of fruit spoken in Japanese accompanied by the hiragana and English written names.
  11. Japanese Lesson – Adjectives. Learn some basic Japanese adjectives in this lesson.
  12. Basic Japanese Greetings. Listen to these common Japanese greetings that also include when you should use each.

Mandarin Chinese

These videos provide some basic lessons including greetings, family members, how to navigate a hotel front desk, and more.

  1. Learn Mandarin Chinese Lesson 1 – Introduce yourself. This first lesson in Mandarin provides the basic greetings and how to introduce yourself.
  2. Learn Mandarin Chinese Lesson 2 – Greetings. From "Good morning" to "See you tomorrow," learn some simple greetings in this video.
  3. Learn Mandarin Chinese Lesson 4 – Courtesy. Learn how to say polite words such as "I’m sorry" and "Excuse me" in Mandarin.
  4. Chinese Lesson #1. This video offers some basic Chinese words and how to write these words.
  5. Learn Chinese Mandarin Lesson 8 – In the restaurant. Knowing what to say at a restaurant is important in China. Learn how to order, how to ask for what you need, and more.
  6. Learn Chinese Mandarin Lesson 11 – Family Members. Learn how to say and read the Chinese words for family members here.
  7. The Travel Linguist – Mandarin 101. This video provides you with ten important words in Chinese including "Hello," "Goodbye," and "Do you speak English?"
  8. China-8.com Chinese Lesson – Hotels: At the Front Desk. Focusing on the interchange at a hotel front desk, this lesson will familiarize you with what you can expect to hear and say.
  9. Chinese Lesson 2: Time. Learn how to talk about time in Chinese with this lesson.
  10. Chinese Lesson 4 – Day of the Week (Monday- Sunday). This video provides the pronunciation of the days of the week. The Chinese characters are written in the "more info" section to the right of the video.
  11. Chinese Lesson 5 – Seasons. Learn how to say the four seasons in this video.


Get started with the complex Thai alphabet and pronunciation as well as learn some basics such as ordering at a restaurant and helpful travel phrases.

  1. Learn Thai Language Lesson: Introduction to Thai. Learn about how to be polite and how to use basic phrases in this video.
  2. Thai Language Lessons: Thai Vowels, Part 1. With so many vowels in the Thai language, this is an important introduction to learning them all.
  3. Thai Language Lessons: Thai Vowels, Part 2. Utilizing what was learned in Part 1, this video looks the vowels in use with Thai words.
  4. Thai Language Lessons: Tone Rules Explained. This video explains tone rules as they are associated with written Thai and is the precursor video to understanding the next one.
  5. Thai Language Lessons: Understanding Haw Heep. Learn how this consonant is related to Sanskrit, why it is needed, and how it modifies tone.
  6. Thai Language: Some basic Thai words/phrases. With handy phrases as "Hello," "Thank you," and "Excuse me," this video will come in handy for learning the basics.
  7. Let’s learn Thai with James. From Klik Magazine, James shares some basic Thai phrases.
  8. The Travel Linguist – Thai 101. These ten words provide an introduction to Thai and are handy for travelers.
  9. Thai Alphabet. Listen and watch as each symbol of the Thai alphabet is spoken and shown together in this video.
  10. Learn-Thai-Podcast.com: Thai Food. Learn how to say common phrases about eating in Thai.
  11. "Restaurant Phrases" Learn Thai with Langhub.com. The phrases here will help you know how to order in a restaurant.

American Sign Language

Video is a great way to learn about ASL, and these videos will help you with the alphabet, to learn ASL etiquette, vocabulary, and much more.

  1. ASL Sign Language Alphabet. This video shows you how to sign the alphabet in American Sign Language.
  2. Sign Language Basics: Sign Language: Numbers 1-20. Learn to sign the first twenty numbers with this video.
  3. Sign Language Basics: Sign Language: Etiquette. In this video, find out how to get a deaf person’s attention, why you should make eye contact, and the importance of facial expressions.
  4. Sign Language Basics: Sign Language: Names. Assigning sign names are the topic of this video.
  5. American Sign Language Emotion Words: American Sign Language: Friendly & Unfriendly. These emotion words explore "friendly" and variations of this word.
  6. American Sign Language Emotion Words: American Sign Language: Indifferent & Tired. Focusing on negative emotion words, you can learn such words as "indifferent," "tired," and "weak."
  7. American Sign Language Food Words: American Sign Language: Colors. Learn how to sign colors so that you can define foods with this video.
  8. American Sign Language Food Words: American Sign Language: Grocery Shopping. Another video in the food series, this one helps you learn grocery store signs.
  9. American Sign Language Food Words: American Sign Language: Food Types. From American to Chinese to French, learn how to sign different types of foods.
  10. American Sign Language Food Words: American Sign Language: Restaurants. Now that you can communicate what type of food you want, learn how to order in a restaurant with these signs.
  11. American Sign Language Home Words: American Sign Language: Street, Avenue & Address. Learn how to sign different types of living spaces as well as how to give your address.


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