Are you looking for a special gift for a language learner? It can be difficult to find that perfect gift, especially when learning languages is such a personal journey. As a language learner myself, I’ve gained a good understanding of what would make a good gift, and things that are best avoided.
After reading this post you will have a good idea of what make good gifts for language learners and what to avoid. Whatever your budget, there is something here for everyone.
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If you’re looking for a really special gift for a language learner, look no further than a subscription. The best thing about the following subscriptions is that they appeal to all sorts of language learners, at all levels.
Lingopie is an online TV streaming service for language learners. Think of it as Netflix for language lovers. With Lingopie you can stream countless TV shows in 9 different languages: German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and English.
All 9 languages are included in a subscription, so whether your language learning friend or relative is learning one of the languages on offer, or is an aspiring polyglot, this would make a fantastic gift.
The unique thing about Lingopie, is that you can watch any show with accurate subtitles in the target language. If a word comes along that you don’t understand, you can simply click on it and an English translation appears on screen.
There are loads of other features included to assist with language learning including being able to add those new words to a flashcard deck, which you can review on your smartphone later on.
You can give the gift of 12 months Lingopie subscription for $67.
Audible is one of my favourite ways to improve listening skills, and is a great gift for any language learner. If the person you’re buying a gift for is more of an audiobook fan than a book reader, or if they spend a lot of time driving, this could be the perfect gift.
With Audible, you can listen to endless books on the subject of learning a language including the ones I talk about later in the ‘books’ section.
There’s also the choice of downloading audiobooks that will actually teach you a specific language or you can download fiction books in a foreign language.
Audible memberships are available to suit any budget:
- 1 month membership: $15.00
- 3 months membership: $45.00
- 6 months membership: $90.00
- 12 months membership: $150.00
For this you get 1 credit per month, good for any title which you can download and keep forever, even if membership lapses as well as access to the Plus catalogue (an all-you-can-listen catalogue including thousands of audiobooks).
If you’re searching for a gift for a language learner who is also a bookworm, buying them a Kindle Unlimited gift card will be greatly appreciated. Kindle Unlimited allows your bookworm to choose from millions of books, which can be read for free for as long as the Unlimited membership is active.
Just like with Audible, your recipient will have an enormous choice of books for language learners, including grammar books, phrase books and if they happen to be learning German, they can read my book The Wunderbar World of German Idioms on Kindle Unlimited for free.
The best thing is that you don’t need to actually own a Kindle device to take advantage of Kindle Unlimited. All Kindle books can down be read on any device using the free Kindle app.
Kindle Unlimited gift subscriptions are available as follows:
- 6 months: $48.00
- 12 months: $80.00
- 24 months: $144.00
italki Gift Card
italki is a global language learning platform which connects teachers and students learning all the popular languages including English, Mandarin, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Italian. There are also up 150 other less common language available to learn through the platform.
All lessons are 1-to-1 and take place online. Teachers are certified and lessons are completely flexible, you can focus on any aspect of the language that you would like. Lessons are very affordable with 30 minute trial lessons starting at just $5.
If you’re looking for a gift for a language learner who wants to improve their speaking, an italki gift will be very welcome. Most people learning languages have heard of italki, and it’s very popular in the language learning world.
italki gift cards start at $20, which would give the recipient plenty of opportunities to try out various teachers and book a few lessons.
As far as gifts for language learners go, books can be a great choice. In this section I’m recommending books on general language learning methods, not specific grammar books for specific languages. The reason for this is that grammar books vary massively and it’s not easy to buy a grammar book for someone else as you don’t know what suits them and what level they are at.
The following books are great for general language learning tips and are books that I’ve read myself and found helpful.
Fluent in 3 Months (Benny Lewis)
A motivational book offering some fantastic tips for getting started learning a new language. The author is very encouraging to people who doubt themselves and maybe feel they don’t have a natural aptitude for languages.
Packed full of advice for immersing yourself in your target language, speaking from day one and how you can work around the language if you don’t know how to say something, without switching to English.
How to Speak Any Language Fluently (Alex Rawlings)
An inspiring and advice filled book covering the best methods for learning languages with tips for learning grammar and vocabulary. This book gives advice for mastering speaking, listening and reading in a foreign language as well as explaining how to use colloquialisms to sound more like a local.
The Wunderbar World of German Idioms (Emma Jackman)
If your gift recipient happens to be learning German, then my own book The Wunderbar World of German Idioms is sure to be a big hit.
This book guides you though 75 everyday German idioms, with literal translations, the English equivalent and example sentences in German so you can see each idiom in context. It’s a really fun way to sound a bit more like a native German speaker, and it’s sure to raise a smile along the way.
Short Stories in … (Olly Richards)
The ‘Short Stories in…’ books series is a collection of 8 short stories in a range of genres including fantasy, historic, contemporary and sci-fi. Each story is divided into 3 manageable chapters, and is specifically written for language learners.
I read the German version and found the stories to be interesting, fun and engaging. ‘Short Stories in…’ come in huge selection of languages, aimed at high-beginner to intermediate level. Anyone who has been studying a language for 6 months + should be at the right level.
All available on Amazon:
If your language learner is a real bookworm, what better gift to buy them than a Kindle Paperwhite. With a Kindle you can store thousands of books, just like the ones I’ve recommended above.
You can also download books in your target language and because the Kindle is so light and portable, your language learning friend or relative will never be without their book collection.
Gifts for Language Learners: What to Avoid
There are certain gifts for language learners which should be avoided. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, language learning is a very personal journey. It can be difficult to know what sort of level anyone is at, and what sort of learner they are.
Some people are visual learners, some like to learn with grammar books and some people like to try a bit of everything.
As tempting as it is to buy a certain language course for something, this is best avoided. There are loads of language courses available, and all offer different methods or focus on certain skills.
The same goes for grammar books. Every language learner will be at a different level and have a certain preference for a particular learning style.
Which is why I’ve recommended the above gifts for language learners, as they are not only extremely helpful for all levels (like the Lingopie gift subscription), but they also give each language learner the opportunity to pick their own gift (such as the Audible or Kindle Unlimited subscriptions).
With an italki gift card, your gift recipient can find the language teacher right for them, and the books I’ve recommended are great for generic language learning advice.