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Ways to practice listening?

So I can read a few languages pretty well but can barely understand anything that's spoken. What would be the best way to go about fixing this?

July 31, 2017



The best solution would be to listen to music in those languages or find a sub from a TV show you'll enjoy. Also try to talk to yourself. It sounds a little crazy but try doing something like reading a book out loud. That method is also good to practice speaking.


When I started to learn english,I heard music with subtitle in english and spanish. That helped me alot.Try that. Now,I can heard anything and I can understand.


With German I listen to music in the car every day (headphones are better for this), I barely understand any of it because I'm not very far into learning it but it trains your brain to recognise the distinct sounds of the language and it will help you so much even though to begin with you won't feel like it's helping at all but It really does if you stick with it, this is the one tip I have heard the most hyperpolyglots say just listen to stuff in that language as much as possible.

Also watching shows in languages that you are more advanced in, I am watching star trek in French right now and when I started I had to rely quite a lot on the subtitles but now I am getting so much better at hearing the differences and I can spot the mistakes in the subtitles and sometimes it is even easier without them.

So basically just listen constantly, you won't understand much if anything to start of with but you will see the results after a while.

Ps. Fave German artist is Käptn Peng, I would recommend him


I usually start by learning the alphabet in a language including all the vowel and consonant sounds. Youtube is great for this. Then, I move on to other videos about pronunciation in that language. This helped a lot when I went to Brazil recently.

After learning the basics of pronunciation, I'm ready to start listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks, TV, and movies. It's helpful to have transcripts, lyrics, subtitles in the target language, or other written text of what you are hearing. There are also several learning sites online specifically for listening practice.


Go on Youtube and find some nerds talking about videogames or movies or something like that (in your target language) and just listen. Write down and search up the words you don't understand/know. Podcast and audiobooks are also a good thing, but that probably won't teach you natural speech.


I don't want to repeat what others have been saying, but to add on, a great way to enhance your listening comprehension is to do this site: https://lyricstraining.com

Basically, you listen to songs in your target language and type certain words you hear in a fill-in-the-blank style. I found it addicting, so you should give it a shot!


Music... immersion... watching/listening to things... ...


For Romance languages at least, I think it's easiest to start with news broadcasts. The announcers are super clear (try to find one who talks at something other than super rapid-fire speed obviously), and a lot of the content will be about topics where a lot of the vocabulary is relatively familiar.

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