This New Year, why not make learning a language one of your New Year’s Resolutions? Being able to speak another language can make travel more interesting, allowing you to make more friends and get more out of your visit. Language skills can increase business opportunities and make that good impression when you need to most. It is also well-known that learning a language can help to keep your mind active and it has even been proven that speaking two languages helps to delay the onset of dementia.

Here at Radio Lingua we provide language learning materials which allow you to learn a language in your own time, at your own pace, in a way which best suits your lifestyle. Perhaps you’re a busy professional with very little free time on your hands. Our courses are mostly audio-based, so you can download our lessons and listen on your iPod while you commute, or catch up on your language-learning during your coffee break. If you have more time on your hands, then you can download our lessons and listen as you walk the dog, or when you’re at the gym. Then when you get home you can spend some time working through our lesson notes. Or, perhaps you’re like many of our listeners: students who would like to build on what they’re learning in class, or simply pick up a new skill to make them more interesting to prospective employers. Our lessons are built around a mobile lifestyle so you can take your Spanish classes while you’re on the train, or you can even pick up some Chinese while you’re getting ready for a night out!

Many of our courses include free audio lessons which are available in mp3 format. All these courses are available through iTunes as podcasts so you can download them straight to your iPod, iPhone or iPad and use them on the go. The lessons can also be downloaded straight from our site and can be played on any mp3 player or computer and even burned to CD.

Choose your language

We now offer a range of 24 different languages, from Catalan to Zulu and Polish to Portuguese. We’re adding languages to our range all the time. In some languages we have a variety of levels and types of course. In other languages we have our basic One Minute Languages course which introduces the absolute basics of the language. Choose your language from the information below.


If you’re interested in Spanish then we have a huge range of content available for you at a variety of levels. Our flagship course is Coffee Break Spanish (website | iTunes link) which offers 80 lessons beginning at the absolute basics of the language, and increasing to an intermediate level. By following the full Coffee Break Spanish course you will develop a thorough understanding of the Spanish language and be able to cope in a variety of situations.

If you already have some experience of Spanish then our Show Time Spanish (websiteiTunes link) course provides a structured course in which you can build your knowledge of the Spanish language and develop confidence in a range of expressions and grammatical constructions. For further practice of your listening skills within the context of current affairs, try our News Time Spanish (websiteiTunes link) series which features weekly episodes of news from around the world aimed at Spanish learners. News Time Spanish is published in seasons of 10 lessons. Our most recent season ended at the end of December, but full archive is still available.

For learners who would like to pick up the absolute basics of Spanish just to get by in a travel or business situation we offer One Minute Spanish (website | iTunes link) and One Minute Spanish for Latin America (website | iTunes link). For more information about our One Minute Languages courses, see below. Finally, we offer TwitterLearn Spanish (website) which provides forty micro language lessons covering the basics of the language in an innovative format based on the Twitter social networking platform.



For learners who are interested in French we offer a range of series. Like Coffee Break Spanish, Coffee Break French (website | iTunes link) introduces the basics of French in 15-20 minute lessons. Over seasons 1 and 2 there are 80 lessons of Coffee Break French, providing a very thorough grounding in French for beginners to intermediate learners. We have recently introduced a third season of Coffee Break French aimed at intermediate to advanced learners which introduces more complex grammatical concepts and will help you increase your range of expression.

Walk, Talk and Learn French (website | iTunes link) is a ground-breaking video series which introduces French grammar concepts in an exciting way with teacher Pierre-Benoît, live in the streets of Paris. Walk, Talk and Learn French covers a variety of grammar points in an interesting way and currently is available in one season. We’ll soon have a second season released.

For beginners in French who want to pick up the absolute basics of the language we offer both One Minute French and Twitter Learn French. One Minute French (website | iTunes link) provides ten lessons which cover the basics of communication in French. TwitterLearn French (website) offers micro language lessons based on the social network platform Twitter: in 40 episodes of just 1 minute 40 seconds you’ll pick up enough French to get by on a trip to a French-speaking location.

Finally, for younger learners we have School Run French (website | iTunes link) which offers basic French lessons aimed at 6-11 year-old learners. We currently have two packs available for School Run French: purchase here.


We have three courses aimed at beginners in Italian: My Daily Phrase Italian (website | iTunes link) offers one hundred 4-minute lessons introducing the language in daily episodes. One Minute Italian (website | iTunes link) provides ten lessons of the absolute basics of the language. TwitterLearn Italian (website) offers forty lessons of just 1 minute 40 seconds, allowing the learner to pick up a range of phrases which will help you cope with most situations encountered while travelling in an Italian-speaking area.


At the moment we have two courses available in German: One Minute German (website | iTunes link), which like our other One Minute Languages courses provides ten lessons of basic German, just enough to get by in a variety of situations. For more experienced learners of German we offer A Flavour of German (website | iTunes link) which helps you to increase your range of expression by providing ten lessons of idiomatic German expressions.


At the moment we offer one series aimed at learners of English: Write Back Soon (website | iTunes link) focuses on one particular aspect of the English language which learners find particularly difficult. Through eight lessons, learners follow a “love story” between Duncan and Lisa who are carrying on a long-distance relationship while Lisa studies in Canada and Duncan is back home in Scotland. It just so happens that both Duncan and Lisa use lots of phrasal verbs in their texts, so learners can practise their phrasal verbs through these episodes.

Other languages

In addition to Spanish, French, Italian and German, our One Minute Languages courses are available in sixteen other languages. Each course is made up of ten lessons, introducing the absolute basics of the language. Topics covered include greetings, introductions, dealing with language difficulties, numbers, asking people how they are and responding, and other useful phrases eg. “Happy birthday”, “Happy Christmas” and “I love you”.

Find out more by clicking on the following links: Catalan (website | iTunes link), Danish (website | iTunes link), Gaelic (website | iTunes link), Greek (website | iTunes link), Irish (website | iTunes link), Japanese (website | iTunes link), Luxembourgish (website | iTunes link), Mandarin (website | iTunes link), Norwegian (website | iTunes link), Polish (website | iTunes link), Portuguese (website | iTunes link), Russian (website | iTunes link), Swedish (website | iTunes link), Turkish (website | iTunes link), Ukrainian (website | iTunes link) and Zulu (website | iTunes link).

What does it cost?

Most of our audio courses are free, so you can try them out and find out if you enjoy our style of teaching and if it fits your lifestyle. However, we offer a range of additional materials in the form of premium memberships to each of our courses. All memberships involve one-off payments, providing access to the additional materials for a specific group of lessons, eg. Coffee Break French Level 1 Platinum provides access to all the bonus materials for lessons 1-40 for £57.00 GBP (+VAT for EU customers), and One Minute Japanese provides access to enhanced audio and lesson notes for the ten-lesson series for £10.00 GBP (+VAT for EU customers).

Don’t just take our word for it!

Our podcasts have consistently been in the top 10 educational podcasts in iTunes UK and US and as we enter 2011, we have the #1 or #2 educational podcast in iTunes UK, US, Australia, Canada, Egypt, Finland, Jamaica, Lithuania, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden! Coffee Break Spanish won the European Award for Languages in 2008 and was voted the European Professional Podcast of the year in 2009. Coffee Break Spanish, Coffee Break French and Show Time Spanish were in the top 5 professional podcasts in the UK in 2010.

What do our listeners think of our courses? The reviews below are taken from Podcast Alley and iTunes UK and US:

Thanks so much! Coffee Break Spanish is a wonderful resource! It really has helped to enhance my travel experiences in Mexico… now I am brushing up for Spain! – iteamarmstrong (Podcast Alley)

Better than a winning lottery ticket! Seriously – a winning lottery ticket may never be able to help me learn Spanish as much as Mark and Kara are. Their enthusiasm has been invigorating and rewarding. I’m loving learning Spanish with them and feel that in my own right I have indeed won the lottery! – “m” (Podcast Alley)

I’ve learned more Spanish in the last two days with Coffee Break Spanish than in hours with the Rosetta Stone. – sgs0226 (Podcast Alley)

I am loving Coffee Break French. I’m re-learning so much that I already knew but had forgotten and it’s also teaching me lots of new words in a way that makes it all so easy to understand and absorb. I play the podcasts whenever and wherever I can. J’aime CB French! – sue.jenks1 (Podcast Alley)

This is by far the best podcast that I’ve ever found! I had learned some French in High School, and a bit in College, and this has been an excellent way to brush up on what I once knew. This is great for both beginners, and those looking to refresh some rusty French as well. – Kremkema (Podcast Alley)

Many thanks Mark and Kara, a brilliant way for us as a family to sit down and learn together. Our 9 and 12 year old really enjoy the songs. We are currently working through the podcasts and urge anyone to give it a go, it really is suitable for all and runs at a sensible pace. As a family from ages 9 to 41 we are having great fun learning Spanish. ¡Gracias! – balearicblues (iTunes UK)

Top class podcast – ¡magnífico! This is a superb series. I have loved every minute of it and I have now become a premium member so I can get all the bonus material. Have been using the series in the car to work so I can get through 2-3 episodes on the way in and then I listen again on the way home to see how much I have retained. The slow pace is helpful, one of the best free podcasts around, but definitely worth spending the money to get all the additional podcasts and written material. Muchas gracias. – Garry Hoare (iTunes UK)

Great podcast!!!!! Like its sister Coffee Break Spanish, this French version proves to be another hit for Radio Lingua and rightfully so!! The enhanced podcast are really helpful and all the extra bonus materials: bonus audio lessons, video podcast, the pdf guides really reinforce and enhance the learning experience. Mark paces his lessons well; audio quality of the podcast is excellent: he keeps things clear and simply and his voice is lovely and quite soothing, which always helps and I find myself enjoying and learning from the lessons and looking forward to the next podcast. All in all a very well rounded podcast. I get to learn French in the comfort of my own home at my own pace and gain some confidence before attending courses or on holiday in a French-speaking country. – deaddisco (iTunes UK)

As I wanted to re-pick up my high school French, I went looking for a French podcast when I bought my new iPhone. I came across Coffee Break French after trying a few others and cannot put it down! Mark and Anna are fabulous and they make learning French very, very easy. Since I had been listening to multiple lessons a day, I went through the archive pretty quickly and decided that I would try and supplement with another podcast as well to learn more than I was learning. Big mistake! After trying once again to go through the multiple podcasts to find another French lesson to learn with, I found myself extremely and quickly confused and having a difficult time learning from them. Or, I just couldn’t relate to the teacher. I will never stray from the Coffee Break or Radio Lingua podcasts again and truly enjoy my language learning with this great group of folks! – S M (iTunes US)

I have paid the big $$ for different Italian language materials and My Daily Phrase Italian has done a better job in 2 weeks of day-by-day, phrase-by-phrase work than all of those combined. I actually find myself thinking the Italian answers in my head during daily conversation. You can’t beat the price (free). The premium subscription is also well worth the $$. I’m going to Italy on my honeymoon next year, and I have finally found the tools to help me get by confidently while I’m there. – Stephen Gillian (iTunes US)

Need more information?

If you need more information about our language courses, please have a look around our website. You can find out about our teachers and presenters here, or learn more about the story of Radio Lingua. Don’t forget that we have active communities on Facebook for Radio Lingua, Coffee Break French and Coffee Break Spanish: become part of our community there.

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