Free and Discounted Language Resources for Military
The majority of the world’s population speaks at least two languages. Do you fall in the majority?
Whether you are a Special Forces soldier working toward a higher score on the OPI or a spouse prepping for an OCONUS move, there is a bounty of language resources at your fingertips.
There are many advantages to building language skills:
- For active duty – increase your Foreign Language Pay and bolster your OER/NCOER
- For job seekers – bilingual employees are in high demand and may earn higher pay
- For travelers – knowing the local language makes travel easier and far more enjoyable
- For everyone – foreign language skills lead to cultural opportunities and can create a sense of accomplishment and new perspective
Career Opportunities for Those Who Are Bilingual
Learning a second language can open doors to new career opportunities. Three such opportunities are Interpreters, Translators, and Teachers.
Interpreters and Translators
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, interpreter and translator jobs are rising much faster than average. Make over $50,000 per year with a bachelor’s degree in these roles. Interpreters and translators can work for large translation services, individual organizations, or private clients in many settings:
- Conference centers
Interpreters convert information from one language to another. Translators convert one language to another in written form. The goal of both is accurate communication. Both roles require fluency in two languages – one of which is often English.
Search Veteran and Military-friendly schools with degree programs in Cultural and Language Studies or International/Global Studies using the College Recon search tool.
Save big today with discounts for military & veterans!
Foreign Language Teacher
Foreign language teachers can teach at K-12 private or public schools with as little as a bachelor’s degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school foreign language teachers earn approximately $60,000 per year.
Foreign language teachers at the college-level generally require a master’s degree and typically earn higher salaries than those teaching in other education settings. All levels of foreign language teaching require fluency in a foreign language and related cultural knowledge. Fluency in more than one language may also afford the opportunity to teach English as a foreign language in another country.
Search Veteran and Military-friendly schools with degree programs in Language Teacher education using the College Recon search tool.
Discount and Free Language Learning Programs
Whatever your reason for learning a foreign language, there are multiple resources available to military families and Veterans.
DuoLingo – Free
Learn over 30 languages at your own pace using the DuoLingo app. It’s free to anyone and easy to use. While the app is great for learning conversation, it doesn’t focus on teaching grammar rules.
Mango Languages – Free
Similar to DuoLingo in that it is an easy-to-use app, Mango Languages does an excellent job of teaching grammar and culture points. It is free through thousands of organizations, including MWR Libraries making it free to nearly anyone connected to the U.S. Military.
Among the most popular languages – French, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Levantine Arabic, German, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese – completing five units of Mango learning content takes learners to a B1 Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level.
Rosetta Stone – Discounted
Rosetta Stone offers a 10% discount to active and retired military and students who are verified with UNiDays. One of the oldest computer-based language learning tools, Rosetta Stone offers nearly 30 foreign languages.
Joint Language University – Free
Free to anyone with a .mil or .gov email address, the Joint Language University (JLU) is a language portal for U.S. Government employees and armed forces members who require language skills.
Coffee Break Languages – Free
This podcast helps listeners learn a new language through lessons that build vocabulary and useful phrases gradually. In addition to podcast lessons in 7 languages, Coffee Break Languages offers supplemental materials, language courses, and reading materials. Highly recommended by this language learner!
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About the author
Chelsea Bostelman is a registered nurse who stays busy with freelance writing, exploring Europe, and working on a graduate degree in nursing. She founded the Stuttgart Nurse Journal Club to provide underemployed nurses with free continuing education opportunities. A 10-year military spouse, she and her family spend their free time hiking, biking, and eating in southern Germany.