3 Affordable Ways to Learn Asian Languages in NYC


NYC is home to countless cultural opportunities. One great thing about living in the "City that Never Sleeps" is the numerous selection of language classes and organizations, from Brooklyn-based Fluent City to ABC Languages in Manhattan. Language schools however, can be a pricey commitment you might not be ready to venture into yet – and that’s completely OK. Below are a few of my favorite affordable to free ways to learn an Asian language in the city:




Meetup is a great portal for anyone living in the city who’s interested in expanding their network, trying out a new hobby or finding under-the-radar restaurants. The language-based meetup selection in New York and New Jersey is huge, with a few favorites:

New York Bengali Beginner Class Meetup

Korean Language and Culture Exchange in Midtown NYC

Chinese, Japanese, Korean (CJK)+ English Language Practice

[J-Kuru] Enjoy Japanese Conversation

Mundo Lingo New York City - Language Socials

Practice Hindi




The Asian Language Exchange & Social Network (ALESN – pronounced “Allison”), is a volunteer-run program that is focused on teaching Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Russian (as well as salsa dancing and martial arts!). ALESN currently has over 20 volunteers and hundreds of participants coming together to learn and help spread awareness of Asian cultures and languages.


Vietnam Heritage Center 


The Vietnam Heritage Center, conveniently located in Lower Manhattan, has a great selection of language classes offered for under $400 a semester (which is an incredible price for language classes in Manhattan!). Classes include spelling and pronunciation 101, as well as beginner and advanced courses for both children and adults.