Working with languages for years, I receive over and over the same questions: How can you learn a language? Can I learn German on my own? Can I learn a language online? Can we learn a language at home?  Can you learn German with duolingo? Are language learning apps effective? What are language learning strategies?

In order to answer all those questions, I could write an entire book! But, here is something you should know: whatever your goal is, whether you want to live in the country where the language is spoken,  understand work e-mails, prepare for a language exam or you just want to know some basics: you will always need to study vocabulary in order to learn a language! There is no way around it! You can have great pronunciation or be the biggest grammar freak, but  words are the key to being able to speak or use the grammar you know in sentences!

Personally, I get really excited when I am able to understand the first words of a conversation in a new language and I love doing grammar exercises, but the process before all that includes studying vocabulary, and this is actually the part that I usually do not enjoy! Sitting at the desk, repeating the words out of any context, it just takes so much time! I wish there was a button I could press to install a brain update…

updating Italian words, please wait! …. (waiting 10 seconds)… Status: 100% completed”

Yeeah, that would be so easy, but we are not there yet!

“You will always need to study vocabulary in order to learn a language!”

So, what is the problem with vocabulary learning? Most people still try to learn new words using traditional methods with the result that in order to learn a language, they use their brain but not their body and end up not being efficient, finding it boring to learn a language or using the excuse that they don’t have time to study! Have you ever had the feeling of not finding time for studying vocabulary or feeling that your brain is just so full that there is now way it could retain any new information? I’ve been there myself….  And the feeling is so frustrating!

The truth is: you will never have more time and your brain will never really be free to process new information! Does that mean that you can’t learn a new language? No, it just means that we have to adapt to the conditions and do something about it to save time and find better ways to retain new information! And the good news: this will make the whole process more enjoyable!

“You will never have more time and your brain will also never really be free to process new information!”

But how can you do this? Well here it is: burn&learn, an innovative method to practice German vocabulary whilst doing easy bodyweight exercises. Many studies have shown that combining mental training with physical exercise increases the learning effect.


Learning vocabulary while doing some exercise. For example: conjugating the word “to be” with pushups.


I am not only talking about riding a bike while listening to something! We want language learners to become more active! Speaking out the words following the rhythm of the exercise is not only more efficient, but it’s also more fun and you save time because you combine 2 activities in 1. And you can do it from anywhere you want!

“Speaking out the words following the rhythm of the exercise is not only more efficient, but it’s also more fun and you save time because you combine 2 activities in 1”

So how exactly does burn&learn work? Imagine this: you take your computer, tablet, phone or whatever device you use to watch YouTube videos. Now, put it on a table or on the ground and before starting the video, make sure that you have around 3-4 m2 of free space around you! How do we say again yellow in German? Oups, this one is hard to remember. Let’s click on the video colors in German combined with burpees. “But I’ve never done burpees before”, you might say. Let’s learn it and have fun!



And just like that! Gelb!  Easy right?

On our YouTube channel, burn&learn languages, we have plenty of videos (so far mostly for beginner and intermediate levels). In each video we focus on 1 vocabulary group and 1 bodyweight exercise. After a short explanation of the words, we start right away with the exercise and practice the 8 to 10 words a couple of times. Every video takes about 10 minutes, now imagine if you do every now and then a short workout, not only will you save time and do some good for your body, you will see: the effect it will have on your learning  is incredible.



What are you waiting for? Subscribe here to the YouTube channel, click on the little bell to get notified whenever we publish a new video and enjoy your little workouts!

No need to be an athlete to do burn&learn, everyone can do the exercises! Just try it, your body & mind will thank you 🙂

Anja is a polyglot originally from Germany and is passionate about learning languages. She has learned 10 languages at various levels and speaks 5 of them fluently. Using the pseudonym “Anja from Alemania” on social media, her goal is to spread the love for languages and to show the world that really EVERYONE can learn a foreign language! She is the founder and CEO of ZALOA Languages and enjoys developing creative ways of language learning.  To see more of her language addiction and her love for Mexico, follow @Anja_from_Alemania on Instagram!