Master a New Language With These Helpful Apps
When the pandemic hit in 2020, home quarantine exhausted all my favorite go-to hobbies within a month. Netflix and chilling, trying out new recipes, and working through my TBR quickly lost their luster, and I sat around the house wondering what I could do next. Partially fueled by my desire and simultaneous inability to travel, and partly because I had always wanted to but never had the motivation or the time to focus on it, I decided it was time to add a new language to my repertoire. Though in the past learning a new language meant hours of CD listening, paging through cumbersome study materials, or taking in-person classes, these days you can easily begin learning the language of your choice with the touch of an app on your smart devices.
Whether you want to ace a school course, prepare for vacations to foreign lands, or simply expand your linguistic knowledge, we have rounded up the best apps for learning a new language. Regardless of whether you’re a complete beginner or you want some help with pronunciation or advanced conversational skills, there is a language-learning app in this list that suits your requirement. Keep reading to find the complete list of the best language-learning apps you can access on Android or iOS. And don’t forget to practise!
Duolingo is perfect for people who love mixing games and learning. Full of quick, bite-size exercises, users can earn points, meet daily streaks, and unlock new levels as they gain vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation proficiency with each test. There are virtual rewards to help motivate even apprehensive learners, and to help you encourage consistency, Duolingo has a “shatter” feature that will chip away at your highest score if you’re not practising regularly. There’s also a Duolingo Stories feature to help you better your comprehensive skills via short stories. Though the basic app is free, there’s an upgraded premium version that offers an ad-free experience and offline usage.
The Memrise app includes short video clips from native speakers to help users truly understand accents they might encounter when traveling or conversing with other speakers. Rather than relying on rote learning methods, Memrise claims to use a scientifically proven learning algorithm that targets long-term memory building. Creating fun associations and mnemonics with the studied words, Memrise is a great way to build your vocabulary. From French to Japanese to Russian, Memrise can help users learn many languages. Though there’s no shortage of free lessons, you can tap into a practically unlimited number of courses with a paid monthly or yearly subscription. You can also opt for lifetime access with a one-time payment.
Busuu boasts an incredible feature that allows learners to interact with native speakers. They can provide accent training and constructive feedback on your language-learning course. Once you’ve set up an account, a Busuu test determines your current level in that particular language, and based on that score, you can set daily study goals. With 12 languages, Busuu also provides a premium upgrade option that gives you access to official certificates, offline lessons, and grammar tips.
Babbel is a subscription-based language-learning app that includes 13 different languages to pick from. The compact 15-minute lessons are easy to consume for the learner on the go. To help you retain learned words in your chosen language, it uses the tried and tested “spaced repetition” method to sprinkle the set of words and phrases around through various vocabulary learning stages. Following the first lesson, available free of cost, you can opt for a monthly subscription or an annual package.
Offering more than 45 different languages, the Drops app has a visual dictionary that aims to help users retain vocabulary. The app’s vibrant, user-friendly layout tends to make the learning experience less intimidating, and Drops provides five-minute exercises to bolster vocabulary memorization. Its Travel Talk feature will familiarise you with common daily phrases that could come in handy if you’re planning on visiting somewhere that uses the language you’re learning. Though the standard version of the Drops app provides you with plenty of free study material, its premium version will enable an ad-free experience with a helpful revision feature.
What better way to improve your language skills than conversing with a native speaker? The Tandem app helps connect users with native speakers in their desired language. That way, you can help each other better grasp your native language concepts. By gaining helpful tips and guidance from the language exchange partner of your choice, you can master any language you choose. Depending on what form of communication you prefer, you can converse via text, audio or video chat, or voice notes. The app has an automated correction and translation tool that enables smooth conversation flow. This feature is unlimited with the Tandem Pro version.
Rosetta Stone is among the oldest and most trusted language-learning platforms, and the app provides a patented speech-recognition engine, TruAccent, that keeps your accent and pronunciation in line with a native accent. Users can even learn practical expressions, phrases, and greetings with the Phrasebook program. With 24 languages available on the app, Rosetta Stone is a subscription-based service. You can pay per month or year or get an lifetime subscription.
Users can learn by visual or audio lessons and can easily fit a 10-minute lesson into their daily routine.
Mondly is a fun and effective language-learning app that doesn’t require you to be fluent in English as a default. In fact, you can learn any of the available 41 languages from your first language. The Mondly app provides an immersive learning experience through augmented reality; you can converse with AI chatbots that coach and correct your pronunciation. What’s more? There’s a Mondly Kids version available in the premium app, which includes specialised lessons, quizzes, and monthly challenges.
If you’re a big fan of music, there’s nothing more fun than learning a new language through songs. Plus, remembering lyrics set to a catchy tune can be much easier for some people than remembering flash-card vocabulary. The Lirica app uses this concept to make your language-learning experience insightful and fun. Providing lessons in Spanish and German, Lirica takes popular music by Latin and reggaeton artists and dissects the lyrics, meaning, and grammatical composition to help you learn these two languages. While you explore new genres and artists musically, you’re also building vocabulary and a new cultural understanding.
Learning a new language can take months of hard work to confidently nail an entire grammatically correct conversation, and the Speakly app focuses on getting you to proficient conversation as soon as possible. The app picks the statistically most relevant 4,000 words in your target language, aiming to get you to be well-versed in the language using the foundation of these words. Once you’ve practiced them enough, Speakly prepares you through interactions with a prerecorded native speaker. Speakly currently provides courses in nine languages.
If you’ve mastered the basic-words portion of your target language and you’re looking to become more fluent in conversations, then the Pimsleur app could be the right fit for you. It primarily focuses on phrase learning, using foolproof methods such as digital flash cards, quizzes, and role-playing challenges to solidify your knowledge. Pimsleur has replay and rewind controls that allow you to move at your own pace while learning. Moreover, it keeps track of your levels and lessons, helping you maintain your goals. Users can get many additional advantages by opting for a premium subscription for audio or reading versions.