There was a time when language learning resources were limited to a book or two in your public library and any native speakers you could find in your area. But since the advent of the internet, smartphone, and smartphone apps, language learners have never had more options! In this post we list the top five apps for learning a language.
With hundreds of millions of users all over the world, Duolingo has become a household name for language learning apps. Duolingo uses a gamification approach to its language courses, rewarding users with points and trophies. During lessons users have a limited amount of lives, which they lose when they answer a question incorrectly. There’s also a thriving discussion forum where users can compare notes and help one another learn the lesson material. Duolingo is a freemium app, meaning that it is mostly free to use with some available premium perks you can pay to unlock. There are a total of 95 language courses available in 38 languages on Duolingo, making it one of the most accessible language learning apps in the world. Users can even learn fictional languages like Klingon and High Valyrian. Duolingo is also one of the top apps for learning Japanese and other notoriously difficult languages.
Rather than a bonafide course, Hellotalk functions as a worldwide language exchange. When you create a free account on Hellotalk, you are asked to list your native language and the language you are learning. The app then recommends users who speak your target language and are learning your native language (though you are also to search users by language on your own too). You can then send requests to potential language partners in order to start practicing together. Once your partner accepts you are free to send text messages, audio messages, and even call each other.
Memrise is a flashcard learning app that teaches 21 foreign languages (among other things). When you sign up with Memrise you search the subject you’d like to learn and pick from a selection of official and user generated lessons. The flashcard based lessons use a mix of video, audio, and memes to teach you the basic vocabulary and grammar of your target language. Users are also able to upload their own images and make their own flashcards. Memrise uses spaced repetition technology, which allows you to focus on the flashcards that are the most difficult for you, while hiding the ones you find easy. This approach helps keep your study sessions as efficient as possible! Memrise offers free and paid features.
Anki is a free open source flashcard app. Unlike Memrise all of the content on Anki is user generated. If you are a big fan of creating your own flashcard texts then this is the app for you. Anki is the most customizable flashcard app out there. You can add text, audio, video, hyperlinks, and even recordings to your flashcards.
Babbel is another widely popular language learning app. Its lessons are built around a quizzes based format and teach the foundational aspects of a foreign language. Lesson activities include multiple choice, fill in the blank, and matching exercises to help you remember what you’ve learned. The app is offered for 13 foreign languages. Basic lessons are free but more advanced ones are paid.