Are you looking for the right tools to start your language learning journey? Look no further! In this article, we’ll give you the best apps to learn a language.
Best apps to learn a language
The opportunity to study a new language has never been greater. In America’s five largest cities, about half of the population speaks a language other than English, according to the 2017 Census.
Almost 67 million Americans live in the country and speak a foreign language at home, which equates to one in four students enrolled in public schools.
Consider the mental advantages of acquiring some new words if talking to (or listening in on) your neighbors isn’t persuading enough.
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages claims that learning new languages has various cognitive advantages.
It is generally associated with superior memory and critical thinking, higher standardized test scores, and improved scientific hypotheses.
Additionally, studies show that people who learn a new language have a more favorable opinion of individuals from diverse cultures, which is useful in today’s world.
You can start speaking a new language now with these language learning apps that you can download directly to your phone. Many apps provide courses in several delivery styles to fit your learning preferences, from beginner to near-fluency levels.
Saying Buongiorno to the kind elderly woman across the street or navigating a foreign language while traveling won’t take you long.
The cost of live language training has always been prohibitive. But because of the internet’s power and video chat services, one-on-one classes are now more accessible and affordable than ever.
iTalki is heavily responsible for this breakthrough in language learning.
Unlike the other applications on this list, iTalki doesn’t offer language training. Instead, it’s a place where you can look for and book courses with actual instructors.
The instructors on iTalki range from “community tutors” without a formal background to professionals with years of experience.
To look for teachers, all you have to do is register for an account on iTalki. Then you can sort prospective teachers based on cost, level of experience, and even language.
From there, you can typically make plans to pay a small fee for a trial class. This helps the teacher and you both decide if you will get along.
The cost of lessons on iTalki varies. Every teacher sets their rate, and some offer reductions if you prepay for several courses.
Due to variations in living expenses and foreign exchange rates, certain instructors will be more economical than others.
According to iTalki, it offers classes in over 150 different languages. There will often be a greater supply of teachers for more widely spoken or popular languages.
Finding teachers for uncommon or extinct languages like Irish Gaelic or Aramaic is still possible.
Babbel is also one of the best options if you’re seeking a comprehensive language-learning bundle. Before moving on to conversational scenarios in typical settings, it teaches the fundamentals of grammar, including distinctive vowels and consonants and their proper pronunciations.
The chats where you fill in the blanks, the choice of courses on various topics (there’s no set order), and the insights into regional culture and terminology are some of what you’ll love.
As you practice, Babbel does an excellent job of teaching grammar rules so that you can have a deeper grasp.
In addition to games and podcasts, you may also schedule live online sessions with language instructors (though this is expensive).
The difficulty is gradually increased at a good pace, and lots of spaced repetition to help you remember what you’ve learned.
Unfortunately, one lesson is available for each language during the free trial. It’s inevitable that some lessons are dry and seem repetitive at times.
This game lacks the addictive hook of other apps because there isn’t any true gamification. Additionally, I periodically struggled with voice recognition and had trouble pronouncing words.
A brilliant strategy to maintain your interest in your language study is to incorporate an addictive hook, and Duolingo excels at gamification.
You will quickly find yourself carefully preserving your daily streak because it is simple to learn, sleek, and entertaining to use. The course is organized, so you must complete a certain number of lessons to access further; each module is divided into subjects.
The subjects covered in the modules include grammar issues and social events like dates or surprise parties. There are helpful hints interspersed throughout, and the mixture of teaching methods includes stories, riddles, reminders, and explanations of typical errors.
Duolingo has broadened its scope beyond its initial emphasis on vocabulary building, adding stories and podcasts to the typical reading and writing exercises.
However, speaking and listening are still underdeveloped, and the app alone won’t teach you to speak a language fluently. Much excellent stuff is available on the free tier, but you will see advertisements.
Being limited to five hearts each day and losing one when you make a mistake makes gamification difficult. By purchasing Duolingo Plus, you can get rid of the restrictions and advertisements and study offline.
Although there are in-app purchases available, the primary material is absolutely free.
Memrise is a helpful study tool that focuses on vocabulary and the kinds of casual discussions you could have while traveling. The Android app is incredibly user-friendly and uses a well-known flashcard method with spaced repetition to aid in word and phrase memorization.
Additionally, there are activities for speech recognition and instruction on grammar. The “Learning With Locals” video clips, which feature a range of native speakers, are what I enjoy the most because they feel the closest to what it would be like to be there.
Goals can be set, lessons are brief, and some gamification and nudging to entice you to return. The free version also offers a ton of value, and user-generated content strengthens the foundational courses.
The web app isn’t as good as the mobile app, Memrise is heavily focused on vocabulary, and the tasks can grow boring. There are few opportunities for communication and little in the way of explanation.
The quality of user-generated content varies greatly, as you will discover if you dig further. You can access a lot of content with the free version, but a Pro subscription will grant you access to additional features and offline functionality.
Busuu is a good choice because it offers an organized language learning program with the typical combination of flashcards, grammatical drills, and casual discussions.
Lessons are divided into chapters that deal with regular circumstances, and the whole presentation feels extremely professional.
The user reviews are the best feature. However, I enjoy seeing the videos of quick chats. The native speaker of the language you are studying who is paired with you through Busuu will correct and comment on your work (both spoken and written), and you can do the same for others.
Additionally, adding friends fosters a feeling of community and provides you with information you might not otherwise have. Additionally, Busuu offers live classes in small groups or one-on-one.
Busuu supports only 13 languages, and some reviews claim the quality varies. Although learning Spanish is widespread, I thought it was excellent.
The quality of the user review input might vary, and some typing exercises can be a hassle.
The fundamental lessons for a single language are free, but offline learning, grammar classes, and AI-powered review are only available with the Premium Plus subscription, along with community feedback, a study plan, and certificates.
For those that study best visually, this stylish software is a great way to expand their vocabulary. You begin by selecting one of the 39 supported languages, deciding on your daily time commitment, and selecting topics like food, travel, business, and technology.
You must correctly identify the photographs that drop from the top by tapping, dragging, and pairing what is displayed on the screen. Each drop is also delivered loudly in the language of your choice.
With a meter at the top right of the screen that indicates how much time is left in the session, it’s really simple to dip in and out of, and there is lots of repetition to help you remember what you’ve learned.
Drops is all about teaching you words and phrases. Therefore it’s best used as a complimentary vocabulary builder. Don’t expect grammar courses, speaking practice, or pronunciation practice.
Although I liked using it, I found it annoying to enter my payment information to get the seven-day free trial. Additionally, canceling is more challenging than it ought to be.
There you have it! Now that you have the list of the best apps to learn a language, you need to check it yourself.
Have fun! 😉