Language is a unifying bridge for genuine connection in a world when differences can seem to divide us and social distance is keeping us apart. The demand for greater proficiency in new languages is growing, whether it’s to connect with family heritage, better understand your favorite Spanish-language movies, increase professional marketability, revive rusty abilities, or simply keep the kids occupied at home. With the help of language study applications, a fleeting desire can become a practical objective, all from the comfort of a laptop or smartphone.
The top language learning apps for the web, iOS, and Android are listed here. Download one of these, choose the experience that best fits your learning preferences (and financial situation), and you’ll soon be prepared to interact with people from different cultures and communities without leaving your home.
This option is great for those who enjoy learning through games because it is completely free. Since maintaining motivation is frequently the most difficult aspect of language learning, this app’s goal is to encourage consistency by allowing users to complete daily streaks, earn points, level up, obtain virtual currency, and engage in competition with users around the world via their new Leaderboards feature.
Additional learning tools include Duolingo Events, which connects students for language conversation practice in hundreds of cities around the world each week, and Duolingo Stories, which is developed to help intermediate-level students of Portuguese, Spanish, French, and German practice reading comprehension through short stories.
Babbel uses “spaced repetition,” moving words through exercises that are intended to improve retention, to help its members recall the language they learn via six memory phases. Students get the chance to develop reading, writing, grammar, and speaking skills in their target language in realistic contexts, particularly for travel, in bite-sized, 10-15 minute classes. Studies at Michigan State University and City University of New York have also supported their approaches.
3. Mango Languages
Mango’s “Intuitive Language Construction” method, which is well-liked by businesses and libraries, develops fundamental skills through the application of vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture through listening and reading exercises.
Additionally, native speaker voices are recorded at various speeds, the sociological characteristics of each language are included, and a hands-free option is available. Users can begin, pause, and resume studying using their “Jump Back In” function on both desktop and mobile platforms. Their review system additionally customizes experiences based on desired engagement tempo and frequency.
An app was created with the goal of promoting the speaking practice and removing any potential anxiety from in-person interactions. With the help of voice and text chat software similar to WhatsApp, language learners can connect with native speakers and communicate with them.
When a natural speaker of your target language expresses interest in learning your mother tongue, it’s like you’ve struck the language lottery. With the use of a built-in correction tool, users can correct each other’s communications, turning language exchanges into brief coaching sessions. An integrated translation mechanism is also included in the app. This is useful when you truly want to express something but are unable to do so because you are missing the crucial term.
Co-founded by Ed Cooke, author of Remember, Remember: Learn the Stuff You Thought You Never Could and a Grand Master of Memory (yes, there is such a thing). Memrise is famous for its teaching approach, which uses memory techniques and an algorithm to create a personalized learning environment.
The software is perfect for visual and auditory learners thanks to the use of video snippets of native speakers shot in their hometowns to offer pupils a sense of authentic accents and culture. The app records the number of words you’ve learnt and the overall number of words you’ve mastered during each course.
Never had a friend who was an international exchange student? So now is your chance. Tandem is a free online community where members team up to tutor one another in their native tongues through text, audio, and video chat. As members are not constrained by any predetermined curriculum, one advantage of Tandem is that participants can choose the course they want their language learning to take. Use the audio message tool to record yourself speaking like a native and ask your counterpart to correct your pronunciation.
The ability to meet in person for a “face-to-face Tandem” is another feature. Members have access to more sophisticated features with the Pro version of the app, such as limitless message translations and methods to connect with partners more easily via location listings incorporated into profiles.
7. Rosetta Stone
Many people who consider learning a new language outside of a typical academic context think of Rosetta Stone, a seasoned veteran of language learning programs with 27 years under its belt. An immersive experience with words, graphics, and natural speaker voices is one special service that lets users learn a new language without using their original tongue (unless users choose to long-press a word to translate).
The Rosetta Stone’s Phrasebook, which teaches how to use relevant words and has over 164 in eight categories, is another crucial feature, especially for tourists. Additionally, they offer a unique speech-recognition engine that may assist you to modify your speech so that it more closely resembles a natural accent.
In 12 languages, Busuu provides complete courses. The app is free, but access to the majority of the features and course materials costs $17 per month. You are guided by the software as you learn a new language, basic dialogue, and questions pertaining to dialogue. You can hear how they have spoken in each of them thanks to the audio.
The classes are broken down into relevant themes where we acquire vocabulary and expressions related to specific tasks. For individuals who need to rapidly brush up on the fundamentals prior to an international trip, each course also includes a separate little “travel course”—pretty helpful! With Busuu, you may study while interacting with native speakers, which is a special benefit. By revising papers submitted by people who are only learning their language, Busuu students contribute to the site. Using the desktop version, you can converse with native speakers in real-time.
Drops is a five-minute word game choice for students who want to focus on vocabulary. It uses mnemonic methods. According to reports, the time limit and certain word patterns help students learn material faster. Travelers can also benefit from the free “Travel Talk” offline function, which provides translations for questions such “Can I pay with a credit card?” and “Where’s the bathroom?” The addition of endangered and indigenous languages like Icelandic, Hawaiian, Maori, and Samoan, along with more to come, is another priority for the Drops team.
The learner on the run will benefit most from this hands-free solution. The method used by Pimsleur is similar to how people learned their original tongues: through listening, repeating, and responding to questions. According to Pimsleur, users can reach an intermediate level of language ability by committing to 30 minutes a day for 30 days. Flashcards, tests, and a skills section with important phrases for travellers like “Survival Skills” and “Polite Phrases” are also included in the app’s premium version.