International travel is more popular now more than ever, thanks to budget airlines and the internet. Planning for trips no longer feels like a chore, as hotel bookings, tours, plane tickets, and restaurant information are all available at your fingertips. For many, this also means learning new languages. Whether you need to master a second language for your own reasons or simply love the idea of learning something new, language learning apps are here to save the day. Here are some of the best language learning apps to help you speak like a local this year. Believe us, these will certainly be one of the essential apps you need to download for your mobile phone.
Most people already know about Babbel (some know it as Babble or the Babble app). If you are looking for something that teaches languages similar to free online courses, then Babbel is your best bet. Learning a new language can be intimidating and overwhelming.
Sometimes, you feel like you are drowning in a sea of foreign words. However, with Babbel’s minimalist design, it certainly will not feel that way. Of course, that is not to say that Babbel is boring — far from it.
With each lesson, you walk through translations and learn variations of phrases and words. As humans are naturally visual creatures, Babbel shows you pictures to accompany the word or phrase as well. It also teaches you where the phrase or word you are learning is formal or informal, as some languages have such standards.
For most people, language learning apps should teach you conversational words. And, with Babbel, you get just that. As you learn new words or phrases, this app also shows you examples of them used in common conversations. You can also listen to these sentences if you have your audio on.
You can track your progress under the My Activity module to see how you are doing. The lessons are short, spanning only 15 minutes. So, if you are particularly busy, it is easy to squeeze in a lesson or two during your breaks or on your commute.
Babbel offers 14 different languages. The first lesson is free so that you can get a taste of how it teaches new languages. You can then continue by subscribing to a plan. Monthly subscriptions cost $13, the three-month plan costs $27, the six-month plan costs $45, and the annual subscription costs $84.
The Beelinguapp is truly unique in that it lets you learn new languages through books. Therefore, book lovers who wish to explore an entirely new world through language will love this app. It incorporates an audiobook reader where you can read your favorite books in a wide selection of languages. As one of the best language learning apps, Beelinguapp lets you view books in both the language you are familiar with and the language you are learning in one screen.
With its extensive library, you will definitely not run out of books to enjoy on the Beelinguapp. You can even download books for offline viewing if you wish. It has everything, including the classics like The Three Musketeers. This app is also child-friendly, as it contains stories like Cinderella. You can either choose to read books yourself or listen to an audiobook reader as you follow along with the highlighted words.
While Beelinguapp is free to download on Android and iOS, it does have a catch. The app remains free to use, but ads will pop up on occasion. If you want a learning experience free of interruptions, you can subscribe to their monthly plan, which costs a mere $1.99. This also affords you access to an expanded library. On the other hand, you can save more money by going for their lifetime membership, which costs only $22.99.
If you are the type of student who relies on goals and a scheduled deadline, then Busuu is the one for you. Upon registration on Busuu, you choose the language you want to learn. From there, you get a series of questions that determine how advanced you are and the purpose of your learning. It also asks you how far you want to go with the app, which is to say what level you wish to be at with the language.
After that, you will set a daily study goal so you have something to aspire to. A lot of people do not feel like they are progressing if there are no goals to achieve. With Busuu, that problem does not exist. If you subscribe to their premium plan, the app customizes a study plan for you so you can achieve your goal by the date you set.
Busuu is also one of the language learning apps that boast a clean yet vibrant design, which works great for productivity. It also lets you know which words you are struggling with, reminding you to work on them. Like many language learning apps, Busuu also accompanies your learning experience with audio and pictures.
You can subscribe to Busuu’s premium plan for $6 a month. The premium plus plan costs $7 and comes with added features and language tools. However, Busuu also has a free version that is still worth checking out, especially if you do not currently have the budget for a subscription.
Some people learn by studying, while others absorb information better through experiences like gaming. If you want to learn a new language and have fun doing it, Clozemaster is the app to check out. This is one of the few language learning apps that boasts an old-school design, which many find attractive and nostalgic.
With Clozemaster, you can choose from over 100 different languages. This app also comes with text-to-speech capabilities and the ability to save your progress through a free account. Learning a new language with Clozemaster is enjoyable. It awards you points for filling in the blanks with missing words before moving up to grammar problems. Apart from newbies, Clozemaster is great for those who are simply looking to brush up their skills in certain languages.
Clozemaster is one of the best free language learning apps you will find today. But, for extra features, you can also sign up for Clozemaster Pro for only $8 a month or $60 a year. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which basically means you can get a month-long free trial to test the app out.
If you are more of a visual learner, you may benefit the most from Drops. This language learning app utilizes colors and pictures to help students learn better. Plus, its vibrant design means you will never get bored. Drops show you each word in your selected language, accompanied by an English pronunciation of that word. It also comes with pictures to help you associate the word with the actual object.
Drops currently have 33 languages on offer, but it adds to that number on the regular. It even has Ainu, an indigenous Japanese language that most other apps do not have. As with most language learning apps, Drops is largely free to use. You can download it on Android or iOS. However, it does come with a catch. You need to wait 10 hours in between lessons if you do not have a paid account. For some, waiting is fine. But, others are fast learners and prefer to get their lessons immediately one after the other.
A free account does not bar you from revisiting old lessons, though. So, you can still access past words and look over your progress afterward. You can subscribe to a premium Drops account for $10 per month.
Perhaps one of the most well-known language learning apps, Duolingo is an all-around app that literally lets you learn more than one (duo lingo) language at a time. So, what is the Duolingo app and what does it have to offer?
The Duolingo app utilizes a colorful and intuitive user interface to make learning more fun. It does not force you to achieve your goals fast. In fact, it allows you to learn a new language at a pace you are most comfortable with. It also incorporates short exercises that have the look and feel of games. There is a “streak” feature that motivates you to keep racking up your points for days on end. Furthermore, Duolingo has a “stories” feature, which tells you short stories in the language you choose to make sure your comprehension skills are in order.
If you want to quickly learn the basics of a new language, Duolingo is one of the best language learning apps to do that. The free version comes with ads, though, which can hinder you from continuous learning. If you want to get rid of the ads and gain access to other features in the process, go for a premium subscription plan for $10 a month.
HelloTalk is truly unique in that you act as both the student and the teacher. Instead of relying on a framework or program, HelloTalk connects people with other people. So, if you want to learn French, for example, the app will connect you to someone who speaks French. That person will then teach you how to speak French. In return, you will teach them how to speak your language.
Everyone knows one of the best ways to learn a new language is to talk to native speakers. And HelloTalk helps you do just that. Upon signing up, you can select your entry-level and what language you wish to learn. The app incorporates a sundry of language tools, such as translation, correction, and speaking. So, if you want to chat with a stranger and actually learn something new in the process, HelloTalk works great.
You can even narrow down your list of potential tutors by filtering them by age and country. If nothing else, HelloTalk introduces you to new and interesting people. This app is free to download on Android and iOS. You can opt to use the free version of HelloTalk, though it comes with ads. To remove the ad support, you can choose to subscribe to their VIP membership, which costs $6.99 per month or $45.99 per year.
If we are talking about the best app to learn Spanish, Lirica definitely comes to mind. With this app, learning Spanish does not have to be a chore. In fact, Lirica makes Spanish lessons fun by making use of music. A lot of people memorize the lyrics to their favorite songs, even if those songs are in an entirely different language they do not understand. With Lirica, you can learn the meanings of those songs and pick up the basics of Spanish, to boot.
Lirica throws away traditional learning styles and swaps them in for a musically-inclined approach. It uses popular Latin and reggaeton music to teach you grammar and the Spanish language. In addition to the language itself, you also get to know more about the Spanish culture and the artists behind the songs you are listening to.
Lirica is a great way to learn Spanish free of charge for the span of one week. After that, the free trial stops, and you must pay $4 a month to continue with your access. As of now, though, Lirica only offers Spanish. However, it has plans to expand in the future to mimic other language learning apps.
For a more flashcard-heavy approach to language learning, try Memrise. But, instead of actual flashcards, you learn new languages by listening and watching videos of native speakers use different words. Through this unique exercise, you can recognize verbal patterns, tone, and pronunciation, all while learning what the words actually mean.
Memrise is for those looking for a more conversational learning experience. Of course, that does not mean it gets rid of the basics. In fact, it begins with those very basics, teaching you the alphabet in, say, Greek or Russian, as a jumping-off point.
Like other language learning apps, Memrise offers a free version, though it has its limits. For instance, you only get a few lessons per day. By subscribing to their pro version, you get access to a full set of tools and features, such as games, chatbots, and the ability to save courses offline. You can get Memrise Pro for a monthly price of $9. Alternatively, you can get their three-month plan for $18 or their annual plan for $30.
Another great language learning app for those who rely on colorful visuals, Mondly integrates learning with images, translations, and auditory aids. You can tap on different words, such as verbs, and see the variety of conjugations available. There is also an instructor with a very appealing voice, which is very conducive to learning. Because of the tone of voice, you can easily recall specific words and phrases at the drop of a hat. Plus, the vibrancy of the interface makes learning less intimidating.
You can get Mondly for free, but it does have its limitations. Nevertheless, the free version does its job well. On the other hand, you can subscribe to Mondly for access to premium features. The subscription costs $9.99 a month. The app is currently having a promo, though, and you can get a year-long subscription for only $48.
If you are often too busy to continue your language lessons, Pimsleur makes it easier. This language learning app offers 51 different languages and teaches you in the form of auditory lessons, which are comparable to podcasts.
You can listen to these 30-minute lessons while you are on the go, whether that means on your commute or while driving. In fact, Pimsleur has a driving mode feature, which lets you learn without a screen. You can even download these lessons for offline listening or hook them up to Alexa.
If you are not sure about committing to a subscription, Pimsleur offers a seven-day free trial. It has a variety of subscription plans to choose from. An audio-only plan costs $15 a month and a premium plan costs $20 a month.
12. Rosetta Stone
Arguably the most famous of the language learning apps, Rosetta Stone began as a service in the ‘90s. In the past, it relied on box sets of CDs to teach students different languages. Nowadays, though, with the advent of the internet and advancements in technology, Rosetta Stone has adapted and become an app.
Each Core lesson takes at least 30 minutes to complete, which might seem too long for some people. However, Rosetta Stone makes sure to cover everything there is to know about the language. You can customize your style of learning, though the standard approach is mainly auditory with some accompanying images.
For a more fun experience, the iOS version of the app recently incorporated augmented reality with a feature called Seek and Speak. Using this feature, you can use your iPhone to point your camera at different objects and get a translation for them in the language you choose.
Rosetta Stone offers 25 languages and a selection of different subscription plans. The prices change depending on the language you wish to learn. However, Rosetta Stone recently revealed an option that grants you unlimited access to all of its languages for free if you get the 12-month, 24-month, or lifetime subscription options.
Learn to Speak Like a Local Today
While the best way to learn a language is to live in a country where they speak it, not everyone has that option available to them. For many, language learning can only be done from the comfort of their own homes. These language learning apps work great for just about anyone. Whether you are a beginner looking to get started or an intermediate speaker looking to sharpen your rusty skills, these apps will certainly do the trick!