Learning a foreign language isn’t always easy. Some languages are easier to pick up than others, depending on how similar they are with your own native language.
Thank God in the 21st century we are surrounded by technology and lots of apps that make our lives easier. While looking for a way to improve my Portuguese and Dutch, I have found the following 4 apps that can help you learn a foreign language.
4 Language Apps to learn a foreign language easily
While searching for language apps to improve my Portuguese I stumbled upon Lingopie, a subscription VOD (video on demand) platform for language learners.
It’s a complete different format than the usual language apps as you can do what you probably already do anyways: Sit on your sofa and binge watch junk TV. There are different genres to choose from, such as cartoons, comedy, drama etc.
While watching, you are able to click on the subtitles and get a word or phrase translated, understand its grammar or pronunciation. The words can also be collected and be reviewed in interactive flash cards or games, so you can test your knowledge regularly. Alternatively, you can also have a private lesson if you feel like you need some additional help.
So, what are you waiting for. Skip boring language courses and immerse into local culture and real life dialects.
- Access to all 9 languages with one subscription
- TV shows and movies of 1000+ hours from around the world
- Get to know local culture and be exposed to real life dialects and speed of talking
- Chance to have private class with a real teacher
- Available on iOS, Android, but also Apple TV, Android TV, ROKU, Chromecast
- Also available for kids
- Just 9 languages for now
- 7 day free trial, afterwards you have to pay for the subscription (between 6-12€ depending on which plan you choose)
Duolingo is probably one of the most known language apps to help you learn a foreign language. There are over 40 languages available and you can use it for free.
Duolingo is built a bit like a game. You are given 3 hearts per lesson, meaning you can make maximum 3 mistakes, otherwise you will have to repeat the whole lesson. Once you finish a lesson successful you will earn you points and unlock new levels. A friendly mascot is also sending you friendly reminders that it is time to study again.
What I like about the lessons is that you will cover all different language skills, such as reading, listening and speaking. You can also choose to do learn your new foreign language on either the phone or computer, whatever you prefer.
Finally, if you want some premium features there is a paid Duolingo version. With this one ads are being removed, you will have unlimited hearts, quizzes and much more.
- Many languages available
- Lessons are nicely organised into categories and cover a lot of vocabulary
- Covers all language skills: reading, listening, and speaking skills.
- Available on iOS and Android
- Grammar not really explained
- Weird sentences sometimes that are not needed in real life
Babbel is another subscription based language learning software that helps you learn a foreign language. As of right now, there are 15 languages available to choose from.
The lessons are focused on being rather short and always include a dialogue of real life conversations which makes it really authentic and sets the right expectations on how natives really speak (speed, accents etc.).
I also like that they focus a lot on repeating vocabulary before moving on to the next class. This way the words actually go into your long term brain and become second nature.
If you don’t just want to learn by yourself or get bored of it, you can also participate in the Babbel Life classes that are taught by certified language teachers. Alternatively, there are also podcasts, short stories, games and other things available to mix up your activities and keep you motivated.
This language is not free and starts with roughly 10€/per month. The more months you buy, the lower the subscription.
- Explains grammar really well
- Focus on repeating vocabulary a lot
- Explain cultural things in between
- Lessons are categorised by specific topics and are rather short
- Available on iOS and Android and cross device synchronisation on as many devices as you want
- Have to have monthly subscription per language
- Only the first lesson in every course is free to try, before being asked to pay
Mondly is another popular app that helps you learn a foreign language with currently 41 languages available. Just like the other apps it focuses on repetition, common phrases and covers a wide vocabulary for every day situations.
What sets Mondly apart is that it has more than 1000 language combinations, meaning that you are able to learn every language from your own native language. On other apps, you often have to learn the new language from English.
On top of that it also leverages modern technology for an even better learning experience, such as Chatbots (for voice recognition), Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. It also has lessons for kids which are made more in a game style and very colourful.
Mondly is very focussed on placing you in really world situations, locations and conversation to make learning the language more effective. No matter what language you choose, you will always have 250 lessons in total (for beginners and advanced learners), 33 chatbot conversations and 36 vocabulary building lessons.
The best part is that it is free. There is a premium plan, but apparently it has nothing special besides more content. So, you can try the free version first and see if this is enough for you.
- More than 1000 language combinations so you can learn from your native language
- Free to use
- Uses modern technology like chatbots, AR and VR
- Also for kids
- Pay per language if you decide to go for the premium plan or lifetime access
I hope this post is useful and the insights help you choose the best one for you. Which app are you going to try out first to help you learn a new foreign language?