TOP 6 Best Learning A Foreign Language Apps for 2019
Can you imagine your life without technology? Neither can we! It helps us with everything we do, starting from cleaning our home and navigating us in the unknown location to connecting people and helping with the education process. And this post will be useful for all who learn a new language. Whether you do it for travel, to boost your professional skills, to bond with family heritage, or for any other reason, here you will definitely find the ‘apps-helpers”. Doing it with the best apps to learn languages is very convenient because you will always have them at your fingertips. For example, you can wait for your bus at the station, or have a cup of coffee between two meetings — this time will be sufficient to complete a lesson. In fact, our apps will help you to turn a fleeting inspiration into an attainable goal. So, let’s start!
Platforms: Android, Windows Phone, iOS, and Windows 10 Mobile
Duolingo free is the first learning foreign language app on our list. If you have ever faced the searching for such an application, you most likely heard about it. At the time of writing, Duolingo has more than 300 million registered users in different parts of the world. The app was released 8 years ago as the private beta by two developers Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker. And after a year of testing and improving, Doulingo was launched as a public release in June 2012.
In summer 2019, users can find over 90 learning courses in 22 languages inside the application, including Duolingo Vietnamese lessons. This fact made Doulingo one of the top-ranked language learning apps. The application uses a freemium business model. It means that you can download, install, and sign up to any course for free. But this type of subscription uses the advertising, which you can turn off by purchasing a premium version. Besides this, some features can be locked in the free subscription. A lot of people use the application not only for self-study but also in numerous educational institutions. For example, Duolingo for schools can help to add an interactive part to the learning process.
Platforms: Android, iOS
Compared to Duolingo, 50 Languages free app offers more languages to learn, but it uses another approach. For example, Duolingo helps you to boost your listening, grammar, and reading skills. In contrast, 50 Languages focuses on improving your speaking skills.
The application has a large community of users, to be more precise, more than 10 million visitors per year. Incredible, isn’t it? As we mentioned above, their language library includes more than 50 different languages and dialects, including popular ones like English, Russian, German and French, and less popular ones like Latvian, Portuguese and Hindi. Another unique feature of 50 Languages is that it follows all the changed rules in modern languages. So you will learn not only the traditional speech constructions but also the newest manner of talking.
Below, there are some recommendations from the developers on how to use the app to learn the most:
- Take notes! And then return to them, and reread;
- Before moving to the next lesson, review the previous one;
- After each lesson, take a pause. It will help you to relax, and, as a result, to remember more.
Platforms: Android, iOS
Busuu free has a wide choice of language learning courses, varying from the pronunciation-focused to the travel-specific. The application was launched in May 2008 by Bernhard Niesner and Adrian Hilti. Initially, it was released as a completely free app, its business model was changed later though. The developers added a premium subscription, and, for now, to tell the truth, the free features are really limited.
As you probably noticed, the application has a very interesting and unusual name. And this is no coincidence. Busuu is not a deliberate word or the result of combining several words. It is a language spoken in Cameroon. According to one of the ethological study, conducted in the 1980s, only eight people were still able to speak it at that time. Interesting fact, in 2010, the company even created a short course to encourage people to learn this language. Unfortunately, the results of such initiatives are unknown to us.
The courses offered on the platform are based on CEFR. It is a methodology used to evaluate the students’ achievements in learning a foreign language across Europe. All the materials are divided into themed lessons. Each of them introduces the common conversational scenarios and contains pronunciations tasks, interactive puzzles, grammar and vocabulary lessons, and, of course, conversational practices. Moreover, great news for all skeptics who believe that offline and quite expensive language courses are more effective than self-study because they provide some certificate at the end. Through Busuu’s partnerships with The New York Times, The Economist, and McGraw-Hill Education, users can receive a level completion certificate that confirms their knowledge of the language.
Platforms: Android, iOS
Memrise free app uses the popular and effective mnemonic techniques to teach you a foreign language. For example, one such technique is spaced repetition. Commonly, it is performed with flashcards and based on repeating memorized training material at specific, ever-increasing intervals.
Today, Memrise has more than 35 million registered users worldwide. And this is not surprising. The application has won several awards. Among them:
- The winner of the London Mini-Seedcamp competition in July 2010;
- The finalist of the 2010 TechCrunch Europas Start-up of the Year in November 2010;
- Techstars Boston startup in March 2011;
- Best App winner of the second edition of the Google Play awards in May 2017.
Especially we advise using the Memrise app to those who only start to learn a foreign language and want to expand the vocabulary. The mnemonic techniques used in the application suit for this the best. But Memrise is not a good choice for people who have a pretty solid background.
Platforms: Android, iOS
Languages: 16 (including dialects)
Quizlet is one of the first language learning applications. It was launched 12 years ago, in January 2007 by Andrew Sutherland. What we like the most in this application is that they support not only traditional languages but also the dialects. For example, based on your needs, you can learn Traditional or Simplified Chinese, French or Quebec French. Similar to Memrise, Quizlet uses the flashcards and various games and tests to force you to remember new words. The statistics shown below clearly demonstrate the success and effectiveness of the application. As of February 2019, Quizlet has more than 50 million active users and 300 million user-generated flashcard sets. Moreover, in 2016, SimilarWeb recognized Quizlet as the fastest-growing US Education site in 2015.
Quizlet free app allows users to create their own sets of terms and definitions customized for their need using several study modes:
- Live: in this mode, a teacher divides the learners into teams and gets them a task where they need to choose the correct definition-term. The team that will have the most correct answers will become the champion;
- Speller: users hear a word, and then they need to write it down;
- Write (or Learn): learners see the term or definition. Their task is to type the definition or term that goes with what is shown;
- Flashcards: users see the cards for each term that they can flip over;
- Match: here you will see a grid of scattered terms. You need to drag the terms on top to associate them with a definition and remove from the grid as fast as possible;
- Long-term learning: this mode uses a spaced repetition. It is an excellent regime to train your vocabulary;
- Gravity: there is one of the most played modes where the definitions in the shape of the asteroids will scroll down the screen. Your task is to type the term that goes with the definition.
For completing and winning each mode, you will receive scores and other bonuses.
Platforms: Android, iOS
We are continuing the list of the best language teaching apps. And now, let us introduce Babbel. Although it is the last application, we highly recommend you to pay attention to Babbel as it has a lot of useful and exciting features. It officially debuted in August 2007, and for now, support 14 different languages, including German, French, Russian, and Swedish. Babbel was designed as a premium subscription-based application for two platforms: Android and iOS.
The learning concept used in the application was developed by a team of over 100 educators and linguists. Like all the applications mentioned in this list, Babbel offers courses and learning materials in several directions: you can train your pronunciation, grammar, listening skills, and expand the lexicon. Moreover, some language courses can be aimed at a specific audience. For example, you can study English for PR and Marketing specialists.
In August 2017, Lesson Nine GmbH, Babbel's operation company, partnered with Cambridge English Language Assessment and created a low-cost online English test. It consists of 70 questions.
Share Нour Best Language App
We just shared the list of the best language learning applications. Now it is your turn to share your best apps. Write in the comments below what titles you use to boost your language skills. Maybe this is something from our list?