Learning how to speak a new language is one of the most enriching experiences you can give yourself, but it requires time and commitment. Armed with an amazing free language learning app, you can use fun and convenient ways to sharpen your language skills.
Language learning apps support multiple languages and offer many convenient lessons that you can complete anytime and anywhere, even during your daily commute. You have hundreds of options out there, so choose wisely.
We’ve made a list of our five favorites to help you get started.
What is the best way to learn a language?
No single strategy is best for language learning. There are as many learning methods as there are successful language learners. If you want to speak a foreign language fluently, you need to find the right teaching methods that will help you progress. For instance, you can study with a friend and keep each other motivated. To expand your vocabulary, you can read books written in the language you’re trying to learn. You may also use a flashcard system.
Of course, not everyone has the time to study with a partner or read a new book every week. That’s where language learning apps come in. By downloading a single app on your phone, you gain access to a wealth of resources in multiple languages. With an app, you can improve your speaking and writing skills anytime and anywhere.
How to choose the best language learning apps
Different language learning apps cater to a variety of users. They offer unique teaching methods and support multiple languages — Spanish, French, and Irish to name a few. Needless to say, you need to find the right app that offers what you need. The question is: how?
The first thing you need to do is figure out if you’re willing to pay for an app or not. Either way, you will have a myriad of options available. Once you’ve made your decision, you need to find the best language learning software that supports the language you want to learn. It also helps if you determine how you want to be taught. Let’s say you want to hone your writing skills. You might want to choose an app that offers comprehensive spelling and vocabulary lessons. If you’re a visual learner, you could opt to use an app that integrates visual content into its course materials.
Knowing what you need and what you can afford will lead you to an app that will empower you to communicate in a foreign language fluently and confidently.
Duolingo is one of the best free language learning apps today. It supports more than 30 languages. The app uses a combination of text, audio, and visual content to make language learning fun. After each lesson, you will receive more challenging tasks. Many of its lessons are produced by native speakers. Duolingo isn’t intended only for native English speakers.
No matter what language you wish to learn, you will find certain courses designed for non-native English speakers. Best of all, the app teaches fictional languages such as Klingon and High Valyrian from the cult classics Star Trek and Game of Thrones.
This free language learning app has an ad-free subscription model called Duo Plus. It’s available for Android, iOS, and Windows devices.
- Supports over 30 languages
- No sign-up required
- Offers different fun, engaging course materials
- Pronunciation exercises are too lax
- Spelling exercises are too tedious
Memrise is a free language learning app that offers offline courses. The app has a user-friendly interface, perfect for users who aren’t tech-savvy. It caters to beginners and advanced language learners alike. You can always start from the very beginning of their course materials, but you also have the option to skip all the way to the advanced lessons.
The app offers fun and practical lessons in a highly customizable format. For instance, it lets you determine the number of words you can absorb in one lesson. They take positive reinforcement seriously. Each time you give a correct answer, you are rewarded with points. You also graduate through a silly yet endearing rank system. Perhaps the best thing about Memrise is that it teaches conversational language that you can use in everyday situations. It supports multiple languages, and it has a pro version.
Memrise is available for download on Android and iOS devices.
- Has offline courses
- Provides upgrade options
- Uses video clips from native speakers for their course materials
- Requires users to sign up
- Limited pronunciation exercises
Busuu connects language learners worldwide. Users who are part of their massive community can help each other out and teach fellow language enthusiasts their native tongue. The app caters to learners of all levels. They also have special language courses for travel, perfect for long vacations in countries where English isn’t widely spoken.
The language learning software serves bite-sized lessons for beginners, all of which you can access offline. Again, Busuu is an ideal companion for travel. It might have a small language selection, but it provides many tips for local usage. Unfortunately, most of its best features require payment. If you want unlimited conversations with foreign students, and other advanced features, you should get Busuu Premium.
The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.
- Ideal for all experience levels
- Allows language learners to socialize
- Provides full language courses in bite-sized portions
- Small language selection
- Most of the app’s features require payment
Babbel is a subscription-based app that helps language learners hone their communication skills for everyday conversations. Its language selection isn’t as wide and diverse as Duolingo’s, but it makes up for it through lessons that hone your real-life conversation skills. They have materials produced by language experts and voiced by native speakers. Most of the languages it supports are European.
The app empowers you to speak with confidence through interactive dialogues and speech recognition technology. Babbel makes sure you’ll remember your lessons through curated review sessions that will revisit what you’ve previously learned but in a new context.
Babbel is available on the App Store and Google Play.
- Has interactive dialogues
- Offers bite-sized lessons
- Has curated review sessions
- Small language selection
AccelaStudy has an app for each language you want to learn. All of their apps are user-friendly and free. They are packed with a wide range of learning methods, including flashcards, audio quizzes, and spaced repetition.
With AccelaStudy, you can even build your own course and decide which words you want to prioritize. They also have a hands-free mode so you can learn new words and phrases safely during your daily commute.
The app is only available for iOS devices.
- Has multiple learning models
- Offers a driving feature
- Not available for Android
- Small language selection
Whether you want to speak a second language or you want to communicate with the locals during your vacation, a language learning app will come in handy. Now that we’ve revealed our favorites, explore all of the options we mentioned above and select an app that can deliver what you need.