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.
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
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
- Offline language learning app
- Small language selection
- Most of the app’s features require payment
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
Language Learning with Netflix
Did you know you can learn to speak a new language using Netflix and a Chrome extension? Users love the Language Learning with Netflix plugin that allows you to view subtitles in two languages (comparing your native language with the new one). You can even listen to subtitles for each and adjust the playback speed so you can learn as you go. There is also a built-in language dictionary so you can look up the meaning of words on the fly.
Language Learning with Netflix is definitely one of the best language apps for Netflix.
NflxMultiSubs is another popular language learning with Netflix extension for Chrome. It boasts of secondary subtitles for most languages, including Japanese and Russian. It syncs the secondary subtitles to the audio tracks within the video and seamlessly integrates with the native video player. You can also adjust playback with this one as well.
Another plugin for Chrome, Netflix Subtitles Translator ranks 4+ stars with users for translation during video playback. It includes audio and visual support and can translate a phrase or each word.
Use the pop-up overlay to select options during your film. So, if you are looking for free language learning apps, this one is a keeper.
Language Learning with Grammarly
English is the most widely used language in the world. However, the grammatical rules and exceptions are complex. In a word, it is not easy to learn. Thankfully, there are dozens of apps and tools to help you pick up the nuances and subtleties that pepper the English language. One such tool is the popular grammar checker called Grammarly.
Grammarly is one of the best grammar checker apps in the world. You can also use it to learn English. Grammarly instructs you about proper sentence structure, grammatical rules, and punctuation, and it can help a non-native English speaker to learn the ropes as they go. It even assists with sentence flow and makes suggestions to enhance your writing, so the reader understands it clearly. The more you use it, the better you will get.
Along with Grammarly, the grammar checker, you also have at your disposal the Grammarly Handbook with hundreds of tips on learning English and all the grammar rules to speak and write fluently. Grammarly’s blog is also a treasure trove of tips and helpful suggestions on how to best learn the English language.
Language Learning with Reverso
Reverso is an online language translation tool that you can also download to your mobile device or add to your browser. You can translate between more than a dozen languages in either direction. The simple interface allows you to copy and paste in text that you want to see translated, and then all you do is click the yellow “translate” button. It couldn’t be easier to learn a new language using the Reverso tool. You can even upload an entire document, and have it translated, and they have corporate options as well. Reverso is powered by AI and completely free to use except for company plans.
One of the nicest features is after Reverso translates your text, you can hear it in both languages to compare and learn. Pronunciation is key when learning a new language, so this feature is essential. Reverso even offers up international keyboards so you can add accents and other characters germane to a specific language. The built-in spell checker and dictionary helps to keep your translations clean. Reverso is a great tool for your back pocket when learning a new language, and the best part is, it’s free!
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.
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