17 Best Language Learning Apps

17 Best Language Learning Apps

We use apps for everything, from tracking our bank accounts to ordering dinner, so it only makes sense that we should use apps for learning as well.

When it comes to learning a new language, apps can be invaluable. Not only do they make learning fun, but they are also easily accessible anytime, anywhere. The only trouble is deciding which one to use.

Although there are hundreds of great apps to choose from, I have done a bit of research and narrowed it down to a simple list of the 17 best language apps I could find. I chose them based on ease of use and the effectiveness of their teaching methods.

Why Use A Language Learning App?

Just in case you have yet to make use of a language app in your language learning journey, here are a few reasons why you should give it a try!

Entertainment: This may seem a bit silly, but think about it, we learn better when we are engaged, so having a fun way to learn is vital.

Portability: Your phone goes with you everywhere you go, right? If you have your language lessons with you everywhere you go, you are more likely to practice consistently.

Modern Teaching Methods: Traditional language learning, such as what you would find in a classroom is great, but many of us have become more accustomed to small doses of learning on the go, making language apps more compatible with the way we have been taught to absorb information.

Cost-Effective: Many of us can’t afford to take college courses or travel to another country on a whim. Language learning apps offer an affordable way to learn, with many of them even offering free versions.

Versatility: No matter what type of learner you are, there is a language app out there that will meet your needs. You can try out as many as you want until you find one or several that work for you. Should I Use More Than One?

After reading that last point, you may be wondering, should I use more than one language app at a time? The answer is: Yes! If you want to.

As a fellow language learner, I know the importance of consistent learning, but I also understand that sometimes practicing every day can feel a bit monotonous. Using multiple learning apps can help to relieve that monotony.

Another benefit of using multiple apps is that each app has different benefits. Where one may help with speaking, another may help with vocabulary, so by using both you gain a more in-depth knowledge of your chosen language.

Okay, now that you know why you should be using a language app, let's take a look at some of the best apps out there.

General Learning For Apps

These apps contain a variety of lesson types, offering a general knowledge of your new language.

1

Babbel

Babbel is one of the best-known language apps and for good reason. This app offers quality lessons for language learners of all levels. The lessons are only 10 to 15 minutes long, making it easy for you to squeeze your language practice into even the busiest day. More importantly, these lessons focus on teaching you conversational words and phrases which will help to improve your speaking confidence.

With in-depth grammar explanations and lots of opportunities to practice, this is a great choice for those seeking a slightly less gamified learning experience. The lessons include writing, listening, and speaking practice, covering all the important aspects of learning a new language.

2

Busuu

Busuu’s tagline is “Learn a new language in just ten minutes a day!”. This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but Busuu does offer some quality lessons that even semi-fluent speakers can benefit from. The app itself is smooth and professional-looking, making it easy to use.

One of the best things about this app is that you start with a placement test. This is helpful if you are an intermediate or advanced learner and do not want to spend time going over the same old stuff. Another helpful feature is that this app allows you to interact with other language learners and get feedback from native speakers.

3

Chatterbug

With a name like Chatterbug, who wouldn’t want to give this fun app a try? Not only is the name great, but the program is even better! This app combines the fun of a general language learning app with the ultimate language learning tool, one-on-one lessons from native speakers.

You can practice on your own through interactive lessons, then put that learning to good use by speaking with a tutor. They offer multiple subscription options based on how many live lessons you want to take every month.

Chatterbug currently offers lessons in Spanish, French, and German.

4

Duolingo

Whether you’re new to the online language learning scene or an experienced veteran, you have surely heard of this one. Duolingo is one of the best-known names in language apps, not just because it is one of the oldest, but also because it is a quality app.

Duolingo offers writing, reading, listening, and speaking practice in short lessons that you can do anytime. Each lesson includes vocabulary and grammar practice as well as a “Tips” section that has a short written lesson. This is a great app for beginners who want to develop a strong foundation in their chosen language.

This is possibly the best free app, offering lessons in 36 languages. There is also a subscription option if you want to skip the ads.

5

Lingodeer

Lingodeer is another fun subscription-based app that offers quick lessons that you can complete in just a matter of minutes. You can practice reading, writing, and listening with fun lessons that feel more like games than learning.

The best thing about Lingodeer is its focus on Asian languages. Many apps offer lessons in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, but Lingodeer started with these languages so their lessons are far superior to other apps. If you have always wanted to learn Japanese but were too intimidated by other language courses, this is the one for you. If you’re a more advanced learner, you can take a placement test to access the lessons at your level.

Lingodeer also offers five other languages including German, French, and Spanish.

6

Mango Languages

Mango Languages is a good starter app. It is fun and easy to use and offers lessons in over 70 languages, including some rather rare ones like Biblical Hebrew and Igbo. The lessons are pretty comprehensive, including writing, listening, and speaking practice.

This program works by tracking your progress and tailoring lessons to your learning style. It is designed to help build your confidence in conversational language skills so you can start using your new language as soon as possible.

You can choose between two monthly subscription options. One offers access to one language or you can pay a bit more and access all the languages they offer, making this a great choice for those who want to tackle more than one language.

You can choose between two monthly subscription options. One offers access to one language or you can pay a bit more and access all the languages they offer, making this a great choice for those who want to tackle more than one language.

7

Pimsleur

If you were a language learner before the invention of the language app, you may be familiar with Pimsleur. Pimsleur used to be a fairly expensive comprehensive audio language course. This is the new and improved version! With a much more manageable monthly subscription, you can access Pimsleur’s high-quality language lessons from your phone.

This is a program for more serious language learners. Many of the lessons are approximately 30 minutes long, so it isn’t quite as convenient, but it is beyond effective. The app is easy to use and the lessons are engaging, making you want to go back for more.

Pimsleur offers lessons in 51 different languages, so chances are they have the one you’re looking for.

8

Rosetta Stone

This is another oldy, but a goody. This is the updated version of one of the most popular language-learning programs of all time. If you want to try the full immersion approach, then this is the app for you.

With short easy lessons, this app is designed to help you learn a new language the way you learned your first language, through lots of speaking practice and almost no grammar study

Although this isn’t the best approach for all learners, many people have been very successful with Rosetta stone, so it is certainly worth looking into.

This app offers lessons in 24 different languages and is subscription-based.

Vocabulary Practice

Vocabulary words are the basis of every language, so it is important to choose a practice method that can cement those words in your memory. Thankfully, these apps can help!

9

AnkiApp

AnkiApp is the ultimate flashcard app. No matter what you’re trying to learn, you will find flashcards for it on Anki. You can search through and download sets of flashcards made by other users or you can simply make your own.

These are not just your ordinary everyday flashcards either. You can add pictures and sounds in addition to the words, whatever it takes to make the information stick. Not only is it super customizable, but this app is also free, making it a great addition to any learning regimen.

10

Clozemaster

As language learners, we all know how important space repetition learning is. We also know that it can get a bit dull. Thankfully, there’s Clozemaster. This app works more like a game, making learning fun and challenging.

The best feature of this app is that it teaches you words in context instead of singular word translations. This approach helps you to gain a better understanding of the language as a whole rather than just memorizing lists of words you can’t put together.

Clozemaster offers 60 different languages and the free version is very useful, so this one is definitely worth a look!

11

Lingvist

This is another space repetition app, but what can I say? It is a great teaching method! What sets Lingvist apart is how adaptive it is. It tracks your progress and brings up the words that you need to work on the most.

Another nice thing about this app is the aesthetic. That may seem a bit silly, but the relaxing colors and clean lines make it easy to focus on learning. This is a good app for beginners and intermediate learners who want to work on their vocabulary words.

Lingvist offers five languages, including German, French, and Spanish, and it is a monthly subscription service.

12

Memrise

This is a name you’re probably familiar with. Memrise is by far one of the most popular language apps out there and that is because it has so much to offer. You can create your own flashcards, watch videos, listen to recordings of native speakers, and even practice with simulated text conversations.

The layout is easy to navigate and the content is fun and informative. There is a free version and a monthly subscription version, so you can try it out before you commit to the full version.

Although Memrise has helpful information for over 20 languages, it isn’t just a language app! There is a huge amount of information on this app, so you may be able to use it for other areas of study as well.

Reading And Listening

Memorizing words isn’t everything! The more you listen to and read your target language, the better your overall understanding will be. Check out these apps if this is an area you want to work on.

13

LingQ

LingQ gives you access to an immense quantity of audio and written materials in your target language. These are authentic podcasts, books, and lessons. Not only will you get language practice, but you will also get to learn about your chosen culture as well.

One neat feature about LingQ is that it allows you to interact with the materials to measure your understanding and improve your experience. They provide full transcripts for you to peruse as well as quick dictionary lookups for any new words you encounter.

This app offers thousands of hours of materials in 24 languages.

14

News In Slow

Want to work on your language skills and keep up on world news at the same time? Then look no further than News In Slow. This app is exactly what it sounds like, it provides access to relevant news stories in your target language. There is material here for every level of learner, so even if you’re a beginner you can get some quality reading and listening practice from this app.

Not interested in the news? Not to worry, News In Slow has content in many other categories as well, so you’re sure to find something to pique your interest and help you to improve your listening and reading skills.

This app offers materials in French, German, Italian, and Spanish and is a subscription-based service.

Speaking

Now for the best part of learning a new language, speaking! Here are a few apps that can help you with your speaking skills.

Entertainment: This may seem a bit silly, but think about it, we learn better when we are engaged, so having a fun way to learn is vital.

15

italki

italki is one of the best ways to practice your speaking skills because it allows you to speak with real native speakers and professional teachers. There are also written lessons from the tutors to help further improve your grammar and vocabulary.

One of the best things about this app is that not only will you be able to spend time talking to native speakers, but you’ll also be able to connect with a whole community of language learners. There is a chat room where you can ask questions and a 'Notebook' where you can write posts in your target language and get feedback from native speakers.

The community part of italki is free. The cost of the lessons varies by the teachers, but in general, they are very reasonably priced.

16

Speechling

Speechling is one of the best apps for speech practice. It allows you to record yourself speaking your target language and play it back to back with recordings of native speakers, so you can compare your pronunciation with theirs. Best of all, it allows you to send your recordings to a native speaker for feedback.

This may not be the best choice for true beginners because there isn’t much in the way of grammar explanations, but it is an invaluable resource for those who have a basic knowledge of their chosen language and are ready to start speaking.

There is a free version and a subscription version, so there is no reason not to check it out.

17

Triplingo

For those of you who are preparing for a trip and need a quick crash course to get you started, then Triplingo is the app for you. It focuses on teaching you useful words and phrases that you can use right away.

This isn’t just for travelers, this is a great resource for any language learner who wants to gain more speaking confidence. You can practice many helpful phrases as well as learn from audio lessons, flashcards, and even a translator.

This app offers lessons in 13 different languages.

17 Best Language Learning Apps- Final Thoughts

Each of these apps is helpful in its own way, so do not be afraid to try a few. You may find one that you love or you may find five! Whichever you choose, just keep up the good work and continue in your language learning journey. Happy learning!

About the author 

Language Throne Team

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