Imagine this: in a world that has over 7000 languages; you know only one. What can you do about it? Learn a few more, of course. Check out our list of the best language learning apps.
Everyone wants to pick up a new skill for free and little fuss. This may sound like a mission impossible, but it can be achieved. There are many new skills that you can learn for free, but today we are going to focus on languages.
At this moment, there are over 7000 languages around the world, and if you may be a person that knows only your mother language. In some cases, that may be a disadvantage, so we are going to help you with that. Learning a language at home means that you will be defining the tempo; you can learn as fast or as slow as you want.
In today’s article, we are outlining our top picks for the best apps that you can use to learn a new language. The best thing is that all of them have a free option available. Bear in mind that most of these apps will help you learn the “popular” languages, but if you are looking for something specific, you will need to check the list of available languages. Also, since the purpose of this article is the free language learning apps, we won’t be mentioning the prices for the premium options.
Top Language Learning Apps of 2020
Whenever you do a google search for a language learning app, the first result that you get is almost always Duolingo. Ever since it launched back in 2012, Duolingo quickly began to take its place as one of the best language learning apps.
The good thing about Duolingo is that you can start it off as a beginner, or you can take a test, and the app will determine your level of proficiency and continue from there. The learning process is carried out through sections or levels, and each one is more difficult than the previous one. You get a combination of textual, visual, and audio lessons to help you learn the language more quickly.
Duolingo offers a wide variety of languages, and new ones are being added on a regular basis. In the completed list of languages for English speakers you have: Latin American Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Hindi, Turkish, Dutch, Latin, Swedish, Greek, Irish, Polish, Norwegian Bokmål, Hebrew, Vietnamese, Hawaiian, High Valyrian, Danish, Romanian, Indonesian and Welsh. There are also four beta languages, meaning that they are not yet complete: Hungarian, Klingon, Navajo, and Finnish.
Another great thing about Duolingo is the fac that you don’t need an account to learn a language, but nothing will be saved, so an account is recommended. You can also take the app with you thanks to the Android and iOS apps, apart from the web version or Windows 10 app.
iOS users rejoice, here is a free language learning app that only you can use. AccelaStudy was initially released in 2008 and has had over 12 million users so far, which is not that bad, considering that it’s not the most popular one.
Even though this service will offer you to learn much more than just languages, we will be focusing on the languages only. Similar to Duolingo, AccelaStudy offers multiple modes of learning, ranging from flashcards and quizzes to spaced repetition. Unlike some of the other apps on this list, with AccelaStudy, you have the option to customize your learning experience to better suit you.
You won’t find hundreds of languages available, but the 18 already there is a decent list. You can learn English, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.
Among the best features, these app offers are the hands-free mode, enabling you to learn the languages while running, riding a bike, or driving. You also have the option to add your own content so that others can learn it.
As we mentioned in the beginning, this app is only available for iOS.
Moving on to another veteran language learning app on this list. Busuu was released in 2008, and even though it may not support as many languages as Duolingo, a certain partnership is what put it on the top.
Just like any other learning app, you get several modes of learning. In the case of Busuu, you ger grammar and vocabulary review, placement tests, as well as an option to chat with native speakers of the language you are learning. There are several modes of learning that you can choose from, which, combined with the tests, will help you learn and evaluate your knowledge more quickly.
The best that Busuu has to offer is the certificates. Several years ago, they partnered up with McGraw-Hill Education, meaning that you would be able to take a test and get a certification for your language fluency.
Unfortunately, it is not all positive, and the biggest downside is the available languages. Busuu offers a total of 12 languages, and they are: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Turkish, Russian, and Arabic.
Similar to Duolingo, you can use Busuu to learn a new language on Android, iOS, and a browser.
The next app on the list is Memrise. Developed by a small team in 2010, this app became one of the best alternatives to the well known Duolingo. Even though it may seem like another regular language learning app, there are some things that make it unique.
Memrise has two distinctive features making it the app that stands out from the crowd. The first one is immerse mode. It offers you short vide recordings of people speaking the language that you want to learn. They are short and mostly introductory, but you can also find videos of specific words or phrases so that you know how they sound. Another great feature is the explore mode. What this does is enable you to use your camera to get a specific object translated. The bad news is that both of these only work on iOS.
Regarding the other features, it is just like any other app. You get classic and speed reviews, learn new words, take tests, and so on. The number of languages is what is really surprising with Memrise. Since it works as a community-based course app, users can upload their course, and thanks to that, you have access to over 100 languages available.
Just like most apps on this list, you can use it on iOS, Android, or browser.
The idea of learning a new language with technology is something that came to life in 1992 when the Rosetta Stone was formed. Even though the app, as you may use today, didn’t happen years later, this is probably the company that set the foundations.
Even though the paid option of the service is more robust and will help you learn more, the free option is excellent for learning on the go. It may not provide as much as some of the other apps on this list, but for a quick lesson or two, it is excellent. The combination of visual and audio lessons will help you learn the language faster. You can also learn pronunciation with instant feedback, practice what you have learned with the Extended learning features, or you can learn popular phrases from their phrasebook that you can use in places that you’d visit as a tourist.
The languages that you can learn are: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Dutch, English (American or British), Filipino (Tagalog), French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian (Farsi), Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish (Latin American or Spain), Swedish, Turkish, and Vietnamese.
As you may have guessed, Rosetta Stone is available on Android, iOS, or browser.
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Learning a new language isn’t as time-consuming, complicated, or expensive as it was over a decade ago. With access to technology and the internet, we have today, you can learn a new language without even getting out of bed.
These are our top picks for the best free apps that you can use to learn a new language, but they are not the only ones. Even though there aren’t thousands of apps like these, you may still find another one that may work better for you.