No doubt about it, learning a foreign language allows you to interact with people from different cultures. However, enrolling in a language class takes time, effort, and can cost a pretty penny. Thanks to modern technology, the process of learning the ways of another country’s tongue can be quick and easy. After all, it only takes an app download to start learning. Here are five topnotch language-learning apps to get you conversing like never before.
When it comes to learning a language, be it Spanish, Italian, French, German, Russian or Vietnamese, DuoLingo is one of the highest-rated apps available. Not long ago, it was recognized as the best app for both the Google Play Store and the AppStore.
To keep you interested, the app works similar to a game where you receive experience points for every correct translation or answer. You’re also rewarded with an in-game currency known as Lingots that can be used to purchase items in DuoLingo’s virtual store.
Duolingo teaches through repetition, audibly speaking it, and conversation. As you progress to higher levels, the lessons increase in difficulty. Duolingo stands out from other language apps by focusing on 10 of the most commonly used tenses to allow students to pick up the language they want to learn easily.
As of November 15th, 2016, 21 courses were available to the public from English: Latin American Spanish, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Swedish, Irish, Turkish, Danish, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Esperanto, Ukrainian, Hebrew, Welsh, Vietnamese, Hungarian, Greek, and Romanian.
The following eight courses for English speakers are currently in development: Swahili, Czech, Indonesian, Hindi, Klingon, Korean, Yiddish, and High Valyrian.
Similar to Duolingo, Babbel allows users to understand a language by completing and repeating phrases. The app is free to download and has a monthly subscription cost beginning at $11.
You can choose from Babbel’s different language apps including German, Italian, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish. These apps are designed to be downloaded individually so that students can focus on a single set of lessons before moving on to another language.
Babbel also uses a custom goal system that allows you to set benchmarks as you learn a foreign language, and to monitor your progress as well.
As suggested by its name, Memrise teaches you to speak Spanish by having you memorize different words. This app features different learning modules depending on your proficiency, including lessons on basic Mexican Spanish and advanced Spanish. It also allows you to study Spanish words through functions such as “250 most commonly used Spanish words” and “Spanish vocab by frequency.”
Memrise’s lessons typically consist of a Spanish word, its definition in English, and an audio recording of how it’s spoken. Users are given 15 words to study per lesson. It’s an effective way to learn this romance language, and the best part is the app is free to download.
What sets Busuu apart from the pack is its chatty community of users. Aside from finding out how to read and write one of 12 languages, you’re encouraged to listen and speak a foreign language by interacting with native speakers.
After each lesson with Busuu, you’re taken to a mock conversation. The app will play a video recording of another person speaking, and once it’s through, you’ll be asked to record your response. You can also improve your language skills through interactive courses and direct interaction with native speakers via an integrated video-chat application and peer-to-peer text corrections.
MindSnacks provides users with a free, entertaining way to understand foreign languages and cultures. It features 11 lessons designed as easy-to-play games for fun learning.
Each lesson works similar to a children’s book where you’re asked to solve a series of colorful puzzles arranged according to your language proficiency. Feed your brain a variety of games to learn Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Chinese, and Japanese.