Planning on visiting another country this summer? One that doesn’t speak your language? Nervous about navigating your way in that foreign land without knowing the lingo? Well, here are some of the best apps around for learning any foreign language!
7 Foreign Language Apps We Really Like
Babbel helps you learn a new language in 10-15 minute intervals so that you’re not overwhelmed. Each lesson teaches a wide range of words and phrases—from beginner level to more advanced—and focuses more on conversational learning than other apps. Babbel costs between 5 and 10 dollars a month for full access.
Busuu is more classic in its overall presentation when it comes to teaching a foreign language. It features pronunciation, writing, grammar, and dialogue exercises in its lessons, as well as word and phrase flashcards. It even offers the ability to chat with native speakers from the country where the language you’re learning is from. They’ll even correct your writing samples. Access to Busuu’s complete content will run you up to $10 a month.
Unlike Babbel, Duolingo is free of charge. It’s an accessible, nicely designed program that makes learning feel more like a game than a lesson. It offers languages in Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, French, German, Irish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Ukrainian. The app divides each foreign language into different topics—which is helpful for learning how to say things that you’re interested in.
Memrise takes its users to another planet in its game-like lessons where they act like spies in order to master other languages. The app uses a flashcard-type structure and “mems” to help build your vocabulary. The “mems” are visual images paired oddly with words and phrases that don’t necessarily correlate. This type of training has been found to be very effective with memorization. The app also offers audio and video recordings to support what you’ve learned.
Mondly combines cutting-edge technology, like virtual reality, with sound science so that you can start learning a new language quickly and effectively. Unlike many other programs, this highly lauded app lets you learn a language from 33 other ones—not just English. Mondly isn’t just for vacationers and globetrotters. It also features business- and kid-centric modes which help each respective group focus on their language needs.
Tandem believes that the best way to learn a foreign language is through conversation with another person. That’s why this app pairs you with a partner via text, audio, and video. It’s like Tinder for talkers! It first learns what your likes and dislikes are, then finds a suitable “pen pal” for you to converse with. And don’t worry, there are moderators to make sure you’re not going to be stalked by some psycho. You can also get lessons from professional tutors.
Just like some of the other apps above, uTalk utilizes pictures, audio from native speakers, and mini-games for teaching you that language you’ve always wanted to learn. Sure, it’s pricier than the others, but at $19.99, you get a lifetime subscription to a whopping 130 languages.
So, whether you’re looking to *sashay shantay or live la vida loca, one of these apps is bound to help you fulfill your foreign fantasies—unless, that is, you’re looking for a spy app to satiate your James **Bondian desires.
* Yes, I know this is not a real term.
** And yes again, I know this is not a real word.