Top 15 Language Learning Apps Of 2017

We live in an increasingly globalized world where being multilingual offers multiple benefits. Knowing an additional language helps you climb the corporate career ladder quickly because more companies require job profiles that need relocation abroad or communicating with foreign clients.

Learning another language not only ensures a better understanding of different cultures around the world but also adds more spark to your resume, build up self-confidence and has been proven to be beneficial for your brain. Amid the plethora of options available online, here are the top 15 language learning apps that will help you easily pick up any global language:

15. AnkiApp

AnkiApp is an app that provides flashcards for learning languages. It uses an improved form of ‘Spaced Repetition’ (developed with artificial intelligence) to learn what kind of flashcards you need to spend more time on while learning a language. You can even design and style your own flashcards as per your preferences.

14. MangoLanguages

Through this app, you can learn language by attaining mastery over four components- vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture. Complicated phrases are broken down into simpler terms and built back for the user. The vocabulary portion can be understood at conversational speed or at a slower pace.

Languages supported: Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Hindi, Greek, German, French up to 70+. An additional 21 English courses are also provided.  

13. MosaLingua

Highly praised with some really great reviews, MosaLingua is a paid app that focuses on the 20 percent of the words that will be used 80 percent of the time, with emphasis on the most useful words and phrases. It has more than 3000 flash cards spanning 14 categories (accommodation, transport, shopping, tourism etc), online dictionary, and loads of extra material to keep you hooked to learning. Different apps are available for different languages (mostly European) and from our personal experience with MosaLingua, it is totally worth it.

12. MindSnacks

Though the number of languages offered by MindSnacks is limited to seven- Spanish, French, Portugese, German, Italian, Chinese and Japanese, the highly detailed games and activities makes it a joyous learning experience. The games include hand illustrated images, quests and challenges so that you can learn around a 1,000 words in a very short span of time.

11. HelloTalk

For those addicted to chat apps like Whatsapp and all, why not utilize your time and addiction to learn a new language? HelloTalk connects you with native speakers of different languages- English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Portuguese, German, Italian, Russian, Arabic, and around 100 more, absolutely free of cost. You get hands-on experience talking to people who actually use the language through text/audio, thus improving your listening and speaking skills in a fun manner.

10. TripLingo

This is the ultimate language app for international travelers since it not only helps you learn the basics of a language (13 languages offered) but also provides a crash course of the local culture. It has handy features like an instant voice translator, offline dictionary, tip calculator and even helps you becomes well-versed with the slang phrases (that has four levels!).

9. HiNative

If you are a regular user of Quora, then you must be aware of the Q&A format of the site. Similarly, HiNative is a forum where you can ask questions about the language and culture to native speakers. This provides a unique, personal experience to learn the language in a better manner. The interface is simple and you can ask questions in English, Spanish or any other language and even post voice queries.

8. Tandem

Tandem is yet another chat app that connects users with native speakers, helping them to know more about the language through a personalized experience while also getting to know new people around the world. The app offers in-app translations for difficult words and also allows audio and picture messages to make the experience more visually descriptive.

7. Babbel

If your main aim is to start speaking a language instead of only memorizing lists of words and phrases, then no better option is available than Babbel. Offering 14 languages (Spanish, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Polish, English, Indonesian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian), Babbel has a lot of free content to offer so that you can make an informed decision before switching to the paid model. All lessons are 10-15 minutes long and you can refresh your memory with the regular reviews sessions.

 6. Rosetta Stone Travel

For frequent travelers, Rosetta Stone provides a free app that can help them learn and memorize basic words and phrases. Through pictorial descriptions of words and phrases, you can pick up new words and practice your pronunciation. A searchable phrase book that provides basic words and words related to restaurants, hotels etc is also available and you can buy additional phrase books related to shopping, emergencies, color codes for more information.

Language supported: Spanish, French, German, Italian up to a total of 19.

5. 24/7 Tutor Apps

As the name suggests, you will have a tutor all the time in the form of your mobile device to help you learn the language. You can install the specific app as per the language you want to learn and all of them are free. There are different topics such as clothing, entertainment, color, education, family, food, health, greetings, body, directions, weather, work that can be learnt via different study lists, memory games, quizzes, spelling practices etc.

Languages supported: Spanish, German, French, Italian, Russian, Arabic, Japanese, Greek, Farsi, Hindi, Norwegian, Tagalog, Turkish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Portuguese, Thai, Bulgarian, Indonesian, Finnish, Romanian, Ukrainian, Czech, Mandarin and more.

4. AccellaStudy Essential Apps

AccellaStudy has a different app for every language you wish to learn. The apps are very easy to use, provide offline accessibility and even have a hands-free mode that you can utilize in case you want to learn while driving. You can learn through different modes such as flash cards, audio quizzes, spaced repetition and even create your own study sets if you want to focus on certain words that are difficult to learn.

Languages supported: Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian, French, Turkish, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Chinese, Romanian, Korean and more

3. Busuu

An easy to use and flexible app, Busuu offers different levels of enhancing your language skills depending on your understanding- beginner, elementary, intermediate, upper intermediate, or travel. This is a great app especially if you are traveling or around foreign speakers and need to pick up words in context quickly. You can improve your vocabulary and phrases as you progress towards different levels and boost your knowledge through several quizzes. Additional features can be unlocked through a premium account but there is a lot of content in the free version that would suffice for a new learner.

Languages supported: German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, Italian, Russian, Polish, Turkish, Japanese, Chinese and more.

2. Memrise

Another fun way to learn a new language is through Memrise, where the entire setup is like a game- you are a spy on a foreign planet and get points on answering questions correctly. You can learn new words and phrases through sentences and images called ‘mems’, and by listening to audio recordings and videos of native speakers. The app is mostly free but you can gain access to additional games and offline accessibility for a monthly subscription of $9.

Languages supported: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Kanji, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Finnish, Icelandic, Esperanto, and 150 more.

1. Duolingo

With its extremely simple UI, great design and accessibility, Duolingo is the most popular app with users around the world. Just create an account and start learning whatever language you want in a jiffy. A total of 22 languages (not including English) are offered and the entire pedagogy is so interactive and engaging that even a high school student can pick up the basics with ease. Duolingo uses texts, pictures and audio on different topics and has reminders and repeat exercises to help you develop a robust comprehension. For conversational purposes though, this might not be the best option.

Languages supported: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Russian, Ukrainian, Esperanto, Polish and Turkish.

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3 Responses

  1. George says:

    Do you know anything similar for Windows desktops? My phone is quite old (Android 4.2) so it’s a no go. Online language learning is an extremely interesting topic but I never invested time and effort to check out the possibilities up to know.

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