You wouldn’t have expected your grandmother to gift you her collection of porcelain cat figurines.
But it’s hard to ignore the kitschy appeal of having thousands of creepy eyes staring down at you from your mantle.
You wouldn’t have thought you’d spot Bigfoot in the Burger King drive-thru.
But when the photo you sell to the tabloids earns you plenty of bucks to blow on burgers, it feels pretty great.
You’d never have guessed that bees would take up residence inside your walls.
But once honey starts seeping out, it’ll really up your tea game.
Android apps have only continued to up their game, providing new and exciting features you would never expect.
So if you’re looking for an Android app to revolutionize your language learning experience, you’ll definitely want to try the 16 unexpectedly awesome apps below.
You’ll also want to know how to use your Android device to the max for language learning.
How to Get the Most Out of Learning a Language with Your Android Device
Select a balanced array of learning apps.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match! After all, each app has different features and targets different skills, so it’s important that you select a balanced array of options. For instance, you might pair an app that gives you authentic listening practice with an app that gives you speaking practice.
Consider partnering with friends to compare progress.
There are already so many social benefits of learning a second language; why not add one more and build your friendship by learning together? This is easy to do with apps. Just partner with someone studying the same language that you’re studying and compare your results. What level are you at in your app of choice? How many words have you used? Not only is this a good way to make learning more social, your competitive spirit might push you to study a little more than you otherwise would.
If you’re already advanced, change your device’s language settings.
Hey, apps don’t need to be the only thing on your Android teaching you language skills. If you’re already at an advanced level, changing the settings on your device can be an easy way to study, since you’ll be forced to use your target language to use your device. To change the language settings on your Android device, open the “Settings” menu. From there, scroll down and click “System” or “General management” (this varies by device). Then, select “Language and input.” From there, you can change and/or add languages.
16 Unexpectedly Awesome Android Apps for Language Learning
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could learn a language by watching fun, authentic content? With FluentU, you can.
FluentU transforms real-world content—like movie trailers, music videos, news, informational talks and more—into powerful learning tools you’ll enjoy using. Videos are captioned and these captions are annotated, so you can easily look up any word’s definition, example sentences and images to help you visualize the meaning.
Not only that, FluentU also offers Quiz Mode, which combines videos, images and example sentences into interactive, multimedia activities and flashcards for an addictive, engaging learning experience that will be the envy of your friends.
Plus, FluentU is highly flexible. You can choose what videos you watch, how many you watch, how often you watch them and how quickly you watch. Meanwhile, FluentU’s algorithm tracks your learning to present you with level-appropriate questions that build on your knowledge without throwing you in over your head.
And while you can use FluentU on your Android device, the learning doesn’t need to stop just because you set it down. You can also use your FluentU account online or on an iOS device.
FluentU offers Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish, and is working on even more languages!
Want to expand your vocabulary? World Language Learner features over 2,000 words in each of over 50 languages, including popular options like Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.
Words are organized into thematic categories, including colors, clothes, travel and more.
Each word is accompanied by its translation and pronunciation for easy studying. There’s also a word of the day feature to introduce you to new terms and make daily studying a habit.
But beyond just learning the words, World Language Learner offers plenty of options to help reinforce what you learn. The app has games and quizzes to test your knowledge. Additionally, a unique feature called “TurboPlay” allows you to play the audio in the category of your choice for convenient, hands-free learning.
50Languages offers a unique combination of language lessons and games for (you guessed it, but actually even better) over 50 languages, and that’s all available on this app.
Designed for beginners or those who studied a language but need a refresher, 50Languages gives users 100 lessons per language to prepare for common situations, like travel, small talk, eating out and more.
There are also vocabulary games and language quizzes for a fun twist on learning.
Want to make your Android device an even more versatile learning tool? 50Languages offers downloadable audio that you can listen to on your commute, while you’re cooking or whenever you have some time to kill.
If you’ve ever dreamed of immersing yourself in your target language but haven’t had the chance to go abroad, Lingwing might be the app you’ve been dreaming of.
Lingwing aims to provide an immersion experience by giving you chat-like experiences and personalizing the course to you using an algorithm. The app combines text, audio and speaking practice to help you hone a wide range of skills.
Plus, if you have a competitive spirit and/or are learning with friends, Lingwing also gives you a scoreboard to compare yourself against others.
Lingwing offers several popular languages, including English, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish.
Qlango is an interactive app designed to help you practice your skills.
To do this, Qlango offers a number of different activities. For instance, there are translation exercises that allow you to select which languages you’ll translate between. There are also activities that have you construct sentences, matching activities, dictation exercises and more.
Not only that, activities are ranked for difficulty, making it easier to select level-appropriate activities.
Qlango offers 15 languages. These include popular languages, like English, Italian and Portuguese, along with less commonly offered languages, like Albanian, Finnish and Greek.
Papagei Language Learning is a video learning system intended to engage the whole brain and speed up the learning process.
The app combines watching videos, learning vocabulary with a digital dictionary, speaking with an interactive coach to perfect your pronunciation and practicing comprehension with exercises.
And, boy, does Papagei Language Learning have a lot of material. They advertise over 10,000 original videos and 120,000 interactive exercises. That’s enough to keep any language learner busy!
Plus, no need to worry about whether or not Papagei Language Learning is right for your proficiency level. The app will analyze your proficiency level to start you out with appropriate material.
Papagei Language Learning offers English, French, German and Spanish.
Want to play? LuvLingua is designed to teach beginning through intermediate language skills through fun games.
The pro version offers several different games, including a picture quiz, listening quiz, multiple choice quiz and animated game.
Not only that, the app features audio by native speakers and a phrasebook you can use to learn basic vocabulary, like greetings, directions, days and more.
Afraid that your Android app can’t keep up with your on-the-go lifestyle? Fear not! LuvLingua works offline, so you can use it even without Wi-Fi.
LuvLingua offers apps that teach over a dozen languages, including popular options like Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Maybe 10 languages aren’t enough for you. Maybe 50 still seems a little scant. Well, will 140 language options do the trick?
Yes, uTalk offers over 140 languages, so most of the languages that come to mind for you are likely included. And the app doesn’t skimp on words and phrases, either. In fact, there are over 2,500 words and phrases for each language.
Vocabulary is divided into over 60 categories, including technology, travel, food, time and more. The words and phrases are accompanied by audio featuring native speakers. You can even record your pronunciation to compare it to that of a native speaker.
Need a break from all the studying? The uTalk app offers a number of different games, including a speaking game, memory game and more.
Sometimes, even the most dedicated student just wants to have a little fun. If you’re a beginning language student and want that fun to be productive, though, you might want to try LangJet.
LangJet is a language learning adventure game. In the game, you fly a plane while avoiding hitting incorrect translations. Ultimately, you may learn up to 50 common words.
The app offers eight languages: Bulgarian, English, Esperanto, French, German, Russian, Slovenian and Spanish.
And if that’s not enough to pique your interest, LangJet is free. You can’t go wrong with that!
You ask for your friends’ help all the time. But if you don’t have any friends who speak your target language, who can you get help from? Simple: The new friends you’re going to make.
HiNative is a great source to find friends to ask your most pressing language questions. Through this app, you can ask native speakers about a tricky vocabulary word, have them explain grammar rules to you, upload audio of yourself speaking to have them check your pronunciation or even upload pictures of text to inquire about. Basically, if you have a question about a foreign language or culture, you can post it to HiNative to get some help.
With HiNative, you’re not even particularly limited in terms of language; you can ask questions about over 100 languages.
Asking questions is handy, but if you want a longer conversation, ZikTalk can help you get your chat on.
This language exchange app connects users with native speakers to test out their skills. Not only can you search user profiles to find your ideal language friend—once you’ve found them, you can place audio calls, video calls or write text-based posts.
Plus, unlike many other language exchange apps, ZikTalk offers chat translations free of charge if you need a little extra help.
Language offerings include Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.
You can never have enough friends. With Lingbe, you can make new friends right away… all you have to do is press the call button to start speaking in your target language!
Conversations are voice-based, and if you and your partner both enjoy yours, you can “like” each other, which enables you to exchange messages in the future.
Lingbe also offers one particularly unique feature: After your conversation, your partner will provide you with feedback on your skills so you know how well you’re doing and what you might need to work on.
As a language student, you can never have enough tools to look up unfamiliar words. And with its simple, convenient interface, Language Translator is a great tool to have in your language toolbox.
Language Translator can translate between 90 different languages, and you can input text manually or by speaking. Additionally, you can listen to audio translations to get a better idea of the pronunciation.
To top it all off, Language Translator is completely free, so why not keep it around for quick, easy look-ups?
AnkiDroid Flashcards is a flashcard app with a lot to offer language learners.
AnkiDroid allows you to download free flashcard decks created by others, including language sets. And with over 6,000 existing decks, you’re likely to find something you can use.
However, what’s perhaps even more exciting is that you can create your own flashcard decks with text, images and sounds for a terrific multimedia learning resource. Don’t have audio? The app also has text-to-speech.
Like all the most popular flashcard apps, AnkiDroid uses an SRS (spaced repetition system), designed to present material at an ideal interval for efficient memorization.
AnkiDroid offers plenty of navigation options, so you don’t have to tire yourself out swiping. Instead, you can swipe, tap or shake.
If you’re into late-night cram sessions, AnkiDroid also has a night mode, which is easier on the eyes.
And when you’re getting tired and need a little extra motivation, just check your statistics to see how far you’ve come using AnkiDroid!
Affiliated with the popular website, Cram.com Flashcards aims to bring all your favorite website features to your Android device.
The app enables you to log in to your Cram.com account, so you’ll have access to all the great content you usually enjoy on your computer. You can access the flashcard sets you’ve created yourself and all your favorite sets.
Not familiar with Cram.com yet? Well, it offers millions of existing flashcards, and with new cards being added by members every day, the number will only continue to grow. While the site and app have some language sets, you can also create your own. Not only that, you can create flashcards or edit your existing flashcards within the Cram.com Android app, whether you want to incorporate text, images or both.
The app also features three different study modes. “Card mode” goes through the entire deck, while “memorize mode” focuses on the cards you still need to learn, hiding cards you already know. Ready for an intense experience? Try the cram option for spaced repetition.
Don’t have access to Wi-Fi? No problem! Cram.com Flashcards also works offline.
VocApp is a flashcard app designed specifically for language learners, from beginning through advanced.
VocApp allows you to create your own flashcards. You can upload images, import material or even dictate to the program. VocApp can help you out by adding translations, in-context examples, audio pronunciations and images.
The app also offers existing flashcard sets on topics like fruits and vegetables in Spanish, numbers in French and common English nouns.
Plus, the app uses spaced repetition to try to make your learning more efficient.
But VocApp is so much more than just flashcards. The app also offers courses created by professionals and lessons created by other users, including native speakers.
Are you ready for your mind to be blown? Check out these unexpectedly awesome Android apps and prepare to be impressed.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn languages with real-world videos.