apps-to-learn-languages

The 15 Best Apps to Learn Languages on the Digital Market

Our smartphones and tablets can distract us from the world around us.

Yup, they can even be addictive—even dangerous.

But, when used in moderation, these gadgets can be valuable tools.

They’re phones, messengers, televisions, internet browsers, travel companions, maps, foreign language teachers, dictionaries and tour guides, all rolled into one.

What makes them such multipurpose items?

Look no farther than apps.

There are countless apps, and new ones just keep coming and coming.

Since you’re a modern language learner, you’re no doubt considering apps for language learning. It’s a no-brainer.

But you might not have the time to check out each and every language learning app that has hit the app store.

Well, you’re in luck.

Here, we’re going to introduce 15 of the most useful apps for language learners.

We’ve taken a swim in the big sea of apps and brought to surface 15 of the really cool ones that are worthy of winning a place in your phone.

Before we look at the best apps to learn languages, we’ll first look into some clever techniques you can use yourself when picking and utilizing apps—after all, we’re only giving you options here. The final choice will be up to you.

Then, when you’ve got your chosen apps downloaded, you’ll know how to make the most out of them.

So, let’s begin.

Learn a foreign language with videos

5 Clever Techniques to Pick Language Learning Apps

Learn how to read the reviews “properly.”

When you want to know more about an app’s quality, the first place you’ll go are the reviews. No doubt.

To get an accurate picture of an app, don’t just focus on the star rating that you see immediately below or beside the app’s logo and name. That’s just an average of all the ratings submitted by other customers, so it honestly doesn’t tell you much about features and app experience.

And a lone, five-star review that only says, “Awesome!” isn’t very helpful either.

You need to read thoughtful feedback that tells you both sides of the story. Pay particular attention to those reviews that populate the mid-range—those 2-, 3- and 4-star ratings with reviews that consciously take you through the real pros and cons of the app.

Look for feedback that discusses which features the language app contains or lacks. This feedback is opening the app right up for you, giving you an idea what’s inside and managing your expectations.

As always, don’t rely too much on a single, well-written review. Try to look for repeating themes, repeating comments and similar insights. Watch out for words that come up again and again. They’ll reveal a lot and allow you to imagine what using the app is like before you download.

Pick just one app for each category. (You only need one dictionary app. Seriously.)

Ever had those nights when you stopped by the App Store or Play Store and you can’t seem to stop downloading apps?

Every time you search for a specific type of app, all the best ones show up. You can’t help but download them all. How else will you know which one you really want to have on your device? And they all look really cool!

Then you find yourself binge-loading your phone with apps that should never really have seen the light of day.

Before going on this downloading spree, remember, you only really need one language learning app for each category. You only need one:

I’m sure you can think of other language learning categories, but the point is, you just need one for each.

The reason is focus.

In order to milk all the lessons from an app, you need to throw your attention into it and not jump from one app to another. Deep dive into a few apps rather than skim the surface of many. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on a lot of valuable lessons.

There’s really only one criteria: You.

Can we all agree, right here, right now, that there’s no such thing as a perfect app?

No app, no matter how hardworking the team behind it is, can ever be made perfect. We’ll never run out of feature ideas we wish could be integrated. There’s no such thing as an app that perfectly serves the deep-seated wishes of every user.

That said, the only remaining criteria for choosing a language app, from the thousands available today, is you. What do you need help with? What language topic or skill or language do you want to practice? What app features are “must haves” for you?

When you read a review and discover that the app requires online access or has a few bugs, don’t dismiss it out of hand. Again, there’s no perfect app.

But hey, look here, there’s an app that’s perfect for you. Sometimes you read all the reviews about some kinks, and say to yourself, “heck, I think this one’s good. I’m gonna give it a try despite these negative reviews I’m seeing.” It meets your needs and has the features that you want, no matter what everybody else says.

And on that note, we go to the next tip.

Download and delete.

There’s nothing like using an app yourself in order to find out if it’s perfect for you (or not).

No amount of combing through reviews is enough for some apps. So, take the apps for a spin, especially when they’re free of charge anyway.

When in doubt, download.

Explore the app, and really use it. Use the app meaningfully, really give it a go and commit to it. See everything it has to offer you. Give it a week, see if it grows on you. (Some apps don’t give good first impressions, but then the more you use them, the more you take a liking for them.)

And don’t think any decision as final. Delete the app the moment you realize it’s really not doing anything for you. Deleting language apps not only frees up precious phone memory, it keeps your psychological focus on apps that are the most effective and useful.

But hey, if you’ve deleted and realized you kind of miss it, just download it again. No harm done.

Buy late.

Most language apps are free to download, but contain additional features or services that can be purchased later on. This “freemium” model allows you to use the app first before deciding on investing actual money.

For those that do offer in-app purchases, make sure you’ve checked every nook and cranny of the free world before considering paid additions. Finish all the stages, master all the lessons and games.

Buy late. You can even try doing the whole thing over again. You might discover that, after running everything for the second time, you don’t really need the purchase and are in fact ready to move on to a different app.

Before you buy, ask yourself: Am I buying additional stages, levels? Or am I buying a totally new feature I’ve never tried before? How would this unlocked feature enhance my learning experience? Are there other apps that offer this feature or enhancement for free?

These questions should help you decide if the sticker price is worth it.

So, moving forward, let’s say that you now have your app. You’ve separated the wheat from the chaff.

How do you actually make the most of it and get the benefits other learners with the same gem don’t get? Read on.

5 Easy Tricks to Make the Most Out of Language Learning Apps

Trick yourself into regularly using them.

Did you notice that there are screens, spaces and folders in your smartphone that you frequent? That you almost automatically swipe to?

And at the same time, there are corners and folders in your phone that you almost never visit. You only ever open them when you’re trying to locate something or are so bored you’ve finally decided to explore your phone.

Strategically place your language learning apps in “prime real estate,” that space or screen you first see when you activate your phone. The least amount of taps or swipes, the better.

You probably Facebook or Instagram often, so place the language apps adjacent your favorites. (In the same vein, if you want to limit use of some social media apps, bury them deep in your phone’s “attic.”)

It goes without saying, you shouldn’t flood your phone with apps that “might be useful” in the future. They’ll compete for your visual attention when you go through your phone.

For example, when you’re standing in line for the ATM and decide to check your phone for anything to do, what are the chances that you’ll land on a language app when so many other candies are vying for your attention?

Get to writing. Transfer lessons into a language journal.

The key to an effective app is to integrate its lessons to daily life. Meaning, the lessons and learnings should cross the digital borders and into the way you speak, think and even write. And the cool thing about writing is that it has been proven to help with memory. There’s just something about doing strokes with your hands, writing words in the target language that helps you remember what you write.

So, have a notebook where you can transfer stuff like vocabulary words or phrases. In a notebook, they’ll be in a more condensed, concentrated form and allow you to see so much on a single page.

Learned a new grammar rule today? Write it down, in your own words. Try explaining the grammar rule, as if you’re teaching somebody else. (In reality, on some future date, you’ll be opening that notebook and be reminded of what you’ve learned.)

When you’re using the app, your mind is actually also doing some self-talk. You’re not a passive, blank slate to stuff information into. You’re really interacting with the lessons. For example, in a French lesson about colors, you might be presented with “rouge” (red). And at the back of your head, you might be thinking, “Hey, I’ve met this word before. This was part of the title of some movie I saw some years back. Right, it was ‘Moulin Rouge.’ Oh, so ‘rouge’ means red in French.”

So you write this tidbit of info in your notebook. And you know what happens? You would have created a memory in more ways than one. First, you’ve placed the vocabulary word in a specific context, and second, the act of writing itself helps you remember it. Now, “rouge” becomes strongly ingrained in your memory and it would be very difficult to forget. All because you spent a few minutes writing it.

Sometimes, old-school just works.

Repeat lessons, even when you think it’s unnecessary.

An app could take you on different game levels and quests. You could get so engaged you’ll be raring to progress through the stages to get your name in the international leaderboards.

The better developed the app, the greater tendency there is for this to happen.

You might be tempted into thinking that, when you’ve finished everything, you’ve already learned well all the words and phrases that were taught along the way.

Well, this is rarely true.

You’ve got to find the self-discipline to repeat the lessons, even if you think you’re going through the same thing all over again. The purpose here isn’t to get a better score on the game, the goal is to have the lessons embedded firmly in your long-term memory. Repetition is needed for that.

You really don’t have to wait to finish the whole thing before you go back to past lessons. It would be better if you review in bits. Finished a stage today? You can review that stage tomorrow or the day after. That way, the lessons will remain fresh in your head.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the game is what the app is all about. It’s not the game you need to master. It’s the words and lessons in it.

“APP” stands for Active Participation and Practice

Apps can be taken and enjoyed everywhere, from an unmoving line at the movies to your bed later that night.

But make no mistake, an app isn’t a passive way to learn language. In order to get the most out of it, you need to invest more than a few dollars. Its developers have been working day and night to imbue it with special powers. So instead of complaining what features the app could have, why don’t you have a real go with what’s already there?

You need to actively participate in whatever the app tells you to do. For example, in an audio-based application, if the lady in the app tells you to “repeat after me,” by gosh, repeat after her!

If you’re asked to type in an answer, do it. Don’t skip the question. If you’re asked to speak into your phone’s mic, then do it. A language app shouldn’t be just something you silently swipe at into the night. Interact with it. If you see an icon suggesting there might be an audio for you to hear how a word is correctly pronounced, then tap it. Then tap it again. Try to mimic what it sounds like. You don’t really need to wait for official instructions to repeat what you hear.

Remember, you’re trying to learn a language, not scrolling through your social media newsfeed.

Never forget to reap the rewards.

When you’ve done all that, when you’ve done your bit for the day, don’t forget to give yourself a little something. A scoop of ice cream. An episode of your favorite sitcom.

This is actually very important.

You need to associate using the app with something pleasant. Why? Because you’re going to be using it every day—or several times a day, or as often as you can. You don’t want to be thinking, “Oh, not this again!” You don’t want to feel like you’re being dragged into learning. You want to be excited about it. You want to be looking forward to that simple treat after.

(That’s why I would also advise you not to make your app sessions too long. So long that they become work. Then you’ll only remember how tiring it was the last time and you won’t want to do it again. Just work on it before your interest and energy levels actually drop. Leave yourself wanting more.)

 

And on that note, we now go to the 15 awesome apps that you should be checking out.

15 Addictive Apps to Learn Languages and Never Stop

FluentU

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android 

FluentU is just like YouTube, only more focused on language learning. It has huge digital libraries of the best foreign language videos on the planet, taking authentic clips like interviews, movie trailers and music videos and transforming them into language lessons.

How?

With FluentU’s interactive learning technology, you get a word-by-word transcription of the clips. For example, whatever is spoken in a French interview is converted into written form and displayed below the video. Tap on any written word, and you’ll get all the information you need about the word—its translation, definition and even pictures and usage examples. This way, a simple lyric video of a Chinese songs becomes a language lesson on steroids!

FluentU also has the Learning Mode which take you on a series of vocabulary questions, asking you to pair the correct translations or fill in the blanks. Add to that a built-in flashcard system and you have an unbeatable combo for language learners.

The app is free to download and currently offers lessons in Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, German, Japanese, English, Russian, Korean and Italian

Try FluentU today—it’s free for seven days!

Duolingo

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android

Next up, one of the world’s most popular language learning platforms. Its 150 million (and counting!) registered users get to choose from 28 different languages that includes, Vietnamese, Esperanto and even High Valyrian.

What is it about Duolingo that made even the high-and mighty-Google take notice? (In 2015, Duolingo raised $45 million in an investment round led by Google Capital.)

Consider Duolingo the Michael Jordan of gamification. The app gives users a sense of continuous accomplishment. You’ll be taken on a series of little tasks that improve your language skills. Maybe you’ll be asked to pair a word with its translation in the target language. Sometimes you’ll have to speak into your phone’s mic to pronounce the phrase flashed on the screen. Sometimes you’ll need to type in and translate a simple sentence.

All the while, you get the psychological proddings of a progress bar and some merits, badges and prizes when you pass certain levels.

The more you use the app, the more XP or experience points you gain. These points will win you Lingots, which is the virtual currency in the Duolingo world. You can use them to buy cool stuff in the Shop, like outfits for “Duo,” the app’s mascot.

It’s a great way to get a quick introduction to basic lessons in the beginner and intermediate stages of language learning. It’s not about depth with Duolingo, it’s about gamification, repetition and giving a quick overview to many key topics. To get really in-depth and deeply learn each lesson, you’ll need to pair Duolingo with another app—FluentU and Duolingo is a particularly great language app pairing.

Every time you’ve mastered a Duolingo mini-lesson, scour FluentU for related videos to practice that lesson with real-world context, hear it in use by native speakers and reinforce it with plenty of varied, dynamic exercises.

The app is free to download and will present you with priceless hours practicing your target language. It’s a must for every language learner.

YouTube

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android

This free app here needs no introduction. You know all about it. And you’ve probably been using it to look at adorable cats, Vine compilations and listen to those awesome covers that rival the originals.

Well, in addition to all that, did you know that YouTube also houses the biggest collection of video content produced by native speakers of your target language?

Learning Spanish? German? French? You have loads of channels dedicated to learning the world’s different languages. Native speakers teach how to greet and make friends in your target language. And not only that, treat yourself to authentic material when these same native speakers take you with them on their daily routines, showing you the food and the cool places you’ll find in their country. So you not only get language lessons, you go on a cultural tour simply by holding your smartphone.

I’m not saying that you stop looking at videos of cats chasing red dots, I’m saying that you add language learning as another of your reasons for hitting up Big Red. Or maybe just watch a Japanese person tease their cat with a laser pointer, so you can learn a lesson in Japanese exclamations while being entertained.

Memrise

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android

What do you get when you have a grand master of memory (Ed Cooke) and a Princeton neuroscientist (Greg Detre) develop an app?

You get Memrise—winner of the “Best App” in the 2017 the Google Play Awards.

The app is highly addictive with its Spaced Repetition techniques. You would think repeating words over and over becomes boring. Memrise has a way of repeating things without being repetitive, making you go back and forth between English and your target language. The app also touches writing, listening and reading skills.

Your journey through the app will be composed of language-related mini-tasks where you might be asked to translate a word forwards and backwards, type in what you hear, or choose from a set of audio clips what “How are you?” is in Spanish. New words are incorporated regularly and old words you’ve learned previously pop back every once in a while.

Audio is ubiquitous throughout the app. You’ll always hear a clip of how a vocabulary word is pronounced. So you might be translating or typing in an answer, once you get the correct answer, you’ll always hear an audio for the word before moving on to your next task. This is pretty important because this technique layers in another way for learners to remember the words.

One of the best features of the app are the integrated videos of native speakers actually pronouncing the words you’re studying. And of course, when they flash those beautiful smiles, they make you want to learn the language even more.

Memrise offers programs in 25 languages and is free to download. A Pro subscription will cost $5 a month.

Rosetta Stone

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android

Rosetta Stone is one of the leading language learning brands today. The name comes from a huge stone slab found in Rosetta, in Egypt, containing both Egyptian hieroglyphics and Greek text.

Today’s Rosetta Stone, the app, is based on the notion that if you want to learn language, you should only be using the target language, and not translating between your mother tongue and the target language. That’s ineffective and slows down your thinking and learning.

So if you’re learning German, the Rosetta Stone app will be conducted wholly in German. You won’t hear or see any English words. To help you figure out the words, you’ll be given pictures. So under the picture of a boy for example, you’ll see junge (boy). Instead of spoon feeding users, it’s their job to make the necessary connections and deduce these things.

Rosetta Stone, which is offering 23 languages, is also set on making you talk the target language as soon as possible. So early on in the app, you’ll be ask to speak into the phone’s mic to pronounce a given vocabulary word. With their speech recognition technology, you’re given immediate feedback, which lets you know if you’re beginning to sound like a native speaker.

Rosetta Stone is free to download and offers in-app purchases.

Mosalingua

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android

The Mosalingua app is a cool flashcard system premised on the belief that you should only be learning the most useful words in the language. So it starts off by letting you declare your purpose for using the app. Is it for travel? For business? Or to socialize with native speakers?

It also lets you choose the level you’d like to start in. If you’re a complete beginner, you can select that, or if you’re a little more advanced, you can choose from more advanced stages. Or if you’re not too sure of your level, you can take a sample test so the app can determine the most appropriate level for you. Cool, huh?

As a flashcard system, Mosalingua hits on the different language skills. For example in the “Listen & Pronounce” section, you’ll be presented with a text phrase, a picture and its audio pronunciation. You can then press record to try the phrase for yourself, and then compare your recording with that of a native speaker. (You decide if your pronunciation approximates the audio clip given.)

In the “Memorize” section, you are given a picture and the English translation of the phrase and you have to give the correct translation. To find out if you got it right, tap the “Turn The Flash Card Over” button.

In the “Write” section, you’ll type in the translation for the English phrase and again tap the “Turn The Flash Card Over” button to find out if you got it right. Each time you do turn the card over, you’ll also hear an audio of the studied phrase. (You’ll notice that instead of words, Mosalingua is more focused on useful phrases.)

If you want to learn Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Portuguese or English, the app is free to download, and its premium version containing more advanced levels costs $5.

Mondly

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android

If you’re interested in learning any of the 34 languages Mondly offers (including Persian, Afrikaans, Bulgarian and Turkish), you’ll be forgiven for thinking the app bears a close resemblance to Duolingo.

Like present favorites, it also has speech recognition technology, gamification features such as level ups and leaderboard, and translation drills to test your language skills.

What sets Mondly apart from other apps is its ability to explain points of grammar better than other apps. While other apps gloss over verb conjugations and tenses. If you tap on the verbs for example, you’ll be shown its conjugations and their translations. So in a single glance, you learn more about the verb and its different forms.

The app is free to download but the full version has a $9.99 monthly or $47.99 yearly subscription.

Bravolol Travel Phrasebook

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android

When travelling internationally, instead of carrying around extra luggage in the form of phrasebooks, why not download this app on your phone and have access to over 30 of the world’s languages, including Malay, Greek and Hindi.

This travel app gives you access to the most useful words and phrases in your target language. So even if you’ve suddenly forgotten the German you’ve studied before flying to Berlin, you can easily access past lessons with this app.

The words and phrases are grouped topically, so you have sections based on the most common activities of travelers: greetings, eating, shopping, numbers and even romance. You can also do an instant search by typing in a keyword.

When you tap a phrase or word, the app comes to life and gives you its pronunciation, done by a native speaker. You can repeat this as often as you like, if the phrase was spoken too fast, you can press the snail or turtle icon and get a slower audio. This way, you can practice exactly what to say, do a recording of your own and compare it with a native speaker’s.

(If worst comes to worst, in your travels, you can simply play the recording to the shop owner and hope to get the bargain that you were gunning for.)

It’s free to download the app. But each language’s full version costs $4.99. For for the “All Languages Pack,” it will be $19.99.

HelloTalk

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android

HelloTalk is a language exchange app. It connects you with native speakers of your target language who, in turn, are interested in your native language.

So, let’s say you’re an English speaking chap who wants to learn French. This free app will pair you with a Frenchman who’s interested in learning English. That way, you can help each other out. You can teach him English, and he can give you a French lesson or two.

You can communicate via text, voice or video, but HelloTalk isn’t just Skype. It actually has more features and functionalities that help facilitate language exchange.

Let’s say you’re talking to your partner and he says something you don’t understand. You can use the app’s “Voice-to-Text” feature to get a text copy of what he said. Also, if you get a word from the chat that you don’t understand, the app has a translation service that gives you the texts in your own language so you can better understand.

HelloTalk even has grammar correction options so that if your partner sends you a grammatically wrong statement, you can give him a corrected sentence, allowing him to compare and learn from you. The app is really giving you all the tools not only to communicate with each other, it’s giving you the leg up to teach each other as well.

With its translation, transliteration, text-to-voice and voice-to-text capabilities, it’s no wonder the HelloTalk community is growing by leaps and bounds.

Tandem

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android

Speaking of community, Tandem is another free language exchange app worth checking out. Think of this app like your favorite social networking app, where you connect with many cool and interesting people.

Tandem is a good way to look for a language exchange partner. And one of its advantages is the zealousness with which its creators try to protect its community from people only interested in spamming or flirting.

When you initiate the app, you’ll be asked to promise that you’ll only use the app for language learning purposes. You’ll also be asked to say something about yourself, your hobbies and interests. (This will appear in your profile later on.) Then you’ll have to wait a few days to be approved.

The app also gives you tons of filters so you can zero in on people who would give you the best learning experience. You can filter people who can see you. If you want to talk only to learners of the same gender or in the same age group, you can do that. You can also filter via interests and topics.

You can also punch up your profile and upload as many as six pictures. Make your profile more interesting by writing in specific things that you want to talk about, so that when other users hit you up, you can immediately get the ball rolling. For example, you can write, “Hey, let’s talk about your favorite ice cream flavors!”

The app lets you know the really excellent language partners because they have the “good vibes” system where you get to see how many good vibes the user has received from past learning partners. If you think you’ve found a good one, you can hit that “Follow” button and specially mark that profile.

The app also has a section for language tutors, so if you want to work with paid professional language guides, you can check them out.

Mango Languages

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android

This free app offers lessons in 70+ languages, from A (Arabic) to Z…uhm I mean Y (Yiddish).

Mango Languages’ methodology is what they call “Intuitive Language Construction,” which focuses on four key components in language learning, namely: Vocabulary, Pronunciation, Grammar and Culture.

Each chapter begins with a specific conversation, say about the weather, which serves as the jump off point for the lesson. Native speakers record the dialogue. And you don’t just listen to it, you follow along line by line via the written text and its corresponding translation. You can repeat the lines and entire dialogue as many times as you want.

The app also features voice comparison technology which allows you to record your pronunciations and compare them to native speakers. You can actually see the sound waves of your voice and visually compare it to those of native speakers. That way, you get feedback on how to correct and adjust your pronunciation.

At various points during the lesson, grammar and cultural notes are presented in order to both deepen and widen users’ understanding of a specific topic.

The app is really a wonderful tool. The only major drawback is that their sign up process isn’t as intuitive. Free access can only be had through a partner public library. Otherwise, you’d have to shell out $20 every month for a personal subscription.

50 Languages

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android

This 50-language app is a great vocabulary builder, and if you’re the type who learns best with text, then you’ll feel at home with this app. Yes, there’s audio and pictures, but the free app’s design and its no-fuss, no-frills interface is perfect for people who learn best with text.

The app has a total of 100 free lessons which prepare you to communicate in different situations, from saying “Hello” to bidding “Goodbye.” It’s an excellent travel companion and helps you what to say whether you’re at the restaurant or at the train station. It also contains sections like “Phrasebook,” “Places of interest” and “Numbers 1 to 100.”

Games are there to help you review. There are vocabulary games and language and geography quizzes.

An “All Languages Pack” will set you back $9.99. (But that won’t stop ads from popping from time to time. To stop ads from displaying, you’ll have to shell out another $2.99.)

Innovative Language

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android

There over 30 languages offered through the Innovative Language app.

What really differentiates this free app from others are the hundreds of audio and video lessons given, not just by native speakers, but by real language teachers.

Other apps approach the topic by making you play games or giving you a series of tasks that lets you work on the language. The Innovative Language app lets you listen to videos of a teacher actually explaining a point of grammar or giving you the nuances of their native tongue.

After working on the language just on your own, progressing through the different gamification levels of other language apps, there’s something so refreshing about sitting back and simply listening to what a teacher has to say. And lest you think the lessons are boring, they’re absolutely not. These teaching videos come with colorful and catchy graphics, making for engaging sessions.

In addition to the loads of material already on deck, the Innovative Language team is one of the most prolific producers of new content, promising new lessons each week. This makes your $9.99 monthly subscription worth it.

All Language Translator

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: Android

Ever had the experience of forgetting the translation for a common English word? You know you’ve learned it before, but it seems to elude you at that moment. Well, fret no more. This app will instantly give you the translation in the language you specified. (It covers practically every language you can think of, including Kannada, Haitian and Telugu.)

It’s pretty straightforward. You simply type in a word, a phrase, or even a sentence, hit send, and out comes the translation of the thing you just typed. It’s almost like magic.

If you don’t want to do some typing, you can use its audio capture function and speak into the phone’s mic. The app will convert what you say into text.

And because the app knows a word can mean many different things, it also tries to give you multiple translations where applicable.

The cool thing about it is that it has so many language pairs. So, for example, you can translate French into German, or Spanish into Russian or Persian into French. Just make sure that you’ve checked the correct language pair. So, if you’ll be typing in English, make sure “English” is chosen, otherwise, things will get weird, fast!

For a free app that’s not even 2 MB in size, it’s really punching above its weight.

Beelinguapp

apps-to-learn-languages

Available: iOS and Android

With a tagline that says “Learn Languages With Audiobooks,” Beelinguapp has a unique approach to the whole business of language learning. It makes use of the written word and the benefit of context to help users remember and learn.

With this free app, you not only hear a native speaker reading a passage or story, you see the two languages side by side. So in addition to an audio recording, you see bilingual texts. You also see a moving highlight on both texts, right on pace with the reading so you can follow along.

Click on a sentence in order to highlight it. And when you click on it again, you’ll hear that sentence read.

Texts are available in over 10 languages and they range from classic fairy tales, news, novels and even scientific papers. New selections are added on a weekly basis so you won’t be running of things to read soon.

Wouldn’t this be a fun thing to do right before you sleep?

 

So those are 15 apps that you should check out. See if they fit the bill. Explore them and see if they grow on you.

Like I said earlier in this post, the only real criteria is you.

You’ve learned how to pick apps to learn languages, and you have handy ways to make the most out of these them.

Now it’s your turn.

Good luck!

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