16 Free Language Learning Apps for 2022

You can’t get something for nothing. 

That saying is simply not true! You can use some terrific language iPhone apps and Android apps for free.

Sure, a lot of these apps can’t take you all the way to fluency, but they really can give you a running start.

Try out these 16 free language learning apps!

Contents

1. Best App for Busy Learners: Duolingo memrise-vs-duolingo

Available on: iOS | Android

Languages: Over 20 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Pros: 

  • Can study for as little as five minutes a day
  • Engaging activities that cover tons of vocabulary
  • A gamified learning platform that keeps you interested

Cons:

  • Can be easy to lose your learning “streak”
  • In-app purchases for special vocabulary sets, power-ups, timed quizzes
  • Lots of ads

free language learning apps

The main focus of the app is on engaging activities that help you learn by testing your vocabulary. As such, you’ll be asked to speak words/phrases, translate, match words to their meanings and more.

Vocabulary sets are grouped thematically, and you progress along Duolingo’s set order, though if you’re more advanced, you can also test out some of the lessons. Once you’ve completed a lesson, you can go back to reinforce what you learned.

Once you’re finished with a Duolingo course, check out our suggestions for what to do next.

See our full review of Duolingo.

2. Best App for Reading Skills: Beelinguapp

Available on: iOS | Android free-language-apps

Languages: Features 13 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Pros: 

  • Option to learn in your target language (if listed)
  • A diverse range of stories, song lyrics and news
  • Audio for each story is available

Cons:

  • Limited amount of free stories
  • Lacking grammar explanations

free language learning apps

Beelinguapp is unlike any other. It aims to help students improve their language skills through stories, including news, novels, fairy tales and more.

Each story appears in two languages: one at the top of the page, one at the bottom. You choose your settings, but it usually works well to have one be your native language and the other be your target language. Not only can you read stories side-by-side in both languages, but there’s also audio, allowing you to listen to the stories in either language.

3. Best App for Word Association: Memrise

Available on: iOS | Androidfree-language-apps

Languages: Ability to pair 200 different languages.

Pros: 

  • Video examples with language used in real life
  • Expertly built flashcards to help build vocabulary
  • Grammar, reviews, listening and video modes in premium version

Cons:

  • Limited free content
  • Limited language output
  • Flashcards sometimes lack context

free language learning apps

Want to get immediate access to Memrise? Try the learning app for free.

While the free version gives you just a small taste of all that Memrise has to offer, it can help you learn some vocabulary while seeing if you enjoy the interface.

The free version of Memrise offers you the opportunity to learn and review keywords and phrases. You can study your target language using whatever language you’re most comfortable with (probably your native language). However, one fun trick is, if you already speak one foreign language, you can study another target language using the skills you’ve already acquired. For instance, if you already learned Spanish, you might try studying Portuguese while reinforcing your Spanish by setting it as the language you’re learning in.

See our full review of Memrise

4. Best App for Community Support: busuu

Available on: iOS | Android free-language-apps

Languages: 12 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Pros: 

  • Personalize goals based on your own language objectives
  • Explanations of vocabulary, grammar and culture
  • Comprehension checks for critical thinking about word meanings

Cons:

  • Quality varies depending on your language course
  • Content is somewhat lacking in entertainment value
  • May receive incorrect corrections from community

free language learning apps

Like studying with flashcards? Busuu’s free version can give you your flashcard fix while helping you decide whether a full subscription to busuu might be in your future.

With a free download, you’ll have access to busuu’s flashcards to help expand your vocabulary. This is just a small fraction of what busuu offers to paid members, though, so if you find you like the format, you might consider purchasing a subscription, which gives you conversations with native speakers, quizzes, grammar exercises, official certificates and more.

See our full review of busuu

5. Best App for Beginners: 50Languages free-language-apps

Available on: iOS | Android

Languages: A huge variety of languages (over 50), including popular options like Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Pros: 

  • Lots of high quality content targeted at beginners
  • Over 50 languages available
  • Freedom to choose which language skills to focus on

Cons:

  • Interface isn’t very user friendly
  • Lessons are not accurately labeled or described

free language learning apps

If you’re a beginning student looking to jumpstart your language learning, look no further than 50Languages.

50Languages is designed to teach basic vocabulary, and it offers plenty of free resources that do just that. The app features free lessons, tests and games that you can use to learn some of the most essential vocabulary and reinforce what you’ve learned.

In-app purchases are also available to remove ads and open up additional materials.

6. Best App for Innovative Features: Mondly

Available on: iOS | Android free-language-apps

Languages: Features 33 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Pros: 

  • Innovative ways to learn through VR, AR and a Chatbot
  • Competitive platform to give learners a bit of a push 
  • Good for learners of all ages (separate app for kids)

Cons:

  • Lack of differentiation between levels
  • Monthly fee covers only one language

free language learning apps

The Mondly app packs a powerful learning punch, and you can experience a fraction of that punch without spending a dime.

As a free user of Mondly’s app, you’ll have access to the first basic material. In addition, though, you’ll have access to ongoing content you can use to set up a learning routine: a new lesson every day, a weekly quiz and even monthly challenges.

If you find you love your free access but want more material, don’t worry. A paid subscription can give you access to more lessons, conversations, vocabulary builders, conjugation tables and other features.

See our full review of Mondly

7. Best All-in-one Language App: Innovative Language

Available on: iOS | Androidfree-language-apps

Languages: Offers over 30 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Pros: 

  • Communicative approach to language learning
  • Lessons are practical, plentiful and relevant
  • Choice of language, level and topics

Cons:

  • The lessons are not well organized
  • The quality across language programs isn’t consistent 
  • Videos could be more engaging

free language learning apps

Want to make sure you have new learning content regularly? With the Innovative Language app, you can have new content every week without spending any money.

That’s because each week, Innovative Language offers new free audio and video lessons. You can easily make these freebies a part of your learning routine, but if you’re wanting to try Innovative Language’s other offerings, you might consider subscribing to a free trial.

Innovative Language’s free trial gives you full access to a premium language course, which includes a whole library of audio and video lessons, lesson notes, dialogues with audio, your own personal word bank and more. If you like it, you might consider subscribing for continued access.

See our full review of Innovative Language

8. Best App for Building Vocabulary: Drops

Available on: iOS | Android free-language-apps

Languages: Available for around 45 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Pros: 

  • Huge vocabulary bank covering a variety of topics
  • Repetition-based learning 
  • Ability to skip learned words 

Cons:

  • No grammar explanations or lessons
  • Minimal audio
  • No conversation practice

free language learning apps

Put in your five minutes each day, and watch your vocabulary grow!

Yes, Drops aims to help you learn a language in just five minutes a day.

Drops is based on visual learning, pairing images with words in your target language. This way, you can associate words in your target language with their actual meanings rather than with the English words. And the app has no shortage of words for you to learn. For each language, there are around 1700 organized into 99 topics.

And best of all, all of this is free. If your addiction to Drops is just too great to be contained in five minutes a day, you can subscribe for unlimited learning time, though that could prove dangerous to all your other activities.

See our full review of Drops

9. Best App for Students: Quizlet

Available on: iOS | Android free-language-apps

Languages: Offers audio pronunciations of 18 languages. Custom-made flashcards for any language you want to input.

Pros: 

  • Customizable and shareable flashcard decks
  • “Match” and “gravity” games are entertaining
  • Teacher function allows you to track student or child progress

Cons:

  • Ads can be a distraction
  • Only focuses on vocabulary, not language skills
  • Information made from fellow users could have errors

free language learning apps

Like using flashcards to study? Quizlet is a great way to do so.

With Quizlet, you can create your own flashcards or access existing sets. And Quizlet is well-equipped for language learners since it even offers audio pronunciations of 18 languages.

Paid upgrades remove ads, give you a night theme option, provide offline access options, allow image uploading and enable unlimited classes. There’s a free trial available if you want to check it out.

10. Best Flashcard App: AnkiApp free-language-apps

Available on: iOS | Android

Languages: Custom-made flashcard decks for any language you want to input.

Pros: 

  • Uses Spaced Repetition System (SRS)
  • Customizable decks
  • No-frills open-source language learning program

Cons:

  • No explicit language explanations or tutorials
  • Flashcards inherently lack context
  • May have errors in user-generated and downloaded decks

free language learning apps

A free flashcard app that can sync across your devices? Uh, yes please!

AnkiApp is a free flashcard option that you can download to all your favorite devices. You can save your cards and progress between devices seamlessly.

AnkiApp offers both pre-made flashcards and a do-it-yourself option. You can even use your own photos for a more personal touch.

Plus, you can even study offline. The app will sync up once you’re back online, so your time without Wi-Fi can still be well spent.

See our full review of Anki

11. Best App for Audio Learners: LingQ

Icon image LingQ - Learn 42 languages

Available on: iOS | Android

Languages: 42 languages including English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Portuguese, Swedish, Korean, Dutch, Polish, Greek, Norwegian, Latin, Esperanto, Ukrainian, Czech, Romanian, Arabic, Finnish, Hebrew, and Turkish.

Pros: 

  • 1000s of audio lessons
  • Ability to look up and save new words to your personal database
  • Transcripts included with lessons, podcasts, audiobooks, interviews

Cons:

  • Need a paid subscription for more content
  • No grammar lessons

free language learning apps

LingQ is an app that immerses users in text and audio media in their target language. The app lets you read authentic content like news articles and stories, as well as listen to podcasts, audiobooks and more. 

As you read, you discover “lingQs,” or words that you don’t know yet. Save these lingQs to your flashcard deck and you’ll be able to review them with the app’s SRS program. All audio content comes with a transcript, so you can easily save new vocabulary words from any type of content.

Though most of the content is accessed with a paid subscription, there is some good free beginner content to get you started. 

12. Best App for Native Interactions: HelloTalk

Available on: iOS | Android free-language-apps

Languages: You can talk to native speakers of over 100 languages.

Pros: 

  • Combines language learning and social media
  • Naturally interacting with your target language
  • Built to support language interaction

Cons:

  • No distinct lessons
  • User-led content and interactions can mean errors
  • Conversations tend to stall past the small talk stage

free language learning apps

Sometimes, you just need to chat with a native speaker to improve your language skills, and with HelloTalk, you can chat with a native speaker for free.

HelloTalk provides plenty of communication options. Not only can the app help you find your perfect conversation partner, but it also allows you to text, send voice messages and participate in audio or video calls.

In-app purchases are available to provide you with translation options, remove ads, filter through users by more criteria and learn multiple languages.

See our full review of HelloTalk

13. Best App for Obscure Languages: Tandem

Available on: iOS | Android free-language-apps

Languages: Over 300 languages have been exchanged on the app, from popular choices like Spanish and Chinese to pop culture creations like Klingon and Dothraki.

Pros: 

  • Excellent segue into in-person interactions
  • Substantial accessibility with a free account
  • Speaking partners can be vetted

Cons:

  • Learners can easily be bombarded with messages
  • Exchange partners can be hit or miss
  • Used only for practicing language skills

free language learning apps

Want to start chatting right now? Tandem can hook you up for immediate interaction in your target language.

On Tandem, you can search who’s online right now, message them and start chatting via video, text message, voice message or even picture exchange.

All of the main features are available for free. However, if you want to subscribe, you can also get unlimited translations, opt out of ads and see who looked at your profile.

See our full review of Tandem

14. Best App for Conversation Practice: Lingbe

Available on: iOS | Android free-language-apps

Languages: The app was created for Spanish and English, but other languages are available. 

Pros: 

  • Audio calls with native speakers
  • Can add people as friends
  • Personalized feedback

Cons:

  • Can be nerve-wracking to instantly chat with native speakers
  • Call partners can be hit or miss
  • Used only for practicing

free language learning apps

As long as you’re prepared to put in a little effort, you can use Lingbe to connect with native speakers without spending a cent.

The currency within the app is Lingos, which you can use to purchase practice/exchange sessions and/or special features. If you want to use the app for free, you can earn Lingos by helping other users practice your native language. However, if you’re pinched for time, you can also purchase Lingos.

And Lingbe has plenty of features for your money (or lack thereof). You can chat via audio call with native speakers immediately, making it easy to fit in a little language study whenever you have a few minutes. Plus, after each session, your partner will give you feedback to help you improve your language skills.

15. Best App for Text Translation: Google Translate

Available on: iOS | Android free-language-apps

Languages: Over 100 languages are available and constantly updated. 

Pros: 

  • Quick and easy text translations
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) enabled
  • Constantly updated and improved through learner use

Cons:

  • Machine translations can be inaccurate
  • Not recommended for Asian languages like Japanese and Chinese
  • Lack of context can lead to confusion about correct translations

free language learning apps

Google Translate can be a language learner’s best friend, and it’s entirely free. Thanks, Google, for all you do for us.

The Google Translate app offers instant text translation, the ability to use your camera to translate printed text, audio pronunciations, the option to draw characters and even two-way instant voice translation for holding a conversation.

Features like this are terrific for travel, but they’re also great for language learners. You can check your work, look up unfamiliar words, learn correct pronunciation and more. That’s a lot to get from one free app!

16. Best App for Audio Translation: All Language Translator Free

Available on: Android

Languages: Over 75 languages are available. free-language-apps

Pros: 

  • Translations of text and voice translations
  • Quick audio detection for real-time translations
  • OCR capabilities

Cons:

  • Simply a translation app
  • Can be inaccurate based on accents, context and more

free language learning apps

All Language Translator Free is an app that’s only available for Android, but Android users take note; it has a lot to offer.

You can input text to translate or hear it. Additionally, you can hear audio pronunciations of translations. Want to study a phrase more later? You can favorite it so that you can give it more attention when you have more time.

Plus, the simple interface makes this app quick and easy to use.

Why Try a Free Language App?

  • You have nothing to lose. Since you’re not putting in any money, if you decide you don’t like the app, that’s just fine. The only thing you’ll have spent is the time it takes you to make your decision. For this reason, apps are one of the best and most popular ways to learn languages for free.
  • Free apps offer a wide variety of features. There are plenty of innovative apps on the market offering diverse features, giving you free practice and education on various aspects of your target language.
  • Switch whenever you want. Whether you get bored of an app, run out of a free trial or just want to try something new, you’re not locked into a long-term relationship with any app, so you can switch whenever you want.

How to Get the Most Out of Free Language Apps

Consider using multiple apps.

Free apps work well together or in conjugation with paid apps. You can use a combination of apps to fill different learning needs. For instance, you might pair a paid learning app with a free language exchange app so that you can learn more about the language while also practicing your language skills with native speakers.

Many of the free apps pair quite well with FluentU, an online program that helps you learn languages in context through authentic videos such as movie trailers, music videos and other media clips. These videos are made by and for native speakers, so you can practice your target language and how it’s spoken in the real world.

With unknown words and thick accents, it can be difficult to watch authentic content on your own, but FluentU offers relevant clips tailored to your language level, as well as language tools for added comprehension.

Videos come with interactive subtitles, giving you definitions, example sentences and associated images when you hover over any word. To see a word used in other clips, simply click on the term to access the video dictionary or to add it to a personalized flashcard deck. After each video, you can take a quiz that tests various language skills (including speaking), which can help prepare you for interactions with native speakers.

All FluentU features are available on iOS and Android.

Try as many as you want.

Don’t limit yourself! When apps are free, there’s no reason not to try all you want. That way, you can get a hands-on feel for how each app works and what it has to offer. Then, you can make a well-informed decision about which app(s) you want to keep using.

Take advantage of free trials.

Not all free apps are entirely free. Many paid apps offer free trials, but by all means, take advantage of these. Not only do you get a period of free learning (yay!), you’ll also get to see if the app is valuable enough to be worth spending your hard-earned money on it.

 

Whether you want it totally free or are willing to pay for a more premium product, apps are definitely the way to use new technology to learn a language.

So try out these 16 free language apps today. Better late than never!

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