Want to create your own world using nothing but 3D blocks? There’s a game for that.
Want to help a plumber rescue a princess? There’s a game for that.
Want to smash cute candies into smithereens? Yeah, there’s a really addictive game for that, too.
Looking to improve your language skills? Game on!
With so many cool video games out there, it’s no wonder that language learners have gotten in on the gaming trend.
After all, playing games—anything from board games to party games—is one of the best ways to learn a language.
Foreign language games can provide you with a fun study break while you’re still studying.
It should come as no surprise that, of the many popular apps out there, some of the most exciting options for foreign language learners are game apps.
Foreign language game apps pack a lot of learning into fun games that you’ll want to keep coming back to. You’ll hardly even notice you’re learning until you see your skills improve.
So, give these seven fun game apps a try and level up your language skills!
How to Get the Most Out of a Language Learning Game App
To get the most out of game-based language learning apps, it’s helpful to use them in addition to other learning options. Game apps are wonderful for additional practice and reinforcement of skills, but when used alone, you may miss out on valuable grammar rules and other skills. Pairing game apps with more structured or formal learning materials provides a well-rounded learning experience that fuses conventional study with fun practice. It’s the best of both worlds!
It’s also helpful to use game apps to break up conventional learning methods. If you study for too long in a stretch, you may get a sort of “learner’s fatigue.” Studying for long periods of time is exhausting, and all the material can start to blur together. However, playing games is a good way to break up conventional studying while still keeping the learning train on the tracks. Plus, games will help you look at words you may already know with fresh eyes—and in a whole new context—which will make them more memorable.
Another key to success with game apps is to find a learning game you really enjoy. If your language learning game app is as addictive as Candy Crush, you’ll never forget language practice again.
7 Language Learning Game Apps That Play to Your Strengths
Before you dive into these awesome game apps, we have a bonus for you: FluentU! FluentU gamifies the learning process by pairing it with entertaining videos and fun quizzes that adapt to your learning progress.
With FluentU, you hear languages in real-world contexts—the way that native speakers actually use them. Just a quick look will give you an idea of the variety of FluentU videos on offer:
FluentU really takes the grunt work out of learning languages, leaving you with nothing but engaging, effective and efficient learning. It’s already hand-picked the best videos for you and organized them by level and topic. All you have to do is choose any video that strikes your fancy to get started!
Each word in the interactive captions comes with a definition, audio, image, example sentences and more.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and easily review words and phrases from the video under Vocab.
You can use FluentU’s unique adaptive quizzes to learn the vocabulary and phrases from the video through fun questions and exercises. Just swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you're studying.
The program even keeps track of what you’re learning and tells you exactly when it’s time for review, giving you a 100% personalized experience.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes store or Google Play store.
Available: iOS | Android
If you’re looking to build your vocabulary quickly and painlessly, look no further than Lingio!
The Lingio app features 12,000 words organized into 300 topics. Since the words are organized thematically, it’s easy to choose an area in which you want to build your vocabulary and start learning more.
The app features audio along with written words to ensure that both your spelling and your pronunciation are on point.
A variety of games, tests, quizzes and flashcards encourage you to learn words and perfect your spelling. Plus, there’s a lot of incentive to keep you motivated. Games are scored, and some pit you against the clock. As you succeed in games, you can also level up. A competitive streak will definitely keep you motivated, even if you’re just competing against yourself.
With three difficulty levels, Lingio is appropriate for any level of language learner, and it’s free to download!
At the moment, Lingio offers English, Spanish, French, German, Swedish, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic and Farsi/Persian.
Available: iOS | Android
Learning vocabulary without any interference from your native language is a helpful way to learn the actual meanings of words rather than merely translating between languages.
If this is the kind of learning you’re after, Lango is a great game app for you.
The various Lango apps for different languages all feature photo-based games. You’ll be shown a selection of photos along with a word in your target language. Then, all you have to do is select the image that corresponds to that word. This will allow you to immerse yourself in your target language without having to lean on your native language for support. Along the way, you’ll also improve your spelling, build your vocabulary and memorize noun genders.
Lango offers English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Czech, Polish, Russian, Italian and Portuguese.
The initial app is free to download with in-app purchases available to unlock additional material.
Available: iOS | Android
Word games are fun in any language. That’s a fact.
And the WordUp! app offers a fun word game that will help you build your vocabulary in any foreign language.
You’ll be presented with a grid of letters and a blank space in which to spell a word. It’s up to you to figure out which combination of letters makes a word that’s the correct length!
There are three levels, so the app is appropriate for beginning through advanced students.
If you like the WordUp! app but need more word games, you might also try FlashAcademy (available for iOS or Android) from the makers of the WordUp! app. The FlashAcademy app contains additional games, including quick-fire word games and matching activities.
WordUp! and FlashAcademy both offer Spanish, French, German and Italian.
The apps are free to download with additional in-app purchases to unlock more material.
Available: iOS | Android
Sometimes, you just want to feel like a kid again. StudyCat has you covered on this one.
While StudyCat apps are designed for children ages 3 to 10, they’re also fun for beginning language students.
StudyCat apps offer an array of colorful learning games and activities. In total, there are six different games per lesson. These games are quite varied, including mazes, matching games, spelling games, coloring activities, whac-a-mole style arcade games and so much more. These games will teach you basic vocabulary like colors, numbers, animals and the like. Plus, since there’s such a huge assortment of games, you’ll never get bored!
StudyCat offers English, Spanish, French, German and Chinese.
Apps are free to download with in-app purchases to unlock additional material.
Overpass Apps’ Bubble Bath Games
Available: iOS | Android
Who doesn’t enjoy a good bubble bath?
Overpass Apps’ Bubble Bath games might not be quite as soothing, but they certainly provide more language education than your standard bubble bath (and bonus: no finger pruning).
Each app has over 600 words divided into over 60 themed categories. These include useful phrases, verbs, numbers and more. The goal of the game is to pop the bubble with the correct word. As you play in each category, the levels get more and more difficult as more and more options are presented. Additionally, some levels contain only audio while others contain only printed words. This way, you won’t inadvertently lean on just reading or just listening.
Overpass Apps’ offers its Bubble Bath game in dozens of popular languages in addition to less common options like Somali and Bengali.
Apps are free to download with in-app purchases available to unlock additional content.
MindSnacks is the perfect app to feed a language-hungry mind.
Each MindSnacks app offers nine fun games, including balloon games, spelling games and more. While most language game apps focus on building vocabulary, the MindSnacks apps focus on building both vocabulary and conversational skills. Sure, you’ll learn over 1,000 vocabulary words, but you’ll also learn how to conjugate verbs. With upgrades, there are a total of 50 lessons and up to 40 hours of material designed by Ivy League instructors.
MindSnacks offers apps for beginning to intermediate Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese learners.
The apps are free to download but require additional in-app purchases to unlock the full array of games and lessons.
Everything is more fun with friends, so why not try learning a language with friends?
QuickLearnr is a language game app that allows you to play against friends and other learners around the world. The game offers rankings and special achievements, which are great motivation for competitive learners.
This app focuses on teaching and reinforcing vocabulary words. You’ll be shown an image and need to identify the associated word. The game offers voice recognition, so you actually say the word into the app, getting valuable pronunciation practice along the way. A personal dictionary also tracks your progress to help you see which words you’ve mastered and which words you need to study more.
QuickLearnr is available for English, Spanish, French and Italian learners.
The QuickLearnr app is totally free to download.
Don’t get pwned by lackluster apps that don’t improve your language skills.
Upgrade your fluency with these enjoyable language learning game apps!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn languages with real-world videos.