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10 Duolingo Alternatives with a Similar Gamified Approach

If you love Duolingo, chances are you can’t get enough of it. It’s one of the more popular language apps for a reason.

Sometimes, though, it’s nice to branch out. Innovative language learning apps keep things fresh and even translation apps get in on the act with some quick language help.

Luckily, there’s a way to try new apps without leaving what you love best about Duolingo behind. 

Here are ten apps like Duolingo that will help you on your journey to fluency.


1. Anki

Available: iOS | Android

Can an advanced algorithm speed up your learning?

Anki developers think so, and they’ve employed that advanced algorithm to determine how well you recognize each flashcard and prioritize them for you.

Anki offers you the option of creating your own flashcard sets or selecting from pre-made sets. With over 80 million pre-made flashcards, you should have plenty to choose from.

Study sessions are quick (a minute or less), so it’s easy to cram Anki into even the busiest schedule. Plus, your progress is displayed after each session, allowing you to see and assess your progress.

Since you can create your own cards, Anki works with any language you might want to learn. With so many existing cards available, there’s also a strong chance that someone has already made cards for your target language.

2. FluentU

Available: iOS | Android

FluentU uses short, culturally-relevant videos as the starting point for all of its language lessons. The material is all made by and for native speakers, including content like clips from TV shows, music videos, vlogs and news reports.

The lessons are sorted by learner level, video format, and subject matter. Every video has interactive subtitles that let you replay individual phrases, which is similar to the Duolingo “Stories” feature.

After each video, you can take a review quiz that includes multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank exercises. The quizzes on the app also have speaking questions to help you practice pronunciation with using speech recognition.

Available languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese

3. Brainscape

Available: iOS | Android

Brainscape applies cognitive science research to its flashcards. You can’t argue with that.

Using spaced repetition, Brainscape exposes you to each flashcard at set intervals for efficient learning.

If you choose to create your own flashcards, you can upload media like images and sounds for a more immersive learning experience

Plus, Brainscape can be synced between devices so it’s easy to study wherever you are. You can even make Brainscape social by giving people editing privileges for your flashcard sets.

Brainscape lets you create your own flashcards, so it works with any language. However, there are also plenty of existing sets for common languages and even some sets for less common languages.

4. Drops Logo for Drops app

Available: iOS | Android

Drops features game-like language lessons that make studying vocabulary simple and fun.

The app allows learners to grow their vocabulary across a range of levels, using a professionally curated vocabulary list with custom illustrations for each word to make remembering them much easier. While learning, users can track their progress and receive rewards.

There is a huge range of languages to choose from, making it a popular option among many language learners.

Check out our full review here.

Available languages: Galician, Irish, Korean, Japanese, English, Hebrew, German, French, Russian, Icelandic, Arabic, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Portuguese, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Bosnian, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, Hawaiian, Hindi, Igbo, Indonesian, Maori, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Samoan, Serbian, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, Yoruba, Ainu, Ukrainian, Romanian

5. Busuu busuu-logo

Available: iOS | Android

Busuu prepares you for real-world conversations using tasks that build your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. The app features video flashcards that include real people which will help you prepare for everyday interactions.

Busuu also has an interactive community, which means that you can receive corrections and feedback from native speakers across the world.

The short lessons available on the app make it easy to fit language learning into your daily routine.

Check out our full review here.

Available languages: English, Spanish, Japanese, French, German, Korean, Italian, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Turkish, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish

6. Lingvist lingvist review

Available: iOS | Android

Lingvist bills itself as “the fastest way to learn French, Spanish, German and other languages.”

And, in fact, Lingvist is built on strong principles that are likely to speed up your learning. For instance, it focuses on teaching you words that are commonly used. Additionally, an algorithm tracks your learning and the system adapts to suit you so that you don’t waste time studying material you already know.

Lingvist also allows you to track your learning to ensure you’re getting the speedy results you crave.

Check out our full review here.

Available languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Russian


Available: Android

Have only a few minutes a day to dedicate to language learning? has options for you!

While this company might specialize in finding quality study abroad language courses for clients, they also have some killer resources for those who are conducting their language studies from their phone or computer.

Their app is designed to be used for 10 minutes a day. If you can’t spare that, though, this app also has a listening-only option you can use while driving, cooking, showering, etc. also offers a sleep learning function to reinforce vocabulary as you sleep.

Each language has approximately 10,000 words with images and audio pronunciation. If that’s not enough, you can also add your own vocabulary words. works offline also, so you can even use it without burning data.

Available languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Turkish, Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, Hindi, Bengali, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian

8. Babbel Logo for Babbel

Available: iOS | Android

Babbel provides short language lessons for a range of languages so you can easily fit studying into your day. Lessons cover a range of important topics including work, travel and more.

You’re also able to practice your pronunciation using speech recognition, as well as improve listening, writing and reading skills using the different review features on the app.

If you want to easily study on the go, Babbel also has an offline feature which means you can download lessons to work through at any time.

Check out our full review here.

Available languages: French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Polish, Danish, Swedish, Indonesian, Norwegian

9. LingoDeer Logo for LingoDeer

Available: iOS | Android

Lingodeer uses a grammar-based curriculum to teach you the basics of a range of languages. Each lesson is comprised of different types of quizzes and games, such as fill-in-the-blank exercises, and vocabulary matching tests.

For each grammar point, there are study notes provided to make understanding the new content easier. You are also able to go over the vocabulary and grammar you’ve already learned in review exercises.

You can also adjust aspects of the app’s appearance, including the text size and background color.

Check out our full review here.

Available languages: Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Vietnamese

10. Memrise memrise-vs-duolingo

Available: iOS | Android

Based on science, Memrise is designed to help you learn a language efficiently.

The app incorporates games and 30,000 videos by native speakers. Plus, there are chatbots that give you conversational practice without the intimidation factor of interacting with a native speaker.

Memrise also offers an offline mode to save your precious data.

Check out our full review here.

Available languages: Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Russian, Polish, Turkish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean


Loving Duolingo doesn’t mean your relationship has to be exclusive. Give one of these apps like Duolingo a try!

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