hand holding five foreign language flashcards against yellow background

The 10 Best Flashcard Apps for Languages [Updated for 2024]

You may think flashcards are “old school,” but they’re neither dull nor dated.

Flashcard apps are a language learner’s best friend, because they work.

They’re designed for fast learning by presenting bites of easily memorized information. And growing vocabulary is a snap with flashcards, since they incorporate spaced repetition.

But what is your best flashcard app for languages? That depends on what you’re looking for.

In this post, we’ll explore 10 of the best foreign language learning flashcard apps for easily expanding your vocabulary according to your specific learning needs.


1. Best Overall: Anki anki

Available on: iOS | Android

Summary: Anki can be used to memorize sets of vocabulary, grammar rules, important phrases, pronunciations and more.

Anki is the Japanese word for “memorization,” which is exactly what this program is for.

It’s media-friendly and can support clips, images, videos and sounds.

There’s a feature where you can download flashcard decks created by other learners, too. This is helpful if you want to study large vocabulary lists (such as the most common 2,000 words) or grammar points without having to manually create the cards yourself.

And because it’s open source, you can customize the features to suit your learning style perfectly.

If you opt for this app, we have an in-depth guide on how to use Anki here.

2. Best for Authentic Language Material: FluentU

Available on: iOSAndroid

Summary: FluentU transforms authentic audiovisual material into language learning lessons customized for you.

You can hover over or click on any word in each video to see an interactive flashcard.

The flashcards include the word’s definition, an associated image, audio pronunciation, grammar notes, example sentences with audio readings and clips from other FluentU videos where the word appears.

The definitions help you learn words in-context, since they’re not just the dictionary translations. Instead, FluentU shows you the most relevant translation to the video you were watching.

After clicking on a word, it’s added to a flashcard deck and you can take personalized quizzes to test your recall after the video has ended.

The flashcard program also uses a spaced repetition system, so all your flashcards are presented to you in optimal order and at appropriate intervals for long-term memory.

3. Most User-friendly: Lingvist lingvist

Available on: iOS | Android

Summary: Using the Lingvist app is a straightforward way to increase your vocabulary in a target language.

Looking to enhance your core vocabulary? Lingvist has you covered!

There are no bells or whistles to this app, but it’s a solid option that’s beneficial for any language program.

The how-to features are clear and uncomplicated, so users can easily navigate through all areas of the app.

Flashcards feature example sentences to help you see words and phrases in context. Audio pronunciations help you effectively model native speech.

Tracking progress is also streamlined. The graphics clearly show where you’ve been and how quickly you’re moving ahead, and placement tests help measure progress.

To explore Lingvist in more depth, check out our full Lingvist review here.

4. Best Gamified Flashcard App: Dropsdrops

Available on: iOSAndroid

Summary: Drops adds a gaming feel to using flashcards for language learning.

Drops makes use of cool visuals to facilitate language learning. The screens are bright and the illustrations are fun.

Several languages are offered, including some that aren’t always easy to locate study material for, like Icelandic, Maori, Samoan and Vietnamese.

The app offers more than flashcards. The learning program itself is broken into 5-minute learning sessions, which the developers believe encourage users to tap in. After all, everyone has five minutes to spare, so you can’t really use the “I don’t have time” excuse!

The program is also fully visual. Words and phrases are illustrated, so there’s never any confusion about what a vocabulary word means.

There’s also no keyboarding with this app—it’s all swipes and taps to get the job done. Wonderfully engaging, this is an exciting way to acquire a language.

Check out our in-depth Drops review here if you want to read more.

5. Best for Readymade Flashcards: Quizlet quizlet

Available on: iOSAndroid

Summary: Quizlet allows you to choose from flashcards already available on the site or create your own sets.

There’s a wide variety of features available on Quizlet.

The flashcards are always available to fill up any extra downtime. Personally, this app has eliminated what feels like hundreds of hours sitting in waiting rooms and standing in long lines!

Quizlet’s flashcards are fun to use. They turn vocabulary memorization into a game by showing learners how they’re progressing. For some of us, that brings out the drive to do better with each draw of the cards!

Audio features provide the correct pronunciation of words and phrases. Game functions let learners test their memorization skills. Learners can also play the “Match” game—a beat-the-clock memory quiz!

Flashcards can be shared with other language learners. Since this also works with words uploaded by individual learners, the potential for learning idioms, regional expressions and even unique phrases is excellent!

6. Best for Supplementing Language Studies: Brainscape brainscape

Available on: iOSAndroid

Summary: The Brainscape app allows users to perform a wide variety of language learning tasks.

The Brainscape flashcard app really checks all the boxes on learning foreign language vocabulary quickly and easily.

The app is formatted clearly and is an absolute pleasure to use.

You can use the app’s flashcards or create your own. The material already available on the app comes from publishers, educators and other learners.

The flashcard decks are shareable, and users can work together to develop highly customized content. So, if you’re part of a group planning a culinary tour across the globe, you could collectively compile flashcards that feature food-related vocabulary!

Learners can set goals, track progress, shuffle cards, choose specific deck categories to study, etc. This is an app that definitely enhances a language-learning program so well that I found myself looking forward to using it!

7. Best for Structured Study: Cram cram

Available on: iOSAndroid

Summary: Cram has multiple study modes depending on whether you download the app for iOS or Android, so there’s a lot happening with it.

The Cram flashcard app is a versatile vocabulary building tool that has enough options to keep learning fast and fun.

Card mode brings up a full set of cards for review, while cram mode introduces spaced repetition into the flashcard decks.

Memorize mode removes vocabulary that the learner is familiar with, showing only content that still needs to be mastered.

Lastly, game mode brings a bit of gaming to learning vocabulary with flashcards!

The app keeps track of flashcard decks that learners are currently using and separates them into self-created decks, favorite decks and the decks studied most often.

All in all, this flashcard app is a great way to almost effortlessly get some extra vocabulary work into a language program.

8. Best for Visual Learners: DuoCards duocards

Available on: iOS | Android

Summary: DuoCards combines the usual flashcard features with video language courses.

Like many other flashcard apps, DuoCards allows you to create your own decks from scratch. It also utilizes SRS to help you retain the new vocab you’ve studied.

In addition, it allows you to save words based on transcripts of videos you’ve watched on the app. You can also do the same with written text from articles you’re reading while using the app.

If creating your own cards feels like too much work, you can also borrow from decks created by other users.

There’s also a built-in translator to further facilitate your language studies.

9. Most Flexible Flashcard App: Memrise

memrise Available on: iOS | Android

Summary: Even if you’re only using the free version, Memrise is packed with features that can move you along your language learning journey—and that’s not accounting for how customizable it is.

Memrise’s flashcard system is very straightforward. Each of the words and phrases for your target language has its own flashcard, and you master them via repetition (i.e. SRS).

If you prefer a more structured approach to your language studies, the app also offers courses in 23 languages. These courses utilize authentic native audio and video files on top of their core flashcards.

You could also borrow decks from other users, which may also include languages that don’t come with Memrise’s “official” package such as Afrikaans, Swahili, etc.

Read our full Memrise review here.

10. Best for Fill-in-the-blanks Exercises: Clozemaster

clozemasterAvailable on: iOS | Android

Summary: True to its name, Clozemaster does only one thing, and does that one thing really well—fill-in-the-blanks exercises for language learners.

If you enjoyed doing fill-in-the-blanks exercises in school, Clozemaster will whet your appetite—and then some.

The app will throw sentences at you with blanked-out words, and all you have to do is choose the right word from the options.

Note that this app assumes you already have a working knowledge of your target language. In other words, it’s better to treat it as a supplement to your other language learning materials, rather than an independent study tool by itself.

I know I’m making it sound like a one-trick tool, but it’s also relatively customizable. You can choose to listen to sentences at varying speeds, pull up a dictionary for the words you’re learning and pick from varying difficulty levels, among others.

Check out this complete Clozemaster review.


Did you manage to find the best flashcard app for languages on this list?

Flashcards have grown up, too. They’re not just for children anymore.

Flashcard apps are perfect for language learning at any age!

Learning a new language should be entertaining, and flashcards are lots of fun. Download one or more of these apps to maximize your learning time, enhance your core vocabulary and turn study time into playtime!

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