We have selected the best applications for learning languages among the thousands of proposals because they are now on the net and which transform the mobile phone into a very powerful learning tool.
Like practically all human activities, learning a new language has also undergone great changes in recent years thanks to the arrival of technology and, in particular, useful tools such as apps and web platforms.
A traditional course is the best solution to obtain professional results and in-depth knowledge. But if it’s not for you and you need simpler, more immediate, and accessible tools that integrate into your hectic days in a few minutes, you should consider the applications we will discuss.
These are mainly so-called freemium apps, i.e., which provide partly free and partly paid access, with the subscription of different types of subscriptions.
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Two aspects make this app one of the most interesting out there: the first is its ability to adapt to the individual needs of each student. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or already have good language knowledge. After an initial test, Duolingo can identify your level to determine where to start. You start with the alphabet and basic phrases and work your way up to more complex and advanced conversations.
Another strong point is the teaching method: not static and theoretical, but interactive and engaging.
There are written and oral quizzes, pronunciation exercises, games, and small simulated conversations to practice language skills in a fun way. It offers the opportunity to learn more than 30 languages for free, including English, French, Spanish, and German. For those wishing to access the premium services, Duolingo Plus, there is an annual subscription for €87.99, which translates into €7.34 per month.
Memrise offers the opportunity to learn several languages for free, including Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, and Japanese, in addition to the more traditional ones such as English and German.
Initially, it will ask when you want to be notified to take time to learn and how many words you want to learn each day out of 5, 10, or 15.
Through videos of real people, you can acquire meanings, pronunciation, and correct writing of expressions and words useful in everyday life, for example, when traveling.
In the Explore section, you can choose which topics to focus on, such as phrases to introduce yourself or to interact in shops or at work.
Memrise, similar to Duolingo, also works in levels and is suitable for beginners or people with advanced knowledge. The annual subscription costs 67.98 euros, while the monthly one requires 10.99 euros; for a one-off purchase, valid forever, it takes 149.99 euros.
Hello, Talk is a little different app. It’s not so much a language study path, but it aims to connect people worldwide to learn by speaking through free chats and video calls. It allows you to practice 150 languages thanks to the exchange of interactions with approximately 30 million native speakers worldwide.
By clicking on Connect, you will see the people available for exchange, and by entering their profile, you will be able to find out more, such as interests and origin, to find a first foothold for conversation. Clicking on Say Hello at the bottom will start the chat.
In the other sections, you will find more structured courses, live ones to follow, and opportunities to build communities. The VIP option costs 3.33 euros monthly if you subscribe to the annual plan.
Drops is a useful and simple app for learning new words and enriching your vocabulary in another language. In the free version, for 5 minutes a day, you can challenge yourself by listening to audio recordings, dragging images to match vocabulary terms, and placing word pieces in the correct order.
You won’t improve your grammar or conversation so much, but with Drops, starting from a good level of knowledge of the language, you’ll be able to receive new ideas every day to expand the number of words you know. To buy Drops one-off, you need 145.32 euros; for the annual payment, 63.57 euros; for those who want a monthly payment cadence, the figure is 11.81 euros per month.
This language-learning app is still different from the others. It is based on mutual aid between people worldwide and is organized as a social network.
Everyone can communicate with each other, and the peculiarity lies in its Q&A mode: within HiNative, you can ask questions to ask a native speaker directly, for example, what a certain word means, how it is pronounced, and explore questions related to the culture of the country of the language you wish to study.
To learn new languages, don’t forget to use music, perhaps translate your favorite songs’ lyrics, and try watching TV series and films and reading books in the original language. These little tricks will help you, together with the apps, keep your mind active and trained. You just have to try! The paid version costs 10.15 euros a month.