Being able to speak another language is an invaluable asset. If you start young, learning a new language can be a piece of cake! But, that doesn’t mean to say you can’t still study a new lingo when you grow up.
Whether you’re still at school or fancy learning another language in your spare time, there’s an app to help you out. Here are our favourites that’ll have you sounding like a native speaker in no time!
Duolingo is one of the most well-known and popular language learning apps, with modules divided by topic (e.g. food and drink) as well as grammatical subjects. The app is completely free and turns your studies into a game, encouraging you to return with cyber rewards.
Interpret audio and text at a speed that suits you and interact with your studies in a range of ways by answering questions with a mix of typing and speaking aloud. Duolingo’s courses are often developed by native speakers, giving you a rich variety of languages to select from.
With content for beginners and advanced learners, Babbel categorises its courses by style of learning (e.g. speaking or typing) and study topic such as spelling. This well-rounded app also gives the user insight into the different cultures associated with the originating countries of languages.
Courses are split into study sessions that typically last around 10 minutes. Like its name suggests, many have found Babbel to be a great app to prepare for real life conversation through activities like speaking aloud for pronunciation practice and filling in blank words in sentences. An added benefit of this app is that lessons are downloadable so you can learn while your phone is offline!
If you’re a fan of the unconventional, Memrise might be exactly the app you’re looking for. With a narrative that places the user as a visitor on a foreign planet, this app relates the sounds of new words to those of your everyday language to build your vocabulary and help you remember pronunciation. At certain increments, native speakers will appear on screen so you have an accurate example of how to say certain words.
Busuu offers useful travel courses for learners that want to pick up essential phrases before heading abroad. A number of users have found that Busuu is the ideal app to aid communication while already travelling around a new country. This app allows you to chat with native speakers and have them correct you in real time, and you can earn points by doing the same for another user. Pay it forward with a free-to-download language app!
Traditional learning apps aren’t everybody’s cup of tea and Tandem breaks the mould by pairing you with a study buddy to facilitate conversation with native speakers from around the globe. It’s like having a very vivid pen pal that isn’t afraid to correct your grammar. The app’s goal is to help both users learn each other’s language through communication via audio and video chat as well as text.
After Tandem ensures you’re up to the task, it pairs you with another user that shares your interests. Users can then arrange times to talk and pick topics to help begin conversation; there’s even integrated tools to assist you in evaluating each other’s posts. If you fancy it, you can even pay for a session with a qualified teacher and go over language areas of most interest to you.
These are just a handful of useful apps on the market. The best one for you really depends on what type of learner you are or how you feel you’d best absorb new information, whether you’re looking for traditional or less conventional learning tools and also whether you’d prefer a crash course or a more comprehensive experience.
Ciao, aloha, bon voyage, arrivederci and happy learning!