Learning a new language in the classroom is the best way to work on your conversational skills, but a wide array of language learning apps are helping millions of expats acquire the local lingo with ease. What are the best apps to learn a new language?
Ever dreamed of writing French poetry? Or maybe you simply want to open a bank account in Dutch? Whatever you want to do, learning the local language can make your move abroad much more rewarding. But while some of us will choose lessons, others will prefer the flexibility of app-based learning. Here are some of the best language learning apps on the market:
Lingoda is an innovative online language school that brings native speaking teachers into your living room. Their learning platform will ensure you’re speaking like a local before you know it. Whether you're learning for business or pleasure, simply choose the right time and ability level for you and join one of Lingoda’s classes from the comfort of your home.
With over 300 million users, Duolingo is the most popular language learning app in the world – and it’s easy to see why. With its bright and easy-to-use interface, Duolingo makes language learning addictive. There are 90 courses available in 22 languages, all the way from Spanish to Game of Thrones‘ High Valyrian. Yes, you read that right. Just remember to practice – otherwise the app mascot Duo will be on hand with some reminders…
Mindsnacks take the gamification of language learning to the next level. Choose from the seven languages available and get ready to improve your skills through a variety of games and challenges. Track your progress as you move through gaming levels that test your vocabulary, grammar, and listening skills. Bright and colorful, Mindsnacks the perfect language learning app for all ages.
Rosetta Stone has been one of the biggest names in language learning for over 25 years – and unsurprisingly has now branched out into app-based learning. Choose from 24 languages and set up your own targets and goals as you move through a series of challenges. Short 10-minute lessons are available online or offline. Most features are accessed only via subscription – so it’s perfect if you’re serious about language learning.
As an expat, you probably use Google translate a lot. But did you know there’s a mobile app, too? As well as translating text between 103 languages, you can also listen to pronunciations to help you get it right with the locals. And that’s not all. With the app you can even instantly translate text simply by pointing your phone’s camera at it. As well as helping you learn, this means you’ll never have to misread a sign or a menu again!
Are you a visual learner? Memrise might be the language learning app for you. Using flashcard-type images and various challenges, you’ll slowly start building up useful phrases and sentences. Memrise also has an extensive online community, and a lot of the app’s content is user generated. So, when you feel confident enough, you’ll be able to share your creations with the whole world!
Another big name in the language learning app market is Babbel. With a minimalist interface and bite-size chunks of information, Babbel is easy to get to grips with if you’re starting from scratch. You can also choose to go at your own pace – ideal if you’re progressing well! Most features and lessons are subscription-based, but Babbel lets you try out one lesson of every language for free.
When it comes to language learning, practice makes perfect. But finding the time to practice can be difficult. That’s where Tandem comes into its own. Language exchange app Tandem connects you with a global online community of learners. Through messages, calls and even video chats, you’ll be able to practice your skills when it suits you while making new friends around the world.
Do you learn by listening to music? Then Lirica might be the app for you! Lirica helps you pick up the local language using the lyrics of your favorite artists. The app is currently only available in Spanish, which means you can choose from your favorite Latin artists. With the help of singers like Julieta Venegas and Maluma, you’ll be able to master Spanish while listening to all the hottest hits.