Language Learning

The best language learning apps

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?

Language learning apps
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Updated 27-5-2024

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

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.

Babbel

Babbel is a big name among language-learning apps. 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.

Duolingo

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…

Duolingo app

Google Translate

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.

Google Translate

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!

Languatalk

Sometimes, you need more than a flashcard app. Languatalk matches learners with language tutors and lets them take part in one-on-one lessons. It’s a great way to learn a new language in an interactive way without having to travel.

The platform has 16 languages available, and you can find tutors for every level of learning. Languatalk also offers a 30-minute trial lesson so you can try it out and see if it’s for you.

Lingoda

If you don’t want your busy schedule to stop you from reaching your language goals, check out online language school Lingoda. They provide live online classes via Zoom, and you can choose whether you want to attend a one-to-one lesson or join a group of up to five other learners.

Currently, Lingoda offer French, German, English, Business English, and Spanish. This selection may be smaller than some other online learning platforms, but all of their materials are designed to adhere to the Common European Framwork of Reference for Languages (CEFR). With a seven-day free trial, you can find out if it suits your learning needs before committing.

Lirica

Looking to learn a language through 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.

Memrise

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!

Mondly

Have fun while learning with Mondly. This language-learning app has over 100 million users studying 41 languages. They combine in-depth grammar tables, topics, and vocabulary with gamification so you can study in an effective, enjoyable way.

One of Mondly’s major advantages is that they offer an immense variety of language combinations, meaning you can study from your native language. A useful option for practical learners.

Preply

Preply is an online learning platform that allows you to filter your search to find online tutors and take lessons at a time that suits you. They offer structured learning in over 120 subjects, including numerous languages. So whether you want to learn Spanish, Korean, Khmer, or JavaScript, Preply has a tutor for you.

If you teach a language, you can also sign up and grow your business with new students.

Rosetta Stone

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.

Tandem

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.

Tandem screenshot