6 Best Apps for Learning a Language

Cloud computing and mobility conceptThere is a huge market today for apps that enhance the language learning process or provide a complete structure to start communicating with others. Some are mere scams to make a quick buck for their producers, but many apps in circulation dispense quality learning experiences for little to no cost. The following six apps are some of the best you can use to help master a foreign language, or brush up on ones you already know:


Consistently one of the best supported language apps out there, Duolingo can also tout one of the biggest and most helpful communities out there. On the learning side, the app forgoes basic techniques like memorization and instead strives for immediate immersion. Each of their growing catalog of available languages comes with lesson plans based around audiovisual clues, speaking segments, and translations. You’ll pick up skills quickly without even realizing it because each lesson feels like a game, down to the hearts and experience points that gauge your progress. Duolingo offers additional experience by offering articles on their website for people to translate, with communal support.


Flash card app Memrise favors visual learners, using cartoons and pictures alongside terms. The app further encourages practice by pairing words with useful phrases, which supports memorization and gives people scripts to help them speak on the fly. Each lesson is punctuated by a quiz, to help learners retain what they’ve picked up.


While not free, for eleven bucks a month users are given access to a variety of language apps in numerous languages. Through Babbel, you’ll be able to set up your own learning goals and landmarks, either focusing your attention on a specific usage or working to become a broad speaker. Babbel uses repetition and context to drive up your rate of retention.

Living Language

Random House’s Living Language series combines numerous apps and languages into one streamlined interface to challenge students with engaging variety. You can buy courses or complete lesson plans as needed, without a subscription. The Living Language courses help novice and experienced users alike with lessons, games, and tests, and offer languages that are hard to find elsewhere.


Including one of the best digital programs for learning Mandarin Chinese, Brainscape’s language lessons are of the finest quality available for a one-time fee per language. Brainscape offers lesson plans, tests, flash cards, and rates your individual skills in an easy to understand manner.


FluentU is unique in that rather than straight lessons, it takes media such as commercials, news, and music videos and turns them into learning experiences. FluentU gives learners a chance to discover language in the real world so they can understand how it is really spoken. The app provides translations and hints on viewed content, and quizzes students on what they’ve seen and heard.