The Best Language Learning Apps to Broaden Your Communication Skills

December 11, 2020 • April Miller

If you’ve ever traveled to a foreign country or tried to speak to someone who speaks a language other than the one you know, you’re well aware that it can feel mutually frustrating. Fortunately, the internet is a fantastic resource for some of the best language apps that can help you become multilingual and feel confident in your new abilities. 

1. Memrise

Memrise is a flashcard-based app that’s perfect for busy people who want quick ways to learn phrases and sentences throughout their days. The content is not language-exclusive, but you may be surprised at the extensiveness of what it offers. There are sections for Chinese and Native American dialects, whereas many other apps don’t get as specific. 

Keep in mind that most flashcard sets come from users, so they may not have error-free material. On the other hand, many people add memes and quotes to the cards to aid in retention. 

Android | iOS

2. Duolingo

Something that makes Duolingo stand out among the best language learning apps is the vast amount of free content. There is a premium tier, but you can access all the lessons and levels without paying anything. The paid material mainly relates to option practice quizzes and unlimited hearts, which are like “lives” in the app. 

The app version of Duolingo requires periodically watching short ads, but using the mobile desktop option on a phone is advertisement-free. You’ll learn to read and write phrases, match new words with their English equivalents and improve listening skills. 

Android | iOS

3. Mango Languages

People who want to immerse themselves in conversations should check out Mango Languages. This resource exposes learners to the modules by having them listen to native speakers conversing together. Next, the tool breaks down each phrase and encourages people to listen and repeat. 

You’ll also get clarifications of differences between literal and understood meanings. Mango Languages has cultural tidbits too. That addition makes it one of the best language learning apps for broadening your knowledge beyond speaking, reading and writing. 

Android | iOS

4. Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone teaches people through an immersion method that aims to get them speaking and understanding a new way of communicating as quickly as possible. One of the perks associated with this app is that you can get pronunciation feedback. That’s crucial, especially since it’s hard for many learners to catch how they make mistakes. 

You can also attend live lectures from experts. Having that kind of real-time, high-quality content could keep you more motivated, even while encountering challenges. 

Android | iOS

5. Babbel

There’s no need to spend hours per day with the best language learning apps to make progress. Babbel proves that with modules that take 15 minutes or less to complete.  

Use the speech-recognition technology to perfect how you say words and phrases. Try the review feature to go back over previously learned stuff and help it stay in your memory. It’s also helpful that the example conversations relate to real-life situations, such as meeting new people or traveling for business.

Android | iOS

6. Lingbe

Language learners often mention how it’d be easier to gain skills if native speakers gave them quick feedback on their language efforts. Lingbe does that by providing opportunities to engage in real-time voice calls or text chats with people who are ready to help educate people who are learning. 

Users say the interface is straightforward, and they appreciate the options to connect with speakers. Lingbe also gives you the chance to make friends from around the world. If you enjoy a conversation with a particular person, and the speaker feels the same way, it can become a repeat activity.  

Android | iOS

7. LingoTube

You’re probably already an avid YouTube user, so why not spend some of your time with content from that site to expand your language comprehension skills? LingoTube is a YouTube supplement that helps you find foreign language videos with subtitles. You can then stream the video while reading them to get simultaneous audio and visual content. 

Using LingoTube still provides access to all of YouTube’s features but provides others that are exceptionally helpful to learners. For example, there are translation and dictionary features from third-party app partners, plus the option to slow down the playback speed. 

Android | (iOS app in development)

8. Beelinguapp

Remember the books you used in high school that showed a Shakespeare play alongside a modern English translation for improved understanding? Beelinguapp works similarly by showing you a foreign language piece — ranging from a fairy tale to a news article — with the English translation directly underneath.

Highlighting makes it easier to follow along in the text. Besides reading the words, you can choose to have a native speaker speak them aloud. The audio keeps playing even after you turn off your phone’s screen. 

Android | iOS

The Best Language Learning Apps to Suit Your Educational Preferences

People like to dive into new languages in different ways. Some want to go through lessons, while others choose to watch videos. No matter what’s best for you, the choices on this list will introduce you to new content that supports your quest to speak in another tongue.

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