10 Best Language Learning Apps

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Written By Francesca Stephens

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

With a variety of language apps on the market, learning a new language has never been easier.

Language apps are very practical and affordable, and they became a huge hit, especially in the last few years.

However, learning a new language (vastly different than your native one) is not an easy task. Despite what some apps claim, significant progress doesn’t happen overnight.

And that’s perfectly fine. Gaining any new skill requires patience and persistence.

On the other hand, the top language learning apps use innovative technology and modern study tools to make your learning process easier and more productive.

You’ll see what we’re talking about in a second. For today’s article, we’ve rounded up the 10 best language learning apps.

Each application on our list is made for a specific type of learner. But all of them have something in common: they are popular, reliable, and efficient.

10 Best Language Learning Apps

1. Rocket Languages

Rocket Languages App

It’s not easy to pick the absolute best language app, but Rocket Languages is definitely one of the candidates.

It’s a versatile and well-structured app with a variety of languages to choose from.

Rocket Languages Features

Do you want to learn how to speak Portuguese? Or do you want to learn how to write in Hindi?

Rocket Languages can help you achieve your goals, regardless of your level or needs. The app is focused on the development of all main language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Although it’s largely audio-based, it also features video clips (for teaching other writing systems, for example), visual cues, and interactive exercises.

Rocket Reinforcement activities will help you strengthen your knowledge.

And features like flashcards and the Saved Vocab function definitely come in handy.

Rocket Languages lessons are designed to be taken in a linear fashion, but you’re not restricted to doing that. You can easily jump back and forth.

It’s a very flexible app, but at the same time very structured and thorough. It’s ideal for beginners as well as intermediate learners who want to increase their fluency.

However, the difficulty of the course depends on the language you choose, but more on that in a bit.

Content and Benefits

The Rocket Languages app is based on audio lessons. They are interactive, and they contain casual, real-life dialogues. Native speakers will break everything down for you, line by line, so you don’t have to worry about not understanding something.

Language & Culture lessons will tell you how the language works, and they will provide you with valuable cultural insights.

The Writing section will teach you how to write, and introduce you to the alphabet (if needed.)

There are also Survival Kit lessons; they cover essential terminology and advanced vocabulary.

Some language courses also have a Travelogue section. These lessons will bring you on a virtual tour through the relevant country.

Rocket Languages learning app

So, Rocket Languages will teach you all about the language and culture.

Some courses are designed for beginners, and others also offer more advanced content. It depends on the language you want to learn.

Nevertheless, the app is versatile and well-rounded, and it will surely help you build a solid foundation.

Who is Rocket Languages Best For?

Rocket Languages is the best language learning app for anyone searching for a well-structured online learning program.

The app offers a full language course focused on all language skills. Read our full Rocket Languages review.

2. Babbel

Babbel is also one of the most popular and beloved language-learning apps.

It’s eye-catching, versatile, and quite effective.

So, how does it work?

Babbel Features

The Babbel app is a mix of lessons voiced by native speakers, interactive exercises, and useful tips.

Lessons are short and clear, and everything feels very easy and fluid.

You can learn at your own pace, and Babbel will help you to fit language learning into your daily routine.

The app uses spaced repetition to make sure everything you’ve learned moves into your long-term memory.

Babbel review manager is also a very helpful function.

And the speech recognition software will help you work on your pronunciation.

Besides an app-based self-study course, Babbel also offers live online language classes. So, if you want to mix it up a little, why not try Babbel Live?

Regardless of what you choose, this award-winning app will help you enhance your communication skills.

Content and Benefits

Babbel currently offers 14 languages to choose from.

No matter what language you want to learn, lessons will be tailored to your language level.

In general, Babbel is focused on practical vocabulary. It will show you words and phrases in different situations, so you can really understand them.

Babbel language app

You’ll learn them through simulated real-life conversations and simple exercises.

And you’ll get useful grammar tips along the way.

The app will also allow you to work on your accent.

Babbel’s holistic approach is definitely one of its biggest advantages.

Who is Babbel Best For?

Babbel is one of the best language learning apps for speaking and listening.

It’s well-rounded and very easy to use. Read our full Babbel review.

3. Pimsleur  

Pimsleur also offers a wide range of languages.

And it’s a very practical app.

But what makes it different from other apps?

Pimsleur Features

The Pimsleur app uses a research-proven and effective method.

The method is based on gradual interval recall and organic learning.

So, this language-learning app entails a lot of repetition, but it will definitely help you to internalize every new word.

And it’s not only about repeating new words. Pimsleur also features challenges, games, reading lessons, and useful tools like digital flashcards.

And Lightbulb Moments will help you connect culture and history to your language learning.

Overall, Pimsleur is a great app for anyone who wants to enhance their language skills.

Content and Benefits

The Pimsleur app is great for beginners, but it also features advanced content (for some languages.)

It will provide you with 30-minute core lessons, conversation practice, and review options.

Pimsleur language lessons

Lessons cover different topics, but all of them are relevant for daily life. You’ll learn how to talk about your personal life, family, environment, leisure, and so on.

You’ll also get to work on your pronunciation.

And can do all of that anytime, anywhere. With Pimsleur’s hands-free mode, you can also learn while you’re driving, cooking, or jogging.

Therefore, even if you have a tight schedule, Pimsleur will help you make progress every day.

Who is Pimsleur Best For?

Pimsleur is a fantastic learning source for anyone who wants to improve their speaking, reading, and comprehension skills.

And it’s ideal for people who want to learn on the go. Read our full Pimsleur review.

4. Innovative Language

Innovative Language has developed many great language apps – from ItalianPod101 to JapanesePod101.

These apps will provide you with podcast-style lessons and useful learning tools.

Innovative Language Features

In addition to audio lessons, the Innovative Language apps feature video clips, slideshows, word lists, and flashcards.

They will help you learn the language in a quick and easy way.

Lessons are based on natural dialogues and tracks voiced by native speakers.

Thanks to line-by-line breakdowns and the slowed-down audio option, you’ll understand every word.

And voice-recording tools will help you have a near-native pronunciation.

If you opt for a Premium Plus subscription, you can also get in touch with a real teacher. You can get direct feedback, corrections, and answers to your questions via private messenger.

Content and Benefits

No matter which language you want to learn, the Innovative Language app will provide you with a bunch of learning material.

Their lesson library is vast, and you can find a topic you like. There are also grammar lessons, culture classes, and so on.

And if you’re learning Hindi or Japanese, the app will teach you their writing system as well.

This program will undoubtedly help you achieve your goals. And if you like listening to podcasts, even better.

Who is Innovative Language Best For?

Innovative Language apps are great for aural learners.

Most of their courses are suitable for beginners and intermediate learners.

5. Duolingo

Duolingo

Duolingo is the most downloaded education app.

In 2021, Duolingo had more than 40 million monthly active users.

So, what makes it so popular and successful?

Duolingo Features

First of all, the Duolingo app is completely free. However, if you want an ad-free version, you can opt for Duolingo Plus.

But that’s not the only reason why Duolingo became so popular. People love it because it’s very simple.

Lessons are bite-sized and easy to follow.

As you progress, you’ll be earning points and unlocking levels.

So, the app is also quite gamified. It’s designed to keep you motivated and engaged.

Content and Benefits

Duolingo is a great option for people who want to learn multiple languages. And there are so many languages available – even Klingon and High Valyrian (for the most ambitious learners.)

All lessons are mostly based on translation. The app will help you expand your vocabulary and learn common phrases and expressions.

So, the app doesn’t offer a well-rounded, detailed language course like some other apps on this list.

However, Duolingo keeps improving.

For some languages, it offers Grammar Skills lessons.

It implemented Smart Tips to increase comprehension.

And there are Duolingo Stories (for 6 languages) and Duolingo Podcasts (for Spanish, French, and English.)

All things considered, Duolingo is a simple and practical app that can help you learn something new every day. And since it’s free, it works great as an additional learning tool.

Who is Duolingo Best For?

Duolingo is one of the best free language learning apps.

It’s great for anyone who likes simple, gamified language applications. Read our full Duolingo review.

6. Memrise

Memrise app

Memrise is a well-designed and popular flashcard app.

If you want to expand your vocabulary and learn real-world phrases, you should check it out.

Memrise Features

Memrise creators believe that language acquisition happens through language immersion.

The app features thousands of video examples of language used in real life.

So, you’ll listen to native speakers and their pronunciation of a specific word or phrase.

It’s a great app to learn practical vocabulary.

Memrise also uses mnemonics to help you memorize new words. So, every visual cue you see is relevant for connections you make to remember the word.

And there are gamified tests and exercises to strengthen your knowledge even more.

Content and Benefits

Memrise lessons revolve around real scenarios you’ll find yourself in.

But there are also Memrise courses focused on a specific skill or topic.

Memrise used to offer community-based courses, but they can no longer be searched for in the Memrise app. The app is now focused on official courses created by Memrise staff and qualified linguists.

Nevertheless, the app is still quite versatile.

And it offers classes in some rarely taught languages.

Memrise language app

So, if you’re interested in learning a language you can’t find a suitable app for, you should give Memrise a try.

After all, the app teaches languages in a very simple and efficient way.

Who is Memrise Best For?

Memrise is a great learning source for anyone searching for a well-designed flashcard app.

7. Mondly

Mondly elearning app

Mondly is a very immersive and innovative language app.

There are currently four Mondly apps on the market: Mondly, Mondly VR, Mondly AR, and Mondly Kids.

Mondly Features

Mondly offers courses for 41 languages.

And it’s the first company to develop a virtual reality language learning program.

But even if you opt for a standard version, you’ll get an immersive learning experience.

Mondly is also a very gamified app – you’ll take game-like exercises, earn points, and learn with dynamic visuals. There’s also an in-built leaderboard.

Lessons are bite-sized and based on real-life situations.

You can also redo all the lessons and review the word lists.

Content and Benefits

With the Mondly app, you can learn practical phrases useful for traveling and everyday life situations.

And you can do that in a fun way.

Learning a new language will indeed feel like playing a game.

Mondly app

But one of the best things about Mondly is probably the app’s Chatbot. It’s a smart computer program designed to be your conversational buddy.

Having a conversation with the Chatbot is not the same as interacting with a teacher, but it will undoubtedly help you improve your comprehension and communication skills.

Mondly really took advantage of technology to ensure a productive and engaging learning environment.

And you can use it on the go, which is another benefit. With the app’s hands-free mode, you can learn while you’re jogging or cooking – it’s entirely up to you!

Who is Mondly Best For?

Mondly is the best language learning app for learners who prefer immersive, game-like apps.

And it’s ideal for people who want to learn on the go.

8. Rosetta Stone

When it comes to online language-learning courses, Rosetta Stone is a familiar name.

And although it’s been around for a while now, it looks and feels very fresh.

Rosetta Stone Features

The thing is, Rosetta Stone keeps up with its competitors yet it stays true to its core values.

The program is based on intuitive and immersive learning.

With the Rosetta Stone app, you won’t get translations and explanations right away. You’ll have to make your own conclusions instead.

For example, you’ll have to connect words with their visual representations.

Some people find this a bit confusing, but it’s actually a natural way to learn a new language. All immersive apps are quite efficient.

The app also features an Audio Companion, a phrasebook, and useful study tools.

And it has speech recognition software that will give you instant feedback on your pronunciation.

Content and Benefits

Rosetta Stone lessons are bite-sized. You can learn at your own pace, but you can also take daily 10-minute lessons.

The app will give you opportunities to practice words and phrases in multiple contexts.

And it will help you stay on track by providing you with lessons tailored to your goals.

Rosetta Stone

You can use the Rosetta Stone app regardless of your level and goals because the program is focused on the development of all language skills.

It will teach you pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, reading, and writing. You can also choose a specific skill you want to focus on.

On top of that, Rosseta Stone offers live tutoring. You can sign up for a live session and learn from a qualified, native speaker.

Overall, Rosetta Stone is a fantastic learning source, but you have to be prepared for a lot of repetition and intuitive learning.

Who is Rosetta Stone Best For?

Rosetta Stone is perfect for learners who like immersive language programs.

It’s a useful learning source for anyone who wants to take their language skills to the next level. Read our Rosetta Stone review.

9. Busuu

Busuu language app

The Busuu app offers full language courses.

And it’s convenient for all types of learners.

The app covers a lot of languages, from Turkish and Chinese to Polish and Dutch.

Busuu Features

Whether you want to improve your language skills for business or you simply want to grasp the basics, Busuu can help you out.

The app features comprehension exercises, listening exercises, writing challenges, and conversations.

And there are useful review tools, quizzes, and the Study Plan feature to make your learning process more structured and meaningful.

And you can get certificates when you pass each level. This is great for people who want to add a language certificate to their Linkedin profile.

Busuu will also give you a chance to join a Live Group Lesson or schedule a one-on-one lecture with a qualified language teacher.

Busuu group lessons

Content and Benefits

Each Busuu course is developed using the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR.) And the CEFR is broken into six stages, so you can learn the language step-by-step.

Most Busuu courses cover levels from A1 to B2. And their English course also covers C1.

Nevertheless, Busuu will teach you practical vocabulary useful for everyday situations. And it will allow you to learn about a topic you’re interested in.

Busuu also has an active online community. You can also get suggestions and corrections from other learners, exchange grammar and pronunciation tips, and so on. And that’s definitely one of the app’s highlights.

Busuu will make you feel active and involved, and there will always be something new to learn and explore.

Who is Busuu Best For?

Busuu is a great option for goal-oriented learners.

And it’s ideal for people who want proof of their language proficiency (the Busuu certificate.)

10. italki

italki virtual language classes

We also want to show you a slightly different language-learning app.

Italki is a popular platform that connects learners and tutors.

So, if you want to take virtual private lessons, italki would be a great option for you.

italki Features

With italki one-on-one lessons, you can focus on what you really want.

Your teacher will provide you with a personalized study plan based on your level, goals, and needs.

You just need to find the right teacher.

In their profiles, you can find all the information you need: their hourly rate, video introduction, and other students’ reviews.

Once you find a teacher you like, you can book a trial lesson and see if you like their energy and teaching style.

Also, italki will allow you to take a free language assessment.

And it will give you a chance to find a language partner. You can practice and improve your conversational skills with a native speaker.

Content and Benefits

In essence, italki is a very practical and useful app. And one-on-one lessons are really amazing.

You can get direct feedback, corrections, and suggestions.

You will learn about the language as well as culture.

And you’ll be able to focus on a specific skill you want to enhance. Whether you want to learn how to write or work on your pronunciation, your teacher will help you out.

This is the closest it gets to traditional language classes.

On the other hand, you’ll have the freedom to take lessons anytime, anywhere.

italki lessons

The Instant feature is also a nice touch – it will allow you to find teachers who are available right now.

And hiring a teacher on italki is often less expensive than hiring a private tutor.

Moreover, all italki tutors are qualified, professional teachers. After all, their success on italki depends on their students’ reviews.

Who is italki Best For?

If you’re searching for private language lessons online, you should definitely give italki a try.

It’s suitable for learners of all levels.

How to Choose the Best Language Learning App?

As you can see, all the best apps to learn a new language are either fun and engaging or well-structured and highly efficient.

And all of them are very popular among learners from across the globe.

So, it might seem difficult to choose the best language app for you.

But if you know exactly what you’re looking for, everything will be much easier.

For example, what are your goals? Why do you want to learn a new language?

If it’s about a necessity or getting a language certificate, you should look for a well-structured app created for serious learners.

And if you’re planning to travel to a foreign country, there are many apps that can teach you simple, practical vocabulary useful for traveling.

Immersive language apps

Another thing you need to consider before choosing a language app is your learning style.

Are you a visual learner? Or do you study better by listening?

Each app is created for a specific type of learner. And some of them combine audio and video lessons, which is also great.

You should also think about your time commitment. How much time are you willing to invest in your lessons? Do you want to study at home or on the go?

Answers to all of these questions will help you determine what you really need.

Other users’ reviews can also be very helpful – they can point out some details and potential pitfalls of a particular app.

But you can always try it yourself first. Many of the apps we mentioned today offer free trials, and you should take advantage of that.

What Are the Benefits of Using an App to Learn a Language?

Once you start with your app-based lessons, you’ll realize that learning languages can be very fun.

In fact, with some apps, learning a language will feel like playing a game. You will earn points, unlock levels, and so on. This can keep you motivated and probably hungry for more.

Foreign language apps are made to be engaging, and most of them are very interactive and immersive.

And since some of them feature various problem-solving activities, using an app to learn a language can also improve your cognitive skills.

These kinds of exercises will boost your brainpower and they will also enhance your memory.

Best language learning apps

Moreover, language apps are incredibly practical and convenient. You can learn on the go, and that’s a huge advantage if you have a busy schedule.

A language learning app will surely save you a lot of time. And probably a lot of money; most of these apps are quite affordable, and some of them are completely free.

Compared to in-person classes, using an app to learn languages is definitely a budget-friendly option.

Also, the best apps for learning languages use cutting-edge technology, adaptive algorithms, and innovative online study tools. All of that will help you master the basics much faster.

With some apps (like Mondly), you can even learn in virtual reality.

It all depends on your preferences. And that’s also one of the benefits of language apps – the freedom to choose an app that meets your needs.

And when you learn in a safe environment adjusted to your needs, you automatically become more productive. After all, learning a new language should always be enjoyable.

Even when it comes to learning grammar, you shouldn’t feel stressed or annoyed. If it seems challenging at first, everything will fall into place eventually.

And that’s the charm of learning a new language – it’s a challenge. And once you have the chance to actually use the language, you will feel amazing!

Language apps will also provide you with a sense of accomplishment. They do a great job of tracking your progress and letting you know how far you’ve come.

Learning foreign languages

One thing is for sure: learning a new language is, in general, very rewarding.

And it’s extremely useful, especially when it comes to languages that are widely spoken in the world.

Speaking several languages can open up new opportunities, both career-wise and education-wise. Foreign language skills are definitely a valuable asset these days. And probably even a necessary one.

And last but not least, using an app to learn a language will allow you to immerse yourself not only in the culture but also in culture. You’ll learn about different groups of people and customs.

That will also bring you closer to new people in real life. Interacting with the locals is an important part of any trip.

In other words, you never know where learning a new language will take you!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the benefits of using an app to learn a new language are numerous.

So, it’s no wonder that language apps have become so popular.

They are convenient, affordable, and as it turns out, very efficient.

With a good language app, even learning grammar can be fun.

And there are so many great options on the market these days. It would be a shame not to take advantage of that.

We hope this article gave you some useful suggestions and encouraged you to start your language learning journey right away!

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