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The 8 Best Language Learning Apps That Really Work

Sandy Writtenhouse Updated 05-12-2019

Whether you’re gearing up to go on vacation, studying for exams, or just want to expand your mind, it’s always a great time to learn a new language.


You can stock up on books, spend hours listening to CDs, take an online class, or try learning as you browse the web. If English is your second language, you can use mobile apps to improve your language skills The 8 Best Mobile Apps for Learning and Improving English Looking to learn English? These Android and iPhone apps will help you learn and improve English (plus other languages). Read More .

The following mobile apps give you easy ways to integrate learning into your daily routine no matter where you go.

1. Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone has been a leader in teaching languages for 25 years. So it’s no surprise that it has a mobile app too. Choose from 24 languages and then start learning the basics. Listen to the words and repeat them, then match photos to phrases.

You can easily review your progress with correct answers in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Rosetta Stone is a subscription-based learning tool, but you can try out the first lesson for free to see if you like it. If you are serious about learning a new language, then Rosetta Stone is an excellent option. Learn more about how Rosetta Stone can help you.

Download: Rosetta Stone for Android | iOS (Free)


2. Duolingo

With a bright and intuitive interface, Duolingo lets you naturally progress at your own pace. You start with simple phrases and gradually move to more complex sentences. There’s help every step of the way as Duolingo points out mistakes and praises your efforts.

Duolingo addresses reading, writing, and pronunciation by challenging you with a fun range of activities. It’s amazing how quickly you can pick up the basics without even realizing it. Plus, it’s easy to revisit the lessons and work on your weaknesses.

Duolingo offers an upbeat experience, lets you join clubs for healthy practice, and really does make learning enjoyable.

Download: Duolingo for Android | iOS (Free)


3. Memrise

Many students use flashcards to help them through their exams and Memrise takes a similar approach. It starts off slowly. To learn Russian, for instance, you’re guided through the Cyrillic alphabet, but that’s by no means a bad method. There’s something quaint and inviting about its simplistic visual aids, as if a friend is showing you tips to remember each lesson.

Memrise has a friendly interface that’s encouraging and attractive. If you are interested in expanding your new language skills, take a look at Memrise Pro which offers games, chatbots, and an offline mode for learning on the go.

It’s no surprise that we consider Memrise one of the best apps for learning Spanish quickly.

Download: Memrise for Android | iOS (Free)


4. Busuu

Boasting over 80 million users worldwide, the best aspect of Busuu is its interactivity. With 12 languages, full courses, exercise reviews from native speakers, and accent training, you get a complete experience with Busuu.

You can begin with a placement test so that you start at the right level. This is terrific if you are not a complete beginner but want to practice language skills you learned earlier. The app also provides offline access, grammar tips, and official certificates with its premium upgrade.

Busuu is an all-around super option that gives you a wide range of learning activities.

Download: Busuu for Android | iOS (Free)


5. HelloTalk

HelloTalk connects you to people who speak the language you want to learn. In return, you help them learn your language. It’s an incredibly basic idea that lets you talk to native speakers and is a good way to be immersed in the language 6 Fun Ways to Learn a New Language by Immersion Learning a new language is a time-consuming challenge. Make it fun with these neat tools that immerse you in the new language. Read More . Everyone’s there for the same reason and you can be both a student and teacher without much hassle.

HelloTalk lets you select your entry level, then find a stranger to talk to. A variety of neat tools like correction, translation, and speaking make this a full-featured chat experience.

There’s a huge list of languages to choose from, and you can refine your list of possible tutors by age and country. HelloTalk breaks down the barriers between countries and that’s what learning another language is all about.

Download: HelloTalk for Android | iOS (Free)

6. Babbel

Babbel is similar to Rosetta Stone in that it’s a subscription-based app where you can try out the first lesson free. Select from 14 languages, listen and repeat words, and then test what you learn. You can also disable the microphone and just hear the words spoken to you with a brief quiz at the end.

When you finish the lessons, you can view the vocabulary lists and then choose from flashcards or writing exercises to review what you learned. If you are serious about learning another language and don’t mind the subscription price, Babbel is another great choice.

Download: Babbel for Android | iOS (Free)

7. Beelinguapp

If you want a unique learning experience that involves books, Beelinguapp is for you. The app offers your favorite stories with an audiobook reader in a variety of dialects. You can read the story yourself if you prefer and see it in both your language plus the one you are learning on the same screen.

Pick from a classic like The Three Musketeers or let your child enjoy a tale like Cinderella. What’s great about Beelinguapp is that you can follow along with the audiobook reader as the words are highlighted with the narration. This is quite helpful with pronunciation. For a two-in-one app that lets you appreciate a story while learning a new language, Beelinguapp is a winner.

Download: Beelinguapp for Android | iOS (Free)

8. Clozemaster

Clozemaster for iPhone

For a gamified language learning experience with an old-school look and feel, check out Clozemaster. The app offers over 100 languages, an optional text-to-speech feature, and a free account signup for saving your progress.

You can start with the most common words where you earn points for selecting the correct word missing from the sentence. Then when you’re ready, take on the grammar challenges.

Clozemaster is a good follow-up for testing what you recently learned or brushing up on a language you learned years ago.

Download: Clozemaster for Android | iOS (Free)

Are You Ready to Parlais Francais?

Speaking more than one language improves your memory, enhances your perception, and gives you a greater command of your native tongue. It can help your business expand and introduce you to new friends. Put simply, it’s a wonderful way to better yourself.

With so many easy-to-use apps out there, there’s no reason not to dabble in Spanish, French, Gaelic, or even Mongolian.

You might also want to have a few mobile translation apps The 8 Best Mobile Translation Apps to Convert Any Language These excellent mobile translator apps will help you study a foreign language, have conversations in another country, and more. Read More handy to convert any language on the go. And if you prefer passive learning, you could try to learn a new language while watching Netflix 5 Ways to Watch Netflix and Still Learn a New Language Learning a foreign language with Netflix is one of the fun ways to master a new language. Read More .

Related topics: Duolingo, Language Learning.

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  1. jack daglas
    May 25, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    Hello I used Lanquick. it is better than rosetta stone and duolingo

  2. Milos
    November 12, 2019 at 9:08 am

    As a Serbian, I know a thing or two about learning languages. Most of us speak 4-6 languages by college time. European languages are common but when trying Asian languages I use some apps. The one's you mentioned above are pretty good. Another one I found useful, mainly for its gamification techniques which keep me motivated after a few days is Master Ling. With so many beginner apps out there it's hard to stick with one. I have to say though, sometimes the sentence structures need to vary a bit more at the lower level to grab the full nuance of the language but this is something AI will need to deal with not the programmers.

  3. Paul Dwyane
    November 6, 2018 at 10:59 am

    This is a very nice list! Useful blog for those who wish to learn Spanish. One might also check out "Learn Spanish + by Vidalingua" another learning app. It’s a good one too and I use it everyday.

  4. ikomrad
    October 8, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    which, if any, of these apps focus on reading and writing a foreign language as
    opposed to listening and speaking it? Also, are there any good ones for
    Latin ?

    • max m
      July 25, 2019 at 2:13 pm

      Hello Talk, Pimsleur, and iTalki are focused on speaking and understanding. The other app presented here are focused on reading, vocabulary building.