I don't know the exact time you spend on your smartphone, but I bet it's much. I am also not sure what apps you use more, but they are probably related to entertainment.

There is a good suggestion to combine your smartphone usage with a forever useful thing like language learning. In this article, there are 10 cool apps designed to teach you new languages through games and quizzes. No boring stuff!

I gathered apps as diversified as possible. You will find the ones with courses and quizzes, also with song lyrics and short video blogs. In the variety of choices, there is a big chance you will find your next app to download and enjoy! 

1. Duolingo

Apple Store || Google Play
Price: Free / $6.99 per month

Though the majority of Duolingo registered users currently learn Spanish (28.8 mln)  and French (17.1 mln), you can access courses for 39 languages from the app. Your journey in  the app starts with assessment of your current level of language proficiency, so that the app constructs a personal learning program for you.

You choose both the language you want to learn and the language for your app interface and menu. The daily free lessons are short, 20 minutes at most, and include vocabulary for everyday communication cases, such as buying something in the store, ordering a dish in the restaurant, etc. 

2. Mondly

Apple Store || Google Play
Price: Free / $ 9,99 per month / $ 47,99 per year 

Mondly offers courses for 33 languages, with the help of integrated chatbot and speech recognition technologies. You have the opportunity to learn a language yourself or entertain and educate your kids via the Mondly Kids program. Also, Mondly offers super engaging and innovative learning programs MondlyVR and MondlyAR.

MondlyVR is compatible with Daydream, Cardboard VR, and Samsung Gear VR devices. MondlyAR teacher interacts with the learner in augmented reality and gives instant feedback through the chatbot.

3. Babbel

Apple Store || Google Play
Price: Free / $ 9,99 per month / $ 75 per year

You can learn 14 languages with the offered seven display languages. You can also choose between beginner and intermediate levels, as well as grammar, vocabulary, idioms, sayings, and similar courses.

Babbel offers a great opportunity to learn a specialization-relevant language. For example, you can choose to learn business terminology, a vocabulary closer to a  Marketing specialist, etc. The app starts with teaching a language through a conversation related to real-life topics. The level of difficulty gradually increases.

Babbel uses a technique of spaced repetition, meaning their algorithms repeat your learned vocabulary from time to time to make it firmly fixed in your brain. 

4. Busuu

Apple Store || Google Play
Price: Free / $ 9,99 per month /  $ 79,99 per year                   

Interestingly, the app offers more languages for interface than for learning. You may choose to learn 12 languages from 15 display ones. The distinguishing feature of the Busuu is that it offers an engagement with native speakers. After the vocabulary and grammar lessons, there is an option to chat with natives to practice the day's material. 

Busuu offers A1, A2, B1, and B2 level programs. From 2019 it also provides video lessons from The New York Times and The Economist. There are useful features, such as grammar instruction, that are available only to premium users. 

The Busuu Wikipedia article warns that the app does not send a notice before every subsequent subscription renewal. Once it charges you for a month, there is no refund opportunity. So, be aware. 

5. Lirica

Apple Store || Google Play
Price: Free / $ 7,99 per month / $ 29,99 per year 

Extremely fun app: learn languages through popular songs. You may choose from the Lirica repertoire artists such as Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, Pink, etc., and practice their song's vocabularies. You first learn the song's lyrics. Then the app gives you rapid-fire exercises to practice.

That's a great opportunity to turn your everyday activity of learning music into a benefit for you. The app partners with Sony Music.

6. HiNative

Apple Store || Google Play
Price: Free / $ 7,49 per month / $ 83,99 per year 

HiNative is not a classic app with online courses, but it also enhances your language learning. HiNative is a global Q&A platform for language learners with 15 mln questions and 45 mln answers currently.

With the app, you ask any question interesting to you about your chosen language, and you get an answer from a native. You may ask about the translation or pronunciation of the word, ask someone to check your spelling or speech, etc.

You will both get the answer to your question and adapt native speaker communication style. The basic free version allows for posting questions, and the premium version is for video and audio versions. 

7. Quizlet

Apple Store || Google Play
Price: Free / $ 3,99 per month / $ 47,88 per year 

Quizlet is a gamified tool for learning different topics, including languages. There is an option to register both as a learner and as a teacher. So, you may both upgrade your skills and teaching methods.

Through the game modes offered by the app, you play and learn at the same time. The general idea behind all the games and methods is that you connect a word to definition, a card picture to the story, etc. The learning techniques are designed in the way of the game to maximize your enjoyment and concentration. 

8. HelloTalk

Apple Store || Google Play
Price: Free / $ 8,99 per month / $ 49,99 per year 

HelloTalk is more like a social media platform, which offers you to chat with 25 mln+ members in 150+ languages. However, the difference is that the whole community is interested and engaged in learning a language.

So, you can make posts and chat with others. App features will help you turn your online communication into language learning. There are installed translation, pronunciation, and transliteration correctors that teach you the right communication in your chosen language in the chat. Your posts are also visible to all the people speaking or interested in a similar language with you. 

9. Memrise

Apple Store || Google Play
Price: Free / $ 8,99 per month / $ 89,99 per year 

You may read the app's name like [memorize], which is the idea behind it. With the help of flashcards and using the scheme of spaced-repetition, the app aims to help you memorize words and expressions. You can choose between courses for 16 languages.

The app offers games, videos from locals, and other smart mechanics to accelerate your learning. A thing you might love about the app is that it has no grammar. The Memrise team thinks the most important thing in learning a language is speaking and understanding, not perfect grammar. So, expect to have an emphasis on vocabulary and communication. 

10. FluentU

Apple Store || Google Play
Price: Free / $ 30 per month / $ 240 per year 

FluentU is enriched with a big bunch of video-content from  native speakers. You have them all in your smartphone every time. The topics of videos vary across almost all life cases, so you may choose the one closer to your needs at the moment, either career or personal.

The video content helps you to synchronize the words, pronunciation and emotions of the speaker to memorize the vocabulary better. You watch Youtube, right? Why not to search an interesting topic here and practise the words from the video later?

As you see, most apps are either free or freemium, which means there is a large pool of features you may start using for free right after the download. 

So, except for the phone storage, nothing holds you back from upgrading your language skills.

Published on Jan 18, 2021