Looking for the best language learning apps to quickly pick up a new language? Cut through the clutter as we rank the top contenders based on their track record for success, user experience, and special features designed for various learning styles. Our concise roundup will give you the insight you need to decide which language learning app is right for you, without overcomplicating it.
Find out which apps are worth your time right here.
Top Language Learning Apps for 2024
There’s no shortage of language learning apps in today’s digital marketplace. However, some stand out for their innovative teaching approaches, comprehensive content, and engaging user experiences. Among them are:
- Rosetta Stone
Each language app provides distinctive features that aid in learning a new language, making web app-based language apps an invaluable tool for interactive lessons, speech recognition, games, and social interaction in multiple languages. Let’s take a look at each app in more detail.
Duolingo is a highly popular selection for language learners and I’ve used it myself to help me learn Spanish. Known for its gamification elements, Duolingo makes learning a new language fun and engaging. The app offers:
- Short, listening- or reading-based quizzes
- Word matches
- Over 40 possible languages to choose from
- Users also have the opportunity to earn points for correct answers and set daily goals.
The basic version is a great place to start and one of the best things about it (apart from the fun learning) is the “streak” feature, which encourages you to come back and learn something new each day. I know someone with a streak of over 500, which is 500 days in a row of language learning! How many days do you think you could do?
For a premium experience, Duolingo offers Super Duolingo at $13 per month, providing an ad-free experience and a feature for practicing speaking skills with native speakers.
Rosetta Stone, a leader in the field of language learning software, is renowned for its structured and methodical learning approach. They have been around since the 1990s so they know a thing or two about learning languages!
Today, they offer the Rosetta Stone app, which is especially suitable for beginners and early intermediate learners who are still acclimating to a new language. With over 20 languages available and a clear, deliberate pace, Rosetta Stone helps you build a strong foundation in your target language.
This app also offers a phrasebook feature to aid in acquiring new vocabulary and TruAccent technology to refine pronunciation.
If you want a language learning app with a focus on real-world scenarios and conversation-based lessons, Babbel could be an excellent match for you. Babbel is:
- A challenging, advanced interactive curriculum.
- Ideal for individuals who find language learning relatively effortless.
- Good for those who prefer an online educational environment that resembles a foreign language course curriculum.
Babbel offers a three-month subscription at $38, or a yearly package for $89. You can also take out a monthly subscription at $15 per month if you prefer.
Busuu, another top language learning app, offers unique features designed to help users achieve their foreign language learning goals. The app provides access to 14 diverse languages, so you’ll have plenty of languages to learn using this platform.
One of the best things about Busuu is that it provides a personalized study plan feature that assists learners in setting and maintaining their learning objectives. When you sign up it helps you determine how advanced you are with your chosen language and then sets goals for you accordingly.
During the learning process, Busuu emphasizes the development of listening and speaking abilities through a speech recognition feature and offers helpful reminders throughout.
For those who favor a more visual and interactive language learning approach, Memrise could be a great option. This app uses brief clips of native speakers and written translations to help learners master tone, pronunciation, and cadence.
Memrise offers lessons in 23 languages and shows how real locals have conversations. So, it could be a great option if you’re about to go on a trip abroad or move to another country. It also sets a daily point goal to keep you motivated and engaged in your language learning journey. This is a great help when contending with all of life’s other distractions!
Drops is a language learning app that adopts a distinct strategy for language instruction. It offers short, daily tutorials using mnemonic images, making it perfect for visual learners. It shows users each word in the language you are trying to learn and in your own language, along with an image of it. This is great for learning basic words and expanding your vocabulary.
The app’s focus on vocabulary rather than grammar or cultural norms sets it apart from other language learning apps.
Drops offers a free version with a timed learning restriction and a premium version priced at $13 per month, or $69.99 annually.
Mondly is a language learning app that uses advanced technology to provide an interactive and immersive learning experience. The app uses augmented reality and chatbots to provide engaging lessons in a conversational style.
This innovative method enables learners to practice real-life situations in a controlled environment, thereby reducing anxiety and boosting confidence.
Mondly offers over 40 different languages and is quite similar to Drops with its colorful interface and variety of features. Hearing the instructor/app speak is particularly beneficial.
Audio-Focused Language Learning Apps
For auditory learners, audio-centric language learning apps such as Lirica, Pimsleur, and Michel Thomas are optimal. These apps focus on listening and speaking practice, allowing learners to develop these essential language skills in a way that suits their learning style.
Lirica is a unique language learning app that employs music to instruct languages. Through popular songs, learners can improve their listening and pronunciation skills while enjoying the process.
Lirica is a great tool for those who enjoy learning through music and are looking for a fun and engaging way to learn a new language.
The app offers Spanish, German, and English. I can personally vouch for the success of this teaching method as it was recommended to me when I was learning Spanish and I’ve seen other people have success with it.
Pimsleur is a language learning app that uses a unique teaching method with timed intervals between learning and recall. This method, known as spaced repetition, is designed to strengthen memory and make language learning more effective.
Learning essentially comes in the form of a podcast, you choose the language you want a listen to a 30 minute lesson. With over 50 languages to choose from you’re spoilt for choice.
Pimsleur is beneficial for adult learners struggling with pronunciation and is ideal if you have some spare time when commuting.
Michel Thomas offers an informal teaching method that focuses on building language skills through conversation and listening exercises. This approach, which avoids rote memorization and traditional grammar lessons, makes learning a new language feel more natural and enjoyable with the help of language lessons.
Video-Based Language Learning Apps
For visual learners, video-focused language learning apps such as Yabla and Lingopie can be extremely helpful. These apps use movies and TV shows to teach languages, providing learners with a fun and engaging way to practice listening comprehension and vocabulary.
Yabla is a video-based language learning app that uses interactive questions after watching videos to reinforce language learning. The app offers a range of videos in different languages, making it a versatile tool for language learners.
Lingopie is another video-based language learning app that uses movies and TV shows to teach languages. This is ideal if you want to hear how a native speaker speaks the language. In addition to providing authentic listening practice, the app also offers closed captions in the native language and English subtitles, along with flashcards for vocabulary practice.
Specialized Language Learning Apps
While many apps offer a range of languages to learn, some specialized language learning apps cater to specific language needs. These apps, including Sign It ASL and Transparent Language, provide distinctive teaching methods for less commonly taught languages, making them a useful resource for learners with specific language learning goals.
If you’re interested in learning boutique or hard-to-find languages, Transparent Language is the app for you. It offers speaking and listening exercises for less common languages, making it a valuable resource for those with unique language learning needs. Transparent Language’s dedication to offering less commonly taught languages sets it apart from other language learning apps.
Sign It ASL
For those interested in learning American Sign Language (ASL), Sign It ASL is the top app choice. This app features interactive lessons, skits, and cultural information, providing an inclusive and comprehensive learning experience.
Online Group Classes and Tutoring Platforms
Online group classes and tutoring platforms such as Lingoda and Rype provide a more tailored language learning experience. These platforms connect learners with live instructors, providing real-time feedback and personalized instruction.
Lingoda offers structured, affordable language classes via Zoom. The classes are based on a set curriculum and include PDF materials for each lesson.
With classes suitable for learners at all levels, Lingoda is an excellent option for those looking for a more structured language learning experience.
Rype is an online marketplace that connects language students with tutors for low-cost sessions in various languages. This platform is especially suitable for intermediate or advanced learners looking for personalized instruction.
Tips for Effective Language Learning
Acquiring a new language is a process that necessitates commitment and persistence. Here are some tips for effective language learning to help you on your path to fluency: setting goals, combining resources, and practicing consistently.
Establishing specific, attainable goals is a significant aspect of any language learning process. Goals give you a sense of direction and help you stay focused and motivated. Whether your goal is to improve your listening comprehension, enhance your speaking skills, or learn a specific number of new words, having clear objectives will make your language learning journey much more rewarding.
No single resource can cater to all your needs for learning a new language. That’s why it’s important to use a combination of resources to get a well-rounded learning experience. This could involve:
- Using multiple apps
- Taking online classes
- Hiring a tutor
- Attending language exchange meetups in your local community
Regular practice is key to mastering a new language. Here are some ways to incorporate language learning into your daily routine:
- Use language learning apps daily
- Practice conversation with native speakers regularly
- Immerse yourself in the language by watching movies or listening to music in that language
By making language learning a part of your daily routine, you will see progress in no time as you learn language.
- The top language learning apps for 2024, like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone, offer unique features and teaching methods, including gamification, real-world scenarios, immersive technology, and focus on various skills such as conversation, pronunciation, or vocabulary.
- Specialized language learning apps such as Sign It ASL and Transparent Language cater to specific language needs and offer resources for less commonly taught languages, while auditory learners can benefit from audio-focused apps like Pimsleur that use spaced repetition.
- For effective language learning, setting specific goals, using a combination of resources including apps, online classes, tutors, and regular practice with native speakers is essential for progressing towards fluency.
In summary, learning a new language can be an exciting and rewarding journey. With the right tools, a clear set of goals, and a commitment to consistent practice, you can successfully master a new language. So why not start your language learning journey today? The world is waiting!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Duolingo better than Babbel?
It depends on your preference and learning style. If you prefer traditional language instruction, Babbel might be a better option, whereas if you enjoy a playful, gamified experience, Duolingo could be the choice for you.
Can Babbel make you fluent?
Babbel can be a beneficial tool for beginner learners to establish a foundation in a new language through its basic vocabulary and phrases.
Is Rosetta Stone better than Babbel?
This depends upon your personal learning preferences. However, Babbel is slightly more affordable and offers a wider variety of lesson exercises.
Is Duolingo free?
Yes, Duolingo is completely free to use for learning languages, whether on the website or through the app. You can enjoy interactive lessons, exercises, and games at no cost.
What are some of the top language learning apps available in 2024?
In 2024, some of the top language learning apps are Duolingo, Babbel, Busuu, Memrise, Rosetta Stone, Drops, Mondly, Pimsleur, and Lirica. These apps offer a variety of language learning tools and resources to help users improve their language skills.