Ten Language Learning Apps to Try

If you’re constantly connected to your smart phone, learning a new language is already at your fingertips! There are hundreds of free apps that are fantastic for learning new vocabulary, testing your knowledge, and translating. Here are ten apps you should try to get you started on your next language:

1. MindSnacksMindSnacksLogo

This app series offers a fun and colorful interface to learn Spanish, French, Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese or Portuguese. The apps are organized by vocabulary categories like greetings, eating, and emergency, making it convenient for learning important phrases. Plus, like many others, Mind Snacks offers audio pronunciation to assure you get the hang of saying those new words.


2. DuolingoOdbIJMWv_400x400

This app offers 36 different language courses for several different languages. For example, you can learn Swedish in English, Spanish in French, English in Portuguese, and several other combinations. Once you choose your language, the app will allow you to begin with the basics or take a placement test. The rest of the app allows the user to learn vocabulary, tenses, and more, plus the ability to set studying goals for each day so you won’t soon forget what you learn.


3. Marlee Signsicon_256

Deaf actress Marlee Matlin is the face of this app that teaches users basic American Sign Language through photos and videos. This app isn’t as in depth as other apps, however it covers the ASL alphabet, numbers and many common, important signs.


4. Google TranslateGoogle-Translate-icon

This program isn’t particularly reliable for translating full sentences, however it is a great tool for translating vocabulary and verbs between many languages. This app is a must-have for its freedom and accessibility so you can just type in what you need to know rather than thumbing through limited vocabulary lists.


5. Busuubusuu_logob

Many apps offer common languages like Spanish and French, but Busuu also offers Polish, Turkish and Russian. Once you select your language, you’ll have access to several lessons, exercise, and a community that can help you pick up your new tongue. This app also offers quizzes, writing practice and more challenges to strengthen your language learning.


6. BabbelAppIcon_Thumb_preview

With Norwegian, Danish and Indonesian on its roster, this app also brings variety to the language app world. This app is a series of quizzes that tests your linguistic knowledge. Learning is done through recognizing patterns and word composition. This app also offers audible translation of words and phrases.


7. Learn Japanese Easilymza_7306969939008947653

This app is slightly behind interface-wise, but it is still a great way to pick up Japanese. Each lesson offers several vocabulary words, their pronunciation, their symbol, and a photo to help jog your memory. Tests for each lesson will also help solidify your knowledge of your newly learned vocabulary.


8. Brainscapebrainscape-logo

If Chinese is your language of choice, this app is a must-download. With intensive study guides filled with thousands of vocabulary words, important phrases, and grammar, plus many more that can be unlocked, Brainscape is a fantastic Chinese learning tool. You can also set your preferences to target certain learning objectives based off what you are learning the language for.


9. Ma Koreurl

This download is perfect for those looking to learn Hebrew. With several categories of imperative words and phrases, including pronunciation recordings, this app makes a great companion for travel. One downside to this app is much of it is locked until the user purchases a $9.99 “passport” to access the rest.


10. World Nomadsmzl.wmondnjx

If you’re traveling to a nation where the native language is Swahili, this app is an incredible resource. With several phrase categories that include travel safety and emergency translations, this app could potentially save your life, or at least leave you less confused, if you find yourself in a predicament overseas.

Kate Joseph

Kate Joseph

Kate is a junior at Simmons College in Boston, Mass., studying Communications with a focus in Journalism and Media Arts. She can’t stop watching stand up comedy and adding an unrealistic amount of books to her ever growing “to read” list. In her spare time she likes to go kayaking, explore new places and make videos. She hopes to pursue a career that combines her passion for writing, film and global equality.

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