A new year means new resolutions, and for some folks, that means sitting down and deciding to learn a new language. After all, in a world that is becoming increasingly multicultural, being multilingual is a handy skill. If you've been trying to figure out if there's a good app that will let you learn while commuting or at home, then we've got good news for you.
We've collected the best language learning apps on Android for you right here!
Learn languages: Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone is already well known as a great way to begin learning a new language, but you may not have realized that it was available on your phone. With access to 28 different languages, a slow and steady pace that is great for building up your confidence, and optional live tutoring, there is a reason that Rosetta Stone is king when it comes to language learning apps. Whether you're aiming to learn for fun, or you want to become fluent, this is a great place to start. This program will let you learn how to speak, write, and read in a new language, with an emphasis on building confidence in pronunciation and the ability to sync progress across your desktop and mobile devices.
When it comes to language apps, Rosetta Stone may already be the first software you think of. There's a good reason for that too. For years Rosetta Stone has dominated language learning on PC and its mobile version is just as solid. While getting access to the full program is a bit pricey, if you're motivated to really learn a new language it's worth the hit to your wallet in the long run.
Jill Duffy of PCMag gave it high marks for a foundation in a new language.
While Rosetta Stone does have it's limitations, for those without a background in the language they're trying to learn, this is the most solid all-around program. While it can be repetitive, that's to make sure that your new vocabulary sticks in your brain. At higher levels, you'll also be able to read to the program while it listens to your pronunciation. Additionally, it employs games like bingo to help your association between individual words and their meanings.
One of the biggest perks to Rosetta Stone is how they introduce everything. Immersion is the key to learning with Rosetta Stone, combined with deductive reasoning. At time you'll need to guess a new word, but it's made easier by giving you choices of other words that you've already learned.
While price isn't an option for some people, if you're looking for the best way to begin learning a new language on a budget then Duolingo is definitely the best bet. This free app has access to over 20 different languages to learn from Vietnamese and Irish to Spanish and German. Unlike most other programs, Duolingo employs XP and leaderboards so that you can learn with your friends and turns language into a game to be played.
Each language is a little bit different, and the more popular languages do have access to far more module lessons. Each one starts out the same though. You'll deal with the basics before moving on to phrases and language-specific lessons. The leaderboards will show you which friends on Facebook use the app and will let you compete against each other. By completing modules you'll also earn EXP and Lingots which you can use to purchase extra modules. If you're learning with friends, you can also start clubs which allows you to turn learning a language into a group activity.
Duolingo makes learning a language fun, and with its social aspects, it's easy to learn a language with friends. Absolutely free, you never need to pay a penny in order to learn everything it has to offer. It even also allows people coming back to a language to test past the basics and jump right back into learning new content.
If you're looking for a solid middle of the road option for learning a new language, then Babbel ought to be your go to. It offers a subscription for access to the full catalog, but it isn't nearly as expensive as picking up a copy of Rosetta Stone. Each language is made up of a variety of courses from beginning vocabulary to grammar and writing in the language you are learning.
Each lesson must be downloaded to your phone, but they only take a moment or two and then you can properly jump in. Those lessons are also fairly short, making them easy to rock through when you're sitting on the train during your commute. There are currently 14 languages in the Babbel arsenal, from Spanish to Brazilian Portuguese.
Babbel offers an affordable middle of the road option for learning a new language. There are 14 different languages available, with plenty of courses to get you working towards fluency in a new language. Each language must be downloaded as a different app, which can be a bit bulky if you download more than one at a time but this does make it easier to stick with a language once you get started.
Whether you're looking for a free option that will let you learn in your free time, or you're willing to go all in and pay for a subscription, you've got options when it comes to learning a new language. Unlike days past, you won't need to head into a classroom because everything that you need is right on your phone! Is your favorite language learning app on our list? Is there another app that we ought to add? Let us know in the comments below!
Updated January 2018: We've updated this post with new features for the best language learning apps on Android!
Loved Duolingo. I completed the French and Spanish tracks on it. I'm currently using Merissa to do French again (if you're gonna use apps to learn, never use just one or you're doing it wrong), and I'm a bit baffled as to why it's not on this list. It was one of Google's selections of best designed Android apps last year!
I find Duolingo to be utterly useless. Best way to learn, is to find a language partner. There are better resources than Duolingo, like Assimil's French courses for Anglophones You won't tap buttons, but the method works better. Duolingo can be fun, though, depending on how you use it. The statements it generates are laughably bad, and its courses are badly structured.
I used Duolingo to learn German for a trip to Austria a couple of years ago. Must have done pretty good because a hostess at a restaurant started rattling off in German when I asked for a table for 2 and I had no idea what she was saying.
Just an FYI that unfortunately Rosettastone's app is not working on Android 8.1 at the moment. They have promised to resolve this "soon", but no specific time range given. It's a good app although it's irritating that you can't see where you are within a specific lesson. I've completed the Spanish (Latin America) training on Duolingo several times over now. It's a very good starting point.
The article could have been labeled "The three worst apps for learning Thai" and it would have been accurate since none of them have that language.
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