Choosing the right language learning app can make all the difference in your journey to becoming bilingual or even multilingual. While there are many available options, the “best” app for you depends on your unique needs and learning style. In this guide, we’ll review some of the top-rated language learning apps, and offer some actionable tips on how to use them effectively for the best results.
Best Language Learning Apps in 2023
A fan favorite, Duolingo, is arguably the most popular language learning app available. It offers 35 languages to learn, ranging from Spanish and French to lesser-studied languages like Welsh and Hawaiian. Its gamified approach encourages consistent usage, making the learning process fun and engaging. It’s ideal for beginners or those looking to brush up on vocabulary and basic grammar. However, it may not be the best for advanced learners seeking in-depth conversation practice.
Babbel is an excellent choice for those seeking a more structured learning path. The app offers 14 languages and focuses on conversation skills from the get-go, with speech recognition to help improve pronunciation. While Babbel is not free like Duolingo, many users find the subscription worth it due to the comprehensive curriculum and focus on practical conversation skills.
An oldie but a goodie, Rosetta Stone, has been in the language learning game long before apps were invented. They have updated their offerings with an easy-to-use app that uses immersive teaching methods, pushing you to think in your target language. While it might be a pricier option, it offers an extensive range of languages and comprehensive learning tools.
Pimsleur takes an audio-focused approach, making it an ideal app for auditory learners or those who want to learn on the go. The method focuses on listening and speaking primarily, perfect for those aiming to improve their conversation skills quickly. They offer courses in over 50 languages.
While these apps are some of the best on the market, remember that the “best” app is subjective, and depends on your learning style, goals, and preferences.
Actionable Tips for Language Learning
Consistency is Key
Regardless of which app you choose, consistency is crucial. Languages are not learned overnight; it requires regular practice. Dedicate at least 15-30 minutes each day to learn, and the results will come.
Practice Speaking from Day One
Don’t wait until you “know enough” of the language to start speaking. Use your new vocabulary as much as possible. Even if you’re making lots of mistakes, that’s a natural part of the learning process.
Engage All Senses
Use a combination of reading, writing, listening, and speaking exercises. This will not only make your learning more varied and fun, but it will also help you become proficient in all aspects of the language.
Make it Relevant
Try to learn vocabulary and phrases that are relevant to your life and interests. You’re more likely to remember words if you can use them in your daily life.
If possible, immerse yourself in the language. This could be through travel, watching movies or TV shows, listening to music, or interacting with native speakers.
Ultimately, the best language learning app is one that aligns with your goals, preferences, and learning style. It should motivate you to consistently engage with the language and provide opportunities to practice all language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Remember, language learning is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time, enjoy the process, and make the language part of your daily life.