Knowing more than one language is a useful and beneficial skill to have. Anyone who owns a smart phone has access to hundreds of thousands of applications, many of which feature tools for teaching themselves languages. The following apps provide basic techniques to help set the foundation for speaking a foreign language.
Apps to Help you Speak a New Language
Duolingo is a great application that’s free for its users. The app works in levels. It provides interactive lessons in a quiz-like format. Lessons include reading translations, writing them, and even speaking. Every lesson that you pass opens up a new and more difficult lesson, but you only have three chances. Getting more than three questions wrong will force you to re-try the lesson. You’ll have to keep trying again until you pass and unlock the next category. There are categories that range from animals, food and phrases to conjunctions, prepositions and time. At the end, the app even delves into politics and religion. Duolingo currently offers courses in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Italian. You’ll know a lot more of the language you want to learn by the time you finish all of the levels!
Price: First 20 Courses Free (Additional courses cost extra)
Busuu provides you the opportunity to continue your education by choosing your competency level. If you already have the basic knowledge of a language, you can skip the beginner courses and move onto something more advanced. However, you do have to pay for the more advanced courses if this is the case. The app provides numerous tools for learning the language. It has vocabulary and audio-visual material, for example. Busuu currently offers its courses in Spanish, French, English, Italian, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Polish and Turkish.
Memrise gives its users a fun and engaging way to teach themselves a new language. You can create “mems,” which are like flashcards that have images on them to help learn new words. You can also see mems created by other users as a way to help learn the vocab words. The courses are effective because you are creating the images that help you remember what the words or phrases mean. Memrise offers courses in dozens of languages, including various African, Slavic and Native American languages.
Price: First Level Free (Additional 50 levels cost $5 per language)
Mindsnacks moves away from the flashcard method to provide a unique and engaging learning experience. This app features interactive games that feature pictures and audio clips, allowing users to see and hear the words. Each level has six games in it and you cannot progress to the next level until all the games are completed. While each game takes a while to complete, you can pause the game at any time and start up again in the same spot. Mindsnacks offers French, German, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish apps for English speakers.
5. Google Translate
While Google Translate doesn’t necessarily teach you a new language, it does offer the means to translate phrases or individual words immediately. You can type the phrase that you would like translated, or even speak it out loud, and choose the language. Google Translate offers over 30 different languages, including Japanese, Polish, Spanish and Chinese.
Each of these apps lets you take part in fun and engaging activities to learn new languages. Because many of the apps are free, there’s nothing to stop you from taking the first steps to learning a foreign language. As long as you have your smartphone in hand, you have access to a world full of languages.
Adrienne is a freelance writer who loves to cover technology, social media, and design.