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Best Language Learning Apps


Joanna Yuen

Marketing & Content Specialist - 05 Jun, 2024


Learning a new language is an incredibly worthy pursuit - but not always an easy one. As the global economy continues to expand, more and more people see the value in becoming fluent in a second language. Many people undertake the endeavor on their own, but today’s robust technology market means you don’t have to. There’s a wide variety of apps and tools that can help someone hoping to broaden their horizons and perfect a new language. We’ve reviewed many of them and pulled together this list of favorites.

What are Language Learning Apps?

Language learning apps are mobile applications designed to help individuals learn a new language or improve their language skills. These apps provide various interactive features and tools to facilitate language learning, such as vocabulary and grammar exercises, pronunciation guides, language games, flashcards, and audio lessons. They often offer a range of languages to choose from and allow users to learn at their own pace - anytime and anywhere. Some of the most common features of language learning apps include:

  • Vocabulary and grammar exercises - These apps offer different activities and quizzes to help users practice and reinforce their vocabulary and grammar knowledge. They often have tactics like multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blanks, and sentence-building exercises.
  • Pronunciation guides - Many language learning apps provide audio recordings and pronunciation guides to help users improve their pronunciation skills. They may include recordings of native speakers pronouncing words and phrases, as well as interactive exercises to practice pronunciation.
  • Language games - To make learning more engaging and fun, language learning apps often include interactive games that test users' language skills. These games can help improve vocabulary retention, comprehension, and overall language proficiency.
  • Flashcards - Flashcards have always been a popular part of learning anything new, especially language. Users can create their own flashcards or use pre-made decks to practice vocabulary, phrases, and grammar rules. In many apps, flashcards can be shuffled, randomized, or organized into specific categories to provide more targeted practice.
  • Audio lessons - Hearing a native tongue is a key part of not only learning language, but understanding nuance and hearing proper pronunciation. Language learning apps often offer audio lessons that allow users to listen to dialogues, conversations, and language lessons. These audio sessions can help improve listening comprehension and familiarize users with native speaker accents and intonations.
  • Progress tracking - A lot of language learning apps include progress tracking functionality that allows users to monitor their learning journey. These features include things like achievement badges, level assessments, and statistics on completed lessons, time spent learning, and overall proficiency.
  • Language exchange communities - Some language learning apps provide types of exchange communities where users can connect with native speakers of the language they are learning. This allows users to practice their language skills through voice or text chats with native speakers, which can be incredibly productive in learning.

These interactive features and tools are designed to provide a dynamic learning experience that is more comprehensive and immersive.

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Engaging, Effective, Enjoyable: The Latest in Language Learning Apps

Learning a new language is an activity that increasingly takes place in a digital forum rather than a classroom. In 2019, the global e-learning market was sized at almost 200 billion U.S. dollars. The same experts predict that in 2026, the global e-learning market is forecast to reach almost 400 billion U.S. dollars.

Language learning apps have proven to be quite effective, and are best for helping new language learners to build a foundation. If you just want to learn enough to order coffee or find a bathroom in a new country, there are plenty of apps that can help you to get there. However, fluency requires more immersion and stronger comprehension, which often involves hearing the language spoken naturally and even the chance to converse with native speakers. The strongest language learning apps are those that don’t just facilitate grammar and vocabulary acquisition, but also improve oral communication skills.

Language learning apps have gained significant popularity in recent years. Experts say this is happening for several different reasons:

  • Convenience - One of the most obvious reasons language apps are on the rise is how easy it's become to learn new things. Language learning apps offer the ability to learn anytime and anywhere. Users can access lessons, practice exercises, and interactive activities from their smartphones or tablets, making it easy to incorporate language learning into their daily routines. This has made learning other languages accessible to most people, no matter their budget or schedule.
  • Personalized learning experiences - In the “old days”, people learning a new language had to sit in structured classes at specific times. Today’s apps often use advanced technology and algorithms to tailor the overall experience to the individual user. They can adapt the content and difficulty level based on the user's proficiency, interests, and learning pace. This personalized approach enhances the effectiveness of language learning while making it more fun.
  • Gamification - Many language learning apps incorporate more fun elements, such as rewards, badges, and leaderboards, to make the learning process more active and engaging. By turning language learning into a game-like experience, these apps motivate users to remain interested and progress in their language skills.
  • Interactive and multimedia content - Language learning apps provide a variety of interactive and multimedia; things like audio lessons, videos, flashcards, and pronunciation exercises. This multimedia approach helps users to develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in an engaging and immersive way.
  • Community and social features - Some language learning apps offer community features that allow users to connect with other learners, native speakers, or language tutors. These features provide opportunities for conversation practice, cultural exchange, and support, creating a sense of community and motivation.
  • Cost-effectiveness - Compared to traditional language learning methods, such as classroom courses or private tutoring, language learning apps often offer more affordable or even free options. This accessibility makes language learning more affordable and inclusive for a wider range of learners, which is a great thing in today’s hyper-connected world.

10 of Our Favorite Language Learning Apps


Often regarded as the optimal language learning app, Babbel focuses on conversation skills and practical vocabulary. It offers lessons in 14 different languages and uses real-life dialogues and speech recognition technology to help users improve their speaking abilities. A Michigan State University study found that this e-learning platform was effective in helping people to learn a new language. This particular study showed that nearly all students who completed the requirements improved in their Spanish language knowledge and/or ability to communicate after 12 weeks of using Babbel.


Duolingo is one of the most popular language learning apps. It offers gamified lessons that cover a wide range of languages. Users can practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills through interactive exercises. The platform suggests using just a few minutes every day to become proficient in the language of your choice, and you can also take advantage of a free mobile app.

Rosetta Stone

A classic in the language arena, this tool is one of the originals. While the platform once relied on a series of tapes or videos, they’ve modernized their offering to be convenient and app-based. Rosetta Stone is known for its immersive language learning approach. It uses a combination of images, audio, and speech recognition to teach new languages without translating to the user's native language.


Memrise combines spaced repetition and mnemonic techniques to help users memorize vocabulary and phrases. It offers a wide range of user-generated content and interactive exercises to make learning fun. Users can learn wherever they are, even without data or Wifi.


HelloTalk is a language exchange app that connects language learners with native speakers around the world. Users can chat, voice call, and even have video conversations to practice their target language with native speakers. Over 150 languages are supported and there is lots of free functionality, which makes the service very accessible.


Busuu offers interactive lessons in 12 different languages. It focuses on all language skills, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. It also provides personalized feedback from native speakers. One of the most valuable aspects of the app is the variety of native speakers available to help users gain cultural insights and even exchange local language tips.


Mondly offers lessons in 41 languages and uses speech recognition technology to provide instant feedback on pronunciation. It also includes virtual reality lessons for an immersive language learning experience. The app currently boasts over 125 million users and has won multiple awards.


Tandem is another language exchange app that connects language learners with native speakers. It offers text, voice, and video chat options, as well as language learning games and community features. It offers the rare opportunity to chat with real people and teach each other.


Pimsleur is an audio-based language learning program that focuses on teaching conversational skills in more than 50 languages. It uses spaced repetition and gradual exposure to new vocabulary and phrases to guide people along their learning journey. You can also take advantage of flashcards, daily challenges, and a progress-tracking dashboard.


Lingodeer offers interactive lessons in over 30 languages, including Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. It covers all language skills and uses gamification to make learning engaging. It also provides grammar explanations and cultural notes, and offers lessons taught by actual language educators, which sets it apart from several other apps.

All language learning apps aim to provide a unique offering, with a variety of features and approaches, so it's a good idea to explore them further to find the one that aligns with your language learning goals and preferences.

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Our Favorite Features: Exercises and Quizzes

Many language learning apps offer a variety of exercises and quizzes to practice vocabulary and grammar. In addition to conversing with native speakers and using highly curated tutoring and educational tools, most effective apps offer different activities and quizzes. Some common exercises that can prove most helpful are:

  • Multiple-choice questions - Most people are familiar with these exercises, which present a question or sentence with multiple options, and users must select the correct answer. This format is commonly used to test vocabulary knowledge, grammar rules, and sentence structure.
  • Fill-in-the-blanks - These exercises provide a sentence with one or more missing words or phrases, and users must fill in the correct answer. This format helps users practice grammar and vocabulary in actual context.
  • Sentence building - These exercises require users to arrange words or phrases in the correct order to form a grammatically correct sentence. This format helps reinforce grammar rules, word order, and sentence structure.
  • Matching - Matching exercises involve pairing words or phrases from two columns that are related in meaning or usage. This format helps users strengthen their understanding of vocabulary and collocations.
  • Word association - Word association activities present a word and require users to select the most appropriate word or phrase that is closely related in meaning or context. This format helps expand vocabulary and improve word choice.
  • Sentence transformation - These exercises require users to transform a given sentence by changing the verb tense, sentence structure, or word form. This format helps reinforce grammar concepts and encourages users to think critically about language usage.
  • Cloze tests - Cloze tests are challenges where users fill in the missing words in a text. These exercises assess both vocabulary and grammar knowledge, as users must choose the correct word or phrase that fits the context.

These exercises and quizzes are designed to provide targeted practice and reinforce vocabulary and grammar concepts. They are often accompanied by instant feedback and explanations to help users learn from their mistakes and improve their language skills, and can go a long way in helping users to master a new language.

Difference-Makers: Choosing the Right Language Learning Apps

Every app is different and offers unique options which makes learning a personalized experience. When choosing a language learning app, there are several factors to consider. Here are some of the key things to keep in mind:

  • Language selection - Which language do you want to learn? Begin by checking if the app offers the language you want to study. Some apps may have a wide range of language options, while others may be more limited.
  • Learning methodology - Different apps use different teaching methods. Do you prefer a more structured approach with grammar explanations or a more immersive approach focused on conversation skills? Look for apps that align with your preferred learning style.
  • User experience - Evaluate the app's user interface and overall experience. Is it easy to navigate? Are the lessons engaging and interactive? A well-designed app can make your learning experience more enjoyable and effective.
  • Content quality - Look for apps that provide high-quality content, including accurate pronunciation, clear explanations, and relevant vocabulary. User reviews and ratings can give you insights into the app's content quality.
  • Progress tracking - How will you measure your progress and see how you’re doing? It can be helpful to have a system that tracks your learning progress, such as completed lessons, vocabulary learned, or skill levels achieved.
  • Flexibility and accessibility - Make sure the app allows you to learn at your own pace and offers flexibility in terms of when and where you can access the lessons. Some apps may offer offline learning options or sync across multiple devices and this can be much more convenient.
  • Social interaction - If you're interested in practicing your speaking and listening skills with native speakers or other learners, look for apps that offer language exchange or community features. We’ve included some of the best options for interacting with native speakers in this article.
  • Cost and pricing structure - Another important thing to consider might be the app's pricing structure. Some apps offer free access with optional paid upgrades, while others require a subscription or one-time payment. Consider your budget and what features are included in each pricing option.
  • Reviews and recommendations - As with most apps, reading reviews is well-worth your time. Browse reviews and seek recommendations from other language learners. Their experiences can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness and usability of different language learning apps.

Of course, everyone's preferences and learning styles are different - but with so many options, a little research can help you to choose the app that meets your specific goals. For more advice on all things tech, make sure to follow our blog.