Home » Blog » Best Apps to Learn a New Language Abroad

Best Apps to Learn a New Language Abroad

Best Apps to Learn a New Language Abroad

Apps alone are not going to help you learn a language if you have not interested in learning. If you are serious about learning a new language then an excellent language app can help you study a foreign language.

When you’ve understood that, you can get the best out of the apps that are available for language learning. Check out the given knowledge about the best learning apps that will help you speak a new language.



First, a Note on Learning a Language

To acquire a language like babies acquire it, you have to live among people who speak this foreign language. Nothing will make sense to you in the beginning. Soon you’ll begin to pick up words and phrases and tie them to ideas. A lot of the language learning will happen subconsciously, and all you have to do is listening and try to interact.

But this could take time. The next best thing to learning like a baby is to attend classes that are conducted entirely in the language.

According to the Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State, the easiest languages to learn (Italian, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, etc.) will need at least 575 to 600 class hours from you before you can be called proficient in them. In other words, you need to spend 600 hours in a classroom learning French or Spanish before you can speak it or understand it with any proficiency.

To speed up the process and build your vocabulary, you could turn to apps. The best language learning apps will help you practice your vocabulary, get used to phrases that are used every day, listen to audiobooks in the language you’re learning, and practice conversations with life-like bots. Every little bit of exposure will help you to get closer to your goal of speaking, reading, writing the language.

Best Apps to Aid Language Learning

Here’s a look at some of the best mobile apps for learning a foreign language. The following apps gamify the process of learning a language. This list includes mostly free apps but some are paid, for those who are willing to spend a small sum for added features.

Best Apps to Learn a New Language Abroad

Memrise, first levels free

I recommend Memrise for its vocabulary practice that won’t weigh you down with too much information or too much grammar. You can learn new words with clips of real people speaking them. There is a lot of focus on pronunciation. The format is easy on the eye and the app designers are always updating it.

With the help of memes and games, Memrise is a playful tool to reinforce the words you learn during your interactions with native speakers or in the language classroom. It’s definitely one of the more entertaining flashcard apps out there for learners. You can get the full app for a small fee.

DuoLingo, free

This one is among the more popular apps. Almost every language learner has heard of Duolingo, partly because it’s free and comprehensive, and partly because they’ve done a good job of building a large and active community. The app has over 100 million users as of today.

The app offers 81 language courses that have been created by native speakers and even if you’re not an English-speaker, you may be able to access it in your native language. Learning is through a combination of flash cards, smart chatbots that help you learn to listen and converse, word games, all packed in a generally lightweight platform.

It is not a substitute for classroom learning or learning through immersion among native speakers. But if you want to supplement your learning as a student of language, you can turn to the app for some useful exercises.

Mindsnacks, IOS-only

MindSnacks is a fun game-based app for building and practising your vocabulary as you listen. The lessons are simple and bite-sized, so you don’t chug down too much information at one time and interfere with learning. The app will keep track of your progress, which helps to keep you motivated as you see yourself reaching small goals.

What I really like about the app is its playful design that is reminiscent of children’s’ illustrated primers. It can be a refreshing and effective change from dull black and white grammar books that can put some people off language learning.

Best Apps to Learn a New Language Abroad

Mondly, first levels free

Mondly is going to give you daily lessons in vocabulary and phrases, conversations with chatbots, lessons grouped around categories, and a lot more. You can tap on verbs to see their conjugation, although I don’t recommend learning verb conjugation by memorizing. (Plenty of reading and listening is a lot more effective.)

The app also has an excellent speech recognition machine, a dictionary, and other features in over 30 languages. The format is enjoyable to use and you can quickly access a lesson while you’re on the subway.

HelloTalk,  subscription app

HelloTalk is designed to help you practise speaking without the stresses of a real-time conversation. You can use the app to find native speakers who want to learn a language you know. It’s a sort of virtual language trade app that lets you use a messaging-service to text them or send voice messages.

You can select a chat companion based on your entry level. You can use correction and translation features as well. The list of languages available is huge.

Beelinguapp, subscription app

Beelinguapp may become one of your favourite apps when you’re commuting to and from classes. Listening is one of the best things you can do to internalize a language, even if you don’t understand everything. This app will let you listen to an animated audiobook of children’s stories while you follow along with the text.

You can also switch the text between the language you’re learning and your native language to clarify the meaning, and select words to add to the glossary and build decks of flashcards.  The premium version of the app also lets you listen to music and the news. A listening app is highly recommended to complement your language course. At the moment, the app only caters to 13 languages.

Rosetta Stone, a subscription app

For a small price, Rosetta Stone offers a selection of categorized flash cards, listening and pronunciation exercises with a good speech recognition software and a minimalist layout that’s pleasing to look at. Right into the first core lesson, you’ll begin learning sentence structures subconsciously, as you associate pictures with verbs and vocabulary.

What’s especially nice about this app is there’s practically no instruction in English. If you’re new to a language like Japanese and aren’t familiar with the alphabet, Rosetta Stone will make a good listen-and-learn app to complement classroom learning.

Best Apps to Learn a New Language Abroad

Apps are a good way to supplement classroom learning. There’s one caveat I’d like to offer language students. Many apps are geared towards teaching grammar. Some linguists and language experts will tell you that learning grammar doesn’t help you learn a language. It only bogs you down when you try to speak or write. Instead, try to focus on listening, reading and speaking more as you learn, and you’ll learn more at a faster rate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *