What are the best language learning apps?

Do you want to learn (or improve) a foreign language? You might not need a tutor for to do it: app stores offer many possibilities to practice your grammar and vocabulary, and you can even do it while having fun! In this article, we have selected the best applications for learning a foreign language.

Paul List by Paul , last updated 2019-11-07
  1. Duolingo icon

    Duolingo is a language learning website in the same vein as sites like Lingvist. It offers users the opportunity to study one or more languages including English, Spanish, Italian, French, and German. The site requires you to return daily to accomplish objectives. It is not only a means of motivation, but also a way to gain the necessary experience over time to unlock the higher levels. These are of various styles consisting of both written and oral translations. It should be noted that the courses cover many subjects such as expressions, foods, animals, plurals, possessives, and questions of the country a language is primarily associated with. Duolingo tests your progress every eight lessons.

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  2. Memrise icon

    Memrise is a tool that gives you access to hundreds of thousands of courses on any topic on which you want to strengthen your knowledge or improve your level. Whatever you want to study, this application has more than 180 languages available, including Toki Pona (an artificial language) and Esperanto (almost extinct). Among the themes present in Memrise in addition to languages, there are arts, sciences, mathematics, history, geography, and several others. All courses have been designed by professionals in each field and improved by other users who have studied them, ensuring you a quality learning experience adapted to your needs.

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  3. Babbel icon

    Babbel is an application that allows you to learn a language from your smartphone or tablet. Choose from English, Italian, Swedish, Russian, Turkish, and a dozen of other languages and embark on a progressive and effective learning program. With short 15-minute sessions including complete and detailed lessons developed by linguists, Babbel adapts to all your needs, whether you are passionate about languages or just want to learn something new. To access the application you will need to subscribe to a membership, however you can try a first lesson for free.

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  4. Busuu icon

    Busuuu is a virtual community for language learning. It is a service that encourages social learning. Indeed, Internet users can chat via video conference with native speakers registered on the site in order to be "virtual immersed" in the language they're trying to learn. It is possible to learn English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and other languages such as Arabic and Russian. The platform offers more than 150 learning credits according to different themes. The language courses offered by Busuu are aimed at students of all levels.

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  5. Rosetta Stone icon

    Founded in 1999, Rosetta Stone is a method of learning foreign languages in the form of software. The concept of this type of learning, called "immersion", is to learn a new language as we have learned our mother tongue. This method is quite popular in English-speaking countries but not well known in other ones. Rosetta Stone boasts a track record of being deployed in more than 12,000 companies, 9,000 public organizations, and 22,000 educational institutions.

    • Language Learning Tool
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • Apple Watch
    • Software as a Service (SaaS)
    • Online
    • Mac
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  6. MosaLingua icon

    Mosalingua is an application for Android and iOS that allows rapid learning of many languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian, Russian or German. It offers about ten levels of teaching and improvement and it is also equipped with a backup system that allows the user to keep his progress in his learning. This application has all the options to both refine understanding and improve oral skills.

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  7. HelloTalk icon

    HelloTalk is a mobile application published in 2012 and running on iOS and Android. It allows you to connect with people who speak a foreign language and want to learn yours. Communication with language partners is achieved through instant messaging or telephone calls (VoIP). The app differs from other tools of its kind (https://alternativeto.net/software/whatsapp/, Viber, and others) thanks to features specially designed around learning foreign languages. Other similar apps exist like Tandem and HiNative.

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This list is non-exhaustive, and there are, of course, many other language learning apps like https://alternativeto.net/software/drops/ and https://alternativeto.net/software/lingqcom/, but I wanted to highlight the most important ones that have proven themselves over the years. There are also many other tools that can help you learn a foreign language like the dictionary https://alternativeto.net/software/wordreference/ or the machine translation service https://alternativeto.net/software/deepl-translator/. You can also use less specific tools like flash cards apps including https://alternativeto.net/software/anki/, https://alternativeto.net/software/tinycards/ and https://alternativeto.net/software/mochi/. Feel free to leave a comment if you've ever used one of these tools or if you feel an app is missing from the list. 🙂

This list was created by Paul Nov 5, 2019 and was last updated Nov 7, 2019. The list has 7 apps.

You can create your own lists from our large database of apps either for your own sake or if you want to share some great apps with other people.


CommentNov 10, 2019

If you ask me - Memrise is overrated. I can never remember anything that the app tries to teach me. Duolingo is alright, nothing special. It just works.

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CommentNov 10, 2019

I use Duolingo for words practice, sentences gets repetitive in duolingo after some time. Clozemaster for sentences, best app to learn a language. Language Transfer is an audio series which encourages explanations and transformation and discourages memorization.

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CommentNov 9, 2019

Esperanto (mentioned in Memrise's paragraph) it's an artificial (and old) languaje too. Then, why "almost extinct"?

2 replies

Maybe because almost nobody uses it?

Reply written Nov 11, 2019

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Esperanto is the most popular artificial languaje. Even more than Toki Pona. If esperanto is "almost extinct" then Toki Pona is a "walking dead" ...

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