This blog post was updated on September 28, 2018.
Gone are the days when learning a language consisted of paper flashcards and boring lesson plans in the classroom. While some still learn languages in this manner, many language seekers are going high tech. Specifically, there are a number of apps on the market that make it easier, more fun, convenient and affordable to learn a language. If you are struggling learning a new language, try these free language apps to invigorate your lingual experience.
MindSnacks: When you have exhausted trying to learn a language the boring way, you can turn to MindSnacks to add a bit of a game to learning a language. The app helps you learn to speak and read a new language all by playing games. The games are designed to help you learn all essential vocabulary and conversation skills. Rather than using traditional flashcards, the app replaces the paper with engaging and entertaining games. MindSnacks comes in a variety of languages including Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Chinese and Japanese. The app is also free to download.
Living Language: A language app from Random House, the Living Language app aims to go beyond your basic phrasebook. The app builds on your language learning, beginning with essential words and phrases. Available in several languages including Spanish, French, Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Greek, Korean, Hebrew, Hindi and Irish, the Living Language app provides lessons in essential, intermediate and advanced levels. In addition, users can benefit from vocabulary flashcards, comprehensive grammar notes and even conduct a dialogue with native speakers.
Duolingo: Similar to MindSnacks in that it uses games to help you learn a language, Duolingo is another app aimed at making learning a language fun. Available in Portuguese, Italian, German, French, Spanish, English, Danish, Irish and Dutch, Duolingo functions by providing bite-sized lessons. Each lesson features speaking, listening and translation work. The app keeps you on task by tracking how often you are doing the lessons. You can even compete with friends also learning a language at the same time. For all of your correct answers, Duolingo gives you points. Duolingo is also free to download.
Google Translate: While not your standard language app in that it provides lessons and games, the Google Translate app is good to have as a compliment to your other language apps. Featuring 80 languages, you can learn words and phrases as you think of them and how to say them. The app also provides a speech and handwriting translation tool. Free to download, the Google Translate app is also ideal if you are trying to master several languages at once. You don’t have to switch between different apps in order to look up words in several different languages.
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