Have you ever been on the plane to another country before wondering what the best free language learning apps are? Whether you’re ordering food abroad or trying to chat to locals while on holiday, the French you learned in school only goes so far. Having a second language under your belt is incredibly helpful for moments like these but can also come in handy when applying for jobs.
According to a poll of 500 employers, knowing a foreign language came second on a list of desirable skills for candidates, after IT knowledge. Learning a second language, if you fancy it, is easier than ever, and it doesn’t have to involve pricey evening classes. Here are 5 of the best free language learning apps to help you along.
Whether you’re trying to learn French, Spanish, German or a language less commonly spoken, Duolingo covers an enormous range of languages from around the world, and beyond. You can even opt to learn High Valyrian! Simply select your language, your level of expertise from beginner to advanced, and get learning. They start with basics such as food and animals and move on to tenses, prepositions and get right into the nitty gritty of grammar in your chosen tongue. There’s also a test at the end of each chapter where you build the vocab you’ve learnt into sentences through reading, writing, listening and speaking.
2. AccellaStudy Essential Apps
AccellaStudy has a free dedicated app for each language they support. Covering everything from Ukranian to Japanese, you can be sure that whatever language you are opting for, you’re going to learn it thoroughly. Each app is simple to use and allows you to track your progress as you go along. You can learn vocab through flashcards and memorise it through spaced repetition. There’s also a hands-free mode you can use while driving – perfect when you’re stuck in a traffic jam. After each section, you get tested with a range of quizzes, including audio quizzes to make sure that what you’ve learned has sunk in.
Memrise has both a website and a free app so you can learn on the go. It features over 200 languages for you to choose from, so you’re never short on choice. Memrise works by putting words into sentences with similar sounding words from your mother tongue; this is designed to help you remember them. What makes Memrise unique is that it works with ‘seeds’. Each time you learn a new word, you “plant a seed”, which you can revisit and “water” as often as you like to make sure the word stays in your memory. On top of this, it’s one of the most fun free language learning apps because it features games and even memes in your chosen language.
Busuu is one of the most flexible free language learning apps out there, supporting languages from Arabic to Italian that you can learn on your own terms. Simply select your learning level, from beginner to intermediate to travel, and start. Busuu also features grammar units to make sure you know the technical stuff and after your tests, you are awarded official certificates that you can add to your CV. You can even download the lessons to learn offline. This is especially handy if you travel on the tube a lot and need entertaining, or even if you want to brush up your skills on the plane ahead of a holiday.
Last but by no means least on our list of free language learning apps, is Tandem. This one is a bit different from the other apps, as it is structured like a chatting platform. Tandem aims to connect you with native speakers of the language you’re learning. This helps you try out your skills with people who know the language best, learn to speak as the locals do, perfect your grammar and make a new friend. Don’t worry, though – Tandem also offers in-app translations if you find you’re not quite as fluent as you thought.