6 Apps That Make Learning a Foreign Language So Much Easier
It's easier than ever before to learn a new language!
Mastering a language that's not your own used to involve years of studying, practicing and perfecting the accent, but now, thanks to a flurry of functional apps, you can brush up on your French or learn Japanese by pressing a few buttons on your phone. Whether you're looking to study abroad in a foreign country and need help get acquainted with the native tongue, or you simply want to develop a new skill, learning a language is a great way to broaden your horizons.
To help get you started, we've compiled a list of six apps that make learning a foreign language so much easier, and—dare we say it—fun. Scroll down and check 'em out!
As far as language learning apps go, Duolingo is one of the most popular options in the bunch, and for good reason. The free app lets users choose from 24 different languages including Greek, Hebrew and Hindi. It teaches new skills and words gradually with an array of bite-sized lessons that allow you to read, listen and speak the language of your choice, and it lets you dictate your own pace.
Because the lessons are so brief (and designed to feel more like games) they're easy to complete even if you're super busy. Your skills are strengthened through repetition, and the app is great at assessing your strengths and weaknesses, meaning it knows where to focus so you can learn as quickly and efficiently as possible. This is great for someone looking to pick up an entirely new language.
Memrise is a language platform which uses flashcards as memory aids, but unlike with any of the language classes you may have taken in high school, everything you need to learn and improve can be found on your phone. Users pick from one of 16 different languages and the app then uses powerful visual and auditory clues to teach you. The idea is that each new skill you learn will be tied to a memory, which is scientifically proven to make it easier for you to not only retain information, but also build on it. The app also uses an array of videos, audio tools, mnemonics and etymologies to help ensure that you won't quickly forget what you've learned. This is ideal for someone either looking to learn a language, or someone looking to brush up on existing language skills.
Babbel is a subscription-based language learning app and e-learning platform that has 14 different languages to choose from. The lessons are crafted by language experts and voiced by native speakers, which means this app is great at teaching conversational skills and preparing you for real-life situations. In other words, you won't need to worry about any of those outdated words or expressions often found in language textbooks. It also uses speech recognition technology to help ensure your accent is accurate. This app is perfect for someone looking to bolster their conversation skills and perfect their accent.
Busuu is an AI-powered language-learning platform on web, iOS and Android that allows users to interact with native speakers from around the world. Similar to some of the other apps mentioned thus far, this one, which has 12 languages to pick from, relies primarily on machine learning technology (such as personalized study plans and speech recognition) to strengthen your skills. The app also lets users set both weekly and daily goals, which help ensure you won't fall behind or slack off. Furthermore, you can use this app to connect with millions of native speakers who can provide helpful feedback and tips. This app is great for someone who wants an immersive learning experience.
Mondly sets itself apart from other language learning apps in that it instructs users with the help of virtual and augmented reality. What does that mean exactly? It means that instead of simply repeating words over and over again, this app puts you in "real-life" situations and tests your knowledge. The situations are computer-generated simulations that can include everything from a quick hello with a friend to a conversation you'd have with a concierge at a hotel. These immersive experiences allow you to work on your conversation skills and pinpoint areas that might need some extra attention. This app is perfect for someone who is preparing to travel to a foreign country.
Though you might use Google Translate as a way to translate text from one language to another online, the platform can also be helpful if you're looking to refresh some language skills you might already have. While we wouldn't use it to learn a language from scratch, Google Translate can be very helpful if you're in a foreign country and need some help, fast. Not only can the app translate for you, as its name suggests, but you can also use it in conjunction with your camera and it'll translate text by pointing your phone's camera lens. In other words, if you're lost in Spain and can't read a map or a street sign, simply point your camera at it and let Google do the work. This is fitting for someone who is already in a foreign country and might need a little extra assistance.
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