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5 language learning apps to use in 2018

January 9, 2018 | Rachel Hurley

January is the time of year to be making New Year’s resolutions, but how many of us make it to the end of the month with these resolutions still intact? Nevertheless, if your resolution this year is to improve on some long-neglected language skills, we have some of the best language learning apps to help you practice well into 2018.

Duo Lingo

Probably the most well-known language learning app, it has 31 courses for English speakers including all the usual languages you might want to learn, and a few slightly unusual ones. Currently there is a course on High Valerian (the made-up language from Game of Thrones) and a course is under development for Klingon for avid Star Trek fans. However, courses aren’t just for English speakers and there are hundreds of combinations so you can learn no matter what your native language is.

It motivates your learning by only getting you to do five minutes a day, making it as fun as possible with fast-paced games and quizzes. They rely heavily on visual aids with quirky cartoons and images to help you remember key words and phrases.

Duo Lingo also boasts being scientifically proven to work best for people who have no knowledge of the new language prior to learning. So if you’re learning from scratch, Duo Lingo would be a great place to start.

Mind Snacks

Mind Snacks is aimed at much younger learners, or just anyone that prefers learning through mini-games. It is very much game-motivated with puzzles and tasks to complete rather than the basic ‘translate each word’ format many language learning apps take. There are seven mind snack apps for each language course, these include: French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and Portuguese. If these seem a bit complicated for younger kids learning languages there’s also a kid’s vocab app.

Like Duo Lingo, Mind Snacks would probably work best for people learning from scratch who want to add a bit of entertainment to their language learning.

Babbel

Babbel is perfect for those people who have a basic knowledge of the language and want to improve their spoken skills. It focuses on conversational aspects and has features which allow you to practice your speaking and listening. Instead of getting you to repeat abstract sentences, it tries to encourage speaking like a native and provides useful phrases that could be used in conversation.

Unlike the first two language learning apps, this would be ideal for someone who knows the basics and wants to become more conversational or practice skills they may have forgotten.

Memrise

Memrise looks quite similar to Duo Lingo and operates in a very similar way. However, rather than heavily relying on visuals to get users to retain vocab, Memrise uses words from your native language that sound or look similar to the ones in the new language so you can associate them better. The Memrise system also relies heavily on memory science and getting people to retain the knowledge they’ve learned better.

Triplingo

So you’ve probably tried all the rest and have almost given up on your New Year’s resolution, but you’ve got a work trip abroad in a few weeks and don’t know a word of the language. Never fear, Triplingo is here to save the day! This language learning app is specifically designed to teach you only the essentials of language that you will need to use.

Triplingo doesn’t just include language phrases either. It also has essential info on safety tools such as what the emergency number for each country is, how to tell people if you have a food allergy, how to calculate tips, and general advice for a faux pas-free experience.

 

Whether you’re determined to be fluent by 2019, or just want something to see you through your next few holidays, one of these apps should able to help you with your language learning this year. If your company requires any language services in the New Year, see what Language Insight can do for you here.