Written by Harriet Hall • Published 22nd May 2018 • 2 minute read
Brits are notoriously bad at learning a second language. Even though English is one of the most commonly spoken second languages in the world, Brits don’t tend to make the reciprocal effort. Essentially, the ubiquity of the English language has allowed us to get by as a nation of monolinguals for far too long!
Perhaps you’re off to the World Cup in Russia this year and want to be able to discuss the match with fans from different parts of the world, or you just can’t bear to order in another local Italian restaurant by pointing sheepishly at the menu… the time to learn a new language is now easier than ever.
We have rounded up our top 5 language-learning apps for you below. With a range of innovative features, from games to voice-recognition, there really is no longer an excuse!
Everyone who uses Duolingo recommends it, it’s as simple as that. The app applies classic gamification model to learning a new language making it completely addictive which explains why they have more than 200 million registered users worldwide. It operates under a freemium model, but the standard free content is extensive.
HelloTalk is another genius app idea. You chat with native speakers of the language you are looking to learn, and they can correct your messages with an inbuilt tool. Not only is it a way to improve your conversational language from someone who knows it better than any textbook, you get to chat with people and learn more about their culture too. They do say that there’s nothing better for learning a language than speaking to the locals.
Babbel comes with 40 free classes built in, which is a lot of free content for an app in this space, but its best feature is that it has inbuilt speech-recognition software so you can test your pronunciation too. It’s particularly good if you’re interested in learning the tongue-twisters, idioms, and colloquialisms of a dialect. It currently offers classes in 14 languages and operates under a subscription-based model.
As far as language learning apps go, AccelaStudy is super easy to use. It is available offline and, even better, has a hand free mode so you can use it whilst you’re driving without losing your focus on the road. Its particularly good for vocab which is excellent if you’re using it to supplement actual classes and it contains a lot of classically proven learning methods such as flashcards, repetition, and quizzes.
Rosetta Stone is best known as the comprehensive language-learning service, but they also offer an app full of useful phrases and words. They have their own proprietary speech-recognition technology to ensure that your pronunciation is on point. Its particularly useful for those who are travelling and just need the core basics across a range of languages, rather than an in-depth study of one.
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