Five language apps to help pass the time

Brits are notoriously bad at learning a second language. Even though English is the most commonly spoken second languages in the world, Brits don’t tend to make the reciprocal effort to learn other languages. Essentially, the popularity of our native tongue has allowed us to get by as a nation of monolinguals for far too long.

But as the Prime Minister addressed the country on Monday 23 March, we are now effectively on lockdown as a nation. What does this mean? Well simply put, it means pubs and restaurants will shut immediately, retail shops will be closed and only essential shopping for groceries will be allowed.

So we’re going to have to adjust to having more spare time on our hands. Aside from home DIY projects and reaching Sir Alex Ferguson levels of management on Football Manager (you know who you are), there’s also the opportunity to learn a new language.

We’ve looked at five language apps that offer different ways of learning.


It is the most downloaded education app in the history of the App Store and in 2019 became the top-grossing education app worldwide. 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 300 million registered users worldwide.

It operates under a freemium model, but the standard free content is extensive.

So if you’ve ever fancied trying your hand at learning Swahili or Japanese now is your chance.

Duolingo have also decided to share some daily tips on how to get the most out of the app during this period of isolation!


With a jazzy colourful layout, Drop is certainly one of the most interactive businesses on this list and a great choice if you find it best to learn visually. Word by word, Drops helps you learn a new vocabulary through fun, fast-paced games with simple mnemonic images.

With 35 languages available to you, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another app that offers you such a great selection to choose from.

There’s also a function to tailor it directly to your needs. If you only need it for travel reasons Drops helps you to learn how to shop and bargain chat with locals, and generally get around a new location.

After winning Google’s ‘Best App’ of 2018 and Fast Company’s ‘World’s most innovative’ companies award in 2019, we’re excited to see what 2020 will bring for them.

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We are aware that quite a few of you are probably abroad right now, trying to figure out how to get home. Or you might be living in a country where you don’t speak their native language perfectly and don’t know the words to explain that you’re sick. We have “Illnesses” and “Aches & Pains” categories that may be able to help you explain. If you’ve used your 5 minutes for the day, but still want to know the words, you can head to our visual dictionary (link in bio) to look up any words that you need. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Stay safe and continue with your social distancing and/or quarantine measures! We’re all in this together.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ . ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #wordgames #languagelearning #languages #languageapp #languagedrops #learnenglish #alwaysbelearning #visuallearning #languageteacher #edtech #keeplearning #learnjapanese #learnfrench #learnwithdrops #frenchwords #neverstoplearning #learnspanish #learnkorean #learnthai #learngerman #learnsomething #covid19 #learningresources #homeschool

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Putting music at the forefront of learning a new language is London based company, Lirica. The language business believes that songs are what make languages memorable, as they are naturally engaging and form a window into the cultures that they represent.

Lirica want people to be able to learn whenever and wherever they want; think powerful classroom learning interaction but on the go.

With a bank of songs ranging from reggae icons such as Nicky Jam or Latin American boy band, CNCO.

The app has so far been tested with students of Spanish at Birkbeck, LSE and King’s College.


Do you know where the word Busuu originates from? It’s from the Busuu language in Cameroon. After a team from Busuu HQ visited Cameroon a few years ago they were inspired by the language and were determined to save the language which unfortunately is close to becoming extinct.

With 12 different language courses available on both mobile and web, and with over 100 million users around the globe, Busuu is the world’s largest community for learning a new language. Busuu is even one of the languages you can learn on the app.

Users have the option to sign up for free or subscribe to a premium membership.

So, when our isolation period has passed, you can be the envy of your friends by ordering your drink at the pub in another language on your next holiday!

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Stay safe everyone 🌎💙 #languagelearning #lovelanguages

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An award-winning language learning platform with over 40 million users across 189 countries which during their last round of funding raised in excess of $15.5 million.

What separates Memrise from other language apps is that they specialise in combining cognitive science, powerful technology alongside entertaining content.

Something that Memrise do well is creating their offering to not feel like a school lesson and instead a genuinely recreational option that you’d choose to do in your spare time. So, say goodbye to re-reading endless lists of words and phrases, and be ready to get fully immersed in Memrise’s content.

It’s also been voted the best app for iPhone in a plethora of countries including the UK, Russia, Norway and Germany.

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Happy Pi Day 🎉🎉

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Do you have an app which you would like to raise awareness of in the UK market? Why not speak to one of our award-winning team today about what PR could do for you and your business.

Get in touch with the team