Is learning a new language your New Year’s Resolution?
It’s difficult to believe that just a few years ago learning a language on your own meant corny tapes, dreary books and a huge amount of self-motivation! Thankfully today there are (of course) apps for that. We’ve scoured the net to find the Top 5 language apps to help you learn languages quickly and effectively and make your resolution a reality.
Duolingo, the world’s most popular language app, is an innovative and free way to improve your language skills quickly. Pick a language (French, German or Spanish), set yourself a goal and track your progress as you move through the app’s different levels of grammar and vocabulary exercises. More than anything, this app is fun: each exercise is set up in a ‘game style’ with ‘hearts’ lost for each incorrect response. Duolingo is also completely interactive: compete with friends and colleagues, pose questions, give tips and share your progress on social media. With timed reminders to keep you learning every day you stay motivated, with no excuse not to keep up!
Love making and sharing memes? Then Memries is the perfect app for you. Memries is a brand new way of learning languages that picks up on the latest trend in ‘memes’. Created by Ed Cooke, the official ‘Grand Master of Memory,’ and using his unique learning strategies, Memries helps you learn languages and remember new words by creating funny ‘mems’ to accompany new grammar rules or vocabulary. A crowd-sourcing app, Memries lets you both use their huge database of ‘mems’ or be creative and create your own to share with other users!
3. Learn Languages: Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone’s tried and tested method helps you learn over 19 languages from French to Farsi! Immersive lessons and ‘picture matching’ features help you navigate vocabulary and grammar. However it’s the app’s speech recognition system and live tutor feature that make it stand out from the crowd. Perfect your pronunciation with the enhanced speech recognition system, designed to specifically recognise non-native accents, and then schedule live tutorials with native speakers to hone your conversation skills. Although not the cheapest option, Rosetta Stone succeeds in marrying independent learning with face-to-face learning, providing an intense but balanced language learning experience.
Using ‘real-world’ videos for an immersive style of language learning, FluentU is perhaps the most innovative of our 5 apps. Fluent U takes clips from music videos, adverts, news and TED talks and turns them into language learning experiences. Videos are categorised and come with searchable transcripts, vocabulary lists and quizzes, allowing you to learn a language in its real-world context. With its video recommendations based on the vocabulary interests and progress, FluentU gives you a truly tailored learning experience.
5. Cat Spanish
Cat Spanish is possibly the most memorable and a-meow-sing way to learn Spanish. Designed by the same team that brought you ‘Memrise’, Cat Spanish is a language app with a twist: all grammar, phrases and vocabulary lessons are taught through cat pictures, videos and games! Track your progress and be rewarded for your efforts with funny cat videos and pictures to send to your friends.