THE BASICS

Find the Perfect Language App for You

Master a language in a few minutes a day with these apps.

Ready to learn a second (or third!) language? These apps can help you get there in just minutes a day, so find one that speaks to you!

Longtime favorite Duolingo will teach you to, well, say cheese.

If you learn best by playing

Duolingo has led the language-learning field for years with its breezy, gamified lessons. If you want to speak it, Duolingo probably teaches it: The app offers more than 30 languages, including Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Klingon.

    Duolingo - Language Lessons

    Learn Spanish, French, German

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Babbel gets you up and running with common phrases and conversation starters. (It’ll also help you get a snack.)

If you want to have conversations fast

Through lessons grounded in real-life dialogue, Babbel focuses on getting you up to speed pronto. The app offers a towering list of languages—try a classic Romance language, go Nordic with Swedish or Norwegian, or give Turkish, Russian, or Indonesian a whirl.

    Babbel - Language Learning

    Speak Spanish, French, Italian

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Are you a visual learner? Try Rosetta Stone’s photo-based approach.

If you want a tried-and-true method

Rosetta Stone has been using the immersion approach to language learning since 1992. No lengthy vocab lists or verb conjugations to memorize here. Instead you’ll see a photo of someone enjoying a croissant to learn that the French word for “to eat” is manger.

    Rosetta Stone: Learn Languages

    Speak Spanish, French, Korean

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Play a game and learn some French—all in under five minutes—with Drops.

If you have only five minutes a day

Every lesson in Drops is a lightning-fast game of wordplay that takes just five minutes. Start by learning new words by theme (food, people, relationships), then move on to advanced topics like politics and society.

    Drops: Language Learning Games

    Learn Spanish, French, Korean

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Text chat with your buddy, then work your way up to video calls.

If you want to work with native speakers

Tandem connects you to a native speaker of the language you want to learn via video or audio calls or text chat. This global community can help you become fluent in more than 300 languages, including 12 types of sign language.

    Tandem: Conversation exchange

    Practice 300+ languages

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Try learning an entirely new alphabet with LingoDeer.

If you want to learn an Asian language

LingoDeer teaches several languages but specializes in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. In addition to helping Latin-based language speakers adapt to entirely new character systems, the app also offers helpful cultural tips.

    LingoDeer - Learn Languages

    Learn Japanese,Korean,Spanish

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Videos of native speakers help you get your pronunciation just right in Memrise.

If you want to learn from an expert

Cofounded by a memory master and a neuroscientist, Memrise uses a mnemonic technique known as spaced repetition to help you quickly ramp up your vocab. Cool trick: Point your device’s camera at a hairbrush, for instance, and the app will display and speak the word in the language you’re learning.

    Memrise Easy Language Learning

    Learn Spanish, French & More

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Who doesn’t love a celebration of success? Falou rewards your hard work every step of the way.

If you are motivated by milestones

Loaded with flash cards and vocabulary-boosting lessons that focus on memorization and repetition for retention, Falou is a great companion to other language-learning platforms. Special certificates of achievement for reaching major milestones keep you going.

    Falou - Fast language learning

    Learn English, Spanish, French

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Lingvist covers the most statistically significant words first.

If you follow the scientific method

Developed by a former particle physicist, Lingvist uses big data and artificial intelligence to help you master vocab fast. The 5,000 words in each course, for example, were selected by analyzing the most common terms in news articles and books. Any words you miss are strategically repeated until you’ve learned them.

    Lingvist: Learn Languages Fast

    Spanish, French, German, Dutch

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Use iTranslate Converse to translate live conversations—helpful if you’re pressed for time.

If you need to order a coffee right now

iTranslate Converse won’t necessarily teach you a language, but it’ll make you instantly conversant. The app translates live conversations on the fly, in real time, which means you can use it when you need to find a train, order a coffee, or locate a bathroom. The app understands over 35 languages and dialects, including Arabic, Hindi, and Slovak.

    iTranslate Converse

    Real-time voice translator

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