With international travel becoming so much a part of our lives, being multilingual is a big plus. Imagine speaking fluent Spanish when you visit Spain or flawless Portuguese while travelling in Brazil. And now, to get a hang of the basics, you don't even need to sign up for a class. You can load some apps on your phone and you will be all set to learn a new language.
This is one of the most, if not the most popular app for learning languages. With over 120 million users across platforms, it is the most used app as well. Duolingo offers 59 courses to help you learn 23 languages.
The way to learn is to proceed lesson by lesson and level by level. The app will teach you simple words from the language of your choice and then move to sentence structure and further on to grammatical concepts.
You are awarded a certain 'streak' depending on how much you practice and you need certain points to complete a level. The makers claims that, on an average, the app teaches you 2,000 words of the language you are learning.
Lingvist 2.0 is a platform that believes that you can master a language in 200 hours. Currently, the startup offers programs only in French and English, but they are working on adding more languages, such as Spanish and German.
Engineers from CERN no less and Skype have created special algorithms to adjust the course according to the learning ability of the user.
This beautifully designed app is for someone who enjoys short bursts of learning. Language Drops insists on a mere 5 minutes of learning every day to learn a new language. It offers courses in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian.
The makers have selected the 1,000 most commonly spoken words in each language and have used only those in their teaching modules. The app has a great presentation value as it makes you learn new phrases with the help of gestures such as tapping, swiping and rubbing. It is available only in the App Store.
It is quite understandable if you don't want to learn a language from an app. So how about picking up a new language from someone who speaks it everyday. Hua gets native speakers on board to teach others their own language.
Once you sign up, you have to choose a language and chat with the native user of that language to begin practising.
This service uses an innovative way to introduce words from other languages in your mind. You just have to surf the web after choosing a language and the service will help you learn that language.
For instance, the web module will present you with different articles, where you can double-click on a word to see what it means. The translation button is also available for a quick check to see how correct you are. This is a great tool if you have already attained a certain level of proficiency in languages such as Spanish, German and French and want to further hone your skills.
This app is designed to help you while travelling. It lists common phrases from different languages spoken across the world. Phrases are grouped in categories such as 'greetings', 'common', 'food', 'shopping', 'emergency', and 'numbers'.
You can listen to the word pronunciations in the app and then compare that with your own pronunciation while speaking so that there is no mistake. The app works offline, so there is no need for an Internet connection. You can search for the phrases in the app and store your favourites separately.
This is another 'all-round' app that helps you pick up more and more languages. The app uses a combination of visual cues in lessons and pronunciation tests for more effective learning.
The iOS and Android apps teach you 2,000-3,000 words per language that are spoken by native speakers of that particular language. The app supports 14 languages at the moment with smartwatch compatibility for learning.