The Best Free and Paid Language Learning Apps

best free language learning apps

Learning a new language can be difficult. Thankfully, there are lots of apps designed to teach you to speak like a native without leaving the comforts of your home. Some apps use games to make it fun, while others let you schedule 10 minutes a day to learn a new language. Here is our list of the best paid and free language learning apps to help you get one step closer to being bilingual.

HelloTalk: Best App for Learning a Language Through Conversation

HelloTalk
(Image Source: Google Play Store)

If you are the type of person that likes to learn a new language by talking to someone, HelloTalk is one of the best free apps you can get. This conversational app connects you to over 25 million native speakers from 150 countries that will help teach you their language.

You can communicate with other people by text, voice messages, or even video calls. Once you start a conversation, you can use the app to translate any messages that you don’t understand and make corrections to help them learn your language as well. Not only is this a handy app for learning a new language, it is also great to meet new friends and learn about new cultures. 

The app also features a few free courses, but most of them require a paid subscription to access. The subscriptions cost around $10 a month and give you access to hundreds of lessons, one-on-one live classes with professional tutors, and more.

Download: Apple App Store / Google Play Store

MemRise: Best Free Language App for Learning a Word a Day

memrise best langague learning app

MemRise was designed to make learning a new language fun by teaching you essential words and phrases with flashcards and thousands of video clips featuring native speakers. The app also uses scientific memorization techniques, such as mnemonics and spaced repetition, to help you recall words faster.

The free version of the app lets you create a schedule and choose how many words you want to learn each day. When you set a schedule, the app will send you notifications with short lessons when you have time to practice. The free app also includes a camera that will tell you how to pronounce anything you point it at. 

If you’re looking for other apps that will translate written and spoken words in real-time, check out our list of the best free translation apps here.

MemRise offers courses for more than 20 languages. However, Memrise is moving from a free app to a paid one, and some features are locked behind a paywall. In order to unlock full courses, you will need a paid subscription, which starts at $7.50 a month or $139.99 for a lifetime membership.

Download: Apple App Store / Google Play Store

mobile-setup

Busuu: Best Language Learning App for Business Travelers

busuu

Busuu was designed to help you learn a new language in just 10 minutes a day. The app lets you create a personalized schedule and track your progress toward specific goals, like passing a class, going on a business trip, or communicating with friends and family.

While this app only features 12 different languages to learn, each one comes with hundreds of interactive lessons that teach you new words, phrases, conjugations, and more. Many of the lessons have video or audio clips to train your ear and spoken word tests to improve your pronunciation.

If you want to unlock all the lessons, you have to sign up for the Premium plan, which costs $6.66 a month, or the Premium Plus plan, which costs $7.49 a month. The cheaper plan lets you practice with native speakers and comes with an offline mode. The most expensive plan comes with courses certified by McGraw-Hill Education. While these certificates are not official, like TOEFL, they can be a good way to show your language skills to an employer.

Download: Apple App Store / Google Play Store

Babbel: Best Paid Language Learning App Overall

babbel - best paid language learning app
(Image Source: Google Play Store)

Babbel is the best-selling language learning app in the world for a reason. The app features lessons created by language experts that use scientific learning methods designed to “send information from short-term to long-term memory.”

Each course offers personalized lessons that use realistic conversations and fun games to teach you languages through active and passive methods. This way, each lesson will build off each other, and you will learn important words and phrases faster. Each lesson only takes 10 to 15 minutes, and Babbel claims that you can have a basic conversation in a different language after just 15 hours of using the app.

This app lets you learn up to 14 different languages, which feature 85,000 hours of content across 60,000 lessons. While there are a few free lessons that will teach you some basic words and phrases, you will have to sign up for the paid plan if you are serious about learning a new language. A Babbel subscription, which starts at $6.95 a month, also gives you access to live classes from professional language teachers and other features.

Download: Apple App Store / Google Play Store

Duolingo: Best Free Language Learning App Overall

duolingo best free language learning app

Unlike most free language learning apps, Duolingo is completely free, so you can take an entire course and never have to worry about running into a paywall. Instead of signing up for a subscription, you will just see a few pop-up ads when you are using the app.

Duolingo lets you choose between 35 languages, and it has an easy and fun interface. The app uses game-like exercises and interactive stories with colorful characters to teach you a new language without focusing on the boring rules. It was also designed with algorithms that personalize your lessons and make them just the right difficulty for your skill level.  

What’s great about Duolingo is that it combines some of the best aspects of other language learning apps. This free app features flashcards to expand your vocabulary, audio clips to train your ear, and spoken word tests to improve your pronunciation.

All lessons for all courses offered on DuoLingo are free. However, if you don’t want to see ads, you will need to sign up for a Duolingo Plus subscription, which costs $6.99 a month. The paid version also lets you track your progress, use the offline mode, and you get to make unlimited mistakes.

Download: Apple App Store / Google Play Store

If you want to make sure that you don’t end up paying for an app you don’t use anymore, check out our step-by-step guide on how to cancel a subscription on your iPhone.

mobile-setup

This article has been updated with more recent information.