4 Great Android Apps for Learning to Speak a New Language

AndroidLearnLanguage-Featured

It takes a good deal of effort to learn a new language. These apps can help you through the process or supplement your existing routine. Some are free, while others nudge you towards paying a monthly subscription. Either way, there are some great options available in the Play Store for picking up a second language using your conveniently located Android device.

Learning a new language can be fun. That’s the idea behind Duolingo anyway. This app takes mobile gamification trends and applies them to the act of speaking a new tongue, awarding you with badges when you do well and letting you compare yourself with others on the leaderboard. Lessons consist of questions that grant you XP when you answer them correctly and cost you hearts when you get them wrong. The app is completely free, and there are no ads to get in the way of the experience.

Languages Offered:

  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

Memrise has a wider selection of languages available than Duolingo, boasting over 200. The community-based platform calls on users to submit their own lessons and quizzes for other people to learn from. Unfortunately, this also means that quality can be a bit sporadic. Nevertheless, Memrise may be one of the most addictive options available on Google Play for people trying to learn a language that isn’t as popular (in terms of educational materials available) as others.

AndroidLearnLanguage-Memrise

Memrise is free to use, but you can personalize your experience further by going premium for $5 a month or $30 a year.

Languages Offered:

Unlike Memrise, Babbel offers just over a dozen languages, and unlike Duolingo, it’s not modeled after mobile games. Babbel’s user experience consists of learning new vocabulary from virtual trainers and practicing words using speech recognition. There are also on-screen quizzes and grammar exercises to slip into your daily life as you go about your day. However, Babbel comes in on the pricey end of things. The app costs $12.95 a month or $83.40 a year. That may be competitive compared to Rosetta Stone, but it’s more than Play Store users typically pay for software.

Languages Offered:

  • Brazilian
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Turkish

busuu tests your language comprehension through a number of approaches including voice recognition, multiple choice questions, fill-in-the-blank, image matching, and various combinations. When it’s all done, users will have practiced listening and reading, along with speaking and writing. Like other apps on this list, busuu is community-supported, and you can submit content to get feedback from others. Getting started is free. If you start to enjoy the service, than you can access more units with a premium subscription priced at $11.99 a month or $65.99 a year.

Languages Offered:

  • Chinese
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Turkish

Learning a new language used to require committing to a course or pouring hundreds of dollars into pricey desktop software. Now you can get started using a mobile device. Depending on your app of choice, you may still have to pay, but you can learn quite a bit without spending a dime.

If there’s another mobile app that has done a great job of helping you pick up a second, third, or fourth language, give them a shout out below!

4 comments

    • Are you kidding? The makers of all things Apple assume the end consumer is too stupid to be allowed to do certain things. My new (required) company iphone 5S is terrible and will not allow simple things such as backing up one level. It even requires me to change the keyboard screen to insert a period at the end of a sentence. My personal 3+ year old Droid 4 is more intuitive, less frustrating, simpler, etc., and allows me more control – including changing the battery, adding a larger memory card, and so on. My Droid 4 also has the advantage of a full qwerty keyboard – no screen changes needed.

  1. You missed one, its called JW Language it free no ads and its good for 19 Languages. Bengali, Mandarin Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Myanmar, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai and Turkish

  2. I’ve been using Duolingo for a while and it is really good. The Android version is different from the web version.

    Saw a talk from their founder that explained their business model on how they can offer it for free. On the web version, one of their features is for you to practice you language skills by translating sentences from documents. They make their money by translating documents for companies (I believe CNN is one of their customers). So, it is really a win for everyone. Students learn languages for free, companies get document translations, and Duolingo is able to monetize their service.

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