The Top 5 Language Apps For Your Smartphone

There are a number of great online language-learning tools available – if you have the money. The least expensive of them is still nearly £100. Still, it could be worth the investment if you are dedicated to learning a new language. It is not, however, necessary to spend hundreds of pounds at the outset, or pay monthly fees for maintenance of your language lessons. You can find free or inexpensive apps for your iOS or Android, and learn languages for nothing more than your efforts. Here are the top 5 language apps for your smartphone.

BBC Languages

The British Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC, has a free app called BBC Languages. Check out their website, because it has a lot to offer people wanting to learn languages at any level. Whether you want to simply learn common phrases in a language or become conversational , you can find graduated, skills-appropriate lessons in some of the most popular languages for the self-taught.

There is a section called “quick fix” that has the common phrases. But, if you want more in-depth training, you can take an assessment test to determine your level. There are quite a few resources, too, including activities and games that go along with the provided vocabulary lists. You can also watch video lessons. All of this is structured for the person who really wants to learn to speak the language. This app is available for the major European languages as well as Chinese and Greek.


With Busuu, you can be part of a group, experimenting with your new language with other learners. There are a lot of flashcards at first, with many words and phrases, but it quickly begins to come together to form language skills. You will also practice writing the language. So say you want to learn Arabic, most of the feedback will be from actual native  language speakers or from Arabic translation services, so that you learn the true vernacular. It is available in the European languages, Brazilian, Russian, Polish, Turkish, Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese. If you want to learn more than one language at a time, you have to pay about $25 per month.

Duolingo This is an app that lets you practice your exercises and learn the basics of your selected languages free of charge. Once you develop some skills in the language, you start translating content from the computer. The Duolingo community rates your translations, which actually ends up being one of the best ways to learn the language. You can learn English, German, Portuguese, Spanish, French, or Italian in this way.

LingQ bills itself as a free app, but the free services are very minimal. To get into any meaty lessons, you have to pay $10 a month. Most people who have used this app say it is far better to have a little bit of experience with the language before you start using the app. New material is not presented very well, pedagogically.

These apps can help you learn a foreign language. After all, how handy is it to have a pocket translator and teacher all in one?