This year, the global pandemic has left many people with extra time to while away at home. Of course, it is always effortless to fall into a downward spiral of laziness, but to avoid this, we can take on a constructive hobby that leaves us with something of value. Prominent among these diversions is language learning, which is much easier when done using a mobile device. Here are some of the best picks in language learning apps.
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A big name in language learning, Rosetta Stone, has been educating since the early nineties. The app is intuitive, user-friendly, and well-structured, and it provides a strong foundation of vocabulary and grammar. Features include a phrasebook, audio stories in the target language, and TruAccent, a pronunciation guide that uses speech recognition. The app offers a wide range of languages, it is easily customizable to individual learning preferences, and various subscription options are available.
A simple and user-friendly interface, Memrise helps users to speak languages through casual conversations. They make it possible with videos that show how native speakers use specific phrases in conversation. Lessons are fun and customizable, so users can decide how much new language they take onboard with every lesson. The app offers lessons from beginner to advanced, and it uses positive reinforcement with a points system. It is entirely free, and courses can be taken offline.
Another leading language learning app, Duolingo, supports over 30 languages and is not just aimed at English speakers. The app is based on audio, text, and visual material to make learning more enjoyable. Duolingo helps users to track their learning objectives and move on to more challenging goals at the right time. Duolingo Stories are audio stories that allow users to check their listening comprehension. The app is free, though a premium plan without advertisements is also available.
Babbel has a simple layout that takes the distractions out of learning a language. The lessons take users through the language used by native speakers and analyzed by experts. This includes translations, illustrations, variations of specific words and phrases, and how formal or informal the language is. The lessons are only 15 minutes in length, so they are easy to workaround. The app is free with an optional premium subscription.
A fun and colorful app, Mondly comes with a wide range of features. It includes images, audio, and translations to suit different learner styles. It is a straightforward app that is great for beginners, and it offers lessons in daily, weekly or monthly format. Mondly provides more than 40 languages, it uses games to make learning more fun, and it even has a chatbot for practicing scripted conversations. Mondly is free with a premium version available.
For visual learners, the colorful interface of Drops may have an immediate appeal. It teaches vocabulary and short phrases with the help of mnemonic images. Vocabulary is clearly categorized, and tutorials are enjoyable and quick. More than 35 languages are offered, but only one five-minute lesson is available per day on the free plan. For more than this, the premium plan must be chosen.
Busuu gives its learners a placement test that delves deeply into their learning objectives and preferences. The app then helps users reach their goals by developing a study plan based on the frequency and amount of time they can devote to practice. The lessons include dialogue, audio, gap-fill, and word-order exercises. More basic vocabulary and reading lessons are available on the free plan, though the premium plan comes at an extra cost.
With these great apps, learning languages is now much more accessible and enjoyable. We can instantly take on new skills and have something to show for any spare time that we find ourselves with.
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