Whether you know the schoolgirl basics or are starting from scratch here are three ele approved apps to have you learning a second language in no time.
1. Duo Lingo
One of the ele team favourites (our Ed is currently polishing up her French and Japanese skills on this app), Duo Lingo gamefies learning a language with helpful hints and tips, clever sounds and a little bird guiding you along the way. We love the simple user interface and ease of getting started. As you climb up through the levels the difficulty increases, however there are plenty of opportunitues to do extra activities if you need to brush up on a particular skill (ie ‘greetings’ or ‘shopping’). Duo Lingo is a great option if you want to learn multiple languages at once and also has an excellent range of languages from across the globe to choose from.
You can use Duo Lingo for free, however be warned you will be hit with a number of ads and a limited number of ‘hearts’, which you need in order to continue moving through the classes. The hearts renew overnight so you can effectively still learn on the free version however as a subscription is not expensive (about $10-15 a month) if you are committed to learning a little faster without any distraction we would recommend the paid version, Duo Lingo Plus.
Babbel is a good solid option, with tailored courses depending on the language you are learning. We would describe it as the most similar experience to learning in a class room environment. It spends a lot more time explaining what you are learning compared to Duo Lingo which relies more on repetition. It has a limited amount of languages (about 13) however it covers many of the most popular ones. Babbel has great 15 minute lessons which are the perfect length to fit around a busy working day either on your commute, lunch break or while you are taking a morning coffee break. You will need to fork out for the paid version as the free option will only take you so far in your studies.
Busuu has a clean and bright layout and sets helpful reminders to strengthen weaker works each time you log in. Little vocabulary tips will assist you to further understand when to use words correctly in conversation. Busuu’s premium plan will assist you to set specific goals and plans that suit your schedule and help to determine how long it will take you to become fluent in a language.
Depending on whether you want to become fluent or just need the basics for an upcoming trip each of these apps can help you achieve your goals. Of course if you are serious about learning a language we would also recommend using an app in conjunction with other methods – listening to stories and music in your chosen language (try YouTube), online tutorials with language teachers and reading simple language books.