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5 apps to learn a new language

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It is European Day of Languages today, and despite the whole Brexit situation, there are still very few places in the world as international as the UK.

Since it is never too late to learn something new and to broaden our horizons, here are five apps you can use to master a new language.

 

Duolinguo

There are a few language apps as good as Duolinguo. The mobile version has recently been updated with new features and languages and it is extremely practical and interactive.

Duolingo helps you learn by using text, pictures, and audio. It works by making you associate the sound of the translation with the visuals of the text and pictures, and then have you manually translate the audio back into your native language to help reinforce the new words.

As you move forward and complete different sections, you’ll gradually build your vocabulary and sentence structure. You can also try a different-section exam if you’re already familiar with the language. The app will automatically assess your level and adapt the questions based on how well you do.

You can download Duolinguo for Android here and for iOs here.

busuu

Originally one of the most famous web-based platforms to learn languages online, Busuu has now a pretty good app, too.

Just choose the language you'd like to learn, login, and then pick your level among Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, or Travel.

The most handy feature of busuu is that the words and phrases you'll learn at the beginning are very helpful for people who may already be around foreign speakers and need to learn how to express themselves in a real-live context fairly quickly.

The app guides you though vocabulary words and phrases, then quizzes you as you move up through the levels to test your knowledge.

Busuu also has a premium version with more quizzes and extra features, but the basic one is already pretty good and it is completely free.

The app is available both on Android and iOs.

 

Google Translate

The obvious choice for many Android users, Google Translate does not teach you a language through exercises or progressive steps, but will simply translate everything you pass through the app.

You can enter text manually, draw the text, or speak it to translate it to the target language. You can even save your favourite translations so you can go back and check them whenever you need to.

Google Translate may not be the best app to learn a language from scratch, but it's certainly a great tool if you're stuck on a specific word or phrase, or if you’re in a country where you don’t speak the language and other people don’t speak yours.

Despite being a Google app, you can find Google Translate also on iOs.

 

Tandem

Everyone knows that the best way of becoming fluent in a new language is to speak it, and Tandem lets you do just that. The app is geared toward conversations with native speakers.

The idea behind it is that you can help other people learn new languages via text, audio, and video chat, and they can help you back.

You will receive suggestions about partners sharing your interests, and once you agree on a time to chat, you can pick specific topics that serve as ice-breakers.

The app is substantially free to talk to other people, but you can choose to pay for a lesson with a professional tutor, if need be.

You’ll need to sign up with your Facebook or Google account, and there are also moderator checks to ensure that you’re serious about learning, and to weed out those who are abusing the service.

Download Tandem for Android here and for iOs here.

Babbel

Babbel is a very good app if you favourite the old-fashioned way of learning. The app is structured in lessons, each lasting between 10 and 15 minutes.

The lessons cover different topics, and allow you to begin using the app at different levels

The app teaches you various words and phrases, and challenges you to spell them out, speak them aloud, and fit them into sentences.

The best thing with Babbel is that it focuses on conversational learning and it teaches you grammar rules as you progress. You can also download lessons and study offline.

The app design is a bit rough and the software’s voice recognition doesn’t always work the way it should. However, the app itself is good and the teaching method sound.

The biggest downside is that, if the first lesson is free with Babbel, you have to pay between £5 and £10 a month if you want get full access to the learning materials for a single language.

You can find the Android version of the app here and the one for iOs here.

Are you using these apps? Would you add any other to the list? Let us know in the comments below.

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