The 8 Best Language Learning Apps (2020)

According to Google, searches for apps related to learning a language have grown 85% year on year. Now, most of the online users prefer using a free or a premium language learning app either to support their language courses or to start from scratch. Users also try more than one app instead of choosing between two. 

What makes a language learning app a good one?

Before deep dive into the top list of 2020, here are a couple of suggestions to evaluate a language learning app in terms of features.

  • Different Types of Content: A successful language learning app should have different types of content including video, podcast, text, and quiz. It also supports reading, listening, and writing at the same time to let you build grammar, speaking, and vocabulary skills. 
  • Every-Day Learning: In order to learn a new language, you need to practice every single day even if you only have 5 minutes. The app you choose should remind you to study every day with fun and encouraging push notifications.
  • Social Learning: You need to practice with real people to strengthen your language skills. A successful app should provide you a community to talk to and learn from each other. 
  • Tracking Your Progress: Collecting your goal(s), giving rewards when you achieve a daily goal, and inform you about your progress is what makes a language learning app personalized. 

As the demand for language learning apps increases, the number of apps in Google Play and App Store has increased accordingly. Choosing the best app to learn a language has become harder for the iOS and Android users. If you are looking for an app to, let’s say, find the best spanish learning app, here we have listed the top 8 language learning apps of 2020 on the App Store and Google Play, with their details.

Duolingo

Having more than 30 million monthly active users, Duolingo is the most downloaded language learning app in the world. The app supports more than 35 languages including both endangered and the most spoken languages. The app content is created by language learning scientists, machine learning engineers, and AI experts. 

Duolingo makes it easy for its users with its game-like lessons and fun characters to learn keywords and grammar, practice speaking, listen to podcasts, keywords, sentences, read short stories, and learn local idioms.  

Duolingo offers a Premium subscription to let users have ad-free experience and have unlimited hearts to unlock lessons.

Supporting Different Types of ContentYes
Sending Daily Push NotificationsYes
Providing Community for Social LearningYes
Progress TrackingYes
Websitehttps://www.duolingo.com
Google Play StoreShow App Page
Apple App StoreShow App Page
App RatingiOS: 4.7 / 5 Android: 4.7 / 5

Babbel

Supporting 14 languages including Spanish, Russian, and Danish, Babbel provides users lessons that take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. It is available for everyone who wants to learn a new language for travel, work, and everyday life with listening, speaking, reading, and writing options.  

There are more than 60.000 expert-made language courses available in Babbel for 14 languages. The app has an interactive Dialogue trainer for real-life topics.

It is a free to download app offering a 7-day trial and charges monthly after the trial period ended based on the subscription package.

Supporting Different Types of ContentYes
Sending Daily Push NotificationsYes
Providing Community for Social LearningYes
Progress TrackingYes
Websitehttps://uk.babbel.com
Google Play StoreShow App Page
Apple App StoreShow App Page
App RatingiOS: 4.6 / 5 Android: 4.4 / 5

Memrise

Having over 50 million users, Memrise supports around 20 languages for a fast language learning experience. The app helps users to learn with locals via videos and native speakers, improve pronunciation with voice recognition, download courses for offline learning, and practice games for deep learning. 

Memrise is a free to download app offering a trial period and charges monthly after the trial period ended based on the subscription package.     

Supporting Different Types of ContentYes
Sending Daily Push NotificationsYes
Providing Community for Social LearningYes
Progress TrackingYes
Websitehttps://www.memrise.com/
Google Play StoreShow App Page
Apple App StoreShow App Page
App RatingiOS: 4.8 / 5 Android: 4.6 / 5

Busuu

Busuu is a free language learning app that supports up to 12 languages. There are more than 100 million Busuu users worldwide using the app with different levels. 

The app helps users to set goals, speak with pronunciation exercises, learn grammar and vocabulary, and practice writing by submitting exercises, download courses for offline usage, and practice with locals for fast learning. 

Busuu claims that 22 hours practice in the app equals one college semester.

Supporting Different Types of ContentYes
Sending Daily Push NotificationsYes
Providing Community for Social LearningYes
Progress TrackingYes
Websitehttps://www.busuu.com/
Google Play StoreShow App Page
Apple App StoreShow App Page
App RatingiOS: 4.7 / 5 Android: 4.5 / 5

Rosetta Stone

Preferred by millions of users worldwide, Rosetta Stone is an ad-free language learning app providing interactive and contextual lessons for both online and offline usage. It supports 24 languages and it takes 10 minutes to complete a lesson.

Rosetta Stone now offers live lessons with coaches for all languages for free. It also launched a Coaching On-Demand feature to practice on-location to Mexico with interactive videos, offered in the most popular languages for free. 

 The app offers 3 and 12-month subscriptions as well as a lifetime subscription option.

Supporting Different Types of ContentYes
Sending Daily Push NotificationsYes
Providing Community for Social LearningYes
Progress TrackingYes
Websitehttps://www.busuu.com/
Google Play StoreShow App Page
Apple App StoreShow App Page
App RatingiOS: 4.7 / 5 Android: 4.5 / 5

Pimsleur

Available for 51 languages including Chinese Mandarin, Spanish, and Hebrew, Pimsleur helps users to learn a new language in 30 days as they claim. It focuses on conversational language skills instead of word and image matching.  

It supports audio and reading lessons for free. With its premium subscription, after selecting a language, users can unlock features including flashcards, quizzes, offline usage, and reading lessons.

Supporting Different Types of ContentYes
Sending Daily Push NotificationsYes
Providing Community for Social LearningNo
Progress TrackingYes
Websitehttps://www.pimsleur.com
Google Play StoreShow App Page
Apple App StoreShow App Page
App RatingiOS: 4.6 / 5 Android: 4.0 / 5

Tandem

Tandem is one of the most popular language learning apps in the world in Google Play and App Store. Available for 160+ languages including 12 different sign languages, Tandem enables users to boost vocabulary with in-app translation, learn grammar, perfect pronunciation with locals, voice notes, video calls, and audio. 

The language learning app supports different learning styles including calling, messaging, and in person meetings to help users find the best method for learning for themselves.

Supporting Different Types of ContentYes
Sending Daily Push NotificationsYes
Providing Community for Social LearningYes
Progress TrackingYes
Websitehttps://www.tandem.net
Google Play StoreShow App Page
Apple App StoreShow App Page
App RatingiOS: 4.2 / 5 Android: 4.5 / 5

Drops

Drops is a visual-based language learning app that uses pictures to make it easier to memorize keywords, available for 36 languages, with 5 minute in-app courses with more than 2400 words in 99+ topics. The app doesn’t focus on grammar, instead it encourages to boost vocabulary knowledge. It also teaches the alphabet for beginners.

Supporting Different Types of ContentNo
Sending Daily Push NotificationsYes
Providing Community for Social LearningNo
Progress TrackingYes
Websitehttps://languagedrops.com
Google Play StoreShow App Page
Apple App StoreShow App Page
App RatingiOS: 4.8 / 5 Android: 4.6 / 5

Written by Sophie Blake

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