“To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture.” ― Frantz Fanon
Language learning is very important because it can connect you with people and places. It gives you a deeper understanding of someone else’s culture. When living abroad, speaking the local language is vital and makes such a difference in “fitting in” and having local friends. Here are a fews apps I personally have used it due to its interactive nature and therefore, recommending it to you.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you decide to enroll in the program, I’ll receive a small commission that goes toward supporting the website. However, I would not recommend anything that I do not find valuable for my readers. All opinions are my own.
Babbel was the first language app I have ever used when I was learning French. They showed me what was ‘interactive’ learning and showed me how progressive learning needs to be. I like the structure in their lessons. First, they teach the vocabulary, followed by mix-and-match and fill in the blanks to reiterate the new words you’ve learned. Then it gives you some grammar tips and examples on how to use it and finally, it ends up with a dialogue in which you can see how the vocabulary are used in context. I find the words being repeated along with the consistent testing really helped my memory. The best part, Babbel is available on desktop, mobile and tablet – meaning you can use it anywhere and it will sync with where you last left off!
You can try it for one month FREE and see if this type of learning works well for you! They have a number of languages available: English, French, Spanish, German, Turkish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Indonesian, Dutch, Polish and even Russian!
If you are interested in learning Mandarin, Hello Chinese app is my recommendation. This app is perfect for beginners and it is free! With so many different apps out there, I know it can get overwhelming and I have tested a few before I settled on using this one to improve my Chinese. I am a big lover of an app who has a good structure for the learner’s interest so let me explain some key features of why this app is great!
The lessons progress very well from one to the next. It has many practical topics that progress from very basic (i.e. learning vocabulary for family members) to more advanced topics (i.e. jobs and relationships). Each topic has 4 lessons. The first three lessons is to learn and practice vocabulary. It first teaches you vocabulary by complementing it with images, shows you sentences in how it is used, and then asks you what it means with multiple choice. It then uses a mix-and-match system where you have to form the sentences yourself. Next, it teaches you how to write it, stroke by stroke. And lastly, in the fourth lesson, it finishes with a speaking practice where they will check your pronunciation. Using this app, you are practicing all four skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking!
If you feel ready to use your language skills and to practice with someone, I recommend using Tandem to find an online language partner. It is free and there are thousands of people from all over the world to choose from! All you have to do is to indicate what language you speak, and what language you wish to learn. Each person has a profile so you can see who is interesting, perhaps based on where they live or what they do. Then, you can start a conversation! The best part of this app is that it allows you to correct your partner’s work. You can cross out the words that are incorrect and to write the correct one for your partner. In addition, you can also send voice messages and do video with your partner! It is really an app made for language learning and connecting you to other people’s knowledge.
Have you used these apps before? Did you enjoy them? If not, what apps do you use to help you learn a language? I’d love to hear your experience and whether my recommendations were able to help you achieve your goals!