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Summary: Do you need to learn a new language quickly and easily? Maybe you're planning to travel to foreign countries, or perhaps knowing the native language will make your job easier. To help you out, we researched the best language learning apps to help you decide which one is best for you.

Language Learning App Reviews

The Best Language Learning Apps

With so many language learning programs available, you might find yourself overwhelmed while trying to figure things out. 

Understand that there is no one-size-fits-all program. Everyone learns differently, and everyone needs different tools and instruction to make the most of their education.

Learning a new language is no different. 

Because of that, your choice depends on a variety of factors. The two most important factors are why you want to learn that language and how you learn best.

Rocket Languages icon

Best Overall

Learn any language online with the Rocket Language free trial. Learning a new language is fast and easy with our audio course, software and language lessons.

Rosetta Stone icon

Best for Paid Instruction

Learn a language with Rosetta Stone®, the best way to learn a language online. Use your mobile, desktop, tablet, anytime, anywhere to learn languages.

Babbel icon

Best for All Levels

Learn languages online with Babbel! Interactive Learning + Fun = Babbel. Learn at your own pace. Review Manager. More than 12 languages. Fun & Fully Interactive.

Pimsleur icon

Best for Audio Learners

Learn a second or foreign language using the programs designed by Dr. Pimsleur. The Pimsleur method is a totally integrated language learning program.

italki icon

Best one-on-one Platform

Learn languages online. Push your skills to the next level with 1-on-1 customized language lessons from native teachers.

Synergy Spanish icon

Most Comprehensive

Synergy Spanish is the worlds easiest to learn Spanish language system!

Spanish Pod 101 icon

Best Spanish Lessons

The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Spanish and Spanish culture. Start speaking Spanish in minutes with audio and video lessons.

Duolingo icon

Best Free App

This is a powerful combo of whey protein and organic greens. Get 2 for the price of 1.

Why You Should Learn Another Language

The two most common languages in the U.S. are English and Spanish.

Despite all the pushes to make English the country's official language, the fact is that Spanish is commonplace, and it's not going anywhere.

We've learned that a significant barrier to traveling for business or pleasure is an inability to speak the local language.

Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world.

Traveling is far more comfortable and fun when you can speak the local language, regardless of why you do it. 

Given the popularity of Spanish around the world, wouldn't you love to speak it proficiently, if not fluently, and talk to local residents wherever you are? We would. 

Besides, if you can speak another language, then the native residents of the countries might feel more welcoming towards you because you are, in a sense, showing respect for them and their culture. 

Not to mention that merely learning the language helps broaden your cultural horizons.

Finally, if you live in an area with a primarily native-speaking population, you can better interact with them and become a more integrated member of your community. 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Language Program

Before you spend your money on a program, you should think about a few things. 

Price is one of them. Some of the best language learning programs out there are expensive.

You might feel tempted to spring for the most costly program out there, but you don't always get what you pay for. 

Another factor is your learning style. We know that everyone's learning styles are different, so you want to choose a program that works with your personal style.

After all, who wants to spend any money on something they almost immediately discover won't work for them?

We certainly don't.

Also, think about how easy a program you want. Immersion programs are great, but that's not necessarily the most natural learning technique for everyone.

This dovetails with your learning style in that the easiest programs for you are the ones that work best with your learning style.

Consider ease-of-use as well. You might find one program fits well with your learning style, and thus, seems easy to use, but isn't.

Take a look at how complicated each program is before deciding on one.

Finally, what kind of accessibility do you need?

If you need something you can use anytime, anywhere, then a program that focuses primarily on tutoring isn't for you.

Neither is a program that doesn't include most of its features via an app.


Rocket Languages icon

Rocket Languages

Learn languages online with the Rocket Languages free trial.

Rocket Languages is genuinely among the best language learning programs available. 

We love the fact that it's got interactive audio lessons, flashcards, and even culture lessons. 

When you have questions, you can chat with other students and learn things from them that you might not learn otherwise.

Pros

  • Over 120 hours of lessons per level.
  • Free trial available.
  • Stories readable in both primary language and English for language reinforcement.

Cons

  • Only four hours of lessons available with the free trial.
  • Expensive - $150 per level, although a discount is possible if you purchase all three levels.

Rosetta Stone icon

Rosetta Stone

Use your mobile, desktop, tablet, anytime, anywhere to learn languages.

Perhaps the most well-known language software program, Rosetta Stone gives you lessons that include a type of immersion, which is one of the best ways to learn a new language. 

You start with letters and numbers and then move through pronunciation and simple conversational phrases towards verb conjugation.

We think that Rosetta Stone's best features are its speech-recognition software and its tutoring program.

Not only can the software help you with pronunciation, but you can get live help from native speakers to help speed you along your way.

Pros

  • 25 years' worth of experience with language software.
  • Immersion techniques.
  • Flexibility with when and where you do your lessons.

Cons

  • $36 for just three months' worth of one language only.
  • The free trial is only three days long.

Babbel icon

Babbel

Learn languages online with Babbel! Interactive Learning + Fun = Babbel.

Babbel's courses made our list of the best language learning programs available because you can use it regardless of your level. 

They're so thorough that you can choose levels like Pre-Intermediate, which is between Beginner II and Intermediate, along with Refresher, Grammar, Words and Sentences, and so much more.

Pros

  • 15 different levels provide versatility so you can learn no matter your current proficiency level.
  • Specialized levels help you tweak and refine your speaking.
  • Great value for your money.

Cons

  • Must answer a lot of questions before getting access to the program.
  • You can hear native speakers but not work directly with them through the program.

Pimsleur icon

Pimsleur

The Pimsleur method is a totally integrated language learning program.

If you don't do well with reading or visuals (like flashcards), you might like Pimsleur's Language Learning Software

While you might dislike the term "language tapes," which is how Pimsleur began, these are much more than that.

Pimsleur takes an entirely different approach to language learning based on certain principles, including memory retention, language thinking, and information overload.

Pros

  • In addition to the primary audio lessons, you get visual aids and other learning methods.
  • $20 per month pay-as-you-go subscription.
  • Available via mobile apps and smart home devices.

Cons

  • You can only access visuals and other materials after you've finished that day's lesson.
  • Only one week for a free trial.

italki icon

italki

Push your learning to the next level with 1-on-1 customized language lessons from native Spanish teachers.

We know that many people prefer one-on-one instruction. Perhaps that's how you learn best, but you've had trouble finding a good program that provides it.

iTalki has actual teachers that tutor you in the native language, so you get personalized instruction tailored to your needs and learning style. Many tutors are native speakers as well. 

iTalki also has articles, discussion forums, notebooks, and even a question-and-answer section to aid you as you go.

Pros

  • Many tutors offer free trials before having you commit.
  • You have a choice between a native speaker and a fluent speaker.
  • You get language "hacks" to help you learn more easily.

Cons

  • Tutors charge by the hour.
  • You need to find someone who's available.

Synergy Spanish icon

Synergy Spanish

Synergy Spanish is The Worlds Easiest to Learn Spanish Language System!

Synergy Spanish doesn't look like a comprehensive Spanish learning course, but looks are deceiving. You get an awful lot of instruction and material with this program.

Perhaps one of Synergy's unique things compared to many of the other best Spanish learning programs is its focus on just 138 words, rather than the heavy focus more traditional classes place on grammar and syntax. 

Synergy combines many different learning methods into one simple, comprehensive program that has you speaking and understanding Spanish quickly.

Pros

  • This approach may work well if you've had problems with other language programs.
  • You can use it to teach your children Spanish.
  • Five different modules break down the course, enhancing your ability to learn.

Cons

  • Expensive - the cheapest plan is $67 and only gives you 68 lessons, a guide, and their mobile app.
  • Spends a lot of time discussing the benefits for traveling instead of the benefits of knowing a second language.

Spanish Pod 101 icon

Spanish Pod 101

The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Spanish and Spanish culture.

If you're looking for more traditional Spanish lessons, Spanish Pod 101 is among the best Spanish learning programs available for that purpose. 

Spanish Pod 101 does incorporate more modern learning techniques. However, you'll learn Spanish through audio lessons with visual aids accompanying them. 

You also get personalized instruction from teachers if you wish.

Pros

  • Lessons are short, helping prevent information overload.
  • You get the benefit of slowed audio with line-by-line breakdowns for better retention.
  • 60-day refund policy.

Cons

  • You must sign up for the most expensive plan to work with teachers.
  • The basic plan is so bare-bones you get almost nothing with it.

Duolingo icon

Duolingo

With their free mobile app and web, everyone can Duolingo. Learn languages with bite-size lessons based on science.

What if you can't afford to pay for a language learning program, or just don't want to in case it doesn't work for you?

Duolingo gives you excellent instruction without hefty price tags. In fact, it's free.

With Duolingo, you get personalized learning with immediate grading, and you can even unlock rewards. It's a little like a game that makes learning fun.

Let's face it: When you're bored, you don't learn anything very well.

Pros

  • You can get started for free
  • Lessons are short so they neither overwhelm you nor eat too much time out of your day.
  • No hidden fees or exclusive content available only to those who pay.

Cons

  • To create your account, you need to answer a lot of questions.
  • If you're advanced, you need to take a test before you can start using the program.

Identifying Your Learning Style

Before jumping into anything, you should understand your learning style. We know, figuring that out sounds like an insurmountable obstacle.

However, in our research, we discovered that identifying your learning style is actually quite easy.

There are four types of learning styles: Visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic.
  • Visual learners learn best with things like color-coding, interactive flashcards, videos, and charts and diagrams.
  • Auditory learners do best listening to lectures and recordings, reciting notes and information, and participating in group projects and discussions.
  • Read/write learners retain information that they write down, like taking notes during lectures and from textbooks. They also do well with handouts and other reading materials.
  • Kinesthetic learners are hands-on learners. They're in their element when they're engaging in practical exercises like lab experiments. They also do well when they're the ones creating charts, diagrams, and other visuals.

Which one are you? If you don't already know, you can fill out a questionnaire like this one, which will help you identify your learning style.

From there, you can better decide which Spanish language program will work best for you.

FAQ’s

What Do The Best Learning Programs Have In Common?

Most of the best language learning programs include immersion and one-on-one tutoring.

They also have a variety of learning materials, so people with all learning styles can use them. 

Can I Learn a new Language In A Year?

With discipline, dedication, and the right program, yes. Becoming proficient in a new language can take as little as 600 hours.

However, people learn at different paces and have different time requirements. Plus, if you try to get through your lessons too fast, you'll have to start over.

While 600 hours is roughly four weeks, you need to take your time so you can adequately process information.

A year should be within reach, though, as long as you work your program steadily.

Is It Easier to Speak or Read a New Language?

Most people seem to find it easier to read and understand a new language than it is to speak it.

Our brains are far better at absorbing information than they are at putting it back out there. 

Speaking a new language requires you to use what you know and put it out. Reading and listening to it do not. 

Final Thoughts

If you want to learn a language, you have a wide variety of ways to do it.

Sure, you can sign up for classes at your local college or find a language lab in your area. 

However, in today's world, you're busy, and you need ways to do things on your own time at your own pace.

That's where discovering the best language learning apps comes in. 

Learning any new language is difficult, you should find a good program that works with your personal needs. 

Know your learning style, understand the time commitment you can make, and determine what you can afford.

Taking all those factors into account will help ensure you choose the best language learning program for you. 

Once you do learn the language, though, you've not only accomplished something significant, but you've learned more than a new language.

You've learned about the cultures of native-speaking societies and gained a new perspective on other countries. 

Check out these language learning apps and decide which one you like best. Then go forth and become a native speaker.

Our top pick: Rocket Languages

Rocket Languages icon

Learn languages online with the Rocket Language free trial.


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About the author 

Lauren Gamble

I’m Lauren. I’m an author, mompreneur, and love everything that’s natural. On a mission to help thousands of women across the world achieve a healthy, happy lifestyle through teaching natural health practices.

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