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The Best Free Language Learning Apps

Millions of people use the best language learning apps to learn new languages. There are so many reasons to learn a new language, whether for jobs that require travel, going on vacation, or connecting with new people. Apps are a great tool for language learning, and there are many effective programs with great reviews and challenging content.

We’ve put together this guide to the best language learning apps to help you pick the best language learning app for you. You’ll also learn about the best free language learning apps and the different features they have to help you achieve your foreign language learning goals.

What Is a Language Learning App?

A language learning app is a mobile application that helps people to learn new languages or sharpen the language skills that a person already has. Popular languages you can learn on these apps include English, French, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Dutch. While some of the best language learning apps are paid, there are also many free options.

Why Do People Use Language Learning Apps?

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Language apps give short structured language lessons available on your phone for both casual and committed learners. It’s easy to take a quick lesson while riding the bus or waiting for an appointment. Many of these apps boast that you can learn a new language in just a few minutes per day and even work on your pronunciation skills and conversational skills.

With the majority of Americans having such busy schedules, this approach to language learning is extremely popular. The Duolingo language app alone has over 500 million users. Learning a new language can open up new job opportunities, and even if you don’t know what career you want, knowing a foreign language would be helpful in pretty much any position.

How the Best Language Learning Apps Can Help You Learn a Language

The best language learning apps come with different features to help users learn and master their target languages. A monthly or annual subscription is usually required to access all of an app’s features, but you can still get effective language lessons with free versions. There are dozens of languages to choose from, and there are even language learning apps for kids.

Effective Courses

Language learning apps provide speaking, writing, and reading lessons. These courses are effective in helping students gain real conversation skills in different language options. These downloadable lessons are structured so that students do not need prior knowledge of the language to succeed.

Personalized Learning

The best language learning apps employ artificial intelligence (AI) to curate a personalized experience for users. Users can enjoy lessons designed for their needs and level, whether they are complete beginners or advanced learners. The courses are designed for you to follow at your own pace, whether you want to take one lesson per day or just once a week.

Fun Exercises

Learning a new language shouldn’t be boring. Language learning apps have special features to make learning fun and interesting. These features include fun games that track your progress, characters that you can interact with, playful rewards, and stories from native speakers. The gamification aspect especially appeals to younger language learners.

The 10 Best {Subject} Apps: Overview

App Availability Notable Features Cost
Babbel iOS and Android Video lessons $13.95/month
Busuu iOS and Android Study plan, professional tutors, one-on-one classes $0 – $7.30/month
Duolingo iOS and Android Interactive lessons, progress tracker, quizzes $0 – $6.99/month
HelloTalk iOS and Android Many languages, chat with native speakers Free
Lingbe iOS and Android Free calls with native speakers Free
LinguaLift iOS and Android Tutor support, bite-sized lessons $12.99/month
Memrise iOS and Android Gamified tests, pronunciation exercises $0 – $8.99/month
Rosetta Stone iOS and Android Instant feedback on pronunciation $11.99/month – $179 for lifetime access
Speakly iOS and Android Beginner-friendly, real-life situation practice $11.99/month
Tandem iOS and Android Intuitive messaging Free

The Best Language Learning Apps to Make Your Life Easier

The best language learning apps will help you achieve your goal of learning a new language. Traditional learning was effective but grueling. With video chats, digital flashcards, and pronunciation practice conveniently within the mobile apps, learning a new language has never been easier. Below is more information on the best language learning apps.

Babbel | $13.95/month

  • Best Feature of Paid Version: Video lessons
  • Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Some lessons are repetitive

Babbel features quick language lessons to prepare you to have casual conversations in a new language. With 10 minutes of daily lessons, this app is an excellent tool for quick language acquisition. Babbel also has video content, games, and podcasts as parts of their complete language program.

Busuu | $0 – $7.30/month

  • Best Feature of Paid Version: One-on-one lessons with tutors
  • Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Limited language options

Busuu features language courses curated and taught by native speakers and experts. With Busuu, you get to learn with real people in one-on-one classes and with professional language tutors. The app has a customized study plan that tells you what and when you need to study.

Duolingo | $0 – $6.99/month

  • Best Feature of Paid Version: Ad-free, unlimited mistakes
  • Biggest Downside of Paid Version: No interaction with tutors

Duolingo is the most downloaded language learning app. The app provides vocabulary and grammar lessons in a fun and exciting way. The premium plan version features a progress tracker and unlimited opportunities to test out of a level. With Duolingo, you’ll find interactive lessons that will improve your conversation skills in the language of your choice.

LinguaLift | $12.99/month

  • Best Feature of Paid Version: Tutor support
  • Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Limited languages

LinguaLift offers language learning plans tailored to your goals. The app features quick, bite-sized lessons that make learning a new language easier. The app also has tutor support so you can learn from your mistakes and stay on track throughout your language learning journey.

Memrise | $0 – $8.99/month

  • Best Feature of Paid Version: Pronunciation exercises
  • Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Repetitive exercises

Memrise teaches you to speak like a real local by using video clips of native-speaker voices for long-term language retention. There are also gamified tests so you can see your progress. The app is downloadable on iOS and Android, but students can use the desktop version as an alternative option.

Rosetta Stone | $7.99/month – $179 for lifetime access

  • Best Feature of Paid Version: Instant feedback on pronunciation
  • Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Only lifetime membership gives you access to more than one language

Rosetta Stone has provided language learning services for three decades. The app teaches 25 languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, and Polish. Rosetta Stone is popular among millions of learners for its engaging app and well-structured curriculum. Many language experts recommend this mobile learning app. The only downside, however, is that you’ll have to pay a good-sized chunk of money to have access to the additional content of multiple languages.

Speakly | $11.99/month

  • Best Feature of Paid Version: Real-life situation practice
  • Biggest Downside of Paid Version: No grammar explanations

Speakly has a unique method of helping users learn a new language. It starts with the simple words of the language and then advances to lessons that help with real-life conversation skills. Speakly is an excellent language tool for beginners. The app features several language options, including Estonian, Spanish, French, and German.

The Best Free Language Learning Apps

Monthly subscriptions to paid language-learning software that has nice features and study sessions, but you can also learn for free. You can find free language learning apps with plenty of resources to teach you usable language skills.


  • Best Feature: Many languages available
  • Biggest Downside: No professional language teachers

HelloTalk offers a unique way of learning a new language. Instead of just listening to native speaker audio clips, users get to learn by chatting with native speakers from different countries. You can access over 150 languages on the app, including many African languages. You can chat with over 30 million users on the platform using video, voice, and text.


  • Best Feature: Free calls with native speakers
  • Biggest Downside: No interactive games

Lingbe connects you with native speakers of your target language for real-time conversations. You can get the call started with the touch of a button, and it is all free. If you like the person you talk with, you continue to practice with the same person and form a friendship.


  • Best Feature: Intuitive Messaging
  • Biggest Downside: No structured lessons

Tandem allows users to teach one another through language exchange. You can find speakers of a native language willing to teach you if you teach them your language. The app’s best feature is the intuitive messaging that allows two users to teach each other their respective languages.

Which of the Best Language Learning Apps Should I Choose?

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There are a variety of languages to choose from with popular language learning apps, and most of these apps have excellent reviews so you know you’re getting a great deal.

There are different kinds of language learning apps, and you should use a few factors to help you choose the best language learning app for you. You should consider if your target language is offered, whether you want structured lessons, conversations, a paid subscription, or a free service, and if you want to only learn or participate in a language exchange.

Duolingo offers structured lessons for free and with more flexibility in the paid version. Busuu has great individual tutoring options. HelloTalk, Lingbe, and Tandem are all free apps used to connect with native speakers for language exchange.

Best Language Learning Apps FAQ

Can I learn a new language with an app?

Yes, you can learn a new language with a mobile or desktop app. There are several apps available where you can learn hundreds of languages. Find the best option for you and start learning.

Can I find free language learning apps?

Yes, several language learning apps are completely free. Popular options include HelloTalk, Tandem, and Lingbe. Some apps with premium versions also have a free version with more limited features, like Duolingo.

How does an app help me learn a language?

Some apps feature structured lessons you can follow. These come with practice exercises and quizzes to monitor your progress. Other apps connect you with native speakers who teach you the language in real-time.

Why should I learn a new language?

Learning a new language opens up a new world of possibilities for you because you can travel to new destinations and experience new cultures. Because verbal communication is such an important type of communication, it would be well worth it to learn a new language and expand your horizons.

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