Maybe you need to learn another language for work or school. Maybe you want to learn another language for an upcoming trip or just because you enjoy learning. Whatever your reasons, learning another language, or several, can enhance your understanding of your native language, expand your appreciation of other cultures, and improve cognitive skills. If you can’t afford to take a class or buy expensive learning software, there are a myriad of low-cost or free language learning resources.
For both Apple and Android use there are many apps that can be downloaded on a phone or tablet. The one that seems to be the most popular is Duolingo, which offers training in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. The site states they are currently trying to add more languages for future learners. Other popular apps are:
- Byki – offers learning for 70 languages in a flash card style; the languages offered include Afrikaans, Chinese, French, Hindu, Latin, Polish, Spanish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and many more.
- Tourist Language – can use talk to text technology and is useful for when you are in a new country. Some of the languages currently supported are Spanish, French and Korean; they are working on adding more language for future users.
- Mango is free to library card holders
- Lingua.ly – read newspapers in another language. This app is not for beginners since it uses immersion theory.
Many of the apps also have websites that provide free learning. Some additional websites are listed here:
- Babbel – offers fourteen languages including Danish, Norwegian, Indonesian, and Russian.
- Busuu – offers twelve languages including German, Japanese, Turkish, and French.
- Skritter – offers Chinese and Japanese writing lessons for a small monthly fee. This is not too bad because almost all of the previously mentioned sites require upgrades to continue lessons beyond a certain level.
While there are apps and sites with lessons for multiple languages there are many that are dedicated to a single language. For example, ESLpod.com is a good site for those who want to learn English, Learn Swedish is obviously for Swedish. You can type Learn followed by nearly any language and the appropriate learning app will display in your phone or tablet.
The amount and variety of language learning apps and sites available make it apparent that people are looking to learn other languages, maybe not just for travel but to enhance their understanding of themselves and the global community.