10 Best Language Learning Apps for Adults and Kids (2023)
Learning a new language may sound like a daunting task – we’ve been there before. But there is no need to panic. We have many online resources at our fingertips that make our job a lot easier. When you use one of the best language learning apps out there, you can learn at your own pace and in a way that suits you.
Did we mention that many of them are also free language learning apps?
Yes that’s right! If you have relatively simple needs, you don’t have to spend a penny to learn a new language.
Forget the typical school classes. Choose from our curated list of cool language learning apps and you’ll look forward to each lesson. That’s because their playful style and hands-on teaching methods turn language learning into something fun instead of a chore.
Is a visual UI more effective for your progress? Does music help me remember words better? Or do you need to meet with locals to master a language? Choose the right app for your needs and start learning a new language today!
The Best Language Learning Apps of 2023
Before we introduce each app in detail, here is a quick summary of all the solutions that we will cover in this post (in no particular order). Most of them work on both mobile and desktop:
Duolingo is one of the most popular for free Language learning apps that use a game-based teaching method. It has a gamified interface that will make your classes fun and entertaining. With Duolingo, you won’t feel like you’re taking classes; In fact, the way the lessons are structured motivates you to complete the tasks to unlock new challenges.
This is one of the best language learning apps as it combines complex content with engaging techniques. After selecting a language from the 35+ languages available, the app guides you through all the categories you need to master to become a pro. As you progress on your journey to learning a new language, you’ll earn achievements and rewards.
With Duolingo you will learn to spell and pronounce words, improve your vocabulary, understand native speakers, form sentences and thus have a conversation in different life situations.
Lessons aside, Duolingo also gives you stories from everyday, real-life situations – which you can either read or listen to – dictionaries, contests, and podcasts. If you are a social person, you can visit the forum or attend live events taking place in the language you want to learn (e.g. webinars, debates, chats, entertainment, etc.).
The dictionary is particularly useful as it not only translates a word but also shows you all the variations. For example singular/plural and masculine/feminine forms of a noun or all conjugation forms of a verb.
Duolingo is also available for schools and educational institutions that want to use a modern way of teaching students. It really is one of the best language learning programs out there.
👨🎓 best for
- Duolingo is a language learning app that combines a variety of teaching methods that give you all the skills to speak a language fluently. This makes it an excellent choice for those who want to master all aspects of a language by combining multiple learning techniques.
- For free: learning content
- plus – $6.99/mo: Learning Content, Practice Bugs, No Ads, Quizzes, Unlimited Tests, and Unlimited Hearts
Busuu is another language learning software that contains valuable lessons. This app is aimed not only at occasional users, but also at companies and schools/educators. It uses a more formal learning method and less gamified interface compared to Duolingo.
In terms of content, Busuu offers several cool learning packages: personalized study plans, vocabulary, grammar and practice with native speakers.
A unique feature of this app is that when you register, it gives you an approximate date by which you will reach the language level you committed to during the onboarding phase.
To achieve your goal, you must complete all the courses that the app generates as part of your language learning program. These courses cover the essential aspects of a language, including grammar, vocabulary, conversation, listening, etc.
You can also learn a new language with Busuu using some of the other features:
- Listen to the Busuu Podcast
- Reading news articles from the app’s dashboard
- Train with travel phrases
- Talk to native speakers
Just like Duolingo, Busuu offers live group lessons on any subject where you can practice by speaking to native speakers and other students. Another nice aspect of this language learning software is that it gives you short exercises that are later corrected by people who speak the language as their native language. For example, you can answer a question that was asked using speech and then ask for feedback on how well you answered it.
👨🎓 best for
- Individuals who prefer a more formal, school-like approach to learning a new language. Although the courses use audio and visuals for each lesson, they still follow a more traditional teaching formula.
- Those who are on a budget or only need limited features as there is a free version.
💵 pricing (for one year)
- For free: A language
- bonus – €2.92 / month: One language, offline mode, grammar lessons, AI-assisted review
- Premium plus – €3.33 / month: 12 languages + Premium features + personalized study plan, community of native speakers and official tests
Babbel is an app that also takes a more traditional approach to learning a new language. The lessons begin with the most basic details, including letters, greetings, and introductions.
This software allows you to find courses that align with common real-life scenarios. This includes business, travel, culture, everyday life, etc. If you want to skip the beginner courses, you are welcome to do so.
If you’ve searched this page for the best free language learning apps, you’ll be glad to know that Babbel has a free version. However, the free version does not include all courses. If you try it and find that you like it, you can always upgrade to the premium version and get access to everything Babbel has to offer.
The first impression you get when you try it is that it uses an old-school user interface. It’s not that flashy or flashy when compared to Duolingo. It also doesn’t offer the most intuitive way of learning, as the courses don’t follow a clear hierarchy or order. You will not receive incentives for completing lessons or lesson categories.
Despite some disadvantages, the language lessons are still very appealing. They use language, images, puzzles, and impromptu chat to keep you playing. The app also offers podcasts and some quick word games if you’re thirsty for a more engaging alternative to traditional learning.
Similar to the other language learning software we’ve featured so far, Babbel also lets you join live courses if you want to connect with native speakers and learn from conversations with them.
Overall it’s a cool app, but it doesn’t offer a mix of all the engaging teaching methods that the other programs have on their hands.
👨🎓 best for
- People who are easily distracted by immersive apps and need something simple in appearance but engaging enough to hold their attention during class.
- For free
- 1 month – €9.9
- 3 months – €6.65 / month
- 6 months – €5.55 / month
- 12 months – €4.95 / month
Mondly is a language learning program that uses pictures to help you learn over 40 new languages. It offers courses to teach you how to deal with everyday life situations, vocabulary builders, real conversations, grammar and quick daily lessons. When it comes to everyday scenarios, you have 50 themes to choose from.
If playing simple games isn’t enough for you, you can experiment with augmented reality and virtual reality features. You can also learn a language in an unconventional way if you don’t like the usual standard online courses.
Mondly is not only aimed at regular users, but also dedicates its courses to companies that want to use them for professional purposes.
The downside of this app is that you cannot access the theme categories unless you upgrade to the premium version. However, you can take daily lessons, along with weekly quizzes and monthly challenges. You can also chat with various chatbots to join a conversation.
👨🎓 best for
- People who prefer instruction that uses images to assimilate concepts in a new language.
- Those who want to learn a new language in a unique way like augmented and virtual reality.
- For free
- 1 month – $9.99 (one language)
- 12 months – $4.99/mo (one language)
- 12 months – $47.99/month (33 languages)
Memrise uses a modern, visual interface that gives you over 20 languages to learn. At each listening session, you can hear and see locals speaking to you. This language learning software is designed to help you play and complete lessons through an engaging teaching method.
For each completed lesson you unlock a new one and get rewards like discounts for the premium versions of the app. There’s also a friendly competitive aspect as they show a weekly leaderboard of students who are in the process of learning a new language using the app.
The program offers many courses that teach you how to deal with real-life situations in a new language. You can also learn basic to advanced details like numbers, grammar, idioms and difficult words. Each course includes progressive levels that combined can last up to eight hours or even longer.
Memrise allows you to create groups to which you can add your friends and discuss various topics together. However, unlike many of the other language learning programs on this list, Memrise does Not Offer podcasts and live classes.
👨🎓 best for
- Individuals who need an engaging language learning app that mainly consists of short audio and video clips. It’s software best suited for those looking for quick lessons in a self-paced format.
- For free
- Per month – $8.49
- Yearly – $2.50
- lifespan – $119.99
LingoDeer is an app that offers you an easy and practical way to learn a language. With LingoDeer, you can customize your entire learning experience by choosing the narrators you want, the type of script, and the background color of your dashboard.
This app contains flashcards to help you train your memory. You can download the maps to your phone to come back to when you need to practice. In addition to the written lessons, you can test your listening and speaking skills with exciting stories. You can even challenge other users to take part in different tests.
With LingoDeer, you can study lessons offline and take time-limited quizzes to test your knowledge. Set your daily goals, go through the course hierarchy, and take quizzes to test your new skills. You start with the alphabet of a language and advance with each complete level.
👨🎓 best for
- People who are preparing for a test, taking part in competitions and want to improve their vocabulary using offline flashcards.
- Month – $14.99
- quarter – $39.99
- Year – $79.99
- lifespan – $159.99
This is one of the best language learning apps aimed at individual learners, schools and businesses. It offers lessons for more than 25 languages, but it doesn’t offer any for free. You must subscribe to the premium plans to use the program.
Rosetta Stone teaches you a new language by offering real-world scenarios, interactive activities, and audio from native speakers. Additionally, it offers live coaching with native speakers, so you can practice your new skills through active conversations.
Once you have signed up for a plan, you can access a dashboard where you can find all the lessons that belong to that particular pricing plan. Each lesson takes you through many different teaching methods: visual, writing, listening and speaking.
The content Rosetta Stone offers is interactive and makes you want to keep going until you’ve finished your lessons. There are many courses teaching you how to deal with different situations in a new language, live coaching, stories (which you can listen to or read aloud), audio files with native speakers (which you can download to your computer or phone) , and a separate lesson on mastering the alphabet.
👨🎓 best for
- Individuals who want the full learning experience and don’t mind paying for a premium app.
- 3 months – €11.99
- 12 months – €9.99
- lifespan – €179
HelloTalk is a language learning program that offers a different approach to learning a new language. This allows you to chat live with native speakers from around the world to improve your skills. So if you’re more on the social side of learning, you’ve just found an app that might suit your style.
HelloTalk supports over 150 languages and has over 30 million members to chat with. Apart from practicing your language skills, you will have fun and make friends from different countries. The app makers see this as an opportunity to share experiences and discover new cultures.
When you’re chatting with someone, you can do it through text, voice, or video. For each option, the HelloTalk app provides built-in corrections, translations, and pronunciation to keep student conversations flowing smoothly.
If you enjoy interacting with communities, you can use the app to post moments. These are public posts seen by native speakers of the language you are trying to learn. You can edit and comment on your messages.
So HelloTalk is more than one of the best language learning apps. It is actually an app for sharing experiences.
👨🎓 best for
- People who want to learn by socializing, making friends, joining communities and sharing cultural experiences.
Drops is another cool language learning app that focuses on the visual side of the teaching process. Get started and explore the 35+ languages this app has for you. Once you sign up, you’ll love the visually immersive interface that makes your learning a fun challenge.
This app is not free though forever, you can try it for free for seven days. Drops uses the drag-and-drop technique, making the experience enjoyable and easy.
Before starting a lesson, you can choose the categories that interest you and the time you’re willing to devote to the app each day. Based on your choices, Drops guides you through a visual course that includes illustrations, animations, and audio. Just like in a game, you can unlock achievements and take part in different challenges that the app proposes.
What’s cool about this app, aside from the interface, is the large number of categories and themes it offers. You can learn words and phrases from over 90 topics that represent almost any real-life situation.
Aside from individual learners, Drops is also available for companies that want to run language courses for their employees.
👨🎓 best for
- Individuals who want to learn new words and practice a new language in simulated real-world situations through an easy-to-understand visual interface.
- Per month – €8.49
- Yearly – €5
- lifespan – €149.99
Lirica is probably the most unusual of the best language learning apps because it teaches you through an original method: music. Everyone listens to music, but have you ever thought of assimilating or improving a language?
How does this app work? You download it for free, choose a language, listen to hits in that language, and then have your understanding of the lyrics/story tested.
Lirica plays a song for you, explains the lyrics, gives you grammar lessons (like verbs from the song) and then asks questions to test your understanding of the story. In short, you get an analysis of the text that you then have to interact with. Based on your progress you can participate in challenges and collect achievements.
A limitation of this language learning software is that it only covers Spanish, English and German. But the developers plan to add more languages soon. Another disadvantage is the fact that the app only works on mobile devices – Android and iPhone.
👨🎓 best for
- Music lovers who want to use their hobby to learn a new language in a playful way.
- For free
- 1 month – $10
- 3 months – $23
- 12 months – $32
Learn a new language and have fun doing it
That concludes our list of the best language learning apps on the web. You have no reason to make excuses when there are so many tools to guide you. Even the question of cost does not matter, since many of the options presented are for free Language Learning Apps. Each comes with an original twist on language learning and adopts a different teaching style.
Review the apps, try them, and stick with what seems most appropriate and effective for you. They will help you improve in areas where you need it most – grammar, vocabulary, spelling, speaking, listening, conversation, sharing experiences or getting to know new cultures.
What do you think is the most effective app for learning a new language? We’d love to hear from you. Reply via the comment section below.