Knowing Which Language to Learn
Before we get into these apps, perhaps some of you are still undecided yet on which languages to learn. That’s absolutely fine since deciding on which foreign language to learn is a serious commitment that does take some time to think about. You might have heard of some stories by people who lost the will to continue on learning even after a number of years. You can try asking yourself ‘what are you looking forward to gain from learning a foreign language’?
If you’re opting to take the practical route, then consider Chinese as it’s one of the most useful languages to learn with 982 million native speakers. There are others that do it for the sake of passion and don’t mind whether their chosen language is a lucrative career skill or not. Of course, you can definitely combine your practical objectives with your passion to learn languages.
Your online language-learning options are peer learning, watching films, listening to podcasts, and of course translation apps. While learning a language is best done in-person, let’s all make the best of our situation and use the best online resources we have at our disposal.
There are thousands of apps available on the internet to help you learn a foreign language. Some of them are invaluable while others aren’t worth your time or money.
The three apps listed below by Majed Alhamad can help make your language learning more fun and increase the rate that you learn. All three are free with the option to upgrade to premium plans with extra features.
HelloTalk is hands down one of the best apps for language learners. The app acts as a social media platform that connects you with native speakers in the language that you’re learning.
HelloTalk offers over a hundred languages to choose from and has numerous features that make language exchange easier. You can voice chat, message, use the doddle tool, or use the translate and transliteration tools to help communicate with your language partner. Another useful in-app feature is the ability to mark up each other’s writing to provide immediate feedback.
There are various ways you can exchange language in the app. For example, you may communicate in each other’s language and provide feedback, or you can decide to talk in one language for five minutes and then switch.
Duolingo is one of the most well-known language apps for a good reason. It lets you chose courses from over 20 languages and start learning right away. Unlike many other apps that present language material in a dry, academic way, Duolingo uses a game-like structure to make language learning as fun as possible. You can either start as a complete beginner or take a placement test that allows you to skip ahead to harder lessons.
When you get questions wrong, you lose health but when you complete levels you win gems. You can redeem your gems at the store for power-ups or to regain your health.
Since Duolingo is fun to use, you can replace your aimless Facebook or Instagram scrolling on your work breaks with something more productive.
Memrise is the best app to use for learning new vocabulary. Its interface is similar to the old fashion memorization method of using flashcards except its powerful algorithms are optimized to determine how often you study.
Memrise lets you choose from previously uploaded courses or upload your own vocabulary to learn. Once you study and learn a group of five words, they will appear for review again the next day. The app will show you words you get wrong more often, and show you words you usually get right less often.
An excellent way to use Memrise once you become an intermediate learner of your language is to take words you learn through television shows and reading texts and putting them into Memrise. The app will determine how often you should review, so you don’t have to worry about wasting time on the same words repeatedly.
These three language learning apps can help you take your language skills to the next level. However, no matter how you chose to learn a language, you’ll have to commit the time to learn. Try to block out at least fifteen minutes at the same time each day for language study until it becomes a habit.
About Majed Alhamad:
Majed Alhamad is multilingual language teacher who has a talent for helping students gain fluency in a foreign language. Born in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mr. Alhamad grew up speaking Arabic and English fluently and went on to learn French, and Spanish.
Alhamad started his career as a translator and guide for tourists visiting the bustling city of Dubai, and quickly realized that he had a natural ability to make learning a new language fun. He pursued a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and has been working with clients, helping them move from a conversational level through fluency ever since.