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10 of the best language learning apps to make getting fluent fun

Today’s impressive technology has brought all the citizens of the world within closer reach than ever before, but there’s still one big obstacle in the way of us communicating freely: language barriers.

Did you know that the number of languages spoken around the world is to be over 7,000? Sure, only about two dozen of them make up the linguistics of more than half of the planet’s population. But even so, we’re willing to bet you only speak one or maybe two languages fluently.

Certainly there are a rare few polyglots out there who are fluent in three or more languages, and we salute you with utter admiration (and maybe a healthy dose of jealousy, too). But what about the rest of us mere monolinguistic mortals who are hoping to learn a second language? Well, just like anything else, there’s an app for that. Read more…

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IMAGE: Duolingo

BEST OVERALL

Duolingo

A popular choice of language app with a fun and engaging interface.

  • iOS or Android: Both
  • Number of languages offered: 35
  • Program style: Quizzes and games
  • Duolingo: Free (with ads)
  • Duolingo Plus: $6.99/month

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IMAGE: Rosetta Stone

BEST FOR IMMERSIVE LEARNING

Rosetta Stone

In-depth and comprehensive lessons for people who want to learn a new language fast.

  • iOS or Android: Both
  • Number of languages offered: 25
  • Program style: Interactive
  • Three-month membership: $11.99 per month
  • One-year membership: $14.92/month
  • Lifetime membership: $199
  • Lifetime Plus membership: $299

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IMAGE: Babbel

BEST FOR QUICK LESSONS

Babbel

Short lessons designed to help users communicate confidently in the real world.

  • iOS or Android: Both
  • Number of languages offered: 14
  • Program style: Quick exercises
  • 1 month: $13.95
  • 3 months: $9.95/month
  • 6 months: $8.45/month
  • 12 months: $6.95/month

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IMAGE: Memrise

BEST LANGUAGE GAME APP

Memrise

A fun choice for beginners to absorb a new language.

  • iOS or Android: Both
  • Number of languages offered: 22
  • Program style: Interactive
  • Memrise: Free
  • Memrise Pro monthly: $8.99/month
  • Memrise Pro annual: $7.50/month
  • Lifetime membership: $139.99

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IMAGE: HelloTalk

BEST FOR LEARNING SYNTAX

HelloTalk

It's like Facebook, but for learning a new language.

  • iOS or Android: Both
  • Number of languages offered: 150+
  • Program style: Community Interaction
  • HelloTalk: Free (with ads)
  • VIP membership: $6.99/month
  • Lifetime membership: $175

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IMAGE: busuu

BEST FOR OFFLINE USE

Busuu

A great option for language learners who are constantly on the move.

  • iOS or Android: Both
  • Number of languages offered: 12
  • Program style: Interactive
  • Busuu: Free
  • Busuu Premium: as low as $6.56/month
  • Busuu Premium Plus: as low as $7.57/month

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IMAGE: Mashable

BEST FOR MEMORIZATION

Quizlet

A great study aid for memorizing vocabulary.

  • iOS or Android: Both
  • Number of languages offered: 100+
  • Program style: Flashcards
  • Quizlet: Free (with ads)
  • Quizlet Go: $2.99/month
  • Quizlet Plus: $3.99/month

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IMAGE: Mashable

BEST FOR AUDIO LESSONS

Pimsleur

Great for learning to speak and understand your target language.

  • iOS or Android: Both
  • Number of languages offered: 51
  • Program style: Audio
  • Price: Varies, but many are $19.95/month

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IMAGE: Udemy

BEST FOR VIDEO COURSES

Udemy

A (very) wide selection of foreign language courses at a reasonable price.

  • iOS or Android: Both
  • Number of languages offered: Varies
  • Program style: Audio and Video
  • Price: Varies by course

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IMAGE: Coursera

BEST FOR ADVANCED LEARNERS

Coursera

Access to world-class teachers and instructors at an affordable cost.

  • iOS or Android: Both
  • Number of languages offered: Varies
  • Program style: Video
  • Price: Varies by course

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