Oui, Ja, Si

4 helpful language-learning apps

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Did you know learning a second language can benefit you in so many ways? Not only does the process builds/improves multitasking skills and improves memory, but also helps stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s and makes a person generally smarter. Taylor’s got the 411 on that, but I’m here to tell you about technology’s helping hand for multilinguals.

“But learning a language is hard, expensive and inconvenient,” you may think. There are actually many apps and websites one may utilize to pick up a new language. While mainstream options such as Babbel and Rosetta Stone may seem a little pricey, lovely app creators from around the globe took it upon themselves to bring the same opportunity to the average smartphone user, for FREE (or close to it).

Duolingo (Apple, Android, Windows)

Duolingo: The cool name is just frosting on the cake. This app offers over 20 different language courses for users to take, including, but not limited to, Spanish, French, Japanese, Hebrew, Italian and even Russian.

Duolingo is an easy and convenient place to begin for those trying to learn a new language.

Duolingo is an easy and convenient place to begin for those trying to learn a new language.

Voted “best free language app” of 2017 by PCMag, Duolingo is an easy and convenient place to begin for those trying to learn a new language.This application allows users to take a placement test to see what level they need to begin at. For example, although the user may know minor vocabulary words, it doesn’t necessarily mean they understand sentence structure and other language necessities. Duolingo follows a “level-up process,” starting beginners out with basic multiple choice then eventually building up to sentence creation and translation.

Tiny Cards (Apple, Android, Windows)

Flashback: You’re 13 years old, sitting in school about to take that dreaded vocabulary test. For some reason you’re not nervously sweating like your peers around you. Why is that? Because you used flashcards, the crazy efficient way to pass every exam thrown your way.

Now let’s implement this age-old technique to learn a language. Enter Tiny Cards. This application, created by Duolingo, allows users to learn languages, along with any other topic they fancy. Utilizing digital flashcards, any person with this app will be able to learn a language as easy as their multiplication tables.

Hello Talk (Apple, Android)

Sometimes the best way to learn things is through someone who is already an expert. That’s where Hello Talk shines. This application allows amateur language learners the opportunity to learn languages through native speakers.

F-R-E-E is the best cost for learning.

Hello Talk sets up users in conversations with people who are fluent in the language the user is wanting to learn. Users will be able to speak and/or chat, video call and learn from the native tongue. Not only will this aid in language barriers but Hello Talk also allows users the chance to experience different cultures.

Minus the costs for “translation options,” which only round up to a measly $2.99 a month, everything else offered in this is app is F-R-E-E, the best cost for learning.

Mindsnacks (Apple)

Learn a new language and have fun with Mindsnacks! This app integrates fun games with language learning. An Apple-exclusive, the app offers courses in languages such as Chinese, German and Italian, but also vocabulary courses for children and the SAT.

Each course is a seperate app and, unfortunately, only the first lesson in each course is free. If you want to continue learning a language after the first free lesson, be prepared: Coming in as the No. 1 most expensive app on this list, your total bill comes out to $4.99 per app. Yikes! Fortunately, you get 49 new lessons, so you’re getting a decent amount of bang for your buck.

Games/lessons include matching, spelling, image recognition and more. Check out this app, if not too expensive for your blood.