Those who want to learn a new language nowadays often use the appropriate apps. These three applications have proven themselves in everyday life.
Most of them learned rudimentary English and even more rudimentary French in school. At the same time, apart from the effects of the corona pandemic, we are living in a time when people are traveling more than ever before. There is a growing desire in many to learn new languages. Various apps can help with learning a foreign language. The applications attract with playful concepts, learning volumes adapted to everyday life and a vocabulary query on the go on the smartphone. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON has tested several of these language learning apps for Android and iOS and can recommend the following three.
The language learning app Duolingo was released in 2011, making it one of the oldest on the market. The freemium model with a free basic version and bookable extras was subsequently adopted by many. The user interface is very intuitive both in the web browser and in the app version on Android and iOS devices. The design with the childlike owl logo is clear. Altogether there are over 30 languages available at Duolingo, which are conveyed via a reward and collection system. For example, users collect points for completing various lessons. These points can be transferred to the app’s internal currency Lingots, which you can use to purchase bonuses depending on the language package. Incidentally, the free app version of Duolingo is sufficient for learning the language. If you take out the subscription, you get some nice,
The modules of the language learning app, arranged according to difficulty, each consist of five levels. Only when these are completed will new lessons be unlocked. There are different modes such as querying vocabulary, arranging individual words in the correct order and speaking entire sentences. By the way, those who are already a bit advanced can choose whether they want to select the sentence components or enter them completely themselves. And if you want to test your skills in action, you can always communicate with a chat bot.
Duolingo is primarily aimed at beginners who want to learn a new language easily using the app. The basic grammar and above all an extensive vocabulary are the focus of the application, which is therefore also suitable for children. However, German-speaking learners can only use the three basic languages English, French and Spanish. Other language packages such as Italian, Norwegian, Turkish or Vietnamese are only available in the English area. However, if you speak English well, this shouldn’t be a problem due to the generally rather low level of difficulty of the lessons.
Babbel is even a few years older than Duolingo. The company was founded in Berlin in 2007. A team of linguists was also involved in the development of the individual lessons, so that the individual lessons are adapted to the respective language combination and not simply translated. This language learning app is also available for the browser and mobile devices. If you are still unsure, you can first test Babbel for seven days, from then on the app costs 7 to 13 euros per month, depending on the package booked. Users can choose between 13 languages based on their mother tongues, German and English, including Danish, Indonesian and Portuguese.
The focus here is a bit more on grammar, which is why the app is also suitable for advanced learners. For example, you can take a placement test at the beginning if you state that you already have a certain language level. In addition to the usual lessons, Babbel also offers small modules, the content of which is adapted to the culture of the respective country. In addition, users can set up learning reminders on their own. The language learning app is a bit more confusing than Duolingo, for example, but it is still easy to use.
Babbel is less playful than many of its competitors. There is no reward system and colorful stickers for completing a lesson here. Overall, the level is a little higher and the tasks are more difficult, but also a little less varied. Unfortunately, there is no free version of the app.
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The third language learning app for Android and iOS in the group is Mondly. In terms of handling and processing, it lies pretty much between the candidates Duolingo and Babbel that have already been presented. Here, too, there are some playful elements, such as a points system, so that you can compare your progress with other users. The lessons, which are mainly based on content and not on difficulty, can be completed in any order. Anyone who visits the app every day unlocks a quiz at the end of the week, and only those who complete all of these quizzes have access to the monthly challenge. The app covers a total of 33 languages, from Korean to Persian to Croatian.
The main focus of Mondly is the vocabulary. Vocabulary that has already been learned can be accessed at any time even after the lessons have been completed. At the end of each lesson there is also a conversation with a chat bot so that you can apply what you have learned directly. The app’s methods of learning the new language vary between assigning individual vocabulary to entire sentences and repeating words. The grammar is not actively explained, but taught afterwards using sentences that have already been learned.
Mondly is also available as a free version that works well. If you want to use various extras such as additional lessons, you pay between 6 and 10 euros per month. The language learning app is sometimes a bit confusing and is aimed primarily at those who want to playfully expand their vocabulary.
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Which language learning app is suitable for whom?
Interestingly, all of the three language learning apps briefly presented here work with similar methods. Nevertheless, there are sometimes quite clear differences, so that the most important thing is how you best or prefer to learn a new language. While Duolingo and Mondly work with a driving reward system, Babbel works a little more according to the textbook. This should especially suit people who prefer things a little more structured. Subjectively, this makes the app the highest quality of the three, although it is not available for free (except for the one-week test period). Duolingo is aimed specifically at beginners who want to learn a language slowly. The clear design also makes them suitable for children. Mondly, on the other hand, relies primarily on building and expanding vocabulary.
The chat bots integrated in all three apps work well for language learning, but of course can not replace a real conversation . So if you really want to get deep into a language and master it at a high level in the long term, you can use such language learning apps well to learn in everyday life without complications. In addition, you should also seek contact with other language learners or native speakers.