Top eight sites and apps for language learning

Tech-savvy language learning is becoming the norm, thanks to a wide array of exceptionally designed mobile apps and websites that can aid the learning process of global citizens with hectic schedules. Though mastering a language requires utmost discipline, commitment, and consistency, these companies have found innovative ways to make learning more fun and engaging. Whatever your reasons for learning, we hope these sites and apps can give you the support you need on the road to fluency.


Best for: Learning vocabulary through mnemonics

A powerful tool, Memrise is a flashcard-style program that focuses on finding the right mnemonics and etymology to help you learn and memorize new vocabulary. Through memorization and repetition, this free resource also rewards points and lets learners compete with other users. You can also create your own decks of flashcards if you have come up with your own mnemonics for foreign words.



Best for: Learning and retaining vocabulary

Duolingo‘s unique gamified approach to grammar and learning has contributed to its success. Lessons are grouped into categories or modules (basic greetings, animals, food, etc.) and learners can set weekly goals. It automatically tracks the learner’s progress and remembers users’ “weak skills” and recommends reviewing these words before moving on to a different module.



Best for: Improving speaking skills

For less than $10 a month, learners can make the most of full language courses offered by Babbel. Their primary lessons focus on basic conversational skills, so it’s great for those who are more interested in improving their speaking skills before learning grammar rules. For analytical learners, the courses also include tutorials and in-depth explanations of grammar concepts.



Best for: Connecting with native speakers

Using the Linguist Method created by CEO and founder Steve Kaufmann, LingQ serves as the learner’s “link” to the best learning tools and community of native speakers. The site helps learners to maximize exposure to the target language by providing interesting content, useful resources, and forums to ask questions and discuss with native speakers and fellow learners.



Best for: Accessing foreign video content

Featuring original and engaging videos for learners of all levels, FluentU allows users to learn vocabulary and phrases from relevant content and real-life situations. Learners and teachers can access unlimited videos and audio clips based on interests and skill levels for a modest fee. These videos also have captions and subtitles, as well as translations.


Image source: FluentU


Best for: Improving conversational writing skills

Voted as the “Best Google Play App” in 2015, Busuu is a community-based language learning program that uses a flashcard system combining audio and illustrations. The free version also facilitates conversational practice with native speakers, who can correct the learners’ mistakes. Other useful features such as a mobile app with offline mode, quizzes, and grammar exercises, are available for Premium plan members.



Best for: Having customized lessons anytime

A start-up from San Francisco, Verbling connects language learners with professional teachers worldwide. With customized one-to-one lessons via video chat, learners can enjoy the flexibility of choosing their teachers and time slots without having to wait for confirmation. Experienced teachers also provide immediate feedback and tailor long-term plans according to the student’s needs.



Best for: Having personalized lessons and discussions

With over a thousand professional teachers and native-speaking tutors offering personalized online lessons, Italki’s one-on-one approach is recommended for learners, who prefer to learn languages at their own time and pace. The student-centric approach complemented by discussions with other learners make Italki a fun community for global citizens. 


Have you used any of these sites and apps? How would you rate them? Share your reviews and other recommendations with us!

Jenie Gabriel

The author

Jenie Gabriel

Jenie creates and coordinates content for Gengo's marketing team. Originally from the Philippines, she was an advertising creative in Singapore before moving to Tokyo. In her spare time, you’ll find her wandering around the city or planning her next escapade.

Stay informed

Subscribe to receive all the latest updates from Gengo in your inbox.

Translator Resources [EN]

Get the leads of users from translator resources page.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Business Resources

Discover everything you need to know about going global.

Translator Resource Page

Discover everything you need to know about translating with Gengo.

Translator Forum