We all love traveling abroad in an authentic way - meeting the locals, sampling the regional cuisine and hanging out at haunts not frequented by other tourists. But there's one area in which we can all admit we're lazy about: learning the country's language. Although many foreign countries admittedly can understand and speak some English, it’s proper (and fun!) to learn and use a new language when going abroad. Luckily these days, signing up for pricey language classes is not the only solution. There are many apps available that allow us to be fully immersed in a foreign country, by teaching us how to communicate in new languages. Here are the coolest, most innovative six.
If communicating with native speakers sounds more personal and natural to you, consider HiNative, an app that allows you to learn a new language by talking to native speaker of a particular country. The app provides a more human approach to learning, as you have the chance to ask any language or cultural questions to a live person, versus a computer. It is a free to download but has a premium option, which gives you a priority listing in the queue of questions, for $9.99.
Using Duolingo to learn a new language is probably the easiest and simplest way to do it. The app uses quiz like questions in a game format to help you remember words. It uses images, short sentences and sound bites to teach users how to write, read and speak a foreign language. It is a free app that caters to the needs of gamers and can used based on your schedule – but be careful, if you don’t complete the lessons in time you’ll lose the chance to level up and win that competition you have going with your friends.
Developed by Europe’s language experts, this app gives users the freedom to learn a new language at their own pace, in a fun and convenient format, with each lesson being 10-15 minutes. The app focuses on conversation, rather than the written word, testing out your pronunciation in practical conversations with basic topics that include travel, culture and business. Users can test the app for free but language packages cost $9.99 and $9.99 depending on the level.
If learning in a traditional format gives you anxiety, consider this fun, playful game that combines language lessons with interactive graphics. This app makes learning a new language easy and engaging; by having its users play a variety of addicting games. The games allow users to learn basic vocabulary, grammar and conversation skills, making it useful for young travelers visiting a foreign country for the first time. The app is free to start out with but costs $4.99 for 50 lessons and $19.99 for an all language pass.
Think of this app as a combination of Duolingo and HiNative. This app provides bite-sized lessons for every day communication in a variety of languages with the help of native speakers. Using a fun element with a personal approach, spending 22.5 hours on this app is equivalent to one semester of language study in school. It offers the support of McGraw-Hill Education, a respected education company, meaning Geusers will learn how to speak, pronounce, listen and write in a new language. The app is free but offers a premium membership ranging from $7.99 to $10.99.
For learners who prefer the traditional techniques, consider Brainscape, an app that uses digital flashcards to help users memorize basic key phrases and words. The app uses repetition and timing to help train your brain to learn a new language. The ever-changing flashcards quickly becomes a game that is scientifically proven to decrease your average study time. The app has a monthly subscription of $9.99 or an annual subscription of $35.99.