We’re a multi-lingual bunch here at Pexel, with people who speak up to four languages fluently! And, if we don’t speak more than 1 language fluently, the majority of us are well on the way to doing so with the help of some handy website and apps. We thought we’d share our top three with you today, to help you on your way to becoming a polyglot…
Probably our top choice, DuoLingo is easy to use, introducing you to grammar and vocabulary gradually and in a practical way and all for free on your phone, tablet or computer. In any one lesson you could be picking the correct word to fill the gap, reading back the words on screen or constructing a full sentence with no prompting. The gamification elements of the app make learning fun, by rewarding you with points to spend on extra tests or language games, forcing you to restart the lessons if you lose too many lives with wrong answers and ‘leveling up’ once you’ve completed the tests. The app encourages you to keep up the work each day with push notifications to your phone. We actually had a competition going at one point to see who could have the longest streak on the app! You can also get the occasional giggle with some of the random sentences that DuoLingo comes out with, there’s even a Twitter account to showcase the best!
Since launching, the app has expanded from just a handful of languages to including languages such as Irish, Welsh, Ukrainian, Norwegian and Esperanto (the international auxiliary language, if you didn’t know!). And if you fancy downloading the app and learning Norwegian, you’d be very employable to us! 😉
Memrise comes in second, with, in our opinion, a slightly less fun interface. Although they do include over 200 languages for you to learn for free, so that’s definitely something for the pro list, depending on what you are looking for!
There is some science behind the Memrise learning, with ‘elaborate encoding’ (connecting words and ideas), ‘choreographed testing’ (tests exactly when you need them, according to science) and ‘scheduled reminders’ to help deepen your knowledge and recall of the languages.
Memrise isn’t just for languages either, but includes courses in Art History, Maths & Science and History & Geography, to name a few. The perfect app for expanding your general knowledge to come top in all those pub quizzes!
There’s little point learning a language if you have no experience with using it in a practical setting with native speakers. Although our experiences have been positive, there have been times when our employees who speak the language as a native have picked up on errors within the app itself. To really test yourself, Busuu is the ideal solution.
You can practice your speaking skills with over 50 million native speakers, so there’s bound to be one for you, although their list of languages is limited, so make sure to check if your language is included first! The app also includes quizzes and exercises like the other two apps but we feel that the real advantage is being able to talk with a human and have real-time feedback on your learning.
Have you used a language learning app before? Let us know what your thoughts are on them, we’d love to try some different ones!