10 Best Language Learning Apps for iPhone

Learning a new language can be a fun and rewarding experience. With the vast number of language learning apps available for iPhone, it’s easier than ever to pick up a new 10 Best Language Learning Apps for iPhone on the go. Choosing the right app that fits your learning style and goals is key to success.

In this article, we will explore the 10 best iPhone apps for learning languages in 2024 based on reviews, features, and effectiveness. Whether you’re looking to pick up conversational skills for travel or aim for fluency, these apps can help you achieve your language goals.

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An Introduction to Language Learning Apps

10 Best Language Learning Apps for iPhone leverage technology to make picking up new languages more accessible and convenient than traditional classroom methods. With interactive lessons, flashcards, games, and other features, these apps aim to make language learning fun, engaging, and effective.

Mobile apps also allow you to learn a language anywhere, anytime – great for busy schedules. Whether standing in line at the store or sitting on the train during a daily commute, you can use otherwise wasted minutes to study. Consistency is key when learning a new language, and apps allow you to study frequently in short bursts.

Beyond convenience, language learning apps personalize lessons based on your strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Adaptive learning tools track your progress and cater content and quizzes accordingly. With artificial intelligence and data, apps can also provide feedback on pronunciation.

As with any learning tool, language apps are most effective when used consistently and as a supplement to other learning methods like textbooks, classes, videos, conversations with native speakers, and immersed cultural experiences.

Let’s explore the top 10 language learning apps for mastering vocabulary, conversing quickly, and achieving fluency no matter your learning style or language goals.

The 10 Best iPhone Apps for Learning Languages

1. Duolingo – Best for Bite-Sized Lessons

Duolingo is one of the most popular free language learning apps with over 300 million users worldwide. Available in both app and web formats, it offers short, gamified lessons that you can complete in spare minutes throughout the day.

Key Features:

  • Over 30 languages offered including Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Irish, Danish, and even fictional languages like High Valyrian and Klingon.
  • Bite-sized lessons designed to be completed in 3-5 minutes. Lessons consist of writing, listening, speaking, and conversation exercises.
  • Gamification with points, levels, leaderboards, and streaks for motivation. You earn gems for completing lessons which can be used to “purchase” bonus items like streak freezes and practice levels.
  • Adaptive learning algorithm caters lessons based on your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Offline mode allows lessons without an internet connection.
  • Free version supported by ads. Can upgrade to premium without ads and for offline lessons.

Duolingo is great for beginners looking to build a habit through quick, gamified lessons. The variety of languages and features make it one of the most versatile iPhone apps for learning languages. Though lessons are short, using the app consistently can add up to mastery of vocabulary, grammar, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

2. Babbel – Best for Conversation Skills

Babbel aims to get you conversing in your target language quickly through 10-15 minute interactive lessons that cover real-life conversational topics.

Key Features:

  • 14 languages offered including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, Dutch, Polish, Indonesian, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Russian, and English.
  • Lessons organized by topic to build the conversational skills needed for travel, dining, business, and more. Short lessons cover vocab, grammar, pronunciation, and dialogue practice.
  • Speech recognition technology evaluates pronunciation so you can fine-tune it.
  • Thousands of instructor-led lessons on diverse topics – not just grammar and vocabulary lists. Lessons were crafted by over 100 language learning experts.
  • Apps for iPhone, Android, Mac, and Windows to learn on any device. Ability to switch devices without losing progress.
  • Paid app but offers free trial so you can test it out. Monthly subscriptions start at $12.95.

Overall, Babbel is a top choice for those who want to converse in their target language quickly. Focusing on conversational skills makes Babbel ideal for travel or professional business where social interactions are a priority.

3. Busuu – Most Comprehensive Courses

Busuu aims to simulate real-world conversations and comprehensive instruction to provide a well-rounded language learning experience.

Key Features:

  • 12 languages offered including Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Turkish, Arabic, Japanese, and Russian.
  • 150 hours of content per language. Courses cover reading, writing, listening, grammar, and vocabulary through lessons and dialogues.
  • Speaking exercises you record and submit to native speakers for feedback.
  • ** Adaptive algorithm** tailors lessons based on your weaknesses and strengths.
  • Social network to chat with native speakers and learn collaboratively.
  • App plus desktop and web access to switch between devices seamlessly.
  • Free and premium plans. Free version includes limited content and no offline access. Premium plans start at $9.99 for 1-month subscriptions ($69.99 for 12-months) to unlock all content and features.

Busuu provides a more comprehensive approach to language learning with its extensive lessons, conversation practice, and access to native speakers. Though not free, they offer plans that are competitive with other paid apps. Busuu is a great choice for serious language learners looking for an immersive experience.

4. HelloTalk – Best Language Exchange App

HelloTalk connects language learners around the world to native speaking conversation partners.

Key Features:

  • Over 100 languages supported include Chinese, Spanish, English, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Portuguese, German, Italian, Arabic, and more.
  • Chat and voice/video call native speakers to practice conversations. You can correct each other’s messages and provide feedback.
  • Moments and posts share your language learning journey and connect with others.
  • Translation and transliteration tools help understand messages and learn characters.
  • Free access. In-app purchases for additional features like unlimited translations and premium memberships.

Practicing conversations with a native speaker is one of the best ways to improve language skills. HelloTalk facilitates that through its language exchange platform and community. Though lessons and structured curriculum are limited, it’s an excellent supplement to other apps.

5. Pimsleur – Best for Listening and Speaking

Developed by linguistic experts, Pimsleur audio lessons focus on conversational speaking and listening.

Key Features:

  • Over 50 languages offered including French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish, Arabic, English for Spanish Speakers, and more.
  • 30-minute audio lessons focus on listening, speaking, and pronunciation through conversations.
  • Lessons are structured around principles of spaced repetition and gradual complexity to promote retention.
  • App, desktop, or audio CDs for flexible access. Use apps for mobile learning then CDs in the car for review.
  • Paid app starting at $14.95 per month for the basic plan. Lifetime plans offer one-time fees for full access starting at $179.95.

With its audio-focused conversational approach, Pimsleur is ideal for auditory learners and those seeking speaking and listening skills. Driving or commuting offers great opportunities to listen and repeat Pimsleur lessons hands-free.

6. Edmodo – Best Language Learning Social Network

Edmodo fosters an educational community that makes language exchange engaging.

Key Features:

  • Connect with language learners around the world through posts, messages, and chats. Native speakers can provide feedback and advice.
  • Multimedia posts share videos, audio clips, images, and files to aid language lessons.
  • Notebooks organize lessons and study materials.
  • Polls, quizzes, and assignments make learning interactive. Track your progress.
  • Free access and use. Monetizes through corporate services.

For those who enjoy social networking, Edmodo gamifies learning through connections. Ask questions, share resources, take quizzes, and collaborate on assignments with other learners. Though it lacks structured lessons, activities and feedback from fellow users can supplement other language apps.

7. Tandem – Best for Text and Video Chats

Tandem lets you chat with native speakers through text, audio messages, and video calls.

Key Features:

  • Over 150 languages supported. Find native speaking chat partners for mainstream and niche languages.
  • Chat, text messaging, voice messages, video chat with language partners to practice conversations.
  • Learning tools like quizzes, flashcards, and lessons supplement the exchanges.
  • Screen sharing to collaborate on activities like proofreading writing samples and providing feedback.
  • Free version limits number of conversations. Paid Plus version ($12.99 per month) offers unlimited chats and conversation partners.

Tandem facilitates personal connections with native speakers through flexible communication formats. Conversing by text, voice, or video accommodates different learning styles. Though lessons aren’t the focus, Tandem fills the role of a language meetup group and exchange partner.

8. Mondly – Best for Conversational Dialogues

Mondly focuses on practical conversations and interactive audio dialogues.

Key Features:

  • 33 languages offered like French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Turkish, Vietnamese, Hebrew, and English. Even some niche languages like Hawaiian!
  • 5-10 minute lessons focus on conversational dialogues. Covers travel, shopping, dining situations.
  • Chatbot conversations practice dialogues through roleplaying.
  • Speech recognition gives instant feedback on pronunciation.
  • VR option – Mondly VR immerses you in virtual conversations and scenarios.
  • Access via iPhone, Android, desktop, web, smartwatch – learn whenever.
  • Free limited version. $9.99 monthly for premium full access.

For conversationalists, Mondly distills lessons down into practical, everyday dialogues. The speech recognition and VR features in particular make conversations more lifelike and engaging.

9. Drops – Best for Vocabulary Building

Drops focuses specifically on vocabulary acquisition through visual association and spaced repetition.

Key Features:

  • 31 languages offered – great variety including Icelandic, Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French, Italian, English for Spanish speakers.
  • 5 minutes per day – designed for quick, frequent practice.
  • Colorful minimalist illustrations associate words and phrases with visuals to boost memorization.
  • Spaced repetition introduces words frequently to aid long-term retention.
  • Progress tracking – visualize mastery of each vocabulary topic.
  • Customizable review reminders – set practice times that work for your schedule.
  • Free limited version, $9.99 monthly for premium (or $39.99 annually)

For those who want to build vocabulary quickly, Drops distills it down into digestible 5-minute visual lessons. The simple interface and spaced repetition help words stick long-term.

10. ELSA Speak – Best for Pronunciation Training

ELSA focuses specifically on pronunciation training through AI speech recognition.

Key Features:

  • English only – specialized focus on pronunciation. Not for complete language mastery.
  • AI speech recognition analyzes speech and provides instant feedback on pronunciation. Identifies sounds you struggle with.
  • Detailed Reports track progress over time – words mastered, problem sounds.
  • Over 3,000 lessons and exercises covering a range of vowels, consonants, syllables, words, phrases. Lessons increase in difficulty.
  • Customizable – skip what you already know and focus on problem areas.
  • Ideal for non-native English speakers looking to improve their comprehensibility and reduce accent.
  • Free version available with limited access. Unlimited plan $9.99 per month ($47.99 annually).

For new English learners looking to communicate clearly, ELSA is the go-to app. With instant AI feedback and progress tracking, pronunciation improvement is measurable.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Language Learning App

With this overview of the top language learning apps, how do you choose what’s right for your needs as a language learner? Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Languages offered – Make sure the app teaches the language you want to learn! Check if dialects and regional differences are covered too.
  • Learning style – Do you prefer structured lessons, conversational social apps, short sessions, audio, or visuals? Choose an app that caters to how you learn best.
  • Skills focus – Are you looking to build vocabulary quickly, have real conversations soon, improve pronunciation, or achieve well-rounded fluency? Choose an app with features that align to your goals.
  • Price and subscriptions – Language apps range from free to paid monthly subscriptions over $10. Decide your budget and look for free trials to test premium features.
  • Device accessibility – Look for iPhone, Android, web, desktop, or smartwatch access to learn on the go and seamlessly switch devices.
  • User reviews – Download and test the most promising apps for yourself. Reading objective user reviews on app stores can reveal pros, cons, and effectiveness.

Testing out a few options before committing can help you determine the best app for your needs. Consistency and supplemental resources will also boost results. With the right app, you can have fun, customize lessons, and achieve language fluency at your fingertips.

The Final Word on Language Learning Apps

Learning a new language expands your worldview, sharpens your mind, and enables meaningful connections. With flexible iPhone apps that fit your busy lifestyle, building new language skills is more convenient than ever.

Consistency and reinforcing lessons across multiple modalities – like pairing Duolingo lessons with HelloTalk conversations – is key to fluency. Stick with your chosen app for at least a few months for proficiency to take hold. Celebrate little milestones along the way!

Surround yourself with the language whenever possible by changing device languages, listening to foreign radio stations, watching shows in your target language, and finding conversation partners.

Language learning is a lifelong adventure. With so many excellent iPhone apps available, you can immerse yourself in new linguistic worlds and communicate globally. Pick one or two apps that excite you, use them diligently, reinforce lessons offline, and above all, have fun with your language journey!

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