Authored by Chad Emery
Traveling abroad is a life-changing experience full of adventure, exploration, and discovery. Whether you’re strolling through winding cobblestone streets in a historic city or relaxing on a sun-kissed beach, every trip offers a different glimpse of the world we live in.
While traveling without speaking the language can still be life-changing, when you learn to speak the local language of your destination, even at a basic level, it can help you make the most of your time abroad.
Not only will you be able to navigate your surroundings more easily, and order at restaurants, you’ll build a deeper connection to the culture and people of the country you’re in.
There are a lot of language learning apps you can use before you travel, but you can save yourself a lot of time by using apps that get you speaking from day one.
These 7 language learning apps will do just that, and you’ll be speaking like a local by the time your plane lands!
7 Best Language Learning Apps: Learn a Language Before You Travel Abroad!
There are words and phrases you need to know in every language, and Babbel covers these and more. You can also work through the activities at your own pace with Babbel’s personalized approach, which is great for the casual learner.
The app uses voice recognition technology to help improve your pronunciation, so you can practice speaking in the comfort of your own home without the pressure of other people listening.
Babbel covers vocabulary, grammar, and communication skills, and currently offers 13 languages, including popular languages like Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese.
Compared to a lot of other language learning programs, Babbel’s price is just right for the quality of the program. Try it for $50 for 6 months – click here to get 50% off.
You can access all of Busuu’s basic language courses for free, so this app is definitely worth a try when you’re starting out!
Once you’ve covered the basics in the free version, the premium version comes with a lot of extra features that will reinforce what you’ve already learned, like practicing with native speakers, personalized learning plans, and certificates you can earn for bragging rights.
The quality of Busuu’s lesson content is excellent, and it’s a great option for long-term learning, before and after your trip.
Daily Dose of Language
Daily Dose of Language is another free language app. With Daily Dose, you receive a new lesson every day, so consistency is key.
The lessons have a wide range of content, and can discuss slang, essential travel phrases, the culture of different countries, and basic vocabulary.
The languages offered by Daily Dose of Language are somewhat limited, but they have lessons for most of the widely-spoken languages.
If you want to learn more exotic languages, you can subscribe to the premium apps offered by its parent company, Innovative Languages.
When it comes to language learning apps, DuoLingo is usually the first one that comes to everyone’s mind. This is by far one of the most popular apps used, and for a good reason.
DuoLingo’s free language courses are extensive, and they really guide you through the ins and outs of your target language. The app offers a wide selection of languages, so you’ll most likely be able to study the language you want with DuoLingo.
The individual lessons can get somewhat repetitive, but overall the app is really useful because it tracks how well you remember each word. This helps keep your vocabulary fresh!
iTalki is a little different than the other apps on the list. With iTalki, you can book private lessons with language tutors.
After-all, the best way to learn any language is to speak with native speakers, and iTalki connects you with countless native speakers from around the world.
In the app, you can read past reviews of each tutor, as well as watch their introduction video and read about their course offerings. When you’re ready to book a lesson, most tutors let you book a discounted trial to make sure you like their teaching style.
Tutors set their own prices, and you can find great tutors for any budget!
Pimsleur is the best choice for people who want to hone their speaking skills. Its voice recognition technology is definitely superior to other apps, but its main limitation is that it doesn’t really practice reading or writing.
Whereas other apps try to make learning fun with games and other activities, Pimsleur is more like a traditional classroom and focused on results.
It offers over 50 languages, including dialects from different countries, so chances are you’ll find the language or dialect you want. As far as price, you pay per language, so it’s a great option if you’ll be spending your time in one country!
You’ve probably seen ads for Rosetta Stone online or on TV, but is it really that good? The short answer: Yes.
Rosetta Stone is probably the best premium software available for building a solid foundation in a new language. It’s easy to use and guides you through a series of exercises that increase your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.
It’s a completely immersive app, so everything you see will be in your target language. Short of speaking with a native speaker, this is the fastest way to build up your skills. If speaking to a human is what you’re interested in, Rosetta Stone also offers online tutoring sessions.
Although Rosetta Stone may seem a little more expensive than other apps, it’s still pretty average cost-wise, and definitely worth the price.
Which App Is Your Favorite?
By using any of these apps, you can easily learn the basics of any language before you travel abroad. After you land in your destination, you’ll open yourself up to experiences other travelers never get!
Whether it’s striking up a conversation with a local who offers to show you the best parts of the city or gaining a deeper understanding of the culture and cuisine of a region or country, there are endless benefits to learning a new language.