Learn a New Language for Free on Your iPad
Have you been wanting to learn a new language but can’t (or don’t want to) invest money into a language course? Whether you’ve got a summer abroad planned or just want to learn for personal enrichment, technology has made it easier than ever to learn a new language. These apps are available for free on iPads.
Duolingo – This app was voted Apple’s app of the year in 2013. The app combines language learning techniques with a gaming aspect. Children can compete with each other or friends as they expand their vocabularies and gain fluency. Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English versions are currently available.
Busuu – This app works by the support and encouragement of a community of language learners. Users start by learning the basics of a language and then submitting practice assignments to the community to get feedback. A test is then taken to assess what has been learned. Not all languages are supported but twelve are including Chinese and Japanese.
Bykki – Learning vocabulary is an essential part of learning a new language. Bykki is a vocabulary drill program to learn new words and phrases. It tracks what you’ve mastered and has an automatic refresh when it feels the words might be “stale” or on the verge of being forgotten. This is a helpful too for not only learning new words but practicing spelling in languages that have a non-Roman alphabet. Over a dozen languages are offered including Arabic and Farsi.
MindSnacks – The offerings of this app creator are language specific, so you’ll need to download the specific language you’re looking for. A series of specially designed games help users learn thousands of vocabulary words in a fun and inviting way. The first few lessons are free but you’ll have to pay to upgrade to the full version.
Visual Dictionary – Get access to earth, city, and supermarket scenarios represented visually and presented in the foreign language of your choice. With 33 languages available this app lets learners see the items they need the vocabulary for. It then presents practical sentences and scenarios that use the vocabulary words in context. While an internet connection is needed initially to download the language set, it does not need to be in place to use afterwards.
Along with apps consider looking into podcasts and open source courses that are available via the iTunes store. These free audio offerings are available in dozens of languages (Hungarian anyone? Lithuanian?) and don’t need an internet connection to listen to once they’ve been downloaded. Some examples include;
…and hundreds of others! You’ll be on your way to fluency in no time. Have a favorite language learning resource? Leave a comment and share with other readers!