Thursday 4: Talk ‘App-ly’ In Foreign Tongues

I’m a bit busy today so I thought that it was fitting to do a quick post about apps I use for language learning whilst on the go. Let’s do this!


The best of the best IMO. Learn to read, speak, write and comprehend the language of your choice through a variety of exercises on an interface that is intuitively designed for easy navigation. You have many languages to chose from; German to Vietnamese  – even High Valyrian! Plus, there are always new languages in development.

Duolingo has recently made my dreams come true by finally rolling out its Japanese program. So there is something for everyone – even if you are still waiting on your pet language to launch. Another bonus, in my experience, is when you meet another Duolingo user, you’ve just made a new friend! 

Available on: iOS, Android, Windows Phone

Duolingo. © Duolingo


Not as fancy as the others, but a must have in your language arsenal. Digital old-school language dictionaries on the go without the translations snafus I often hear griped about with Google Translate. Additionally, you can use these dictionaries offline which is the balls when you are traveling and connectivity is spotty.

It’s pretty cool and comprehensive and had been a flat-out boon for my German learning effort.

Available on:  iOS, Android


This app that teaches languages by utilizing the power of the loved (or loathed) emoji, is fairly new to me. But I love it kitschiness and it’s name-play of the language powerhouse, Rosetta Stone. I was surprised at how well this approach worked and now I can finally work towards deciphering some of the most nebulous emojis known to mankind. That’s a double ‘language’ bonus whammy right there, my friends.

EmojiStone just launched in July and only offers Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, and German at present. Nonetheless, it is an entertaining and light-hearted approach to language learning.

EmojiStone. © EmojiStone

Available on:  iOS


If you read any of my earlier ‘learn’ blog posts; you might have picked up that I am a fan of the Chinese language. Well, it was HelloChinese that got me hooked. Why? Its game-based platform is a hell of a good time. It also teaches Chinese handwriting, along with reading, speaking and listening skills and after the first few sessions, I realized that I was retaining quite a bit.

The Chinese language is difficult to learn. Experts estimate that you need a grand total of 2,200 hours of class time to become fluent, making Chinese one of the hardest languages for a Western speaker to master. To find a program, an app, that can give me the confidence and comfort to forage on in such a task? 是 請 (Yes, please!)

Available on:  iOS, Android

Okay, there you have it. Get downloading and start speaking in foreign tongues today.


Nicole Michelle

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