The world is globalizing at a crazy pace, and quite frankly, if you only know how to speak one language, you’re at a disadvantage. Besides the practical reasons for learning a language (ie. connecting with locals while travelling is easier and the fact that this skill looks damn nice on your resume) , I think *elementary school teacher voice* learning can be fun! Especially if you know which apps to use to make your life easier.
Currently I’m learning how to speak French, Spanish, and Hindi, while maintaining my knowledge in English and Tagalog. Juggling new words in different languages can be quite confusing at times, and it can be hard to learn when you don’t even know what you don’t know. So I figured I would share my favourite language learning apps with you!
My Top Language Learning Apps!
The number 1 language learning app! And for good reason too. When it comes to romance languages like Spanish and French, DuoLingo is your go-to app where you can learn new vocabulary and familiarize yourself with sentence structures and grammar, too. What’s nice about the app is that it sends you push notifications reminding you to take 5 minutes out of your day to complete your lessons (very handy if you tend to become lazy)!
The app also allows you to compete with your friends! If you know me personally, you probably know that I’m quite competitive so ranking #1 my language groups is enough motivation for me.
I consider TinyCards a supplementary tool for DuoLingo. In fact, I will open this app before my hitting my daily goal in DuoLingo since it gives me a good idea of what topics I want to cover that day. What’s cool about this app is that if you keep making the same mistake on a flashcard, that particular card pops up again and again so that the translations are drilled into your brain.
I’m guilty of being one of those diaspora kids who don’t practice their native languages enough at home. When it comes to speaking languages, “Use it or lose it” is one of those adages that definitely apply. Unfortunately, I make up like, 40% of the Filipino population in Mumbai so finding someone I can speak Tagalog with out here can be quite a challenge. To avoid losing my mother tongue altogether, I use Tagalog!, a word of the day app to refresh my memory. It’s crazy how quickly I can recall words in Tagalog when I am simply exposed to the language in writing!
4. Word of the Day
Just because I’m fluent in English, doesn’t mean I’m not continuously learning the language every day. Word of the Day is something I use to expand my English vocabulary (because maintaining an eighth-grade level of English comprehension isn’t cute). This app provides the word in a sentence so you can learn it in context. I try to use my Word of the Day as naturally as I possibly can in a sentence that day, that way it sticks!
Because I’m an expat living in Mumbai, it only makes sense that I try to make sense of the vernacular. Although I wouldn’t say that learning Hindi is one of my top priorities when it comes to language learning, it does help me get through daily life here in India. Similar to the Word of the Day app above, I learn a new Hindi word each day using the TransparentLanguage app. I’m also taught how to use that same word in a sentence. If I practice enough, maybe one day I can go to a Hindi movie and actually follow the plot! 😛
6. Hindi Transliteration Keyboard
Learning how to speak Hindi is one thing, but to read it is another. Often Hindi is written in a script called Devanagari, and you may not be familiar with the characters. The Hindi Transliteration Keyboard converts the characters and sounds into something native English speakers can read, aka the Roman alphabet!
Are you learning any languages? If so, what are they? What are your favourite apps and tools you use to learn them?
*Tip: If you’re looking to become an expat, SearchJobsAbroad allows you to search for short-term holiday work, volunteering opportunities, internships, part-time, and full-time jobs all over the globe!
Itching to travel? Read about why I think you should make is a solo trip here!