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5 easy to use apps to learn any language in a flash

Learning a new language is a breeze with these engaging apps. By Satyaki Sarkar

While travelling to other lands, whether for work or pleasure, the language barrier can pose as bit of challenge if you aren’t prepared. English might be the internationally accepted language for most, but being able to fluently greet your host in his native tongue, and converse with locals and shopkeepers in their preferred language gives you an added edge like no other. And in this age of technological advancement, you don’t really need to take special coaching classes to learn a language. All you need to do is download one of these five apps that will help you learn the essentials step-by-step so that you’re talking like a local in no time!

1. Duolingo
Probably one of the best language learning apps of all, what makes Duolingo so popular is how easy it is to use. All you need to do is choose the language you wish to learn and through a combination of text, pictures, and audio you learn how to understand, spell, and pronounce the words in the chosen language as well as your native tongue. While creating an account also lets you save your progress, it is not explicitly necessary. Once you’ve completed a particular level you go the next one and so on. The levels are designed to be progressively more and more difficult to make you an expert in the language. Additionally, if you are already a little familiar with the language and wish to try harder lessons, you can easily skip the bigginer levels and more ahead.
Available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone

2. Rosetta Stone
While Rosetta Stone actually provides professional language learning services, it is the free app that you should keep handy before embarking on your next trip out of India. The app is designed to especially assist travellers in learning basic words, phrases, and sentence construction so that they can converse well enough to get around on their travels. Rosetta Stone uses representational pictures to teach you phrases. The phrases are spoken to you in the chosen language, to help you master the pronunciation and learn their proper usage. The app also gives you the option to skip lessons based on your preferences, or take the entire course at one go. You can even search its database, which is loaded with relevant words pertaining to activities, such as dining, clubbing, booking a room, and so on, making it the perfect app for a traveller looking to get around in an unfamiliar city.
Available for iOS and Android

3. Memrise
What makes Memrise truly unique as a language learning app is the fact that it uses a game-like interactive and highly customisable interface to not only make learning fun, but also retain your attention and interest through a reward system. Additionally, the app uses a combination of community created memes and a mnemonics based repetition algorithm to efficiently predict how often you need to revisit a certain phrase or sentence, along with reminders to do the same. It also makes the learning process easier by placing the phrases in sentences built with similar sounding words from your native language, so that you can gain familiarity rapidly and remember them. Like the others, you also have the option to skip the lessons that you do not need or want, and proceed to more difficult ones, or take the entire course at one go.
Available for iOS, Android, and Amazon

4. HelloTalk
HelloTalk sets itself apart from the rest of the language learning apps on this list thanks to its messaging like user interface that connects different language users with each others, so that they can learn each other’s language through text and voice message based conversations. It uses a matching system to connect two users who are looking to learn each other’s mother tongues, and provides an in-built correction tool to allow them to correct each other, essentially providing a mutual tutorship. This, along with the integrated translation system helps you deal with moments when you cannot express your thought in words, and takes away the stress and mechanical nature of learning a language. Additionally, you can mark your favourite phrases for future use, and use the text to voice feature to always be able to understand how to pronounce the messages you receive.
Available for iOS and Android

5. Busuu
Offering as many as 12 languages to learn from, Busuu is the app you would want to choose if you’re in a hurry and you need to master the basics of a language well enough to get by. From topical themes, where you’re taught skills and expressions based on tasks, to individual words, simple dialogues, and common questions, the app gives you a crash course on all that you would need to converse with the local populace in a foreign land. It also uses a reward system where your progress is judged and texts corrected by native users in exchange for you doing the same for others. Additionally, each course also comes with a specially designed mini ‘travel course’ that helps you quickly understand the basics before embarking on your trip.
Available for iOS and Android 

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