(AFP) In addition to being useful when travelling, learning a foreign
language has been associated in several studies with helping boost
cognitive function and delay the onset of dementia.
Mobile apps can be a
great solution for mastering a new tongue or brushing up on school-day
skills because they're portable, convenient and relatively low cost.
Here's a look at five of the best mobile apps for learning a foreign language.
With 13 foreign languages available,
the Babbel app offers a comprehensive learning system. It has functions
to help learners improve their pronunciation and build vocabulary
quickly through fun lessons. The app is free to download but language
courses are paid for by subscription for one to 12 months, priced from 9.99 euros to 59.99 euros.
This entirely free app can help total
beginners (including schoolchildren) and more advanced learners get to
grips with 26 languages, including classic options like French and
German, as well as more unusual choices such as Norwegian, Swahili and
Over time, users can progress to higher levels or choose to specialize in a specific field (business, medical, etc.). It's even possible to compete with friends also signed up to the platform.
Memrise helps users learn a maximum number of words, including in Luxembourgish, in a short space of time using visual learning techniques and memory games. A Premium subscription offers access to a wide choice of extra games, with prices ranging from 8.99 euros for one month to 59.99 euros for the year.
MosaLingua offers a choice of five languages (German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese) with different levels available. The app focuses on long-lasting memorization, using techniques based on cognitive and psychological concepts to tap into the learner's audio and visual memory. Most of the apps are priced at €4.99 (or $4.99) with add-on vocab packs available for in-app purchase.All of the apps are available for iOS and Android.Head to the MosaLingua website to see the choice of languages and levels.
Busuu (which takes its name from a
Cameroonian dialect) offers an original way to brush up on 12 languages.
The platform is like a social network for language learners, where users can follow interactive lessons and connect with native speakers all over the world to practise their skills. Access is subscription-based, with prices ranging from 9.99 euros for one month to 64.99 euros for 12 months. Busuu has over 50 million users worldwide.