Learning a new language is really hard, and it only gets harder with age. While babies can soak up new languages like a sponge, learning a foreign language as an adult takes a lot of hard work. Fortunately, there are tools that make it easier to learn another language.
The best tools to learn a foreign language include apps, translation software, language dictionaries, and even cutting edge translator devices. Check out our favorite language learning tools below. Whether you’re looking for key vocab to navigate the a new city or want to fully dive into another dialect, these are our favorite options for any aspiring language student looking to flex those lingual muscles.
BEST FOR LONG-TERM LEARNERS
Apps are one of the quickest, cheapest and easiest ways to dip your toe into another language and practice on the go. Utilize the power of your smartphone to teach you all of the essential phrases, vocab and grammar you need to adopt a brand new language before you travel. Duolingo is one of the most popular iPhone apps for learning a new language in small, bite-sized pieces. You’ll chip away at a brand new language with short daily lessons designed to slowly build your skills. With goal tracking and motivational notifications, this app will give you the extra nudge you need to keep your promise to your grandmother and make real progress. This app is for iPhone and Android users and there is a free option for first-timers to check it out.
Duolingo Language App
BEST LANGUAGE APP FOR TRAVELERS
To become conversational quickly — check out Babbel. This app is all about picking up practical language skills — giving you what you’ll use the most first and helping you remember those key words and phrases. If you want to learn the essentials French phrases you’ll need before a trip to Paris, download Babbel a few months before you depart. Like all the best language learning apps, Babbel is for Apple and Android users. There are a variety of subscription models for Babbel, but the 3-month plan should give you enough time to practice before you start exploring the Parisian streets.
Babbel Language App
$8.95 for 3 Months
If games and memes are more your speed when learning a new language, then check out Memrise. It’s a language learning tool that incorporates fun and gamification into their immersive lessons to help you pick up new skills fast and have them stick.
Memrise Language App
iTranslate Translator App
BEST TRANSLATOR APP
If you’re already on your trip and looking for a quick, in-the-moment translation tool, then check out iTranslate. It easily translates more than 100 languages from text, websites or even voice-to-voice conversations. Download the iTranslate to your Apple Watch for fast translation while you travel.
iTranslate Translator App
BEST FOR BECOMING FLUENT
If you’re serious about becoming fluent in another language, a long-term course might just be the investment for you. Rosetta Stone is the O.G. language course provider, and with its long-standing top-rated reputation, interactive activities and lessons that are accessible from anywhere on any device, you’ll be glad you took the plunge. While there is a free version of the Rosetta Stone app, the paid version is worth the investment. With full courses in almost every language, this is one of the best tools for learning a foreign language.
An alternative to Rosetta Stone for the aspiring French, Spanish, Italian and German speakers is Ouino. This is an all-in-one comprehensive learning course with more than 400 lessons for each language. Each lesson is customizable and gives you an opportunity to take control of your learning process.
Ouino Language Learning Tools
Adelaice Translator Device
BEST LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR
This translator has it all. It’s got 82 languages and a two-way translation button for quick language help in any situation abroad. Communicate with cab drivers, waiters and tour guides easily with this cutting edge tool. Requires WiFi or a HotSpot connection to work.
Adelaice Translator Device
BEST BOOKS FOR LEARNING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
If books are more your speed, check out Living Language. They’re a top-rated brand with guides for Spanish, Italian, Hebrew and other world languages. These guides are based on linguistic science and backed by over 65 years of experience helping readers learn new tongues. Get back to basics and pick up this whole literary series to kickstart your studies in your language of choice.
Living Language French Book
Even if you buy all of the best products for learning a foreign language and invest in all of the top-rated language learning tools, there’s still one major obstacle in your path — learning a foreign language is really, really hard! If you’re looking for strategies to enhance your study of any language, many language learners swear by this guide. If you’ve tried other tools and can’t seem to get a language to stick, then this book should be your next step. Learn memorization techniques and the power of immersive language practice before you tackle your next language learning goal. Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner will help you understand how we learn language in the first place, giving you the tools you need to hack your brain and finally progress beyond “Donde Esta la Biblioteca?“