The Best Free Language Learning Platforms

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The cost of robust language learning software is only one of the many barriers individuals discover when trying to become fluent in a foreign tongue. In addition to cost, there’s difficulty adopting the program, the question of its portability and what resources are provided to help users begin to understand a language.

Luckily, language learning programs have undergone a revolution. In an age where banks, taxi services and food delivery are all accessible through our handheld devices, language learning should be no different. That’s where the best free language learning software comes in.

The best free language learning software helped make users fluent with less cost and hassle.

1. Duolingo

Duolingo Free Language Learning

Duolingo’s profile displays a G2 Crowd real-user rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars with 83 reviews. This best free language learning software challenges users to learn a foreign language through speaking, listening, translation and multiple-choice questions. Lessons are graded within the app and users are rewarded for consistency.

“What I like most is to being able to pick it up and learn anywhere, anytime and for free!” wrote Amarillis S. in their Duolingo review. “It is also entertaining and progressive, which motivates me to keep on track with the path they give and to not give up easily. With Duolingo’s methodology it’s possible to learn in an almost [seamless] way.”

Users recommend those interested in Duolingo practice with the tool daily, as well as practice the things you’re learning in regular communication.

Features: The program boasts of lessons for more than 20 languages. Lessons are gamified with users receiving points when they’ve performed well.

Pricing: Duolingo is completely free. The app utilizes paid advertisements to keep lessons at no cost to users.

Languages offered: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, High Valyrian, Russian, Swahili, Polish, Romanian, Japanese, Greek, Esperanto, Turkish, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Norwegian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Welsh, Czech, Korean

2. busuu

busuu Free Language Learning

Busuu’s profile displays a rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars out of a total four reviews. The language learning platform argues that 22 hours spent on this app is equivalent to a college semester of foreign language studies.

“I like the different ways busuu asks for information,” writes Naomi R. in her busuu review. “Instead of repeating information, it also requires you to make inferences as you become more advanced. The activities where you listen and then choose a phrase that summarizes what was said is especially helpful.”

Users both on G2 Crowd and on this best free language learning software’s website have cited using busuu to meet people around the world. By being paired with fluent speakers of various languages, users have the opportunity to forge real relationships with their language partner.

Features: The product’s homepage lists such features as grammar units, vocabulary trainer, conversations, an offline mode and official certificates. The conversations differ from some other language learning programs in that they’re with a native speaker as opposed to a chatbot.

Pricing: Busuu is free for those just wanting to learn with the help of flashcards. For additional features such as conversations, quizzes, grammar exercises and offline mode, users have to pay. The plans range from $5.41 to $11.66 a month depending on how long a user wants to commit. Visit the pricing page for details.

Languages offered: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Turkish, Russian, Arabic

3. Lingvist

Lingvist Free Language Learning

Lingvist’s profile displays a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars out of 24 reviews. It claims to teach words in order of relevance, beginning with more popular or highly used words or phrases. The product’s algorithm determines words of statistical importance and puts these at the forefront of a user’s learning experience.

“I have used a variety of language-learning softwares and Lingvist is the only one to stick out to me,” writes Zeke K. in his Lingvist review. “I am both a French and Medical major, and have lived in France for over 3 months. Since I have been able to use Lingvist to learn practical skills beyond grammar, such as read French jokes and listening to non-academic (boring) sources. This application does what others can’t by offering both memorization based grammar and also more interesting culturally French elements like humor.”

The app’s algorithm also picks up on your progress, learning about you as you learn a new language. In one review, a user takes notice of the research Lingvist has put into teaching users new languages, as well as how effective its features are. For these reasons is why Lingvist is one of the best free language learning tools.

Features: Memorization exercises, progress tracking, vocabulary lists, flashcards, creation of daily goals

Pricing: This product does not have pricing openly available on their website, but many reviews from 2016 cite the tool as being free.

Languages offered: German, Spanish, French, Russian, Essential Estonian

4. Memrise

Memrise Free Language Learning

Memrise’s profile shows it has been rated 4.8 out of 5 stars with a total of six reviews. Its focus is making language learning enjoyable for those trying to pick up a new skill. It utilizes the expertise of native speakers, linguists and chatbots.

“Memrise is a great way to help you learn a foreign language and to keep track of your levels of learning,” writes an anonymous user in higher education in their Memrise review. “It’s easy and fun to use, which makes it more likely that I’ll want to go back and keep practicing.”

Users recommend others use this best free language learning software and begin with the 100 most common words for that language. Another user recommends the competition feature that can playfully create a game between two users.

Features: Learn and review, over 200 language combinations, grammarbot, pro chats, difficult words mode, speed review, listening skills mode, video mode, learning stats

Pricing: The product is free for features learn and review, and over 200 language combinations. For features beyond these two, users can pay a monthly fee of $4.92 with a year commitment, to $9 month by month, to $129 for lifetime access. Check out the pricing page for details.

Languages offered: Memrise claims to offer 188 languages, with more being added. The top courses are English, Spanish (Spain), French, Japanese, German, Korean, Chinese, Italian, Russian and Spanish (Mexico.)

5. Google Translate

Google Translate Free Language Learning

Google Translate is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars with 53 reviews. This best free language learning tool is different from the others in that it’s not a teaching tool. It’s more of an in-the-moment translation device that can be used to help determine various words and phrases.

“I like that Google Translate is a free service that can translate complete text in also any language,” writes Samuel L. in his Google Translate review. “It even has Latin.”

Some users lament Translate’s inability to account for grammar in its translations. There’s also no context, occasionally leading Translate to come up with the wrong word altogether. Users recommend Google Translate for simple words or phrases, but not so much for academic papers or official documents.

Features: Translation, document translation, website translation

Pricing: Free

Languages offered: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, English, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Thai and many more

Learning a language is no simple task. Those up for the challenge should have faith in the free language learning software they decide on. Visit G2 Crowd’s best language learning software category to explore a multitude of options.

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