Best 5 Online Tools To Learn A Language

Following the Interview with a Polyglot Series in which Italian and language coach Luca Lampariello talked to us about his experience with learning foreign languages using techniques and methods that can be found online, we offer you here a selection of the most popular online language-learning tools that can be accessed through a website or as a mobile app to boost your learning experience and give you additional knowledge that can be fun, free and accessible from your smartphone or tablet.


Duolingo might be the most popular online tool to learn a foreign language using your tablet or your smartphone. This 3-year-old language-learning platform is ad-free and currently offers a wide range of courses of over 21 languages on its website including Dutch, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, among others. The website as well as the app are free to use and offer a fun and interactive way to learn new words, get accustomed with grammar rules and most of all submit assignments that can help you practice the language and assess your progress.

With over 100 million users signed up, Duolingo enables you to interact with other users through your profile, on which you can set your weekly goals and update your personal information.

Duolingo has a cool slogan to inspire and motivate its users and it says “Free Language Education for the World”

The app is available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.


Winner of Digita 2013 Award and Microsoft Innovate 4 Society Award, Babbel is a great method to help you build basic conversational skills and improve your speaking. Unlike Duolingo, Babbel offers different apps for each language, which makes it easier to access your courses, keep track on your assignments and focus on a single set of language lessons before moving to another language. This platform offers language lessons in 13 languages for English speakers as well as other courses for People whose native language is German, Italian, Spanish, French or Portuguese. The app is downloadable for free and has a monthly subscription cost that starts from $11. Just like Duolingo, Babbel offers its users the possibility to monitor their progress. Users can even use the app without an internet connection which is great for reviewing vocabulary and assignments.

According to the Economist Babbel is an “exceptionally good site”.

The app is available for iOS and Android.


Memrise combines interactive tricks and fun learning methods that extend beyond vocabulary and language to things like history, geography, arts… Memrise motivates users to learn through games and a garden analogy that allows users to take care of their virtual garden as they advance in learning. The Memrise app features different modules depending on the level of the user and offers lots of memory training tricks and tools to help learners memorise new words and use them to submit their writings and converse with others. With many languages offered, Memrise users are able to browse some of the courses before officially starting to use it.

Memrise is free and the app is available on iOS and Android so you can take your lessons with you wherever you go.


You can join a large community of over 50 million users who are already learning with Busuu. With high-quality courses evaluated by a team of educational experts and teachers, Busuu offers self-paced units in many European and Asian languages and the possibility to interact with a worldwide community of languages learners, tutors and teachers. According to New York Times, “Busuu uses clear graphics, and its interface is easy to use. The app also feels cheerful when you’re using it.”

This platform offers free and premium paid-for access to audio-visual lessons in 12 languages that can be accessed through the website and the mobile app. On Busuu website users can also take listening, reading, writing and speaking tasks and practice with native speakers.

The premium membership on Busuu costs $14.99 and the app is available on iOS and Android.


This American language-learning technique offers an almost entirely audio-based set of courses that present phrases and expressions in the target language first and then in your mother language so you can do the translation. There are some reading material for particular units, but the audio will always guide you and give you instructions on how to proceed. A great advantage that Pimsleur offers is that users can often improve their pronunciation by listening to native speakers and repeating after them. Unlike all the other methods, Pimsleur offers its users courses in over 50 languages. The Pimsleur Course Manager App is available to download on iOS as well as Android.

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