6 Best Language Apps With Cultural Content In 2024

A photo of females from different races happily using their mobile phones behind the Language Apps With Cultural Content texts.

Language shapes how we see the world and interact with others. From my experience, the best language apps go beyond grammar and vocabulary. They should offer cultural insights, too. The Ling app does just that, providing real-life context to help you not only speak but understand the culture behind the language. But if you’re looking for more language apps with cultural content, this is your lucky day. 

Today, I’ll guide you through the best language-learning apps that excel in blending language learning with cultural understanding. Below is a comparison table for a quick overview, followed by a deep dive into each app’s unique features and benefits.

Quick Overview Of The Best Language Apps With Cultural Content

AppBest ForStarting Price
Ling appCultural Context in Conversations$14.99/month
SpeaklyCultural Vocabulary$10.73/month
HelloTalkCultural Exchange$6.99/month
LiricaCultural Immersion Through Music$8.49/month
DuolingoCultural Context in Gamified Learning$6.99/month
Mango LanguagesCultural Tips for Travelers$7.99/month

1-Ling: Best For Cultural Context In Conversations

Having spent countless hours on various language apps, Ling genuinely impresses me with its “Chatbot Conversations.” 

Do you know how some language apps feel like you’re talking to a robot? Not with Ling. Their Chatbot Conversations are next-level. They’re crafted to simulate real-world interactions, complete with cultural nuances. 

For instance, if you’re venturing into Japanese, the app meticulously guides you through the labyrinth of honorifics. Trust me, I’ve been to Japan, and using the wrong honorific can make a pleasant conversation awkward quickly.

Ling also offers language games like fill-in-the-blanks and mix and match. No, they’re not just gimmicks. In fact, they’re educational tools that contextually reinforce your learning.

Asian man smiling with a tablet

Ling’s Standout Features

  • Native Speaker Audio: You’re hearing words while tuning into the rhythm and flow of a culture. You get to hear the language as it’s genuinely spoken, which is a cultural lesson in itself.

  • Leaderboard Challenges: Competing with friends? That’s social learning, and it’s a big part of how we naturally acquire language and cultural norms.

  • Spaced Repetition System: This method helps you remember words and the cultural context in which they’re used. It reminds you subtly about the nuances of the language.

  • 60+ Languages Offered: The sheer variety of languages opens doors to multiple cultures. Are you learning a less commonly taught language? The Ling app has you covered, allowing you to dive into the rich cultural tapestry that each language represents.

What Are Users Saying About Ling?

  • Google Play Rating: 4.4 stars with 11.7K reviews.

  • Feedback: Users often say the Ling app is “user-friendly” and appreciate its “wide range of languages.” This broad language selection enhances the cultural learning experience, helping users understand different regions’ languages, customs, and traditions.

How Much Does Ling Cost?

Basic$0-Beginner lessons
-Introductory chatbot
Monthly$14.99-Beginner lessons
-Introductory chatbot
-200 lessons in 50 units
-Access to 60+ languages
-Sync across all your devices
-Talk with the chatbot about 20 topics
-Grammar tips in many languages
Yearly$79.99 (7-day free trial available)
-Same as the Monthly plan
(one-time payment)
-Same as the Monthly plan

Transform Your Cultural and Language Skills in a Week – Get the Ling app Today!

2- Speakly: Best For Cultural Vocabulary

Speakly is for time-strapped people who want to dive deep into cultural nuances. I’ve found its statistical algorithm incredibly effective. It zeroes in on the most commonly used words in everyday situations. 

But Speakly also embeds cultural notes directly into its interactive lessons. For example, if you’re into Russian, you’ll learn why some phrases are a hit in Moscow but not so much in St. Petersburg.

The “Situation-Based Exercises” are another highlight. These role-playing scenarios go beyond mere vocabulary drills. They immerse you in the cultural context in which these words are used.

Speakly’s Standout Features

  • Confidence Rating: This feature adapts to your pace, ensuring you’re comfortable before moving on to more complex cultural phrases.

  • Offline Mode: Imagine being in a remote village with no Wi-Fi. This feature prepares you for real-world, culturally diverse settings.

  • Real-Life Situations: Aside from knowing what to say, you’re also understanding the cultural etiquette behind interactions.

What Are Users Saying About Speakly?

  • Google Play Rating: 4.2 stars with 10.7K reviews.

  • Feedback: Speakly is praised for its “focus on practical language skills,” which often include culturally relevant phrases and idioms. This approach helps users feel more connected to the culture of the language they’re learning.

How Much Does Speakly Cost?

Monthly$10.73-All languages
-Statistically relevant words
-Writing/Speaking exercises
-Grammar lessons
-Personal support
Annual$51.54-Same as the Monthly plan
Lifetime$150.37-Same as the Monthly plan

3-HelloTalk: Best For Cultural Exchange

Moving on to HelloTalk. This app lets you send Voice Notes, so you can actually hear how you sound. This feature is beneficial for getting your pronunciation on point. 

With HelloTalk, you get to hear all kinds of regional accents. You start picking up idioms and slang often overlooked in traditional learning settings like classrooms.

But the real gem? The “Moments” section. It’s like Instagram but for language learners. People post photos and share stories, and you can even find some unique recipes. It’s an excellent way to learn the culture and the language from other language learners.

HelloTalk’s Standout Features

  • Translation Tool: This is not a Google Translate copy. It’s a bridge to understanding the nuances of everyday conversations in different cultures.

  • Correction Feature: Native speakers correct you, offering a direct line to understanding the cultural norms of language.

  • Language Exchange: You teach, you learn. It’s a cultural exchange in the purest form.

What Are Users Saying About HelloTalk?

  • Google Play Rating: 4.2 stars with 200K reviews.

  • Feedback: Users value the app’s community aspect, calling it a “platform for real cultural exchange.” They can learn about traditions, festivals, and even day-to-day life from native speakers.

How Much Does HelloTalk Cost?

Free$0-Limited messaging with native speakers
-No voice or video calls
-Basic translation and correction tools
-Limited learning materials
Monthly$6.99-Unlimited messaging with native speakers
-Voice and video calls
-Language exchange option
-All translation and correction tools
-All learning materials
(billed annually for two years)
-Same as the monthly plan
(one-time payment)
-Lifetime access to all features of HelloTalk

4-Lirica: Best For Cultural Immersion Through Music

As someone who loves music, Lirica is a breath of fresh air. The app takes popular English, German, and Spanish songs and provides line-by-line translations. But it doesn’t stop there. Lirica also dissects the cultural references and idioms used in the lyrics.

The “Cultural Insights” feature is where Lirica truly shines. Here, you’ll find trivia or historical facts related to the song or artist. 

With that, you’ll understand the lyrics and grasp the culture that inspired them. In this aspect, Lirica offers a unique learning experience that you won’t find in any language apps with cultural content in this list.

Girl with a smartphone and coffee

Lirica’s Standout Features

  • Karaoke Mode: Singing along is a fun way to immerse yourself in the musical culture of a foreign language.

  • Multiple Interpretations: This feature deepens your understanding of a culture by explaining the different layers of a song’s lyrics.

  • Daily Challenges: These keep you engaged and expose you to new cultural tidbits every day.

What Are Users Saying About Lirica?

  • Google Play Rating: 3.8 stars with 595 reviews.

  • Feedback: Users love Lirica’s “unique approach of using music for language learning.” This method also serves as a window into the culture behind the lyrics, offering a more holistic learning experience.

How Much Does Lirica Cost?

Free trial$0 for one month-Limited access to vocabulary & grammar lessons
-Limited word tracking
-Beginner courses
Monthly$8.49-Curated lessons
-Word tracking
-Beginner to intermediate courses
-Music videos and games
Quarterly$19.99Same as the Monthly plan
Annual$24.99Same as the Monthly plan
Lifetime$149Same as the Monthly plan

5-Duolingo: Best For Cultural Context In Gamified Learning

Alright, who hasn’t heard of Duolingo? This popular language-learning app is not all fun and games. The app sneaks in “Cultural Lessons” amid the regular language drills. Learning Spanish? You might stumble upon a lesson about “La Tomatina,” that wild tomato-throwing festival in Spain.

And the “Duolingo Stories” are like mini-novels that test your language skills while giving you a taste of the culture. Ever wonder why the Japanese take off their shoes indoors? You’ll find out here.

Now, I know you’re wondering if Duolingo and Ling are twins. Not quite. Duolingo gives you cultural snippets, but Ling dives deeper. 

It’s not always about learning words. It is equally important to understand how to use them in real-life, culturally nuanced situations. So, if you want more than just a language primer, the Ling app is your pick.

Duolingo’s Standout Features

  • Duolingo ABC: This is geared towards kids, introducing them to cultural norms through reading and writing at a young age.

  • Duolingo Math: Math is a universal language, but how it’s taught can vary by culture. This feature offers a unique cultural perspective.

  • Duolingo for Schools: This extends the learning environment to the classroom, where cultural exchange is often most vibrant.

What Are Users Saying About Duolingo?

  • Google Play Rating: 4.6 stars with 20M reviews.

  • Feedback: Duolingo’s “gamified approach” is a hit, and the inclusion of “cultural lessons” makes the learning process more comprehensive. Users feel that these cultural snippets add depth to their language-learning journey.

How Much Does Duolingo Cost?

Free$0-Basic language learning (lessons, quizzes, challenges)
Monthly$6.99-No ads
-Unlimited hearts
-Review your mistakes
-Exclusive content
Annual$83.99-Same features as the Monthly plan
Duolingo Family Plan$119.99-Monthly features for up to 6 family members

6-Mango Languages: Best For Cultural Tips For Travelers

Last is Mango Languages. This app employs a unique “Intuitive Language Construction” method that breaks down complex sentences into digestible bits. 

But what sets it apart is the “Culture Notes” that come with each lesson. For instance, if you’re diving into Portuguese, you’ll learn quirky cultural tidbits like why Brazilians avoid passing food directly from one knife to another person’s fork.

Mango Languages also has “Phrasebook Categories” specifically designed for travelers. These phrases were handpicked for real-world situations like shopping, dining, and navigating public transport. 

So, while other language learning apps like Duolingo and the Ling app focus on broader cultural contexts, Mango focuses on details that travelers will find invaluable.

Two girls looking at a smartphone

Mango Languages’ Standout Features

  • Daily Review System: This system reinforces what you’ve learned and keeps cultural norms and phrases fresh in your mind.

  • Intuitive Language Construction™: This goes beyond words and dives into the cultural aspects of language, like local customs and traditions.

What Are Users Saying About Mango Languages?

  • Google Play Rating: 4.1 stars with 18.2K reviews.

  • Feedback: Mango Languages is lauded for its “cultural notes,” which users find incredibly insightful for understanding the customs and traditions of the target language they’re studying.

How Much Does Mango Languages Cost?

Single Language
-Access to one language
-Endangered and Indigenous language courses
-Bonus language courses
-Assessment and placement tests
-Mango Movies
-Mango Reader
-Customer support
-Progress tracking
All Languages
-All features of the Single Language plan
-Unlimited access to all 70+ languages
-Family Profiles (up to 5)
-Parental controls
EnterpriseContact Sales-All features of the All Languages plan
-Dedicated Account Manager
-Enterprise authentication support
-Marketing and promotional tools
-In-depth usage stats
-Classroom management tools

Why Use Language Apps With Cultural Content In Learning?

So, you’re probably wondering, “Why should I care about cultural content when I’m learning a language?” 

Look, learning a new language isn’t only for memorizing words and rules. It’s like getting a backstage pass to another culture. 

When you understand the culture, aside from speaking the language, you’re living it. You get the jokes, you follow the traditions, and you don’t accidentally offend someone by using the wrong greeting.

So, why settle for less? If you’re looking for an app that offers language and cultural education, Ling is your best bet. Unlike other language apps with cultural content, the Ling app provides a more in-depth look into cultural norms and practices. And if you’re hungry for more, Ling’s blog section is a treasure trove of daily articles on language and culture.

So, what are you waiting for? The Ling app is up for grabs on Google Play and the App Store. It’s the complete package for anyone serious about language learning.

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