One of the most enriching parts of traveling is immersing yourself in the local culture, and language is a big part of that. But let’s face it, we’re not all polyglots.
Learning a new language can be tricky, especially when you’re juggling flight bookings, hotel reservations, and that ever-growing packing list.
That’s why we need the best language-learning app for our trips. It’s a traveler’s best friend, helping you pick up essential phrases or even become fluent, all while on the go.
In this guide, I’ve rounded up the top language learning apps for travelers in 2023. These aren’t just any apps, mind you. They’re the crème de la crème, the ones that have proven to be the most effective, user-friendly, and tailored to the needs of travelers like us.
Now, let’s dive into the comparison table to give you a snapshot of which language app is for whom:
|App||Perfect For||Starting Price (Monthly)|
|Duolingo||Jet-setters who love turning learning into a game||Free ($6.99 for Premium)|
|Babbel||Globe-trotters seeking a deep dive into language||$13.95 (Free version available)|
|Google Translate||Quick-trip travelers needing instant translations on the go||Free|
|Drops||Visual voyagers who learn best through imagery||$13.00 (Free version available)|
|Pimsleur||Audiophile adventurers who learn best through listening||$19.95 (Free version available)|
|The Ling App||World explorers looking to master 60+ languages||$8.99 (Free version available)|
Duolingo: Best For Travelers Seeking Gamified Learning
Let’s start with Duolingo. Now, if you’re like me and love turning everything into a game (even learning), then Duolingo is your perfect match.
What language learners love about Duolingo is that it’s not just about memorizing words and basic phrases. It’s about learning in a way that sticks.
Duolingo’s lessons are short, engaging, and designed by language experts. With over 40 languages on offer, you’re covered no matter where your travels take you. For a more detailed look at Duolingo, check out this Duolingo review.
Duolingo’s Standout Features
- Gamified Learning: Duolingo turns language learning into a game. Earn points for correct answers, race against the clock, and level up.
- Personalized Learning: Duolingo uses a unique algorithm that adapts to your level and learning style. It provides personalized feedback and recommendations to help improve your language skills.
- Progress Tracking: Duolingo offers features like progress tracking, unlimited hearts, an ad-free experience, monthly streak repair, mastery quizzes, and unlimited skill test-outs for all language levels.
What Are Users Saying About Duolingo?
Duolingo is a hit with users on both Google Play and the App Store. It has a 4.6-star rating from 15 million reviews on Google Play and a 4.7-star rating from 2 million ratings on the App Store.
Users love the app’s fun approach to learning and the wide variety of languages it offers.
How Much Does Duolingo Cost?
Duolingo is free, but there’s Duolingo Super if you want to level up your learning. Here’s the breakdown:
|Plan||Price per Month||What’s Included|
|Free||$0||-Access to all learning content|
|Monthly Super Duolingo||$12.99||-Full access to all lessons |
-Unlimited legendary levels
|Yearly Super Duolingo||$6.99/month (billed annually at $83.99, lowers to around $60 in January)||-Same as Monthly Super Duolingo|
|Duolingo Family Plan||$119.99||-Same as Monthly Super Duolingo for up to 6 users|
Babbel: Best For Travelers Seeking Comprehensive Courses
If you’re the kind of traveler who wants to dive headfirst into the local culture and language, Babbel is your perfect travel companion.
Unlike other language learning apps for travelers focusing on vocabulary, Babbel offers comprehensive courses in 14 languages covering all elements of language learning – speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
The beauty of Babbel is that it doesn’t just teach you words and phrases. It teaches you how to have real-life conversations with a native speaker. It’s the practical language skills Babbel equips you with.
Don’t just take my word for it. You can check out this detailed Babbel review for more insights.
Babbel’s Standout Features
- Conversational Teaching Method: Babbel’s lessons are designed by language experts based on real-life situations.
- Speech Recognition: Babbel uses speech recognition technology to help you nail your pronunciation. You can practice speaking out loud and get instant feedback.
- Review Feature: Babbel’s review feature allows you to revisit and practice what you’ve learned.
What Are Users Saying About Babbel?
Babbel has won the hearts of users worldwide. On Google Play, it has a stellar rating of 4.7 stars from over 894K reviews.
The App Store tells a similar story, with a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 500K ratings. Users love the practicality of the lessons and the focus on real-life scenarios.
How Much Does Babbel Cost?
Babbel offers several subscription options to suit different budgets. Here’s a quick look:
|Plan||Price per Month||What’s Included|
|Free||$0||-Access to the first lesson in every course|
|1 month||$13.95||-Full access to all lessons in one language|
|3 months||$9.95/month||-Full access to all lessons in one language|
|12 months||$6.95/month||-Full access to all lessons in one language|
|Lifetime||$299.99||-Full access to all lessons for ALL languages|
Google Translate: Best For Travelers Needing Instant Translations
Google Translate is like that multilingual friend we all wish we had when traveling. It can translate a whopping 133 languages, making it a must-have tool for any traveler.
But it’s not just about translating text. Google Translate can work offline, translate text from images instantly, and even handle bilingual conversations in real-time.
Yes, it’s a powerful tool for breaking down language barriers, but Google Translate isn’t designed for comprehensive language learning.
However, if you know how to utilize all its features, you can definitely learn from Google Translate and make your travels more enjoyable.
Google Translate’s Standout Features
- Text Translation: Type in the text, and Google Translate will do the rest. It’s like having a personal interpreter at your fingertips.
- Offline Translations: No internet? No problem. Google Translate can work offline, making it perfect for those remote travel destinations.
- Instant Camera Translation: This feature is a godsend for deciphering foreign signs or menus. Just point your camera, and voilà! Instant translation.
What Are Users Saying About Google Translate?
Google Translate is highly popular among users and has received impressive ratings. It boasts a 4.3-star rating from a staggering 8.73 million reviews on Google Play and a 4.4-star rating from 72.8K ratings on the App Store.
Users are particularly enthusiastic about its convenient features, with the instant camera translation being a standout favorite.
How Much Does Google Translate Cost?
Here’s the cherry on top: Google Translate is completely free. That’s right, you get access to all its features without spending a dime.
So, for budget-conscious travelers who need a reliable translation tool, Google Translate is a no-brainer.
Drops: Best For Visual Learning Travelers
Let’s talk about Drops now, a language-learning app that’s a game-changer for travelers who are visual learners. It has a fun, game-like environment where you’re not just memorizing words but actually enjoying the process.
Drops introduces you to thousands of new words in various categories, such as Travel Talk, Fun and Recreation, Nature and Animals, and more.
Like most awesome language apps, Drops helps you learn essential phrases for ordering food, asking for directions, or just making small talk with locals.
Now, you might be thinking, “Isn’t that what Duolingo does?” Well, yes and no.
While both Drops and Duolingo use a gamified approach to language learning, Drops focuses uniquely on vocabulary building. Check out this Drops review for a more detailed look at what it can offer.
Drops’ Standout Features
- Game-Based Learning: Drops takes language learning to a whole new level by turning it into a game.
- Visual Learning: Drops is designed with visual learners in mind. It uses stunning illustrations to help you learn and remember new words and phrases.
- Vocabulary Building: Drops focuses on vocabulary building, introducing you to thousands of new words across various categories.
What Are Users Saying About Drops?
Drops has been well-received by users on both Google Play and the App Store. It has a 4.5-star rating from over 263K reviews on Google Play and a 4.7-star rating from over 62K reviews on the App Store.
Users particularly appreciate the app’s engaging, visual approach to language learning and its focus on vocabulary building.
How Much Does Drops Cost?
Drops offers a free version with limited access to its features. For full access, they offer a premium subscription called Drops Premium. Here’s a quick look at their pricing:
|Free||$0||-Limited access to features|
|Monthly Subscription||$13.00/month||-Full access to all features|
|Yearly Subscription||$69.99/year (equivalent to $5.83/month)||-Full access to all features|
|Lifetime Access||$159.99 (one-time payment)||-Full access to all features for life|
Pimsleur: Best For Audio-Focused Travelers
Pimsleur is a language learning program that’s a perfect fit for travelers who learn best through listening.
The program uses the Pimsleur Method, which is based on the Spaced Repetition System (SRS). This method introduces new vocabulary and grammar at increasing intervals, helping you remember what you’ve learned.
With more than 50 languages available, Pimsleur has got you covered whether you’re heading to Spain, France, China, or Russia. For a more in-depth look at the program, check out this Pimsleur review.
Pimsleur’s Standout Features
- Audio-Based Learning: Pimsleur’s lessons are audio-based, making it easy to learn a new language while on the move.
- Spaced Repetition System: Pimsleur uses the SRS to help you remember new vocabulary and grammar. It’s a proven method that really works.
- Wide Range of Languages: With courses in over 50 languages, Pimsleur has something for every traveler.
What Are Users Saying About Pimsleur?
Users have expressed their satisfaction with Pimsleur, giving it glowing reviews. With an average rating of 4.1 stars from nearly 9.2K reviewers on Google Reviews, Pimsleur has garnered a positive reputation.
Users have specifically highlighted the program’s effective teaching methods and remarkable ability to speak new languages quickly after beginning a Pimsleur course.
How Much Does Pimsleur Cost?
Pimsleur offers several subscription options, each with different pricing plans. Here’s a quick look at their pricing:
|Free 7-day Trial||$0||-Limited access to all language courses|
|Premium (One Language)||$19.95/month||-Full access to one language course|
|All Access (All Languages)||$20.95/month||-Full access to all language courses|
|All Access Annual (All Languages)||$164.95/year||-Full access to all language courses for one year|
The Ling App: Best For World Explorers
Alright, let’s discuss the best, the Ling app, a language-learning platform that’s a real game-changer for travelers.
The Ling app is the best choice if you’re exploring a new country and want to do more than just scratch the surface. With this app, you can learn the culture, learn to chat with the locals, and maybe even crack a joke in their language.
It offers over 60 languages to learn and gives cultural insights within the lessons, so you’re not just learning words and phrases. You’re learning about the people who speak them.
The Ling app uses a gamified learning approach, making it fun and engaging. It’s like playing a game. But instead of earning points, you’re learning a new language.
And the best part? You can take it with you wherever you go, making it perfect for travelers.
Do you want proof? Then check out this detailed Ling app review to see what I’m talking about.
The Ling App’s Standout Features
- A World of Languages: The Ling app is like a world tour at your fingertips. From Spanish to Swahili, you can explore 60+ languages and cultures from every corner of the globe.
- Interactive Learning: With interactive activities and games, you’ll have so much fun you won’t even realize you’re learning.
- Cultural Insights: Each course is designed with input from native speakers, giving you authentic insights into the customs and traditions of each language.
What Are Users Saying About The Ling App?
Users love the Ling app! It has received great reviews on both Google Play and the App Store, with ratings of 4.6 and 4.7 stars, respectively.
People really enjoy the game-like lessons and the wide variety of languages available. The app’s cultural insights are also highly appreciated, as they provide an extra layer of depth to the language-learning experience.
How Much Does The Ling App Cost?
As for the cost, the Ling app offers a range of options to suit different needs and budgets. Here’s a detailed breakdown:
|1 Month||$8.99||-Beginner lessons|
-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
|1 Year||$6.67/month||-All features of the 1-month plan|
|Lifetime||$149.99 (one-time payment)||-All features of the 1-year plan|
Travel The World With Language Learning Apps For Travelers
Traveling is a thrilling adventure, and language-learning apps are the perfect sidekicks. They’re not just tools but bridges to new cultures, experiences, and friendships.
Among these, the Ling app shines. It’s not just about learning a new language for travel. It’s about diving into the culture, the native language speakers, and their way of life.
With over 60 languages, fun lessons, and cultural insights, it’s like all the best language-learning apps for travelers in 2023 combined into one.
So, ready to make your next trip unforgettable?