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 where language learning apps for travelers come in.
Language learning apps are a traveler’s best friends, helping you pick up essential phrases or even become fluent, all while on the go. That’s why it’s important to find a good one, such as the Ling app. In this guide, I’ve rounded up the top language-learning apps for travelers in 2024. 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.
|Starting Price (Monthly)
|The Ling App
|World explorers looking to master 60+ languages
|$14.99/month (Free version available)
|Jet-setters who love turning learning into a game
|Free ($9.99/month for Premium)
|Globe-trotters seeking a deep dive into language
|Quick-trip travelers needing instant translations on the go
|Visual voyagers who learn best through imagery
|$13.00/month (Free version available)
|Audiophile adventurers who learn best through listening
The Ling App: Best For World Explorers
Let’s start with one of the best language-learning apps out there: the Ling app. Its short, bite-sized lessons make it perfect for learning on the go, which is essential for travelers. If you’re exploring a new country and want to do more than just scratch the surface, it’s your best option.
This fun and engaging app has 60+ languages available, with lessons made with native speakers to ensure accuracy. What’s more, its focus on practical, real-life language means it’s ideal for engaging with the locals. If you add an easy-to-use interface and gamified content, you get the perfect combination.
The Ling App’s Standout Features
- A World of Languages: 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!
- Native Speaker Audio: All audio recordings are made by native speakers, which ensures perfect pronunciation right from the start.
What Are Users Saying About The Ling App?
The Ling app has excellent reviews on Google Play and the App Store, with a rating of 4.7 and 4.6 stars, respectively. Users enjoy the game-like lessons and the wide variety of languages that is available. Moreover, learners love that it offers languages that can be harder to find in other apps, like Slovenian or Lithuanian.
How Much Does The Ling App Cost?
The Ling app offers a range of options to suit different needs and budgets:
- Free version, with beginner lessons and an introductory chatbot.
- $14.99 per month for the Premium Version, with all features unlocked.
- $79.99 for a yearly subscription.
- $149.99 for lifetime access (one-time purchase).
Devices: Android, iOS, web.
Duolingo: Best For Travelers Seeking Gamified Learning
Next on our list is Duolingo. This well-known app’s greatest advantage is its gamified approach to language learning. Lessons are quick and rely on short games and exercises to get you to gradually incorporate new words and phrases.
With a spaced repetition system, Duolingo makes sure words come up at the ideal time. What’s more, with over 40 languages available, you’re covered no matter where your adventures take you. You can take a look at our Duolingo review if you seek a more detailed look.
Duolingo’s Standout Features
- Gamified Learning: As we mentioned, Duolingo turns learning into a game, steering clear of old-fashioned language learning techniques.
- Personalized Learning: The app’s algorithm adapts to your learning style and level of proficiency, providing feedback and recommendations. It also reminds you of words you haven’t seen for a while to ensure you don’t forget them.
- Progress Tracking: Duolingo also has a progress tracking feature, which gives you a quick overview of how much you have improved.
What Are Users Saying About Duolingo?
Google Play users have given Duolingo a 4.7-star rating from 21.5 million reviews. Likewise, its App Store rating is 4.8 stars, from 77.9K ratings. What users seem to love most is its wide variety of languages and its gamified approach to learning them.
How Much Does Duolingo Cost?
- The free version has access to all learning content.
- Duolingo Super costs $9.99 per month, with no ads and bonus features.
- There’s also a yearly subscription for $83.99.
Devices: Android, iOS, Web.
Babbel: Best For Travelers Seeking Comprehensive Courses
Babbel is a language-learning platform that aims to teach users real-life language so they can have conversations faster. As such, its focus is on practical language skills. Courses are tailored to each user’s proficiency level, time, and interests. What’s more, lessons are accompanied by grammar tips and culture notes to give learners a deeper understanding.
The Babbel app also uses a speech recognition system, much like the Ling app and others, to ensure correct pronunciation, and has reading and writing excercises. Covering over 14 languages and supported by an easy-to-use interface, this can be a good choice for language learners, albeit with not many language options.
Babbel’s Standout Features
- Practical Language Teaching Method: The apps lessons are designed based on real-life situations and with a conversational approach in mind.
- Complete Language Learning: Babbel also aims to develop all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
- Speech Recognition: Babbel uses speech recognition technology to aid with pronunciation, which gives you instant feedback when speaking out loud.
What Are Users Saying About Babbel?
Google Play gives Babbel a rating of 4.6 stars from over 956K reviews, and the App Store lists it with a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 564.9K users. The app has clearly made a good impression on its users, who love the focus on real-life scenarios and the practicality of the lessons.
How Much Does Babbel Cost?
Babbel has a free version with access to the first lesson in every course. But that’s only enough to test the waters; to unlock all lessons and features, users will need a Premium subscription:
- 1 month (one language): $9.60.
- 3 months (one language): $28.80.
- Yearly (one language): $115.20.
- Lifetime subscription (access to all lessons for all languages): $319.
Devices: Android, iOS, web.
Google Translate: Best For Travelers Needing Instant Translations
Google Translate is like that multilingual friend we all wish we had when traveling. It’s a must-have tool for any traveler, as it can translate a whopping 133 languages. What’s more, the app 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: It’s like having a personal interpreter at your fingertips. Type in the text, and Google Translate will do the rest.
- Offline Translations: Google Translate can work offline, making it perfect for those remote travel destinations. No internet? No problem.
- Instant Camera Translation: Just point your camera, and voilà! Instant translation. It’s a godsend for deciphering foreign signs or menus.
What Are Users Saying About Google Translate?
Google Translate has a 4.3-star rating from 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. You get access to all its features without spending a dime. So, if you’re a budget-conscious traveler who needs a reliable translation tool, Google Translate is a no-brainer.
Drops: Best For Visual Learning Travelers
Up next is another gamified language-learning app, but this one’s specially designed for visual learners. Focusing on building vocabulary quickly, Drops presents words accompanied by illustrations that help retain their meaning. Vocabulary is also sorted into different categories, such as Travel Talk, Fun and Recreation, Nature and Animals, and more.
Drops, too, teaches real-life vocabulary that is actually used by the locals. This helps travelers 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.
Drops’ Standout Features
- Game-Based Learning: Drops, like many other language-learning apps, realizes the power of a gamified approach to learning.
- Visual Learning: Drops, being designed with visual learners in mind, uses stunning illustrations to help you learn and remember new words and phrases.
- Vocabulary Building: As we mentioned, Drops’ objective is vocabulary building. This means it will introduce 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. Users particularly appreciate the app’s engaging, visual approach to language learning and its focus on vocabulary building. It has a 4.4-star rating from over 277K reviews on Google Play and a 4.7-star rating from over 65K reviews on the App Store.
How Much Does Drops Cost?
Drops offers a free version with limited access to its features. For full access, they offer a subscription called Drops Premium. Here’s a quick look at their pricing:
- Free version with limited features and one five-minute lesson per day.
- $13.00/month for the Premium Version.
- Lifetime access for $159.99 (one-time payment).
Devices: Android, iOS, web.
Pimsleur: Best For Audio-Focused Travelers
Pimsleur is a language learning program that’s perfect for travelers who learn best through listening. The Pimsleur Method, based on the Spaced Repetition System, introduces new vocabulary and grammar at increasing intervals, helping you remember what you’ve learned.
The Pimsleur method aims to teach new languages in the same way users learn them when they’re young: by listening, mimicking, and answering questions. Furthermore, according to their website, they help users reach an intermediate level in their chosen language in only 30 days, with 30 minutes of study per day.
Pimsleur’s Standout Features
- Natural Learning: Pimsleur teaches languages through conversations, with a focus on organic learning.
- Audio-Based Learning: Pimsleur’s lessons are audio-based, making it easy to learn a new language while on the move.
- Fast Speaking Approach: Since it aims to get users to a speaking level as quickly as possible, the program teaches the most common words and grammatical structures.
What Are Users Saying About Pimsleur?
Pimsleur’s users highlight the program’s effective teaching methods, which give them a remarkable ability to speak new languages quickly. They have expressed this satisfaction through glowing reviews, with the app getting an average rating of 4.2 stars from nearly 10.4K reviewers on Google Play.
How Much Does Pimsleur Cost?
- Premium subscription for one language: $19.99/month.
- All Access subscription to all languages: $20.99/month.
- Courses can also be bought separately for around $119.95 per level, depending on the language.
Devices: Android, iOS, audio downloads.
Why Should You Use Language Learning Apps For Travelers?
There are many reasons why language-learning apps can be perfect for travelers. Let’s explore some of them.
- On The Go Learning: Many of these apps have features that adapt to learners on the go. Be it audio lessons, offline mode, or a quick bite-sized format, they can be much more manageable than traditional language learning.
- Short Lessons: Most of these apps have short lessons, which means travelers can make good use of idle time, such as waiting in line or at the airport.
- Real-Life Language: A lot of these language-learning apps focus on language that’s actually used by native speakers. Unlike traditional or book-based approaches, this can make communicating with the locals much easier.
- Portability: Let’s not forget an obvious but very important detail: these apps can fit in your pocket! Carrying books and notebooks while traveling can be quite a challenge, right?
Travel The World With Language Learning Apps
Language-learning apps can be a bridge to new cultures, experiences, and friendships. This makes them the perfect sidekicks when traveling. After all, learning a new language for travel isn’t just about new words; it’s about getting to know different ways of life.
Among all these apps, the Ling app stands out because has all the best language-learning apps’ features combined into one. With over 60 languages, fun lessons, and even an AI chatbot to practice conversations with, it’s the perfect way to learn a new language.
So, if you’re ready to make your next trip unforgettable, head to Google Play and the App Store and download the Ling app. Start learning today, and your next “hello” could lead to an unforgettable journey!