With these 3 apps learning a foreign language comes before the boulanger

With these 3 apps, learning a foreign language comes before the boulanger

Although the summer vacations are just around the corner, it’s never too late to start learning the language of your vacation destination. Fortunately, there are all kinds of useful apps that prevent you from gesticulating to the baguette in stony English.

Diving into the books or on your mobile

It used to be that you had to spend months in the books to master a language. Once you had finally mastered the intricacies of French, German or Portuguese, the only way to continue practicing was on vacation. Now that we have the Internet, it’s easier than ever to get in touch with foreign languages anywhere, anytime.

Learning a foreign language for vacation

Not so long ago I wrote about the French course, which I start fresh and fruity every time, but stop just as quickly. I find it pleasant, but also important to be able to make myself understood at least a little bit in the country where I am on vacation. Now once again I’ve started learning from a book, but of course an app is much easier.

And also much more of this time.

Language of your choice

Fortunately, thanks to that Internet, it is also even simpler to learn a language of your choice. These 3 apps I describe below are aimed at teaching you that new language. They are aimed at all levels. So they come in handy not only when you want to teach your kids to order something at the bakery abroad, but also if you’re traveling around Asia for a few months.

These apps work not only on the iPhone , but also on Android smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy or Huawei P20 Pro . They are tailored to your experience, so it never gets too easy or too difficult.

What apps are there for your phone to learn languages


Probably the most famous app for learning a foreign language is Duolingo. In this app you can learn many languages, from English and German to Japanese and Czech. The lessons are divided into bite-sized chunks, each taking a few minutes at most.

One time you learn about front seats, the next it’s all about popular meals in the destination country. Moreover, the assignments are simple to follow. Sometimes it’s about determining the next word in a sentence, sometimes you have to spell it yourself. You learn it all very gradually, so you never feel that it suddenly becomes too difficult. Even better: if you think you already have a good enough command of a language, you can even take an exam to skip a few lessons.

Duolingo is also absolutely free. You can download it via the links below.

Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone app focuses on ‘immersing’ you in a new language. You don’t just get a list of words chewed out, but slowly build a language. First you learn words, then sentences and even complete stories. Moreover, you will also be judged on your pronunciation.

The app is optimized for the iPhone X and thus looks great on the big screen, but even on older smartphones you get a clear, uncluttered view. There are a few drawbacks to Rosetta Stone, though. For example, the app is only available in English. For example, if you want to learn Spanish or Mandarin, you will first have to be proficient in English to follow it through Rosetta Stone.

And although the first few lessons of each new language are free, it then costs a few tens of dollars to unlock the complete learning package. Still lots cheaper than one of those LOI courses of the past, but it’s not completely free, then.


If you’re especially chatty, there’s Babbel. This app is going to brush up on your conversation skills. No glossaries and verb conjugations, but practical suggestions for common situations. For example, what to say at the restaurant? How to pay at the checkout?

Practice phrases are read aloud so you know how to pronounce them correctly. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay for Babbel if you’re really looking for a smooth one.. babble. The first lessons are free, but if you want the complete course package you pay a fixed amount per month.

That’s about 10 euros a month per language. If you pay 6 or 12 months in advance, for example, it’s only half price. You can of course choose to subscribe to all languages: then Babbel will give you an extra discount.

I would like the app Duolingo. How to make sure you have (some) command of the language of your vacation country?

Related Posts