Translating signs and basic phrases can be done with the help of an app but truly understanding a language or being able to ask simple questions gives a traveler a true sense of accomplishment. If you are planning to live abroad or travel through countries that speak the same language for a number of months it may be time to learn a few key phrases or teach yourself the alphabet so that you can sound out signs when you do not have any access to the internet. These four language learning apps are easy to use, have offline modes, and will give you the confidence you need to quickly pull out some key phrases on the fly.
This app features a flashcard system for you to learn the alphabet, vocabulary, and grammar for 16 languages. Each level provides a set amount of keywords to learn and then runs the learner through sentence matching, listening, and typing activities. Once you have mastered the words for that level and memorized them you can work on the next one.
Duolingo has been around for 7 years when it first launched as a website and then branched out with its own app it has steadily become a game changer. There are 32 language courses offered, one of which is High Valyrian for the Game of Thrones fans out there. Instead of a flashcard model, it is more interactive like that of a game to peak their users’ interests. It follows a similar model but you usually begin with learning the alphabet first before moving on to vocabulary.
Babbel is quite similar to Duolingo with the key difference being that you have to pay for a lot of its extra content. After you have worked your way through the first 40 modules of your chosen language you then need to pay for the more complex ones. The focus of this app is for you to become comfortable with having conversations and this is added through the use of pictures for keywords rather than simply learning the word and having to memorize its meaning without a pictorial imprint.
While the other apps are focused on speaking and vocabulary this one takes a slightly different approach. Its key focus is on getting its users to read in the language they have opted to learn. As conversational skills can be difficult to acquire without the aid of a native speaker to practice with this is a good choice if you just want to work on reading signs and basic info. This is an excellent app to supplement with.