Top 7 Duolingo Alternatives for Better Language Learning

Last Updated: November 29, 2016

There are various languages on this planet and learning one, apart from your mother tongue, is quite an uphill task. But the digital age has made it possible to learn a foreign language simply by spending a short amount of your life in front of a computer screen. Oh, the computer screen is quite ancient now because, thanks to linguistic apps like Duolingo, you can learn your desired language anytime on the move, on your smartphone or tablet. Since we mentioned Duolingo, we should tell you that it has been the most favoured & downloaded app over the years on both the Android & iOS ecosystems, simply because of its extensive list of available languages & its easy teaching process.

However, users have been lately expecting more from an app of this genre. Duolingo’s unavoidable issues of content repetition over the time, unavailability of some major languages (like, Chinese for example) & provision of beginner level content have left people asking for an app based language learning service that can fill up these gaps. So, we have been thinking about these issues lately and thus, we have compiled a list of 7 commendable (if not, better) Duolingo alternatives for Android and iOS:

1. Memrise

Memrise is a very popular free-to-download app that has an extensive list of more than 100 languages for you to choose & learn. In comparison to Duolingo, it provides you with a game-style learning of your desired language in the form of training you as an undercover agent, who is about to visit a universe practicing your chosen language. Apart from this weird concept, Memrise presents an advanced level of language teaching with video clips of locals talking to you, which is certainly a step above Duolingo’s introductory level.

memrise

Also, you can keep learning your favourite language while you have lost internet connectivity, although that would require you to buy the premium version of the app. However, with more than 100 languages to learn in extremely interesting ways, you surely won’t mind spending a reasonable amount, that too with amazing deals sweeping your phone screen quite often.

Install: Android, iOS (Free with in-app purchases)

2. Babbel

If you want your digital language trainer to have interactive and structured content in the same screen, then you are reading about the right language trainer app. Babbel is a great alternative to Duolingo with great levels of interaction & multiple options for all kinds of learners. Unlike Duolingo’s 18 language collection, this has a slightly lesser collection of 14 languages, with not all the major ones included. The course content is presented in a structured manner, divided into 10-15 min bite-sized lessons, thus allowing you to get a grasp of the subject matter more easily. You get chat-styled situations, where you need to reply in the most natural way. You also get to learn the cultural significance of certain words & phrases of your preferred language during the process.

babbel

The service also aims to improve your pronunciation by training you to speak perfectly by utilizing the speech-recognition technology. And, it syncs your progress across multiple devices, thus making it a great language learning app for every situation.

Install: Android, iOS (Free with in-app purchases)

3. busuu

busuu is for people who want to start with the basics and then move on to very advanced levels of a chosen language, something which Duolingo isn’t providing currently. The app has a well-laid layout and is quite interactive in its approach to teaching a new language to you. The content has been developed by experts & teachers, so you can be well assured of being in right hands. You get to learn complex vocabulary through simple fill-in-the-blank type sentences. Not only you get to learn vocabulary, you are also greeted with grammar tips, with elaborate examples to help you get going with your new language. Plus, you also get to chat with the natives, thus helping you get a grasp of your newly chosen language with a local flair. You can also monitor your progress in a detailed report, which displays your corrections too.

busuu

Downsides? It has only 12 languages for you to choose from, that too excluding some major ones from its list. However, if your desired language is a part of busuu’s list, do give it a try for its interactive yet professional approach to learning a new language.

Install: Android, iOS (Free with in-app purchases)

4. Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is the oldest computer assisted language learning service and it is also available for you on Android and iOS. Unlike Duolingo, Rosetta Stone offers a platter of 24 major languages, penned down by experts & teachers together. It offers a comprehensive study material to give you the best of what your chosen language has to offer. All these, coupled with a slick & attractive UI, makes for a pleasing learning experience on your smartphone.

It features pronunciation lessons through your smartphone’s built-in speech recognition technology to help you spell your newly learnt vocabulary in a proper manner. And, since it’s based on cloud technology, you can start your lesson on your tablet & continue going through it on your phone while commuting. Give it a try, as the first lesson is free.

rosetta-stone

Install: Android, iOS (Free with in-app purchases)

5. Clozemaster

Clozemaster is the only name in this list that claims itself to be a game rather than a language learning app. It beats Duolingo in its own game by offering more than 100 language pairings. And since the developer claims this to be a game, you will find your “mobile lingual learning class” dressed in “16-bit game” like graphics. You get interactive fill-in-the-blank type questions, with the audio versions of them available alongside. However, we found the content to be of a level that can be considered as the next level to Duolingo’s introductory levels. And, the best thing to point is that it’s absolutely free. Try it out and we think you might forget Duolingo.

clozemaster

Install: Android (Free)

6. Lingvist

If you prefer to apply science in every sphere of your life (like Batman), you will like Lingvist for sure. The developer of this app tried a scientific approach to learning languages and we have to say that he succeeded for sure. Unlike Duolingo or any other app listed here, Lingvist trains you with a vocabulary that you hear in actual conversations for your chosen language. You get to learn & use words that will be helpful to you practically. The app tracks your learning curve & presents your course material in a way which will be beneficial to your learning.

lingvist

The content is presented to you in the form of flashcards, which is quite appealing to look at. And the most important thing- it’s free. However, the only point where it loses out to Duolingo is the number of languages on offer- a paltry 4 compared to Duolingo’s fair 18. However, if your desired language is a part of this app, do give it a try.

Install: Android (Free)

7. HelloTalk Learn Languages Free

If you are the kind of guy who is not at all interested in serious study sessions, then HelloTalk will be able to get a place on your device. Because who said you only need to go through study materials and not learn by talking to people? This language learning service lets you learn your desired language by having conversations with multi-lingual people around the world. You can go through a person’s profile, going through his area of expertise & interests, before asking for an interaction with him. You can connect to people for different purposes, i.e. learn a language while travelling, interested in the cultural significance of another language & more.

hellotalk

The chat based system also provides a video call feature, where you can interact with the person & discuss certain things that are difficult to explain; pronunciations for example. And, since it is chat based, the learning can be mutual, i.e. you can teach your French friend proper German and vice versa. You can consider it to be a combo of Facebook & WhatsApp for people who are interested in learning a language.

Install: Android (Free with in-app purchases)

SEE ALSO: 11 Best Sites Like Coursera For Online Learning

Learn your dream language with these Duolingo Alternatives

There are many other apps that function similarly to the ones we have mentioned. You may think that there may be some better app-based services in the Play Store, with even more features. But these 7 Duolingo alternative apps provide you the best of the learning experience, each in their own different way. And if you have a better app to recommend us, feel free to write it down in the comments section below.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you for the app suggestions! I had not heard of Lingvist or Memrise before.

    I want to point out a mistake under the Rosetta Stone blurb though. “It features pronunciation lessons through your smartphone’s built-in speech recognition technology to help you spell your newly learnt vocabulary in a proper manner.” First, it is Rosetta Stone’s proprietary speech recognition technology, not your smartphone’s tech. Second, I wouldn’t say pronunciation practice equates to spelling practice, more speaking practice, no?

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