Top 10 Duolingo Alternatives for Better Language Learning

There are hundreds of languages on this planet and learning one, apart from your mother tongue, is quite an uphill task. That said, the digital age has made it possible to learn a foreign language by providing us with language learning resources in the palm of our hands. Thanks to linguistic apps like Duolingo, you can learn your desired language at home. However, while Duolingo is the most popular language learning app, it’s not the only one. Also, its mostly text-based language teaching style is not for everyone. So, if you want to learn a new language and Duolingo is not working out for you, here are the top 10 best Duolingo alternatives you can use in 2020.

Best Duolingo Alternatives to Learn a New Language in 2020

1. Drops

Drops is a unique app that wants to change how foreign languages are taught. It has something called a 5-mins learning sprint where you can take a session for only 5 minutes. No more than that. The app has placed the limitation intentionally so that the user remains fully focussed for a short time which will eventually improve memorization. That is kind of cool, right? Other than that, Drops focusses more on visual-based learning, unlike Duolingo which has mostly text-based sessions and frankly, I find it boring.

1 Drops - Best Duolingo alternatives

There are many ways to learn a new language in Drops: you can play fun games, listen to audio created by voice actors, connect words to create illustrations, and more. Well, that is not all. You can find all your progress after the end of each day which is much better than Duolingo’s weekly based assessment. I would say, Drops is the best Duolingo alternative both in terms of user engagement and overall progress.

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

2. LingoDeer

If you want to learn Asian or European languages including Japanese, Korean, Chinese, French, German, etc then LingoDeer is the best alternative to Duolingo. I say it because LingoDeer not only teaches you a few travel phrases but makes you go through the whole grammar of a language. In essence, you can seriously learn a new language with more depth and understanding rather than just for traveling purposes. Apart from that, LingoDeer also trains your reading, speaking and writing skills with a 10-min separate session every day.

What I love most about this app is that it starts with the foundation: alphabets system, word, sentences, phrases, grammar and everything that follows after that. To put it straight, if you are into academics or want to seriously learn a language from the roots, LingoDeer is the best pick, even better than Duolingo. So just go for it and you won’t be disappointed for sure.

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

3. 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.

The content is presented to you in the form of flashcards, which is quite appealing to look at. 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 35. However, if your desired language is a part of this app, do give it a try.

Install: Android, iOS (Free, in-app purhcases)

4. 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.

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)

5. 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 35 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.

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)

6. 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. If you are looking for professional classes on language, this is the best Duolingo alternative you should try.

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

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.

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, iOS (Free with in-app purchases)

8. 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.

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)

9. Mondly

If you are looking for an advanced language learning app with voice-recognition technology then Mondly is a good pick. Similar to Duolingo, it has different kinds of daily lessons starting from memorizing core words, forming sentences, learning phrases and so on. You can also check your pronunciation using the built-in voice recognition feature. It will make you more confident about your speaking ability and that is awesome. Besides that, the app has support for 33 languages which is on par with Duolingo, but it comes with a unique feature called verb conjugator for every language.

It lets you easily find the conjugated verb in a different language which is very helpful during conversations. This way you will learn faster than a dictionary. Keeping all points in mind, Mondly is a pretty capable app for learning a new language and in terms of cost too, it’s cheaper than Duolingo. So, if you want to replace Duolingo, consider giving a shot at Mondly.

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

10. 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.

Install: Android, iOS (Free)

SEE ALSO: 11 Best Sites Like Coursera For Online Learning

Learn Your Dream Language with 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 10 Duolingo alternative apps provide you the best language 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. Go start your language learning journey right now.

Comments 9
  • Monika says:

    Than you for this list! Actually, there are THOUSANDS of languages on this planet, but I’m glad that there are so many that I can learn online.

  • Nate says:

    The busuu ‘free trail’ consisted of teaching two words; how am I supposed to evaluate the teaching method from that? Drops only seemed to teach me things about climate change and pollution, nothing else. Memrise seems to be the ‘you will learn what we want you to learn, not want you might want’ (their French course has a huge section all about work gossip, not everyone is learning a language to move to that country). Clozemaster has potential but might be more popular if it offered levels such as beginner, intermediate and advanced but it can only be used if you have extensive knowledge of the language you choose. All apps claim to be the best and make promises I doubt they can keep. Learning languages with an app, any app? It’s a nice idea but a fail in my book. They all fall well short.

  • Philip says:

    Justlearn is good to find an online teacher

  • sickboy1974 says:

    So, Drops is what DuoLingo promised to develop into, but never really bothered to do so.

  • Kishi says:

    I hate Clozemaster. It’s so boring. I’m 4 years old? Not approved. I’m 11 years old? Not approved. I’m 16 years old? Approved. They don’t understand that children don’t speak 0 languages, and they want to learn a language for free! After Duolingo I recommend Busuu, because it’s more teaching pronuncation (except Spanish and Japanese courses).

  • Nick says:

    Doesn’t babbel cost?

    The focus is great for serious beginners or long-term learners, but much less useful for casual learners or tourists. Babbel fills in some of those gaps. It isn’t free: it runs from $7.45 to $12.95 a month.

    From the economist

  • ina says:

    warning for those who care: I found the word “fuc*er” in a Clozemaster activity. At least it wasn’t the correct answer.

    • pacusmer says:

      watch out, I found phrase with “anal sex”, i sent them an email

  • Gigi says:

    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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