TECH BREAK: 7 highly useful apps to learn a new language

Wednesday November 08 2017

Whatever the reason for studying a new language today, you do not need thousands of shillings to begin straightaway. PHOTO| FILE


The British Council survey on The Languages for the Future that are most important for the UK had ten foreign languages, from Spanish, Arabic, French, Mandarin Chinese, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Turkish to Japanese in that order.

In Kenya, Mandarin Chinese would probably take precedence considering the huge Chinese investment in Kenya and explosion of cultural, economic and international relations between Kenya and China.

Whatever the reason for studying a new language today, you do not need thousands of shillings to begin straightaway. One of the easiest ways of learning a foreign language better and fast is through interaction with native speakers.

The following apps make learning a new language easy from wherever you are, interact with native speakers, join chats, access video guides among other resources offline and online.

All you need is your Smartphone and desire to learn.



Will billions of people worldwide either interested or already learning a new language, Tandem allows you to practice a foreign language with real people.

The app matches you with a partner for a language exchange programme to teach one another your native languages. It makes it perfectly easy to take up commonly used idioms and slang.

There are over 150 languages to choose from and includes such features as text chat, video calls, professional tutors, audio calls, native language speaker matching tool, among others.


From Hindi, Russian, French, Persian, Chinese, Hebrew, Czech, Danish to Afrikaans and anything in between, the Mondly app is a quick way to take up a new language. Lots of free lessons are provided with phrases, sentences, words and conversations ready for you.

Whether you are a beginner, professional or just a mere traveller who wants to get by in a new land the app is easy to adjust to meet your unique needs.

Language exercises for speaking, reading, writing or listening are provided as well through an easy to use personal tutor app.


A free language learning app through language exchange partners throughout the world, it is the kind of app to use if you are considering absorbing a foreign language through practice. Select the language you seek to learn and choose the right level and the app will take over.

As you chat, learning becomes stress-free and grasping the vocabulary and grammar will be so easy.     


Google Play Awards best app winner for 2017, Memrise seeks to leave you talking a foreign language like any native speaker out there. It is a free app with lots of features such as easy to use vocabulary and memory boosting games, thousands of native language speakers, chatbots and videos and engaging in conversations.

Writing and reading in a new tongue is made easier through fun to use innovations.


 One of those apps that allow you to teach others your native tongue as you learn another language and get your writing and speech corrected by others.  Its useful features includes grammar tips, offline learning, full courses with hundreds of units for every language, help from people who speak the language natively, accent training and a test to place you at the right level before you embark on the learning process. Perfect for those thinking about living, studying or working abroad and meeting new people.


A top foreign language learning app, Duolingo allows you to learn your choice language fast and easy, from Swahili, Norwegian, Romanian, Italian, Welsh, Esperanto, and Ukrainian to Dutch among others.

Fully free, it is structured with bite-sized trackable lessons with basic sentences, phrases and verbs that take your language understanding to the next level each time.


The app offers immersive lessons you can learn at your own pace through brain stimulating methodology.

It gets you talking with ease to meet the needs of diverse daily events and scenarios. A speech recognition feature will listen to the way you pronounce some words helping you refine your language grasp effectively. Sync features help you pick the lessons where you stopped as you move to another device.

Lessons can be downloaded for offline learning to save on internet bundles.