Having trouble finding something to do during the COVID-19 pandemic while you are self-isolating or self-distancing? Have you always wanted to learn a new language but never been able to justify the hefty price tag? Fear not! Read on and find out the 7 best free language applications to learn new languages in Singapore.

1. Duolingo

Duolingo ABC arrives as free interactive iOS app without ads to teach kids  to read - 9to5Mac

On top of our list, we have Duolingo! A well-known free language learning platform offering 95 different language courses in 23 different languages! Available on multiple smartphone applications on Android, iOS App Store, and Windows. Thus, it is truly an easily accessible tool to kick start your learning journey!

Its interface is extremely appealing and engaging. They have many quick and easy exercises that mimic a phone game. Thus, it will definitely capture your attention and make learning fun! The courses on Duolingo are administered by native speakers which increases reliability and the precision in pronunciation of the words.

Additionally, the application lets you learn multiple languages at once. It also encourages you to learn consistently. By using a “streak” function that monitors the number of days where you have reached your daily goals will keep you motivated. There is also a “health” monitor in the form of “hearts” which corresponds to the number of mistakes you can make. 

However, there is a downside to the application. You will be free from advertisements if you subscribe to the “Premium” version which costs at least $10 monthly. Overall, one of the best free language applications in Singapore!

2. Babbel

Babbel oferece cursos gratuitos para estudantes durante quarentena

If you are more inclined to a structured school-like method of learning instead of a game-like interface like the above two applications, Babbel is the choice for you. Conducted by professional instructors, it’s simple layout promotes understanding and makes new languages seem less complicated but professional and reliable at the same time. The lessons can also be segregated to beginner, intermediate levels and inform the user about formal and informal variations of phrases, different phrases of similar things and uses pictures and videos to interpret and explain various words. You could also select different courses for specific real-life situations such as “PR English” or “English for Marketing”.

All of these programmes are comprised into short fifteen minute lessons and can be easily fitted into your busy schedule such as during your travelling time or before you sleep. Moreover, similar to Memrise, Babble allows you to monitor your rate of learning in “My activity”.

Babbel’s credibility as a language application is further enhanced as they are in collaboration with Cambridge English Language Assessment. Together, they have been working to develop an affordable online English assessment so that users can test their reading and listening skills easily. This application is available on both Android and iOS App store.

3. Memrise

Memrise - App Store Screenshots Screenshots | UI Sources

Another up and coming language learning application is Memrise! This application is also free and supported by both Android and iOS App store and on Desktop. The application has courses in 16 languages. Moreover, the desktop version supports an ever wider selection of language courses to choose from. Memrise, much like Duolingo, uses a game-like interface. They focus on reiterations of certain words to promote and speed up the learning process.

To further encourage learning, the application connects words to humourous and comedic concepts which facilitates the memorisation process. Memrise also has specialized courses created by its dynamic community to cater to different individuals with different needs.

Additionally, you can take these courses with your friends! Memrise ranks you based on a points system and thus encourage learning with some healthy competition. There is also a “Pro” version to unlock an additional range of learning programs. All in all, definitely one of the best free language applications available for download in Singapore.

4. Busuu

busuu crowned 'best language learning app' by German Association for  Consumer Studies

Similar to Memrise, we have Busuu, a free language learning application. It is operated by AI (Artificial Intelligence) that is available on desktop, Android, and iOS App store. It allows users to converse with locals from different parts of the world.

At present day, the learning languages offer a total 12 languages which are English, French, Spanish, to name a few. They make use of techniques like customised study plans and “speech recognition” to help users learn better.

Moreover, the ability to connect with native speakers allows users to receive accurate feedback on their learning activities. It also allows users to monitor their progress effectively.

The collaboration with locals around the world come in the form of sending writing exercises or recording yourself saying a term while a native speaker gives you some feedback on your execution and pronunciation and usage of the language. On the other hand, you’ll be asked to do the same for other users learning your native language as well. There are also study plans that you can create to achieve your personal goals by a specific date.

However, there is a downside to the application. To unlock study plans, you must purchase the “Premium” version of the application. Nevertheless, even without the “Premium”, Busuu offers useful learning instruments that can be the first steps to learning a new language! All in all, still one of the best free language applications available in Singapore.

5. HelloTalk

In comparison to these mentioned free language learning applications, HelloTalk is a strong contender as well. While most language learning applications emphasise the self-learning approach, HelloTalk takes a completely different direction. It is a language learning application that connects you to native speakers to chat for free, which is an effective way to master a language as it is through conversation by phone calls, instant messaging or voice messages. Native speakers can then converse with learners and correct them along the way using the rectification tool in the application. When there is a language barrier between the learner and the native speaker of the foreign language, a tool on the application allows easy translation and eases communication between the native speaker and the user.

Available on Google Play Store, Android and iOS App store, this free application has more than 100 million users with more than 100 languages available to learn and users can also engage in live classes as well. However, HelloTalk has a “VIP” package that only unlocks certain language courses with a charge so not all courses are free. Moreover, some users might feel uncomfortable chatting with a complete stranger online and the lessons might not be as productive as they are not conducted by professionals.

Otherwise, this application is a great way to learn slangs and vernacular that the locals use which might not be available on other language learning applications.

6. AccelaStudy Infinite

AccelaStudy® Infinite for Android - Download Free [Latest Version + MOD]  2020

Comparatively, AccelaStudy Infinite is a free language application that is available on both Android and iOS App Store. This free language application educates the user from languages to geography. So, you can learn anything and everything on the free AccelaStudy infinite application.

The application offers 8 languages with more than 40,000 terms. All the terms are sorted into over 65 specific fields and are translated by professionals. They also have audio recordings by native speakers as well.

Learning with AccelaStudy Infinite is effective and efficient, with curated content that is constantly updated and the ability to track and manage your progress and study sets helps expedite the learning process. Moreover, AccelaStudy Infinite uses effective and spontaneous techniques like spaced repetition, flash cards and the option to passively listen to the content.

For these reasons, this application makes a well-rounded approach to give you the best conditions to learn and absorb the knowledge effectively.

However, there is a subscription fee that exists. You need to pay the fee in order to access exclusive features. Some of the features include accessing all available AccelaStudy Infinite content and also to develop individual courses. These contents are automatically backed up in the AccelaStudy Infinite cloud and can be made available on all iOS devices. Still, there is a trial that lasts for a week for the subscription so that users can test out the premium features although the free version has many resources. On the whole, still a superb app and indeed one of the best free language applications you can download in Singapore.

7. BBC Languages

BBC - Free BBC Learning English App goes live - Media Centre

Last but not least we have BBC languages, which is a free and accessible platform to learn new languages. It is an accessible basic introduction of languages available online at your fingertips.

BBC languages offers more than 33 languages, from popular languages like French, to more obscure languages like Macedonian and Urdu. The online platform consists of videos and audios that teach vocabulary, phrases, grammar and pronunciation for various languages.

For their in-depth courses on the specific languages, activities and tests are available to make learning interactive and engaging for the user.  The activities come in the form of interactive drama adventures, crossword puzzles and trivia quizzes on the specific language and their history. BBC languages even provide links to slangs and other tidbits of information for your cultural awareness.

Additionally, there is a “Dedicated box” where there are links provided to access media programmes such as television shows, news or radio from different countries which allows the reinforcement of users learning.

No matter what your goals are during this period, it is enriching and exciting to learn a new language. With this list of the top 7 free language learning applications, learning has never been easier. You’ve got nothing to lose. So why not start now?

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Written by: Patricia