Do you find yourself using the same language app/s every week? I like the programs which work for me, but it is worth taking time to explore what other apps can offer. Here’s a few…


Drops has a large choice of courses and has a concept is like Memrise, in that they feed you letters and words of a language slowly, with a focus on memorisation. I started out with Spanish, but the level was too low and I could not work out how to move ahead. The method was also limited with Swedish – in which I’m a beginner – but was fabulous for Chinese. I have never tried learning Chinese before – was kinda intimidated – but the character drawing tool is lots of fun. Note: Drops allows non-paying users 5 minutes of play per day – not much, but you won’t be in danger of burn out.


For anyone else who has used the good old website to find a language partner, Tandem is a big step up. Although paying members can use Tandem to arrange real-world exchanges, its main purpose looks like messaging and video chat. What I really like is the voice memo tool, which allows you to practice speaking without relying on scheduling. It was quick to find chatting partners for Spanish, but Swedish as well.


Mondly, like Duolingo, offers beginner (A2) courses in a bunch of languages. I tried it for Swedish and found it smooth to use and with good speaking and listening options. Now that Duolingo has a more logical structure, the two courses are extremely similar – but it is worth playing around with Mondly to figure out your preference.