Language app review
By Katie Czenczek, Staff Writer
If you’re wanting to add a new language to your resume, travel abroad, or you’re already an international student looking for some extra help, there are a variety of different apps to cater to your needs. Though these apps probably won’t allow you to fully master a language, they can still help in addition to other linguistic study and practice techniques. Plus, some of them are almost like games—that beats going on Instagram in between classes! With all of the language apps on the market currently, Duolingo and Memrise are leading in downloads and reviews.
Duolingo promises that 34 hours clocked on this app is equivalent to about one semester at an university level, and offers a variety of learning techniques that teach you how to read, write, and speak the language. It offers 30 different languages for English speakers, including High Valyrian and Klingon for Game of Thrones fans and Trekkies alike. Although the speaking portion of the app is too forgiving in order to properly learn pronunciation, you’d probably still be able to get by when travelling overseas. A great feature about this app is that if you make a mistake on a word or sentence, the app will ensure you come back to that question at the end of the review or lesson. The best thing about this app, in comparison to Memrise and other language apps, is that it is completely free aside from an upgrade to premium that only gets rid of ads and allows you to access the app offline. It is available on iOS, Android, and Windows mobile phones.
Memrise takes the idea of educational games to a whole other level. The app’s design looks and feels like a game, and becomes almost addictive. There is even a minor story that’s played at the beginning of the app and throughout as you progress forward. This app offers up to 95 languages for English speakers, including American Sign Language (ASL), making this one of the few language app to offer ASL lessons. However, Memrise lacks the variety that Duolingo offers in terms of lessons as it relies solely on memorization rather than explaining why the language is a particular way. Also, it fails to give you the opportunity to speak and have your pronunciation corrected. Another unfortunate feature of this app is that you can only access a portion of the app for free. Memrise is available on iOS and Android only.
Overall, there is a reason that Duolingo is the most popular language app on the market. Though Memrise is great in terms of app design and the vast amount of language options, it lacks the speaking option that Duolingo offers, along with having many limitations on the app unless you pay. The app is very fun and visually appealing, but I doubt that it will actually strengthens one’s knowledge of a language. If you’re actually wanting to use a language app to learn a language, your best bet is to download Duolingo.