Learning a language is no easy feat. And despite billions of people across the globe being bilingual or, very impressively, multilingual, some of us aren't always known for our linguistic talents. But, if Emily in Paris can teach us one thing, it's the importance of not relying on only English, because, spoiler alert, no one wants to look like an 'illiterate sociopath'.
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And while the show may be fictitious, the situations Emily found herself in thanks to her less than fluent French were pretty real – most recently, writing a letter that made no sense, being in a meeting and not understanding a word, and perhaps more of a stretch of the imagination, shoplifting.
So, whether learning a new language is one of your new year goals, you're studying French at school, or you just fancy brushing up on your rusty Spanish, then these apps are here to help. Because none of us wants to be referred to as La Plouc.
Busuu is one of our favourite language learning apps on the market, and with a recommended learning time of just ten minutes a day, it's one of the easiest new habits to pick up. To get started, your first five lessons (in one language) are free as part of the basic plan. If you want to take your teaching further, the premium plans are currently on sale at 50% off.
Premium Plus is the most popular option and lets you learn up to an impressive 12 languages with a personalised study plan, tests and grammar lessons, and even gives you feedback from a community of native speakers. It definitely beats learning off the whiteboard at school!
Visit Busuu, £3.33 a month for Premium Plus
Also currently on sale with 50% off, Rosetta Stone is probably the most well-known language learning tool out there. Using a combination of seeing, hearing, speaking, reading and writing, the programme aims to fully immerse you in your new language while catering to any learning style.
The 12-month Self-Study + Coaching Plan gives you access to 24 different languages to learn from the comfort of your own home. With unlimited 25 minute online sessions with native certified coaches, you'll be chatting away in no time.
Visit Rosetta Stone, £14.99 a month for the Self-Study + Coaching plan
With close to 60 million users, Memrise is growing fast – and we can see why. With thousands of video clips to give you a taste of how native speakers actually sound and a core mission to make learning actually fun, Memrise will have you learning new words in no time. Sign language is also included, which is great!
Again, currently half price, the Memrise annual plan is cheaper than one cup of coffee, so there really isn't much to lose by signing up. Or, if you're the type of person that jumps into things with two feet, then the lifetime plan is a one-off payment of £99.99.
Visit Memrise, £2.08 a month for the Annual Plan
The first thing we noticed about Babbel was how well you can tailor the programme to what you're after. You can choose from beginner, intermediate or confident level, how much time you'd like to commit a week (from 30 minutes to over four hours) and whether you're a self-studier or teacher-led learner.
The 12-month plan is currently 40% off, but there is also a three or six-month plan available if you'd rather dip your toe in before committing for a full year. Even better, if you have a friend who would like to learn along too, just sign up for the Babbel for Two programme for extra savings.
Visit Babbel, £5.99 a month for the 12-month plan
With a mascot that's now a TikTok star, Duolingo definitely knows how to stay at the forefront of our minds. And with daily learning times from just five minutes a day, it's definitely a more productive way to spend time rather than scrolling on social media. Using fun, quiz-style learning that seems like more of a game than a chore, those five minutes will just fly by while your brain soaks in all of that language goodness.
You can access the learning content on Duolingo for free, but for no ads, practice mistakes and mastery quizzes you may want to sign up to Duolingo Plus – now on sale with 60% off.
Visit Duolingo, £3.99 a month for the Plus 12-month plan
HelloTalk has to be the most different way to learn a language we've seen so far. Instead of flashcards, memorising lists or even repeating sentences, this app forces you to have conversations with people from around the world where you learn from each other.
The app is completely free and acts as more of a social media channel than an educational tool, but while you're mingling don't underestimate the amount of information your brain will be taking in. We recommend this app for those of you who already have an understanding of the language and are just looking to brush up on your skills – although there are features such as translation and correction buttons, it may be overwhelming while first starting out.
Visit HelloTalk, free
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