Learning a second language is one of the coolest and most rewarding things you can do in your spare time.
However, if hopping on a one-way ticket to your country of choice isn't an option for you, it can be difficult to find an immersive experience to learn, especially past high school or college.
The next best thing is language-learning apps.
We wanted to look at the top two: Duolingo and Rosetta Stone. DuoLingo is the new kid on the block; one of the top downloaded, this free app is a favourite. Then, there's the gold standard: Rosetta Stone. For over 25 years they've been developing their language-learning software, and their app is the most recent innovation.
They're both great options, but keep reading to figure out which one is the best for you.
- Both claim you'll expand your vocabulary
- Both are available as an app for iOS and Android users
- Both have a clean user interface with appealing graphics
- Both have offline capabilities (if you pay)
- DuoLingo has a popular free version along with its paid version, whereas Rosetta Stone only has a paid version
- DuoLingo offers 35+ languages and Rosetta Stone offers 24 languages
- Rosetta Stone has an advanced TruAccent feature to detect and correct your accent
- DuoLingo offers a breadth of similar vocab-recognising features and Rosetta Stone offers a wider variety of learning methods, like Stories
DuoLingo's app and its iconic owl have definitely found a place in pop culture. One of the most popular free language-learning apps, it offers 35 different languages including Klingon, that can be learned through a series of vocabulary-matching games.
DuoLingo offers a free version and a version for $9.99 a month without ads and with offline access.
Rosetta Stone Overview
The Rosetta Stone app is a beast. There are 24 different languages to choose from, but more importantly, you get a huge variety of methods for learning.
Not only are there simple games, but there are stories, where you get to listen, the Seek and Speak feature, where you go on a treasure hunt to photograph images and get the translations. Underpinning it all is the TruAccent feature which helps you refine your accent. Whenever you speak into the app, you'll get a red/yellow/green rating on your pronunciation, so you can fine-tune it to really sound like you have a firm grasp of the language.
Rosetta Stone also offers the best lifetime value of any online language learning program. For just £199, you get all 24 languages for the rest of your life! Or you can opt to pay £5,99 each month and cancel anytime. Either way, it's the best value out there!
Overall, these are both excellent apps for increasing your proficiency in a new language! They both feel quite modern and fun.
When it comes to really committing words to memory and understanding them, Rosetta Stone is king.
DuoLingo definitely will help you learn new words, and the app can be addictive, but users report it as more of a game than a means to an end.
With Rosetta Stone's variety of features, you'll never get bored; there are more passive elements and more active elements to help you activate different parts of your brain, so you're learning in a more dynamic and efficient way.
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