March 5, 2014

My Favorite Learning Apps.


When my boyfriend first told me about the possibility of him moving to China, after I stopped hyperventilating and questioning why God was doing this to me, I started downloading apps to learn Mandarin. It's not that I think that I can learn the most difficult language in the world (in my humble opinion) using an app, but I thought : heey, why not check it out?! It can't hurt..

So there I was, 2 in the morning on my couch downloading apps from my kindle App Store. All I did was type in "language learning apps" and choose randomly from the huge variety they offer. Some were good, some were really bad, there's a little bit of everything. If you really want to learn a new language on your own, I think you will need to pair the app with other resources, like songs, movies and books. But, if you really don't feel like going to classes or you just don't have the money right now and you already invested on a Kindle or an Ipad or another electronic device of some sort, I think these apps are a good option. 
So, on with the apps ! Aaaah, and the best part is: they are all FREE! I don't know why but I just cannot bring myself to pay for apps... 

Duolingo // The first person to recommend this for me was my ohsomodernandtechnological dad. And although I was very skeptical about it at first, the app is actually very cool. It's just like playing a game, you can keep scores, you need to pass the levels to unlock the next one, you can share it with your friends on social media and everything. It is very easy to use, I mean my mom could figure it out alone and the woman needed a team to learn how to use an iPhone for the first time. You can also go directly to their website:, which is what I usually do. This on is by far the one I most use and I use it mostly to keep the french alive in my brain. 

Babbel // This one has a very similiar approach to Duolingo. There is not much left to say other than you should try both and see which one works best for you. You can download the app or just go straight to their website too:

China Finance // Now this one is totally directed to people that need to learn Chinese for work.  It teachs you the currencies, numbers, countries and a lot more. It's extremely ease to use and really helpful if you're moving to China tomorrow and you need to learn the basics really fast. You put those 20+ hours on the plane to good use. 

iTunes U // This one I didn't get from kindle of course and it's not just targeted towards  learning languages but it's still really good. It's a very complex app and, to be completely honest, I don't use it very much. To begin you can go in their catalog and choose some classes and papers and download it in your iPad (if you have one and you want to try this app I suggest it because it has a lot of different features that are best used on a bigger device) and start the studying. They have some big name universities like Harvard and Oxford. I love the fact that it is free and you have access to the lectures and the material that people out there are paying a lot of money to get - I don't know if it's the same material, though.   

Last but not least, I wanted to mention a book I got a couple of days ago, also for free on kindle, which I think is very useful. I don't know if you can find it in other places but I've stumbled across it on the kindle store and thought I'd give it a go. It's called "How to speak german in 90 days " by Kevin Marx. The book gives you a different lesson everyday and I'm finding it very helpful - I'm not doing one lesson everyday, but it's been fun to pick up every now and then.

I hope these help you out in anyway! Learning a new language, specially all by yourself, is really hard so don't be hard on yourself. If I had to pick only one of these, it would definitely be  Duolingo - I think the lesson in each level are very good and entertaining, it's just the one that kept me focused the longest. Let me know if you got the chance to try out any of these how they worked for you!

Do you have any apps to share?!

Let's chat!

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great day!


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