Photo credit: Alamy

With the national lockdown in place, a lot of us are feeling bored, unproductive, and unsure what to do with our time.

You might have picked up a hobby, like painting. You might have started a small business. You might have binged 10 different shows on Netflix.

But why not test your limits and see if you can learn a new language while you’re stuck at home, helping you connect with others despite social distancing?

Here are the top five applications/websites that will make learning a language as easy as possible.

  1. Duolingo
Photo credit: Duolingo

Most of the time when talking about language-learning apps, Duolingo is the first to come to mind.

Created by Luis von Ahn, it offers 38 different language courses for free, has 300 million users and has won awards “for making a new language irresistible”.

Its format is similar to that of video games, featuring an in-game currency reward system of “lingots”, experience points, and leaderboards, making the study process enjoyable.

You will learn your language of choice through listening to pronunciation, reading sentences, voice recording, forming phrases and matching images to words.

Give this app a try and you’ll be hooked in no time!

2. HelloTalk

Photo credit: HelloTalk

HelloTalk provides a unique learning experience.

Unlike other language-learning apps, rather than talking to and being taught by artificial intelligence, you would be learning a language by chatting with native speakers around the world.

At the same time, you would be teaching them the language you speak.

You can find a language partner whose learning needs match yours and be a part of the culture exchange community.

3. Pimsleur

Photo credit: Pimsleur

Pimsleur has gained a reputation for being one of the most accurate and effective language-learning software, with some users claiming to become conversational within one month.

The courses are based on linguistics scholar Paul Pimsleur’s method of focusing heavily on auditory/verbal perception, as opposed to visual, which proves particularly successful for perfecting your pronunciation.

It was founded in 1963 and started out as an audio-only learning programme on a cassette.

Today, it offers 50 language courses and includes interactive exercises for select language.

Check it out on the app store, start a free trial, pop in your headphones on your daily walks, and get to learning.

4. Busuu

Photo credit: Busuu

Busuu’s unique selling point is its focus on developing your speaking skills with speech recognition, so that you can practice the language out loud.

As of today, it offers 12 different languages courses. You can learn one for free, however the Premium version has more benefits.

If you decide to pay, you have a seven-day money-back guarantee. Completely risk free!

So why not give it a shot and see if it works for you?

5. Beelinguapp

Photo credit: Beelinguapp

Last but not least, Beelinguapp by showing a text to the user in two languages simultaneously, allowing the users to use their native language as a reference, focusing on reading comprehension.

You can read news, stories or even listen to music while reading/singing along in your target language – so karaoke lovers, step right up!

Some of these apps are free, some include paid content, and some are entirely paid.

Either way, with the countless array of different language-learning methods, you are bound to find one that works for you.

And you never know… you might come out of lockdown with a new language up your sleeve!

By Mouj Hijazi