When the COVID-19 pandemic first turned American life upside down in early 2020, people discovered — or sometimes rediscovered — creative ways to engage their minds. Faced with a sudden of at-home time, people chose cooking and baking as a way to create and connect. Others brought musical instruments into their lives.
At the start of the pandemic, language learning surged too. Many of the world’s top language learning apps and platforms reported huge gains in the number of users and downloads. Despite facing self-imposed or legally mandated restrictions on travel, the pandemic failed to squelch our wanderlust. If anything, quarantines and lockdowns only amplified our desire to travel.
Most language learning apps take one of several approaches to help people learn. Some people learn better by hearing. Others learn better through visual experiences. Apps frequently engage people to learn through storytelling or gamification.
Many of the most popular apps have free features. However, to access their full functionality, a subscription is often required. Some apps offer deals if you sign up for an annual subscription. Keep reading to learn more details about some of the most popular language-learning apps.
Quick takes on five free language learning apps
What are the world’s most commonly spoken languages?
There are approximately 7,000 languages in use around the world today. About half a dozen of these languages dominate the global conversation. According to multiple sources, the languages below are among the world’s most spoken:
- Mandarin Chinese
As for the most global language, the United Nations recognizes six of these as the organization’s official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. According to the UN, “correct interpretation and translation of these six languages, in both spoken and written form, is very important” for the UN “because this enables clear and concise communication on issues of global importance.”