Blog > Languages > Exploring the Top Language Learning Apps in 2023 – 202

Exploring the Top Language Learning Apps in 2023 – 202

Table of Contents

As a tech enthusiast and an avid online explorer, I’ve taken it upon myself to revisit my list of the best language learning apps for 2023. The tech landscape evolves rapidly, so it’s essential to stay updated. I’ll be sharing my assessment of these apps, taking into account their cost, primary purpose, and the pros and cons.

Let’s adopt a gamer’s tier list approach for this ranking. We’ll kick off with the F tier, representing apps that leave a lot to be desired, and ascend to the S tier, denoting the cream of the crop.

F Tier: The Underwhelming


Cost: Free

Primary Function: Language Exchange

Tandem finds itself in the lowest tier due to issues with rampant harassment on the platform. While some have found language partners here, a significant portion of interactions involves unwelcome advances. A quick online search for Tandem will illustrate the issue.


Cost: $9.99/month for a single language, $47.99/year for one language, or $89.99 for a lifetime subscription covering all 41 languages.

Primary Function: Lesson-Oriented

Mondly, despite UI improvements, still prioritizes quantity over quality. The lessons, in my opinion, lack depth and real value. While it might serve as a supplementary tool, there are far superior options available.

D Tier: The Mediocre

Bluebird Languages

Cost: Free

Primary Function: Vocabulary/Lesson App

Bluebird offers a vast library of audio, but usability leaves much to be desired. It lacks clear guidance for beginners, and its design is subpar. Once again, it falls into the trap of quantity over quality. An improved custom lesson feature could propel it to a higher tier.


Cost: Free

Primary Function: Language Exchange

HelloTalk shares similar issues with Tandem, especially regarding harassment and moderation problems. However, its user interface is more appealing, and the correction feature is a plus. Sadly, user behavior hampers the experience.

C Tier: Useful But Limited


Cost: Starts at $13.95/month, reaching up to $599.99 for lifetime access.

Primary Function: Lesson App

Babbel competes with Duolingo, particularly in the business language space. While it has merits, it doesn’t offer anything particularly unique. Its pricing is also on the steeper side.


Cost: Free

Primary Function: Flashcard App

Quizlet is essentially a flashcard app that many language learners use. Unfortunately, its user interface and flashcard creation process fall short, and there are better alternatives, like Anki.


Cost: $9.99/month or $79.99/year

Primary Function: Vocabulary App

Lingvist caters to beginners with valuable resources, but it doesn’t offer a significant advantage over cheaper or free alternatives.


Cost: Pricing details are unclear

Primary Function: Lesson App

Speekoo, often recommended, suits casual learners who need basic language skills for travel. However, the lessons are mediocre, and the pricing system lacks transparency.


Cost: Starts at $6.99/month or $83.88/year. A free version with limitations and a family plan are available.

Primary Function: Lesson App

Duolingo’s quality has declined recently, with a focus on core courses at the expense of other languages. The content behind paywalls has increased, making it a less attractive choice.


Cost: $13.00/month, $69.99/year, or $159.99 for lifetime access.

Primary Function: Vocabulary App

Drops has an appealing design and concept, but it’s let down by high costs and a limited vocabulary catalog.

B Tier: Useful Supplements


Cost: Free, with additional translation requests available for a fee.

Primary Function: Language Exchange/Other

HiNative stands out for its unique approach, similar to Reddit or Quora but for language learning. It offers idiomatic translations and a vast database of questions. It’s a valuable supplementary resource.


Cost: Varies by Tutor

Primary Function: Language Tutor

iTalki excels in connecting learners with language tutors. While costs can be a barrier, it’s a valuable resource.


Cost: Starts at $14.99/month, reaching up to $299 for lifetime access.

Primary Function: Lesson App

LingoDeer is unmatched in teaching Asian languages, making it the go-to choice for learners of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.


Cost: Starts at $14.99/month, reaching up to $199.99 for lifetime access. Free access is available but limited.

Primary Function: Vocabulary App/Sometimes Lesson App

Memrise, though paid, serves well for less commonly taught languages, particularly African, Pacific, and American languages.


Cost: $8.00/month or $60.00/year

Primary Function: Vocabulary App

Clozemaster effectively strengthens vocabulary, but it’s best used as a supplementary tool.

Mango Languages

Cost: Starts at $7.99/month for one language or $17.99 for all languages. Some minority languages are free.

Primary Function: Lesson App

Mango Languages offers a cost-effective alternative to Pimsleur, with strong audio lessons. Certain endangered languages are available for free.

A Tier: The Impressive Ones


Cost: Starts at $13.95/month, reaching up to $167.40/year.

Primary Function: Lesson App

Busuu stands out as a comprehensive lesson-based app with abundant content, suitable for advanced learners. It excels in providing audio-based lessons, paired with visual elements. The correction feature is a standout. Please note, this is not a sponsored endorsement.


Cost: Starts at $12.99/year, reaching up to $107.88/year with premium plus options.

Primary Function: Reading and Vocabulary App

LingQ is an excellent choice for advancing reading and vocabulary skills, although it may not be ideal for beginners. Cancellation issues have been reported.


Cost: Free

Primary Function: Flashcard App

Anki is a proven and highly effective flashcard app with an unmatched Spaced Repetition System. While creating flashcards can be tedious, there are readily available decks created by other users.


Cost: $14.95/month

Primary Function: Lesson Based App

Pimsleur, an established resource, offers high-quality audio content and is suitable for those with time constraints.


Cost: Free

Primary Function: Time Tracking App

Polylogger is a valuable time tracking app designed specifically for language learners, allowing for effective study time measurement.


Cost: Starts at 10.99 Euros/month, reaching up to 69.96 Euros/year.

Primary Function: Vocabulary App

Speakly earns praise as the best vocabulary app, encouraging learners to challenge themselves with music and reading. It also provides a useful grammar reference.

S Tier: The Best of the Best

Language Transfer

Cost: Free, but please consider donating.

Primary Function: Lesson App

Language Transfer stands out as an exceptional language learning app. It deconstructs languages, focusing on patterns and understanding rather than rote memorization. For a complete experience, immerse yourself in the lessons. The best part? It’s entirely free.

In Closing

I’d like to give an honorable mention to Rosetta Stone, even though I haven’t personally used it. I still believe that books remain superior language learning resources. If you’re interested in book recommendations, check out my article here.

I hope you’ve found this resource helpful. If there’s an app I’ve missed and you’d like me to review, please let me know.

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