An app aimed to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the potential stress of real time conversation. Learners can find native speakers and converse with them using a whatsapp-like chat with voice and text messages.
Users can correct each other’s messages with an in-built correction tool, which transforms the language exchanges into tiny tutoring sessions. The app also has an integrated translation system to help you avoid those moments when you really want to communicate something but just lack the one word that gives the sentence it’s proper meaning.
Memrise is your go to place for fun vocabulary practice. The is no shortage of courses on almost every language you can imagine—or invent, as there are also several devoted to constructed languages—created by the vibrant community of users. You can find standardised courses based on popular textbooks or vocabulary frequency lists as well as less expected vocabulary collections such as “Japanese naughty words” or words from the Japanese translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
The fun of Memrise lies in two things: memes and gamification. The app follows a learning method that relies on creating funny or bizarre associations with the studied words. Courses are often coupled with memes designed to playfully help remember the vocabulary. The memes are created by the community and everyone can add their own! Both earning, revising and creating memes is a source of points that help you advance in the Memrise hierarchy of users (from Membryo to Overlord).
The app is aimed to get you to speak and be understood so you don’t feel lost in a foreign environment making your stay not only much richer culturally, but also less stressful. In addition, the creators took care so you at least attempt to sound like a local and use the current expressions rather than the textbook formulas. A feature called the slang slider displays different levels of formal or casualty of each phrase so you can adjust it to the specific context you’re in. The lessons are divided into handy sections such as “safety phrases” or “business phrases”.
HiNative is like a bite-size language exchange. You get the benefits of contact with native speakers without the hassle of searching for an exchange partner or scheduling a chat.
The basic premise is to bring native speakers together with learners to help each other resolve little (or not so little…) language struggles. No question is stupid or too simple: you can ask for translations, input on pronunciation, or advice on cultural norms.
The design is very enjoyable, cheerful and charming (I would have just said cute, but that may discourage some of you from trying it 😉 ) which really helps to stay involved with the learning. Being timed the games keep you engaged and often at the edge of your seat and on top of that MindSnacks also assigns you quests so you can really feel like a language explorer.
The basic download is free, but it comes only with a restricted number of games. If you pay a little bit you can access more lessons and widen your game options.