Foreign Language Apps Can Take You Around the World

Apps can be useful tools for children learning new languages. It's a great way to get a head start on language lessons before taking a school-based course. Also, if your child is studying a language in school, foreign language apps can help accelerate learning.

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1. iStart Japanese!

Released by Mirai Language Systems, iStart Japanese! includes 40 lessons designed to teach Japanese to those with no background in the language. The app takes full advantage of the platform, using speech bubbles that move in sync with audio lessons. You can also gain familiarity with Japanese script by toggling text formats.

2. 24/7 German Tutor

This app helps students of German through a variety of tools, including a native German speaker for its audio component. There are puzzles, write-in quizzes, multiple choice quizzes and flashcards.

3. Chinese (Mandarin) Course - Speak and Learn Pro

Learn Mandarin Chinese with this app from 321Speak and a team of Chinese language teachers. The app uses natives of Beijing to provide authentic audio. Using an immersion-based technique, the app helps those new to the language understand tones and pronunciation while getting helpful feedback.

4. MindSnacks French

MindSnacks French features six games that use a fun approach to language learning. The games focus on vocabulary, listening, writing, reading and conversation skills. There are also 50 French lessons from Ivy League instructors and a large library of images to aid with retention.

5. TranslateThis

Rather than teaching a language, this app serves as a useful tool for those needing quick help with an unfamiliar tongue. It includes translation capabilities for 53 languages, including words, phrases and even paragraphs of text. The world's most popular languages are supported, including Chinese, Arabic, French and Spanish, as well as less common ones, such as Latvian, Laothian and Icelandic.

6. Bueno, entonces… Learn Spanish I & II

This unusual app aims to teach Spanish over the course of five weeks through 30 40-minute classes. The content is funny and fast-paced, with an emphasis on conversational language. The app includes a 68-page study guide with written exercises, quizzes, a slang dictionary and unlimited online support.

7. Basic Italian For Dummies

This app helps those looking to learn Italian in a variety of ways. There are flashcards with audio playback, Italian-English and English-Italian dictionaries, basic Italian grammar lessons and exercises using complete phrases. The app also allows users to share phrases easily on Facebook.

8. Arabic Audio FlashCards

This app contains more than 1,300 Arabic words across a series of flashcards and exercises. All words feature audio from a native Arabic speaker. They're also grouped into Learning Lists that help those new to the language learn logically and efficiently.

9. Russian Alphabet

One of the first steps in learning Russian involves understanding the language's unique alphabet. This app teaches the Russian alphabet in multiple ways. In addition to seeing each letter, users can hear a phonetic pronunciation of the letter, see and hear it used in a common Russian word, finger-write on the screen to practice writing it and complete a quiz intended to test retention.

10. World Nomads Hindi Language Guide

Released by, this free app provides basic instruction in Hindi. The main lesson is focused on useful conversational phrases, as this app is intended for those with no knowledge of Hindi who might be traveling abroad. In addition to the lesson, which is taught by a native speaker, there is a catalog of approximately 50 key Hindi phrases.

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