If oranges could talk, what language would they speak?

Mandarin!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I really love Dad jokes! Anyhow, like I mentioned before, I’ve been looking for better programs for learning languages, and I discovered a couple new options.

First up: Mango. This app is free as long as you have a library card, and if you don’t, head onto your local library’s network and get an e-card. All you need for the app is a card number, and entering it gives you access to all lessons at no cost. Lessons teach you phrases by speaking phrases and having you repeat them, and there is a tool that lets you record your voice and play it against the recording so you can compare pronunciation. As you learn vocabulary and phrases, it even includes tips about culture and customs of the people that speak the language you’re learning. Did you know that Russians have a ceremony for when you become close enough with an acquaintance to use familiar pronouns, and that it involves drinking and kissing? Me neither!

Up next: HelloTalk. This is another free app, but its language options are a little bit more limited than Mango’s. It offers 12 commonly spoken languages, so the language you want to learn will most likely be available. HelloTalk categorizes their lessons into skill levels, so if you have some knowledge of the language already, you don’t have to sit through the boring basics again. You can practice writing with a robot in a texting chat format. In addition to solo lessons, you can practice your skills with native speakers by chatting with them; they’ll correct you as you make mistakes. If you feel like helping others learn your native languages, you can do that, too!

These are the quality apps for free that I’ve found, but if you have any suggestions, or want to share your experience with these apps, add them in the comments below!

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