5 Clever Ways to Learn a New Language on Your Phone [Infographic]

Hola! Parlez vous francais? And that’s about as multi-lingual as I get. Okay, that’s actually a lie because I could tell you my name in French, but it’s been a really long time since I was able to put together a full sentence in a language other than English. I remember having to take a semester of Spanish and a semester of French in junior high school and then deciding that I enjoyed French enough to take two years of it in high school, but I don’t remember most of what I learned. It’s funny, though, because I have completely shifted my interest and if I was to take a foreign language class right now I would definitely choose Spanish. As a matter of fact I might consider it since technology nowadays makes it so darn easy to learn a new language and even better is that I could do it right on my Samsung Galaxy S7. They don’t call them smartphones for nothing, my friend.

How to Learn a New Language on Your iPhone

Have you ever thought about learning a new language, but thought it would be tricky to fit a class into your busy schedule? If so, I totally hear you and that’s why I’m here to tell you it’s simpler than you might think, especially if you have a smart device and you’re on a high-quality network. Let’s face it, many of us spend a great deal of time on our phones doing everything from keeping our lives organized to scrolling through our social media feeds, so it makes sense that we could also use them to learn a new language. If you’re like me you pretty much never go anywhere without your smartphone, which makes it super convenient to learn a new language on-the-go. Whether you’re standing in a long line at the grocery store or waiting for your kid to finish an activity you could be a superstar multi-tasker and practice your new language skills without having to step foot in a classroom.

How to Learn a New Language on an iPhone

  • Smartphones, including my Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Apple iPhone 7, are quite handy for learning a new language. A great way to use your phone to keep up on your language education is by downloading one (or a few) language learning apps to help you improve your vocabulary and brush up on basic grammar.
  • Listening to podcasts or watching videos are other great ways to learn a new language and finding them is easier than you might think! Listening to sports news or watching children’s cartoons in a foreign language are a couple of fun ways to get comfortable with a new language. Most importantly, find something you enjoy so you won’t get bored and lose interest. 
  • If you’re feeling adventurous you could change the language on your smartphone to the new one you’re learning or you could change your phone’s GPS to the language of country you plan to visit so you can start learning directional vocabulary, which will make it easier to navigate on your trip.
  • Have you ever seen a word in a different language and wanted to look up the definition? The answer could now be right at your fingertips if you download the iTranslate app because it’s got you covered in over 90 languages. If you need something more specific you could download the German English Dictionary and Translator app by BitKnights, LLC or the Pleco Chinese Dictionary for Chinese.  

Apps to Learn a New Language

When it comes to finding an app to learn a new language there is definitely something for everyone and I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking it might be a fun goal for 2017 to learn a new language, especially since it’s so darn convenient with my phone that literally goes everywhere with me.

Here are a few apps that I’m considering:

  1. Duolingo – Not only is this one free, but it’s also described as fun and addictive with opportunities to earn points, battle the clock, and even level up, all while learning a new language. I’m pretty competitive (especially with myself), so I have a feeling the Duolingo app is right up my alley.
  2. Babbel – This first thing I like about this app is that it offers two different options, one for beginners (like me) and one for those who are advanced.  The second thing I like is that it is free and the last thing I like about Babbel is that you can work on lessons either on your device or on a computer, which means you can literally learn from anywhere!
  3. Mind Snacks – This one is just plain great for challenging your brain and keeping your mind sharp, which is something I try to work on every day since I’m, umm, getting a little older and my memory just isn’t as good as it used to be. I love that the goal of Mind Snacks is to make learning fun while teaching you something new at the same time.

If you could learn a new language which one interests you the most? Would you consider a language learning app or would you prefer a more formal classroom setting?

Disclosure: I’m a compensated member of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade, but I have a genuine interest in learning a new language using my smartphone and all opinions and humor are my own. 



  1. I am trying to learn Spanish. I think I shall be taking advantage of all of these apps. I especially like the idea of the gams and activities on DuoLingo. I also think the suggestion of seeking out podcasts and videos in other languages is really smart.
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  2. Technology is amazing. The things that can be done and taught now through phone apps just opens up the world of possibilities!

  3. I like to change the language in the games I play frequently. I agree it is an easy way to start learning new languages

  4. Rebecca Bryant says

    this is awesome. My son needs to do this as he is learning Spanish right now.

  5. My teacher had us listening to music in French when I was trying to learn it which made sense to try to grasp the language. But what helped most was watching movies with subtitles. Cool to be able to see them on the Amazon Prime app with the subtitles. Really helped. The podcasts as well. I used podcasts to learn some basic Russian words before I went there. Was helpful.

  6. I never thought about changing my phone’s language settings. That’s a brilliant idea!
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  7. Wow, how cool is that! I never thought of it, but , it makes perfect sense . I would love to learn a language and did not have success in college ! I will look into this

  8. What a great idea! i never thought about using an app to learn a new language. Thanks for providing a list of apps.

  9. I’ve used an LOVE Dulingo! It’s been a little while since I have logged in and try it but it was super helpful before. I’d love to try the others. My goal is to learn spanish within the next 9 years!

  10. I’ve used Mindsnacks for learning Mandarin, Cathy. Makes learning more fun. It’s helped me understand my in-laws better. But these apps are can only take us so far as its only teaches vocabulary. To push further, I moved onto sentenced spaced repetition training.
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  11. Sophia Decock says

    I just decided to learn Spanish as a second language and blogs like yours and https://speakspanishtoday.online/a-guide-to-making-spanish-holiday-conversation-2/ are such a motivation for beginners like us. Keep doing great guys!