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12 Language Learning Tools for Lifelong Learners

Reading from a textbook isn’t the only way to learn a foreign language. The web offers a wide range of sites and tools – many of them free or very low cost – that can help you learn or brush up on a language. Here are 12 language learning tools/sites to try today:

Duolingo – Probably the most popular of the language learning sites, Duolingo combines gaming elements with lots of practice. It makes learning a language kind of addictive!

Memrise – Languages are just one of the many things Memrise can help you learn. The platform provides for “adaptive learning,” meaning it adjusts to your performance, challenging you where you are ready and prompting you to repeat and review in places where you are not.

Myngle – Myngle provides face-to-face language lessons using live Web video conferencing. While the company if focused on businesses, it is possible for any individual to sign up for private lessons.

HelloLingo – HelloLingo is an online community for learning languages. Apparently building off of the legacy of two sites that have closed down – LiveMocha and SharedTalk – it’s a place where you can “Discover and share the best resources. Connect with learners, practise with speakers.”

Babbel – Babbel has a simple, intuitive interface that gets you going quickly. Pick from among 14 different languages.

Busuu – The free version offer access to learn 12 different languages and includes features like travel courses and conversations with native speakers.

Foreign Language Flashcards – This site provides free picture flashcards for visual learners who are trying to master a foreign language. Other resources include free foreign language learning guides, downloads, and a flashcard maker.

Quizlet – Quizlet can be used to create and share flashcards. It is a wonderful tool for learning new vocabulary words.

Byki – This personalized language learning system can be downloaded for free. It is available in 70 different languages and includes tools to help people permanently memorize vocabulary words and phrases.

MyHappyPlanet – This social language learning site is perfect for students who want to meet new friends and practice a foreign language with native speakers. MyHappyPlanet also provides free videos from fluent speakers and member-created language lessons.

italki – This free foreign language site can be used to find a language teacher or practice online with a language partner. italki also offers free language questions and the ability to ask questions about something you don’t understand.

LingvoSoft Online – This site offers a number of free online language tools for learners, including a free online phrasebook,

P.S. – Do you have others to add? Please comment and share them!

About the Author Jeff Cobb

I am an avid lifelong learner who writes and speaks frequently on the critical role of learning in our fast-changing world.

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Bill O'Neill says

I can’t recommend https://storyling.com enough! Fantastic concept and idea to learn languages with stories while practicing both reading and listening comprehension. Love it!

mike says

I’ve used memrise, quizlet, and few others, really like duolingo, also use couple other tools that are not mentioned here – https://languagezen.com and https://oigovoz.com

Valentin says

I am sorry to advertise but I have made a graphical phrasebook that allows you to enter and connect any words, http://valtih1978.github.io/VisualDict. It allows the functionality of Google Translator’s phrasebook but is much faster, allows you to store unlimited number of words and, in contrast to linear order of the classical Google Phrasebook, establish connections/transitions/associations between them. I heard somewhere that building a graph of words is a useful method to learn the words and connections between them.

Jane says

Most effective to memorize words is using cards. Please discover my service for creating Word cards


Brian says

I also want to recommend this site as well:
You can find many lessons and learning tips on this site.
Hope it helps !

Sarah B. says

Hi there,

For anybody interested in learning German, please check out my website:


Everything on my site is for free.

I would especially recommend reading my ‘Top Tips’ section – these tips can be applied to other languages as well.

Good luck!


Milan says

Guys, check this out. We have launched a Lingibli couple days ago. Just go to http://www.lingibli.com and print your first language page FOR FREE. There are already 18 languages available…

Scott Rapp says

We’re just getting a new website started that hopes to incorporate many of the disparate sites into one. It helps you learn words through flashcard style reviews, and helps you find new words through videos and online articles. We hope it’s going to be a hit, and would love for you to take a look.

http://www.studystre.am -> English
http://www.studystream.es -> Spanish
http://www.studystream.jp -> Japanese

Joe Lingo says

An excellent list! I would also like to recommend this site as well:


You can get free tips and language product reviews on learning a language. Thanks for the info!

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Sheldon West says

I’ve been using this website recently, it really helps you not to forget any new words you come across:


I recommend it since it not only lets you organise words on the go but also gives you the flash cards you need to see most, ie the ones you find hardest to remember 🙂

pw says

You may want to add http://www.babelreader.com It is excellent for vocabulary building. It allows you to read blogs and websites in your target language.

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Sergey says

You may also add:



Thank you for your valuable resourse

Lyla says

I’ve been using the iPhone app Language Master ( http://www.languagemastersuite.com/). I am living in Germany for work and the language is super hard to learn. I’ve tried Rosetta Stone and have a tutor, but this app has been helpful and fun to do when I am on the train commuting.

william says

I really like learning through podcasts. Popup Chinese (http://popupchinese.com) is the best. JapanesePod (http://japanesepod.com) is also really good.

Judith says

I really like http://www.how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum – it’s a great place to learn about new language-learning technique, and if you have a specific question about your target language, or can’t choose which language to study next, the forum will also help.

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Beverly Cornell says

Thank you Catherine for a great list! Language learning is an essential part of our human education and our global society. People who are life long language learners are to be commended!

We would love to be included in this set of resources. Mango Languages is an internet based program that is often free through your local library system. The best part…it is fun, fast and easy. In addition, it is completely accessible from home 24/7. Let me know if you have any questions, I am glad to help you in any way I can.


Catherine says

Always happy to help Jeff 😉

Jeff Cobb says

Catherine – Thanks for chiming in (always nice to see you here 😉
Steven – I wish I had reviews of all of them – just too many resources and not enough me. If any readers have written reviews like Catherine has, I encourage you to comment with a link. Or drop me a line if you would be interested in guest posting with an objective review on Mission to Learn. – Jeff

Catherine says

Steven, there is a review on my site for BYKI (it’s a fantastic resource). You can find it in the archives…

Steven Monrad says

Lots of choices, any reviews available?

Steve says

Thanks for including my site in the post, ForeignLanguageFlashcards. I am currently working on some major improvements to the site, so check back in a few months to see the improvements.

Catherine says

Great post.

smart.fm is another decent language tool.

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