Learning a new language is never entirely easy. According to Time, the ideal age to learn a new language is 10. As we get older it becomes harder for our brains to adapt to change even based on repetition. Of course, everyone is different and everyone learns differently, but with the help of some modern technology, you still may be able to conquer Cantonese or dive into Danish.

Babbel

For a more school-based feel to learning language, Babbel keeps it’s layout minimal while being inviting and structured.

The programs have been designed by professional linguists and most lessons are between 10 and 15 minutes, making it easy to squeeze in a vocabulary drill on a lunch break or before bed.

Babbel was one of the first language learning software to break the market and it continues it’s tradition of leading students to a conversational based path through immersion and repetition.

Try it for free or get a subscription that starts at $12.95 per month or can be purchased once every three, six or 12 months for a discount.

babbel.com

Duolingo

A free app with an adorable owl to guide you through lessons. The vibrant interface makes it easy on the eyes and some of the game-like lessons make it fairly simple to stick to. Though if you don’t, that adorable little owl will remind you incessantly that you haven’t been practicing in a while.

The app keeps tabs on your streaks and gives you some incentive to keep learning and if you break those streaks it reminds you to go back to certain, more basic levels to refresh your memory instead of letting you simply continue on.

You can learn multiple languages including Hawaiian, Gaelic, Latin, High Valyrian (from “Game of Thrones”) and Klingon (from “Star Trek”). It also features interfaces for students where English is a second language.

The base app is free with ads, or go premium for $10 and unlock lesson downloads and more features.

duolingo.com

Drops

If you are more of a visual learner than aural, Drops may be what you need.

The app uses games to teach through mnemonic images with a colorful layout, which can make it easier when you’re learning a language with a completely different alphabet.

Right now the app is free for students, K-12 teachers and parents that have been affected by the coronavirus.

The app features more than 35 languages including some indigenous ones like Ainu and Maori.

The app is free but you can only have one lesson per every 10 hours. Otherwise, you can subscribe to Premium and pay $10 a month for unlimited access.

languagedrops.com

Lirica

If you want to try something completely different from traditional repetition or conversational Spanish, Lirica offers a way to learn through music.

Using popular Latin or reggaeton artists, the app helps you learn the language and even grammar. Plus you get a glimpse at the culture behind the words, great music to listen to and some facts about the artists you’re learning from.

There is a wide variety of genres to listen to so you won’t get bored with a particular artist or style too quickly.

Right now the app only offers Spanish, but the creators hope to expand in the future.

Lirica offers a one-month free trial, after that it’s $7.99 per month.

Mango

This one can be accessed through your Deschutes Public Library account, or you can try it for free through June 30.

The app boasts more than 70 languages to choose from including indigenous and endangered languages. It also includes Pirate.

It’s exactly the way it sounds.

The program states that it will evolve with the individual, learning how you learn and making sure the lessons reflect that. You can speed up or slow down the audio portions of lessons from conversation speed to nearly monosyllabic.

It also includes a handy reference to the cultural uses of words like when you would use bonjour and bonsoir.

The price starts at $7.99 per month with access to one language, or $17.99 per month for unlimited access.

mangolanguages.com

Reporter: 541-383-0304, mwhittle@bendbulletin.com

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