Language learning with apps on Google Play – without breaking the bank

As a multilingual family we are always looking for interesting ways to engage with language learning, most of all finding ways to learn which do not seem a chore but are enjoyable for us and our children. At the same time, costs for language learning resources can mount up quickly, so anything which helps to keep the cost down is of interest to us.

Google Play has lots of apps, and these are among the best-rated for 2019.

If cost is an issue, check out the free trials on offer, and also try earning yourself some Google Play credits with ideas from this article.



As a family we have used Memrise since 2014. We love the fun proven memory techniques that speed up learning. We followed the Membus with interest as they travelled around Europe collecting native speaker audio and video recordings, which has enhanced the learning experience tremendously. These phrases can be downloaded for use on the go.


Google Translate

For many years I did not rate this at all, however, last year I was teaching a Romanian friend English and we were able to use the audio translate when our own translation in conversations had failed. I was really impressed at the accuracy. My daughter regularly uses this app when wanting to know what on earth they are singing about in songs in another language. Famous polyglot Steve Kaufman shares his thoughts on it on polyglot




All the family have used this over the last few years, we have had whole family challenges to see who could have the longest streaks. It’s something we just pick up and play if we have a few spare minutes. My son actually got to a getting by level of Dutch  just by using duolingo and his knowledge of German. Read about it here.



We really enjoyed this when we reviewed it back in 2017. It has lots of ways to keep you motivated, engaged and learning. Here is the review we wrote.



MosaLingua is a flashcard app with a difference. What sets it apart is how much you as the user can customise the app for your own purposes. If you get an answer right by sheer luck, your average app would just mark it as correct and assume you’ve learnt it, whereas MosaLingua will let you say “actually that as pretty difficult and I just happened to guess right”. Add to that the ability to create your own cards and the being able to study by topic, and you have a very personalised approach to virtual flashcards.


Rosetta stone

This is the grandfather of language learning, starting out as records, it is not outdated though as they move with the times and are fully interactive on their websites and apps. Their biggest plus being how they use pictures rather than translation into English. It is expensive but that can be overcome if you earn yourself Google Play credits so it does not actually cost you. More details of that at the end of this article.   friend Benny Lewis from Fluent in 3 months wrote an interesting review on his take on it as an adult language learner.


Hello Talk

This is not just a language learning app, it’s a language exchange where you find native speakers of your target language to partner with. This works with both written and spoken language. My friend Kerstin from Fluent Language said this was a key part of her Welsh learning.


The biggest plus with Google Play credit is that it does not have to take away from your cash, there are many ways you can earn Google Play credits to spend as you wish. Check out this article from with many ideas to help you earn google play credit.

Google Play credit is one of the payment options when you go to purchase something in the store. It can be used like cash in the store to buy apps, movies, books, and games. You can buy the software itself or unlock the premium features using play store credits.

There are lots of scams when looking at earning credit online but there are lots of legitimate options for earning free credits, so make sure you check with a third party (like this list) before giving out your information or spending time on an opportunity for credits.

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