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September 2019

The Most Beautiful Language Learning Apps

Studying a new language with a sleek UI

While we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we can certainly judge it by its words. Language learning apps of all kinds exist today, but not all of them are equal. While the most important aspect of a language learning app is its efficacy in helping students learn a new language, it doesn’t hurt if said app has a sleek user interface (UI).

A beautiful design is important not only for aesthetics, but also for user interaction. No one likes to use apps that are cluttered or confusing. A pleasant design is also good for keeping students engaged, just as using the proper font in a book helps readers read. Today we’ll take a look at some of the best language learning apps with great design.


A fun app with a simple interface, Drops is perhaps one of the most beautiful language learning apps around. Everything you need to learn a language is included without cluttering the screen: clear icons, soothing colors, characters (if applicable to the language), and pronunciation guides.

The intuitive UI involves tapping and “dropping” items into place. It’s very much like a game; as the company says, Drops allows you to “play with your words”. Premium learning features are available for a fee, but you can start learning with minimal restrictions for free.


For those looking to focus on reading comprehension, Beelinguapp can help. Users can choose from a selection of dual language texts (stories presented in both your native language and your target language) available in 13 languages. With its audio feature, you can follow along with the reader in both languages.

The text is clear and the UI is clean. The text being read is highlighted in both languages, so there’s no confusion over where you are in the story. More experienced users can also switch to a single-view mode that shows only the text in the target language. Finally, the “karaoke” feature allows students to read the text themselves.


Babbel is a subscription-based language app with 14 languages offered. According to a May 2017 study by Priori Data, Babbel was recognized as the top-selling language app in the world. With the many app options out there, this is saying something.

The language app is easy to use. Images are consistent and bright; they’re quick to interpret even though they aren’t large. Mini-lessons can be completed in as little as 10 minutes. Lessons are presented in a chat format, so most people ought to be familiar with the interface. Native speakers become your conversation partners to help you develop real-life conversation skills.


It’s impossible to write about language apps without mentioning Duolingo. With its easy-to-follow hierarchy of learning and its cute and colorful graphics (the owl mascot is particularly adorable), Duolingo is a fun and effective app to guide you through the learning process.

Mostly everything about the app is well designed, from the fun sounds to the screen transitions. The ads on the free version are a bit awkward, however, as they are thematically out of place. This can give a jarring sensation. Those with a premium subscription avoid this problem with an ad-free experience, as well as the option to use Duolingo offline.

Which is your favorite language learning app? Which do you find most aesthetically pleasing? Let us know on our Facebook Page, and be sure to “like” TELC English for more articles on language learning tips and tricks!