It's difficult to know which is harder: learning a new language or choosing a language learning software. With literally thousands of options, ranging in price from free to several hundred dollars, sorting through the chaos can quickly become overwhelming. Whether you're learning for travel, business, romance, or just for fun, the following five programs tend to stick out from the rest. Their quality is sure to impress and their prices fit almost any budget.
RocketLanguages is online only, which makes studying easy everywhere with Internet access, but impossible anywhere without it. The program is broken down into lessons and is designed for daily use. An important distinction between this and other language learning software: RocketLanguagues teaches highly specific dialect. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on the desired purpose. At $99, RocketLanguages is moderately priced.
- Tell Me More
While most programs are designed for beginners, Tell Me More is probably best for people who already know a second language and are looking to sharpen their skills. The tools Tell Me More provides are very detailed and go beyond most other programs. Additionally, priced at around $200, Tell Me More is also pricier than most other programs.
- Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone is perhaps the biggest name in language learning software, and it's also one of the more expensive options. That being said, despite its $200+ price tag, Rosetta Stone is continually being raved about for helping people learn to speak another language in no time at all. In addition the standard software, Rosetta Stone now offers a mobile app for those who want to learn on the go.
Duolingo is proof that you don't have to spend a bundle to learn a second language; in fact, it's 100% free. Of course, there are a few drawbacks; specifically, Duolingo doesn't have a wide variety of options. Currently the full version of Duolingo offers Dutch, German, Danish, Irish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. There are even fewer options available on their app. So if you're looking for something more obscure, like Latin, then you're just out of luck.
- Living Language
Living language straddles the various media offerings from books, CDs, to apps. This also means that their prices vary greatly from just under $20 all the way to several hundred (depending on how many levels you're buying). Additionally, Living Language offers a huge variety of languages to choose from and free sample lessons to try before you buy.