Language Learning Apps – Worth the Hype?

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Living in an increasingly globalised world, language skills have never been more popular. Whether you are considering learning a brand new language inside and out, or simply learning a few phrases to get you by on your holiday, chances are you aren’t the only one looking to pick up some tips.

The smart phone generation has given us endless technology at out finger tips, and with 4g set to give the UK faster internet speeds, idle thumbs will have even more time to update their twitter, ping some birds at pigs, or pester your friends with snapchat selfies.

Apps that teach you a language are becoming increasingly popular, especially free apps. From holiday makers to those looking to increase their language skills but not commit to either a physical class, or teaching packages such as Rosetta Stone, or to those just wanting to pass time of the trains (or waiting for your candy crush lives to refresh).

And it isn’t just apps that are cashing in on those looking to explore over the language barriers, but phone makers themselves, one of the Galaxy S4’s new features included a talk to text translator for 9 languages at present.

But can a phone or tablet really teach you another language, or does it just teach you key phrases? Some come pretty close, Duolingo teaches you the basics, then mark you as you practise on real content, and Keewords uses flashcards to help you build your vocabulary, but with levels and points, are they ultimately just an education game rather than a learning?
So to throw out the question, have any of you had any luck with Language Learning Apps? Or even better, seen anyone trying to use them in public?