Learning a New Language? Here are 7 Free Duolingo Alternatives


If you’re learning a new language, you’ve probably explored the Duolingo app. Seeing as it’s one of the biggest language learning apps, it has over 95 languages with more than 500 million users. And although it takes a gamified approach with daily reminders, Duolingo lessons are known to get repetitive. Asides from it getting boring over time, you learn phrases and words that aren’t exactly relevant in your day-to-day. 

So if you’ve been looking for a Duolingo alternative that focuses on learning actual phrases, you’re in luck. This article will share seven free Duolingo alternatives along with some of their key features. Keep reading to find out more.

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1. Memrise

If you love the gamified lessons on Duolingo, then this free app is a great alternative to start with. Memrise uses flashcards and immersive content to teach language vocabulary lessons. One unique feature is that these courses have audio and video clips of locals so you can learn how to speak like a native. This might be because you’d have to train as an undercover agent learning a language. 


This dramatic concept helps you pick on mannerisms and nuances in the language. So because you’d practice a lot of listening and speaking, you’d also get to build your language comprehension skills. Memrise has over 100 languages available to choose from. It’s available for free with limited features. 

2. Mondly

Want to be an all-rounder in speaking, writing, listening, and reading? Then Mondly is your go-to alternative. It is an advanced learning app that uses voice recognition to ensure that you get words right. The unique feature of this language learning app is that you have small bite-sized lessons for as short as 10 minutes every day. Since most of the lessons are interactive and conversational, you can immediately pick up speaking in a foreign language. 


Unlike Duolingo, there’s a keen focus on ensuring that you get pronunciations right. That’s why on Mondly, you have access to recordings of native speakers so you know how each word is pronounced. This app currently supports about 33 languages and although it has a free version, the premium plan is cheaper than Duolingo. 

3. Ling

Another Duolingo alternative that uses a gaming approach for teaching is Ling. Ling provides highly interactive games like quizzes, puzzles, sentence composition, and even a smart bot you can chat with. While this app mostly targets beginners and intermediate learners, it still has a pretty extensive curriculum. 


There’s plenty of conversational practice and you’d use a ton of grammar tips to ensure that you can apply your knowledge in the real world.  Although Ling has only about 50 languages, there’s an option for real-life lessons with tutors. However, this is only available on the paid plan. You can get one free lesson on the free trial plan though.

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4.  Lingvist

The creators of Lingvist took a different approach unlike the other apps listed in this article. Instead of using a gamified approach, this learning app uses a scientific approach so you can learn languages faster. For starters, you only learn a vocabulary you’d learn in actual conversations of your preferred language. So instead of learning random impractical phrases on Duolingo, you can use this alternative to learn practical grammar.


Since it’s a scientific method of learning, it analyzes your weak points and reorders your curriculum to overcome your learning curve. On the app, you learn via flashcards that pop on your screen. The only downside is that this app has only 9 languages available. However, if you do

5. Language Drops

Language drops also has a gamified and interactive approach, however, it only allows you to take five minutes lessons on the free plan. This app is designed for very busy individuals who’d like to squeeze in lessons during the day. Once you’re logged in, you have flashcards with appealing illustrations for you to match with words. The smooth interface lets you practice memory association exercises for easy recall.


You can play games on this app, listen to audio lessons, and so much more. You have access to about 45+ languages. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of the free plan, you cannot become a fluent or native speaker with this app. However, it’s a great option for learning the basics. 

6. Busuu

If you’re very keen on transitioning from the basics to an advanced level in a language, the Busuu might just be the best option for you. This Duolingo alternative not only offers a very detailed and well-structured curriculum, but your lessons are also in bite sizes. As you progress, you’d only see lessons and exercises that are ideal for your level. There’s also gratification in the certificates you’ll get when you pass every level. 


Unfortunately, the free version is very limited and so grammar lessons, study plans and access to native speakers are on the premium plan. If you do, however, choose to subscribe, you can practice with professional tutors in individual or group classes. On this learning app there are only 13 available languages so although there are not too many options, the ones available are very structured. 

7. Hello Talk Languages Free

If you’d really prefer to do things your own way by talking to people who speak a language you’d want to hear, then Hello Talk is the perfect option for you. Here, you don’t get study materials or other courses to learn. Rather it acts as a social app where you can have conversations with multi-lingual people around the world. Sort of like a virtual pen pal. 

hello talk

While it’s mostly known for its chat feature, there’s a video call feature as well. Here, you can discuss pronunciation, idioms, and other things that are difficult to explain over chat. This helps ensure that you cover speaking, reading, writing, and listening. To get started, you simply have to go through profiles and find mutual interests before asking to connect.

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Learning a language is entirely dependent on how fast you pick up new words and nuances. While some may prefer to study through courses, others might just prefer to talk to native speakers. Irrespective of your preferred route, we’ve covered the Duolingo alternatives that provide speaking, listening, writing, and reading exercises for people learning new languages. 

Let us know which of these options you’d be trying out soon and don’t forget to share this post with a friend too.


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