Partly because they do not have enough spare time, partly because of financial reasons, many people don’t take language courses – even if nowadays you can follow a language course online or even on your smartphone. However, studying languages without having to take part in a course or complete your homework can still be very effective.
On the bus, in the metro, at the doctor’s waiting room or in your coffee break? Thanks to smartphones you can study languages anytime and anywhere, and you can even have a lot of fun while at it.
Research has proved that people are constantly interacting with their smartphones – mostly to relax their mind or to have a conversation. If people were willing to spend this time in a useful way such as studying languages, there would be a noticeable improvement in their skills. But which is the best language-learning application?
Most foreign-language students share the opinion that the most effective way is by studying in a playful way. Many such applications exist, for example Duolingo, Memrise or Busuu.
Three years ago Duolingo was voted iPhone app of the year by Apple, while Google awarded it the title “Best of best” Android app. This application offers language learning in two languages, and its principle is based on translations.
Although you can’t follow all the courses in Hungarian, even if you speak medium-level English you will be able to start studying a third language with the help of English. Foreigners are able to learn Hungarian with the help of this application too.
You can either begin studying from zero or take a specially developed scaling test that tells you the right starting level and adjusts the material to your own learning pace. Most of the exercises are written, however there is also some attention given to pronunciation and listening skills, for which the microphone and loudspeaker are used.
Memrise.com is based on a similar principle but the system uses only one language. The busuu.com application is also very useful, but since the courses are not available in Hungarian it’s rather for people who already have a sound knowledge of another foreign language.
In general you have to take about 5-15 minutes each day with these applications to experience a noticeable improvement in your language skills.
None of the above mentioned applications really focus on stretching your vocabulary, if this is your aim, so some of the applications more similar to a dictionary are better suited.
The first that comes to mind is the Google Translate application. The program called SDL works in a similar way, just like the corresponding iPhone-App, which contains 43 languages. The online software version can even translate whole documents written in word, pdf format or presentations. SDL is free and it works well. All in all it’s a great translating application. It’s worth to search for SDL on the internet and install it to your smartphone.
It’s also worth to download the SE Develop or Dictionary Pro applications. If you are interested in a dictionary with many languages, the handiest suggestion is the application called TinyAppWord.
This one offers English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Dutch, Czech and Croatian languages as well. The learning principle is based on virtual study cards, with Hungarian words on one side and the foreign language on the other – this is an easy way to check whether you have already memorised a certain word.
Other versions of this application are for example StudyBlue or Keewords, which is optimised for iPhones. In the first one you can even prepare your own illustrations, and in Keewords you have a set of complete learning cards available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.
Drops is a simple, interactive and visual application. Installing is free and you can purchase a set of further functions. It’s worth to begin using drops provided you can set aside at least five minutes every day.
By the way, this application is more popular in Hungary and has more downloads than PokémonGo. It enables the user to learn from more than 60 topics. As long as you have not completed a topic successfully you can’t proceed to the next one.
This series is aimed at making your stay in Hungary as comfortable as possible and it is brought to you by Magyar Telekom Zrt., the country’s biggest mobile services provider.