Best Apps for Learning Arabic in 2022 – We’ve Tested Dozens

It’s one of the world’s most widely-spoken languages, but it’s still considered mysterious by many for its right-to-left script and unique looking characters. Discovering Arabic and developing an understanding in it can be as rewarding as it is intimidating, and there are many ways to go about it.

We’ve already compiled a list of the best online courses for learning Arabic as well as a list of the best podcasts for studying the language. This time, we’ll take a look at the best apps to help you with your language learning journey.

As this list only includes resources that are available as apps, it leaves out some quality options that simply lack mobile capability.

It’s also worth noting that this list doesn’t cover every app trying to teach the language. Instead, we’ve pulled from the great many we’ve tested ourselves, plus some that are commonly recommended, and grouped them into categories based on what they do best. Hopefully, it will help narrow the field a bit and point you in the right direction.

General Courses as Apps

Best for Developing Communication Skills: Pimsleur

Best Podcast-Style Lessons: ArabicPod101

Best for Feedback on Writing: italki

Best Free Way to Get Started: Madinah Arabic

Apps for Learning Vocabulary

Most Fun Way to Learn Vocabulary: Memrise

Most Customizable Way to Practice Vocabulary: Anki

Best Way to Learn Vocabulary From Context: Clozemaster

Best Dictionary App: Hans Wehr

Apps for Practicing Reading and Listening

Best Reading Content: LingQ

Best for Reading Alongside Your Native Language: Beelinguapp

Best Radio App: Radio Arabic

Best for Learning the Arabic Alphabet: Arabic Alphabet

Apps for Tutors and Language Exchange

Best for Online Tutors: italki

Best for Language Exchange Partners: Tandem and HelloTalk

Best for Help with Random Questions: HiNative

general courses as apps

Pimsleur Pimsleur Logo

Pimsleur has been producing language learning courses for over 50 years — they must be doing something right. Now available as an app for Android or iOS, Pimsleur offers an Arabic course that will get you speaking and listening to Arabic quicker than almost any other resource. The course gets users to speak almost immediately through participatory audio lessons, helping to build confidence and an ear for pronunciation right away.

The approach is especially good for those that are aural learners or are most interested in practicing the language as it is spoken. The tradeoff is that it isn’t a good option for anyone interested in developing their reading and writing skills or grammar explanations. Don’t let the brand’s age fool you, the app is refreshingly attractive and easy to use. Review.

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ArabicPod101Arabicpod101 Logo

The fact that the lessons are presented as a podcast lands this resource in the best apps for reading and listening category, but it actually provides quality practice in a variety of skills. The ArabicPod101 course manages to be entertaining while delivering valuable grammar, vocabulary, and cultural information via audio lessons.

The app covers a range of levels, from beginner to advanced, but really shines at the intermediate level. There’s a fair amount of English at the beginner level, but it’s replaced by more Arabic as you progress and the material becomes more challenging. There are also videos to keep things engaging and transcripts to maximize the learning potential. Review.

Save 25% with the coupon code ‘ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES

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italki logo

Similar to pronunciation, writing is a skill in which computers just aren’t that good at providing quality feedback. They can do things like check grammar and spelling, but they aren’t nearly as good as humans when it comes to understanding tone and context.

One great way to get free feedback on your writing from other humans is through the Exercise function in italki’s community features. It allows users to post pieces of writing on any subject that interests them with the goal of getting feedback from another user that’s proficient in the language. A good option for anyone looking for some Arabic-speaking penpals. Review. Right now get a $10 credit with your first purchase.

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5 Best Practices to Learn Arabic Online


Do you have an interest in Arabic? Are you looking for some effective ways to learn Arabic online?

If the answer is yes, don’t look further because you’re in the right place. This article will be providing you with some key points for better navigation when you are at the beginning of your journey to learn Arabic online:

  • The advantages of learning Arabic online
  • The best ways to learn Arabic online
  • Challenges and solutions for learning Arabic online language

Without further ado, let’s get this show on the road!

How can you benefit from learning Arabic?

Before diving deeper into practical guidance to learn Arabic online, we’ll show you some reasons why this language is worth being heeded.

First and foremost, Arabic is widely used in a variety of countries all over the world. By knowing how to speak this language, there is no need to hire an interpreter to accompany you to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan… 

Besides, learning a foreign language is a decent way to beautify your curriculum. Thus, learning Arabic online can help you get the spotlight in a job interview, especially when you are applying to a company with high priority for this language.

Plus, studying Arabic allows you to experience a brand-new culture with different norms and lifestyles from your original one. This enriches your knowledge and even changes your attitudes towards events revolving around you.

Spectacularly, you can totally study your favorite language Arabic free of charge with the support of the Internet. It would be a pity if you don’t make use of plentiful learning materials out there such as online free Arabic courses or audio/video records by native speakers,…Especially, online learning gives you the highest flexibility to organize the lessons depending on your schedules. 

Arabic is a popular language and it surely benefits you in many ways. Let’s continue to scroll down as we’ll cover the most effective methods to learn Arabic online that you are waiting for in the next section. 

5 best practices to learn Arabic online

We fully understand that learning a new language is always challenging at first, especially when you want to study online. Hence, in the next paragraphs, we’ll show you the best ways to learn Arabic online. Let’s get it!

1. Set up detailed objectives

It is crucial for you to set up detailed objectives before starting to learn Arabic online. By doing this, you’ll be able to organize a proper schedule to absorb new knowledge effectively. 

Besides, a clear learning purpose allows you to keep your motivation of learning Arabic online. The reason lies in the fact that it’s easier to get bored when studying alone, especially when you don’t live in an Arabic-speaking country and expose to this language every day.

Most importantly, setting up transparent learning objectives helps you evaluate your learning progress within a specific period of time. Simply compare what you achieve today to the closet milestone you’ve established. For example, you need to memorize 100 new Arabic words within 7 days, unfortunately, you only know how to write and pronounce 75 words at the end of this period, which means you fail your short-term objective. As a result, you may need to distribute more time learning Arabic online.

2. Enroll in a quality Arabic online course

Taking an online Arabic class would be a great option for beginners who are embarking on learning this language from scratch. The biggest plus of this method is that you’ll grasp a better overview of the study itinerary. Plus, teachers and class tutors are always available to help you go through the lessons in an easier way than that of studying on your own.

However, please keep in mind that there are a lot of Arabic online courses out there. Hence, high chances are that you would end up paying money for a low-quality class. A quick tip for you is browsing through reviews from other students of that course to make sure that it meets your expectations.

3. Find a conversation partner 

It is no exaggeration to state that immersing yourself in a language is the best way to learn it. That’s the reason why many people choose to live and study abroad to learn a new language efficiently. However, you can still create an Arabic-speaking environment even though you are not living in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the like. 

Instead of going to another nation, you can find a partner to practice conversational dialogues with. They can be one of your friends or family members who are planning to learn Arabic online. Besides, you can join a forum or community where numerous people share the same interest in studying Arabic through the Internet and ask them for a collaboration.  

4. Take advantage of the language apps

In case you cannot find someone who supports you to learn Arabic online, don’t worry. You can take full advantage of top-rated language apps like Duolingo, Drops, Memrise,… They come with a reservoir of vocabulary exercises for Arabic learners to memorize new words quickly. 

Especially, most apps will divide your lessons into different levels (Basic, Intermediate, Fluent). It may depend on the number of new words you need to accumulate before moving to the next level. Hence, you can easily choose a suitable level with the language apps’ suggestions.

5. Have fun with Arabic

Undoubtedly, doing something with a great passion will give you 200% of the energy to try your best. The same principle is applied to your way to learn Arabic online. 

Question yourself: Do you like reading books? Are you fond of music? Do you usually spend your spare time watching TV shows or entertainment programs? Instead of enjoying these above hobbies in your original language, try experiencing them in Arabic! 

It may be difficult for you to understand a book or a song written in Arabic at the beginning. However, hard work pays off and you’ll gradually find it easier to digest the information. 

Learning Arabic online: difficulties and solutions

Arabic is an interesting language that comes with a plethora of positives, namely, job opportunities, cultural enrichment,… However, it’s never easy for a beginner to learn a new language because it has different alphabetical and grammar systems. Moving to this part, we’ll list some obstacles when you learn Arabic online and recommend some solutions to overcome these problems.

Sophisticated writing & grammar system

It’s a fact that Arabic is a popular language in a lot of countries. However, the learners will experience different dialects of Arabic depending on various regions. Hence, you need to select a specific dialect to start with to avoid confusion. 

The writing system of Arabic would be a challenge for English or those who are familiar with the Latin-based alphabet because it has 28 script letters. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to write as long as you spend time memorizing them.

However, the hardest part of learning Arabic online is the pronunciation because it features a lot of vowel words. This means you need to practice over and over again. Or else, no one can understand what you are saying, leading to awkward situations in conversation. 

Besides pronunciation, grammar is always one of the most struggling parts of studying a new language. Especially, Arabic speakers use the order Verb-Subject-Object to express their thoughts into speech, which is a little bit confusing. Also, you need to pay great attention to the form of verbs and nouns according to number, gender, contextual situations,…

Lack of direct interaction

Apparently, online learning requires you to dig into various sources on the Internet and find out the most proper learning materials for your own purposes. Besides that, you’ll never improve your skills without practice while there is no interaction with someone who also speaks Arabic as you’re online.

To conquer this problem, the best way is to find a conversation partner which is mentioned above. You and your friend can arrange 3 days a week to practice speaking after choosing a specific topic, or review grammar exercises together.

Technical issues

Digital devices like smartphones, laptops, or tablets are indispensable for a student to learn Arabic online. With an Internet connection, you are able to expose to various learning materials such as e-books, exercises, videos, audio,…or participate in an online Arabic course. 

However, let’s imagine what should you do if your Internet connection is not stable or your computer suddenly loses all your learning materials due to the error of the current Windows version? That’s terrible, isn’t it? Therefore, we highly recommend that you create a backup file that contains synchronized data of what you have learned.


In this article, we’ve walked you through the benefits of learning Arabic online and some best ways to study this language productively. Also, we provide several challenges you may face and recommend proper solutions to address the problems. We do hope that it would somewhat give you a direction when start to learn Arabic online.

Keep following us to get more useful tips and tricks for your life and study!

14 Best Arabic Courses: Stories, Dialogues, Reading, and More!

You may be getting ready to take your first steps in learning Arabic—or, you may have been studying for a while but are seeking more structure in your studies. With about 30 varieties of Arabic to learn, it can be difficult to know where to look for guidance.

Though there are not many comprehensive courses available to Arabic learners, we’ve collected some great picks to support your studies. Even some of our lower-rated suggestions may provide inspiration and motivation. 

Whether you’re learning for everyday communication, making new friends, or reading the Quran, you’ll likely find something enjoyable and educational on this list. So let’s get started!

Price: $14.95 OR $19.95/MONTH
Interactive audio lessons with speaking practice

If you are keen to get speaking from day one, Pimsleur’s audio courses may be just what you’re looking for. You won’t spend much time reading or writing in Arabic, but you will learn to have basic conversations relatively quickly. 

The course uses backchaining to rapidly improve your pronunciation and fluidity. It also effectively builds on each of the previous lessons, so you won’t feel lost moving from the beginner to advanced levels. 

Through interacting with dialogues and responding to prompts from the narrator, you will soon be speaking full sentences in Arabic. You can also top up your skills with some quizzes and flashcards, though these aren’t necessary to succeed in the course.


  • Structured lessons
  • Practical speaking practice
  • Intuitive user interface


  • May be a bit slow for some learners
  • No reading or writing practice
  • No real-world listening comprehension practice
Price: $8-$47/MONTH
Hundreds of audio lessons with flashcards and transcripts

If you want to learn Arabic and gain insight into Arab culture, look no further than ArabicPod101. With comprehensive grammar explanations, lesson notes, transcripts, and quizzes, you can enjoy many hours of learning in one place.

You won’t have to worry about repetitive topics with the numerous lesson paths to choose from. You also won’t get bored listening to the hosts, as their interactions with each other and their listeners are both friendly and personable.

Some lessons appear more like phrasebook dictionaries, but you can pick through dozens of lesson paths to see which one suits you best.


  • Lots of content in multiple dialects
  • Hosts have a nice dynamic
  • There is less English as the lessons progress
  • Great cultural context


  • Not very structured
  • The website is a bit confusing and has lots of advertisements
  • Not much speaking or writing practice
Price: $9.99/month for Premium, $13.99/month for Premium Plus
Structured design with speaking and writing practice

Busuu’s Arabic course leaves a lot to be desired, but it can be both fun and educational if you already have a basic understanding of grammar and pronunciation. There are about 115 lessons that follow a logical progression and loosely adhere to the CEFR scale. Each lesson teaches practical language that you can use in your everyday life. 

If you have no background in Arabic, you’ll likely find it more difficult to follow along. The course teaches you through quizzes and repetition, but it makes little room for you to understand grammar or pronunciation before advancing to the next topic. Luckily they provide both the Arabic script and romanized script, so you won’t have to learn to write before using the app. 

One awesome feature that Busuu provides is the opportunity to practice your writing and speaking skills with fellow community members. Busuu invites free and paid users alike to interact with each other through correcting exercises in their native language. 

Our rating for Busuu would be higher if it wasn’t for the Arabic and Chinese courses, but it’s still a fine resource to provide structure and keep you motivated.


  • The design is engaging and the interface is easy to use
  • Conversation lessons are especially useful
  • The social feature is free


  • Some exercises don’t include translations
  • Grammar explanations aren’t the best
Price: $30/MONTH, $299.88/YEAR
Glossika Logo
Speaking and listening practice for intermediate learners

Glossika won’t teach you explicit grammar rules, pronunciation, or the Arabic script—but if you enjoy learning through repetition and speaking, you may enjoy its extensive phrase bank. 

This resource uses spaced repetition to drill key phrases, then invites you to practice what you’ve learned through dictation and speaking exercises. Don’t worry if you haven’t yet learned the Arabic script, as you can read and type the romanized characters. 

Though Glossika will familiarize you with the Arabic language through extensive repetition, this isn’t the best resource if you are looking for dynamic practice and direct instruction for grammar and pronunciation.


  • Vocabulary covers a wide range of topics
  • Uses spaced repetition
  • Has audio recorded by native speakers


  • Expensive for what it offers
  • No grammar explanations
  • Can get too repetitive
  • Doesn’t break down pronunciation
Price: FREE
Understand Arabic without memorization

Don’t worry about having to memorize extensive vocabulary lists or drill repetitive phrases.
With Language Transfer you’ll problem solve, deconstruct and build your own sentences, and identify patterns in the Arabic language. The goal is to understand Arabic—not memorize it—making you more confident to tackle more advanced material in your future studies.

This course is for beginners with little to no exposure to Arabic and is entirely audio based. You won’t need to take notes, but you will need focus to engage with Mihalis’s practice activities and prompts.

The best part? It’s 100% free.


  • Free
  • Has well-structured lessons
  • Thoughtfully developed


  • No native speakers
  • Uses a lot of English
  • The pace might be too slow for some learners
Price: $11.99/MONTH OR $55.99/YEAR

Who wouldn’t want to learn Arabic in the company of an adorable deer with glasses?

If you’ve tried Duolingo, you’ll be familiar with LingoDeer’s format. But, you may be pleasantly surprised to find something that Duolingo’s Arabic course has yet to develop: detailed grammar explanations. LingoDeer adds short readings to its gamified format so you can get more out of your studies.

It may be difficult to get through the first four lessons of unit one without prior knowledge of the Arabic alphabet, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be home free to learn basic conversational topics.

Keep in mind that the Arabic course is still in the beta phase. They currently have 30 units for total beginners, but you may want to hold off on getting a membership if you are looking for more than the absolute basics. Luckily, you can also test out several lessons without signing up to see if you like it.


  • Detailed grammar explanations
  • Native speaker audio
  • Fun


  • Limited speaking practice
  • Only has content for absolute beginners
  • Need to look elsewhere to practice the Arabic script

FSI and DLI courses

Price: Free
Outdated but comprehensive courses for multiple dialects

The Foreign Services Institute (FSI) and Defense Language Institute (DLI) are probably the most comprehensive, free language learning resources in the world. Unfortunately, they are also very outdated.

With the FSI’s moderate focus on politics and the DLI’s attention to military terminology, you will probably need to learn and forget several sections of the course. But, if you are motivated and disciplined, you can follow in the steps of past diplomats who persevered through hundreds of hours of self-study course material. Your hard work will pay off when you have your first conversation with an Arabic speaker—though you may want to spend time listening to recent podcasts or videos to update your vocabulary beforehand.

Beginners can choose a dialect and start studying today. If you already speak Egyptian or Levantine Arabic, the FSI’s Comparative Arabic Course will help you transition into the other dialect.


  • Free
  • Teaches multiple dialects
  • Courses are structured and comprehensive


  • Can be dry and boring
  • Outdated and sexist language
Price: free
Learn the Arabic Alphabet

Arabic Quick! dedicates its text-based lessons to teaching you the Arabic script. It has an attractive, colorful interface that gives you clear structure for your learning and is probably the most comprehensive free guide you’ll find on the internet.

The lessons are dedicated to each letter of the alphabet, which are broken down by how they are written at the start, middle, and end of a word. You’ll find examples and explanations for different pronunciation rules, plus mnemonic devices to easily remember how each letter is written. Arabic Quick! also helps you compare differences between similar-looking letters so you are prepared to avoid mixing them up in the future.

This is a great place to start or continue your studies of the Arabic script. It can easily be used alongside other resources that teach you conversational Arabic.


  • Detailed explanations of how to write each letter
  • Color-coded examples 
  • Helps you remember each letter and the differences between them


  • No quizzes or writing exercises
  • Very little audio pronunciation
  • Requires a lot of reading
Price: Free
A fun way to dip your toes into learning Arabic

If you’ve been too intimidated to start learning Arabic, you’re in luck. Though Duolingo’s Arabic course has less than 50 sections, it may be one of the more fun options to start learning the basics.

The lessons teach you through patterns and repetition, and you’ll probably have to follow along with a pen and pencil to get the most out of each lesson. But, the supportive owl and gamified format will ensure that you won’t get bored.

Once you’ve learned a bit of the script, you can progress through the learning tree to acquire new vocabulary and grammar structures.

Duolingo won’t teach you very practical language, and you’ll have to look elsewhere to learn the more complex aspects of the Arabic script. But, it will help you dip your toes in the language without getting discouraged.


  • Free
  • The gamified aspect is fun and potentially motivating
  • The repetition builds basic skills
  • Makes the Arabic script unintimidating for new learners


  • Only teaches the basics of the Arabic script
  • Impractical language
  • Only teaches Modern Standard Arabic
Price: $7.99/month for one language, $17.99 for all languages
Learn both formal and colloquial Arabic

Though Mango Languages isn’t usually our first choice for resource recommendations, its Arabic courses are surprisingly high-quality for beginners. Not only do they teach Modern Standard Arabic, but they also teach three different dialects: Egyptian, Iraqi, and Levantine. This way you’ll be able to engage in both formal and informal communication.

With 5 separate units and hundreds of lessons, you’ll go from making introductions to talking about your feelings and career. You’ll probably be able to have simple conversations by your last lesson, but the lack of attention to grammar means that you’ll need to look elsewhere to have more complex discussions.

This resource also has a unique feature that compares your voice recording to the original speaker in real time. By playing the recordings simultaneously, you can make a more accurate assessment of your pronunciation.


  • You can compare your voice in real time to the original audio recording
  • Some libraries offer it for free in the US and Canada
  • Effective drilling of new concepts
  • Cultural explanations


  • Material only covers the beginner level
  • Lack of grammar explanations
Price: From $8 – $47/month, less for longer subscriptions
A massive lesson library and thorough explanations

It’s difficult to find comprehensible input for beginners that gets incrementally more difficult. Usually, podcasts and resources divide their content into three or four levels; Arabic Workshop, on the other hand, divides its content into 15 difficulty levels from beginner (A1) to intermediate (B1). 

You can listen to short monologues or dialogues about practical, everyday topics with animated drawings. Or, you can read along with an interactive transcript. Though the lower levels take most of the content, the team behind this resource seems to be continually adding to the library. 

Keep in mind that other than listening to the audio multiple times or doing self-study activities, Arabic Workshop doesn’t add anything to reinforce what you have learned. Also, the transcripts only have translations for individual words and no romanized script. 

Check out some of the free sample videos before subscribing to a monthly membership.


  • Manageable jumps in difficulty
  • One of the few resources with comprehensible input for beginners
  • Teaches practical vocabulary


  • No full-sentence translations
  • No activities to reinforce what you have learned
  • Expensive for what it offers
Price: free
For learners studying the Quran

If you are learning Arabic to communicate in your everyday life, you’ll definitely want to look to other resources. But, if you are interested in learning classical Arabic to read the Quran, then you can use Madinah Arabic as a free, comprehensive resource.

With some self-discipline you can learn a lot from the text-based lessons and quizzes. Start with the Arabic script or dive into almost a hundred beginner lessons. There are also vocabulary lists with animations showing how to write specific words.

The website design feels a bit clumsy, and it isn’t very pleasing to the eye. But, the lessons are free and can provide your studies with some structure.


  • Free
  • Very comprehensive


  • Unattractive user interface
  • Won’t teach you to speak Arabic
  • Not very engaging
Expensive and repetitive, but helpful for beginners

Though Rosetta Stone can get a bit repetitive, stick around if you’re a total beginner looking to develop a strong foundation of basic vocabulary and sentence structure.

Rosetta Stone has excellent audio quality recorded by native speakers, plus a logical progression from one lesson to the next. You’ll spend a lot of your time matching pictures and words, and no time building sentences or reading grammar explanations. This makes it a better option for individuals looking to learn grammar and vocabulary through immersion.

Recently, some extra features have been added to the resource’s curriculum. The Stories feature invites you to simultaneously read and listen to various texts, then record yourself reading aloud. And, instead of providing translations for keywords, you’ll see images to ensure you maintain an immersion environment.

Also, if you subscribe to Lifetime Plus, you can join other learners in 25-minute lessons with live tutors. These lessons focus on specific units, so you can pick one that directly relates to what you are learning.

Given the limited course options currently available for Arabic learners, Rosetta Stone is actually a fine choice to help you establish a foundation of basic Arabic.


  • Helps you learn basic vocabulary
  • Lessons get increasingly difficult
  • Interesting stories for reading, listening, and speaking practice
  • Livestream tutor if you subscribe to Lifetime Plus


  • Expensive
  • Repetitive format
  • Nothing for advanced learners
Price: £59 – £250
Maybe suitable for some learners

We wouldn’t recommend Arabic Online to total beginners, but their Advanced Arabic and Grammar Explorer courses may be helpful to intermediate learners. With interactive activities and texts, you’ll practice sentence building, reading comprehension, and grammar.

Unfortunately, we found that the beginner levels repeated several of the same themes and weren’t very engaging. These levels also had a lot of bugs in their programming.

If you’d like to try something new and just want to keep motivated, you can give Arabic Online a go. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to check out the other resources we recommend.


  • Reading comprehension activities at higher levels
  • Specifically designed for Arabic learners


  • Repeats a limited variety of themes
  • Lots of bugs that slow down the website
  • Expensive for what it offers
  • Dashboard is confusing

17 Awesome Podcasts for Your Arabic Studies

Though most language learning resources teach Modern Standard Arabic, the spoken Arabic you might hear in the real world depends on the regional dialect. Arabic podcasts will help turn your textbook Arabic into something to connect with people in everyday life. Plus, they provide an excellent means of improving your listening comprehension and getting to know Arab culture.

With some digging, we managed to find these 17 podcasts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners alike. Though most of them focus on Levantine and Egyptian Arabic, many touch on other dialects as well. With the wide range of topics and thoughtful lessons available, we’re sure that you’ll find something to enrich your communication.



Quick Review



Mondly is a language-learning app that teaches basic vocabulary and grammar structures. It seems most appropriate for learners with little to no exposure to their target language.

The activities mostly rely on passive recognition of vocabulary and phrases, and therefore are not very challenging. However, they are varied enough that you probably wouldn’t get bored with short, daily practice sessions.

Although I wouldn’t recommend Mondly to anyone looking to seriously learn a language, it may be appropriate for individuals studying languages with less available resources, or for individuals who are preparing to travel abroad.


Both the interface and the course itself could be designed better. *Edited on Nov 22* It has made many improvements this year. We will update soon.


It’s decent for learning vocabulary, but I thought a lot of the material wasn’t explained very well.


It’s fairly inexpensive.


There are three plans…
$9.99 per month for one language
$47.99 per year ($4/mo) for one language
$47.99 per year ($4/mo) for all languages

Strangely, I was able to access multiple languages even though I only signed up for one month at $9.99.


Lang Workbooks

Price: $5.99

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For learners of languages that use unfamiliar writing systems, the Lang Workbooks series can be a helpful and practical way to master the intricacies of writing in their target languages. Among numerous other writing systems, the series includes the Korean, Russian Cyrillic, and Armenian alphabets; Persian and Thai script; the Hindi Devanāgarī abugida; Chinese characters; and Japanese Hiragana and Katakana. The series also covers languages that use the Latin alphabet with diacritical (accent) marks, such as French, German, and Portuguese.

Many books in the series have been translated into other languages, such as Italian, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. The series also covers writing systems that may have fewer available resources for learners, such as Lao script and the Cherokee syllabary.

Each book in the series presents its featured writing system with suggested pronunciations. The practice pages in each workbook have useful features for each letter, symbol, or character, such as a recommended stroke order, font variations, example words, and a “Trace and Learn” section.

Each workbook is relatively inexpensive. In addition, the publishers of the series have granted teachers and students a license to make photocopies of the workbook pages for personal use, so you can get unlimited chances to practice. Considering the depth of information in each language’s workbook, the books in this series can provide great value for learners.



Quick Review


LingQ is a language-learning platform that focuses on extensive reading for over 30 different languages. You can import your own content or choose from the community library of books, articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, and more.

The app highlights unknown words across every lesson and makes them reviewable via different types of SRS flashcards. The more you read, the more accurately you will be able to identify content that is suitable for your level.

Although I did not find it beneficial for languages I had never studied before, I think LingQ can be helpful for upper-beginner to advanced language learners who enjoy reading. It is especially helpful if you struggle to find graded readers in your target language.


The LingQ reading app is enjoyable in most languages, easy to use, and can expand your vocabulary. However, I found the user content frustrating to navigate.


With the import function, users can choose to study almost anything they want.


Now that other apps provide similar functions, the monthly subscription may be a bit overpriced. However, the yearly subscription seems fair.


Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, English, Korean, French, Russian, German, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Dutch, Greek, Polish, Esperanto, Belarusian, Latin, Ukrainian. There are also 20 additional languages in Beta.


Premium membership costs $12.99/mo, $71.94/half-year, $107.88/year, $191.76/2-years; single-language lifetime membership costs $199

When I first signed up for LingQ, I wasn’t very impressed. Its seemingly random lesson library, filled with custom cover photos and inconsistent title formats, made me want to click on just about anything to get away from that page.

However, after exploring every function I could find, I realized that the reading tool has several useful functions for anyone trying to learn a language through extensive reading. Most importantly, it makes reading in other languages feel manageable.

The site has three main pages: Lessons, Tutors, and Community. Within them, you can find free and purchasable lessons, coins, an avatar, writing exchanges, a community forum, audio playlists, and challenges.

I mostly used LingQ for reading in Spanish and dabbled in French, Chinese, Japanese, Swedish, and Korean.



Price: From around $10 per 50-minute class

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AmazingTalker is an italki and Verbling competitor that lets you book classes with language teachers and academic tutors of your choice. It has a lot of attractive features for students, but teachers complain about high commission rates and lack of support.

It boasts a 3% acceptance rate for teachers and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy with your class, they’ll rebook you another one for free. There are lots of teachers to choose from, or you can also use their AI Matching Service to find a tutor. The teachers’ profiles include videos, reviews, and their résumé.

However, AmazingTalker doesn’t seem a great choice for teachers. It charges English and Japanese teachers astonishingly high commission rates of up to 30%. While these rates fall as teachers earn more through the site, they have to make $1,500 a month before the commission reaches levels comparable to italki and Verbling. Making it worse, there’s an additional 8% fee for payment processing and tax that all teachers have to pay, no matter what language they teach. 

There have also been complaints on Reddit from teachers claiming to have been harassed by students and fellow teachers. However, we cannot corroborate these.

Given all this, we’d recommend trying italki (review) or Verbling (review) first. Alternatively, check out our guide to the best platforms for online language classes.



Quick Review



Verbling is an online language-class marketplace where you can take lessons with teachers of your choice. It has some student-friendly extra features, including a built-in online classroom, flashcards, homework calendar, and a filing system for lesson materials. There are also useful but disorganized forums where you can discuss languages, share writing for critique, and do free language drills and exercises.

The lessons are generally high quality and well structured, plus the filters make it easy to find teachers who specialize in everything from accent reduction to interview preparation. 

However, it can be slightly pricier than alternatives, so if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to look elsewhere. It also has fewer languages than some of the bigger competitors, so it might not be a good choice if you want to study Azerbaijani, Khmer, or Yoruba.

Teacher Quality 

There are some less experienced teachers, but I found the lessons to be more consistently high quality than on italki.


The classroom technology, flashcards, and filing system are fantastic for learners and easy to use.


Some teachers charge more than on italki, but you get better classroom technology, more privacy, and fewer disorganized teachers.


Verbling lists 65 different languages on their platform, from Spanish and Mandarin Chinese through to Twi and Berber. Not all of them have available teachers, however.


Prices are set by the teacher and range from $5 to $75 for an hour-long lesson. You can get discounts for buying packs of 5, 10, or 20 lessons with a teacher. Every student gets one free trial lesson, after which they’re $6 each.


Olly Richards Short Stories

Price: Kindle books start at $6.55

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Olly Richards, the creator of I Will Teach You A Language, has written a series of short stories for high-beginners to improve their reading skills in several languages. He also has a 101 Conversations series, but this review focuses on his Short Stories.

Most of the languages use the most common words in your target language, with natural phrases that you would overhear locals using while conversing amongst each other. In every language, the plot follows the same characters and adventures, with some adjustments for cultural differences.

The intro to each book provides a practical overview of how to maximize your learning. At the end of each chapter, you will see a summary of the plot, a vocabulary list of new words (that are also bolded in the stories), and comprehension questions. The comprehension questions are simple, allowing you to find the responses directly in the text.

Overall, the Kindle version of Olly’s short stories seems worth the investment for upper beginners to improve their language abilities. If you’re learning Chinese, check out the Mandarin Companion series. Also, A1 – A2 Spanish learners can enjoy several short novels in the ESLC and Read It! series.