We live in a multicultural country where you can hear a dozen different dialects over the course of a day.
In fact, we’re willing to bet a few words even sneak in to your vocabulary in your day-to-day life like a casual “shukran” or "khalas" every now and then.
If you’ve got a little time on your hands and want to learn a new skill so you can communicate better with the city around you, here are five top apps to help you learn a language at home.
Or maybe you just always wanted to learn how to speak beaver (it's spoken by around 300 people in Western Canada).
Taking you back into the classroom, Babbel is a comprehensive way to learn a new language. The app is basic and focuses on combining audio with visual cues so you can learn the basics of conversation quickly. With short 15-minute lessons they’re easy to work into your day and start building up a vocabulary in your chosen language.
Free (app), US$9.99 per month for premium access per language. Available on Apple and Android devices.
You only need five minutes a day with this app that slowly builds your vocabulary from a choice of 36 languages. Using a mix of audio, pictures and written words, you can pick up the basics quickly and test your memory to see if you’re absorbing the information or need to go back and do it again.
Free (app), US$109.99 for annual unlimited access. Available on Apple and Android devices.
With this colourful and user-friendly app you can decide at the outset how serious you are about learning a language - from five minutes a day at a casual pace to 20 minutes a day intensive learning. The app works like a game and uses a lot visual cues, so if you’re needing more than audio or written words to learn then this could be the best fit.
Free. Available on Apple and Android devices.
Once you choose a language you’re off and learning quickly. The focus is mostly on written and spoken language, using simple graphics and visuals to keep you right. It can be challenging, but persevere and you’ll pick up the basics in no time. With a free seven day trial you can see if it’s the app for you before committing to a subscription.
Free (app), US$7.99 for one month, US$54.99 annual subscription. Available on Apple and Android devices.
It’s one of the most popular language learning services in the world and there’s lots to like about the app. You can access lessons for 30 minutes each day for free or upgrade your account for unlimited access to a host of immersive learning units. Using audio you will repeat words back to the app and receive a rating on your pronunciation, making it a good way to learn a language to use conversationally when travelling.
Free (app), US$129.99 for three levels of a language, US$199.99 for five levels. Available on Apple and Android devices.