11 Language Learning Courses You Need to Try in 2023

The past year has been exceptionally crazy, but that hasn't stopped millions of language learners from pushing towards their goals of actual fluency.

Over the past 12 months the Actual Fluency team tried, tested, and reviewed the top language apps and courses on the market so you can skip the hassle and get straight to studying.

So, here it is: our list of favourite language learning courses that you need to try in 2022.

Note: the courses and apps in this list are in no particular order and have all been tested thoroughly by the Actual Fluency team.

1. Pimsleur

Pimsleur review

Best for: Complete beginners and pre-intermediate learners.
Price: $19.95/ month (with 7-day free trial)
Pros: Start speaking from Day 1; available in 50 languages; rote-memorisation technique; fantastic for beginners
Cons: Not suitable for advanced learners; limited reading and writing practice; expensive compared to other courses.

For beginners, we’d recommend Pimsleur as the go-to course to get you from zero to comfortably interacting within a matter of weeks. It’s also a great option for busy learners struggling to establish a consistent study plan. Set aside just 30 minutes a day and let the audio lessons do the rest. 

Unfortunately, it's not suitable for upper-intermediate to advanced learners due to the low-level content. You're limited to 5 levels of 30 lessons so if you're looking for a long-haul investment, it may not be the best choice unless you're learning multiple languages.

Read our full review of Pimsleur here.

2. Drops

Drops language learning review

Best for: Beginner/Intermediate learners looking to rapidly expand their vocabulary.
Price: Free with a limit of 10 minutes a day. $9.99/ month unlimited subscription. Yearly subscriptions available.
Pros: No sign-up required; 45+ languages; beautiful design; great for vocabulary
Cons: Limited grammar and skills practice; restrictions for free users

Drops is a great resource for learning vocabulary in a quick and memorable way. The variety of topics help you navigate through many possible scenarios in your target language, whether you’re going to the airport or engaging in a political debate.

On the downside, the lessons are unvaried and limited, focusing on vocabulary over grammar or skills practice. Great resource for holidays and basic interactions, but not for much else.

Read our full review of Drops here.

3. Scripts by Drops

scripts by drops review

Best for: Learners of a new alphabet or script. E.g. Hangul, ASL, etc.
Price: Free with a limit of 10 minutes a day. $9.99/ month unlimited subscription. Yearly subscriptions available.
Pros: No sign-up required; 9 scripts to choose from; beautiful design; effective flashcards; writing practice
Cons: Limited grammar and skills practice; restrictions for free users

Scripts is a supplementary app that can be used in conjunction with Drops, exploring the writing systems feature in more detail. It aims to teach different scripts through the use of games and activities. 

It currently has 9 script options: Korean Hangul, Russian Cyrillic, Japanese Kana, American ASL, Hindi Devanagari, Chinese Hanzi, the Hebrew alphabet, Sanskrit (Yoga), and the English alphabet.

The interface is easy-to-use with eye-catching design. The lessons allow you to practice writing new symbols and the flashcards help you to remember them post-lesson.

Check out Scripts by Drops.

4. Busuu

busuu 2022 review

Best for: A1 – B2 learners. Learners with a busy schedule.
Price: Free with restrictions. $9.99/month for premium users. Yearly subscriptions available.
Pros: One-stop-shop for lessons and live tutoring; user-friendly interface; options for business and travel.
Cons: Limited lessons for free users; language selection smaller that other courses; not many options for non-european languages.

Busuu offers a suite of learning opportunities across 12 different languages that are hard to match. It covers everything you’d need to get off the ground and well into intermediate in your language of choice. Its non-European courses do seem to lack somewhat in quality so if you're hoping to use Busuu to learn Chinese, Japanese or Arabic, we'd recommend finding an alternative software.

Busuu is a worth while investment for both beginners and intermediates hoping to improve their grammar and vocabulary skills in a European language.

Read our full Busuu review here.

5. Babbel

Best for: Beginner and intermediate learners.
Price: $12.95/month with a subscription minimum of 3 months. Multiple subscription options available.
Pros: Effective conversation lessons; easy-to-navigate; excellent for French and Spanish.
Cons: Quality is mediocre on some languages; inconsistencies between languages; not suitable for upper intermediate and above.

Babbel is a very affordable online language course provider, that features familiar quiz-style course elements combined with exercises, pronunciation and grammar trainers as well as vocabulary practice tools.

They offer English speakers 13 languages to pick from, with each subscription being purchased separately. You can also learn English with Babbel from Spanish, French, German, Italian, Swedish, and Portuguese.

The French and Spanish courses are excellent, with engaging lessons to make learning fun. However, the quality of other languages, like Danish, is severely lacking in comparison and looks cheap compared to its competitors.

Read our full Babbel review here.

6. italki

italki review

Best for: Learners of all levels wanting to learn with native speakers. Learners on a budget.
Price: Varies depending on country and set rate by tutor/teacher.
Pros: Practice speaking with native speakers; many languages and tutors to choose from; find a tutor to suit your budget.
Cons: Community Tutors aren't qualified so quality isn't guaranteed; expensive for some learners (e.g. South America) due to exchange rates inconsistencies between languages; not suitable for upper intermediate and above.

italki is an online tutoring platform, that allows language learners to find native teachers or tutors from around the world at an affordable rate. If you’re looking for a professional teacher or an informal tutor for your language studies, you can find somebody on italki.

You can also list yourself as a teacher and start making money online by doing online language lessons. Overall, italki is a great platform for learners of levels and budgets. Whether you're looking for an in-depth course or simple conversation lessons, you'll find the right tutor for you.

Read our full italki review here

7. Rocket Languages

Best for: Absolute beginners, although there is content for more experience learners.
Price: $149.95 per level for lifetime access.
Pros: Hundreds of lessons; many languages to choose from; lifetime access; speaking practice.
Cons: Not immersive enough, expensive one-off payment; content gets repetitive.


Rocket Languages is a desktop and app-based learning platform that uses a traditional teaching approach to take you from beginner level to advanced in your chosen language. Using a thorough curriculum and step-by-step lessons, Rocket Languages will help you to develop skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

There’s no doubt that Rocket Languages is one of the most comprehensive online learning platforms available. It features speech-recognition technology, progress tracking, and plenty of oppportunities to practice speaking, lsitening, writing, and grammar.

Read our full review of Rocket Languages here.

8. Duolingo

Best for: Beginners and intermediate learners on a budget. Best used as a supplementary resource.
Price: Free with ads. Duolingo Plus costs $6.99 with free trial to start.
Pros: Excellent free resource, gamification keeps it fun; Duolingo Stories; lots of language combinations
Cons: Isn't comprehensive enough to teach you a language; out-of-context vocabulary and grammar; speech recognition isn't very accurate

Duolingo is a very well established player in the language learning market, having successfully grown their user base to hundreds of millions. It's a fun little quirky language learning app, whose main strength is to keep your motivation up.

It's not a revolutionary language learning method and by using strange sentences and text-to-speak for the pronunciation there are definitely areas that could be improved also. Duolingo won't make you an advanced speaker on its own, but is a fun, mobile addition to further study.

Read our full review of Duolingo here.

9. Lingoda

Best for: Intermediate learners with a busy schedule.
Price: Options start at €48/month for 1 class per week to €320/month for 10 classes per week.
Pros: Fully flexible to your schedule; choose the plan that suits you; range of levels; native teachers; small groups on average
Cons: The content you want to learn isn't always available according to your schedule; some classes have many students; a different teacher for each lesson; the quality varies depending on the teacher.

Lingoda is an excellent platform for learning four of the most popular European languages; Spanish, German, French and English. With the help of a native-speaker, regular online lessons with no more than five students, and a handy 30 page PDF, Lingoda is ideal for learners of any level.

It focuses on developing reading, speaking, and listening skills with its students and the added social interaction makes for a nice bonus. Lingoda operates through a website that opens your classes in Zoom, so it’s possible to use it on a mobile device. There are classes available 24/7 to fit your schedule whenever, where ever.

Read our full Lingoda review here.

10. MOSAlingua

Best for: Learners of all levels.
Price: The app costs $9.49/ month or $57.99/year.
Pros: Specialised spacial repetition system; innovative flashcard feature; loads of extra resources.
Cons: Multiple apps; confusing options and prices

MosaLingua is actually an umbrella name for a series of apps and online courses. Some are general language courses, while others focus on a specific skill to improve upon. At first glance, you might think MosaLingua is just another flashcard app. But you’d be very, very wrong.

Mosalingua is a fantastic service, which offers a ton of variety in learning and extra resources, making the subscription great value for money. With over 11 million users, and a 4.7 average rating on the app store we highly recommend Mosalingua.

11. Uncovered by Olly Richards

Uncovered by olly richards review

Best for: Upper-beginner to intermediate learners.
Price: Bronze package costs $297 (course only)
Pros: Comprehensive, in-depth course; story learning; several languages; learning community; natural, immersive learning
Cons: Expensive compared to other courses; limited opportunities to practice speaking

Uncovered is the name of a series of beginner language courses that takes anyone from a complete beginner well into the intermediate levels. They're produced by I Will Teach You a Language (Olly Richards.) They are new innovative, online self-study courses that teaches the language through the power of story.

Uncovered uses a special “immersion” method that helps you develop strong comprehension skills and a natural command of grammar. With expert tuition throughout, and a particular focus on speaking and listening skills, you’ll develop the confidence to use the language in real life, and enjoy it to the fullest!

Is your favourite language learning course missing from this list? Make sure to let us know!