While 2020 has been a setback year for many, for the others this has been the year of transformation. People who earlier seldom got the chance to pursue their hobbies owing to the busy lives they were leading, with the pandemic effects, they got the chance to follow their heart with ample time in hand. So many people enrolled in online cooking classes, learning a new language, and adding to their skills with the plethora of online classes running.

Now learning a new language has always been an exciting prospect and today more and more people are keen on learning new languages as they’re traveling more and more.

Searches for apps related to learning a language have grown 85% YOY. ThinkWithGoogle

And while earlier people had to attend physical classes for the same, today learning languages is possible even while sitting in the comfort of homes owing to the technology. There are many language learning mobile apps out there helping students all around the globe gain expertise in another language they are keen on learning, be it French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, or Mandarin.

Global Scenario & Market Statistics About Language Learning Apps & Services

Going by Technavio Analysis,

The global language learning market is expected to develop at a CAGR approx. 18 percent amid the prediction period of 2020 to 2024.

Soon the Artificial Intelligence-enabled chatbots are going to be the latest trend helping the users in digital language learning. This is something we already see in apps like Duolingo, where these AI-enabled chatbots help in learning and excelling a new language. With the usage of AI, the language learning time lowers efficiently, while the curriculum provided gets more appropriate for the user requirements. At the same time, it allows to offer a personalized learning experience to the users and the convenience provided is yet another attractive factor. Today with the language learning market growing rapidly, it is best to make an entry with a smooth and feature-rich app.

Market Size Of Global Online Language Learning Industry 2015 to 2025, (in billion euros)

Market size of the global digital language learning industry from 2015 to 2025, by language (in billion euros)
Source: Statista

Now among the many language learning apps present in the app store, the most popular is Duolingo, hence here we have provided a brief about it.

Intro To Duolingo – Language Learning App

duolingo language learning app
Duolingo a free platform to learn languages and crowdsource translations allows learning languages from the scratch. Here, the training program is hierarchically organized. The users gain points for each learned lesson and students move from level-to-level. Next, let’s discover how other language learning apps work.

most popular languages studied on duolingo in each country
Source: Duolingo

In the below graph you can see a sharp rise in number of language learning app users from March 2020 due to the pandemic and lots of spare time.

new language learners joining duolingo since 2018
Source: Duolingo

How Does Language Learning Apps Work?

Well, these apps offer a number of possibilities that makes the language learning experience great for the users. So, if you want to make your own language learning app then first understand its working:

Training Exercises (Audio & Visual)

These apps offer a number of different lessons which are designed in a manner that it allows to learn and read new words, train listening comprehension, and translate text.

Language Lessons By Video Content

It is useful to provide video content, such as music videos, or fragments of movies, with language learning apps, as it makes learning a lot easier. Apart from that subtitle and translation is essential.

Books, Language Guides

Most people love to read books, and when language learning apps allow reading books of their favorite authors, isn’t it amazing? What is further amazing is when the text from the book comes with useful tips ad hints, like translations of the difficult phrases. Now the beginning students won’t be able to take advantage of this functionality yet, but those on the advanced level would absolutely love it.

Chatbot (Interactive Language Learning)

Yet another useful feature of a language learning app. Here the bot answers the basic questions of users related to the pronunciation of particular words and more. Other than that, the users should be able to ask a bot to assess the pronunciation level of a phrase record by them and even make a translation if needed. This requires speech translation functionality to be integrated into the app, which would increase project cost of course but will enhance the app’s user experience (UX) factor.

Popular Language Learning Apps


Duolingo language learning app logoThis app offers a bright & intuitive interface to its users and allows them to learn at their own pace. It begins with simple words, then gradually progresses to phrases, sentences, and then more complex sentences. There is help offered at each step and points mistakes and praises efforts of the users. The app also addresses reading, writing, and pronunciations by challenging users with lots of fun activities and helping them pick up the basics pretty quickly.

With Duolingo, it is also easier to revisit lessons and improve on where you lack. This app also allows its users to join the clubs for healthy practice and making learning fun.


babbel language learning app logoThis subscription-based app allows trying the first lesson for free. Here the users can choose from 14 languages, listening and repeating words, and then test out what they learned. The users can choose to disable the microphone and only hear words spoken to them along with a brief quiz in the end. As one finishes the lessons, they can go through the vocabulary lists and then pick from flashcards or the writing exercises for reviewing what they learned. Babbel is a good choice if you are keen on learning a new language and okay with the subscription fee.


Memrise language learning app logoThere are countless students who use flashcards to prepare for exams and the same is the approach adopted by Memrise. Like, to learn Russian, the users are guided through the Cyrillic alphabet. This method allows for remembering each lesson well. The app also has a friendly interface that attracts and encourages users. In case you are looking to expand your new language skills, then there is Memrise Pro that offers chatbots, Games, and an offline mode to learn on-the-go.


Busuu language learning app logoThis app has more than 80 million users all across the world and its attractive point is its interactivity. The app has around 12 languages and for them, it has full courses, exercise reviews from the native speakers, accent training, and a lot more. And this way, the app offers a complete experience to its users. The premium upgrade of the Busuu app offers offline access, official certificates, and grammar tips.


Mango Languages

Mango Languages learning app logoThis app has this Intuitive Language Construction Method helpful in building foundational skills through grammar, pronunciation, culture, and vocabulary. It applies this element via listening & reading activities. In this app, the native speaker voices are recorded at different speeds, and societal characteristics of each language are integrated. The Mango Languages app has a ‘Jump Back-in’ feature that enables users to start, pause & return to learning.

What Are The Benefits Of Creating A Language Learning app?

In case you are someone looking to enter into the business of language learning via an app, then it is important to have a good understanding of its advantages.

Allows To Learn A Language At Your Convenience

learn a language mobile appThe language learning apps allow learning the preferred languages from anywhere and at any time. This way, the users get to best utilize their free time as they are learning the language simply from their smartphone. Most of these apps enable learning any chosen language be it French, Italian, German, Spanish, Irish, Chinese, Mandarin, English, Hindi, or any other. All of the languages are incorporated into one app.

Different Courses For Beginners, Mid-Level Or Advanced

The app allows learning languages at the user’s pace, where they get to choose the course of their liking. To enhance the reach to the target audience, the app allows picking from an array of language courses, which are particularly crafted for both beginners as well as advanced level learners.

Constantly Analyze The Progress

These apps allow the users to constantly track their progress, so they know how efficiently they are learning and exactly where they require to stress more. The best language learning app offers great classroom guidance to its users.

Fast Learning In Less Time

Most users of language learning apps start using the app because they lack the time one needs to devote to join and attend a language learning course in an institute. Hence, this factor to deliver more in less time must be kept in mind. Users should be allowed relevant stuff in less time.

Once you know the many benefits of language learning apps, accordingly the app can be crafted with useful and necessary features.

Types Of Language Learning Websites & Apps

language learning app user dashboardIf we try to categorize various online language learning apps and websites then the categories will be:

  • Language learning courses: Duolingo, Babbel, Rosetta Stone, Memrise, Busuu, Hello talk, beelinguapp, Clozemaster
  • Flashcards and Spaced Repetition Systems for learning a language: Memrise, Quizlet, Brainscrape, Space
  • Educational games for a new language: Mindsnaks, Stories By Gus On The Go, Little Pim, Tinycards, Anki App
  • Social media dedicated to learning different languages: Tandem, Lingualia, iTalki, Livemocha, HiNative, Babelyou, HelloTalk

Monetization Opportunities In Language Learning Mobile app

The language learning apps usually go with two popular revenue models, which are:

Freemium Model

The language learning app can be downloaded and used without paying any money although if someone wants a few advanced features or ad-free experience then it is offered with a paid subscription plan.

Advertisements (In-App Ads)

This kind of monetization strategy can be immensely fruitful for the app, as just by showing some of the third-party advertisements, the app gets to earn a significant sum of revenue. This method works wonders in attracting more users to the app, and it is a win-win situation for both, as the users get to enjoy premium services just by watching few ads, while the app owners in return get to make massive income just by showing some ads.

Subscription Model

This monetization model attracts a different category of users who are willing to pay for the ad-free version of the app and besides that, these users also get to unlock some other exclusive features as well.

One Time Purchase

This means once you pay a certain sum of money all the features and functionalities can be used without any restriction for lifetime.

Ultimately all the models are great to earn revenue and both attract a different category of users, so as an app owner you can pick what works well for your business.

General Features In A Language Learning App

language learning app general features

  • User Profile
  • Pick a language to learn
  • Tests to determine learner’s language proficiency level
  • Language Practice Sessions & Revisions
  • Video, audio, and textual language lessons
  • Offline mode for downloading language learning material
  • Various Courses & Levels
  • Push Notifications for progress and sessions
  • Integrate Social Media for sharing achievements
  • Track progress
  • Consult with a language expert
  • Give ratings, reviews, and feedback
  • Invite friends and earn rewards

Advanced Features To Add In A Langauge Learning App

If you want to learn how to code a language learning app in a unique way then you would need to add a few advanced features which make it easy for users to learn a new language.

Social Signup/Login

This functionality allows the app users to signup/login into the app via social networking accounts, instead of having to enter detailed personal information while signing-in and logging-in.

User Profile

It can be useful to ask users for information like age, sex, language to choose, purpose to choose that language, set daily target, as that would allow offering a personalized experience to the users.

Add Rewarding System

achievements and levels in language learning appThe app should enable its users to follow their daily achievements as well as reward them for each of those achievements. Rewards can be offered to users when they successfully complete their daily homework.

Online Community

Users of these apps must be able to openly intercommunicate, such as on a forum, where users can discuss the exchange options and communicate to improve their skills.

Live Streaming Via The Video Conferences

Live video conferences can be conducted for the candidates where they engage with real teachers. This would make the learning more exciting for the users as well as boost their confidence.

User Interface

It will be extremely beneficial if the app is alluring with a great user interface as this captivates the audiences. A lot of attention should be given to every little user requirement, as this is going to increase their engagement with the app.

Core Vocabulary Learning

A language learning app must have basic vocabulary options, as most learners are basic as it comes to their vocabulary knowledge. Thus, there should be an option to learn from scratch.

Integrate Audio Clips

As it comes to language learning, hearing practice is crucial, thus the app must offer daily listening practice to its users. For this, short audio and video clips can be added to the app, which can then be easily accessed by the users.

Basic Vocabulary Learning

Basic learning can be provided by the app, where it starts teaching fundamental words such as woman, girl, man, boy, apple, cat, etc.


It is possible to learn a language properly with the correct pronunciation. Hence pronunciation teaching can be combined on the app with audio recording. Besides, chatbots can be used to enable users to sharpen their language skills & pronunciation.


At times a user may skip lessons in app-based learning, then reminder functionality can be provided in the app allowing to send alerts to remind users to revise.

Integrate Animations

When animations are integrated into the app, they can be used to encourage users. The app can use encouraging animations & messages to motivate the learners.


gamification in duolingo language learning app
With Gamification, the whole learning experience can be made fun for the users. This blend of gaming & learning is going can be very attractive to users.


Competition can be a prime driving force for a lot of people these days, hence this can be used as a tool in the app to keep the users motivated. The app can arrange daily, weekly or monthly contests where they allow users to compete to win.

One-on-one Tutoring

At times, it can be quite difficult to learn a new language, as different languages have different rules. Thus, the users can be allowed to consult with a language instructor in case they face confusion on any step.

Tips & Suggestions

The app can offer relevant tips to the users whilst their usage, hence allowing them a better understanding of the functionality. The users can be provided with an app tutorial. Also, an option can be provided in the app to close the tutorials in the Settings section. This way the old users who know the function won’t be bothered.

Hire mobile app developers

Technology Stack For Developing A Language Learning App

  • For front-end development: CSS3 and Bootstrap, backbone.js, jQuery, & Twitter Bootstrap
  • For back-end development: JavaScript, AngularJS, Python, Django, and Ruby
  • For Android app: Java
  • For iOS: Swift
  • For persistent data storage: Postgres,Cassandra Database,HBase,MongoDB Database, MySQL
  • For Cloud storage: Amazon data servers and Google cloud storage
  • For storing user vocabularies: DynamoDB
  • For caches: a combination of Redis and memcache

How Much Does It Cost To Create A Language Learning Mobile App?

The actual cost to develop a language learning mobile app depends on a number of factors, such as:

Selection of App Platform

Development cost largely depends on the platform you choose for the app, whether it is Android, or iOS, or both the platforms. With each platform requiring a different tech-stack, hence the price range will differ.

Development Team

There are two separate development teams one needs for the app development, i.e. Front-end Development team and Back-end Development team. Apart from that, the entire team consists of:

  • Project Manager
  • iOS/Android Developers
  • Back-end Developers
  • UX/UI Designers
  • Quality Testers

Meanwhile, the back-end development platform also influences the project cost, like different developmental languages, frameworks, hosting services have different price tags.

App Design

The design that you choose for the app again influences the app cost, such as the complex app design cost more, while simple app design would obviously cost less.

App Testing

An app’s quality matters significantly hence it is crucial to pay attention to the testing. For this, a team of testers is hired who work to find the bugs, if any, in the app and ensure that the app offers a smooth user experience without any glitches.

Now you know that an app development cost depends on a number of factors, so it is not possible to tell the exact estimate, but on average an app with basic features and for a single platform might cost around $25000-$35000, whereas an app with multiple platforms and advanced features, might cost the double, which can be around $50000-$70000.

Wrapping Up

So, we hope that reading this post must have answered the question “how to develop a language learning app like Duolingo”. So, creating a mobile app for users to learn a foreign language is a profitable business idea. If you plan to capitalize on such an idea then Emizentech can prove to be great help as we have an adept mobile app development team. We have created hundreds of mobile apps for clients all over the world and we have expertise in building scalable and innovative mobile apps.

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CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.