Mike's NBC-TV stories

Apps to learn a new language

Whether preparing for a trip, business meeting, or simply for fun, many people want to learn a new language.

Sure, there are expensive programs available, but using one of these apps from PC Mike Wendland can save you money and time.

HelloTalk connects you directly with others fluent in the language you are trying to learn – Spanish, French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, and about 100 more. You practice with native speakers via text/audio messages – or a free audio and video call option to better practice listening and speaking. It’s free for iOS and Android with premium features available for purchase.

Busuu aims to help you learn a new language in just 10 minutes a day. It uses the help of native speakers, who improve skills by practicing and teaching alongside you virtually. Those lessons touch on everything from speaking and pronunciation to writing and key phrases. The basic version is free for iOS and Android with expanded features available for purchase.

Duolingo  features short lessons  that take about five minutes, covering reading, writing, listening, and speaking – and don’t worry, you can turn off the speaking option if you’re in a quiet place. The point-based grading system of Duolingo ensures you move on only when you’ve learned enough to do so. The app is free for iOS and Android with expanded features available for purchase.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.