So, you’re looking for ways to learn Armenian and you’re thinking about using a language learning app for that. It’s always fun to learn a new language, even if it can be challenging and frustrating from time to time. And there are so many ways to go about learning a language that you can’t tell which one is the ultimate learning approach. I’m going to present you my thoughts on this topic in this blogpost, and I’ll introduce you to a couple of cool Armenian language learning apps here.
So, first, let’s look at the possible ways of learning the Armenian language:
- Hiring an individual tutor
- Learning while traveling in Armenia
- Attending classes at an Armenian center near you
- Using Armenian language learning apps
In this post, I will focus on the latter because I think that language learning apps are a real savior, especially if you don’t have much free time at hand. And if you find a cool language learning app that offers Armenian, make sure to share it with me on Instagram or Twitter with #ArmeniaTravelTips.
Is it worth learning Armenian with an app?
If you’re an English speaker who wants to learn Armenian but you’re not sure if it can be done effectively with a language learning app, this post is for you. I learned several languages from the scratch as an adult. And I can reassure you – apps have their solid place among good learning tools. Above all, language apps can make the process more fun and interesting, which is a huge factor of success.
It is no secret that language learning apps are a convenient method to support your learning experience but they have their pros and cons.
Pros of language learning apps:
- Apps make you independent allowing you to study at your own pace.
- Modern apps are designed to be fun which reduces the frustration that comes along with the difficulty of learning new stuff.
- They allow you to track your progress in a very visual and measurable manner, which helps you stay motivated.
- They can be very efficient at teaching you solid vocabulary and grammar.
- They are cheaper than any other alternative, making language learning more accessible for everyone.
However, relying only on apps to learn a new language like Armenian may not be so efficient, as they have some flaws.
Cons of language learning apps:
- Apps don’t allow for effective speaking practice, cause you rarely get to talk to a real human when learning a language with an app.
- They are designed for the masses, so the content of the program typically doesn’t adjust taking into account your progress, difficulties, and interests.
So, is it worth learning Armenian with an app?
While studying Armenian should not be limited to learning apps, they can be a great way to build your Armenian vocabulary and grammar skills. Once an app develops your basic language skills, consider introducing conversational practice with real Armenians.
How to choose the right app for learning Armenian?
To learn the Armenian language, you first need to decide on a learning app. There are several free and paid language apps available in the market. So how do you choose the one that suits your needs?
There are multiple factors that you need to take into account when choosing a language learning app. You should consider what kind of learner you are. Some people are readers while others prefer audio. An app that allows you to choose a learning style can help you achieve your goals faster.
Also, apps that break lessons into short, easily digestible chunks with interactive quiz-like elements will make it easier for you to stick around and be persistent on your language learning journey.
You should also pay attention to available features and check the reviews. It always comes in handy knowing about others’ experiences.
For this overview, when deciding on the best Armenian language learning apps, I have been focusing on different criteria such as:
- How the learning app accommodates your learning style
Best Armenian language learning apps
Now that I have talked about how you can measure the effectiveness of a learning app, let’s find out what the best Armenian language learning apps are and how they work! Here, I have selected the best 4 apps for learning Armenian for you.
Best Armenian language learning apps:
1. Memrise app
Have you ever felt like the words or phrases you learned in your language app weren’t being used in everyday conversation? Memrise solves this by teaching real-world, practical words and phrases. The coolest part is that the app uses thousands of video recordings from real life native speakers of the language. And that helps you learn to understand a variety of pronunciations and voices.
Memrise also has some of the best user reviews. As of January 2022 when I’m writing this, the app has almost 1.5 million ratings on Google Play, with an average score of 4.6 of 5 stars. It’s also available on AppStore, but with a significantly lower number of ratings, although the score is higher there – 4.9.
If you’re interested to learn what it feels like to use the app, check out this Memrise tutorial video that I found quite useful. It’s made by a user, and not by the company itself, so it really goes into showing you the details.
With Memrise, you will be able to make small conversations, while learning the alphabet. The course’s main dialect is Western Armenian but Eastern Armenian is also available.
A lot of content and courses are available on Memrise for free. For access to the premium features and all of the content, the Memrise subscription prices are:
- Monthly: $8.99 USD.
- Quarterly: $18.99 USD
2. Tandem app
Tandem, with its average rating of 4.4 (and over 250K reviews) on Google Play, is a language-learning app that brings language learners from around the world together. With a base of more than one million members, you will likely find an Armenian to practice with. It is also available for Apple users on the AppStore (rating score is 4.8).
The idea of this app is to learn a new language with a real-world experience that is often not provided by other language learning apps. It allows you to talk to people, send voice and video messages, correct them and be corrected when you make mistakes in the language you are learning. Check out the video below if you want a quick overview of the app in use.
The Tandem app not only lets you chat in different languages with native speakers, but it also offers an additional service called Tandem Tutors. I think chatting with other people is a great option if you already have basic language skills in Armenian and you want to practice speaking more. But if you’re a total beginner, using the Tutors feature may be more helpful.
The free version of the app offers basic features that are sufficient to kick off your learning journey. To boost your language learning, you can subscribe to Tandem Pro, which unlocks extra features that make your learning more efficient:
- Unlimited translations
- Finding members near you
- Profile visitor insights
- Profile verification and badge
- It also removes the ads
The Pro version of Tandem is available at:
- $6.99 for one month
- $3.99/month for three months
- $2.92/month for a year’s subscription
3. Ling app
Ling App uses gamification to keep language learners motivated and excited to learn Eastern Armenian. Given its fully immersive teaching style, organized lessons, and its impressive library of conversations, it’s really good at helping you master the basics. Ling has more than 6000 ratings combined on the AppStore and on Google Play, with 4.8 and 4.5 rating scores respectively.
Links to both app stores are available on the Ling website homepage, just scroll down. Also, you can use their web-app to practice Armenian on your laptop, if you prefer a large screen. My favorite feature on Ling is the “snail” button next to every bit of voice recording. It allows you to play the audio of the word more slowly, which helps you pick up correct pronunciation more easily.
Ling is a platform built on gamification of the language learning process. Here you can find different teaching techniques and tools like:
- Word quizzes
- Chatbot to practice conversation
- Speaking and writing practice
- Matching pictures with corresponding words
- Completing the unfinished sentences
- And a lot more
They only get some points down from me for only offering the Eastern Armenian course and nothing for learning Western Armenian.
Their 2 Beginner Units are FREE for use, with all features and 60+ languages included. The premium categories can be purchased at the following pricing plans:
- Monthly subscription for $ 8.99
- Yearly subscription for $ 41.99
- Lifetime subscription for $ 109.99
I was also happy to see that they put out this interesting article about Armenian. It highlights some of the unique aspects of the Armenian language, so I wanted to endorse it. By the way if you’d like to learn more interesting facts about Armenian, check out my post where I questioned if Armenian is difficult to learn.
4. AYOlingo app
AYOlingo stands out from various language applications because it’s a dedicated app for learning Eastern Armenian. You can check this informative article about AYOlingo from an English speaker’s point of view.
AYOlingo is available on both AppStore and Google Play, both links are available on their website. It is a relatively new app. Thus it doesn’t have many ratings but still was rated 5/5 by a few users. The app has one core advantage: It is fully focused on Armenian and it helps you to learn:
- The basics of the Armenian language
- Grammatical tenses
- Animal names
- Common phrases
- Feeling expression
- And much more!
Although it was a bit glitchy on my Android phone, I see a lot of potential in this app. The developers keep updating it continuously, fixing bugs, and reacting on people’s feedback. The learning course is really well structured and it has some useful tools integrated in it, like interactive vocabulary and progress checking module.
The app is absolutely FREE and it is developed by the Birthright Armenia organization, and that’s a huge advantage. You can tell that they have a higher purpose for making this work, because there are quite significant efforts in integrating the Armenian diaspora from abroad into modern Armenian life. And teaching them the language is a key aspect of that.
Armenian and other popular learning apps
You may be wondering why I didn’t add Duolingo, Babbel, or Rosetta Stone to the list as they are very popular language learning apps. The answer is simple – they don’t offer Armenian. That’s a bummer! But, let’s not lose hope.
Neither Babbel nor Rosetta Stone offer the Armenian language on their respective language learning apps. Since both these apps focus on a pretty narrow list of widely used languages, the chances of them ever adding Armenian into the platform are close to zero, I think. But the situation is slightly different with Duolingo!
Currently, Duolingo doesn’t offer Armenian as a language to learn on their platform. They add new languages when they have enough contributors in their community to develop a course from the scratch.
I’ve checked their language incubation section and it seems that they’re not working on developing any Armenian course at the moment either. But they add courses into incubation from time to time, and for that, they’re monitoring the main forum on the platform.
So, if you want to encourage Duolingo to start working on developing a course for learning Armenian in this app, you can take action! Go to their main forum thread dedicated to the Armenian language here, upvote the thread and comment there saying that you want to learn Armenian. If Maori and even Klingon (!) are in Incubation on DuoLingo, I think there is a chance we can get Armenian there too. 🙂
Tips for learning Armenian
To help you get the most out of your language-learning experience, here are some guidelines that I have used myself while practicing learning a new language. I hope this will be useful for you as well.
- Set Weekly Goals
- Challenge yourself and make learning more fun
- Write down your goals and have them in a visible place
- If a new word or idiom catches your attention, investigate it
- Seek out real-life practice
- And don’t forget to have fun!
Western and Eastern Armenian: differences
It won’t take you a long time to realize that the Armenian languages spoken in Armenia and most of the Diaspora (Armenians living outside Armenia) differ. That is because there are two standard forms used in the Armenian language – Eastern and Western Armenian. If you just look at the Armenian surnames and meanings, the difference becomes obvious.
The dialects developed during the 19th century because of the split between the Russian and Ottoman Empires; Eastern Armenian is used in Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia, and Iran, while Western Armenian is used elsewhere by other Armenians of the diaspora.
One of the most noticeable distinctions between the two dialects of Armenian is the pronunciation of certain consonants. Speakers of Eastern Armenian pronounce each consonant of the alphabet in the spoken language. But speakers of Western Armenian do not use 7 of the 31 consonants used in Eastern Armenian. Although the vocabulary is largely the same, there are some minor grammar differences between the two dialects which can be troublesome.
Sometimes, when Eastern and Western Armenians speak to each other, there can be some confusion, because of differences in pronunciation. And sometimes they may not even understand certain words. It’s a challenge in communication, but it also adds a fun twist to it!
I speak Eastern Armenian, and I love the sound of the Western dialect. It’s sweet and gentle, and it sounds more polite and friendlier than the Eastern one. Moreover, if somebody speaks to me in Western Armenian I can understand about 80% without straining my brain too much. But for the rest, I usually ask for clarifications.
Final thoughts on Armenian language learning apps
There you have it. Armenian language learning apps are a fun and effective way to learn the language and to get into communicating with those who speak it fluently. Whether you’re planning your next trip to Armenia or looking to talk to relatives overseas, these apps can put the right tool in your hands to help you reach your foreign language objectives.
As Armenian is one of the oldest languages in the world, it can be harder to learn than other languages but don’t get disappointed too easily. When you learn to speak Armenian you will realize that it is one of the most beautiful languages out there. Check out my post about Armenian bird letters, to learn more about what makes me love our language so much.
Featured image credits: me! 🙂