Upon returning from our European road trip last year, I made a vague attempt to learn German and upon returning from our recent stint in Austria I’ve started afresh on my absolute favourite app: Duolingo.
As well as teaching you some utterly hilarious and brilliantly useless phrases (the only one I’ve come across in the German version so far is ‘I am a banana’, but there are plenty in the Spanish version too), it also helps with vocabulary and grammar.
16% may well be a VAST exaggeration, but it shows that despite only spending a few minutes a day on it- thanks to the handy reminder function that it comes with- I’m making progress.
Both my husband and I had some success with the Spanish version, which he’s continuing on with. I also have a basic level of French from Secondary school that allows me to get by in day-to-day experiences, and now I’m trying to build on my German, so hopefully we’ll have a decent backlog of languages to use, since one of my biggest pet peeves is the complete incompetency of English speaking nations (me as much as anyone else!) in knowing other languages (post to come).
This completely free app asks you to repeat phrases back to work on your pronunciation and translate a language (both written and audio) into English and vice-versa!
It also has a comprehensive forum attached, so that you can work out why certain things are the way they are, or why you keep making a certain mistake.
For me, it helps to write down the grammar rules (as they are so different to English) and refer to them to help me understand and remember them, but for basic, get-by vocabulary the app is easily good enough.