Google searches for language learning increase more than a hundredfold in the last 12 months

Current figures show that only 62% of the British population speak a language other than English

Across the UK, Google searches for “how to learn a new language” have increased by 108% over the last year, according to the latest figures from Keyword Tool.

If this data is anything to go by, there could soon be a surge in the total number of British people who can speak a second language, which currently stands at 62%, according to the British Council.

In light of the rise in demand for language learning, have penned five useful smartphone hacks to take elevate the language learning experience:

Use Google Translate

Google Translate is easily accessible from your device’s browser, allowing you to conveniently translate words and phrases into 109 languages.

The tool also supports 37 language translations via photo and 27 languages via live video imagery in its automated reality mode.

Switch the operating system language

Immersion is the most effective way to learn a new language, so if you’re feeling up to it, why not try temporarily switching up your phone’s language settings?

Your handset’s map app could be a great option, allowing you to explore new areas and be directed towards your language of choice.

For iPhone users, go to Settings > Language and Keyboard Settings > Select Language

For Android users, go to Settings > General Management > Language and Input > Language > Add Language

Make use of the voice recorder

Most phones come with an in-built voice recorder, which can be really handy if you’re trying to master a new language.

Have a go at recording challenging words, phrases or sentences and listen back at your leisure. This is an ideal way to nail down tricky pronunciation.

Try out a pen pal website

Letter writing is a dying art, but that doesn’t mean it should be. Signing up to a pen pal website you can access from your phone can help you connect with a native language speaker and converse in their tongue. They can offer hot tips and advice, and even teach you about the country’s culture first-hand.

Not only is this a great way to keep learning on-the-move, but you can communicate with your buddy in a multitude of ways – including voice calls, video calls and text, giving you the chance to tackle both the spoken and written word.

Listen to a podcast

Download the Spotify app on your device and access an expansive library of quality language podcasts. Coffee Break French, News in Slow Spanish and Learn Italian are all great examples of language learning podcasts.

Kate Middleton, mobile expert at, commented: “Speaking another language can be really beneficial, especially when travelling abroad or meeting new people in your community. As well as the traditional methods of learning a new language, such as picking up a new language book, tech can play a really important role in helping develop your language skills quicker by integrating another language into your everyday habits.”

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