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Student Apps

The best language apps for students

19 Mar 2018
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Tipo

amaysim's content guy

Hola! maybe bonjour? Or kon'nichiwa? What about nǐ hǎo?

No matter which language you're passionate about, becoming bilingual is easier than ever nowadays. Whether you’re enrolled in a language course or studying something completely unrelated, language apps are a cost-effective option for students. Sure, you could pay for a private tutor, but all you really need to master the basics is a mobile phone.

Whether you want to discover the secrets of Spanish, get the hang of Hungarian or conquer the complexities of Chinese, these are the best apps to help you learn a second language.

duolingo

Duolingo is one of the most popular language apps in the world. With over 30 different vernaculars to choose from, basic courses for beginners and cute cartoons, it’s entertaining and easy to use. To get started with Duolingo, all you need to do is create a profile, pick a language and set your weekly goals (you can earn points and rewards for meeting your goals). Most of the app’s features can be accessed for free, so it’s perfect for students.

Each course is made up of separate modules, with different skills and similar phrases grouped together. The models get harder as your language skills gradually improve. You can even talk to the app to test out your pronunciation of new words (try to avoid doing this on public transport, as your fellow commuters may not appreciate your clunky German or garbled Russian).

The best thing about Duolingo is how easy it is to customise – if you prefer to learn at your own pace, you’ll love this app.

memrise

From Finnish to Dutch, Memrise offers users over 200 different languages. It you’ve already learnt the basics of a second language through your studies, it lets you skip ahead to more advanced lessons.

Memrise teaches new phrases in a unique way. By placing words into sentences that sound similar to words in your native language, it lets your memory do most of the heavy lifting. This technique (known as “elaborate encoding”) is supposed to help your brain make connections so that you can memorise a foreign vocabulary more easily.

Alongside elaborate encoding, Memrise also employs a combination of audio, images and other nifty memory techniques. You can pay a subscription fee to access premium features, but the free version still gives you plenty to work with.

rosetta stone travel app

Rosetta Stone has been designing professional-grade language learning software since the 1990s. Their latest product range includes a free language app designed to help travellers learn useful words and phrases. Rather than attempting to teach users an entire new language, this app focuses on the essentials. If you’ve got a backpacking expedition planned for the uni holidays, or if you’re thinking of doing a semester abroad, this app is ideal for both travellers and international students.

Regardless of how much you love exploring new countries, visiting a foreign destination where you don’t know a word of the local lingo can be a frustrating experience. Even simple tasks like ordering a drink or asking for directions can quickly turn into a weird game of charades.

The Rosetta Stone travel app can help you avoid such awkward shenanigans. Designed as a digital phrasebook, it has dozens of images next to common phrases so you can easily find what you’re looking for. Need to order a beer in Spanish (una cerveza por favour), or ask for directions to the Colosseum (quale strada per il Colosseo)? Simply whip out this app and you’ll be talking like a local in no time.

busuu

busuu is a language learning app and social network in one. Using flashcards, conversations with native speakers, quizzes and vocabulary exercises, it takes the tedium out of learning a new language. Every busuu course has been created by an expert linguist and covers reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Users can even access personalised feedback from native speakers, so you can keep a close eye on your progress.

It doesn’t matter if you’re starting from scratch or trying to brush up on your foreign language skills before your next exam – busuu’s social features and interactive design will have you hooked within minutes.

why bother learning a second language?

Studying a second language is no walk in the park, so why would anyone bother when there’s such a thing as Google Translate? Well for starters, online translators have their limitations. Nothing can butcher a beautiful language quite like Google, especially if you’re trying to translate long and complicated sentences.

Together with being able to translate things properly, learning a new language can open up career opportunities after graduation and boost your brain power. So what are you waiting for? The sooner you start practising, the sooner you’ll be able to start showing off your linguistic skills.

If you’re looking for a SIM plan that can accommodate a language app on top of everything else you use your data for, amaysim’s SIM only plans are a great option and give you the freedom to simply pick the data allowance that suits you best.

Starting from just $10/28 days, with no lock-in contracts and the option to change your plan each month at no extra cost, it’s an easy choice when it comes to finding the perfect mobile plan to match your usage and budget needs.

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Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5: Everything we know so far

13 Aug 2020

Fresh on the heels of the Pixel 4A being announced, the hype train for the Google Pixel 5 is now well and truly underway.

After months of speculation about whether the Pixel 5 launch would be pushed back, Google put much of this chatter to rest by providing a sneak peak of the Pixel 5 during the recent launch of the Pixel 4A.


Last years flagship device, the Pixel 4, was a phone full of potential. As we've come to expect from the Pixel series, it featured an incredibly powerful camera, however its average battery life, held it back from being a serious contender for phone of the year.

While the Pixel 4 had its flaws, it was still a really good phone overall, and it will interesting to see how this years model, stacks up against other flagship models from 2020 such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 12.

With all this said, we wouldn't count Google out from delivering something special and with such a positive early response to the Pixel 4A, perhaps 2020 will prove to be the year of the Pixel.

To help bring you up to speed on what Google has in-store with this years flagship Pixel device, here's everything we know so far about the Pixel 5.

at a glance: rumoured Google Pixel 5 features

  • Expected October release
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11
  • New camera features; Adjustable Flash, Motion Blur & Audio Zoom
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

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    Expect 5G

    It's widely expected the Pixel 5 will include 5Gconnectivity.

    The feature was all but confirmed in early August with the announcement of the Pixel 4A, where Google teased two new 5G devices, the Pixel 5 and a 5G version of the Pixel 4A, both of which are set to be released during the final quarter of 2020.

    Release Date

    Since the phone’s inception back in 2016, Google has remained incredibly consistent with their release schedule for the flagship Pixel series, with all previous launches taking place in October. This trend is set to continue, after a leak surfaced from a Google affiliated website in France, claiming the Pixel 5 will be available for pre-order from October 8.

    Android 11

    This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since a beta version of Android 11 is already available for public download, however it’s expected the Pixel 5 will be the first device to don the latest Android software straight out the box.

    Some of the expected improvements and features of Android 11 include a new media player widget, easier ways to control smart home devices using your phone, a new power button menu and refinements to the messaging system and conversation bubbles.

    Pixel 5 Render
    Image Credit: Google

    Design & Display

    Last year Google teased images of the Pixel 4 in the months leading up to its official launch. This time round, the only confirmed sighting of the Pixel 5 has been the side image (seen above) which Google teased during the launch of the Pixel 4A.

    Outside of this image, there have been a number of different leaks floating about which have helped paint a picture of what this years phone might look like.

    Like the Pixel 4, it's expected the Pixel 5 will feature an OLED panel, with a matte glass finish on the back and full HD/QHD resolution. According to Front Page Tech who gained access to an early Pixel 5 prototype, a forehead bezel on the front side of the device is also expected to remain.

    In terms of refresh rate, last year we got to enjoy a smooth 90Hz experience with the Pixel 4. However with Samsung (and others) already making the jump to 120Hz and Apple reportedly looking to do the same with the iPhone 12, it will be interesting to see if Google sees this as an important feature upgrade and whether they'll look to roll out a 120Hz refresh rate with the Pixel 5.

    A Mighty Fine Camera

    While earlier leaks suggested the Pixel 5 would include a triple-lens camera on the rear of the device, more recent leaks suggest Google will once again opt for a two camera setup on the back.

    The quality of images with the Pixel 4 were outstanding, so it's not as if this should be a concern. For some though, the added flexibility of a third, wide angle lens, would of been the cherry on top, for a camera that many consider one of the top-tier mobile phone cameras.

    With that said, Google doesn't appear to be standing still, instead opting to fine-tune the Pixel's two-camera setup by adding new features.

    Expected new features include an adjustable camera flash, a new motion blur feature and the introduction of audio zoom, which will allow you to zoom in when recording video to help you capture audio more precisely.

    Long story short, it looks like we're in for a treat with this years camera setup.

    Under The Hood

    In the past, Pixel devices have typically featured the best Qualcomm chip available, which this year would be the Snapdragon 865 Plus. With the Pixel 5, this might not be case, with an inside scoop from 9to5Google suggesting the phone may be shipped with a Snapdragon 765G processor.

    The Snapdragon 765 is more of a mid-range chip, unlike the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which powers the latest Samsung phones. This would suggest slightly less processing power than some of its competitors. With that said, the 765 is obviously no slouch and will still pack a solid punch in terms of performance.

    In terms of RAM, while it hasn't been a huge strength of the Pixel series in the past, there should be improvements on this front, with the Pixel 5 set to include 8GB of RAM in comparison to last years 6GB.

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