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10 Super Effective Apps to Learn Tagalog

Spoken by 82 million people worldwide, 22 million of who are native speakers, Tagalog is a language that is only growing. Predominantly hailing from the Philippines from the Tagalog people, Tagalog is a language that has a strong history and is now spoken all around the world. As such, many people are looking for apps to learn Tagalog. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this complete guide to language learning apps with Tagalog courses. Let’s dive in and find out more.  

10 Apps to Learn Tagalog

Even though Duolingo has let us down by not having a Tagalog course, there are plenty of other language-learning apps out there that can fill the void.

1. Memrise

If you’re looking for an app that has a whole host of quizzes, flashcards, Tagalog-language pieces of media to learn from, and more, you should check out Memrise.

It’s worth mentioning up top that Memrise is not a language-specific learning app. It’s more of a revision or study tool, and you might have used it during school or college to try and cram.

So, one of the main reasons that there are so many resources on Memrise is that it’s user-generated. All the content on there is made by Memrise users. This means that there’s always new content being added, and if you search for Tagalog content on the app, there is a ton of it to choose from. 

Tagalog courses on Memrise

The flip side of this is that there isn’t a formal Tagalog course that you can sign up for and follow. You have to search for the resources and have the motivation to actually learn the language.

This might be a plus for you or a downside, but either way, Memrise is a great app to find supplementary study resources that you can add to other methods of learning Tagalog.  

2. LingQ

This is one of my favorite apps on this list, however, I don’t necessarily think it’s great for beginners which is why it’s so far down in the list. LingQ is all about input, reading and watching in your target language, and keeping track of those words.

Tagalog Articles on LingQ App

It’s the best way to measure how many words you are learning in real-life contexts like reading the news or watching Netflix. So if you are an advanced beginner or above, this app is the best!

3. iTalki

One of my favorites on this list isn’t technically an app like the others on this list. With iTalki, it’s not something that you can kind of pick up and put down.

However, it will definitely give you the highest bang for your buck on this list and is definitely the reason why I’ve been able to get to higher levels in Italian and French.

The whole point of iTalki is to match you up with native language tutors so you can have one-to-one lessons via video chat. Browse through the various tutor profiles, look through the previous student reviews, and select your ideal price point. 

Filipino tutors on iTalki

You need to make a set appointment with a language tutor and put a chunk of time aside to make it work, but it is absolutely worth it.

One-on-one tutoring with a native speaker on iTalki is probably the best way to learn a language because you can be corrected in real-time, and work on all four language learning strands in one go.

Often with app-based language learning, pronunciation gets overlooked, but when you’re speaking to a native Tagalog speaker, that’s not a problem.

iTalki requires a level of time and structure commitment that you don’t tend to get in language-learning apps. This might be good for actually putting time aside to learn Tagalog, rather than ignoring push notifications on other language-learning apps.

Not to mention, these lessons are super affordable, usually around $9 per hour for a conversation lesson.

4. Pimsleur

One of the things that make us learn faster is intense and immersive courses of study. This is a theory that Dr. Paul Pimsleur is a huge fan of, and one that’s the backbone of the Pimsleur app.

So, some people aren’t super comfortable with how intense the number of notifications is, but it is scientifically backed and helps you to learn Tagalog quicker, and more effectively.

Actually, in the app, you’ll find half-hour listening lessons that are made up of recordings of native Tagalog speakers, so you can really get a feel for pronunciation, speed, and the flow of the language. This is something that a lot of app-based Tagalog learning courses are lacking, so it’s a huge plus.

It covers all kinds of vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, and listening skills, so as far as app-based language learning goes, Pimsleur is pretty comprehensive. 

5. Ling

Looking for an app that’s the closest vibe to Duolingo? Master Ling, sometimes just known as Ling, is going to be right up your street. Their specialty is making language learning fun.

That’s done through a lot of gamification. They’ve got all the classic flashcards, match-up puzzles, quizzes, and even conversations that are recorded by native speakers.

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Lessons tend to only take around 10 minutes to complete, so it’s one of the quicker ways to learn Tagalog. It’s all done in fun, bite-sized chunks, so if you don’t have a whole lot of time but want to learn a little bit each day, Ling is a really easy-to-use option.

Although it’s not as intensive as other options, it’s definitely a less stressful way to learn the basics of Tagalog.

6. Mondly

Okay so more often than not, language learning apps are just full of words and phrases that you’ll never use or are just super bizarre jumping-off points for learning a language. Am I going to need to know all the animals and colors in Tagalog before I can order a meal or check into a hotel? Probably not.

Mondly language app for Tagalog

Mondly recognizes this and really dives right in with practical conversational topics, words, and phrases.

Again, Mondly lessons can take anywhere from 10 minutes each day and up. It’s easy to progress through the courses and you come away feeling like you’ve learned something genuinely interesting every time you complete a Tagalog lesson.

It’s really good for making you feel like you’re progressing and keeping your motivation high. 

They even have a feature that allows you to practice your Tagalog speaking skills in simulated real-life situations. Given how intimidating it can be to speak in a different language in real situations, this is a great feature and can really help with language learning anxiety. 

7. Rosetta Stone

Let’s be honest Rosetta Stone is a language-learning legend. Being in the business for 25 years, their app is super comprehensive and designed to give you Tagalog skills that are going to last, rather than just learning a couple of words and phrases for your next vacation.

There are a ton of reasons why the Rosetta Stone app is so good for learning Tagalog. First up, it works offline. This might sound like a small thing, but if you’re overseas and want to brush up on your skills or you want to learn on your daily commute, this feature is super helpful.

Another great reason to learn Tagalog on Rosetta Stone is the sheer variety of learning styles on the app. You’ve got quizzes, flashcards, comprehension tests, podcasts, live coaching, live lectures, and so much more.

The fact that they cover all four tenets of language learning – reading, writing, listening, and speaking – in one small, neat package, is kind of incredible. 

8. Drops

Want to improve your Tagalog words and phrases by just doing a few minutes of study each day? That’s the beauty of Drops, an app that uses quizzes and flashcards to help improve your base level of language. It’s a really well-designed app, with beautiful colors and graphics that are super engaging. 

Tagalog on Drops App

There is a huge word bank of Tagalog phrases and words that you can practice and learn. From greetings to ordering in a restaurant to colors, this is a quick way to up your Tagalog vocabulary count.

Often we struggle to find the right word in other languages, and vocabulary improvement might seem like you’re learning a load of random words and phrases in isolation but it’ll come in handy more than you think!

If you need a Tagalog learning tool that is easy to pick up when you have a spare five minutes, or when you’re on your daily commute, Drops is a great option.

As with many of these apps, you might want to use Drops alongside another language learning tool, just so you can get a well-rounded learning experience. It’s also a handy tool to have once you’re in the Philippines if you want to brush up on your Tagalog words and phrases as you travel.

9. Simply Learn Tagalog

If you’re looking for a simple, easy-to-use app that helps you learn Tagalog, you’ll want to download Simply Learn Tagalog. There are no flashy animations or characters here, it’s just simple and to the point, focused on the language learning itself.

With a bank full of useful words and phrases that are rooted in practical use, you can come away from each lesson feeling like you’ve learned something that you’re genuinely going to use. Combining quizzes and flashcards for vocabulary-based learning, with real-life Tagalog audio clips and lessons. 

This means that you can get the experience of authentic, immersive Tagalog conversations without having to be in the Philippines or speak with native speakers in real life.

The great thing about Simply Learn Tagalog is that you can slow down the audio clips and really get a feel for the flow of Tagalog and catch all those little connecting words that bring everything together. 

10. Learn Tagalog by Dalubhasa

Very few language-learning apps focus on grammar, and that’s something that’s really important when it comes to learning Tagalog.

Created by the company that prepared students for their college entrance exams in the Philippines, Learn Tagalog by Dalubhasa is definitely more of an intensive approach to learning. It very much follows the structure of a school-style language course.

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You’ll notice that there is a lot of focus on the basics of Tagalog in this app. That’s done deliberately so that you have the foundation knowledge to build upon and improve at a more efficient pace.

Where other apps give you set phrases to remember and repeat, Learn Tagalog by Dalubhasa is designed for you to become comfortable and conversational, if not fluent in Tagalog. This is for the long haul.

The other amazing thing about Learn Tagalog by Dalubhasa is that there is a wide choice of levels and modules to choose from.

Whether you’re a beginner, an expert, or anything in between, there’s a starting point for you, and importantly, there’s plenty of room to progress as you get stronger and stronger with your Tagalog studies. 

6 Tips for Learning Tagalog

It’s no secret that Tagalog is a difficult language to learn. Full of technical grammar, it’s pretty tricky to get a decent grasp of the flow and the structure of this beautiful language from the apps on their own. So, you might want to use some other language-learning resources to supplement your Tagalog journey. 

1. Use Materials Made for Native Tagalog Speakers

If you don’t have access to a native Tagalog speaker or language immersion, it can be so hard to get a feel for pronunciation, flow, and general intonation. Given how much video and audio content is available online in Tagalog, you can easily find reference points to jump off from. 

YouTube is a great place to start. Whether you’re looking for actual Tagalog language learning courses or clips or you just want to watch Tagalog programming, like news shows, you can listen to the Tagalog flow. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand it all, it’s more so you can tune your ear into the sounds of the language itself.

One of the best channels on Youtube for learning Tagalog is Learn Filipino with FilipinoPod101.com.

My favorite way to watch Youtube for language learning is by using LingQ, where I can upload the subtitles and keep track of phrases I learn or don’t understand. It makes measuring language learning in the real world actually possible.

Alternatively, head to Netflix or whatever subscription service you like, and watch a show you like in Tagalog with subtitles. It’s always good if you start off with a show you know really well so you don’t have to worry about context.

LingQ works with Netflix as well!

In time, you can watch completely new shows and you’ll find yourself eventually not relying on subtitles so much!

2. Grab Language Learning Guides from Amazon

Next up, it’s a classic learning tool for a reason. Grammar books and vocabulary guides are so useful for helping to deepen your understanding of Tagalog.

Again, with grammar being such a big issue in Tagalog, you might want to invest in a Tagalog grammar book so that you can refer back during your studies, and really get the rules and structure down. 

There are plenty of great Tagalog phrasebooks (Lingo Mastery is known for having the best ones) and language learning guides (this one got great reviews) out there for you to pick up and put down at your own pace.

Using language learning books and eBooks is also a great way to learn on the go. If you don’t have a signal and you’re on a bus or train overseas, you can whip out your Tagalog phrasebook and brush up along your journey.

Depending on where you live, you might be able to find Tagalog language learning books in your local bookstore, but there are always tons of options for you to buy online. 

Again, you want to build up all four of your language learning skills, and books tend to focus on reading and writing. With that being the case, you’ll want to use any book-based resources alongside something with a more listening or speaking focus, like media. 

3. Find Tagalog Quizzes to Practice

Okay so especially if you’ve been learning Tagalog for a little while and don’t have a native speaker to bounce off of, you’re going to want to keep an eye on your progress. Quizzes are an excellent way to do this and it’s fun with the gamification vibes.

A lot of language learning apps use quizzes at regular intervals to help keep you on the right track and flag up any places where you might be struggling. If you don’t want to use apps or want some extra quizzes, there are a ton of them online.

You can Google Tagalog language worksheets and you’ll find plenty of quizzes and tests that’ll keep you on your journey to becoming a Tagalog expert!

4. Make Filipino Friends or Conversational Groups

As I’ve mentioned, immersion is the best way to learn a language quickly and effectively. Of course, if you have Filipino friends or are in the Philippines itself, learning Tagalog is going to be a lot easier. If you have to use a language every single day, you’re going to get better automatically. 

While it’s not always possible to go and live in the Philippines, if you can make some Filipino friends or find a conversational practice group in your area, this can make all the difference.

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But if that isn’t possible, there are two ways for you to do this online: iTalki and HelloTalk. On iTalki, you can take one-on-one classes and become good friends with your teachers.

On the HelloTalk app, you can chat with people who know Tagalog and they will correct your sentences while you correct their sentences in English. The app is free for one language, but if you want to practice more than one then there is a paid version.

Tagalog Langauge partners on HelloTalk App

Actually physically practicing your Tagalog speaking and listening skills is going to help hone your intonation and pronunciation.

The other thing is that you can pick up on the more informal nuances of the language. As apps are by the book when it comes to grammar and phrases, they can often lead you to learn a super formal version of the language.

By talking with native Tagalog speakers, you can pick up on the less-formal forms and structures and get a feel for more authentic Tagalog. 

5. Make a Learning Schedule

Motivation when learning a language is a massive thing. Often we go in with the best of intentions, learn Tagalog for a week or two consistently and then life gets in the way. Obviously, that’s not a great way to learn a language.

You should consider making a learning schedule or carving out a set time each week or day to actively focus on your Tagalog study. Set yourself away from the TV, go into another room from your friends or significant others, and have 15-30 minutes to focus.

By having a set time blocked out in your schedule, you’re way more likely to keep to your Tagalog learning journey. If you try and cram all the time, the knowledge isn’t going to stick.

If you space out your learning and create a habit out of learning Tagalog, you’re going to remember so much more, and you’re likely to stick it out for longer!

6. Get a Tagalog Dictionary

We can’t remember every Tagalog word and phrase ever – we’re only human after all! So, it’s always worth getting yourself a Tagalog dictionary. Whether that’s a physical dictionary or an app on your phone, it doesn’t really matter.

Especially if you’re traveling around the Philippines, it can be super handy to be able to refer back to.

Where is Tagalog Spoken?

Tagalog is used all across the world. It’s spoken primarily in the Philippines but due to the large Filipino community now in the US, the language is spreading fast! In fact, in some states, Tagalog is the second or third most spoken language in the entire state, beating out Spanish.

With such a far-reaching impact, Tagalog is used in a whole host of places.

Why Learn Tagalog?

Besides being a beautiful but challenging language, Tagalog is spoken by a huge amount of people, especially in the Philippines and the US. The chances of you encountering a Tagalog speaker are actually pretty high.

As it’s one of the most common languages spoken in the US aside from English and Spanish, it’s definitely worth learning at least a few words and phrases, if not getting to a conversational level.

Is Tagalog on Duolingo?

Nowadays, when we’re wanting to learn a new language, we tend to turn to Duolingo. Led by the all-powerful owl, it helps us learn languages in a fun, gamified way, while the near-brutal reminders keep us coming back day after day.

Unfortunately, there is no Tagalog course on Duolingo and it doesn’t look like one is going to be developed anytime soon. 

What’s the Best Way to Learn Tagalog?

Like any language, the best way to learn Tagalog is through immersion and chatting with native Tagalog speakers and the best way to do that is through iTalki classes. Obviously, not everyone can go live in the Philippines for a couple of months, or have access to native Filipino speakers. 

The reason that this is so true for Tagalog is that it’s a pretty complicated language to learn. Many language learning apps operate by using bite-sized chunks and it can be difficult to do that with more complex, or grammatically-focused languages, like Tagalog.

You can definitely still use apps to learn Tagalog, but you might want to use a combination of a few apps or a language learning app alongside books, media-based learning, or other methods. 

The Most Important Thing is to Get Started!

Let’s be honest, learning Tagalog is difficult so anything you can do to help yourself succeed is going to be a bonus. Apps are a great way to learn a language on the go and in manageable, bite-sized chunks.

This makes them really accessible and opens up the possibility of learning languages no matter where you are in the world. Use them on your own to brush up on your skills or combine language learning apps with other language learning resources, like books, media, or conversational groups.

Have fun with it!