There is no "best" language learning software.
Linguistic needs and motivations vary widely. A wide variety of high-quality resources, tools and exposure empowers language learners to be successful in their goals.
Exposure alone to these tools is not the whole picture. There's a motivation, some kind of reason, behind the effort required to truly achieve. This is where you'll find the reason to keep it up, stay learning and move toward personal language goals.
Much also depends on what language you are learning and how you learn best.
These are part of the factors that make up your personal language profile. If you learn about yourself a little, you can know exactly which resources will be most helpful in your individual case.
Online and Mobile Software for Language Learning
Innovative Language System
Innovative Language's unique website, podcast and mobile app combination covers all the bases for learning languages online and on the go. Covering over 35 languages, this is a great system for learning all the most sought after (popular) languages as well as many for which it is difficult to find such a modern system.
Babbel offers Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, Indonesian, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish and English. Straight out of Berlin, they use a combination of online learning platform, offline desktop application and iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and Android apps.
Babbel's interface works on any modern Web browser, loads quickly and runs solidly. The system reviews you on terms and phrases you've learned while seamlessly incorporating new ones on topics you select. In this way you can weild it for your specific needs.
An intelligent system organizes the materials you learn, gives you a comprehensive overview and signals areas for practice. This syncs seamlessly with the Babbel Refresh desktop application as well, for personal vocabulary list reminders.
Clean, crisp, fast-loading and full of fun colorful graphics that change as your language skills improve (called the Busuu Language Garden), Busuu is a strong social language resource with mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android.
The lessons are divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Each lesson has a photo/audio component along with writing practice, native speaker exchange and a review test. You can keep a track record of your studies as you complete them.
Busuu wields a healthy lessons archive and active user community. Finding potenial exhange partners through the search function is quick and free. Plus the trees are awesome!
Duolingo has popped up and taken the language learning world by storm.
It offers a way to learn languages for free while helping translate the Web.
Popup Chinese and Popup Cantonese
Hailing from Beijing, Popup Chinese offers refreshing, high-quality audio podcast lessons for Mandarin Chinese learners: free! Carefully planned and well-recorded, these lessons are professional, useful and fun. The Popup Chinese team is young, vibrant and eager to guide Chinese learners to true fluency in the language.
Popup Chinese is truly one of the most exciting language podcast resources to hit the scene for any language! In addition to offering free audio lessons for listening and download, they also provide a host of amazingly powerful free software tools including a user-editable English-Chinese-Pinyin dictionary, an excellent Chinese text annotator, a steady flow of annotated news in Mandarin Chinese and a Firefox English-Chinese-Pinyin dictionary plugin. And for those serious about speaking Chinese, a reasonable paid upgrade that includes lesson transcripts, supplemental exercises, a personalized vocabulary training software tool and access to a vibrant user community.
The same great folks also bring you Popup Cantonese.
Freeware for Learning 70+ Languages
Byki is freeware for learning 74 languages, including many less-taught languages for which learning materials are hard to find, such as Georgian, Mongolian and Icelandic.
This is a gold mine for folks interested in learning the basics of over seventy languages!
Along with the freeware, learners can access the Byki community and share vocabulary lists, instantly providing loads of user-generated content.