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About All Language Resources

A little about me

My super amazing wife and I!

My name’s Nick Dahlhoff and I’m the founder of this site.

I’m not here to teach you how to learn a language. There are millions(?) of people more qualified to do that than me.

All Language Resources was created to make it easier to figure out which language learning resources are worth your time (and oftentimes, money) and which ones kind of suck.

I’m not some super polyglot that speaks 20+ languages. I do speak okay Spanish but that was more due to living in Latin America for a few years rather than anything I did right. During that time I was playing online poker (professionally, I guess) while living out of a backpack and traveling around.

After that, I moved to Beijing to teach English. At first, I wasn’t too excited about the prospect of learning Mandarin. I mean, Spanish was supposed to be easy, yet I struggled with it for a long time.

I decided to be a lot more proactive in my studying, instead of unrealistically hoping to pick it up by being immersed in the language. I started digging into the different resources available for learning Chinese and spent a lot of time searching everywhere for recommendations.

I found it frustrating how hard it was to find trustworthy information about the different resources to learn Chinese. It felt like everyone was recommending the same couple of products and they weren’t even particularly good ones.

Later, I realized, that the reviews for these products were so positive because they happened to be the companies that paid them the most.

Obviously, I couldn’t be the only one who wanted detailed and honest information about a language learning resource before committing a bunch of time and money into it.

So, I started this site.

How All Language Resources is different from other sites.

We recommend the best resource even when doing so costs us money.

Most sites only recommend resources that they can get a referral commission from.

There are tons of resources we recommend that are free or don’t pay us. In fact, we go out of our way to recommend free alternatives in place of paid resources. For example, we are an affiliate for FluentU and earn a commission on any sales that come from this site. But, I’m not a huge fan of their product so I recommend a free alternative instead. There are tons of examples like this.

We actually test all of the resources before writing about them.

It’s crazy that this isn’t the norm but lots of reviews on other sites are written by people that never tried the product. I’ve personally tested out hundreds of language learning resources. Any review starts with first trying out the product intensively for several hours (if not longer). I don’t think any person takes advantage of 30-day money-back guarantees as much as I do.

Most sites only talk about 5-10 (or less) different resources for learning a given language.

Usually, they only recommend resources that are available in many different languages. The problem is that resources available for every single language are rarely the best options. Typically, the best courses in any language are the ones developed by a teacher or a small team that are experts in teaching that one language. That’s why we recommend…

There are tons of lesser-known resources so it takes a ton of time to test them out and write about them. In doing so, we’ve also come across plenty of duds. The point is that, how can a site recommend a course, if they haven’t actually tried more than a handful of options? 

It’d like saying that apples are your favorite fruit but you’ve never tried pineapples, grapes, or cherries.

When it comes to language learning resources, everything is relative to the other resources available. A course may actually be pretty good and priced reasonably, but there happens to be something better available. Again, we’ve actually taken the time to test out these lesser-known resources so our recommendations are much more informed than other sites.

Our writers don’t know which resources earn us money.

I started writing for this site but have since begun working with other writers. They’re typically more accomplished language learners than myself. When assigned a review, they’ll first test the product for several hours, read about it online, and then write about it. At no point are they told which resources we are an affiliate for. They’re given free rein to be as negative as they wish, even if it’s a company that we could earn money for referrals from. Our content is as unbiased as possible.

What are the criteria for our reviews?

There is a subjective element to each review. It’s unavoidable as people have different learning styles, preferences, and so on. It’s possible you’ll disagree with a review and I don’t think that necessarily makes either of us wrong. Our reviews thoroughly explain why we feel a certain way. That said, some resources are just clearly better than others. We rate them on the following criteria:

Quality

This covers aspects like usability and design as well as content quality. A 5-star resource would not only need to be easy to use but also teach the language well. If it’s amazing looking but the content is poorly thought out, then it’ll get rated poorly. Likewise, solid content that’s hard to use would take a hit in their Quality rating.

Thoroughness

This doesn’t mean that a resource needs to take you from beginner to fluent, quite the contrary, in fact. It needs to do what it sets out to do. If a resource only covers intermediate listening practice but does so excellently, it’ll receive a high score. If a resource covers every level from beginner to advanced but does so sparsely with important factors missing, it’ll get dinged on their thoroughness score.

Value

An expensive course can be a good value and a free course can be bad value. But, price does play an important role. Something that costs $100 per month better deliver a lot more than something costing $10 per month. If it’s free, that’s a big advantage, but time is valuable too. So, any resource that wastes your time or money will get a low Value rating.

The total score combines these three scores and puts in on a ten-point scale. After 35 reviews for Spanish language resources, an average score is 7.04/10.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at nick@alllanguageresources.com.

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