Summary: The Transparent Language Essentials Courses aim to get absolute beginners engaged and interacting with the language they’re learning and speaking the basics in no time at all. While there are lots of different exercises for you to work through, the material isn’t all that helpful and it does get very repetitive. Although the courses aren’t all that useful or in depth, with over a hundred languages on offer it might be worth checking out if you want to learn the very basics of a more obscure language such as Buriat, Kazakh or Turkmen. But, even then, I’d try to find other resources first.
Quality While the exercises are for the most part well-designed, diverse and easy to use, it is the core material itself which is lacking.
Thoroughness There are hardly any explanations at all, you just have to endlessly memorize words and phrases.
Value I would only consider using if it were free and I was studying a very rare language.
I Like I really like the fact that they offer up courses in languages that are usually overlooked.
It’s pretty well-designed, easy to use and has lots of different activities to work through.
I Don’t Like The core material is severely lacking and you won’t learn much grammar or how to form even a basic sentence yourself.
It gets very repetitive and so I didn’t find it that fun to work through.
You learn virtually nothing about the different cultural contexts of the languages you’re learning.
Their teaching methodology is the biggest issue, leaving you memorizing lots of words and phrases in isolation.
Price: There is a free two-week trial period for you to try it out. Otherwise, it is $24.95 per month or $149.95 for a whole year if you just select one language. If you want access to all of the languages it is then $49.95 per month and $249.95 a year.
Summary: italki is the most flexible and affordable place to find a tutor for the language you’re learning. They have a huge number of teachers offering classes to students of over 100 different languages. As a learner, you’ll be able to find a tutor that best fits your learning style, schedule, and personality. Teachers are able to set their own prices and make their own schedule.
Teacher Quality You’ll find everyone from long-time professionals to brand new teachers.
Platform The overall platform has tons of useful features but also some room for improvement.
Value Huge number of teachers, low prices, and flexible scheduling.
I Like… There are large numbers of teachers available even for less common languages.
You can find skilled teachers even at low prices.
The flexibility to schedule lessons whenever convenient. The huge number of teachers guarantees you’ll find someone to fit your schedule.
The extra features like answers, notebook, and language partners makes it easy to ask questions, get your writing checked, and find a free language exchange partner.
I Don’t Like… You have to load money onto your account before paying for a class. You can’t simply pay one class at a time without buying credits first.
You may need to try several tutors before finding one that fits your learning and personality style.
It’s easy to not take classes as often as you should.
Price: The prices vary by teacher and language with some being as low as $4 and others as high as $60 per hour. Most will fall somewhere near the $10 per hour range.
Summary: Mango Languages is a pretty good resource with numerous languages available along with their regional variations. It’ll work the best for beginners or for those interested in studying a few languages at the same time. Anybody past the intermediate level won’t find Mango Languages very useful.
It is well designed, has a beautiful interface, and is intuitive to use.
There are some gaps in terms of writing and grammar, along with a lack of materials for intermediate or higher level students.
The price is fair and will give you access to materials for over 70 languages.
It’s very easy to use and has a slick design.
The intense drilling of useful real life sentences and words during lessons will really help you remember them.
Cultural and grammar notes incorporated in the lessons are well-prepared to help you understand the language you’re learning better.
The subscription gives you access to over 70 languages.
I Don’t Like…
Most courses finish around the intermediate level with some less popular languages ending before that.
There’s not enough grammar practice.
During drilling, when a student is prompted to complete a task such as coming up with an appropriate translation of a sentence, the command is read out loud. Listening to someone repeat very similar commands over and over again is tedious.
The Google Translate plugin is a rather lazy and disappointing way to give students answers about words or sentences they’d like to translate.
Price: A subscription to Mango Languages costs $19.99 per month or $199.99 per year.
Summary:Glossika has learning resources for over fifty languages that impressively range from Armenian and Czech to Icelandic and Tagalog.
While not suitable for absolute beginners, lower intermediates could use the resource to familiarise themselves with sentences in their language of choice using Glossika´s intuitive approach.
Listening to native speakers and repeating what they say can help learners to improve their comprehension skills and spoken fluency.
While it is amazing that so many languages are included, learners would have to use numerous other resources alongside it. The cost is unjustifiably high.
The audio recordings are well made but other aspects could be improved
Glossika covers an impressive number of languages but their method requires you to intuitively learn
Polyglots may find the price to be fair but for most language learners it’s overpriced
There are lots of languages available, including many that are rarely covered by other resources.
The subscription gives you access to all of the languages making it possible to study one language and review another at the same time.
It will force you to speak the language which will improve your confidence and prosody.
I Don’t Like…
As all of the languages cover the exact same material, the diversity of the languages and cultures are reduced to a simple formula with no cultural context involved in their teaching.
There are a fair amount of errors in the materials.
The cost is excessively high compared to other resources.
There are no explanations of grammar.
Price: You can try out Glossika´s learning method for free with their week-long trial. The monthly subscription costs $30 a month. The annual subscription costs $24.99 a month and will set you back 299.88$ in total.
Click the link below to save $5 on a subscription to Glossika.
Alternatives: Speechling does much of what Glossika can do for free. In addition, for a lower monthly fee, you can get unlimited corrections on your pronunciation. Unfortunately, they offer far fewer languages compared to Glossika.
For those learning Italian, I’d recommend Ripeti Con Me. The course style is very similar to Glossika but it improves upon a lot of Glossika’s weaknesses.