Ready to start learning Czech? There are tons of online resources out there, but it can be challenging to figure out which courses offer the best strategies and instruction.…
Mondly is a language-learning app that teaches basic vocabulary and grammar structures. It seems most appropriate for learners with little to no exposure to their target language.
The activities mostly rely on passive recognition of vocabulary and phrases, and therefore are not very challenging. However, they are varied enough that you probably wouldn’t get bored with short, daily practice sessions.
Although I wouldn’t recommend Mondly to anyone looking to seriously learn a language, it may be appropriate for individuals studying languages with less available resources, or for individuals who are preparing to travel abroad.
Both the interface and the course itself could be designed better. *Edited on Nov 22* It has made many improvements this year. We will update soon.
It’s decent for learning vocabulary, but I thought a lot of the material wasn’t explained very well.
It’s fairly inexpensive.
- Daily lessons, weekly quizzes, and monthly challenges – these functionalities encourage you to practice every day.
- The vocabulary included is useful and drilled in an effective way.
- It’s fairly inexpensive.
I Don’t Like
- The content and exercises are the same for all levels and languages.
- The exercises are mostly passive.
- I don’t think the order of lessons and topics is very well thought out.
- For me, the interface is not user friendly and the platform is visually unappealing.
There are three plans… $9.99 per month for one language $47.99 per year ($4/mo) for one language and $99.99 for lifetime.
Learning Czech is considered by many to be pretty difficult, especially if you currently only speak English. English and Czech have very different roots, as Czech is a Slavic language, which means that the way you formulate sentences, verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs and all sorts of other parts of speech are incredibly different.…
LingQ is a language-learning platform that focuses on extensive reading for over 30 different languages. You can import your own content or choose from the community library of books, articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, and more.
The app highlights unknown words across every lesson and makes them reviewable via different types of SRS flashcards. The more you read, the more accurately you will be able to identify content that is suitable for your level.
Although I did not find it beneficial for languages I had never studied before, I think LingQ can be helpful for upper-beginner to advanced language learners who enjoy reading. It is especially helpful if you struggle to find graded readers in your target language.
The LingQ reading app is enjoyable in most languages, easy to use, and can expand your vocabulary. However, I found the user content frustrating to navigate.
With the import function, users can choose to study almost anything they want.
Now that other apps provide similar functions, the monthly subscription may be a bit overpriced. However, the yearly subscription seems fair.
- I can easily import almost any material I want to study.
- I can use SRS flashcards to quiz new words from a specific page.
- Each lesson in the library displays the percentage of known and unknown words based on my reading history.
- There are many dictionaries to choose from for definitions.
I Don’t Like
- Reviewing words is chaotic. Every word you look up gets added to a huge queue that quickly becomes unmanageable.
- The extra features are overpriced and can be found other places for cheaper.
- Very little of the content is original. Much of it was uploaded by users from other places.
- The free version is extremely limited.
Premium membership costs $12.99/mo, $71.94/half-year, $107.88/year, $191.76/2-years; single-language lifetime membership costs $199
When I first signed up for LingQ, I wasn’t very impressed. Its seemingly random lesson library, filled with custom cover photos and inconsistent title formats, made me want to click on just about anything to get away from that page.…
Verbling is an online language-class marketplace where you can take lessons with teachers of your choice. It has some student-friendly extra features, including a built-in online classroom, flashcards, homework calendar, and a filing system for lesson materials. There are also useful but disorganized forums where you can discuss languages, share writing for critique, and do free language drills and exercises.
The lessons are generally high quality and well structured, plus the filters make it easy to find teachers who specialize in everything from accent reduction to interview preparation.
However, it can be slightly pricier than alternatives, so if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to look elsewhere. It also has fewer languages than some of the bigger competitors, so it might not be a good choice if you want to study Azerbaijani, Khmer, or Yoruba.
There are some less experienced teachers, but I found the lessons to be more consistently high quality than on italki.
The classroom technology, flashcards, and filing system are fantastic for learners and easy to use.
Some teachers charge more than on italki, but you get better classroom technology, more privacy, and fewer disorganized teachers.
- I quickly found great teachers.
- The platform’s extra features, such as teacher-made, personalized flashcards, help you review the material learned in each lesson.
- It seems focused on long-term progression as well as immediate student satisfaction.
- You don’t have to give out your contact details, thanks to the classroom technology.
I Don’t Like
- Some teachers don’t use the platform’s flashcards and materials system.
- There are fewer languages available than on italki.
- You can only pay in US dollars, plus there’s a hidden fee.
- The forums need more moderation.
Prices are set by the teacher and range from $5 to $75 for an hour-long lesson. You can get discounts for buying packs of 5, 10, or 20 lessons with a teacher. Every student gets one free trial lesson, after which they’re $6 each.
I’ve got a confession to make: italki is one of my least favorite online language-learning resources. However, it was my go-to option for a long time, and I understand why people love it: it’s cheap, has teachers in nearly every language imaginable, and the app has a bunch of extra community features.…
Internet Polyglot is a website for memorizing vocabulary words in dozens of languages. It has 44 “lessons” that cover topics like cars, time, religion, politics, feelings, measurements, and more. Each lesson is essentially a word list with native speaker pronunciation, an English translation, and a link to a picture to help you remember each word. There are picture games, matching games, guessing games, and typing games, plus a word search and a slide show that reviews all of the words in the lesson. Given that none of the vocabulary words in Internet Polyglot are taught using example sentences or context, learning vocabulary using this site may not be the best use of your time. You are probably better off using Anki to curate personalized vocabulary lists and downloading native speaker audio files from Forvo to accompany your flashcards. Nevertheless, you may find it useful if all you are looking for is a site that already has lists of vocabulary words with native speaker audio. If you are looking for audio files for less commonly-studied languages in context, you can check out iLoveLanguages.
Glosbe is a dictionary that serves over 6000 languages. Most words have a list of definitions, conjugations, declensions, and similar phrases (although these phrases are hit or miss when it comes to how relevant they are to the initial entry). Many of the entries are created by community members, who can add and edit translations, example sentences, pronunciations, and images. Also, the site does not use text-to-voice pronunciation — as a result, some words may not have any pronunciation. It’s important to note that some of the content is not checked by the creators, such as the example sentences. Be careful if you are trying to learn new phrases from these lists, as although many of them are correct, there are a few that may lead you to learn inaccurate vocabulary or grammar. Additionally, less commonly studied languages may be listed as available, but only contain a few lines of content. Overall, Glosbe may be a helpful tool if you can’t find dictionaries that specialize in your target language. However, SpanishDict is a far more comprehensive option for Spanish learners, as is Pleco for Chinese learners and Kanji Study for Japanese. You can also check out Forvo, a dictionary resource for native speaker audio files that has strict rules on community contributions.
Complete Language Lessons
$8.99 for the CD/$1.29 per track on Amazon, free on Spotify
Complete Language Lessons has audio courses for numerous languages on Amazon, Spotify, and Deezer. We tried out the Swahili audio course, Learn Swahili Easily, Effectively, and Fluently – and were extremely disappointed. The audio tracks we sampled consist of Swahili phrases repeated over and over again, with no translations, explanations, or anything in English. The audio quality isn’t great, either, and the occasional muted club music adds to the bizarreness. It feels to us like the audio tracks are supposed to accompany a textbook, but we couldn’t find one. If one existed at some point, we suspect it’s no longer available. If you already speak the language and are looking for native audio recordings to help you improve your listening and pronunciation, you might get some value out of Complete Language Lessons. However, if your aim is learn the language, we would skip these CDs.
My Language Exchange
Freemium, Gold Memberships start at $6/mo
My Language Exchange has been growing since 2000. Although the website seems out of date, it still has an active community of millions of language-learners who speak almost 200 native languages (including less commonly studied languages). You can choose a pen pal by reading their bios, or there is a chat room available for you to instantly connect with a language exchange partner — note that if you create a Gold account, you can initiate chats with other users, but as a regular user, you will have to wait to be contacted. Using the Cormier Method, the website provides tools to help intermediate speakers effectively practice with other learners. It advertises a Chat Companion with lesson plans to accompany your exchange, or lesson plans developed by teachers (although the quality of these resources varies drastically). You can also find language teachers on the site, but given that the transactions take place directly between you and the teacher, you may feel safer using a 3rd party platform like italki or Verbling. Although there are outlines on how to participate in language exchanges, how these outlines are followed depends entirely on you and your partner(s). My Language Exchange will help you build connections with other learners, but it’s up to you to plan how to practice. The concepts can also be used with any language exchange platform, such as Lingbe, italki, Tandem, and Amikumu.
Although Lexilogos seems to have entirely neglected its aesthetics, it holds more than meets the eye. If you click on one of the 130+ languages listed at the bottom of the page, you will find a series of resources to support your studies. This is especially useful for less-studied languages, like Marathi, Basque, and Pashto. Although the lists don’t provide recommendations for applications, they do provide a list of dictionaries, keyboards, news sites, books, and research papers. Additionally, if you switch to the French version of the site, there are even more languages and resources available for you to explore. Within each language’s page, there is also a dictionary search function. You will notice that more commonly studied languages will have dozens of dictionaries to choose from, while less commonly studied languages may only have one or two. Overall, Lexilogos is a great option for finding resources for less commonly studied languages. They regularly update their site, so make sure to check back if you don’t find what you’re looking for the first time around.