Summary: The Fluent Forever mobile app is a language learning program currently available in eight languages. The approach it takes is based on the methodology described by Gabrial Wyner in his book, Fluent Forever. It uses flashcards and a spaced repetition algorithm to help the learner create meaningful connections with the language and commit language items to long-term memory.
It’s best for people who are able to dedicate ample time and supplementary resources to learning a new language.
Quality I noticed some spelling errors in the language I was learning. The activities aren’t super intuitive.
Thoroughness Pronunciation is explained very well, but I was hoping for some grammar explanations as well. Some features are still in development.
Value The price is reasonable, and the time spent using the app is productive.
I Like Creating my own flashcards was usually easy, fun and memorable.
The pronunciation activities were enlightening and practical.
Using the same sentence to learn multiple words got me speaking longer sentences quickly.
I Don’t Like I wanted to have more control over what I practiced and when.
Creating flashcards was sometimes time-consuming and difficult.
There are no explanations for grammar points.
There’s no offline functionality, and the app is only supported on mobile devices
Languages: There are currently eight languages available on the Fluent Forever app: Spanish (Latin America), Spanish (Spain), Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Korean. Six more are currently in development.
$9.99/month when paid on a monthly basis. $53.94 for a 6-month subscription ($8.99/month) $95.88 for a 12-month subscription ($7.99/month) $167.76 for a 24-month subscription ($6.99/month)
There’s a free 14-day trial available that gives you full access to all of the languages on the app. You’ll be prompted to select one language if you decided to pay for the app after the trial. If you pay for a subscription instead of per-month, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Summary: French Today offers audiobooks, skype lessons, and on-site lessons in France. This article will focus on the audiobooks which range from beginner to the upper-intermediate level. There are different types of audiobooks, all of which are quite extensive. Many of them have nearly 10 hours of content and a PDF file with 200 or so pages.
Good content that can also be accessed from their app
There are hours and hours of content covering most of the important aspects of the language
Frequent discounts and bundles can significantly lower the cost
The audiobooks are recorded at different speeds with both a slower version and a normal speed
The depth of content found in the audiobooks and accompanying PDFs
It’s a one-time purchase and can be used offline
I Don’t Like…
The quality of the testing system
The Skype lessons are very expensive
Price: The audiobooks range from $20 to $70. There are also bundles that make things a bit cheaper.
Summary: uTalk is a software program and mobile app offering learning material in over 140 languages. Its approach is based on learning set keywords and phrases through gameplay. It covers a wide range of set phrases and offers pronunciation practice. It does not offer any in-depth language instruction or grammar.
uTalk is most useful for people who want to learn key phrases in a new language and aren’t interested in a more comprehensive understanding.
Quality The app is very user-friendly, and the content is mostly useful, but the features are limited.
Thoroughness The opportunities for focused practice are somewhat lacking.
Value The price is very low, and there’s a decent amount of content, but there are more time-efficient ways to learn.
I Like… The number of languages on offer is staggering.
Each phrase is recorded by a male and female native speaker. This was especially helpful in learning pronunciation.
You frequently get to hear recordings of yourself producing the language. I found this motivating and informative.
I Don’t Like… The Memory Game exercise felt like a waste of time. It’s difficult to get a perfect score even if you know the language well.
I kept wishing there was a way to choose which phrases I could practice in games instead of them being randomly selected.
I’m not a fan of learning a bunch of set phrases. I’d prefer some instruction related to grammar and sentence construction.
$2.99/month on a monthly basis and can be canceled at any time $1.67/month for a year-long subscription $1.00/month for a two-year subscription
*This is the price for the more popular languages like Spanish, German, Arabic, etc. Less common languages such as Afrikaans and Tibetan cost slightly more.
Summary: Ouino is a software program and mobile app with more than 500 lessons and 1,000 exercises in Spanish, French, Italian, and German. It’s curriculum-based with an academic approach (as opposed to relying on gameplay like some other language apps). It covers the basics such as vocab and pronunciation, but can also help you improve your conversation skills and master verb tenses.
Ouino would be great for you if you want to pick a language back up after not using it for a while, if you love structure, or if you want lots of practice. It could also be a good resource for language students who want to keep their skills sharp in between semesters.
Quality The usability and content quality are great, but the layout and structure of the exercises take a minute to get used to.
Thoroughness The lessons explain the topics in depth and give several examples.
Value A lot of solid content and useful exercises are included for a relatively low cost.
I Like Ouino accommodates both auditory and visual learning styles. Each lesson is read aloud as well as shown on screen. Exercises incorporate sound and pictures. Important words are color coded, read aloud quickly, and then repeated slowly.
You can access all the lessons at any time. You don’t have to work through a topic you already know if you don’t want to.
It’s very affordable, especially if you’re willing to commit to a six-month plan. A subscription gives you access to all courses.
I Don’t Like The time limit on exercises is too short (5 seconds). I found myself clicking on answers just to beat the timer, not because I knew the material.
The pronunciation section doesn’t grade you. You have to compare your recording with a native speaker and decide for yourself if you’re close enough.
The structure of the exercises is the same for every lesson in the section. It can get repetitive and boring.
The 3-month plan is a one-time payment of $38.58. The 6-month plan a one-time payment of $59.94. The 12-month plan is a one-time payment of $83.88. The Lifetime plan is a one-time payment of $95.76
Summary: Living Language provides numerous learning materials for multiple languages, including complete and essential courses that come with textbooks and CDs. They also have specialty courses covering business, travel, and several jobs. However, their standard online version isn’t very practical, and it’s difficult to tell if you’re actually learning or simply going through the motions. While the resource might be useful for those who want access to a large vocab list with grammar reading materials, there are better, cheaper options.
Quality Though the information itself is useful, Living Language’s presentation reads more like a database than an educational/interactive tool.
Thoroughness Again, a lot of the information is there, but it’s scattered. Additionally, some of that information appears incorrect.
Value Cheaper options offer the same amount of content with more interactive features.
I Like You can hop around between levels and topics, including Beginner and Advanced materials.
The subscription comes with a grammar guide, glossary, and forum access.
There’s a decent variety of games, including some games I hadn’t played before.
I Don’t Like Although the games are fun, they get stale pretty quickly. It’s easy to guess at answers, thereby completing levels without really having learned.
The system doesn’t keep track of your mistakes, so it’s hard to know what areas you need to improve in.
I found several translation and presentation errors that made me question the rest of the material.
Price: An annual plan costs $150, and half a year costs $75. Three months is $50 and 1 month is $39.