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An Honest Review Live Lingua With Image of Boy Using Computer

Live Lingua Review: My Experience With Their Lessons

Live Lingua

Rating 3.8

Summary

Live Lingua is an online language school that pairs students with certified teachers for one-on-one online classes. The platform aims to provide a more personalized service than online tutor directories by assigning a personal class coordinator and a customized curriculum for each student. Lessons are available in seven different popular languages and for a variety of different courses.


Quality 4.5

All teachers are native speakers and receive additional training through Live Lingua.

Thoroughness 3.5

Lots of extra free material, but with mistakes. There are specialized course options, and video lessons happen on Skype.

Value 3.5

More expensive than other online classes and less flexible, but more personalized.

I Like
  • The huge library of free resources
  • The different course options
I Don’t Like
  • The layout of the site is strange and doesn’t feel very professional
  • Relying on email to schedule lessons isn’t efficient
  • Limited flexibility in choosing a teacher
Price

The hourly rate for classes on Live Lingua ranges from $24 – $29 depending on the certificate, language, and number of classes you purchase. The first lesson is free.

In the words of its founders, Live Lingua is a “boutique” online language school.

Live Lingua Review: My Experience With Their Lessons Read More »

Busuu Review: Some Courses Are Better Than Others

Busuu

Rating 3.4

Summary

Busuu is a digital language-learning app with over 90 million registered users. The resource offers vocabulary and grammar practice through short, self-paced study exercises. It also has a social aspect that allows users to get writing and pronunciation feedback from native speakers. It is available on the web, iOS, and Android.


Quality 3.3

The layout is great, and the quality for non-Asian languages is decent, but there were significant errors in the Chinese course.

Thoroughness 3.0

It has some good explanations but doesn’t often offer much in the way of in-depth explanations.

Value 3.8

Busuu is relatively inexpensive, but there are more thorough and efficient resources out there.

I Like
  • The layout is easy to use and engaging
  • The conversation lessons are especially useful
  • The social feature is great
I Don’t Like
  • Translations aren’t provided for some exercises.
  • The Chinese course is low-quality.
  • The grammar explanations and practice could be better.
Price

Premium Subscriptions

One month: $13.95
Six months: $50.70 ($8.45/month)
One Year: $40.70 ($3.48/month)

What Is Busuu?

Boasting a user base of over 90 million, Busuu is a heavyweight in the digital language-learning landscape. It was launched in 2008 and has remained a popular and relatively low-cost option for language learners.

Busuu Review: Some Courses Are Better Than Others Read More »

An Honest Review of Word Dive With Image of Woman Using Phone With Headphones

Word Dive Review: Falls Short Compared To Similar Apps

Word Dive

Rating 2.8

Summary

Word Dive uses artificial intelligence and short exercises to help language learners commit study items to long-term memory. The app provides instruction in ten languages and is available for desktop, iOS, and Android.


Quality 3.5

It’s very easy to use, but I thought the material was limited.

Thoroughness 2.5

You can practice vocabulary and grammar, but there are almost no grammar explanations.

Value 2.5

It isn’t very expensive, but other resources are similarly priced and more comprehensive.

I Like
  • It’s convenient for mobile language practice
  • It’s fun to use
  • Partial credit answers motivate you to stretch yourself
I Don’t Like
  • There are almost no grammar explanations.
  • I found the exercises repetitive.
Price

A subscription starts at $9.99. For 3 months it is $27.99. 6 months $47.99. 12 months $79.99. 

Combine a strong affinity for things under the sea and a desire to make the lives of language learners easier, and you might produce something similar to Word Dive.

Word Dive Review: Falls Short Compared To Similar Apps Read More »

An Honest Review of Chatterbug With Image of Girl Holding Phone

Chatterbug Review: Self-Study + 1-1 Classes – Does It Work?

Chatterbug

Rating 3.7

Summary

Chatterbug is a language learning platform designed with the aim of bringing together the convenience of digital learning apps and the value of one-on-one speaking practice. It was founded in 2016 and currently offers courses in German, Spanish, and French. Some of its features are available on iOS and Android; the full version is available for desktop.


Quality 3.5

The Live Lessons are great, but the other practice activities are somewhat limited and the interface isn’t very intuitive.

Thoroughness 4.0

The Live Lessons provide quality practice, and there are good grammar explanations, but reading and writing practice are limited.

Value 3.5

It isn’t super cheap, but the Casual and Serious plans could be worth it if you like the platform.

I Like
  • The Live Lessons are engaging and structured.
  • Scheduling Live Lessons is super easy and flexible.
I Don’t Like
  • The interface is cluttered on desktop.
  • The reading and writing practices are limited.
  • There were errors in the reading material.
Price

The price of the recurring monthly subscription varies according to the number of Live Lessons you take each month.

Lite Plan, 1 lesson/month: $21.65/month Casual Plan, 4 lessons/month: $81.18/month Serious Plan, 8 lessons/month: $151.53/month Ultimate Plan, unlimited lessons: $432.95/month

Subscribers can purchase extra lessons each month for around $20/lesson.

Aside from enrolling in a course at a language school, there are two popular routes to take in learning a new language: find a tutor, or try out a digital language app.

Chatterbug Review: Self-Study + 1-1 Classes – Does It Work? Read More »

An Honest Review of HiNative With Image of Woman Holding Phone

HiNative Review: Useful But Not Exceptional Q&A App

HiNative

Rating 3.7

Summary

HiNative is a Q&A app for language learners that want to have questions answered by native speakers. It’s available for iOS, Android and desktop, and it has over three million registered users. A free version is available that offers the basic features of the app.


Quality 3.5

The app is pretty basic, but it works.

Thoroughness 3.5

Many users are very helpful, but not all questions receive intelligent responses.

Value 4.0

The basic functions of the app are available for free, but you’ll need to pay for audio or video features.

I Like
  • The community is active. Most of my questions received quick responses.
  • The points system is rewarding.
  • The free version is very useful.
I Don’t Like
  • Many of the questions in my feed were unanswerable.
  • The community could be better.
Price

The basic features of HiNative are free to use. A premium subscription is available for $9.99/month paid monthly, or annually $34.99 payment

While learning a new language, one of the best resources available is other people. Native speakers are one of the most reliable sources for authoritative answers to your language questions. They know intuitively and deeply how the language is supposed to be used.

HiNative Review: Useful But Not Exceptional Q&A App Read More »

Tandem Review

Tandem Review: A Tinder-esque Language Exchange App?

Tandem

Rating 4.7

Summary

Tandem is a popular language exchange app with over one million active users. It’s available for iOS and Android and aims to bring language learners from all over the world together. It’s largely centered around its chat capabilities and language tools that facilitate communication, but there is also a tutoring service offered in the app.


Quality 5.0

There are lots of active language learners, especially those looking to pair with native English speakers.

Thoroughness 4.5

The interface is intuitive and the language tools are simple and effective, though you’ll quickly run out of free translations.

Value 4.5

The free version is all most people will need. Tandem Pro doesn’t add a ton of extra value.

I Like
  • There are plenty of language partners
  • The interface is easy to use and attractive
  • The free version offers a lot of value
I Don’t Like
  • You’ll need to use other learning resources as well
  • Though Tandem has some safety features, you may encounter people using the app as a dating tool
Price

There is a limited free version of Tandem and a pro version available at $6.99 for one month, $10.67/month for three months, and $6.67/month for a year’s subscription.

Tandem Review: A Tinder-esque Language Exchange App? Read More »

An Honest Review of Mango Languages With Image of Girl on Computer

Mango Languages Review – Pretty Good For Beginners

Mango Languages

Rating 3.5

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.


Quality 4.0

It is well designed, has a beautiful interface, and is intuitive to use.

Thoroughness 3.0

There are some gaps in terms of writing and grammar, along with a lack of materials for intermediate or higher level students.

Value 3.5

The price is fair and will give you access to materials for over 70 languages.

I Like
  • 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 $14.99 a month or 179.99 yearly.

Mango Languages has high-quality beginner to intermediate level lessons in tons of different languages.

Mango Languages Review – Pretty Good For Beginners Read More »

An Honest Review of Babbel With Image of Woman on Computer

Babbel Review – Nothing Flashy, But Good, Trusted Courses At Reasonable Cost

Babbel

Rating 4.2

Summary

Babbel is an online language-learning platform with over 1 million active users. It’s available on the web, for iOS, and for Android. The app aims to get learners to a conversational level as quickly as possible through the use of a variety of exercises and spaced repetition for review. The courses are well put together and relatively inexpensive; there are 14 different languages available.


Quality 4.5

It’s well-designed and the content is immediately useful.

Thoroughness 4.0

The material provided is effective and covers a lot, but isn’t ideal for advanced levels.

Value 4.0

The price is relatively low for what’s offered, but you’ll have to purchase each language separately.

I Like
  • The content is practical for real-life use
  • It’s easy to use
  • The lessons are fairly short
I Don’t Like
  • The exercises can get repetitive
  • The review exercises don’t include grammar concepts
  • Speech recognition isn’t the best way to learn pronunciation
Price

Babbel uses a recurring subscription model and offers a 20-day money-back guarantee. Price per month depends on the length of the subscription and only includes access to one language.

Monthly – $14.95/mo Every 3 Months – $12.65/mo Every 6 Months – $11.15/mo Every year – $7.45/mo

The prices listed here are for customers in the United States; they otherwise vary by region.

July 4th Sale! Up to 60% off on Babbel subscriptions. See details on the website. Offer ends on 7/7/24.

What is Babbel?

With over 1 million active users, Babbel is one of the more popular language-learning platforms out there. Since it became available in 2007 it’s been expanded to offer curriculum-based instruction for 14 different languages on the web, iOS, and Android.

Babbel Review – Nothing Flashy, But Good, Trusted Courses At Reasonable Cost Read More »

An Honest Review of Clozemaster With Image of Boy on Computer

Clozemaster Review: Limited Focus But Fun Way To Grow Vocab

Clozemaster

Rating 4.2

Summary

Ideal for people who are already at an upper beginner/intermediate level, Clozemaster will help you build your vocabulary and learn new words and sentences in context. While you won’t learn much grammar or improve your speaking and writing much, it is great at what it does and the videogame aspect makes it fun and addictive to work though. Although the exercises are all pretty much identical, there are various ways in which you can increase the difficulty and Clozemaster’s free account is almost as good as the Pro User one.


Quality 4.0

Very easy to use with thousands upon thousands of sentences for you to work through, Clozemaster’s main exercises are well-designed though some features are a bit hit and miss.

Thoroughness 4.0

Although you aren’t given any explanations, Clozemaster’s huge database of sentences allows you to learn words in context.

Value 4.5

The free version offers a ton of value, but for those who use Clozemaster regularly, it may be worth upgrading to a Pro account.

I Like
  • There is an insane number of words and sentences for you to learn, and you’re exposed to them within the context of a sentence.
  • Just using the free account you are sure to learn a lot with only some extra (and undoubtedly useful) features being included in the Pro plan. This makes learning accessible to everyone.
  • Lots of languages available to learn, and you can do so from a wide range of languages, making it very useful for non-native English speakers or those who want to study two languages at once.
I Don’t Like
  • A couple of features such as the Cloze-reading and the speaking exercises seemed like they could have benefited from a bit more thought and effort put into them.
  • There is no real progression and you are basically given an endless array of different words and sentences to work through and the various exercises are all pretty much identical.
  • Sentences are sourced from
Price

The free version is very useful, but you can upgrade to a pro account for $8/month or $60/year.

Having never heard of Clozemaster before and having no idea what it was all about, I was immediately taken by its videogame-looking aesthetics and fun fill-in-the-missing-words exercises.

Clozemaster Review: Limited Focus But Fun Way To Grow Vocab Read More »

An Honest Review of HelloTalk With Image of Person on Tablet

HelloTalk Review – Make Friends & Practice Languages

HelloTalk

Rating 4.5

Summary

HelloTalk is a mobile app for language learners interested in language exchange. It facilitates communication between native speakers and those learning their language with the use of built-in language tools. It also offers audio lessons in 10 languages as part of a separate subscription.


Quality 5.0

There’s an active community of dedicated learners, but you’ll have to do some searching.

Thoroughness 4.0

The app is easy to use and the language tools are helpful, but you could end up relying on google translate.

Value 4.5

Both the basic and VIP membership provide great value. The paid audio lessons probably aren’t worth it however.

I Like
  • It’s exciting to practice communicating with real people
  • The built-in language tools are helpful
  • It’s easy to pick up and put down whenever you like
I Don’t Like
  • It’s too easy to rely on google translate
  • It can be hard to find good partners
  • The paid audio lessons probably aren’t worth it
Price

The basic features of HelloTalk are free. Audio lessons require a separate subscription after a short trial period.

HelloTalk VIP is available for:

$6.99/month and $45.99/year or $175.00 for lifetime access

Learning a new language when you’re nowhere near other speakers of that language can be tricky. For example, I’m currently in Nepal and trying to learn Italian. I don’t exactly get a lot of opportunities to practice Italian here.

HelloTalk Review – Make Friends & Practice Languages Read More »