Italian

LyricsTraining Mini-Review: Listening Practice Through Songs

LyricsTraining – 3.3 

Lyrics training is a free app that claims to improve your ability to recognize the different sounds in your target language. Through listening to different songs, you can reinforce vocabulary, expressions, and grammar concepts. Although it does not provide any translations or explanations for these skills, it does seem to train listening comprehension and memorization.

While listening to your chosen song, you will be provided with a choice of 4 words to help fill in an increasing percentage of lyrics; by the advanced level, you will be responsible for filling in 100% of the lyrics. Each of the 14 languages available seem to have a wide variety of song choices, and even if you don’t understand what the lyrics mean, you will probably be able to sing along.

If you would prefer an app that focuses more on comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar, check out Lirica.

Visit LyricsTraining

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

LangCorrect: Unlimited, Free Writing Practice With Feedback

LangCorrect – 5 

LangCorrect is a free community-driven writing site where users can both contribute to editing others’ work and receive feedback on their own writing.

After writing your piece, you may submit it to receive feedback from other site users. In order to ensure accurate feedback, multiple users can cross-check the corrections that were made and add comments.

Volunteers and Patrons have access to writing in up to 10 languages, but typical users can write in a maximum of two languages at a time. Everyone is encouraged to both write and correct others’ work on the site.

If you are looking to improve your writing skills in one of the over 100 languages available, trying out this resource is a must! However, if you’re studying a less common language and not finding many users to give you corrections, consider trying the exercise section in italki’s community features.

Visit LangCorrect

The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

Conjuguemos Mini-Review: Effective Language Drilling

Conjuguemos – 4 

Conjugemos is a website that drills verb conjugations, vocabulary, and grammar. You can choose to either drill different skills through typing the answers in a flashcard-like system, or through various games such as crosswords, memory, word search, and multiplayer games.

While it is free for anyone to use, additional resources are available to teachers through a paid plan.

It should be noted that although the site technically supports Korean learners, the Korean section only has one activity in the present tense.

Visit Conjuguemos

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Wordbit Mini-Review: Innovative Flashcards for Short Term Use

WordBit – 3.3 

WordBit is a free app that minimizes the effort and thought that goes into deliberate practice by presenting you with the opportunity to practice each time you open your lock screen.

Each time you open your phone, the app will overlay the lock screen and present you with either multiple choice translations for a given word, or a flashcard. You can choose to close the app to access the lock screen, or respond to the prompt. Although this app interferes with tasks on your phone that require immediate attention, it is no doubt effective at consistently exposing you to new vocabulary.

It is available in multiple languages, for both target and source languages, and there is a large vocabulary category bank to choose from, including vocabulary from each of the levels A1-C2.

There are some bugs in its programming, such as restarting your progress through each deck if you add or remove a category, and the ads at the bottom of the screen are easily tapped by accident.

Visit WordBit

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Interlinear Books Mini-Review: Literal Translations Between The Lines

Interlinear Books – 4

Interlinear Books is a project for intermediate language learners from the creators of Cooljugator. They sell individual e-books in their original language, but with English translations between each line of text. Instead of translating full sentences that capture the spirit of the language, professional translators use literal (but understandable) translations to support you in understanding the original language’s sentence structure.

Another technique that the authors use to support your learning is to highlight cognates between languages. You may find translations for words whose English counterpart looks almost identical to that of the target language, even when those English translations are not the most commonly used. The authors suggest that you don’t read the translations as full sentences, but rather that you refer to them only when you encounter words or expressions that you don’t understand. Each purchase also comes with a unilingual version for you to try out for extra practice (and sometimes they even come with an audiobook!).

For intermediate learners who are tired of looking back and forth between a dictionary and their book, Interlinear may be a good intermediary to support you in the transition to unilingual books. Chinese is not supported yet, but check out Du Chinese or the Chairman’s Bao for graded reading material.

Visit Interlinear Books

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Beelinguapp Mini-Review: Reading & Listening Practice

Beelinguapp – 4.3 

Beelinguapp makes it easier to read and listen to interesting content in a number of languages. You’ll find short stories, news, fairy tales, music, and more. Their side-by-side reading functionality highlights the sentence in the language you’re learning, as well as in a language you’re familiar with. The karaoke feature makes it easy to follow the audio with the written text. Some of the content and features are available for free, but there are also premium plans to unlock more.

Visit Beelinguapp

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Coffee Break Review: Italian, French, and German Courses

Quick Review

Summary

The Coffee Break Languages series teach languages through podcast-style lessons. The lessons have a casual feel and offer lots of explanations, building on each other nicely. Courses are available for a one-time purchase, but much of the material is also available for free as podcasts or Youtube videos.

Quality

The audio is of high quality and the instruction is thoughtful.

Thoroughness

There are lots of explanations, and you can start as an absolute beginner, but practice opportunities are limited.

Value

There is a lot of high-quality content available for free; the paid courses might not be worth the price for some.

Languages

Italian, German, French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Swedish, English

Price

Many audio lessons are free. The premium version of each season includes extra materials and costs £80 (roughly $100). 

One Season £80
Two-Season Bundle £145
Three-Season Bundle £210
Four-Season Bundle £255

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Cudoo Review — I Wouldn’t Even Use it if it Were Free

Quick Review

0.6 

Summary

Cudoo is an online learning platform that offers courses in over 160 languages. The platform also offers courses teaching soft skills and other professional development courses. Certificates are available upon course completion, and courses are provided to libraries and non-profits for free. We feel that the quality of the language courses is quite low, and that the prices are relatively high.

Quality

It’s nice to have native speaker audio, but I personally found the course to offer very little learning potential.

Thoroughness

The course didn’t cover everything listed under “Course Content” and offers no explanations.

Value

This course is way overpriced in my opinion. I wouldn’t even use it if it were free.

Languages

There are courses in over 160 languages on Cudoo. You’ll find languages as rare as Alsatian, Jerriais, and Navajo alongside more popular languages like Spanish and German.

Price

Price varies by course, from $4.99 to $24.99, with language bundles costing up to $199.

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Yabla Review — Affordable and Effective Video-Learning

Quick Review

4.3 

Summary:

Yabla is a language-learning platform that uses videos with interactive subtitles and language games to help users learn a language. It’s currently available on the web and for iOS, with an Android app in development. Its videos are of varying difficulty levels and types, and are either sourced from the internet or originally produced, but all videos use native speakers.

Platform

It’s very easy and enjoyable to use, but the flashcard feature could be more developed.

Platform

While they vary slightly for each language, the video libraries are extensive and full of interesting content.

Value

It’s most valuable for learners at the intermediate and advanced levels and is priced very fairly, but you’ll only get access to one language.

Languages

Chinese, Italian, German, French, Spanish, English

Price

After a 15-day free trial, users can subscribe to one of the following options:

One Month $12.95
Six Months $54.95
One Year $99.95

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FluentU Review — More Expensive than the Competition

Quick Review

3.1 

Summary

FluentU is a language-learning platform that uses real-world videos and interactive subtitles to create an immersive learning experience. The videos take on a variety of forms, including commercials, music videos, interviews, and more. Accompanying quizzes give users the chance to practice language used in videos. 

FluentU offers videos in nine different languages and is available for iOS, Android, and on the web. Most of its content is beyond the beginner level, but it has videos for learners at all levels.

Platform

It’s very straightforward and easy to use, though not especially visually pleasing.

Content

There is a wide variety of videos, but they’re short and disconnected. They also aren’t suitable for absolute beginners.

Value

It’s not a very complete way to study a language, which makes it hard to justify the subscription price.

Languages

Chinese, Spanish, French, German, English, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Russian

Price

After a 14-day free trial, users can purchase one of two subscription options. Subscriptions grant access to all FluentU languages.

Monthly Subscription: $30/month

Annual Subscription: $240/year ($20/month)

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