Japanese

Mango Languages Review – Pretty Good For Beginners

Quick Review

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

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

Thoroughness

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

Value

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

Price

A subscription to Mango Languages costs $7.99/mo for one language or $17.99/mo for all languages.

Alternatives: Babbel and Lingodeer are somewhat similar but a bit better, while Duolingo is free.

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Clozemaster Review: Limited Focus But Fun Way To Grow Vocab

Quick Review

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

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

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

Value

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

Price

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

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HelloTalk Review – Make Friends & Practice Languages

Quick Review

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.

Community

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

Features

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

Value

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

Languages: There are over 150 languages supported for language exchange, and there are audio lessons for 10 languages: English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Arabic, and Portuguese.

Price

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

HelloTalk VIP is available for:

$4.99/month
$2.17/month (12-month contract)
$124.99 for lifetime access

The HelloTalk audio lessons are available for a one-year subscription at prices ranging from $99 to $119 depending on the language.

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Duolingo Review: Useful But Not Sufficient – 2 Language Learners Test It (With Video)

Quick Review

3.7 

Summary

Duolingo is a super popular free language-learning app. It’s available for desktop as well as mobile and offers over 90 different language courses in over 20 different languages — there are currently 35 languages with English instruction. The Duolingo approach is gamified and easy to use, but the bite-sized lessons don’t offer much in the way of in-depth practice. The Duolingo tag line is “Learn a language in just five minutes a day.”

Quality

It’s easy and fun to use, but some pronunciation and grammar instruction is of low quality, especially for Asian languages.

Thoroughness

The app works well for learning the basics, but there’s no speaking practice and grammar instruction is limited.

Value

It’s a lot of content for free, but you’ll need to use supplementary resources.

Languages: Duolingo offers 35 language courses with English instruction, three of which are constructed languages. Courses are available in most popular languages, including Spanish, French, German, etc.

Price

Duolingo is totally free. Duolingo Plus offers a few additional features and is available for:

$9.99/month (paid monthly)
$7.99/month (six-month subscription)
$6.99/month (12-month subscription)

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Preply Review – Tutors Should Be Paid For Trial Classes

Quick Review

3.8 

Summary

Preply is an online educational platform that matches tutors with students. There are tutors on Preply offering instruction in a wide range of languages and other subjects. As a learner, you can find a tutor that works best for you by browsing their demo videos and filtering by price and rating. Each tutor’s teaching style is their own.

Quality

A little bit of everything. There are trained professionals with years of experience and tutors trying it out for the first time.

Thoroughness

The platform is easy to use, but offers little in the way of extra features in my opinion.

Value

There’s a huge range of prices and scheduling options, but you have to purchase packages with a single teacher.

Languages: Preply’s tutors teach 27 languages. These include popular languages such as Spanish, Chinese, French, and German, as well as some less common languages.

Price

Each tutor sets their own price, but for most popular languages the average hourly price is around $15.

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Language101.com Course Review – The Worst I’ve Ever Tried!

Quick Review

0.6 

Summary

Language101 (not to be confused with LanguagePod101) is the worst course I’ve ever tried. The platform has ten different languages for you to choose from and focuses on teaching speaking and comprehension. Consequently, you likely won’t learn how to spell, write or translate the language, or even learn any of the grammar. I found the courses to be poorly designed — each ‘lesson’ is identical in form, and the fast-paced learning method seems inefficient; it is doubtful whether even beginners will learn much. To make matters worse, the price is obscenely expensive.

Quality

Easy enough to use, but I thought the content was severely lacking.

Thoroughness

There are virtually no explanations at all. You just learn to parrot and memorize words and phrases.

Value 0 star

Terrible value in my opinion. It honestly feels like a scam. Not worth using even if it were free.

Languages: Spanish, German, French, Russian, Japanese, Italian, Danish, Canadian-French

Price

Language101 has lots of different subscription plans for you to choose from. A one-time payment for access to all of its languages costs $727 or $97/month if you opt for the monthly installments option (that would end up working out at $1,164 if you chose the latter!!).

For ‘1 Package’ of the language of your choice it is then $227 for lifetime access or $527 if you want all 3 packages in a given language.

Alternatives: Literally anything else on the Internet (or in a bookstore) would be better!

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Memrise Review – Useful But Don’t Overuse It

Quick Review

Summary

Memrise is a super popular language-learning app available online and on mobile. It functions much like a gamified flashcard app, and it offers a lot of content for free. A lot of the content is user-created, and there is a premium subscription that provides access to additional features. Memrise can be a great tool in your arsenal, but you’ll need more to learn a language seriously.

Quality

The mobile app looks great and is easy to use, but the website is clunky. Works very well for memorization.

Thoroughness

There are quite a few official Memrise courses, and the number of user-created courses is massive, but you’ll benefit from using additional resources.

Value

The free version of the app provides a lot of value, but the paid version doesn’t offer much more.

Languages

There are currently official Memrise courses for 21 languages.

Among others, these include: Spanish, French, Chinese, German, Italian, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Russian.

If you count the user-generated courses, the list of languages is nearly endless.

Price

For the full version of Memrise, the subscription prices are:

$8.99/monthly
$59.99/annually
$99.99 – lifetime subscription

Signing up for a free account with Memrise automatically gives you access to limited versions of their official courses.

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Fluent Forever App Review – Lots Of Potential But Not There Yet

Quick Review

3.2 

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.

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.

Price

$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.

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uTalk Review – Learn Set Phrases But Not A Language

Quick Review

3.2 

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.

Price

$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.

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Best (And Worst) Online Japanese Courses – We’ve Tested 29 Of Them

Learning Japanese can be complicated, especially if it’s your first time trying a new language. From getting your syllables and pronunciation right to mastering any one of the three separate writing systems, you have a lot to figure out.

Luckily, we’ve tried a bunch of language courses and can guide you in the right direction. Some of these resources are top-notch, while others are a total waste of time (and money).

Here we’ll look at the best courses for learning Japanese, the top tier options. We’ve also ranked the second and third-tier. Down at the bottom, you’ll find the courses you should stay away from. These just don’t come highly recommended, so you’re better off picking a resource from the upper tiers.

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