Summary: FluentU is a popular platform for language learning that uses real world videos. They take videos from Youtube and add interactive captions. I really like the idea and design of the platform, but there’s a major lack of interesting content. Most videos last under one-minute long with a huge number being commercials. For me, FluentU falls far short of its potential.
The lesson library and video player have a great design. Unfortunately, example sentences use text-to-speech instead of native recordings.
Most videos are too short, disconnected to others, and not very interesting.
FluentU is fairly expensive and not worth the cost.
It’s great to be able to more easily use real-world videos to study a language.
A subscription gives you access to all of the languages.
The picture dictionary is pretty cool and something I haven’t seen elsewhere.
I Don’t Like…
The vast majority of the content is very short and is often commercials. It isnt really possible to watch longer series or shows.
There’s no benefit to watching beginner level content on FluentU compared to watching on Youtube because the creator will have already explained the topic clearly.
The audio lessons are the same as the video lessons, but without video. Few people will get any benefit from these.
Price: The Basic plan costs $15/month or $10/month if you pay for a year up-front. The Plus plan costs $30/month or $20/month if billed annually.
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.
I Like The spaced repetition software is effective for memorization
The huge range of available content
It’s more interactive than other flashcard apps
I Don’t Like It’s not enough for continued language learning
Website navigation is clunky
Premium version isn’t much more valuable than the free version
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:
Memrise also offers a ton of content for free. User-created content is available on their sister site, Decks, and signing up for a free account with Memrise automatically gives you access to limited versions of their official courses.
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: Koreanclass101 has developed thousands of, mostly audio, lessons for Korean language learners. It’s excellent for those who want to improve their listening. The grammar and vocabulary content is also really good, being both clear and detailed. It can, however, be difficult trying to find the right lesson at the right time and the lack of a clear learning path could cause problems. It’s a handy tool to use alongside other resources or lessons but probably shouldn’t be used as a standalone course.
Quality Mostly good, but some of the older lessons weren’t great.
Thoroughness A ton of material for beginner and intermediate levels but limited at the advanced level.
Value The vast library of listening material makes a subscription worthwhile.
I Like Tons of listening material from the beginner up to the intermediate level which can be tricky to find in Korean.
The lesson notes were great for getting the grammar across and offered a lot of detail.
Really good to use on your phone, whether it was vocab or a quick lesson I wanted to fit in when I had some time, it was good to have an integrated app.
I Don’t Like The presenters spoke in English a lot, which at the higher levels should probably have been reduced.
If you’re at an advanced level or looking for reading, writing, or speaking practice this probably isn’t going to be of much use for you.
The learning flow was very chaotic, trying to find lessons or knowing if they were of good quality was sometimes a crapshoot.
Price: There are three subscription plans with lengths available from 1 month to 2 years, with many options in between.
Basic – $8/mo, $4/mo if you sign up for 2 years. Premium – $25/mo, $10/mo if you sign up for 2 years. Premium Plus – $47/mo, $23/mo if you sign up for 2 years.
Use the promo code “ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES” to save 25% on a subscription to KoreanClass101.
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.