Norwegian

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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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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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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NorwegianClass101 – Better as a Supplemental Resource

Quick Review

4

Summary:

NorwegianClass101 offers audio and video lessons (though they’re mostly audio) for learning Norwegian. They’re similar to a podcast with two hosts teaching the language with the help of natural dialogues. They take the time to explain key grammar points, vocabulary, interesting cultural information, and so on. Their tends to be more content for beginners and the lesson structure could be improved. As such, it’s better as a supplementary tool for improving your Norwegian, rather than a standalone course.

Quality

The lessons are generally well-made, though quality can vary depending on when it was added.

Thoroughnes

Although there’s a lot of content, it’s not structured particularly well.

Value

Good value for a low cost.

Price

There are many subscription lengths available which lower the cost. But, a one-month subscription costs:

Basic: $8/mo
Premium: $25/mo
Premium Plus: $47/mo

Use the promo code “ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES” to save 25% on a subscription to NorwegianClass101.

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Drops App Review – Decent As A Supplementary Resource

Quick Review

3

Summary:

Drops is a phone app for iPhone and Android that covers 33 languages. Daily games test the user on thousands of vocabulary words, and many of these words are ideal for everyday use. Drops has an entertaining, user-friendly interface, but it also lacks grammar lessons, and it works better for some languages than others. For anyone looking to supplement their vocab lessons, this app is worth considering; however, the free version might be more worthwhile than the paid version.

Quality

Though cute and easy to use, several visuals are hard to distinguish, and some games aren’t too useful for retention.

Thoroughnes

This app won’t help with grammar or verb conjugation. However, it does offer hundreds of unique vocab words.

Value

The free app is a great supplementary tool to help round out your vocabulary, but the paid app doesn’t offer many useful extras.

Price

A monthly subscription costs $9.99, a yearly subscription is $69.99, and a lifetime subscription is $159.99. You can use the app up to five minutes every ten hours for free.

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Mondly Review – Far From My First Choice For Learning A Language

Quick Review

2.7 

Summary:

Mondly is a below average online language learning resource in my opinion. It does some things right and other things poorly. It’s pretty cheap, and a decent enough crash course that could help you before a trip abroad. Still, it wouldn’t be my first choice.

Quality

Both the interface and the course itself could be designed better.

Thoroughness

It’s decent for learning vocabulary, but I thought a lot of the material wasn’t explained very well.

Value

It’s fairly inexpensive.

Price

There are three plans…
$9.99 per month for one language
$47.99 per year ($4/mo) for one language
$47.99 per year ($4/mo) for all languages

Strangely, I was able to access multiple languages even though I only signed up for one month at $9.99.

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Transparent Language Review – Their Courses Are Awful!

Quick Review

1.8 

Summary:

Transparent Language markets itself as “the most complete language-learning system for independent learners.” While there are lots of different exercises for you to work through in their Essentials Course, I thought that the material wasn’t all that helpful and that it got very repetitive. Although the courses might not be all that useful or in-depth, with over a hundred languages on offer it might be worth checking out if you want to learn the very basics of a more obscure language such as Buriat, Kazakh or Turkmen. But, even then, I’d try to find other resources first.

Quality

While the exercises are for the most part well-designed, diverse and easy to use, it is the core material itself that I found lacking.

Thoroughness

I hardly came across any explanations at all; practice was almost exclusively memorizing words and phrases.

Value

I would only consider using if it were free and I was studying a very rare language.

Price

There is a free two-week trial period for you to try it out. Otherwise, it is $24.95 per month or $149.95 for a whole year if you just select one language. If you want access to all of the languages it is then $49.95 per month and $249.95 a year.

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Michel Thomas Method Review – Avoid At All Costs

Quick Review

1.7

Summary:

One of the most famous language teaching courses out there, Michel Thomas is a household name. The platform advertises itself as “The method that works with your brain” and boasts a teaching method “with no books, exercises, memorizing or homework” in several of its course descriptions. It’s available in 18 languages with courses that have material suitable for absolute beginners. I tried out the French foundation course and found it to be severely lacking and as such cannot recommend it at all. You may, however, have more luck with the other language courses that they offer.

Quality

Very easy to use, and the audios are decent quality, but I found that Michel Thomas’ discouraging manner flustered students, which detracted from the content’s quality in my experience.

Thoroughness

In my opinion, Michel Thomas doesn’t go into much depth and any explanations he offers up are just at a surface level.

Value

I wouldn’t use these even if they were free due to Michel Thomas’ teaching style which ruined the material for me.

Languages: Arabic (Egyptian), Arabic (Modern Standard), Dutch, French, Greek, German, Hindi, Italian, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.

Price

There are several different courses available with prices ranging from $11.99 to $100.

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Pimsleur Review – Secret Subscription Option Is Much Cheaper

Quick Review

4.3 

Summary:

Pimsleur’s courses primarily focus on oral language. They are one of the biggest names in language learning but was something I had a hard time recommending to people in the past because of the insanely high prices.

They recently added a subscription model with much more reasonable prices and a new app that is much better designed. This review focuses on the new subscription model which isn’t yet available to the general public from the Pimsleur website but you can find it here.

I was really impressed with the quality of the lessons and now that the price is much better, I’m happy to recommend studying with Pimsleur.

Quality

The lessons are very well structured and the new app works great

Thoroughnes

Pimsleur primarily focuses on oral language at the expense of grammar.

Value

The new subscription cost is very affordable.

Price

A basic subscription costs $14.95 per month and a premium subscription costs $19.95 per month. This is a massive improvement over the old prices which cost as much as $550 for five levels.

You won’t find any information about this new subscription price on their website. The link below will take you to a page with more information on their subscription plans.

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Verbling Review – An Alternative to italki?

Quick Review

4.2 

Summary:

Verbling is a language learning platform where you can find and book classes directly from a teacher. It’s very similar to italki with a few minor differences. Unfortunately, on Verbling, the cost of lessons are generally higher and the number of teachers to choose from fewer. Still, it’s a fairly good option for finding a teacher.

Quality

Professional teachers that have to submit an application

Thoroughnes

Doesn’t use Skype for lessons

Value

Cheaper than most options, but more expensive than italki

Price

The cost of lessons varies depending on the teacher and the language. The average cost for an hour long Spanish class is $18, for French it’s $24, and for German it’s $31. There are many other languages available as well.

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