Portuguese

Transparent Language Review – Their Courses Are Awful!

Quick Review

1.8 

Summary:

The Transparent Language Essentials Courses aim to get absolute beginners engaged and interacting with the language they’re learning and speaking the basics in no time at all. While there are lots of different exercises for you to work through, the material isn’t all that helpful and it does get very repetitive. Although the courses aren’t 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 which is lacking.

Thoroughness

There are hardly any explanations at all, you just have to endlessly memorize 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 and his audio lessons aim to teach you your language of choice, naturally, intuitively and without any memorization involved. With 18 languages for you to choose from, the courses are aimed at absolute beginners and at the end you should be able to understand and speak to a basic level. 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, the audios are decent quality but Michel Thomas’ discouraging manner means that students get flustered and this detracts from the content’s quality.

Thoroughness

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 ruins the material.

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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Grammar Hero Review – I Like It, But A Bit Too Expensive

Quick Review

4.2 

Summary:

Grammar Hero is a product from Olly Richards, the creator of I Will Teach You A Language. It follows the story-based method of teaching languages, but this time with a focus on the most difficult grammar points. You start out by reading a story and the grammar point is underlined, later you learn the rules, then you re-read the story with explanations, and finally you’ll practice using the grammar point to express your thoughts and opinions. It’s a comprehensive method that’s meant to help you internalize the grammar.

Quality

The stories are unique and interesting, while highlighting the grammar points.

Thoroughness

Covers the most challenging grammar in each language.

Value

Fairly expensive and may not be affordable for many learners.

Price

It costs $197 to purchase Grammar Hero in each language. There’s also a 30-day money back guarantee.

Languages: Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, and Brazillian Portuguese.

Alternatives: News in Slow SpanishFrenchGerman, and Italian teach grammar in a fairly similar manner.

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Rosetta Stone Review (Subscription) – Painfully Repetitive And Overpriced

Quick Review

2.3 

Summary:

One of the most famous language learning resources out there, the Rosetta Stone method relies on immersive teaching so students will only find the material in the language they’re learning. Starting off with the basics, the units get progressively harder and cover a large range of topics. Suitable for beginner and intermediate students, it is more expensive than competitors and the exercises get very repetitive after a while. While it isn’t a bad resource, you can definitely find something better.

Quality

Very easy to use and navigate, the content is well presented but the similar format becomes deadly boring after a while.

Thoroughnes

While a lot of material is covered, you have to infer everything from the pictures that you are given. As such, there are no explanations at all.

Value

It’s not as good and more expensive than other resources.

Price

The price varies by subscription length:

$79 for 3 months
$119 for 6 months
$179 for 12 months
$249 for 24 months

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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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Mimic Method Review: Trying Out The Elemental Sounds Courses

Quick Review

3.2 

Summary:

Created by Idahosa, the Mimic Method’s ‘Elemental Sounds Masters Classes’ are not your traditional type of language learning course as you won’t learn any grammar or vocabulary. The focus is instead on learning the elemental sounds of the language. This is because once you can conceptualise them, then you can train your ear to hear and understand them and afterwards train your mouth to produce and pronounce these sounds. Useful for both beginners and advanced learners, you would obviously need to use it in conjunction with a couple of other resources to progress in your target language.

Quality

Easy to use and navigate, the production quality is fine without being amazing.

Thoroughnes

Quite technical throughout most of the course, Idahosa thoroughly explains the method and sounds in each language.

Value

Very expensive for what it is, I think it is as interesting take at learning pronunciation but you won’t get anything else from it.

Price

For lifetime access to a course, the Mimic Method website has slashed its cost from $394 to $197 although I am uncertain if it always stays that price.

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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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italki Review – The Good, The Bad, & The Just Alright

Quick Review

4.5 

Summary:

italki is the most flexible and affordable place to find a tutor for the language you’re learning. They have a huge number of teachers offering classes to students of over 100 different languages. As a learner, you’ll be able to find a tutor that best fits your learning style, schedule, and personality. Teachers are able to set their own prices and make their own schedule.

Teacher Quality

You’ll find everyone from long-time professionals to brand new teachers.

Platform

The overall platform has tons of useful features but also some room for improvement.

Value

Huge number of teachers, low prices, and flexible scheduling.

Price

The prices vary by teacher and language with some being as low as $4 and others as high as $60 per hour. Most will fall somewhere near the $10 per hour range.

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30 Best Apps To Learn Portuguese (Brazilian and European)

portuguese apps

A lot of people underestimate the usefulness of apps for learning Portuguese.

It’s understandable why.

Not long ago, apps were really simple. Maybe you’d find a good phrasebook or a dictionary or some kind of game that sort of teaches you a little bit of the language.

Nowadays though, you can learn just about every aspect of the language from an app.

This is equally true whether you want to grow your vocabulary, improve your listening comprehension, work with a tutor or language exchange partner, find reading materials to suit your level, or are looking for a course that you can easily access from your phone as you go about your life. (more…)

Glossika Review – Overpriced But Fairly Useful

Quick Review

3.2 

Summary:

Glossika has learning resources for over fifty languages that impressively range from Armenian and Czech to Icelandic and Tagalog.

While not suitable for absolute beginners, lower intermediates could use the resource to familiarise themselves with sentences in their language of choice using Glossika´s intuitive approach.

Listening to native speakers and repeating what they say can help learners to improve their comprehension skills and spoken fluency.

While it is amazing that so many languages are included, learners would have to use numerous other resources alongside it. The cost is unjustifiably high.

Quality

The audio recordings are well made but other aspects could be improved

Thoroughness

Glossika covers an impressive number of languages but their method requires you to intuitively learn

Value

Polyglots may find the price to be fair but for most language learners it’s overpriced

Price

You can try out Glossika´s learning method for free with their week-long trial. The monthly subscription costs $30 a month. The annual subscription costs $24.99 a month and will set you back 299.88$ in total.

Click the link below to save $5 on a subscription to Glossika.

Alternatives: Speechling does much of what Glossika can do for free. In addition, for a lower monthly fee, you can get unlimited corrections on your pronunciation. Unfortunately, they offer far fewer languages compared to Glossika.

For those learning Italian, I’d recommend Ripeti Con Me. The course style is very similar to Glossika but it improves upon a lot of Glossika’s weaknesses.

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