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Hey! Lingo Mini-Review: Has Useful Phrases


Rating 3.0

$5.99/mo, $24.99/year, and $39.99/lifetime access


Hey! Lingo, with its flashy, modern, desktop interface, offers a series of phrasebook-like flashcard courses in 26 languages. Each language is divided into 50 lessons, the first 20 of which don’t require a subscription. A premium subscription will allow you to filter flashcard formats, focus on which cards have been difficult for you, and specify which cards you would like to learn in one lesson. The lessons focus on specific skills and each have 10 flashcards. They use both the official alphabet of the target language and a transliteration of the alphabet. The audio pronunciation for each card seems to use a lower quality text-to-speech program than we’ve seen in other apps, which can detract from the learning experience. Although Hey! Lingo is a phrasebook app, it does not focus on typical travel phrases, like how to order food at a restaurant. Instead, it teaches you practical phrases that get to the heart of expressing oneself. Here are some example sentences in the Korean 1 course: “I feel lonely,” “I envy him” and “Stop following me”. The lessons don’t seem to provide a solid foundation for beginners, and they probably won’t help you have conversations in your target language. However, if you enjoy learning useful phrases and already have a basic foundation of the language, Hey! Lingo could be a good option for you.

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Language Learning WIth Netflix Mini-Review: Easy to Use

Language learning with Netflix

Rating 4.0

Freemium, Free Trial, $4.95/mo


If you want to make language learning more accessible while watching Netflix, this chrome extension is for you. The free version allows you to skip subtitles forward and backward in case you didn’t catch what was said, and you can also choose to automatically pause the movie or show after each subtitle. The full transcript is also displayed on the side. By hovering over a word you can see a short translation and hear an audio pronunciation, or you can click on the word for more context and further links to various dictionary sites. With a Pro membership you can save words or phrases, receive translations that are closer to the meaning in the original language, and create subtitles for dubbed movies. LLN’s catalogue can help you find Netflix movies or shows with high-quality subtitles to improve your experience,

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Lingo Pie Mini-Review: Sourced From Actual TV Shows


Rating 3.5



Lingo Pie is available in Spanish and Russian, with more languages to come in the future. Each language has it’s own Netflix-like platform, with shows added weekly and sourced from actual TV shows in your target language. In each of the videos, you have the option of changing its speed, using subtitles in your target language or English (or both), clicking on the subtitles to get translations, and skipping back to the previous subtitle in case you didn’t catch it. You can create your own set of SRS flashcards by clicking on unknown words, and in the review sessions your words will come with a sentence for context. It may be difficult for total beginners to get introduced to a new language through Lingo Pie, but intermediate to advanced learners may enjoy it. Unfortunately, there are no filters to help you sort through the available shows. Language Learning With Netflix provides similar features if you already have a Netflix account, and Yabla may be a more suitable platform for those who want shorter videos and more interactive learning.

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Brainscape Mini-Review: Adaptive Flashcards


Rating 4.0

Freemium, Premium subscriptions start at $9.99/mo


Brainscape is a flashcard app that uses a Spaced Repetition System, also often referred to as ‘adaptive flashcards’, to help you memorize new vocabulary and facts. It has a team of scientists, engineers, and education experts working to optimize their program for effective learning. Brainscape is quite similar to Anki, but has a more modern and colourful interface. They also have Certified Classes, which are decks that seem to have been developed by experts in the chosen topic. The app adds what they call Intelligent Cumulative Exposure (ICE) to some of their Certified Classes; it seems to combine a Spaced Repetition System with gradually introducing new concepts, increasing the difficulty of the concepts, and providing context so you can build your own sentences. It has several Certified Classes for various languages (and other topics), and many more decks created by users. Unlike Anki, edits that creators make to user decks seem to sync up even after you have downloaded the deck. With the free version, you have limited access to premium decks but unlimited access to user-made decks.

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An Honest Review of Ling With Image of Man Looking at Phone

Ling Review — Gamified Practice in Less Common Languages


Rating 3.2
Visi Ling


Ling is a gamified language-learning app with courses on over 60 different languages. Practice happens through short themed lessons, making for convenient and entertaining study time. It isn’t the most comprehensive resource out there, especially for more popular languages, but it can make a decent way to get started with a less common language.

Quality 3.5

The app is easy to use and visually appealing, but I found some mistakes in the material.

Thoroughness 3.0

There aren’t many explanations, and the materials are the same for each language, but practice is varied.

Value 3.0

For many of its less common languages, there aren’t a lot of viable alternatives, but the price feels high.

I Like
  • It uses native speaker audio.
  • The activities are enjoyable and don’t become overly repetitive.
  • It’s easy to use and is visually appealing.
I Don’t Like
  • There are very few grammar explanations.
  • There are no translations for individual words.
  • Some activities can be buggy.

Monthly is $8.99, Annual is $79.99, Lifetime is $149.99

Gamified learning is here to stay. The large pool of language-learning apps that leverage gamification in their courses is continually growing, and frankly, I’m happy about it..

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50 Languages Mini-Review: Basically an online phrasebook


Rating 2.8



It is clear that 50Languages aims to make language learning accessible to anyone with an internet connection There is no signup required to use the site, so its resources are both free, and anonymous. You can find 100 free downloadable audio files of native speakers and ‘lessons’ in over 50 languages, in addition to vocabulary, alphabets, quizzes, and games. Unfortunately, none of these resources follow a cohesive learning path, nor does the platform help you memorize any of the information provided. Only one section, the Translation Trainer, aims to help you retain phrases. However, if you have saved phrases in multiple languages, all of them will be bunched together into one review without an indication of which language you should be translating into. The audio files and phrasebook lessons contain a series of phrases that do not seem to build on what you have previously learned; learning from this website is essentially like referencing a phrasebook you might buy for a trip to another country. 50Languages has a lot of information available, but it doesn’t seem like it can be used as a standalone language resource. Perhaps you can take phrases and vocabulary that interest you and compiled them into an Anki deck to help with retention.

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Wlingua Mini-Review: A Clear Learning Path


Rating 4.0

Freemium, $10.99/mo, $21.99/quarter, $64.99/year


Wlingua relies on two methodologies for learner success: staggered repetition and progressive exposure. Staggered repetition seems identical to typical spaced repetition methods, while progressive exposure ensures that all new words and concepts are based on what you have previously learned. This ensures that there are no gaps in knowledge when it comes to tackling more advanced lessons. Additionally, each lesson focuses on one concept at a time in order to avoid overwhelming the learner, and there is a clear path for what you will be learning from beginner to the end. Each new word is “linked to its precise meaning or use” so that you can use them in context. The program consists of new vocabulary, grammar, exercises, reading practice, and audio by native speakers with different accents. The downside is that there seems to be more focus on reading and comprehension than on listening and speaking. Only Spanish and Russian are currently available from Beginner to Upper-Intermediate. Other languages are available at the beginner and elementary levels. You can use the app without registering for an unspecified number of days. There is limited basic content available for free, while the premium plan offers unlimited access, practice reviews tailored to your learning, and downloadable PDF lessons.

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Magic Lingua Mini-Review: Pricey But Potentially Worth It

magic lingua

Rating 3.1

Courses cost between $31.99 and $499.99


Magic Lingua provides a series of individual courses for language learning. They advertise that you will gain enough confidence in speaking that you will be able to not only start a conversation with anyone, but do so without thinking about grammar and vocabulary. The full courses are offered for beginner, intermediate, and advanced speakers depending on the language (advanced is considered the B1 level). The voice-recognition software seems to do an adequate job of recognizing which words you are pronouncing correctly, and it does appear to help improve speaking abilities by actively reenacting dialogues with you. Therefore, the app alone may help develop your confidence to start conversations in your target language. Although not subscription based, each full course must be purchased individually. The 2-3 week crash courses seem more reasonable for the price, but the full 10 week courses are a hefty $200+. They consist of 10 modules plus hundreds of video lessons and speaking exercises. There is the option to complete the modules with live tutor sessions, or alone. Magic Lingua is probably worth your time if you don’t mind spending a lot on one app, but with the current price it might be better to look for alternatives. There are some free lessons available on their website for you to test out, but check back for more languages and levels in the future.

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LangCorrect: Unlimited, Free Writing Practice With Feedback


Rating 5.0



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.

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

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Wordbit Mini-Review: Innovative Flashcards for Short Term Use


Rating 3.0



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.

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