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.
Summary:SwedishPod101 offers audio and video lessons (though they’re mostly audio) for learning Swedish. 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 Swedish, rather than a standalone course.
The lessons are generally well-made, though quality can vary depending on when it was added.
Although there’s a lot of content, it’s not structured particularly well.
Good value for a low cost.
It’s extremely useful for getting extra listening practice.
They teach using natural dialogues, while explaining important grammar, vocabulary, and interesting cultural information.
As you move up levels, English is used less.
I Don’t Like
Too much English is used in the lessons.
The platform can be confusing to navigate and the recommended lesson pathways aren’t always the best.
Although there are lots of extra features, only a few of them are actually useful.
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 SwedishPod101.
Summary: Mondly is a below average online language learning resource. 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.
Both the interface and the course itself could be designed better.
It’s decent for learning vocabulary but a lot of material isn’t explained very well.
It’s fairly inexpensive.
Daily lessons, weekly quizzes, and monthly challenges – these functionalities encourage you to practice every day.
The vocabulary included is useful and drilled in an effective way.
It’s fairly inexpensive.
I Don’t Like…
The content and exercises are the same for all levels and languages.
The exercises are mostly passive and won’t help you use the language.
The order of lessons and topics isn’t very well thought out.
The interface is not user friendly and the platform is visually unappealing.
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.
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.
I Like I really like the fact that they offer up courses in languages that are usually overlooked.
It’s pretty well-designed, easy to use and has lots of different activities to work through.
I Don’t Like The core material is severely lacking and you won’t learn much grammar or how to form even a basic sentence yourself.
It gets very repetitive and so I didn’t find it that fun to work through.
You learn virtually nothing about the different cultural contexts of the languages you’re learning.
Their teaching methodology is the biggest issue, leaving you memorizing lots of words and phrases in isolation.
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.
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.
I Like Um…in all honesty I’m not sure if I enjoyed any of it!
I Don’t Like Michel Thomas never praises the students, often interrupts them and creates a negative learning environment.
The pacing of the lessons often seems off to me and in certain places they feel very hurried.
All of the lessons are almost identical and so it does get quite monotonous working through them.