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Arabic

An Honest Review of Living Language Online Course With Image of Man on Computer

Living Language Online Course Review – Not Very Good

Living Language Online Course

Rating 0.0

Summary

UPDATE – it appears that the online course Living Language no longer exists. This review covers the old course when it did exist. You can however find a series of books with this name available on amazon.


Quality 3.0

Though the information itself is useful, Living Language’s presentation reads more like a database than an educational/interactive tool.

Thoroughness 3.0

Again, a lot of the information is there, but it’s scattered. Additionally, some of that information appears incorrect.

Value 2.0

Cheaper options offer the same amount of content with more interactive features.

I Like
  • You can hop around between levels and topics, including Beginner and Advanced materials.
  • The subscription comes with a grammar guide, glossary, and forum access.
  • There’s a decent variety of games, including some games I hadn’t played before.
I Don’t Like
  • Although the games are fun, they get stale pretty quickly. It’s easy to guess at answers, thereby completing levels without really having learned.
  • The system doesn’t keep track of your mistakes, so it’s hard to know what areas you need to improve in.
  • I found several translation and presentation errors that made me question the rest of the material.
Price

An annual plan costs $150, and half a year costs $75. Three months is $50 and 1 month is $39.

An Overview of Living Language

Living Language offers you the opportunity to choose between over 20 languages. Once you pick your language, you’re taken to the home screen which has options for Essential, Intermediate, and Advanced categories. You can start with any of these options and jump back and forth between them.

Living Language Online Course Review – Not Very Good Read More »

An Honest Review of Drops App With Image of Woman on Phone

Drops App Review – Decent As A Supplementary Resource

Drops App

Rating 3.9

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 4.0

Though cute and easy to use, some visuals are hard to distinguish.

Thoroughness 3.0

Drops will teach you thousands of words and phrases, from transport and hobbies to astronomy and spices. Some languages, such as Japanese, have extra modules for culturally specific vocabulary.

Value 3.0

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

I Like
  • The daily reminders keep me accountable.
  • If you already know a word, you have the option of swiping up and removing it from your lessons.
  • Though the app works better for some languages, the sheer amount of languages is a plus.
I Don’t Like
  • It can be difficult to tell certain images apart, which means you’ll likely identify them incorrectly during your review.
  • Some of the categories seem to include random, unrelated words.
  • In languages where a noun’s grammatical gender or case isn’t obvious from the article, you won’t learn that information.
  • Drops only teaches you vocabulary, not grammar.
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.

I’d previously heard about Drops on Reddit, where it achieved rave reviews and some pointed criticism.

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Transparent Language Review

Transparent Language Review – Not Exciting, But Language Offering Is So Vast That You May Need It

Last Updated on December 13, 2023.

Transparent Language

Rating 2.3

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.


Quality 2.5

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 2.0

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

Value 2.5

I would only consider using if 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 in my opinion; it’s hard for me to imagine you’ll 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 was the biggest issue for me, 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.

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Michel Thomas Method Review – Avoid At All Costs

Michel Thomas Method

Rating 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 2.0

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 2.0

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

Value 1.0

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

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.
  • I thought all of the lessons were almost identical and so it got quite monotonous working through them.
Price

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

Before working my way through the French foundation course, I had never tried a Michel Thomas course despite hearing so much about it.

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Language Transfer Review

Language Transfer Review – Better Than A Lot Of Expensive Courses

Language Transfer

Rating 4.3

Summary

The Language Transfer’s courses approach language learning with what has been coined as “The Thinking Method’. These audio courses serve as a great introduction to the nine languages currently available. They go into lots of depth on how each language works, teaching you all of the main grammar points and giving you the tools needed to learn independently and intuitively. For beginners looking to learn a language, these free courses are an effective and efficient way to start your journey.


Quality 4.0

Might look a bit basic but the content is very well designed.

Thoroughness 4.0

The courses don’t follow the traditional learning path but have a lot of depth.

Value 5.0

It’s completely free and better than most paid resources.

I Like
  • Lessons are efficient in that they cover a lot of material in a short amount of time.
  • The lessons teach you a mix of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation each time and so you really come away understanding how the language is formed.
  • Mihalis (the founder) presents everything in a very calm and relaxed manner, thoroughly explaining everything as he goes while encouraging the student who answers his questions.
  • For each language, the course is created independently and follows its own learning path.
I Don’t Like
  • While the content is very good quality, it could maybe do with varying the presentation a bit as there are no exercises, quizzes or work for you to produce.
  • The lessons kind of progress in a strange manner as you don’t follow a traditional language learning route, such as starting off with greetings, etc.
  • You won’t hear any native speakers on most of the courses and you don’t ever actually hear a conversation.
Price

Completely free, but if you find the courses to be useful, consider making a donation.

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Talk in Arabic Review – An Extremely Disappointing Experience

Talk in Arabic

Rating 1.7

Summary

Talk in Arabic is a random collection of lessons rather than a course. The main positive point is that it covers a wide range of Arabic dialects. Unfortunately, it does so very thinly, with many dialects lacking a significant number of lessons. To make matters worse, many of the lessons are quite bad, simply being a few phrases read out loud. The poor quality and lack of cohesion between the lessons makes it impossible to be anything more than a quick peek at some different dialects. Anyone seriously interested in learning Arabic should look elsewhere.


Quality 2.0

Some lessons are good but too many are really poorly made.

Thoroughness 1.5

Far too many gaps in the content and many dialects have very few lessons available.

Value 1.5

You’d probably be better off finding free lessons for different dialects on Youtube.

I Like
  • It’s great that they attempt to cover so many different dialects of Arabic.
  • Native Arabic speakers teach all of the lessons and as such it is a very authentic resource.
  • Some of the lessons look at scenarios that arise in the country of the dialect you’re learning and it is therefore quite useful seeing the cultural context.
I Don’t Like
  • Some of the dialects had very few lessons available, and those lessons were often short, disconnected, and poor quality.
  • Learners could never advance from beginner to intermediate using Talk in Arabic as a main resource.
  • A lot of the content is not well thought out or doesn’t cover the topic in much depth with some ‘lessons’ really being only a phrases that are read out.
  • Not worth the cost.
Price

Talk in Arabic costs $12.95 per month, $90.40 per year or $197 for a lifetime subscription. All of these get you access to all of the content available on the platform.

When I heard of the idea behind Talk in Arabic, a platform for lessons from several different Arabic dialects, I was extremely excited to try it out. The vast majority of Arabic learning platforms focus on Modern Standard or Egyptian Arabic. There aren’t a lot of resources to study dialects such as Sudanese or Algerian.

Talk in Arabic Review – An Extremely Disappointing Experience Read More »

An Honest Review of ArabicPod101 With Image of Arab Architecture

ArabicPod101 Review – Better Than More Expensive Courses

ArabicPod101

Rating 4.2

Summary

ArabicPod101 has loads of audio and video lessons that cater to students learning their first few words in Arabic right up to advanced learners. Covering a wide range of subjects, the lessons explore anything from Arab culture and particular grammar points to specific scenarios and essential vocabulary. The lessons progress in difficulty and are perfect for beginner and intermediate learners although not much focus is placed on learning how to speak and write. While the lessons are generally very good, learners need to pay attention as some of them are in Modern Standard Arabic while others are in the Egyptian and Moroccan dialects.


Quality 4.5

The presenters very clearly explain the grammar, vocabulary and cultural context while still making the lessons entertaining.

Thoroughness 4.0

The content covers a wide range of topics at varying degrees of difficulty.

Value 4.0

The Basic plan is great value but the other plans might not offer enough to justify the higher prices.

I Like
  • The lessons clearly progress in terms of difficulty and less English is used as you move up levels.
  • Good chemistry between the hosts makes the lessons more enjoyable.
  • There are a lot of lessons and they’re well thought out.
  • The Basic plan is very affordable.
I Don’t Like
  • While the lessons mostly focus on Modern Standard Arabic, it is strange and confusing to find the Egyptian and Moroccan dialects sometimes thrown in.
  • There is not much focus placed on speaking and writing.
  • I found it quite confusing to navigate the dashboard.
Price

Basic Plan – $4/mo Premium Plan – $10/mo Premium Plus Plan – $23/mo

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July Campaign! Use code NOWORNEVER2024 and get 40% OFF any Premium or Premium PLUS Subscription. Premium PLUS gives you 1-on-1 access to a teacher and a personalized learning program! See details on the website. Offer ends on 7/19/23.

Having previously tried and been disappointed with Rocket Arabic and Talk in Arabic, I was hopeful ArabicPod101 would be better but began to think that maybe the resources for studying Arabic just aren’t that good.

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Glossika Review – Not Cheap But Useful

Glossika

Rating 3.6

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 3.8

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

Thoroughness 3.8

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

Value 3.5

Polyglots may find the price to be fair but for most language learners it’s not

I Like
  • There are lots of languages available, including many that are rarely covered by other resources.
  • The subscription gives you access to all of the languages making it possible to study one language and review another at the same time.
  • It will force you to speak the language which will improve your confidence and prosody.
I Don’t Like
  • As all of the languages cover the exact same material, the diversity of the languages and cultures are reduced to a simple formula with no cultural context involved in their teaching.
  • There are a fair amount of errors in the materials.
  • The cost is excessively high compared to other resources.
  • There are no explanations of grammar.
Price

You can try out Glossika´s learning method for free with their week-long trial. Their basic subscription is $16.99 a month. The monthly subscription costs $30.99 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.

Few resources cover as many different languages as Glossika does. Because of this, I was excited to try it out and see what it’s like to use.

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