Mondly and Rosetta Stone are online tools that provide courses for learning a language. Both resources are suitable for beginner and intermediate learners. However, I’m not a fan of either as I think there are better options available.
The teaching methods used in Mondly and Rosetta Stone are very different. The main differences between Mondly and Rosetta Stone are:
- Rosetta Stone only uses your target language while Mondly has explanations in English.
- Rosetta Stone’s lessons are better structured but trying to infer meaning only from pictures is frustrating.
- Mondly is more reasonably priced for the content it offers, while Rosetta Stone is more expensive than other courses, despite offering no additional value.
Comparing one resource to the other, I’d find it hard to give one definite recommendation. We gave both resources a pretty low rating and would generally advise using other resources instead.
If I were forced to choose one, I’d lean towards Mondly simply because it offers cheaper subscriptions.
There are plenty of better alternatives to Mondly and Rosetta Stone. I’d suggest looking at what else is on offer if you’re trying to decide on a language course for you. Check out the table below for our recommendations on the best online tools based on the language you want to learn.
What I like about each platform:
- The courses are made up of daily lessons, weekly quizzes and monthly challenges, which get you into a habit of regular practice.
- Vocabulary included is relevant and useful for learning a language, and is drilled in effectively.
- It’s not very expensive.
- The interface is easy to use and navigate, with clearly laid-out content.
- Lessons increase in difficulty as you work through the course
- The additional features included in the ‘Extended Learning’ pack offer more enjoyable forms of learning a language.
What I don’t like about each platform:
- No matter which level you’re on, the content is virtually the same. You’ll also find the same content in all languages with cultural aspects being ignored.
- The lesson order doesn’t always make the most sense.
- Some important concepts aren’t explained very well.
- The course’s key units are fairly repetitive and would quickly become demoralizing.
- It’s a more expensive option than similar, better resources.
- You’ll struggle to learn simple concepts because you have to infer the meaning of content through images alone.
Mondly offers courses in 33 languages, while Rosetta Stone’s courses cover 19 languages.
On Mondly, you can learn the more common languages, like Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Russian. You could also learn Afrikaans, Croatian, Polish, Bulgarian and Indonesian.
You can use Rosetta Stone to learn standard English, French, Spanish and German, or a lesson common language like Persian (Farsi), Hebrew, and Filipino (Tagalog).
Mondly is priced fairly for the material it offers, with three plans to choose from. You can either pay on a monthly basis at $9.99 per month for one language, or $47.99 per year, which works out at $4 a month. Oddly, you can also subscribe to all language courses for exactly the same price – $47.99 per year.
Rosetta Stone is slightly higher in cost than similar resources. If you’re completely new to the resource, you won’t be able to pay on a month-by-month basis. The shortest subscription period is three months, which costs $36, followed by $179 for 12 months, and $199 one time for a lifetime subscription.
How languages are taught with Mondly
Mondly’s premium plan covers quite a bit of information that’s suitable for beginner and intermediate users. The resource is split into different lessons that focus on practicing different elements of a language – vocabulary, pronunciation, speaking skills, and, though not quite as in-depth, grammar.
Mondly’s interface presents each of its lesson bundles in bubbles, which focus on a specific vocabulary topic. Clicking on the bubble brings up a number of lessons, each of which consists of numerous exercises. It’s your choice what order you complete lessons in, and you can redo them at any time.
Each lesson gives you a star rating based on performance. You’ll start off with three stars, and your rating will drop down every time you make a mistake. Performing particularly poorly may mean you have to repeat a lesson.
Once you’ve signed up to Mondly, you’ll need to choose the language you want to learn and your current level. Note that you’ll be given the exact same style of content no matter what level you’re starting at, which is slightly disappointing.
Within each lesson, you’ll work through different types of practices intended for drilling. Exercises prompt you to select translations for English words provided, create a correct word from randomly ordered letters, and choose the right word after you hear and see a word.
At the end of the exercises in one section, you’re offered a summary of the vocabulary you’ve covered. At this point, you can go back and redo a lesson if you want to, or view information on how you’re progressing. You’ll be put against a few “competitors” in your category, which brings in a healthy element of competition.
Aside from normal lessons, you also have vocabulary units, conversation units, and grammar drilling exercises. These are effective enough, but it would be nice to get a bit more theory behind the grammar sections. Without basic explanations, it’s more difficult to pick up the rules of a language.
How languages are taught with Rosetta Stone
We tried out the Spanish course on Rosetta Stone, but it seems highly likely that the other courses follow the same format. The course is packed full of material to get through, with exercises for working on all areas of language learning: speaking, writing, listening, reading and pronunciation.
You’ll be presented with 20 units in total, which gradually increase in difficulty on a unit-by-unit basis. Like on Mondly, each unit has its own theme, although the lessons are scaffolded pretty well.
The first core lesson in a unit runs through a recap of the grammar and vocabulary covered in previous units, before building on what you already know and adding complexity. This takes around 30 minutes to complete.
You will then move onto shorter exercises that stick to the same theme of the lesson, but focus on certain aspects in more detail.
You start by learning the basics. The core section of unit 1, level 1, pairs simple phrases with pictures. The phrase is read aloud for you to hear how it sounds.
Once you’ve worked through a few pages of the exercise, the pictures will start switching around, and the written words disappear, which means you need to pay attention to click the right option and remember the phrases correctly.
At the end of each section, you get a pop-up letting you know your total number of correct and incorrect exercises, with a percentage score for the section overall. You’ll then move onto exercises focusing on pronunciation, reading, listening and so on.
Lessons are well-structured, and the course becomes more and more complex the further you get. Unfortunately, though, exercises and material stay the same no matter how far you progress. Constantly matching pictures to captions can become pretty boring.
Mondly and Rosetta Stone are both decent enough resources, and if there weren’t other options, would be worth using. Fortunately for language learners, there are other options that teach languages more effectively.
Lessons on both resources have the potential to get repetitive and boring. They’re also missing explanations in certain elements of a language, which makes it difficult to understand the meaning behind what you’re learning.
Mondly is a slightly more appealing option than Rosetta Stone, simply because a yearly subscription for all of Mondly’s courses costs almost a quarter of a yearly subscription to Rosetta Stone. I personally don’t think Rosetta Stone can justify its prices given their product really isn’t that good.
Even though I’d choose Mondly over Rosetta Stone, I still wouldn’t recommend it. The table below shows some of our favourites based on the language you want to learn.
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