In this post, we have featured the FluentU Review 2021.
Learning a new language can always be quite daunting for anyone but if you have the right resources, it becomes a little less daunting.
FluentU has the potential to be one of those platforms that help you master a language over a month or two through its unique approach.
Let’s get started with a deep FluentU Review 2021 to know more about the Language learning platform.
FluentU Review 2021– Is It Worth Your Money?
What makes FluentU stand apart from the rest of the platforms that offer language learning resources is that it relies on real-life videos in that language with are combined with subtitles and translations to help you learn the language.
It has been proven in the past that learning a language by hearing someone speak always has an advantage over learning it through a textbook. This exact fact is leveraged by FluentU to help you master the language of your choice.
Overview of FluentU Review
FluentU is a platform that offers language learning resources in the form of real-world videos that are combined with interactive subtitles that together create an immersive and all-round experience.
The platform uses a variety of videos to teach you the language that you want to learn which can range anywhere between commercials, TV shows to music videos.
The videos are followed by quizzes that help you and the platform understand how much you have learned from that particular video. The videos are quite lightweight and you can always knock them out even if you are a beginner.
You can choose from nine languages on FluentU and all of these are available across Operating Systems which include iOS, Android, and even on the web.
The platform offers most of its videos at the level of slightly over beginner but no matter which level you are at, there are videos for you on FluentU.
Languages That FluentU Offers:
If you are looking to learn any of the following languages online, FluentU is an option for you that you should consider. The languages that the platform offers are:
There are many videos for the language that you choose but we will find out if FluentU is the right platform for the language that you want to learn given the content and the pricing or whether there are better options out there.
Quick Thoughts On FluentU Review
If you want my quick opinion on whether FluentU is worth your time or not, I will have to tell you that I am not too excited about the platform and there are a few reasons behind it.
One of them is the fact that most of the videos available on the platform are less than three minutes which is not exactly what a conversation is like which can hurt the process since the speaking fluency is nonexistent on the platform.
Even the quizzes that they offer after every video are a bit on the inadequate level which means that you will soon be looking for other resources to fill the void that FluentU leaves behind.
When you combine all of this with the price that you have to pay for using FluentU monthly, it starts making less and less sense to use the platform as time passes.
It is better if you get the monthly subscription for a month at a time instead of going all-in with the yearly subscription.
Now that you know what it’s like, let’s delve deeper to find if it’s right for you.
The interface isn’t too minimal but it is functional. There is a space for you to find out what all you have accomplished on the platform and there is an option for you to search videos from the library but apart from that, there isn’t much to talk about the FluentU platform apart from that.
If you are looking for something aesthetically pleasing, FluentU ain’t it chief. This particularly can be a let-down because it can make you lose motivation about learning. The one good thing about the interface is that you don’t need time to get used to it.
You open the site and it is quite intuitive (and doesn’t have a lot of things) it is quite easy to learn how to use it.
Some things, however, are hard to find, especially things like how to change the language, which is buried quite deep in the settings and might need you to Google how to do it.
Learning Through Videos
The videos are the most crucial part of all because that is where you are going to learn the language. The videos themselves are pretty good since they are spoken by native people and thus there are no fake accents or anything.
They are authentic content that you might otherwise find on Youtube.
FluentU spends a lot of time on the videos before they are released on the platform. They add subtitles and translations to the videos so that you can learn while watching the videos instead of having to spend special time on them.
They even transcript the video so that you can go back to any point after the video for reference when you need to.
One of my favorite features from FluentU is the hover to translate feature. If you go into the transcription or even the subtitles and hover over a specific word or phrase, the platform translates the word or phrase for you so that you understand the meaning and the definition of the word.
This feature is unique to this platform and is very useful too.
The platform also breaks down the transcript word by word wherein it shows you the definition of the word along with a meter that indicates your fluency of the word.
This makes the learning experience very intuitive and integrated and seeing the same words over and over helps you build a vocabulary over time. Since the videos are from real-life content, the vocabulary present of the platform is also quite extensive.
You can find many words that you might not have used even if you were a native speaker. This is the kind of vocabulary that the platform has to offer to us.
You can even hear each word in the transcript by pressing on it and activating the audio recording but these audio recordings are not by native speakers. They are made by a text to speech recognition software and thus sound very out of place.
They are very robot-like and for a platform that boasts its native fluency, it borders on embarrassing. The text to speech software isn’t very useful and might end up ruining the entire experience for you.
You can also turn the subtitles or translation on or off depending on your preference but it is very easy for you to leave it on translation due to the option that it offers.
Truth be told, your progress would be hampered if you do choose to keep the translation on because you won’t end up learning any new words or their meanings.
You can also break up the video into smaller clips and navigate them separately to understand everything at your own pace which crucial because the learning speed for different people is different.
You can also listen to the clips on repeat until you understand the meaning or grasp it which I felt quite useful when learning on the platform.
Test Your Knowledge
After every video, you undertake a test. It is not as dramatic as the title I have given it, that’s just for the flair. The tests themselves are fairly easy and become very uninteresting after a certain point but they are part of the course nonetheless.
The test consists of questions like fill in blanks based on the video clip that you have watched. You can rewatch the clip if you want since this test is for helping you with the writing and spelling part.
Another type of question is putting the words in the correct order to form a meaningful sentence. I found this exercise particularly useful to understand the grammatical part of the language.
The quiz also has a few MCQs but they are not that interesting or even difficult to beg for your attention.
The quizzes are a big welcome after each video but soon after you start, they begin to feel monotonous and repetitive and monotony is not good when it comes to learning because you can lose your interest faster than your money.
The tests are fine for beginners but if you are looking for intermediate to advanced learning of the language, they won’t be of any use for you, and it is better if you don’t consider it a part of the package.
Pricing at FluentU Review
First and foremost, the free trial. Most of the online learning platforms these days offer a free trial, albeit of different durations but they do. The reason behind this is that you can take a small test drive before you buy the course or subscription.
FluentU is no different. They also offer a free trial for anyone willing to register with their email on the website.
FluentU’s free trial is for 14 days which is double what most of the others offer and you can cancel it at any time you want as well. This trial is in place so that you can see if their teaching style can be beneficial for you or not and whether your learning style is compatible with it.
This is your chance to figure out if the platform would work to help you achieve your language goals. If you decide that the platform works for you at the end of the trial, you can move on to the paid subscription.
FluentU offers you two types of paid subscriptions. One is a monthly subscription while the other is a yearly subscription. Both these subscriptions offer you access to everything that the platform has to offer to you including all the languages available on the platform.
When you decide to pay the platform monthly, they charge you $30 per month. The same goes down to $20 per month (at $240/ year which you have to pay upfront) if you take a yearly subscription.
I will reserve my thoughts about the pricing for the end.
Pros & Cons | FluentU Review
- What I like about the platform is that it is very easy to navigate due to the simple website they offer. The same goes for the apps on both Android and iOS.
- The subtitles are quite accurate for all the videos and the interaction with them is easy which facilitates the learning experience.
- The best part of the platform is that they have authentic videos by native speakers and each video has an exercise after it. This makes the learning process more interactive.
- The platform also recognizes Japanese and Chinese characters unlike some of the other platforms.
- I don’t like the fact that the flashcards use a text to speech software which makes the flashcards feel very robotic and unnatural.
- The tests feel inadequate in terms of writing practice and when it comes to speech practice, it is altogether non-existent.
- The tests or activities after every video get boring very soon and offer limited functionality as a whole. If you are an intermediate or advanced learner, you might as well forget about them because they aren’t for you.
- The inability to search for content based on region irks me because that is a feature that would make the learning process quite easy.
Alternatives To FluentU
FluentU has quite a few alternatives available. You could explore these alternatives before you decide which platform you want to use for learning the language of your choice.
Yabla is the most direct competitor to FluentU and offers the same features for half the price of FluentU. However, Yabla is not an option if you are looking to learn Japanese, Russian, or Korean.
The practice tests are much better on Yabla but another trade-off is that you get access to only one language at a time on one subscription.
If you are looking to learn something like Russian, Romanian, or Ukrainian, this is the perfect platform for you. Most of the content here is free for you but there are a few videos that ask for a nominal fee like less than $2.
What To Consider Before Choosing The Language Learning App? | FluentU Review
Now that I have mentioned what all FluentU has to offer, here are the things that you should consider while choosing FluentU or any other platform to learn a language.
The number one thing is whether the platform offers the language that you want to learn. If any of the 9 languages that FluentU has to offer are on your list, it is a good option.
The second thing is to check how much content is available on the platform. FluentU has a vast content library that comes with its subscription.
The third is the features that the platform offers. FluentU is very feature-rich, especially with features that are useful and hence have an integrated learning experience.
The fourth and last is the pricing. The one place FluentU lacks is in terms of this. The pricing is a bit too high for opting into the platform. Even at the yearly subscription, it feels expensive as compared to the peers.
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FAQs | FluentU Review
Is FluentU any good?
FluentU is one of the best platforms out there for learning a new language online but it also has its shortcomings.
How much does FluentU cost?
FluentU costs $30 per month if you take a monthly subscription and $20 per month at $240 a year if you take a yearly subscription.
Is FluentU better than Duolingo?
FluentU and Duolingo both have totally different teaching styles and thus cannot be compared. You need to figure out which of them fits your style of learning.
What are the alternatives to FluentU?
The best alternative to FluentU is Yabla which offers just three languages lesser at half the price. Another alternative is 3Ears.
Conclusion | FluentU Review 2021
FluentU is a well-rounded platform if you want to learn the languages that it has to offer. They have a lot of content which is from native speakers which is the biggest strength of the platform.
It is a shame that the videos are so small which otherwise would have made the platform perfect even for learning to speak in the language.
The platform is also full of features that are useful as compared to the competitors which have features that are simply unusable. The pricing, however, is the sore point of the entire platform.
If the team at FluentU would have decided to price the subscription a bit more practically, it would have beat out all the other platforms for the number one position however, it does not.
I hope you like this FluentU Review 2021.