Fluenz Review: Not Bad But There Are Better Alternatives
- Written byLara Scott
- Read time2 mins
- Technical depth (syntax etc. explained)
- Well-paced tutorials
- Records your speech
- Variety of exercises
- Learn at own pace
- Limited languages
- Superficial topics
- Good only for languages in the English alphabet
Fluenz is a professional and well-designed course covering several major languages, with conventional lessons and exercises, albeit entirely unremarkable. Overall, a solid course but overpriced compared to competitors.
Fluenz is basically a professionally designed online textbook with engaging images for Spanish (both Latin American and European), French, Italian, German, Mandarin Chinese and Portuguese.
In Fluenz, you can access any chapter or exercise of any level. This all-access quality enables you to learn at your own pace, and you can peek at more advanced levels even if you left some exercises incomplete.
What adds to the textbook-like nature is the introduction and conclusion videos for each session.
The intro serves as a short tutorial on what is applied in the exercises, and the conclusion nicely wraps up, adding a word of encouragement.
The tutorials are comprehensive and cover things like syntax and pronunciation. The tone of these videos is serious (the one in Mandarin can sound a tad reprimanding), yet assuring.
The exercises are intentionally ordered, familiarizing you with meaning, sounds, and grammar. Like a strict teacher, Fluenz encourages you to undergo repetitive, effective drills.
There is a good variety of exercises, (identifying flashcards, mixing and matching replies to phrases, etc.).
I really enjoyed the role-playing exercise: I speak into the app and it records my (guided) replies to some spoken phrases, composing a short conversation with the demo audio.
Fluenz is enough to get you around a foreign country with ease. However, the topics don’t go too far beyond simply functional: eating, drawing money, souvenirs… even the built-in dictionary is limited with the vocabulary of logistics and small talk (e.g. “sad” is not included).
For the app’s rigour and price, it provides technical depth, but not content. It’s a good start.
Small complaint: learning Mandarin was frustrating – the pinyin answer key is unnecessarily rigid, and even inaccurate sometimes.
But for the other languages which are meant to be expressed using English letters, Fluenz is good.
At a lower price point and far more comprehensive, I would recommend Rocket Languages as a far better alternative to Fluenz.
Have you used Fluenz before?
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