Lingodeer Review: Decent Alternative To Other Language Apps
- Written byLara Scott
- Read time11 mins
- Diverse language coverage
- High quality audio
- Offline mode
- Clear explanations
- Good lesson style variety
- Inappropriately leveled content in early lessons
- Buggy app
The Lingodeer app is somewhat of a Duolingo derivative but with better explanations, far better audio and various other features for a handful of languages.
Despite being way overpriced, Lingodeer's a decent app but nothing stellar.
I love learning different languages and I’ve wanted to review Lingodeer for ages after hearing so much about it.
I downloaded the Lingodeer app with the intention of trying my hand at Italian. With quarantine and lockdowns intermittently taking place around the world, there has never been a better time to learn a language.
It’s been a fairly positive experience to finally learn the basics of Italian on Lingodeer.
You’ll find my review of the app below.
Table Of Contents
- What is Lingodeer?
- What I don’t like about Lingodeer (cons)
- Strange choice of words and sentences
- “Speaking” lessons
- Potential for procrastination
- Way overpriced for what it offers
- What I like about Lingodeer (pros)
- Lots of language options
- Varied lesson style
- Audio quality
- Learning tips
- Downloadable knowledge cards + offline mode
- Not cookie cutter
- Pricing and refunds
- Review summary
What is Lingodeer?
Lingodeer launched back in September 2017, primarily focused on East Asian languages, yet it has since expanded and now offers lessons in the following languages:
- Mandarin Chinese
According to Lingodeer, the language learning app has amassed over “10 million happy learners” within a three-year period which certainly gives the fast-growing startup some bragging rights.
It also appears to have been the recipient of the 2019 Google Play Editor’s Choice Award and Android Excellence Award.
Lingodeer was founded by computer scientist and language teacher, Wang Zhulong, who also founded the successful Mandarin beginners app ChineseSkill, which received 5 million dollars in capital.
Languages on Lingodeer are not only taught in English as a source language, but they’re also taught in French and an array of other languages.
Lingodeer isn’t very innovative (it’s quite reminiscient of apps like Duolingo, Babbel and Rosetta Stone), but it stands out for it’s simplicity, detailed explanations and straight-forward functionality.
It’s a language learning app that has the ability to make learning fun and I feel that’s really important, especially for beginners.
If you’re thinking about giving Lingodeer a test-run yourself any time soon, you’ll be able to access the app via their website, Google Play or the Apple App Store.
What I didn’t like about Lingodeer and what I think can be improved
Strange choice of questions, words and sentences
When I think of the basics for learning a language, I think of words and phrases that you would use in your everyday life, like “hello” or “goodbye” or “what is your name?”
On my recent trip to Vietnam, I found the basic greetings and phrases I learned were so useful, as well as respectful to the Vietnamese people I met there.
Natives appreciate when tourists have tried to learn a few words, as it shows interest in their culture and way of life.
In Lingodeer there’s a “Greetings” lesson for each language but it comes much later on in the learning journey — which makes no sense to me at all.
Advanced terms are introduced in the “Basics 1” lesson of the Italian course which I found quite odd. This is not content that I would teach a beginner of Italian.
I think Lingodeer needs to include the “Greetings” lesson within the introductory “Basics 1” lesson.
It is most definitely an aspect of the app that could be reorganised.
You shouldn’t avoid early speaking when learning a new language, and part of this is learning how to pronounce words correctly.
Whilst there are speaking lesson options with the ‘The Story’ section of Lingodeer, I feel they’re lacking.
Basically ‘The Story’ is a short subtitled video included with each language on Lingodeer which includes questions that help you learn and in some instances, and allowing you to record yourself telling the story in your newly acquired language.
There are definitely other programs on the market that would better help you improve your speaking skills (see alternative language resources).
Or even better: find a real-life tutor (try italki).
Potential for procrastination
Not really a criticism of Lingodeer per se, but something I’ve noticed with lots of apps like it and Duolingo.
That is - with cute, gamified apps, it’s very easy to spend a lot of time quickly moving through lessons and thinking you’re making actual progress in your target language, when it reality all you’re doing is wasting time.
It’s important to study for short periods, then go and actually use what you’ve learned.
For me personally, learning has to be fun otherwise I lose interest really quickly.
I have tried to learn Italian before by other means but have always given up because it felt like too much work. Lingodeer makes learning enjoyable with a cute and playful interface and encouraging words flashing across the screen when you complete a task correctly.
Lingodeer feels like leisure time.
This can be a good thing but also lead to a lot of wasted time if you spend too much time on the app.
Lingodeer is way overpriced for what it offers
Is Lingodeer worth it in terms of cost?
In my opinion, it’s twice as expensive as it should be. Most apps (including Lingodeer’s competitors) are less than $10 per month. If they dropped their pricing, the app would be way more enticing.
See the pricing tables below.
What I loved about learning a language on the Lingodeer App
Attractive style and design
I guess some people could think Lingodeer has an infantile design that could be considered ‘condescending’ to adults (Donovan has made this comment before regarding Duolingo).
But I loved the design and found the sparseness made you focus on the lessons at hand, rather than gimmicky and confusing visuals that are the primary feature of many new apps nowadays.
When you fail a task, you get a red message with the Lingo Deer crying. When you complete a task successfully, you get a green message with a happy Lingo Deer.
It’s a feel-good high-vibe design that makes one want to use it.
A diverse variety of languages to choose from
When Lingodeer officially launched, it only offered three East Asian languages — Korean, Japanese and Chinese.
Since those early days, Lingodeer has added Italian, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Arabic and English.
The free version of the app allows you to trial an array of beginner lessons and activities in multiple languages, which may help you to ascertain which languages you feel most passionate about.
Varied lesson style
As I mentioned above, Lingodeer lessons are somewhat reminiscient of Duolingo, Rosetta Stone and Busuu.
Lessons include comprehension and filling in the blanks, sounds and pronunciation, matching words with pictures and definitions and removing the incorrect word.
Professional clear audio quality for all lessons
Lingodeer’s HD audio for each language is outstanding.
Crisp clear sentences voiced by native speakers that are easy to understand and mimic.
The learning tips part of Lingodeer has taught me a lot. During every lesson, you have the option to swipe left, which brings up the ‘learning tips” to help you with the particular language you have chosen to learn.
I’m learning Italian (as stated above) and had the opportunity to learn about the history of the Italian language in this section, as well as learning about pronouns and the present tense.
It’s a really helpful section that will be appreciated by all learners of languages on Lingodeer.
Unfortunately, other language programs can epically fail when it comes to teaching grammar, which I find sad because grammar is essentially the cornerstone of language and should not be overlooked.
Downloadable knowledge cards and offline mode
In this day and age, I guess it’s great to have everything on our devices in a cloud.
But some of us like more tangible learning tools and the printable knowledge cards on Lingodeer give us just that. The knowledge cards allow you to refresh and review your understanding of grammatical concepts.
You can stick them to your fridge or keep them on your desk.
They’re a great option for those who don’t want to be continually plugged into their devices and who like to learn via varied means.
It’s also definitely worth nothing that Lingodeer has an “offline mode” so you can use their content without being connected to the Internet.
Lingodeer isn’t cookie cutter - each language course is quite unique
Once you’ve chosen your preferred language at signup, the lessons page will appear and you’ll be given nearly 30 lesson options to choose from, including: Basics, The Alphabet, Food and Drink, Numbers, Greetings, Objects, Colours, Verbs and many more.
Once each lesson section is completed, you get to move on to the next.
What I thought was really cool however, was that Lingodeer seems to customise each language with the foods, places and objects that are relevant to their country and nationality, instead of doing general food items etc.
This is not the case with all programs which tend to be way too cookie cutter.
Pricing and refunds
Lingodeer is a partly free app which gives learners access to introductory lessons plus an awesome travel phrasebook.
But to access all lessons, priority support, cross-device synchronization and offline downloads, one requires a subscription.
These are available as monthly, quarterly, yearly and lifetime memberships.
Customers can purchase a pass in a singular language or for a few extra bucks can choose a multilingual pass which gives them access to all languages and unlocks over 200 lessons.
Single Language Pass
|$18.99 per month||$46.99 per 3 months||$61.99 the first year||$164.99 single payment|
|$18.99 per month||$48.99 per 3 months||$64.99 the first year||$164.99 single payment|
There’s a 7 day refund policy but only if you pay on the Lingodeer website. This does not apply to app store purchases.
Lingodeer review summary
I’m quite satisfied with the Lingodeer app.
It has sparked a fire in my belly for learning Italian and I like being able to do Lingodeer’s quick and easy lessons around my hectic schedule.
The variety of lesson/exercise types is great: multiple choice, the writing out the full sentences, listening to the native speaker and dictating how he/she articulates.
It’s a fun way to learn and I find it makes me remember things easily without stressing me out — which is a blessing! 😊
Being able to take lessons offline is also helpful in various situations (and one the best selling points, in my opinion).
Lingodeer is certainly not going to give you a university degree in languages, but rather it’ll teach you the basics in the shortest amount of time, so you’re able to greet people, tell the time and order your favorite meal on the menu, and so on.
After using it for a short time, I’m confident in the Italian I’ve learned.
Lingodeer appears to understand that each individual is unique in how they study and absorb information.
There is the option to choose a specific narrator, background color and the size and font of the script.
The option to study silently, is also helpful if you’re in a place where you’re unable to have any sound.
The Alphabet section with it’s lessons on vowels, consonants, special consonants and double consonants is so thorough with it’s written and audio pronunciation guide. Not all language apps have an alphabet lesson unfortunately but Lingodeer does and better still, it is accessible to customers using the free membership.
I believe one of the most helpful features of the Lingodeer app is the ability to go back and review lessons. Often when one is learning a new language, you feel simultaneously excited and overwhelmed.
It’s easy to forget what you’ve learned.
Being able to go back and refresh your memory via the flashcard function and fun quizzes is a godsend and something I find myself doing often.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how far I can advance on my ‘learning Italian” journey using Lingodeer.
It gets good reviews.
Lingodeer feels easy, it doesn’t involve reading 500-page books or turning up to lectures or writing 10,000 word essays in a timely fashion.
It’s a good app for beginners, tourists and students, and it enables you to pick up the basics of a language in a short amount of time.
But for those of you who are searching for an intermediate or advanced foray into a particular language, there are better alternatives to Lingodeer.
Have you used Lingodeer before?
Share your thoughts below.
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