FluentU Review: Is It Your Cup Of Tea?

October 1, 2020

You are probably here in search of information about FluentU reviews that will tell you is it worthy of your time and money. I hope this FluentU review can help you with that.

FluentU is like YouTube for language learners through authentic video content and its learning system. It's cool but not without flaws. We’ll discuss the pros and cons in this review.

 

Let's Review How FluentU works?

FluentU takes real world video content from the internet (YouTube in most cases) - stuff like news, whatever, movie trailers, beauty tips, cooking recipes … and they add subtitles. And not just any speech recognition subtitles, but real subtitles which are done by people who really understand the language they are translating.

That's not the only trick up FluentU's sleeve. You can find the subtitles under the video and it will help you learn a new language in an easy way. So, if you see the word you don't understand, you can just hover over it and the video will automatically stop and a little info box will pop up and write the English translation and some grammar information as well. This cool feature has 2 options:

  • word by word
  • phrase by phrase (you won’t miss out idiomatic expressions)

FluentU Features

FluentU's learning system allows you to learn a new language through a YouTube-like experience and by taking quizzes at the end of each video. The quiz takes the video apart bit by bit. It puts you to the test with multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blanks, and more other fun exercises.

Every question has accompanying video segments, but not always of the same video. This way you can hear a word or phrase from different sources.

I think the FluentU team made the right decision here. Because if you learn a word from one single source in one single context, your learning will be pretty limited. So, a good call for them.

One more cool feature about FluentU’s video player is the Loop button. It allows you to loop individual parts of a video as many times as you need and that gives you the time to really learn the difficult sentences or expressions. If you’ve done some language learning in the past, you’ll understand how useful the Loop button really is.

But despite these helpful features, the quiz isn’t perfect. It sometimes feels a little clunky, but that’s not even my biggest complaint. In the quiz features the videos in a too small frame. If they would be displayed in a larger window, you’d feel more like you are really there. That would get you pumped up. And motivate you. FluentU’s competitors do this much better job in their features.

 

FluentU Review: Languages You Can Learn

At its very beginning, the FluentU app and desktop version only offered the Chinese language. Today, you can use it to learn the following languages:

  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • English
  • English for
  • Japanese speakers
  • English for
  • Korean speakers
  • English for
  • Spanish speakers
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Russian
  • Spanish

You have the access to all languages with one subscription. But, there isn't the same number of videos available for all languages. That isn't something you should worry about since there is a lot of material to keep you busy for a long time and the FluentU team is constantly adding new videos so you’ll probably won't run out of videos to learn from.

 

Video Database FluentU Offers

When talking about FluentU's video database, we could say that there is something for everyone. It's sorted by difficulty, topics, and format.

The topics are:

  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Business Culture
  • Everyday Life
  • Health and Lifestyle
  • Politics and Society
  • Science and Technology

 

fluentu review

These topics are broad. So, if are looking for more specific stuff, you should use the search engine. Even more, you can search for words or phrases you want to learn. Fluent U’s search engine will display all video contents in which the words or phrases appear.

This is soo cool because you can find the word you came across while reading and don’t know it means yet or you hear it while conversing with a native speaker.

However, not everything is perfect when it comes to FluentU’s video selection. I am disappointed because there are few videos on a particular topic. For example, if you are a big soccer fan and you’d like to try learning the Spanish language through videos about soccer, you can’t do that. You can just select a broad topic and then look for videos that interest you. Also, you can sort videos by popularity. Users can rate the videos, and that gives you the opportunity to filter out the boring program from the cool ones.

 

How Much Does FluentU Cost?

FluentU Basic Plan FluentU Plus Plan
15$/month  30$/month
120$/year  240$/year
Unlimited Video Watching Unlimited Video Watching
Unlimited Audio Listening Unlimited Audio Listening
Unlimited Quiz/Learn Mode
Unlimited Courses
Unlimited Vocab Decks
Unlimited PDF Printouts

As you can see in the previous table, you can get a 33% discount for both plans if you purchase a year-long subscription. Though FluentU also offers a stripped-down free version, it’s pretty limited. It only gives access to free videos.

For the rest of the videos AND all the features, you have to pay a monthly fee.

You can try FluentU and all its features free trial for 14 days. If you cancel your account before the 14 days are over, you will not be charged.

 

Summary

Here’s what you get with using FluentU:

  • genuine audio-visual content from the real world (drawn from YouTube), available in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, German, Japanese
  • classified up by level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, etc)
  • classified by genre (movies, songs, TV)
  • bilingual subtitles for everything
  • hover-over dictionary for any words you don’t know
  • short sections of video that you can loop automatically
  • learning center where you can study all the vocabulary from each video in a built-in flashcard (spaced repetition) system that’s as good as Memrise

FluentU is a dissent language earning option. As an alternative, you should consider using some other apps for learning a language like the Ling App.

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