With a plethora of educational apps coming out in the past few years, we understand how overwhelming it is to find your next go-to language learning resource. To cut through the noise, join us in this Mango languages review as we walk you through what makes this platform a class apart from the rest. We will also share with you the features we are a fan of and those that took the l after clocking over 100 hours of using it. If you are ready for some brutal truths, then keep reading below!
Are you struggling to keep up with the latest language learning tools?
As language enthusiasts, we often find ourselves pigeonholed into one or two types of resources for our target language. We find the whole process of signing up on multiple applications such a hassle. So much so that we frequently miss out on newer, cheaper, and more exceptional educational platforms available on the internet. At present, one of the most intriguing online learning apps with over a million users is Mango Languages.
Officially released in the market in 2007, Mango Languages quickly climbed up the charts for educational platforms as it promises to help learners discover and master different languages through proven methodologies. When we say “proven,” we mean that almost all aspects of the app are based on rigorous scientific research undertaken by its team of innovators and academicians under the company’s Mango Labs initiative. With this said, users are guaranteed to gain proficiency in their target language in the most advanced ways possible.
Another factor that played a massive role in their success is that they partnered with multiple organizations, public libraries, and institutions to create specialty courses. These specialty courses cover the intricacies of other countries’ languages, cultures, and traditions. So whether you want to learn the basics of French or dive deeper into the idiomatic expressions used by a French connoisseur, Mango Languages has your back!
Despite all its unique features, one question remains. How exactly does Mango Languages fare against its top competitors? Let’s answer that in the sections below!
What Is Mango Languages?
Mango Languages is an award-winning online language learning program that paves the way for learning to be as uncomplicated as possible. Thanks to the apps’ advanced algorithms, it can easily follow an adaptive learning approach depending on the learners’ progress, behavior, and commitment. By consuming their range of premium courses for at least 15 minutes a day, Mango Languages promises to get you speaking confidently and engaging in conversations with native speakers immediately.
In terms of its functionalities, this popular platform comes with premium learning features based on the principles of Second Language Acquisition or SLA. From the inside, you can expect lesson units that follow a strict curriculum that will dive deep into grammar, listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Unlike the classic use of flashcards, this platform will delight users with its hands-free learning capability, tone comparison feature, and semantic color mapping tool.
On top of that, Mango Languages strives to help its users explore the language further by adding cultural-based lesson material for every unit. Such a move seeks to encourage learners to become culturally competent, aware, and knowledgeable about the world around us.
What Is It About? A state-of-the-art language learning system that capitalizes on scientific research to enhance the basic linguistic areas for communicative proficiency.
Languages Offered: 70 languages + Additional course for English learners
Level: Beginner (A1) to Master 2 (C2)
Who Is It For? For language enthusiasts and beginners looking for a solid tool to help speak a new language naturally and fluently.
How Does Mango Languages Work?
Heralded as a revolutionary language learning app, Mango Languages proves to be the most flexible resource you can ever get your hands on. Unlike its competitors, such as Drops, the activities and lesson delivery change after assessing your progress and unique learning behaviors. Generally, the company’s goal is to help learners of all levels gain a practical understanding of how language works in the real world.
Given the features they have on board, they are keen on developing the users’ confidence and encouraging them to make meaningful connections almost instantly. For this reason, you can expect Mango Languages to bank on the concept of organic language acquisition to help users learn naturally in the way children are also discovered to be learning best.
If you decide to try this out, you can sign up for a free trial account through their website or download the app to your preferred device.
Once you have successfully created your account, you will then be prompted to pick a language to learn. From there, you will instantly be redirected to the learner’s portal, where you can find the first unit to learn. We were honestly a bit surprised that it did not take much time to set up since some apps usually take a few minutes or so to profile the users. For the case of Mango languages, trial users will not be allowed to answer any assessments for gauging their skills.
If you are using the free account, you will only be allowed to work on the first lesson of the first chapter. If you purchase a subscription, you will be free to start at any lesson you’d like without passing previous levels. This gives users a chance to brush up on the topics they are most interested in.
However, this also negatively affects the learning structure as the lessons are supposed to be worked through consecutively to maximize learning potential.
At the starting slide of your lesson, you can see the title of the chapter and a brief list of conversation and grammar points that will be covered inside. Once you are ready to learn a foreign language, you can either click on the start button or the auto-play feature (located on the upper right side next to the settings button). The auto-play feature allows you to take your language courses even while driving, cooking, or folding the laundry!
In each slide, you can follow the voice of the narrator, who will help you understand better the lesson presentation. The voice of the narrator is crisp and easy on the ears, but you can also toggle the closed captions for extra support. If you find such a feature distracting, you can also quickly switch off the narrator’s voice from the settings.
Depending on the language you are learning, you will notice that some slides will show both the literal and interpreted meaning of the words and expressions. When we were trying it out for the Tagalog language, we noticed that the greeting “magandang umaga” is partnered with the literal meaning too, which is “beautiful morning” in English.
Some of the slides will also ask you to repeat words and record yourself to check intonation and pronunciation patterns. In addition, you can find slides with basic critical-thinking and memory-building exercises, as well as short yet insightful cultural and grammar notes.
As we finished our first lesson using Mango Languages, we noticed that the instructional approach was getting too repetitive. Perhaps, this is why many users claimed that the application is tedious and is a world apart from the gamified and interactive process of apps like Duolingo and Ling. It simply has little interactivity and no room for challenging assessments like spelling, fill-in-the-blanks, pairing, or multiple choice questions.
Once you have completed all units, you can click on the review tab to practice the words and expressions you learned before taking the official assessment. The number of cards available for review will increase as you review the other unit lesson.
In our experience using the application, studying regularly for short periods is better than setting a whole day for reviewing alone. If you need a reminder of when to study, you can head over to menu options and click on Study Reminders. From there, you can manually enable the notifications at the time and days you would like to study.
What Languages Are Available In Mango Languages?
Ready to speak some of the obscure languages? Well, if there’s one thing that is truly different in Mango Languages, that would be its massive selection of available language apps. Currently, it has 70 languages, including the major and small ones! So whether you are learning Cantonese Chinese, Iraqi Arabic, or Canadian French, this app has lesson units for you.
Take a closer look at the table below to see all the foreign languages you can access today using Mango Languages.
|Arabic, Egyptian||Bengali||Czech||Finnish||Greek (Koine)||Hungarian||Japanese||Malayalam||Portuguese (Brazilian)||Shanghainese||Tagalog (Filipino)||Ukrainian|
|Arabic, Iraqi||Chaldean Aramaic||Danish||French||Haitian Creole||Icelandic||Javanese||Norwegian||Punjabi (Pakistani)||Slovak||Tamil||Urdu|
|Arabic, Levantine||Cherokee||Dari||French, Canadian||Hawaiian||Igbo||Kazakh||Pashto||Romanian||Spanish (Castilian)||Telugu||Uzbek|
|Arabic, Modern Standard (MSA)||Chinese, Cantonese||Dutch||German||Hebrew (Modern)||Indonesian||Korean||Pirate||Russian||Spanish (Latin American)||Thai||Vietnamese|
|Armenian||Chinese, Mandarin||Dzongkha||Greek (Modern)||Hebrew (Biblical)||Irish||Latin||Polish||Scottish Gaelic||Swahili||Turkish||Yiddish|
|Azerbaijani||Croatian||Farsi (Persian)||Greek (Ancient)||Hindi||Italian||Malay||Potawatomi||Serbian||Swedish||Tuvan|
How Is The Design And User Interface Of Mango Languages?
As soon as you load the application or visit it on the web, what will blow you away is its aesthetically pleasing user interface. It looks neat, and its UI/UX copy has a distinct way of making people feel empowered to take on the challenge of learning a new language. For example, their slogan “Language Is An Adventure” is impactful because it suggests that learning is not a race but a daring experience to embrace.
On top of that, Mango Languages sports a fresh and exciting yet professional color palette reflected on both the mobile and desktop versions. Instead of using a playful logo or a mascot, the company used a typography-based logo that reflects the “maturity” of the brand. Even the colors selected for the logo show a mix of warm and cool tones to strike a balance between energy, clarity, and calmness.
Once you are logged in, you will see that it has a sleek interface that is easy to navigate and responsive to fit your device’s screen. For phones with features for light and dark themes, the application automatically changes depending on your preference. If you have a dark theme setting, you can smoothly review even in low-light conditions. On the other hand, you can make yourself more focused with the light theme that is perfect for daytime review.
Mobile Version Of Mango Languages
As you take the first chapter of the main unit of your desired language, you can see a dashboard with two major tabs: Learn and Review. The Learn tab is where you can see the Units, chapters, lesson titles, and the number of lessons per unit. You can select the Languages tab on the upper left side of the interface if you want to see the dashboard for the other languages you are learning. From there, you will be redirected to the main cover page of the language you are learning.
The cover page looks fantastic, and the background image changes depending on your learning language. There, you can also find the information on how much time you have already spent learning, the completed lessons, and two buttons for resuming or deleting your progress. During our review, one of our testers mistakenly clicked on the delete button instead of “resume,” and this caused her to lose all her progress.
With this said, we think it will serve the users better if the buttons are not too close or on top of each other. Also, it would help if there was a confirmation message before proceeding with such an irrevocable action.
Picking a language to learn is easy on their platform, thanks to their prominently placed search textbox. Also, you can scroll through their list of languages and see cute little icons related to the language or country where it is spoken. While we describe it as “cute,” other users might not like it as they might prefer seeing the flags for the country where it is spoken instead of abstract graphics.
While taking the Latin American Spanish course, we noticed that the color coding for the sentences is genuinely useful for total beginners. It will help users better understand grammar rules and the general language structure. What’s even more interesting is that you can click on the words with different colors to inspect how they should be pronounced. Sometimes, the words may even note the parts of speech.
Compared to other language apps out there, we were quite disappointed to see that there’s no gamification on their app. With that said, the overall design and user interface might look a bit dull over time.
Desktop Version Of Mango Languages
At first glance, there is not much difference between the app and website version. The only advantage we see here is that we get a lot of white space when using a bigger screen, making the whole app look less overwhelming. Depending on the language you are learning, you can also quickly see the related units more easily than in the app. In addition, you can see the Tools tab that will lead you to a language conversion tool that uses the Google translation engine (nothing fancy here).
While taking a course, you can also use the keyboard to flip through the presentation. In the settings part, the same options are available like volume, narrator, closed captions, quiz timer, and interactive quiz slides.
What Are The Best Features Of Mango Languages?
With almost a 4.8-star rating on both Apple Store and Google Play, Mango Languages proves to be one of the recommendable learning tools for both small and popular languages. Instead of joining the trend of gamification and flashcard-based learning, the app is more focused on helping users get the right “feel” or “sound” of the target language using innovative features. Get to know more about all these in the sections below.
Semantic Color Mapping
The feature that blew us away is its advanced semantic color mapping since it is helpful for familiarizing common patterns. This makes the process less overwhelming since it helps develop syntactic knowledge and encourages them to recognize ambiguities in meaning-making. In the presentation slides, you will notice that there will be two sentences: one for English and one for the learner’s target language. All the words are highlighted in different colors to show the syntactic differences and how native users manipulate word order.
The next slide is usually for grammar notes where the whole pattern is further discussed to reinforce understanding of the semantic color mapping. In our experience learning the context-focused course such as medical Spanish in the app, we quickly grasped the fundamental concepts right off the bat, even if we were at such a low level.
If you truly want to learn languages, it is a must that you also give emphasis to your pronunciation as it can affect the meaning-making process. However, it is difficult to find low-anxiety environments for beginners to practice a language that they are still not yet that familiar with. To address this, Mango Languages embedded advanced pronunciation training in the form of its voice comparison feature.
The voice comparison feature helps users quickly hone their pronunciation by allowing them to see the waveform of a native speaker. From there, they can record their voice and try to emulate the version recorded by a native speaker as close as possible. The visual representation of the sounds allows everyone to analyze deeply what each word and expression should sound like. Not only can this help train the tongue, but it also improves confidence due to a lower affective filter.
To enhance the skills further, the app also shows phonetic spelling so that the learners can build metalinguistic awareness. The content varies depending on the lesson, as you can see a “bubble” for both word and phrase levels, making it a powerful resource that will help you cover all bases related to pronunciation.
Advanced Cultural Notes
To improve one’s language skills, it is a must to recognize nuanced cultural concepts as they play a huge role in the identity of the language itself. To ensure that learners get the best out of their time, Mango Languages offers multiple slides where additional cultural notes are included to help everyone understand the varied meanings or ways of saying a specific expression. It also helps enhance conversational skills as the slides also cover the correct usage and context to when a word or phrase is appropriate to use.
Suppose you are traveling to a foreign country. In that case, you can find the notes useful as it comes with specific guidelines about the behavior of the locals and the etiquette of the native speakers of your target language.
Since some languages are trickier to make sense of than others, Mango Languages also show the literal translations for some words and expressions. This feature allows the users to understand that not all interpretations are equal and that there are some linguistic elements you need to factor in when stringing together a complete sentence.
Want to continue learning while doing your routines? By simply tapping on the play icon, you can learn on the go and follow the narrator’s instructions. This feature will help you continue learning even if you are doing laundry or driving to work without having to press anything on your keyboard or your device’s screen. It’s like the whole course will turn into a podcast! Now that is something we haven’t seen in any language learning app before!
To Whom Is Mango Languages For?
Mango Languages is best for learners looking for a self-paced tool with basic language lessons and cultural and grammar notes. Each of the lesson units from the inside is well structured and is intended to help you discover new words along with their literal meaning), sentence patterns, and pronunciation guides. It is essential that we highlight that this tool is more focused on equipping you with the know-how to navigate real-world conversations.
If you are also looking for a shortcut on how to improve your pronunciation and accent in many languages at once, you can use this app to record your voice and practice in just one tap!
Overall, we believe that this is tailored for visual and auditory learners. So if any of those two rings true to you, then do not miss out on this platform.
How Much Does Mango Languages Cost?
Are you ready to commit and start improving your conversation skills with Mango Languages? If you are, then the next thing you should know about is its pricing scheme. Let’s get to know more about that below.
Is Mango Language For Free?
Mango Languages offers a freemium subscription, giving you access to the first lesson in all chapters of all their available languages. Once you have completed the first lesson, you need to subscribe to their premium version to unlock more lessons and chapters.
As of writing this review, they have a few languages that are available for free, including:
- Dzongkha (1 unit with two chapters)
- Cherokee (1 unit with two chapters)
- Chaldean Aramaic (1 unit with ten chapters)
- Shakesperean English (1 unit with 1 chapter)
- Ancient Greek (1 unit with four chapters)
- Hawaiian (5 units with 20 chapters)
- Standard Irish (1 unit with ten chapters)
- Pirate (1 unit with one chapter)
- Potawatomi (1 unit with ten chapters)
- Scottish Gaelic (1 unit with ten chapters)
- Shanghainese (1 unit with two chapters)
- Tuvan (1 unit with 1 chapter)
- Yiddish (3 units with 15 chapters)
As you can notice above, the languages available for free are not that comprehensive since it only has very little lesson content. If you want to learn the popular languages, you need to either avail the single language or all languages subscription. Let’s get to know more about that below!
What Subscriptions Does Mango Languages Offer?
Want to unlock the full potential of Mango Languages? To get the best out of this platform, you can choose three types of subscriptions depending on your needs.
If you are on a tight budget and would like to focus only on learning a specific language, then the Single Language subscription worth $7.99 per month (or $79.99 per year) is your best bet. On the flip side, you can also choose the All Languages package with a $19.99 per month (or $179.99 per year) price tag. If you are from an organization, you can also contact their sales team to tailor-fit an enterprise-level subscription based on your budget and the team size.
Mango Languages Review
Mango Language’s unique features are absolutely amazing. As we have been using that app for a long time, we learned that it would take users more time to use it than other language learning tools. Some language apps promise you’ll learn a lot for 15 minutes or less, but this one might take up to 28 minutes (depending on the target language).
Some might find this a negative sign, but we still believe that it is worth it. Allow us to share with you what we loved and did not like about the app in the sections below.
What We Love About Mango Languages
If you want to sound like a native speaker and elevate your basic conversations, Mango Languages is a suitable choice for you. Below are the reasons why we say so.
Covers Many Languages
The great thing about this application is that its selection of languages is so diverse! The app got your back from Asian languages to European and made-up languages like Pirate talk. What we also like is that it has specific lessons for dialects and other varieties of particular languages like in the case of Arabic, where you can choose from:
- Iraqi Arabic
- Egyptian Arabic
- Levantine Arabic
- Modern Standard Arabic
They also come with specialty courses that will cover notes on topical conversations, etiquette, slang, superstitions, and even Feng Shui!
Improves Cultural Competence
Aside from improving your vocabulary in the language you are learning, it is also important to enhance your cultural intelligence to appreciate the language better. In this case, Mango Languages smoothly added lesson slides and special courses that will tackle this aspect. For the developers, cultural knowledge can help improve your chances of blending in with the native speakers and engaging with them on a totally new level.
What we noticed though is that not all courses have special topics or in-depth cultural notes like in their popular languages. We hope that the team will also focus not just on expanding the languages covered but also on the cultural-based lessons to add more value to their app.
Advanced Pronunciation Training
Thanks to their high-quality audio, users can easily mimic the way a word or expression should sound according to real native speakers. This helps learners practice at any time and ultimately develop confidence in their skills. So no matter the time or place, you can interact confidently and use basic conversational phrases by simply practicing through the waveform-based slides regularly.
Points For Improvement
While Mango Languages may seem like the best one out there, the app also has its flaws, and we will go over those below.
No Discussions On Foreign Scripts
Aside from learning Spanish and French, some of our team members tried to learn Japanese. What surprised us is that Mango Languages does not have a single unit about the alphabet or the scripts at all! Instead of using the scripts, they adopted the conventional romaji-based approach. While some learners may like it this way, those who want to familiarize themselves with reading and writing in the original system will find this app unusable.
Additional Media Can Help Learners
The Mango Languages exceeds expectations in terms of the number of available languages you can learn from the app. However, using this platform for extended periods will take a toll on you because almost everything is repetitive. At first, it may look engaging, but we realized that without any fun activities, word games, or challenges, the app is simply…boring.
Inconsistent Course Length
While Mango Languages is aiming to become your standalone resource for learning, we cannot deny that the lessons from the inside only scratches the surface of most languages. In fact, the courses from the inside have varying length and review features making things a bit inconsistent as compared to other language learning apps. Below are some examples to prove our point:
- Bengali has 3 units with 15 lessons
- French has 5 units with 41 lessons (including placement tests, assessments, and listening & reading activities)
- Hindi has 1 unit with 10 lessons (including placement tests and assessments)
- Pashto has 1 unit and 2 lessons
Therefore, we only recommend this as a supplementary tool for beginners who are also interested in getting to know cultural points.
Is Mango Languages Worth It?
Being a native language speaker of another language is great, but having some expertise or at least the basic knowledge in a particular language can seriously help you out in the future. Based on the sections above, we really enjoyed using Mango Languages, but we understand that it is not really aligned with the needs of other individuals.
While clearly prioritizing advanced features over course depth, we believe this resource will live up to the expectations of beginners. However, advanced learners or those preparing for official language proficiency examinations may consider other language learning tools to train them more holistically.
Aside from that, its pricing is pretty steep, and few can afford expensive language learning materials today. With that said, if you are looking for a more affordable app that ticks all the boxes and will provide you with amazing lessons curated by real native speakers and language professionals, then the Ling App is here to help. Learn more about it below!
Make Language Learning Easy, Fun, And Exciting With Ling!
Want to know the secret to a thrilling learning languages experience? Get a leg up against other language learners by trying out the Ling App today!
The Ling App is one of the top-rated language resources that has complete lessons for over 60+ languages. Whether you are learning Tagalog, Norwegian, or Spanish, you are guaranteed to have unlimited access to all lesson units, exercises, and quiz-type games to boost your learning potential. And speaking of exercises, Ling lives up to every learner’s expectation as it comes with intelligent algorithms that will certainly support you in gaining proficiency in your target language as soon as possible.
If you want to simulate real-life conversations, you can also try out the AI chatbot feature that you can find inside the platform. Through this, you can easily practice complex sentences, review or learn new words, and improve your confidence in using a foreign language. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to say goodbye to Google translate and hello to the Ling App! Download it on the PlayStore and the AppStore today!