Language Learning Apps Review: Living Language
By Missi Smith
Learning a language can be a bit difficult, but it should be fun and informative. In our first mobile language learning app review, ULG tested the mobile app Duolingo. We rated it 10 out of 10 for price, ease of use, and support. But we were still left feeling something was missing: the user was missing a complete sense of learning the language from an academic perspective. We went back to the drawing board and found an app that fit our criteria. The second review in our three-part series of mobile language learning app review is Living Language.
Learning Made Easy
Though Living Language was free and easy to download and set up, we still had reservations about it meeting the need for learning the language structure. We went through the first beginner lessons and found the vocabulary drills are flashcards with transliteration (which you can turn off and on), and pronunciation. Once the vocabulary was mastered, we were introduced to vocabulary matching games, fill in the blank activities, and listening and translation activities.
We took a deeper dive; we found exactly what was missing in the first language learning app experience. Within the application, there are breakdowns of grammar and pronunciation with some brief history of the language and the culture.
Making a Commitment
It should be noted that our experience with Duolingo was a great start as we were able to apply some of that knowledge here. After completing the 10 beginner lessons, there was feeling of accomplishment that we were able to move easily and quickly through a new language. We decided to tackle the intermediate section.
After venturing into the intermediate pool, we were sold. This app has everything required and then some. Upon completion of the beginner lessons we already decided the app was a keeper. After the brief experience in the intermediate section, we decided it was worth paying the $10 USD for the app.
Taking a tour of the Living Language website, it offers English speakers 22 different languages to learn and if you’re a fan of the HBO mega-hit, “Game of Thrones,” you can also learn Dothraki. The full website also offers e-Tutoring, downloadable phrasebooks with pronunciation guides and the biggest value add we found: for those learning English, there’s a guide to idiomatic expressions. If you’re traveling, fully supported, bite sized language lessons are available to help you navigate while you’re abroad. Perhaps you work in law enforcement or healthcare. Language lessons are available that help address some of the issues that may arise while you’re at work.
The Envelope Please
Like anything you buy, you get what you pay for. ULG was more than impressed with the free version of Living Language and as noted previously, we were more than happy to upgrade to the paid version to take our learning further. If you’re looking for a robust, language learning experience that combines an academic approach, this is the program for you. On a scale of one to 10, we give Living Language an 11.