This year alone, more than 50 language learning apps have entered the market. Naturally, inundated with choice, anybody interested in learning a new language wants to know which one of these to use. In this Mondly review we’ll take you through what you can expect from this language app and how it compares to its main competitors.
We’ll also discuss whether or not Mondly actually teaches you a foreign language, highlight the main pros and cons, (some of which are more obvious than others) and show you how to make the most of this app.
First, see below a quick summary of the Mondly inclusions:
Custom Daily Lessons, fun quizzes speech recognition technology
Access to 41 different language courses, a total of 1320 language combinations
50+ real & simulated conversations between native speakers
Value for Money
|4.5 out of 5.0 stars||4.0 out of 5.0 stars|
|Highly effective at improving listening skills, reading skills and overall comprehension. Provides an opportunity to speak through functional speech recognition tool.||Cheaper than main competitors, including Yabla and FluentU. Free Trial Included.|
Ease of Use
|4.5 out of 5.0 stars||5.0 out of 5.0 stars|
|Modern dashboard. Very easy to use and navigate. Interactive AR and VR exercises.||41+ languages available including Spanish, Chinese, Italian, German, French, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, English and Japanese. Multiple language combinations, meaning you can learn from any language into any other.|
|👍 41 languages and language combinations|
👍 VR and AR experiences imbedded
👍 Can be used remotely and on-the-go
👍 World class speech recognition
|👎 Not the cheapest option on the market
👎 Limited speaking practice
Mondly ticks the boxes that so many language apps fail to tick. The variation of games, quizzes and activities keeps users engaged on the platform and takes any boredom out of learning. It is one of the few language learning options that covers listening, reading, writing and speaking in one solution, without focusing heavily on grammar.
Mondly is suitable for beginner and intermediate learners. Advanced learners will likely prefer interaction with real people, although the app does cater for them too.
Free Trial Included
What is Mondly?
Mondly is a leading online language learning platform that currently enables over 70 million people from 190 countries to learn 41 languages. Launched in 2014, it quickly became a leading app in the smart device space. It has reached #1 app in Education in most European countries, Latin America and Asia.
Internationally acclaimed by outlets like Business Insider, CNN and Forbes, it is the first app to launch VR and AR experiences for learning languages, featuring innovative speech recognition and chatbot technologies. We’ll come onto these shortly.
How we did this review
In order to make this review as broad as possible, language learner James tested out Mondly on his own, before sharing his findings. He focused specifically on Mondly Catalan (a language he did not speak at all). It’s worth mentioning now that the Mondly format is the same for all languages, so your experience will be the same, whichever language you choose.
The opinions that you read throughout this review are results of the process that James has undergone with a Mondly Premium subscription. The overall score you see in the Mondly Review Table above is determined based on the following factors:
✅ Effectiveness – This is measured by the progress James was able to make during the 30 consecutive days that he used the platform, as well as the progress he’d expect to make with a longer timeframe.
✅ Value for money – We compare the cost of the service with other competitor language learning apps, platforms and courses.
✅ Ease of use – As language learners, user experience plays a large part in whether we keep coming back, resulting in progress. A poor user experience usually leads to a lack of progress.
✅ Languages Available – Offering multiple languages by no means makes an app or language platform better. However, it usually means they’re more popular and capture a wider audience. This makes them more able to invest in the factors above.
To what does Mondly owe its success so far?
There are two main reasons that Mondly has attracted over 70 million users. Firstly, unlike most language learning apps, you can learn a language in any combination. This means that you don’t need to learn from English if it isn’t your first language. Instead, you can select your native language and learn a new language from that.
The second main reason for Mondly’s success and appeal is that it focuses not just on vocabulary and fixed phrases, but on real-life conversations with native speakers.
It uses a combination of course materials, augmented reality, and chatbots to help you master a new language without offering you stock phrases that you’re unlikely to use in real-life situations.
Which Languages Does Mondly Offer?
There are currently 41 language courses available with the Mondly app. Each of these can be learned in any combination. Below, you’ll find the full list of the 33 languages that you can learn with Mondly.
What Features Does Mondly Languages Offer?
Many of the features which Mondly offers make it one of the most appealing language-learning apps in the world. Let’s take a look at the best of them below.
Easy to Use
Learning a new language is difficult enough, so you don’t need your language-learning app to be hard to use! Luckily, Mondly has thought about this and is one of the easiest apps to navigate, with a simple interface and clearly-labeled menu options.
Another thing factor mentioning in this Mondly review is the ease of use. Since Mondly is an app, it can be downloaded to a smartphone and taken with you wherever you go! This gives you the ability to learn on your daily commute or when you’ve got a little downtime. All of this adds up and, before you know it, you’ll have spent a lot of time learning without even realizing it!
Mondly has a ‘Daily Lessons’ feature that prompts you to look at the app and teaches you new vocabulary and sentences in your chosen language. At the end of this daily lesson, everything you’ve been taught is recapped to help cement it into your memory further. And, if you don’t get 100% of the answer correct, you’ve also got the ability to go back and review things a little later.
The daily lessons feature is a great way of prompting you to look at the app every day. Alongside this, you’ll also receive a reminder notification if you’re yet to complete your daily lesson.
Unlike other annoying reminders, however, the reminders offered from Mondly can be customized to show up at a more convenient time. So, if you know you’ve got a little time spare in the evening, you can program your reminder to flash up at this time.
The reminder doesn’t only prompt you to take your daily lessons, it also gives you a statistic on how well you are maintaining your study routine. This is a great way of motivating you to study a little harder if need be, or to congratulate yourself on smashing a full week of studying!
One of the ways that Mondly teaches new languages is by translating between your native language (known as L1) and the language you want to learn. It does this by getting you to type, speak, and select certain words from a list.
Sounds like most other language apps, right? Well, the difference with Mondly is that by doing this you’re reading and writing skills become enhanced, as well as your speaking skills. This makes it easier for you to use the language you’re learning in real-life situations.
Once you’ve picked up some vocabulary and feel as though you may be able to hold a conversation, you can use Mondly’s chatbot to put it into practice. This is a virtual speaker that allows you to respond to conversational prompts, such as greetings or restaurant role-play.
One of the reasons this is so appealing, especially to those learning the very basics of a new language, is that it totally removes the risk of embarrassment. While some other apps and courses will set up a face-to-face conversation with a native speaker, being able to converse with a chatbot allows you to practice your conversation skills without feeling as though you’re under a lot of pressure.
Mondly Review: How Does Mondly Work?
Mondly follows a ‘game-themed’ method to make learning fun, interesting, and, most importantly, allows your memory to soak up new vocabulary. Different types of exercises also are spread out across subsections of topics, so nothing becomes monotonous.
Once each lesson has been completed, you’re shown statistics on how you’re progressing which is a great motivational tool for getting you to the next level of learning.
The ‘Daily Lessons’ feature is arguably the most important tool when it comes to how Mondly works, as it’s here that you’ll learn the majority of new words and phrases. Don’t be fooled by thinking these are easy-to-complete lessons, though. Each topic covers the same vocabulary over a 10-hour period using different exercises, and once you’ve completed the 10-hour learning window, you’ll unlock the weekly test.
And, in a ‘tough-love’ kind of way, skipping a daily lesson will not give you access to the weekly test, and you’ll have to wait a further 7 days before you can take it! This might seem cruel, especially considering that we all have busy lifestyles. However, it’s a sure-fire way to make sure that you customize your reminders, take your daily lesson and, in the end, you’ll learn your chosen language much faster!
As you learn, you are awarded an initial three stars per lesson. However, making a mistake will remove each star and the points you are awarded at the end of your lesson will be based on how many stars you’re left with. You can then recap the mistakes you made and take the lesson again to get it right.
Mondly Review: What Topics Does Mondly Cover?
With the premium membership (which we’ll go into more detail on a little later), you’ll get full access to the following topics:
- Core Vocabulary
- Countries & Languages
- Seasons & Weather
- Preparing for a Trip
- Vacation Activities
- Public Transportation
- Food & Drink
- Around the House
- Grammar 1, 2, & 3
- Airport 1 & 2
- Hotel (Reservations)
- Hotel (In the Room)
- Restaurants 1, 2, 3, & 4
- City Tours
- Fruits & Food
- Colors & Numbers
- Parts of the Body
You also get access to all past daily lessons dating back to 2015, access to the Chatbot, and the augmented reality (AR) feature.
While the above topics are listed in the same order that they appear in the app, you can pick and choose the topics that you’re most interested in. This is especially useful if you’ve got an upcoming vacation planned and need to be able to learn certain things over others.
The Different Ways to Learn a Language with Mondly
There are a few different learning options available to you from Mondly which, depending on how quickly you need to learn your chosen language, can help you get there faster.
Some are also more appealing to certain people than others, so you’re being offered different ways of learning and are able to choose one that you think would work best for your individual learning process.
Let’s take a look at each of the different learning options offered by Mondly below.
This is the most basic form of Mondly and, while it’s free of charge, it doesn’t unlock any topics past ‘Greetings’. It’s a good choice if you’re considering learning a new language, but you want to try it out for size before committing to a paid plan.
Any online Mondly Review will, undoubtedly, mention Mondly Premium. Upgrading to MondlyPREMIUM will give you full access to all topics, as well as all of the features offered within the app. If you already have a basic vocabulary in the language you want to learn, then this will be a great tool for helping you develop your skills even further.
This was developed for businesses and features a dashboard that allows employers to see how their employees are progressing with a new language. It’s a good choice if you’re looking to open customer support lines to other countries without wanting to outsource.
If you’ve got children who have expressed an interest in learning a second language, then MondlyKIDS is a great choice. It’s very similar to MondlyPREMIUM, but it uses kid-friendly animations to learn in a fun way.
This is something that really sets Mondly apart from most other language apps. This technology allows you to scan the room you’re in, and uses AR (Augmented Reality) to show a virtual teacher the words you are learning. It’s similar to any other AR gaming equipment and you need to interact with animations and walk around while you learn in a fully-immersive environment.
Similar to Mondly’s Chatbot, the VR technology puts you into a virtual situation, but actually allows you to be a part of the room. So, if you’re practicing ordering a meal in a cafe or restaurant, MondlyVR will put you in a virtual restaurant with a waitress with whom you’ll need to converse.
An In-Depth Look at MondlyVR
Since it is so unique, we felt as though MondlyVR needed a little more of an in-depth investigation! We’ve left it until near the end of this Mondly review, but it’s actually one of Mondly’s best features.
Just like all of Mondly’s other learning options, MondlyVR is available in all 33 languages and has almost the same content. However, you can choose to learn in three different ways using Mondly VR; ‘Conversation’, ‘Vocabulary’, and ‘Multiplayer’.
The ‘Conversation’ option is similar to the Chatbot feature but, instead of talking to a Chatbot, you’ll be having a conversation with an animated person. The ‘Vocabulary’ option works in the same way, except you’ll be listening and repeating words and phrases in a non-conversational manner.
The ‘Multiplayer’ option will allow you to interact with other language students from around the world, however, since MondlyVR is such a new addition it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to take full advantage of it for a while.
One of the questions you might be asking yourself about MondlyVR is “Is it a fad?”. In all honesty, it really comes down to personal preference. Being able to converse with an animated image is something that some people may find appealing, but it doesn’t necessarily offer a more detailed learning experience than MondlyPREMIUM.
It also comes with a $4.99 upgrade fee and, while this is a one-time purchase, it’s certainly something that you may need to justify if you’ve got a limited budget.
Is Mondly Free?
There is a free version of Mondly that is ideal for anybody wanting to get a feel for a certain language before committing to fully learning it. However, it is quite limited. With MondlyFREE you’ll get access to 6 lessons, 1 conversation, and 1 topic.
For this reason, it’s usually a better idea to go for MondlyPREMIUM, especially if you’re serious about learning a new language. This gives you full access to the following:
- 250 lessons that can be studied in order or selected as you wish
- 33 conversations that can be used in real-life situations
- 36 vocabulary builders with the Chatbot
- Over 1300 daily lessons, weekly quizzes, and monthly challenges
- A speech recognition feature that checks your pronunciation and provides you with instant feedback
- Grammar and conjugation tables
You can choose to learn just one language at a time with Mondly by choosing a single language course. This gives you the option to pay for 12 months at once or split the cost over a 12-month period. Or, if you prefer, there is also an option to choose a subscription that gives you access to all 33 languages.
Mondly’s Main Pros and Cons
To make things even easier and to help determine whether Mondly is the right language-learning app for you, take a look at our list of Mondly’s pros and cons:
What we like:
There are plenty of features which we think make the Mondly app an excellent option for language learners. To keep this short and concise, we’ll specify the pros.
It’s effective: Mondly features useful graphics, animations, and different learning exercises that really help you learn a language more effectively.
Plenty of languages available: A Mondly Premium pass provides the opportunity to learn up to 41 languages. This includes ones you may already have a basic, high-school level knowledge of, as well as some that are lesser-known.
Unique chatbot feature and speech recognition: The app comes with a chatbot feature that allows you to practice conversation skills without having to organize a face-to-face meeting with another person.
What we dislike:
Like any language resource, there is room for improvement. Below are some features we think could be addressed.
|Features useful graphics, animations, and different learning exercises that really help you learn a language more effectively.||As each topic takes 10 hours to complete, things may feel a little repetitive after a while. This is especially true if you’re a fast learner.|
|Offers the opportunity to learn up to 33 languages. This includes ones you may already have a basic, high-school level knowledge of, as well as some that are lesser-known.||While there is a free version of Mondly, if you want access to all the topics and features you’ll need to purchase a premium subscription.|
|Allows you to translate words between the language you’re learning and your native learning by clicking on them.||Some languages need additional learning materials. For example, if you’re learning Thai, you’ll need to look externally to get a full understanding of the Thai alphabet.|
|Comes with a Chatbot feature that allows you to practice conversation skills without having to organize a face-to-face meeting with another person.||Some people may find the audio exercises a little too fast, and there is no option to slow them down.|
So, let’s summarize this Mondly review. Well, there’s no doubt that Mondly is one of the best language apps available. What’s more, it’s packed with features that will help you pick up your chosen language in a really short time. It will also teach you some basic words and phrases in the lower levels that you can try out in real life straight away.
The variation of learning exercises across each topic helps to keep things fresh and interesting and, while each topic takes 10 hours to complete, there is enough variety in each to stop it from becoming too repetitive.
And, if you’re looking for a fun way to learn, you can even take advantage of MondlyAR or MondlyVR. These upgrades will immerse you in a whole new world of learning. Of course, these aren’t entirely necessary, and choosing a MondlyPREMIUM subscription will give you access to everything you could ever need to learn a new language.
Whichever learning option you choose, one thing is for certain – we think that Mondly’s claim to help you “learn a language more quickly and effectively than anyone else”, is a fairly justified one. After all, there are very few apps that cover such a comprehensive list of topics and manage to keep things interesting along the way!