I like to learn new languages and whenever a new application or service is released, I'm excited to give it a try to find out how useful it is.
Lingvist promises to teach you French or English in only 200 hours using nothing but the apps the service provides for Android and iOS. According to the makers, 200 hours should be sufficient to reach B2 level proficiency in the language which should be enough to "understand texts, have casual conversations and watch movies".
It uses a different approach than the majority of learning applications.It puts its focus on the statistical importance of words to improve how you learn a language.
When you first start you are asked to pick the language you want to learn. Please note that you need to speak French or Russian if you want to learn English, or English if you want to learn French. The company promises to integrate support for additional languages with updates.
Once you have made the selection you need to register an account by providing your email address and a password.
There is no verification involved and you are thrown right into the first lesson afterwards. The first memorizing lesson should feel weird in the beginning as you are asked to enter the French (or English) translation of a word shown to you.
Since you don't speak the desired language yet, you may feel lost at first. What you need to do is swipe to the right so that the word is displayed to you and pronounced at the same time.
Words that you did not get right the first time may be repeated during the memorization session. Since you are likely going to swipe a lot in the beginning to display word translations, you will get words repeated frequently during sessions.
The program offers two additional modes besides memorization.
A dashboard is provided that highlights your progress. The same menu lists the words you have learned so far including the times it appeared in the memorization module.
Last but not least, there is also a section with grammar tips.
Lingvist concentrates on words, spellings and pronunciations. The app itself is easy to use and the concept seems to work well from what I can tell as you make progress quickly using it.
While there is a grammar tips section, it is presented as a long list of information. This means that you may have to look elsewhere for detailed grammar instructions as the app does not seem to provide those at the time of writing.
You do learn basics during memorization though, for instance when to use le and la and les in French.
The service is free while it is in beta. No information have been provided yet on pricing after the beta.
Lingvist is an interesting application that works well if you want to learn words quickly to improve your vocabulary.While you may be able to learn enough words in 200 hours to reach B2 level, you may need to use additional resources to get a better understanding of the language's grammar.
The app lacks options to set your current proficiency level which means that you have to go through the beginner lessons even if you have a solid foundation already.
Interested language learners find application download links on the official website.
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