LingoDeer Review: an A+ language learning app for travelers
My LingoDeer review. One thing I’d always suggest travelers do before going to a foreign land is learning the native tongue. As Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” No matter which country you are going to, once abroad, you’ll see nothing is more convenient than being able to talk to the natives in their own language.
With that in mind, I started to look for language learning resources that can benefit travelers specifically. And I noticed LingoDeer. Long story short, let’s see what travelers can learn from this app alone.
Table of contents
What is LingoDeer?
LingoDeer is a rather new language learning app primarily focused on East Asian languages. Currently, it offers 13 language courses:
- Mandarin Chinese
- European Spanish
- Latin American Spanish
While not as well-known as the industry giants Duolingo and Babbel, LingoDeer boasts a higher rating on App Store (4.8 out of 5) and has received a lot of positive reviews from its users. So I decided to give it a try.
How does LingoDeer work?
1. Free Travel Phrasebook
Alongside its main course, LingoDeer offers a stand-alone section called Travel Phrasebook, which I found particularly useful for travelers.
You can learn many useful expressions for a wide range of everyday situations, from greetings to shopping, dining, dating, and more. In some languages like German, there is even a “When you’re angry” category with a list of “soft cusses” so you know how to express your anger properly. The recordings sound crisp and natural, the audio speed is adjustable; you can also record your own voice to compare it with the native pronunciation and improve your speaking.
Last but not least: Travel Phrasebook is FREE! So even if you aren’t sure about purchasing their membership for the main course, you can still make full use of free LingoDeer features.
2. Alphabet and Character Drill
For beginners, mastering the alphabet and characters can save you so much time in the latter stages of learning. LingoDeer has a free Alphabet section in the main course for each available language, as well as stand-alone Character Drill sections for languages like Japanese.
Alphabet and Character Drill explain the basics in a way that’s easy to pick up on. You can learn the sounds, strokes, and writing system in no time. From this perspective, LingoDeer is absolutely a great app for beginners.
3. Main Course and Advanced Learning
Like Duolingo, LingoDeer’s main courses consist of short, gamified lessons – and that’s where the similarities END. I found LingoDeer tasks to be more varied and “true to life” (no more translating sentences like “the cow drove my car last night”, yay!). There’s even a Story section that mimics real-life conversations and can help you hone your comprehensive language skills before travel.
What’s more, each lesson includes a “Learning Tips” page at the beginning that summarizes the most important grammatical points in that lesson. It’s explained in a clear and easy way that it keeps you engaged. To be honest, LingoDeer really did a better job than Duolingo in simplifying grammar and accelerating learning.
For those who already have some knowledge about a language and wish to bring their skills to the next level, LingoDeer offers a Challenge mode and a test-out feature to skip easier lessons. You can also try their Fluent section to improve comprehensive language skills.
To sum up, LingoDeer is a great resource for beginners. It offers rich content with organized curricula and various types of exercises. It’s also particularly useful to travelers because of the free Travel Phrasebook.
How much does LingoDeer cost?
LingoDeer offers 4 types of premium plans that unlock all the content and features. The prices are as follows:
- $13.99 for 1 month
- $34.99 for 3 months
- $79.99 for 12 months
- $119.99 for Lifetime
So is it worth the money?
Considering the abundance of well-structured material on the app, LingoDeer premium plans are incredibly cost-effective. They also come with nice features, such as reduced waiting time in customer support. If in doubt, buy monthly! You can always switch to another plan later.
What are the downsides?
Despite being a generally great language learning app, LingoDeer is absolutely not for everyone. Here’s why:
- limited amount of languages: 12 is impressive for an up-and-coming app, but people looking for Polish or Dutch courses might want to learn elsewhere;
- slow(ish) updates: bugs get fixed quickly, but new courses and features take some time;
- mistranslanslations: reportable and not affecting the overall learning process, they still can be quite annoying for perfectionists.
Summary on my LingoDeer Review
Languages are so important, and fun! I practiced what I preached when I signed up to study Thai in Bangkok. And IMO, LingoDeer is a wonderful app with well-explained grammar, plenty of free content, great audio quality, and customizable display. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants to learn a new language the easy way – for travel or not. Try it out and share your experience in the comments 😉
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