Why should you learn Croatian?
I adore Mondly. It’s fun, easy to use, effortlessly slips into my daily routine, includes just the right amount of gamification without distracting me from actually learning, and has always been there no matter which language I wanted to learn.
I first came across Mondly when I started learning Afrikaans and was desperately looking for language learning resources. Mondly was and still is the only language learning app that offers this bespoke language alongside the typical mainstream languages like Italian, French and Spanish.
For the past five years, I’ve used Mondly to supplement my language learning. I joined when I started with Afrikaans, then used it to refresh my French and now I’m using it to learn Norwegian. The best part is that with my lifetime membership, I can switch between these languages at any time plus access the rest of the range of language courses that Mondly has available.
Mondly keeps the learning process enjoyable. Having fun is essential to the language learning process because it helps you to push through when you hit a plateau, lose motivation, or begin tackling more challenging aspects of the language.
With that said, here are ten ways Mondly has improved my language learning and how it can do the same for you.
1. Bite-sized lessons for a busy lifestyle
Running my language and travel blog, The Intrepid Guide, is a full-time job and I quickly lose track of time, especially when I’m in the zone writing a new language article or editing a new trip. When you have a busy lifestyle, it’s easy to fall off the language learning wagon or stick to a routine. What I love about Mondly is that I can spend as little or as long as I like learning my target language. Each lesson takes no more than 5 minutes to complete which makes it easy to slip into my day. I don’t have to stress about how I’m going to keep on track with my language goals because Mondly keeps each lesson short and sweet.
I like to kick off my day by doing something productive and positive for myself, so I’ll start by completing my daily lesson. Once I start, I don’t want to stop! So, depending on how much I’ve got on for that day, I’ll complete another 1 or 2 lessons.
To help me create and maintain this new morning habit, I use the “Learning Reminder” feature to pick a time of day when I want to receive an alert. This gentle reminder pops up on my phone reminding me to complete my daily lesson.
2. A variety of languages for a lifetime of learning
As I mentioned earlier, I first used Mondly when I started learning Afrikaans. Variety really is the spice of life and Mondly definitely helped me stay on track with my Afrikaans language goals. Afrikaans grammar books and general learning material was and still is extremely limited. So, I really appreciated the fact that Mondly offers such a bespoke language. Besides, I think that Mondly is a unique language learning tool that grows at the same time as you, the learner.
As my language goals changed, Mondly has been there to support me and offer a Norwegian course. When I was worried about my French getting rusty, Mondly was there to help me revise it.
Additionally, if you want to learn English, you can choose between American or British English, which I think is fantastic.
3. Using the laddering technique to learn multiple languages
Not only does Mondly support 33 languages, it even allows you to choose any of those 33 languages as a basis to learn your target language. For example, to practice my French while learning Norwegian, I can set my “native language” to French and set my target language to Norwegian. This is known as laddering – where you use a non-native language to learn another. It’s like killing two birds with one stone. It’s a fun and efficient use of my limited study time.
4. Context-based learning
I mainly use Mondly to improve my vocabulary and expose myself to new words and the learning process is indeed great! First, you learn the new word on its own, and then you learn how to use it in the context of a sentence. For example, today, I learned the word sommerfugl (Norwegian for “butterfly”). Then, after a few exercises, I already knew phrases such as sommerfuglen er pen (“the butterfly is pretty”).
To make sure the new words are perfectly glued inside my brain, Mondly does another thing. Not only does it allow me to learn how to use them in practical contexts, but it also continues by showing me new adjectives that will further cement my knowledge.
5. Using the chatbot to improve my pronunciation
When you do a lot of self-study, speaking practice and improving pronunciation are either forgotten or receive very little attention. To ensure I’m getting a well-rounded learning experience, I use the Mondly chatbot tool where I can simulate an audio-based conversation with a native speaker. I listen to the native speaker, then record my own voice in response.
In other language learning apps, once you submit your recording, there is no playback. Meaning, you can’t replay what you’ve said and hear how you sound. With Mondly, I can. So I listen back to what I’ve said and compare it to the native speaker and see where I need to improve. This is such a handy feature that aids an essential part of my progress.
6. Gamification that isn’t intrusive
Gamification is huge when it comes to language learning apps, but having experimented with a few leading apps, I found that they were too gamified and too competitive. There weren’t just leaderboards, but entire pages of statistics based on how many lessons you completed in a certain period of time. Now, a little friendly competition can be a great motivator, but at some point it can quickly become more about winning and less about learning.
Learning a language isn’t a race; there is no finish line. Language learning is a journey, a journey that should be enjoyed free from stress. As soon as you compare yourself to others and how much or little they are doing or how fast they are progressing that can be stressful.
Mondly strikes a nice balance between providing entertainment through gamification but also keeping me accountable and on track with just the right amount of exposure to different leaderboards. There is an entirely separate tab to access leaderboards so I can ignore it completely if I don’t want to compare myself with anyone else, which can be very tempting but neither healthy nor helpful.
7. Travel-themed and travel-focused
As a traveler who enjoys learning the local language before a trip, I love that Mondly supports both my long-term and short-term language goals. Mondly is currently helping me with my long-term goal of learning Norwegian, where I access verb conjugates and grammar explanations, but when I have a trip somewhere like Spain, Vietnam, or the Netherlands, it also supports my short-term language goals. This is where I use Mondly to learn essential travel phrases and vocabulary I’ll need for my trip. I can easily do this just by skipping to those modules directly. I don’t need to start from scratch and work my way up.
Mondly has a lovely travel-themed user interface too that highlights famous monuments around the world. This acts as a subtle reminder of how useful and essential languages are when it comes to travel. This is something I feel strongly about and talk about a lot over at The Intrepid Guide.
8. Summary after each lesson
What I like most about Mondly is the small touches that all add up and make such a difference. It might sound trivial, but I find it so helpful that after each lesson it gives you a summary of what was covered. This allows me to easily transfer new words into my Google Doc, where I keep all my language notes. Having a lesson summary means I don’t have to stop during a lesson to record what I’m learning. I then put these words into a flashcard app to revise them later.
9. Convenient and flexible
When you start with a new language learning app or tool, usually you have to either pass a test before you can access lessons that are appropriate for your level or, in most cases, you’re forced to start from scratch. This can be incredibly annoying, not to mention a waste of time. Mondly is great because it allows you to choose from beginner, intermediate and advanced content. So, when I was brushing up on my French, I set it to advanced and for Norwegian set it to intermediate.
Mondly is available across different platforms too, so you can learn on-the-go using your smartphone or tablet with their Android or iOS app or use your desktop or laptop if you prefer working on a bigger screen.
10. One time payment for a lifetime of learning
As the world moves more and more towards subscription-based services, I was grateful that Mondly offers you the flexibility to pay a one-time fee that gives you lifetime access to 41 languages, updates and all future updates. Compared to other language services, this is a huge saving and the most cost-efficient offering I’ve found on the market.
If your budget is limited, Mondly’s Lifetime Membership definitely pays dividends on its relatively small initial investment.
Author Bio: Michele is an Australian language and travel blogger and “the guide“ behind The Intrepid Guide. Michele inspires and helps travelers include language learning in their travel preparations in order to enrich their travels and communicate with locals. She writes detailed destinations guides and free travel phrase guides. Follow Michele on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube as she shares fascinating and little-known linguistic and cultural facts.
Do you want to try Mondly yourself? Start now and learn a new language in just 10 minutes a day.