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Mondly Review

Monday, May 20th

2024 Chinese Lesson Reviews

Mondly Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating
  • Affordable lifetime access offer to all Mondly languages at $99.99
  • Offers a 7-day trial of the Premium features
  • Offers over 40 languages to learn
  • Geared towards beginners, teaching languages from novice to advanced intermediate (A1 to B2) level
  • Uses voice recognition, conversation-based learning, and daily lessons
  • Allows for practice in speaking, reading, and writing
  • You can learn your target language from 31 different languages
  • Features categories, lessons, statistics, and leaderboard
  • Provides grammar insights by tapping words in the app
  • Includes an Augmented Reality (AR) feature for interactive learning

Mondly was designed to make language learning accessible and engaging for everyone, regardless of their previous experience. With Mondly, users can choose from over 40 languages to learn, from commonly spoken ones like Spanish and Chinese to less common ones like Afrikaans.

Combination of language tools

The app uses a combination of voice recognition, conversation-based learning, and quick daily lessons to keep you encouraged and moving forward. Users can practice speaking, reading, and writing in their chosen language, all while tracking their progress and achievements. Whether you're planning a trip abroad, looking to boost your resume, or simply curious about another culture, Mondly offers a flexible and fun way to expand your linguistic horizons.

Learn from your first language

Something we appreciate about Mondly is how many languages you can learn your target language from. For example, if Spanish is your first language and you'd find it more comfortable to engage with Chinese lessons that way, you can do that. We counted 31 languages other than English that you can learn Chinese from.

Categories, Lessons, Statistics, and a Leaderboard

In the Mondly app, you'll find four main sections: Categories, Lessons, Statistics, and Leaderboard. In the "Categories" section, you navigate through a map of learning categories, where mastering more categories allows you to progress on the map. The "Lessons" section provides overviews of each lesson, including time spent, completion percentage, stars earned, and remaining lessons in the category. If you're curious about your learning progress, the "Statistics" section displays the number of words and phrases you mastered, time spent learning, and your consecutive days accessing the app. Colored nodes on a brain diagram represent different types of lessons, and tapping them lets you review learned words and phrases. Lastly, the "Leaderboard" section shows your ranking on national and international charts, and you can add friends to compete with.

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Tap Chinese words for grammar insights

Using the Mondly app, you'll appreciate features such as tapping on a verb to see more conjugations without having to switch tabs, like in other apps. You can also toggle between pinyin and Chinese characters. After each lesson, you'll hear the vocabulary and phrases you've learned played back to you, reinforcing your understanding. You can also engage in conversation practice, which lets you hone your reading, speaking, and pronunciation skills in context. However, we thought that the homepage layout could use some simplification - it's a little overwhelming at first glance.

Best for absolute beginners

Mondly is primarily geared towards beginners. The platform claims to teach languages at various levels, from novice to advanced intermediate (A1 to B2). The topics you'll encounter start with basic greetings like "Hello" and advance to more complex subjects such as "Business". Each topic introduces roughly 120 new words and 30 phrases. Your learning journey starts with simple activities, like matching images with words, and gradually evolves into more complicated phrases. However, Mondly doesn't focus heavily on grammar instruction, which might leave you seeking additional guidance on sentence construction.

Explore in Augmented Reality

Mondly's Augmented Reality (AR) feature, available with a Premium subscription, makes your learning experience interactive and engaging. By downloading and launching the separate app, you can start an AR mode to immerse yourself in a lesson or conversation. You scan your surroundings with your phone's camera to place a virtual assistant, who guides you through the lesson. You interact with the assistant and the virtual items they generate, practicing and repeating phrases when prompted. The Mondly AR app emphasizes "learning through play," an education method that encourages learning by doing. This approach makes language learning fun and playful, inviting you to explore and engage with your environment, no matter your age.

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Subscribe monthly, annually, or for a lifetime

Every time you visit Mondly, chances are high you'll stumble upon an "exclusive sale" for their subscriptions. On our latest visit, we were excited to find a lifetime access offer to all Mondly languages at an astonishing 95% off, just $99.99. Typically, you might see a monthly subscription for Mondly's Chinese lessons at $9.99 or an annual subscription for $49.99. It's important to note, though, that Mondly enforces a strict no-refund policy, regardless of your reasons for dissatisfaction with their Chinese lessons - harsh! Also, you should know that the monthly subscription option only lets you practice one language, while the annual subscription unlocks all of them.

So what do you get with Premium?

As a premium subscriber to Mondly, you'll have access to over 250 lessons divided into 40 practical topics. You'll be able to build your vocabulary with 36 vocabulary builders, and engage in over 50 real and simulated conversations with fluent Chinese speakers. You'll have access to grammar features, conjugation tables, and more than 2600 daily lessons. Plus, you'll be challenged with 320 weekly quizzes and 60 monthly challenges. There are also 108 English language progress tests created by Pearson and 300 specialized lessons for business training. Additionally, you'll get free access to the Mondly Kids and Mondly AR apps, and you can choose from over 40 different language courses, giving you a total of 1320 language combinations to explore.

Concerns over Pearson's acquisition

The global education giant, Pearson, acquired Mondly in May 2022 - but we're not too sure that's a good thing. If you have a college student or professor in your life, you might be aware of its reputation for user experience - for example, their MathLab is so infrequently updated and bugs are so rarely fixed that it's earned the nickname "MethLab" .

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Chinese lesson updates might not be a priority

Our confidence really wavers when it comes to expecting Pearson to prioritize updates for Mondly's Chinese lessons. In the press release for their acquisition, Mondly's new owners talk about how great it is that they can now help people improve their English... but no mention of the other 40 languages the platform supported at the time of this review. Also, the awards Mondly flaunts on their website are from 2017 and 2019, prompting us to ask, "Why the gap in your resume, Mondly?"

Mondly has the Pearson Touch (pejorative)

Yes, Mondly has many five-star reviews, especially on the app stores for its mobile version. However, it's hard to know if many of these high ratings are old or more recent. Recent feedback shows quite a few complaints about how the app works, how language mistakes keep happening in several updates (even after users report them to Mondly's team), and more. It seems Mondly may be going the way of MathLab.

Just "meh"

Mondly's offerings are pretty average, and while the AR feature sounds cool, it seems a little like a money-grab. If you do decide to give Mondly a shot, you'll shell out no more than $100. You might not end up liking the Chinese lessons past the free account features, but the good news is there's a 7-day trial that lessens the risk, and you can check out if the Premium features are worth it for you. But remember, if you decide to go for the lifetime access for all of Mondly's languages, there's no way to know if you'll continually enjoy what the platform provides, especially after Pearson's involvement.

Where Can You Get the Best Chinese Lessons Online?

The motivations for learning Chinese are as diverse and compelling as the language itself. Perhaps you're fascinated by the rich history and culture of China, eager to read its classical poetry or modern literature in its original form. Maybe you're looking to expand your business skills and communicate directly with the vast Chinese market. Or, you might dream of traveling through China, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes, all while engaging with locals in their native tongue.

Learning Chinese, however, presents a unique set of challenges unlike those found in learning languages like Spanish or French. For one, there's the intricate system of Chinese characters, each carrying its own meaning and pronunciation, which can seem daunting at first glance. Then, there's the tonal nature of Mandarin Chinese, where the meaning of a word can change dramatically with the pitch of your voice.

The Best Chinese Lessons Compare Chinese Lessons Compare Chinese Lesson Reviews What are the best Chinese Lessons Best Chinese Lesson Reviews

Chinese Lesson FAQ

With China being the most populated country in the world, it will come as no surprise that an estimated 1.31 billion people speak Chinese - approximately 16% of everyone on the planet! And, that only includes those whose first or native language is Chinese, not those who are learning it as a second (or third!) language.
There are seven primary dialect groups in Chinese: Mandarin, Yue (or Cantonese), Min, Kejia, Gan, Xiang and Wu. Mandarin is the most widely used and is the dialect you'll most likely use if you travel to Taiwan, Singapore, or China, particularly in the northern regions. Most Chinese lessons are based on Mandarin.
Chinese is one of four languages ranked as a Category IV by the State Department's Foreign Service Institute: a designation that means that, for native English speakers, Chinese is "exceptionally difficult" (along with Arabic, Japanese, and Korean). However, if you're patient and hard-working, you can learn to speak and write in Chinese!
Many experts recommend focusing first on learning how to speak Chinese. The written language is extremely complex, because it's based on pictographs and not a phonetic alphabet, and most learners have a bigger need to communicate orally than in writing. Chinese is a tonal language, where shifting the "shape" of one's voice can change a syllable into a different word. (In Mandarin, for example, the syllable "ma" can mean everything from "mother" to "horse" and even "to scold" depending on the tone!) That can be very tricky for non-Asian learners to master, making it a great place to start.
There's no way to study Chinese that's more convenient than online lessons. You don't have to worry about making it to class on time, being able to register for a course, or turning in homework! Studying Chinese online is also much more affordable, and it lets you take things at your own pace.
Depending on whether you're using a Mac or PC (or an iPhone or Android), there are different steps you can take to enable a Chinese keyboard. Your best bet is to do a search based on the operating system you've got and follow the steps to turn on the Chinese language functionality.
No! You can choose classes with one-time fees for a complete course or a monthly subscription for continuous access, but both types of Chinese lessons are very affordable. For example, one popular program has a 12-month membership for just $16.66 per month, and another offers two levels of Chinese lessons for $249.90. You'll have a hard time finding an in-person class for less than that!
Sometimes. If you've subscribed to a monthly plan, you'll probably be able to cancel future recurring payments. If you've paid for a package of Chinese lessons, some platforms will allow you to request a refund within the first 30-60 days of use. However, your best option is to use any free lessons or resources that the language program offers prior to purchase: many sites have partial or full lessons you can try before you buy, or a 7-day trial you can use before your payments kick in. That's a great way to find out if the Chinese lessons you're considering are a good match for how you learn and what you want to get out of your studies.
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Continued from above...

But don't let these hurdles deter you. With commitment and the right resources, you're on your way to fluency. Mastering Chinese opens up a universe of cultural, professional, and social opportunities, allowing you to connect with over a billion speakers worldwide.

Online Chinese lessons offer a variety of approaches to suit different learning preferences. For auditory learners, there are programs focused on immersive listening practices, helping you attune your ear to the nuances of the language. If you're game for a challenge, gamified learning platforms make acquiring new vocabulary and grammar points engaging, rewarding your progress with points and badges.

For those who prefer a more structured learning path, comprehensive courses provide a blend of video lessons, interactive quizzes, and writing exercises, ensuring you develop a well-rounded skill set, from character recognition and writing to speaking and listening.

And if personal interaction is what drives your learning, tutoring services connect you with native Chinese speakers for real-time conversation and cultural exchange, enriching your study with authentic experiences.

Feeling overwhelmed by the options? Here's what to consider as you begin your journey to learn Chinese:

  • Current fluency level. Assess whether you're starting from scratch or if you have some knowledge of Chinese. Choose lessons that align with your starting point.
  • Learning medium. Determine whether you prefer app-based lessons, audio files, desktop platforms, or another format that fits your lifestyle and learning habits.
  • Skill focus. Decide if you want to concentrate on listening and speaking, reading and writing, or a combination. Remember, Chinese characters are essential for reading and writing, and tone practice is critical for understanding and being understood.
  • Pinyin vs. characters. Consider if the app emphasizes learning through pinyin (the Romanization of Chinese sounds) or focuses more on teaching Chinese characters. Some learners may prefer starting with pinyin to master pronunciation before moving on to characters, while others might want to dive directly into character recognition and writing.
  • Cost. Evaluate whether the lessons are priced as a one-time payment or require a subscription. Consider the value of free options and the benefits of paid upgrades.
  • Learner reviews. Look for feedback from other learners. Their experiences can provide insight into the effectiveness of the platform and the time it may take to see progress.

To guide you to the best Chinese lessons for your goals and preferred learning style, our team at Top Consumer Reviews has tested today's leading options and provided honest feedback on what each one offers. So, what are you waiting for? Embark on your Chinese learning adventure today!

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