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Mondly Review

Wednesday, September 28th

2022 Japanese Lesson Reviews

Mondly Review 3.5 Star Rating


3.5 Star Rating
  • App-based Japanese lessons
  • Uses games, contests and leaderboards to keep you interested
  • Can practice dialogues with Chatbot and Augmented Reality
  • Has voice recognition activities for perfecting your Japanese accent

Textbooks and flashcards are boring, right? Why not learn with a game-like platform like Mondly instead? These Japanese lessons let you pull out your phone and sneak in a few new vocabulary words and phrases anytime you have a few free moments. You'll be extra-motivated by the points and leaderboards if you're the competitive type!

Let's start at the beginning!

When you create a free account on Mondly, you can try out the introductory "Hello" lesson for all of the 40+ languages they offer. You'll still have to set your experience level as beginner, intermediate or advanced, but most of the content here doesn't get very challenging even at the higher levels. As you work through the sample lesson, Mondly teaches you words like "mother" and "father" , and then has you start piecing together basic sentences like "This is my sister" . That last part is a little challenging, because you've got no explanation as to Japanese word order, verbs, or any other grammar to go on. We're glad that it defaults to the romaji to make it easier for English-speakers to approximate what's being said/written, and that you can click the toggle switch at the top of the page if you want to see it in Japanese characters at any time.

Vocabulary around common themes

Mondly focuses your learning around vocabulary themes. Typical sets include Family, Pets, Travel, and so forth. The amount of content in each theme varies; you'll see 113 words and 59 phrases in Countries & Languages, a meager 68 words and 35 phrases in the category Bank, etc.

Where's the grammar?

You'll also see that there are a few lessons specifically marked as "Grammar" - but again, that includes words and phrases without a lot of teaching. Mondly's Japanese lessons aren't what you'll need if you want detailed instruction on how to put the language together and make your own unique sentences. You can get a bit of insight when you finish a lesson and click the little blue box next to the "Redo" link - for instance, on the "Hello" lesson, you'll see the conjugations for "to be" in the present tense - but it's still not much help if you're trying to understand why the sentences are ending in "desu" .

Best Japanese Lessons

Learn to converse with Chatbot and Augmented Reality

A feature unique to Mondly is the way they let you practice real-world conversations. First, you've got the Chatbot, and your free account will let you try one sample interaction. Picture texting with someone and using voice-to-text to fill it in for you: that's how the Chatbot works. The bonus is that Mondly will give you appropriate responses to choose from, like how to answer "What kind of music do you listen to?" or "What's your favorite color?" There's also an Augmented Reality tool, where you can superimpose a digital character on the world around you and carry out conversations that way. We're not sure how much learning this provides, but it's fun anyway!


  • $9.99/month for 1 language
  • $47.99/year for 1 language
  • $89.99 one-time payment for lifetime access to all 41 languages

Inexpensive way to practice Japanese

To move beyond Mondly's limited free resources, you'll have to subscribe. One thing we've noticed about this service is that prices fluctuate: on one visit to the site, you might find their regular prices of $9.99 for month-to-month memberships or $47.99 for a one-year, one-language plan. On your next visit, those prices may have dropped because of a promotion. You might also get a pop-up with a full-access free trial for a full week. If you love studying languages, Mondly also offers a year-long plan that lets you use everything they offer. But, we didn't always see pricing for that; when we did, it was $47.99 for that as well. Even less frequently, we've spotted a Mondly mega-offer of lifetime access to all languages for $89.99. Confused yet? We are too, and yet no matter how you look at it, Mondly is affordable (if unpredictable when it comes to cost).

No satisfaction guarantee

Unlike many of the Japanese lessons in our evaluation, Mondly doesn't give you a refund if you change your mind. That's one reason to consider a month-to-month plan first, instead of a long-term subscription. You can cancel your membership at any time.

Just okay

Mondly can be fun to use, especially if all you need are little bursts of learning to reinforce the Japanese vocabulary you've studied. It's a pretty low-stress program, and the conversational tools feel like a natural way to practice real-world interactions. On the other hand, for more serious students, Mondly doesn't go far enough to produce significant fluency and they'll likely need a different type of Japanese lessons to meet their study goals.

Where Can You Find the Best Japanese Lessons Online?

Lots of people ask that question because Japanese is the fifth-most studied language in the United States! What's driving its popularity? It'll come as no surprise that many learners develop an interest in Japanese because of manga, anime, and video games. Others realize that speaking Japanese can offer significant advantages in the worlds of technology and business. And, of course, many travelers like to learn at least the basics before spending time in Japan - to better appreciate the culture and to communicate more effectively in-country.

No matter what your reasons are, studying Japanese can be challenging. Because it uses a writing system that's completely different from what you already know from English, learning it can take much longer than mastering languages that use the Roman alphabet (like Spanish or German). You might even need to figure out how to use your keyboard differently!

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

Japanese Lesson FAQ

Japanese is in the top 10 most widely spoken languages in the world, with over 130 million people who use it. 99% of those speakers live in Japan, but there are over a million people in the US, Brazil and Guam who also speak fluent Japanese.
Yes, but you probably won't encounter anything beyond Standard Japanese unless you travel throughout Japan itself. The Japanese you learn will be understood throughout the country, and differences are mostly related to accents and some vocabulary. It's not unlike what you find between speakers from different regions of the US, or between people from England and Australia.
If we're being completely honest, we'd say that Japanese is one of the hardest languages you could attempt to master: even the US State Department ranks it with Arabic, Korean and Chinese as one of the four most difficult! Part of that stems from the fact that Japanese has three separate writing systems (Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji). However, if you've got the grit to work hard and be patient with your studies, Japanese shouldn't be out of reach for you to learn.
You're going to need to wrap your head around the three Japanese alphabets: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. You'll find all of them as you learn the language! As you learn the alphabets, start memorizing basic vocabulary for how you intend to use Japanese, whether that's for business use or just to understand your favorite anime! Speaking of TV, it's a great way to pick up the accent and pronunciation naturally, especially if you don't have the chance to talk with native speakers on a regular basis.
There's no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for a one-semester Japanese class at a university when you can get on-demand instruction for much less. You may not even be able to find in-person classes near you, but there are always options online that let you learn Japanese as quickly (or as slowly!) as you desire.
You need to take a few extra steps to enable the Japanese language on your computer. The steps differ if you're using a Mac or Windows-based PC, and you'll have to search for the instructions based on your operating system. There are also online Japanese keyboards that let you click on characters without modifying your settings.
They're very affordable. You can get month-to-month subscription plans for less than $25/month, or make a one-time purchase of a Japanese lessons package for under $500. Either way, you'll get much more for your money than if you were paying for a semester or two of college courses.
You'll want to read the terms and conditions of any language platform you're considering. The subscription plans typically allow customers to cancel at any time but don't offer a refund of previous payments. The Japanese lesson packages that are one-off purchases may have a 30- or 60-day money-back guarantee. We suggest that you use all of the free resources that the language program has to offer - such as a sample lesson, or a trial period - so that you will already know how it approaches instruction and if it's a good fit for your preferences.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Also, it used to be tricky just to find Japanese lessons. If you didn't live near a university or in an area with a significant Japanese-speaking population, your chances of finding classes were pretty slim.

Not anymore! Today there are many ways to take Japanese classes online, from traditional grammar lessons and flashcards for memorization, to live video sessions with a personal tutor who can help you master a flawless accent. Whether you need an app you can use on-the-go to sneak in study sessions or you have plenty of time to sit at a computer and practice, you'll have no problem finding Japanese lessons that match your availability and your budget.

As you start to explore the possibilities for taking Japanese lessons, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. How can you determine which program is right for you? You may find it helpful to keep the following criteria in mind as you consider your options:

  • Teaching Style. Japanese lessons can be delivered in a variety of ways, such as game-like apps, one-on-one sessions over video, and exercises that help you speak, read, write and understand the language. Pick a platform that feels like a natural fit for the way you learn best.
  • Free Trial. It's hard to know if a language program is a good match without giving it a try! Take full advantage of any sample lessons, limited-time access to the student dashboard, or any other opportunity to use the Japanese lessons before you purchase a package or subscription.
  • Levels of Difficulty. Most Japanese lessons are suitable for beginners, but what about as you advance? Choosing a platform with plenty of content across fluency levels - beginner, intermediate, and advanced - means that you won't have to start the search over again as you become more proficient in Japanese.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. Once you've paid for a membership or bought a lesson package, can you get a refund if you change your mind? Read the terms carefully, especially if you're using Japanese lessons that are subscription-based.

To help you get the most out of your language studies, Top Consumer Reviews has tested, evaluated and ranked the best options for online Japanese lessons today. We know this information will give you all the info you need to choose the best program for your learning style and schedule.

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