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Mondly Review

Sunday, December 5th

2021 Russian Lesson Reviews

Mondly Review 3.5 Star Rating

Mondly

3.5 Star Rating
  • Keeps learning fun with games, contests and leaderboards
  • Lots of free content with no credit card needed for access
  • Conversation practice through Chatbot and Augmented Reality
  • Speech recognition features to help you with your accent

If your ideal Russian lessons keep you having fun through a game-like app, complete with badges and leaderboards, Mondly might work for you. It's not a grammar-intensive program (which is a pro for some and a con for others), teaching more through repetition of words and phrases than with lengthy explanations.

Make a free account to take a peek

It's free to create an account with Mondly, and it's the best way to see if you like the overall feel of their Russian lessons (or any other language among the 40+ they offer). Select your level as beginner, intermediate or advanced - but be aware that, with a free account, you won't be able to access much beyond Mondly's "Hello" starter lesson, one chatbot conversation, and the featured daily lesson.

Toggle between Cyrillic and Romanization

Let's say you're starting at the very beginning. What should you expect from the first lesson in "Hello" ? You'll get pictures to match with a word, and your app will default to the English transliteration: in other words, the way it would be written phonetically in English. There's a little button in the upper right-hand corner if you'd prefer to see the words in Cyrillic, and you can toggle that back and forth. It quickly moves forward from there, jumping into some basic sentences you can figure out from the pictures, context, or previously-introduced vocabulary.

Limited direct teaching of grammar

You can go back and review previously-learned words at any time. Either click on "Redo" to go through the whole lesson again, or use the blue box to the right to see a recap of what you learned plus any additional info. For example, on the first "Hello" lesson, you'll find the conjugations for "to be" in the present (something they don't really come right out and tell you during the lesson itself). There's not a ton of direct grammar instruction with Mondly: you're supposed to pick it up along the way, for the most part.

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Most features require a subscription

You'll also realize pretty quickly that most of Mondly's features are pay-to-use. For example, their Chatbot will give you one sample back-and-forth interaction (which is pretty fun!), but you'll need to subscribe if you want to use that tool regularly. The same goes for Mondly's unique Augmented Reality feature: you can superimpose a digital "person" on your own environment and interact with them! Worth paying for? Maybe, maybe not, but it's definitely something you won't find with other Russian lessons.

Costs

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

Price is anyone's guess

How much does Mondly cost? Believe us when we say "it depends" . We've visited the Mondly site regularly as we evaluated many of their language lessons, and it seems that the prices were slightly different each time. You could pay $9.99 per month, $47.99 for a year-long membership, or get one-year access to all of the languages they offer for the same $47.99 (as a promotional discount). Another time, though, you might see an even bigger deal: lifetime access to every Mondly language for a one-time cost of $89.99. (We were also confused because in some places Mondly says they have 41 languages, but in other spots that number is just 33.) It's affordable no matter how you look at it, but it's frustrating to use Mondly for a while and think you're going to subscribe at one price, only to find that when you go to buy the membership it's a completely different dollar amount.

No refunds

Be aware that Mondly doesn't have a satisfaction guarantee: if you pay for a month, a year, or for lifetime access and decide it's not really helping you learn Russian, you can cancel future renewals but you won't get a refund on what you already paid. We definitely encourage you to sign up for a free account and try Mondly for a while before committing to any of their paid plans.

Good in many ways, but not quite top notch

People who want to learn Russian can easily get started by using Mondly. It's fairly intuitive to use and can keep you motivated to learn: just one more point on the leaderboard and I'll finally beat that other guy! But, it doesn't quite get our highest recommendation because of the paywall preventing people from really trying all of their features and the lack of a refund policy.

What’s the Best Way to Learn Russian?

If you're interested in learning the language, you likely already realize that it's going to be more challenging than some. First off, Russian uses a completely different alphabet, Cyrillic, from what you're using right now to read in English. Training your mind to recognize the new symbols and the sounds they make (or to make different sounds using letters that look similar between Cyrillc and the Roman alphabet) can take some time.

You'll also have to master a grammatical system that's quite different from English. Do you know the difference between the nominative case and the dative case? It's okay if you don't - because of the six cases used in Russian, we only use three in modern English.

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

Russian Lesson FAQ

A lot! Estimates range from 150-250 million people around the globe who speak Russian as their first language. It's one of the six official languages designated by the UN (along with Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, English, French and Spanish), the most spoken native language in Europe, and the most geographically widespread language in all of Eurasia. Russian is the official language of Russia (of course), Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and widely used in most of the former USSR nations.
Yes, but with few exceptions, Russian speakers all understand each other. People often refer to the "literary language" of Russian, used in all major cities throughout Russia. Beyond that, you'll find regional accents and vocabulary - but the type of Russian you'll learn in any class will be the commonly-accepted one.
We'll be honest: it's challenging! From the Cyrillic alphabet to grammatical differences, Russian is quite different from English, and we don't really borrow enough vocabulary from Russian for it to be familiar as we learn it. It's not quite as hard as Arabic, Japanese or Chinese (according to the US State Department, anyway!), and if you work diligently and consistently, you should be able to learn as much Russian as you like.
You have to start by learning the Cyrillic alphabet. It's got 33 letters, some of which are familiar from our Latin alphabet, and some that will be completely new - and most of which won't be pronounced the same as what you use in English! From there, basic vocabulary will help you with day-to-day needs like asking for directions or buying things in the market, but shape your learning according to how you plan to use Russian (on vacation, in business, and so on).
Unless you live in a college town, it might be your only option! Russian lessons aren't easy to come by in person, so going with an online platform ensures that you can learn when and where you like, for as long as you wish. They're also much more affordable than college tuition!
If you're studying Russian online, you will need to enable the language on your computer. Search for the steps you'll have to take on your operating system (PC or Mac). Otherwise, there are online Russian keyboard sites where you can copy-paste characters one by one (but that will get a little tedious).
They're quite affordable. You can choose between two options: monthly subscriptions or one-time purchase. Most month-to-month plans are less than $25/month, while one-off Russian lesson packages are anywhere from $50 to $700. All of the Russian lesson programs we found were much cheaper than paying for a semester of college tuition!
That varies. For monthly subscriptions, you may be able to cancel your recurring payments without a refund of what you paid previously. If you buy a package of Russian lessons (online, CDs), you may be protected by a 30- or 60-day satisfaction guarantee. Be sure to understand the terms of any Russian language platform you're considering before you make your purchase, and take advantage of any free lesson samples or trial periods the service offers.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Feeling discouraged? Don't be! Russian is ranked as a Level III language by the US State Department, marking it merely as a "hard" language and not as difficult as Level IV languages like Arabic or Chinese. Whew! And with the right type of Russian lessons, you could find yourself reading, writing, understanding and speaking the language more fluently than you imagined.

So, what makes a Russian language program the "right type" ? Some of that depends on you. Do you learn best by reading detailed explanations of grammar or by learning useful words and phrases in context? Do you like your learning to feel like playing games or do you prefer a more straightforward, traditional approach? If you're not sure about the answers to any of those questions, that's fine: most Russian lessons have a free lesson or give you limited access to the platform so you can try it for yourself. Put a few providers to the test and see which ones keep coming to mind - or which approach helps what you've learned to "stick" the best!

Generally speaking, there are a few factors that can make a particular system for learning Russian better than another. Those include:

  • Ease of Use. How intuitive is it to move through each lesson, and from one topic to another? Is it clear what you're supposed to learn next? The more comfortable you are with the app, materials, or however the Russian lessons are delivered, the more likely you are to stick with it and keep making progress.
  • Value. Some Russian lessons involve a monthly or yearly subscription, while others have a one-time cost. How much will you get for what you pay? Will you have enough content to keep you busy for as long as you intend to study the language? Does your paid membership or one-off fee add a significant number of features or materials beyond what the service may offer for free?
  • Refund Policy. If you purchase a long-term subscription or pay for an entire program upfront, can you get your money back if it doesn't live up to your expectations?
  • Reputation. Have other people been successful using the service to learn Russian?

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's top resources for learning Russian online. We're confident that this information will help you choose the Russian lessons that will boost your fluency in no time!

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