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Drops language app review
Drops language app is a pretty popular option for language learners to learn a whole bunch of languages; it’s very similar to Duolingo (the world’s largest community of language learners), but with a pretty different approach. Continue with this Drops app review and you’ll see just that.
Who is the Drops language app for? What should you be looking for in a language learning app by downloading it? Keep reading this Drops app review to learn just that.[convertkit form=1363388]
Drops app review: languages
You can use the Drops language app to learn:
- American English
- Brazilian Portuguese
- British English
- Castilian Spanish
- European Portuguese
- Mandarin Chinese
- Mexican Spanish
That adds up to over 30 languages, including a couple of various accents (Castilian and Mexican Spanish) and some lesser-known languages, like Ainu. When a language app supports so many languages, it’s generally safe to assume that the content won’t get too advanced.
And, just like Mondly and Duolingo, you can also use Drops to learn from other languages, which makes Drops a great contender for using one foreign language to learn another!
Drops language app: getting started
Just like Duolingo, Drops also advertises itself as a pretty low-maintenance habit, even right down to the “learn a language in 5 minutes a day”. I hate that promise, but at least it gives us a clue about what we should expect from this app.
That plus “effortless visual learning” doesn’t really tell us much about how Drops will teach us a language, since language learning is absolutely not effortless, at least not all the time.
This doesn’t offer me the most optimistic first look at this app, but fortunately, that gets turned around just a little bit. When you do create an account, you’ll be asked some solid qualifying questions.
This doesn’t really seem to effect the material you see, though; it’s one of those apps where even if you say you’re an advanced learner (which I did), you’ll see the same exact content. I hate when language learning apps get my hopes up like that!
After selecting your language and answering these (honestly useless) questions, you start playing! It’s a pretty simple concept, but nonetheless you’ll get some direction the first time around.
And you’ll get these directions the first time you come across one of the six ways that Drops teaches you vocab.
As you can tell, it didn’t take me long to get sick of Spanish and switch to Dutch!
First you’re introduced to new words with relevant icons, and you tell Drops whether or not you want to learn this word. This is a nice way to not waste your time learning words that either you already know, or they’re so easy that you don’t have to spend the time studying them (if they’re close enough to English, for example).
You’ll get the English translation when the word first appears, but after that you can just tap icons to see what vocab word you’re supposed to be translating. I like how this avoids the habit of translation and jumps right into just thinking in the new language, the thing that Rosetta Stone really rocks at!
Plus, you get the added bonus of hearing the word/phrase being said every time you review them. Very helpful for getting new vocab cemented in your brain.
RELATED: Mondly vs Drops vs uTalk (VIDEO)
From the start, you can see where Drops really shines: vocab. While you can use Drops to take in your very first words, it also offers vocab to cover a ton of subjects:
- Food & drink
- Travel talk
- Nature & animals
- People & health
- Travel & vehicles
- Home & garden
- City & shops
- Business & tech
- Fashion & clothing
- Fun & recreation
- Science & wisdom
- Sports & fitness
- Society & politics
That adds up to 14 different subjects’ worth of vocab, all of which you can access in over 30 different languages. There’s no “levels” or anything like that, so you can go ahead and pick whichever words in whichever languages whenever you so choose!
Drops app review: other features
Besides providing access to thousands of words in a variety of different languages, Drops also has a few other tricks up its sleeve. For one, Drops keeps track of your progress, and helps give you labels for the amount of words you’ve learned in the language.
While this is nice to look at and to use to feel good about yourself…I’m not sure it’s 100% accurate. It’s not far off – those first 2,000 words are the most important and the ones that you’ll use in 99% of conversations – but considering Drops teaches you words/phrases, but not really any sentence structure or basic grammar….ehhhh.
Personally, I like to put more of a focus on grammar and creating sentences, not so much with vocab. Think about which parts of a language you like to learn!
Does Drops provide the potential? Absolutely! Honestly, Drops is a really satisfying, really fun way to learn vocabulary. And I haven’t even got to the best part (in my opinion)!
If you go into the ‘Collection’ tab, you can see all the words that you’ve reviewed thus far. Then from there, you’re just one click away from the Drops Visual Dictionary!
This dictionary is really attractive and really interesting – I do love the concept of seeing so many different translations of the word in one go.
It’s formatted really beautifully, but it’s not an official dictionary. It looks like you can only use it to look up words that you learn in the app, which makes sense. But for more of a dedicated dictionary, you’ll wanna look elsewhere.
Drops also has a lot of potential for keeping you accountable! The app keeps track of your daily/weekly streak (though for some reason my daily notification doesn’t always show up) and helps you set simple goals with timers.
Seriously though: when Drops says 5 minutes a day, they mean it! This makes Drops a great daily vocabulary word app for a ton of languages.
Drops automatically sets your session length to 5 minutes, but you have some leeway with that. The number you set it to is the amount of time one lesson takes, like Conjuguemos does things.
So these sessions aren’t necessarily “here’s one lesson, now here’s another”, it’s more like practicing as much vocab as you can until the timer runs out. So long as you’re a paid member (more on that below), go through as many of those sessions as you like.
Drops language app: the bad & ugly
There’s a lot to like about Drops, and it’s absolutely useful for language learners who want to take in lots and lots of words in a fun way. However…it ain’t perfect.
For example, I love that Drops has their own simple, very attractive icons. Problem is, simple icons don’t allow for simple differences in words/phrases.
When you get ‘de regen’ or ‘het regent’, and you have to choose between those icons (assuming you don’t tap the icon to double-check the word/phrase), there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll get it wrong! You know that they both have something to do with rain, and the icons are so similar that it’s a waste of time to focus on the nuances between the two icons.
Yes, I did get that wrong and yes, I am salty about it! I really do love the icons, I do, but this was unreasonably frustrating to me.
Another issue that comes up, especially when you switch between totally different vocab categories, is that you get questions like this one, where your options are “audience” and “egg”. I just…what?
I would much rather have a word related to “audience”, even if I hadn’t seen that word yet. That way I could start connecting the two icons in my head and start learning the new vocab before I even see it.
The total randomness of pairing these two vocab words together made it way too easy for me to get it right without having to actually look at the icons or think about it. I dunno about you, but I like more of a challenge.
Drops language app premium
Fortunately, Drops is very reasonably priced.
On top of the 14-day money-back guarantee, you can also opt for a free 7-day trial. That’s some good customer service! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a free trial and a money-back guarantee, it’s usually one or the other.
Oh yeah, and on TOP of all that, a Drops language app free account gives you the first 5 minutes per day for free. Seriously, what a freakin’ deal.
With your subscription, you also get access to Drops OTHER app, which I had never heard before and almost completely missed: Scripts by Drops!
It’s the exact same idea as Drops, but you use it to learn the letters of different alphabets. So, with the Scripts app, this membership can add to that list of languages:
- Chinese Hanzi
- English ABCs
- Indian Devanagari
- Japanese Kana
- Korean Hangul
- Russian Cyrillic
I don’t know why Drops keeps this such a secret, but that’s a whole lot of value added to a membership!
Keep in mind, Scripts is strictly for alphabets; there are no words to learn in these languages. Still, Scripts can be a great prequel to Drops for your language learning strategy.
Drops language app: who should try it
Drops language app is a unique language learning resource in the sheer amount of vocab that’s available to you. You can choose from over a dozen different categories of words in over 30 different languages, and you’re free to learn whatever you want whenever you want.
Plus, with access to the Scripts app which is included in a paid membership, you can learn a variety of alphabets, too, which opens the doors to 7 more languages! And you thought this Drops app review would just be about Drops!
All this makes the Drops language app a great resource for taking in new vocab and learning new alphabets, both of which are major cornerstones of any new language. You won’t be learning any grammar, language skills, or anything beyond intermediate, but it’s easy, entertaining, and, quite frankly, absolutely beautiful.