Fluencia is one of those language learning apps that I had heard in passing every once in a while, but had never entered my radar enough for me to actually take a look at it. Investigating it for this Fluencia review…I think that was a mistake!
Although there are some slightly significant issues that I have with Fluencia Spanish, I do generally think it’s a great tool for improving a bunch of different aspects of the language (the only language that Fluencia has content on). Let’s talk about Fluencia!
The Fluencia app
Let’s take a gander at what it’s like to learn Spanish through the Fluencia app, shall we? This is the first screen you’ll get when beginning with Fluencia.
I appreciate this intro in theory; problem is, whatever info you stick in there doesn’t seem to change what you’re taught. When you go into the settings you can also select your current level of Spanish, but again, it doesn’t change anything.
Like, if the option is there, I would appreciate a little nudge to the lesson you should be starting at, but that’s just me. Fortunately, every group of lessons mentions what concepts you’ll be learning, so it’s a start.
I only assume they request this information for their own data (your gender has absolutely nothing to do with how you learn Spanish). It also doesn’t seem to be a requirement for you to continue to the content itself. Kind of weird, but okay.
Once you get started, you’ll start learning with a variety of lessons. One thing I do appreciate about Fluencia is the fact that you’ll practice using all 4 language skills, even if just lightly.
Fluencia and the four language skills
You’ll start with simple listening and selecting. Clearly, the beginner lessons of Fluencia are just fine for ultimate beginner Spanish speakers. In the screenshot above and to the right, I do wish the text was also in Spanish like Rosetta Stone does it.
Thanks to the images they choose, you could easily pick out the correct option without having the English presented to you. It’s not that big of a deal, but every little bit helps!
Pretty quickly, you’ll be prompted to spell out the Spanish words and phrases for yourself, as well.
Like I said, Fluencia does a pretty decent job of exercising all the language skills. Notice how the answer box is outlined in red? That turns red as soon as you put in the wrong letter, which is great! You don’t have to actually get the answer wrong for it to gently nudge you into the right answer.
And even if you don’t notice that and get it wrong, Fluencia will:
- Play the correct audio for you
- Take your incorrect answer and correct the spelling for you
- Put the question back in the shuffle to give you another chance
And the whole time you’re going through these questions, right answers will be rewarded by cute little chirps and wrong answers end with slightly sadder (but still cute!) chirps.
One more note on these fill-in-the-blank questions.
When I originally went through Fluencia, I was pretty upset because it didn’t seem to care the slightest bit that I wasn’t using the correct, or any, accents. Like, not even any note that accents are important and to make sure you’re paying attention to them! Fair warning: learning Spanish without accents can get you in some real trouble.
Fortunately, I went through the settings and found the screenshot above! I never would have known that was an option if I wasn’t snooping around. Not only that, but I wish it was automatically toggled on. The more opportunity for Spanish language learners to take in the language correctly, the better, in my opinion.
Lastly we have speaking. Fluencia does make an effort to use speech-recognition…but it really isn’t up to par. When I purposefully either said the wrong answer to mispronounced it, Fluencia marked me as right. Which doesn’t help in the slightest!
Like I said, I do appreciate use of all the language skills, and the attempt was definitely made, but voice recognition is very difficult. I don’t know of any language learning app that does it right!
How advanced does Fluencia get?
Fluencia’s Spanish course is broken up into 10 units, each with 65-70 lessons. To access the intermediate and advanced lessons you do have to pay their fee, which we’ll talk about in a minute. But how advanced does Fluencia Spanish actually get?
As you can see, pretty advanced! This conversation is presented at a near-native speed, if not truly native. If you get this far, your listening has to be pretty damn good!
In this lesson, the English isn’t presented at all unless you really need it, which is perfect. If you can get through this whole dialogue without English translations, give yourself a good pat on the back.
And if you do need a translation? Fair enough, Fluencia uses some seriously colloquial expressions (love it!). Just click any individual statement.
You’ll get the translation you need real quick without having the “spoil” the entire conversation for yourself. Much appreciated, Fluencia!
Where this section is concerned, the one (albeit tiny) complaint I have is that you can’t pause it. It’s really not a huge deal – just go back and click that blue button to listen again – but I definitely had to get up and deal with something in the middle of this and ended up missing half of it. Super frustrating.
Nonetheless, once you’re done with the story/conversation you’re presented with, you’ll get some questions to test your listening comprehension. They’re simple enough if your comprehension is up to par, and if it’s not, you might want to go back a couple of lessons.
Again, if you get the questions wrong you’ll get another chance to get them right at the end of the quiz, and you’ll also get a translation if Fluencia deems it helpful!
Learning Spanish grammar
Okay, so we know that Fluencia Spanish gets up to pretty advanced levels, but how does it get there? Intermediate/advanced Spanish is more than just listening comprehension, it’s also a ton of grammar. How does Fluencia approach that?
Apparently pretty well!
Fluencia begins with showing us our grammar tables, but instead of reviewing the tables over and over and over again, it goes straight into actively using them, which is amazing!
Yes, it’s difficult this way, but it’s going to be difficult no matter how you approach it. I definitely appreciate learning new grammatical concepts through context, as opposed to just a theoretical ~idea~ of how grammar works.
Then, as always, you’re provided with multiple-choice questions to test your retention the second you finish. With these questions, whether you get them right or wrong, the audio repeats the correct answer back to you, which is also a really great way to help retention!
One thing that many language learners struggle with is keeping consistent, and Fluencia seems to recognize that. While Fluencia doesn’t have a mobile app to send you push notifications every day, I guess they make do with what they can.
You’re automatically set up with daily reminders and can opt-out if you want. If you’re like me, though, daily emails just get lost so I end up ignoring them.
If this method works for you, though, great!
How much will you pay?
As any language learning product of this caliber, Fluencia does come at a price. Your first 15 lessons are free forever! So if you’re a brand new Spanish language learner, you can use Fluencia for quite a bit to see if it’s for you.
If you’re enjoying it and decide it’s right for you (I’ll pinpoint what kind of Spanish language learner should be using it in a sec), it’s not totally overpriced!
Clearly, if you’re brand new to Spanish and find that Fluencia is exactly what you need, the 2-year plan isn’t bad! Most of us don’t have a whole lot of time day-to-day to work on our language learning, so I can see how 2 years wouldn’t be totally ridiculous.
And, if you change your mind, just let them know within 30 days! These guarantees and free trials are always really important to me (as I’m sure they are for you), so that security is much appreciated.
Fluencia review: who it’s for
At the end of the day, I really like a good majority of Fluencia for teaching language learners Spanish, no matter what level you begin with. The issues that I do have with this program probably aren’t a huge deal for most language learners.
That being said, who is it for? Fortunately, Fluencia is great for most any level of Spanish language learner, considering it starts from the very very beginning of the language and ends at a pretty advanced level of comprehension and grammar.
As for your Spanish language learning goals? Fluencia is an awesome option for language comprehension as well as grammar, which are definitely two significant issues that many language learners face.
It is worth noting that although Fluencia does do speech-recognition, you spend very little time actually speaking, none of which is in any kind of active conversation, so Fluencia is not the right choice if you really want to focus on speaking.
Now, Fluencia could be paired with something like italki, Verbling, or Baselang to supplement that speaking! But from Fluencia alone, you’ll be focusing more on understanding Spanish than anything else.
Writing is the same; Fluencia is not great for active use of the language, which is important. Most language learners don’t tend to focus on writing, and Fluencia is no different.