Fluent Forever app review
The Fluent Forever app prides itself on teaching you “to THINK in any language”. This is definitely a unique approach to learning a language – not learning vocab and conjugations right out the door, but something a little different.
In this Fluent Forever app review, learn about this unique angle and whether or not it may be what you’re looking for in your language learning journey.
The Fluent Forever app from the start
Besides the approach, the other thing I really like about the Fluent Forever app is the app itself. It’s really well-made, pleasing to look at, super smooth, etc. The initial run-through of the app shows you everything you need to know.
Therefore, this review is going to take you through the same process the app goes through. What I mean by that, specifically, is I don’t usually talk about prices until the end of a review, right? Here, that’s the first thing I’ll mention. ‘Cause it just looks so nice!
You can choose to pay monthly or annually – monthly is just ten bucks a month, and annually is a fraction of that. This price point puts it right in the middle of other resources like it; it ain’t gonna break the bank.
On top of that, you also get a 14-day free trial, which is also incredibly reasonable!
Do you see that first check mark? “Access to all our languages for 14 days”? I can see what the idea is, but it seems kind of backwards to me. Basically, once you give them your money, you’re also getting…less?
I really love when language learning resources give you access to all their languages with one monthly subscription, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen access to all languages EXCEPT if you’re paying for it. Weird.
Nonetheless, the Fluent Forever app does have a solid collection of foreign languages to choose from:
- Brazilian Portuguese
- Latin American Spanish
- Castilian Spanish
Bonus points for two different Spanish accents! Let’s start out with Castilian Spanish (my go-to).
Fluent Forever for advanced learners
You’ll start out with two qualifying questions:
Of course, I started out with Advanced and Great to see how the Fluent Forever app is for intermediate and/or advanced learners. The first thing you do once you’ve qualified yourself is make your first flashcard.
At first glance, this is a super solid word to start with! Pulgar is not really a word you’ll find in textbooks a lot.
I recognized pulgar passively, but if you had asked me to translate “thumb” before this flashcard, I wouldn’t have been able to!
So from here, I was genuinely enjoying this app!
You’re offered a selection of popular images to trigger the word in your brain, or you can also opt to take your own picture with your phone.
Once you make your first flashcard, you learn how to use the app.
You tap the photo to check your answer, then swipe right if you’re right, left if you’re wrong. From here, it’s like the Tinder of language learning!
At this point, I was 100% loving this app. The first word that was shown to me was definitely at my (vaguely advanced) level, and I can see how the app would be really fun to use.
So far, so good. Whenever an app mentions a Spaced Repetition Algorithm (I still maintain nobody does it quite like Anki!) I take it with a big ol’ grain of salt, but I was willing to look over that at this point.
Then you’ll get a short tutorial of the app’s basic “tasks”.
At this point, I’m still diggin’ this app. With a Daily Streak Task, that suggests some solid daily accountability. That daily accountability is a huge part of language learning; it’s one of my favorite things about Mondly!
And, to be fair, the app follows through:
I mean…they’re not wrong there!
This is where the Fluent Forever app gets…iffy (but I was still pretty optimistic at this point!).
At the top of this app, I got some stats, which I assume they assume from those first qualifying questions.
While these stats happen to likely be fairly accurate (“happen to”, “likely”, and “fairly” being the operative words here), they feel really precise considering those qualifying questions were pretty general.
And, as we’re about to see, the fact that I’m questioning these stats are not totally unfounded.
I went in to learn some new words, and here’s what happened.
First of all, if you already know that I’m at least an intermediate learner, why are you showing me these beginner words?? If this app assumes I’m at B2, why is it showing me A1 words?? What a turn off.
I got a little bit of optimism back thinking that I could easily swipe these words away (I dunno, maybe swiping them shifts an algorithm or something?), but no.
Sure, you can swipe them, but then it’ll give you this option, and then it’ll take a second to reload. Which takes forever, especially considering that, again, it’s already assumed I’m at a B2 level.
Okay, okay, so maybe it’s just not good for intermediate/advanced language learners? Beginner apps are perfectly valid, and these qualifying questions could simply be misleading.
Fluent Forever for beginners
Clearly this strategy isn’t the best for more advanced users, so let’s switch to French. From here on out, I totally get the method now.
You’ll start out with the first image, given a word. This won’t be your normal, run-of-the-mill beginner word, though, ’cause that’s not the way Fluent Forever works. You’ll get some vocab, but the point here is the sounds.
You’ll create a pretty dynamic digital flashcard: the word, its translation, an audio clip, and an image of your choosing (I’m personally not going to spend time uploading my own photo and sometimes the images that pop up automatically are kind of hit or miss) to help you learn visually.
You’ll get a few of those, see it once or twice, then it’s shuffled into your deck. When you review your deck, you’ll be tested a few different ways. The first is the image on the right: reproducing the correct sound as it’s used in that particular word.
Other examples include how to spell the word, remembering the word when you see the image, and these (my favorite):
I love the Ear Trainings! Here, the Fluent Forever app pits a French word against a very similar-sounding English word so you can learn to differentiate between the two. And, just like the vocab cards, these concepts are also reviewed via flashcards.
In my opinion, this is an excellent strategy for not only mastering your pronunciation, but also being able to understand the words that are spoken to you. Fluent Forever’s Ear Trainings get an A+ from me!
The Fluent Forever app definitely has its own unique approach to learning a language that can be a real benefit to users. While it doesn’t start out teaching you basic words and grammar like most other apps, it does a lot more for us in the way of speaking/understanding.
If you’re an intermediate/advanced learner right off the bat, Fluent Forever probably won’t be your best bet – regardless of your level, it starts you out with basic vocab and while you can dismiss it, you have to individually swipe every single little word. Annoying.
However, if you’re a beginner language learner who really wants an in-depth understanding of the language’s sounds, both to gain confidence in your speaking abilities and to better understand others, this is a no-brainer. It’ll keep you accountable with daily notifications, and the dynamic digital flashcards help us learn in more ways than one.