Lingopie is a fairly commonly used language learning resource; I’d heard of it here and there and decided to finally put the time into seeing what it’s all about. At the start, Lingopie advertises itself as binge-able language learning. Pretty cool, especially for language learners looking for something more engaging to keep them motivated.
If you’ve been to this Lingopie review before, you know I had a pretty scathing Lingopie review in the past; it wasn’t very user-friendly, it didn’t have any features that you couldn’t find elsewhere…it really wasn’t particularly inspiring, to be honest.
However, I’m happy to report that Lingopie has done a lot to respond to these complaints! They’ve made the platform more binge-able, more useful, and more accessible.
Knowing that, should you consider Lingopie? This Lingopie review will tell you just that!
Getting started watching foreign language TV
Your first impression of Lingopie will be with a free trial. They’re not totally clear about how long that free trial is at first, but you’ll find out it’s 7 days in a sec. Before you worry about that, you get to choose your language.
Check out those fancy icons, though!
At the moment, Lingopie is only available in:
…though they have had several languages under that “More languages coming soon” bit for a while. While it’s sad that there aren’t many languages available right now, I do have to give them kudos for making the platform they already have better for the members they already have, as opposed to trying to expand a crappy product to a new audience.
AKA, I approve!
You’ll continue to go through some other basic questions that tons of language apps ask you:
- your current level in the language,
- why you’re learning the language, and
- how much time you plan to spend every day
While they are pretty simple, and generally don’t tend to change the content you see, I do love the graphics here!
It’s like the “plant watering” thing that Memrise does! It’s very aesthetically-pleasing, if I do say so myself.
In the past year, Lingopie has shifted their pricing structure a bit, so both the monthly and annual rates are a couple bucks more. But, to be fair, the platform and the content are much better, so I’m not about to complain.
Once you make those choices, Lingopie offers you some helpful tips for learning a language with video. While it’s good advice as a whole, it does specify that it’s meant for beginners, even though I specifically said I wasn’t a beginner. Frustrating, but like I said, literally every language learning app I’ve come across does the exact same thing, so it is what it is.
Then, voila! We’re in! You’ll see a Netflix-like page with all the shows Lingopie has to offer, separated by genre and, more importantly (and this is new): every show and movie has an icon, front and center, of the country the media is from, which makes it easy to find content in specific accents, or with different vocabulary!
It’s worth noting that Lingopie is the first language learning resource to offer Subscription Video On Demand technology (meaning the stuff that all your favorite streaming platforms use). So, basically, if you’re super into using Netflix to learn your target language, but you get frustrated by the subtitles, you’re in luck!
I was most excited about the “Beginner Friendly” category – it can be really tough for beginner language learners to find interesting, engaging content when the only vocabulary they understand is essentially baby talk.
I chose a show in that section for adults…it wasn’t beginner-friendly. At least, not in the way I consider a beginner’s needs: simplified, relevant vocabulary, reasonably clearly enunciated, basic grammar structures, etc. Unfortunately, the only thing that seemed to be accessible for beginners was that the audio was automatically slowed down to .75x, which is also an option with any video.
Nonetheless, the setup is pretty enticing, as well as the genres you can scroll through:
- New releases
- Historical TV shows
- Family & kids
- Best of Latin America
- Cool cult TV
- Best Spanish TV
- Short & sweet
- Binge-worthy TV thrillers
…with a side of “viewers choice” and “editors pick”. These genres are a lot more enticing than they were in the past!
So, like I said, I started out with a show that was supposed to be beginner-friendly. Even though it wasn’t beginner-friendly, the intro seemed really interesting so I thought I’d stick to it. Before the video starts, you get some more helpful notes.
Otherwise, the platform itself is reasonably intuitive: slow it down if you’re a beginner, speed it up if you’re more advanced; click to pause/play; turn the English subtitles on or off as you choose.
There’s a couple of fun little options, though! For one, and this is new, MashUP! This is a handy tool for beginners if you still need to depend heavily on English subtitles, because MashUP automatically switches English words for words in the target language.
Here you can see the on/off toggle for MashUP (that orange button up top), as well as what it does to your English subtitles. You do lose the option to see both sets of subtitles at the same time, so this isn’t a great option for more advanced listeners, but it’s not bad!
And, as with any orange subtitle, you can click the word and get a translation plus an automatically generated recording of said word (not the audio from the video itself).
Unfortunately, you’re not going to get any direct communication of masculine or feminine nouns, but I suppose it’s not the end of the world. What you do get is automatically curated flashcards based off of the words that you’ve clicked!
These are really easily found both within the show/movie you’re watching, or from the toolbar anywhere on the site; you’re even prompted to review the words you’ve clicked when you leave the video.
You also have quite a few options here:
- click the video to hear the sentence straight from the video clip
- click the white text space underneath to see the translation
- click the speaker icon to hear the robot voice say the word
- click “I don’t know” to see the term again
- click “I know” to put it away
I’m not entirely sure where Lingopie’s flashcards land with Spaced Repetition, but this is a pretty and fairly convenient way to review vocab.
Click the “Word list” tab to see, you guessed it, a word list of the terms you’ve clicked in this particular series. I’m super interested to see what those “Spell” and “Quiz” options eventually look like, but at the moment they’re not yet available.
As you can see, these terms are organized by the show you found them in which is handy. But there’s no option to export terms to an excel sheet (which would be helpful for resources like Anki) so either you work within the options that Lingopie offers for flashcards, or you do that bit manually.
Lingopie mobile apps
Just a quick note on Lingopie mobile: they’ve recently developed apps for both Android and Apple, which is awesome! I’m an Android gal, so I can’t vouch for Apple. But messing around on the app….eh.
The flashcards are great, very convenient, and look exactly the same as they do on Lingopie desktop. However, I’m experiencing a lot of issues with video playback: lots of random stopping, subtitles showing up too early or too late…in my experience, it needs some work.
However, it is still an improvement from no app at all, especially if you’re enjoying the flashcards!
Lingopie review: alternatives
Updating this Lingopie review shows me that the platform has definitely improved, and I’m excited to see whatit looks like in another year! There are plenty of engaging options when it comes to content, complete with map of origin, an enticing platform, and curated subtitles built just for language learners.
However, it’s not perfect; if you need your flashcards to have a bit more oomph (though still pretty curated), I’d recommend trying out FluentU. It’s not nearly as pretty as Lingopie, and it’s not as binge-able, but the flashcard options are top-notch, with like 20 different ways to study them.
If you need even MORE flexibility, both with the amount of video content and flashcard options, the Language Learning with Netflix/YouTube Chrome extensions have Lingopie beat, hands down. I mean for one, you have all of YouTube; the subtitles may not be the most accurate, but they are totally customizable and easily export-able into an Anki deck, if that’s your thing.
Need it on mobile? FluentU also has an app (again, not as pretty as Lingopie, but with more functional flashcards), and though you can’t use Chrome extensions on your phone, LingoTube is a pretty solid alternative for you!
Pricing-wise? FluentU is pretty pricey: $20-$30/month, depending on if you go monthly or annually. It’s at least double Lingopie, but worth it for the flashcards, I think.