This post was last updated September 2020.
Mango Languages review
Mango Languages is a language learning resource that I had only vaguely heard of. If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably heard of it more than once, which means you had more experience with it than even me!
Regardless, Mango Languages is different from all the rest because of the access they provide to communities, ie. universities, libraries, workplaces, and more. But I’m getting ahead of myself. In this Mango Languages review, I’ll dive into who can access this program, and who should access it.[convertkit form=1363388]
Mango Languages available
To start, Mango Languages offers plenty of languages, including:
- Egyptian Arabic
- Iraqi Arabic
- Levantine Arabic
- Modern Standard Arabic*
- Chaldean Aramaic
- Shakespearean English
- French Canadian
- Ancient Greek
- Koine Greek
- Haitian Creole
- Biblical Hebrew
- Brazilian Portuguese*
- Scottish Gaelic
- Castilian Spanish*
- Latin American Spanish*
Wow. 73 languages. That’s significantly more than even Duolingo, who is known for how many languages they cover! And I’ll be honest, there are several languages in that list that I’ve never even heard of before…that doesn’t include freaking Shakespearean English, either. Seriously?
On top of that, the languages with asterisks also have some cultural options, too. Some of them have slang, some have business etiquette, or even Zodiac signs and superstitions. Color me impressed!
Mango Languages review: an overview
So, once you’ve chosen your language, what’s Mango Languages like? Well…it’s super simple. Your language is broken up into units, though I’m honestly not sure why. There doesn’t seem to be any major differences between units: not levels, not subjects, nothing obvious to me.
These chapters give you one phrase each and break them down by individual word, phrase, and sentence, with some nice little cultural facts thrown it.
As you begin each lesson, you start with a singular conversation. Feel free to replay any part of this conversation as many times as you like.
As you continue on through these lessons, you’ll learn and understand each individual word and phrase in a variety of different ways.
When I say Mango Languages takes sentences bit by bit, I mean bit by bit. The first thing you learn isn’t the entire phrase included in the first piece of dialogue, but just the first word. Mango Language’s crawls.
Here you’re presented with a bunch of different options:
- the word you’re learning
- its translation
- an audio recording (you can repeat as many times as you like)
- the option to record yourself saying it (to compare with their audio)
- the pronunciation (OHlah, in this case)
Think you’ve got it? Next step is a chance for you to translate it independently.
I told you, this is slooooooooooow. Great if you like to take it slow and/or you don’t have any experience with the language, otherwise not-so-great.
You’ll then continue on to more itty bitty phrases, very slowly.
Notice the color-coding. As a visual learner, I do love this part. It makes it easier for me to create the link in my brain between the two phrases and helps me to pick apart what each individual word means.
After you get those two phrases in, they’ll be repeated consistently while you continue to learn more, which is very helpful in turning that short term memory into long term memory (but boring as hell if this is easy for you; you’ll find out real quick if Mango Languages won’t suit you!).
Check out this other feature that I really like.
This is another way that I like to learn new words and phrases: piecing them together in a way that I can understand with the literal translations. Once I understand the literal phrase, it’s much easier for me to recognize the foreign phrase independently.
So, if you’re an ultimate beginner in the language and have never studied any language before, Mango Languages definitely has a few decent options to offer!
And a lot of simple repetitions.
Mango Languages Daily Review
Recently, Mango Languages has also included more tools to help baby language learners form a habit. With the mobile app, you can add and customize study reminders by day of the week and time of day you want to receive your reminder.
And even if you’re not using the mobile app, desktop users can access the review section at any time. Instead of going through the initial lessons over and over again, you can do this:
Click the button, and you get those same options for self-study:
- switch between “literal” and “understood” translation
- listen to the audio
- record yourself saying it
PLUS, unique to this section is the self-reporting buttons on the bottom and the option to take a card out of the deck in cases where you know that card like the back of your hand, so you don’t waste your time.
An important note
The first time I tried Mango Languages, I hated it. Absolutely. I hated it mostly because the automatic settings have the “Narrator” function enabled. This means that on top of the audio clips of the language you’re learning, you’ll also get things like “listen to how you say” and “let’s hear that again!” Over and over and over and over again.
Fortunately, thanks to a very helpful commenter on this Mango Languages review, I found the “Settings” and actually got the chance to enjoy myself the second time around!
Here you can turn off the English narrator (which I highly recommend even if it doesn’t bother you – you don’t want to be thinking in English when you’re learning another language) as well as the captions.
Whether you keep the closed captions on or off is a totally personal decision, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting a little more help (as long as those captions are in the language you’re learning).
Mango Language review: tools
Besides these lessons, Mango Languages also offers a dictionary. Which is…interesting. Check it out.
I say it’s interesting because I’m kind of unsure about its purpose. In the fine print, they do have the courtesy to say that it’s just the Google Translate engine, and is therefore not that great. However, at least for Spanish, there is a better option, which I feel like they should know.
If you really wanted to translate anything, you’d be better of just going to SpanishDict for a much more reliable translation. Now, even though I’m accessing this dictionary from the Spanish lessons you can also translate from a whole bunch of languages, so I guess finding a better dictionary is easier said than done.
I suppose they’re making an effort to provide you with more tools at your disposal. I mean hey, this is a much better option than Duolingo’s dictionary, which can only translate the words available on the Duolingo trees!
Mango Languages review: pricing and access
So I hinted at this part in the beginning, but Mango Languages is different than all the rest because there’s a solid chance that you have access to it through a library system, a university, your workplace, or any other community who may value higher learning.
For example, I can access Mango Languages completely free of charge through my public library system! That was a pretty cool find. If you plug in your postal code, it’ll let you know which organizations offer Mango Languages for free. All I did was click onto my local library, input my library card number, and I was good to go!
I do appreciate how Mango Languages makes it easy for people to access their content. If you can’t access it through any organization, you can also purchase a subscription.
These are obviously not ridiculous prices at all, especially with a 14-day free trial and, potentially, 5 family profiles. Not bad, Mango, not bad!
Who Mango Languages is for
Obviously, if you can access Mango Languages for free through any sort of institution, there’s one less obstacle to face in your language learning goals.
Mango Languages is also excellent for total beginners without any experience in the language they’re learning. If you have any experience this is gonna be a real bad time for you, honestly, but newbies will find this resource incredibly valuable.
What Mango Languages does not do, however, is help you with your speaking. Yes, you can practice saying the word and compare your pronunciation against the native audio, but that absolutely does not replace a real live conversation with a human being.
Instead, Mango Languages is excellent at helping beginner language learners learn a language through sentence mining – essentially learning grammar and vocab by using simple phrases and figuring it out fairly naturally.
With access to a TON of foreign languages, including some culture lessons, potentially for absolutely free, Mango Languages can definitely be a solid option if it’s meant for you!