Rype is a language learning resource that connects users to native speakers of the language they’re trying to learn. You get live, one-on-one classes to suit your schedule and get in some really quality language practice.
But Rype isn’t the only one who does that very thing. So what makes it different? In this Rype review, we’ll dissect Rype and see what exactly it has to offer language learners, and who can actually benefit from it.
Rype review: first impressions
I’ve seen all sorts of people on the internet raving about Rype and how awesome it is. I never paid that any mind; first of all, you always have to take affiliate partnerships with a grain of salt. Second, Rype is not the first business to offer this kind of thing, nor will they be the last.
And, when you first go onto the Rype website, you’ll see all the same rhetoric that everybody else says: “the best language learning website ever!” “Thanks Rype, now I’m fluent!” yada yada yada.
Maybe I’m a skeptic, but at first glance, color me underwhelmed.
The Rype website also states a little comparison chart, which is a step in the right direction for me.
But as I look at it…this is still really salesy and totally vague. First of all, it doesn’t specify any particular app to be compared to, just the general concept of language schools and other tutoring websites. Which…they’re not all the same.
Which also means it’s not entirely accurate, coming from someone who has actually used Rype’s competition.
BaseLang, for one, comes with a risk-free trial (it’s a negative risk, actually), requires only 30 minutes, has incredibly flexible scheduling (more flexible than Rype, at least), and is a flat monthly fee.
So like…did Rype even look at the competition before making these statements??
The only thing in this little table that has Rype pulling out ahead of the competition is that you have access to all languages with a regular subscription. That is unique (well, with Verbling and italki you have access to all languages, but you’re paying per lesson) and in this Rype review, I will give credit where credit is due.
Okay, so maybe their sales pitch is off. There are worse things! Let’s take a look at what a new member goes through.
Rype review: signing up
When you sign up for Rype, you’ll get the option for a 7-day free trial – though you do have to provide your bank details, so make sure you pay attention and don’t get charged if you don’t end up liking it.
You’re also offered this deal after your free trial ends: 6 months’ worth of a $60/month membership plan. That means 4 hours of private lessons a month, so 8 30-minute lessons.
That is a lot of numbers which makes it really confusing. I wish I didn’t have to do that math to understand how much I would be paying per lesson compared to similar resources…but it’s basically $7.50 per lesson.
$7.50 per lesson is a good deal! It’s just really hard to figure that out.
Oh yeah, and signing up for this trial and putting in your bank information? Rype doesn’t offer PayPal, so you’re going to have to get your butt up and find whatever card you’re using. I know, maybe it’s a small grievance, but these small grievances are really adding up for me.
Final note on this: to confirm your payment method, Rype will charge you and immediately refund $1. They don’t mention that. So the fact that I didn’t realize they were going to charge me until they told me they had sent my refund does not instill trust. Bah humbug.
You then choose a language. Again, Rype is really cool about giving you the option to change this language whenever you want. You can use Rype to practice speaking
Once I chose to learn Spanish, I got spat out onto this search page.
Pretty simple stuff, right? Stick in the time frame you’re looking for and the language you’re learning, and see what you get!
But…ugh. There are a ton of things just in this search that Rype does not do nearly as well as the competition.
For one, there is no way for you to narrow down your search. For example, I would love to search for a female teacher who speaks Castilian Spanish and does well with intermediate-advanced speakers. That would really narrow down my search to someone I would jive well with.
But alas, you can’t do that. The only search options Rype offers are by language and by your schedule. There’s no other differentiating categories or anything like that. If you know what you want, you have to scroll.
Which I did. I did find a Castilian Spanish speaker. What was annoying was that all the teachers I was finding were of Latin American origin. I just happened across a Castilian Spanish speaker after scrolling for a couple of minutes. Come on, man!
This is the teacher I chose.
Once I found what I was looking for (with no help from Rype), it was time to set an appointment. I wanted to set a time for later that day (riding that motivation wave and whatnot)…but I couldn’t. Even though it was only 11 AM.
As it turns out, you can’t schedule a session the same day! The soonest you can do is next-day. Which is…I’ve never seen that. That’s bad.
I mean, not only is it inconvenient and makes it that much more difficult to set a time, but I’m on a 7-day free trial over here! If I can’t even schedule a session during that first day, my 7-day trial becomes a 6-day trial. Now I feel jipped.
Whatever, I’ll just set a time. Evidently Rype uses Skype (hehe, that rhymes) which is just another red flag for me. I wonder why they don’t use Zoom? I remember back in the day when BaseLang used to use Skype – the connection was always bad and it created a lot of problems. Is Skype going to create problems with Rype?
Well…yeah. Once I set an appointment, Rype told me my teacher’s Skype name so I could add her to my contacts. I copied and pasted her Skype name…and almost added some random dude to my Skype contacts because I missed a letter. Phew!
Anyways, once I finished all that, Rype then sent me an email with a couple notes.
The first note was the option to add my session to my Google calendar, which was actually a genuinely nice touch. Again, in this Rype review, I’ll acknowledge the good with the bad!
A Facebook group? Cool! All the language learning Facebook groups I’ve ever been involved in have just been full of “can someone translate this?” and “I need someone to teach me a language!”. Hopefully this one will actually be helpful!
…oh. Guess not. After a couple of days my request was finally answered. All it is is a couple of teachers every once in a while announcing that they’re back or their schedule has changed or something.
So it seems like they stuck a link to their Facebook group into their onboarding process and…forgot about it. And I had such high hopes!
This is the third thing that that email said.
I’m…not really sure what this is. My first trial lesson is over (I’ll talk about that in a sec), and I never got any other email about this. Plus, I’m on a 7-day trial. Is this meant to make me want to stick around and pay for a membership? Because that feels like a trick to me.
Nonetheless, I put my computer away for the day and waited for my 30-minute lesson the next morning!
My first lesson with Rype
Oh man. I so wanted to like Rype, I did. I’d heard about it a lot and had seen people (read: YouTubers) raving about it, and (I’ll be totally, 100% transparent about this) Rype offers you $70 if you can get new people to sign up.
And now I realized why this app that so many people were SO excited about was so…disappointing. Because they haven’t tried the competition, because the competition doesn’t pay affiliates nearly as well!
So I tried a first lesson, right? Even though nobody asked me my current level of Spanish or why I wanted to learn Spanish or any number of qualifying questions, I gave it a shot. This is what happened.
Which, to be totally fair, wasn’t completely Rype’s fault. Apparently the microphone in my computer had stopped working (thanks, Chromebook update). Still, it did not help with how unmotivating this entire platform was to me.
When I went back in to set another appointment with her, there was no easy way to do it. No history of lessons, no ‘favorite’ teachers, nothing. I had to go back to my scrolling to find her and set a new appointment for, you guessed it, the next day.
And even then when I did that, an hour before our session, my teacher had a conflict and had to reschedule. Which…I guess isn’t a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but considering I had to wait an entire day for this appointment…
I already know everything I needed to know about Rype. I know there are MUCH better options out there, where I don’t have to fight with my computer or wait 24 hours to set an appointment or any number of these inconveniences that make it really hard to enjoy using Rype.
I gave up on Rype
I did. Sorry, not sorry. My time and money are important to me, and they should be important to you, too. When there are that many red flags all around, that’s when I turn my cheek.
There are plenty of other options for language learners to conveniently and easily practice speaking a new language. For Spanish language learners there’s BaseLang; and, even if you’re not learning Spanish, there’s Lingoda, italki, Verbling…hell, even language exchanges or something like HelloTalk!
Sorry Rype, but we just deserve so much more than you’re offering. Yeah, the price point is great; yeah, you can switch to any of 10 languages whenever you want; yeah, you can send your appointments straight to your digital calendar.
But where it really matters? This Rype review proves that it just doesn’t have what it takes.