Have you spent countless hours using an app to learn a language with little to show for it? Or perhaps you are simply wondering if an app can teach you a new language? After hearing countless recommendations to try LingoDeer, I grew rather curious to give it a try.
Is this finally the app you have been searching for all this time? Well, that’s not up to me to say. However, allow me to share with you why I think this app is a great option and what you can expect if you choose to download it yourself.
* NOTE – This review focuses on LingoDeer Japanese. However, regardless of what language you are learning, this review will give you a great understanding of what to expect from this app.
1. CURRICULUM AND CONTENT
The curriculum within LingoDeer includes two massive courses. Japanese 1 and when you’re ready, Japanese 2. Teaching you essential vocabulary, fundamental grammar, and a variety of common topics. One thing I love is how within every section each lesson has a dedicated focus to practice and build upon as you continue. Ensuring you get the repetition you need before moving on too quickly.
Travel phrasebook – This section contains categories of phrases for you to reference and practice using a variety of interactive tools. Such as building custom flashcard decks, speaking and listening practice, and a helpful dictionary list for quick review.
Fluent in Japanese – This section provides a conversational based practice tool. Here you can practice reading, speaking, and even writing throughout a variety of conversations. Aside from this, you also have what are called key point cards. Allowing you to review grammatical structures used within the conversations to help you keep up. In addition to this, you even have games to help you practice spelling and vocabulary from the words within the example conversations!
Writing Systems – Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji
Japanese is not all phrases and vocabulary. It also includes 3 new writing systems to learn, Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. When it comes to hiragana and katakana, the app provides a dedicated section to teach you how to read, write, and pronounce each character. In addition to this, you can also view an interactive chart for a complete reference to each character.
As Kanji is quite unique from Hiragana and Katakana. LingoDeer includes an entire section covering 100 common Kanji characters. Here you can reference each character, watch as the app demonstrates how to draw them, or practice drawing them yourself. If you get stuck on any specific characters you can add them to your favourites for focused review on only the characters you are currently struggling with.
2. INSTRUCTIONS AND GAMEPLAY
In my opinion, the most important aspect of any language learning app is how it teaches and guides you through each section. This is one of the biggest strengths I have found within Lingodeer. And here is how it works…
The dedicated tips within each section will teach you everything you need to complete the levels without confusion, anger, or yelling at your phone. In other words, everything you will encounter throughout gameplay will be taught throughout the provided guides.
In addition to this, these guides can easily be accessed at anytime, even during gameplay. Simply click on the tips icon to overlay the guide for quick reference. You can also simply tap on a specific word you find puzzling to bring up a shortened explanation.
Gameplay, The Fun Part!
When it comes to the gameplay experience within LingoDeer, you can expect anything from… Blocking in phrases, full on spelling using individual characters, listening and reading practice, filling in blanks, removing incorrect pieces of a phrase, matching images to words, matching vocabulary from English to Japanese, Inserting pieces of a phrase in the correct spot, and even selecting responses to conversations. And so on…
What About Audio and Speaking Practice?
I always found it annoying trying to play an app that requires audio playback when I’m not able to listen. A handy solution to this problem included in LingoDeer is to simply turn off the audio only methods of practice with a simple switch. Allowing you to play anywhere, anytime, in silence.
When it comes to speaking, LingoDeer leaves you the option to speak along with examples when you want and ONLY when you want! If you wish to speak, just tap the microphone button and give it a try. What’s really cool about this feature, is the app will actually record your voice to listen back and compare against the example. If you wish for more focused speaking practice. LingoDeer also includes other opportunities to practice speaking that you can find within the review and stories section.
3. REVIEW TOOLS
To avoid the boring repetition of repeating the same lessons over again. LingoDeer provides a number of powerful review tools that you can use to truly master each section’s content. The most basic tools are included directly within each section itself, such as…
- Challenge Mode – Replaying lessons in an advanced challenge mode.
- Timed Quiz – Race against the clock to compete against your high scores!
- Vocabulary Review – Focus on vocabulary in focused gameplay.
- Stories – Follow an interactive slideshow by reading, speaking, or filling in blanks to keep up.
Dedicated Review Section
Aside from the standard review tools, LingoDeer went above and beyond to provide additional tools that will help you retain what you learn throughout the course. You will find these within the review tab.
Practice vocabulary and phrases either together or one at a time. Here you can build custom decks by setting a limit to the number of cards to include, selecting any or all sections to focus on, and even switch the display of the cards from revealing the translations first or the language you are learning. While reviewing the deck, you also have a rating system to mark the difficulty of each card as you go to track your progress.
2. 5 Minute Quiz – Challenging you with questions against the clock.
3. Vocabulary and Grammar Mode
Review or practice vocabulary and grammar from all sections unlocked within the app. Here you will be tested through various methods of gameplay to mix things up and keep it fresh.
4. Knowledge Cards
A collection of grammar-based flashcards, teaching you various grammatical structures. This mode also allows you to favourite specific cards for quick and easy practice to more difficult topics.
4. STATS, ACCOUNTABILITY, LEADERBOARDS
Before concluding this review, I couldn’t leave out the stats and accountability features! Within the ME TAB below, you can set your daily goal, see your overall progress, stats, achievements, XP, and of course, daily streaks! Here you will also find leaderboards where you can see how you stack up against the competition out there.
IS LINGODEER WORTH PAYING FOR?
So what do you think, is LingoDeer the right app for you? Personally, my favourite features include,
- Great Guidance and Tips.
- Amazing Review Tools.
- Super Powerful Flashcard System.
- Overall Fun Experience and Graphics.
- Cross-platform access.
How Much Does It Cost?
Roughly $100 for lifetime access. But, honestly, after seeing everything this app provides you, is $100 too much to ask? By the time you beat this thing, it may work out to be a penny an hour or far less.
What If I Don’t Want To Pay?
If you are still skeptical about purchasing this app, you can simply download the app for free, play through the first section and test it out for yourself. If you like it, buy it. If not, then don’t.
What Languages Does LingoDeer Teach?
As of writing this article, currently, LingoDeer teaches the following languages.
Where Can I Get LingoDeer?
THANKS FOR READING
I hope this review has helped you decide if LingoDeer is the right choice for you. If you wish to learn more, I suggest watching the video review I have made linked within this article. If you have any further questions or comments please feel free to leave a comment on the video.
If you are looking for a free option to learn Japanese using Duolingo. I suggest subscribing to the Jappon YouTube Channel where we also have a video series that walks you through each section with the guidance of a native Japanese speaker to answer your questions along the way.
Thank you so much for reading, we wish you all the best in your language learning journey.