Choosing the best language-learning software is more of a personal decision. Not all programs are the same, and you certainly prefer the one that is just right for your experience and skill level. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of two very popular language-learning software programs, which are Fluenz and Rocket Languages. These two options take different approaches and methods to teach you new vocabularies. Fluenz is great for beginners and travelers, with excellent pacing and core content. Meanwhile, Rocket Languages provides more courses, activities, and tools while being less expensive.
Fluenz was created by a group of college graduates from Oxford, Harvard, and MIT in the idea that the digital technology can be utilized to teach a language in an immersive learning process. The first Fluenz product, Fluenz Mandarin, was released in 2007. Other languages followed, including Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese.
The interactive programs can be purchased via DVDs, accessed online, or downloaded on personal computers and mobile devices. There are also supplementary tools such as downloadable podcasts, practice CDs, and digital Flashcards for iPads and tablets. (Read also : Fluenz vs Rosetta Stone)
The Pros of Fluenz
One big advantage of using Fluenz vs Rocket Language is the immersive learning process. Fluenz prioritizes on the most useful and important vocabulary, and it claims that you will be able to order a cup of coffee in the learned language immediately on day one. There are extensive workouts and a recording tool which will allow you to compare your pronunciation to a native speaker’s.
Fluenz teaches exclusively in the language that is being learned to leverage what the learner already knows from previous lessons. This will make the language quicker and easier to master.
Although Fluenz is suitable for beginners, the content is thorough. It covers the core of each language properly so that you can expand your knowledge in the language by yourself. The pacing is also very good; it is neither too fast nor too slow. In addition, the immersive user interface and videos make Fluenz feel like a classroom rather than a digital program. The full-screen design ensures that there will be no distraction that may disturb your concentration during a lesson.
Fluenz is available for all the popular platforms. You can get the language program through several ways. You can purchase the DVDs or online content. If you want to learn seamlessly from your PC, tablet, and smartphone, choosing the online content is more recommended.
The Cons of Fluenz
Perhaps the first disadvantage of Fluenz vs Rocket Languages is the pricing. Fluenz is quite expensive. So, if you want to purchase a Fluenz program, you better be committed and learn all the courses in order to get the most value out of the money.
Compared to Rocket Languages, Fluenz offers fewer languages. So far, there are only 7 languages on Fluenz, which include Mandarin, Spanish (Latin America), French, Italian, Spanish (Spain), German, and Portuguese. Despite the highly immersive and interactive design, Fluenz does not have any real live class.
Just like many other language-learning software programs, Fluenz also has some problems with special characters. It may be difficult to type special characters in some languages. Fortunately, the latest versions have added the support to type special characters without painful keyboard gymnastics. There will be a small pop-up screen where you can choose the characters that you want to use.
About Rocket Languages
Since the first release in 2004, Rocket Languages has become one of the best-selling and most popular language-learning software. Just like Fluenz, Rocket Languages provides physical DVDs and online content. While the exact composition of a course depends on which package that you purchase, most courses will give you interactive audio lessons, quizzes and games, as well as illustrated lessons.
You may also purchase optional kits. The Basic Survival Kit will give you focused audio lessons on the most important words and phrases. The Beginner Mega Card will give 150 of the most important words and phrases. The Advanced Mega Card will add 100 advanced words and phrases.
The Pros of Rocket Languages
One of the main differences between Fluenz vs Rocket Languages is that Rocket Languages uses MP3 audio files instead of videos. The audio files are lighter and more portable; for example, you can play them on your iPod or MP3 player. This is especially great for busy people who want to learn while they are commuting or travelling.
Unlike Fluenz, Rocket Languages emphasizes on the concept of “chunking”. It breaks down the material into “chunks” that are easy to understand and memorize. This method is one of the quickest ways to get to know a new language. By the way, Rocket Languages also uses native speakers to give you the best lessons and content for mastering the languages you are interested in. Each course has a personalized dashboard where you can evaluate your progress and get suggestions for the next lessons based on your personal learning style.
Rocket Languages currently has more languages to offer, with a total of 12 languages. It includes Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Portuguese, Hindi, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and American Sign. In general, Rocket Languages’ courses are more affordable and budget-friendly, with a 6-day free trial and 60-day money back guarantee.
The Cons of Rocket Languages
Rocket Languages is good enough for beginners who want to get a grasp on a new language, but it is not suitable for advanced learners and university-level students. The materials are quite basic. It focuses primarily on the listening and speaking aspects, with just very little works on the reading and writing aspects.
Furthermore, Rocket Languages does not have any assessment test to evaluate your knowledge and mastery. This is not a major problem if you are just trying to have enough knowledge about a language to do daily functions, but this can be a big inconvenience for someone who wants to properly master the language.
|Fluenz Languages||Rocket Languages|
|- Has 7 languages||- Has 12 languages|
|- Uses the immersion method, which exclusively teaches in the language that is being learned and leverages previous lessons||- Uses the chunking method, which divides the material into several parts that are quick to learn|
|- Interactive programs and videos||- Interactive dashboard and audio files|
|- Better coverage on multiple aspects, has assessment tests||- Focuses more on listening and speaking, doesn’t have assessment tests|
|- More expensive||- Cheaper|
If you want a better mastery on a new language, with good pronunciation, spelling, and grammar, Fluenz should be your choice. It provides more thorough courses and assessment tests. The overall learning process is also better. However, if you just need to learn a new language quickly, such as for a vacation, Rocket Languages makes a great choice due to being cheaper.