Several studies show that learning a new language can be beneficial for our brain, especially as we age. Learning new languages can help our brain process more information, making it more agile. But with many institutes physically closed due to COVID-19, it might seem like a task to pick up a new language.
The lockdowns have led many to turn to online courses, however, without the help of an in-person teacher, learning a new language can be an uphill climb. This is where LingoDeer comes into the picture.
The app, which was released in September 2017 on the Google Play Store, teaches Korean, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, French, and German, among other languages.
With over 10 million downloads on Play Store, the app claims that if users spend 15 minutes every day on it, they would be able to master a new language. LingoDeer has a rating of 4.6, according to data available on the Google Play Store. The app is also available on the Apple App Store.
How does it work
Once you download the app from the store, you can start learning a new language without signing in or filling up a form. The yellow and black coloured interface welcomes you with a list of 14 languages that you can learn.
Being fascinated by Japan’s culture, this writer chose Japanese. Once you click on a language, a list pops up with multiple categories. In the case of Japanese, the list showed introductory and pre-intermediate lessons, tutorials on improving conversational skills, and writing practice lessons.
Users could learn out of 14 languages with practice sessions and multiple quizzes. Credit: YS Design
You can choose to take up any of these sessions but if you have no background in the language, then it’s best to start with introductory lessons that can give you a solid foundation.
Once you click on the Introductory Lesson tab, it leads you to another page with multiple categories, including alphabet lessons, practice exercises on everyday items, people, nationality etc, and yes/no lessons.
Starting with alphabet lessons, LingoDeer provides you with the most basic understanding of a particular language. In French, for instance, the app provides a list of letters, classifying them into vowels and consonants. There is also an explanation for pronunciations, grammar, and exceptions to the rule.
Some languages, including Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin, have different scripts. The app also shows how to write every alphabet. Besides learning through the app, you can also get a pen and a notebook and start practising writing those letters while listening to them.
The app also offers listening and speaking exercises, which are aimed at helping you pronounce the words correctly and aid in actually having a conversation.
There are also a few sentence formation, pronunciation and grammar lessons, which are not behind a paywall yet. Even while learning the alphabet, only a couple of lessons are free. LingoDeer tries to push you to take up their paid plans, starting from Rs 600 per month and going up to Rs 3,600 for an annual plan.
To navigate between languages, a user can click on the tab on the top-left corner of the page. Users can also track their progress by clicking on ‘Review’ in the bottom tab.
LingoDeer’s language lessons with progress report. Credit: YS Design
LingoDeer provides progress reports as well as access to flash quizzes on vocabulary and grammar, among other categories, after finishing a few lessons.
There is also a sign-up option, which can be accessed through the ‘Me’ button on the bottom tab. Creating an account will keep your progress intact.
Having used many language apps over the years, LingoDeer proves to be an app that is worth investing your time in. The app, with its detailed introductory lessons, helps users understand a language instead of just memorising a few words and sentences.
LingoDeer’s layout could do with a better layout and navigation system. At one point, this writer could not figure out how to navigate between two languages as both options are on the same tab. Perhaps a small prompt or a quick tutorial at the beginning can help.
But overall, with some practice and determination, you can watch your favourite K-dramas without subtitles and understand BTS song lyrics without having to Google them.