Language101.com is a “speed learning” program for Spanish, French, German, Russian, Italian, and other languages.
While it is very fast, it isn’t right for everyone because it may or may not cover what you want to learn.
So let’s start this Language101.com review by describing what it doesn’t do.
What Language101.com Is NOT For
1. It doesn’t teach you how to write in Spanish or any other language.
2. It doesn’t teach you grammar.
3. It doesn’t teach you how to spell in your new language.
4. Langauge101.com doesn’t emphasize learning to read in your new language or learning how to translate, although you will learn to read some.
5. Since Language101.com is a “speed learning” method, if you try to study too slowly it doesn’t work at all! You have to study quickly.
A Limited List of Languages
A company can develop the best software for learning foreign languages, but if it doesn’t have the one language you want to learn, it won’t help you much. The languages offered by Language101.com are listed on the top right of this page.
If the company doesn’t have the language you want to learn, you might want to read about Pimsleur, which also has a good approach.
What Language101.com IS Good At
Language101.com’s only goal is to do one thing and to do it well. That thing is to teach you to speak and understand a very large amount of your favorite foreign language very quickly.
So how can you tell if their claim of fast learning is correct or not?
The answer is that you shouldn’t believe anyone’s opinion. You should do the demo for 30 minutes and see how much you learn.
Try the demos of several different companies for 30 minutes to compare learning speeds.
Don’t be misled by celebrity endorsements, sales hype, or gorgeous Web sites. Test the demos and see how much you learn in 30 minutes.
Fast Learning and Slow Forgetting
At Language101.com we want you to study very quickly. The idea is to go through the phrases you are trying to learn and only try to improve slightly every time. Don’t try to be perfect the first time. This makes for a very quick learning system.
You will be prompted to review a phrase, just before you are about to forget it. This is the most time efficient way to create new memories. Our spaced repetition review system means that you will quickly be able to review and re-learn old material you may have forgotten. You will learn quickly and forget slowly.
Why You May Like the Language101.com Recordings—Normal Speed and Very Slow Audio
One of the reasons some people like Language101.com is that all of the audio phrases are recorded both at normal speed (which seems fast at first) and also at an extremely slow “teacher speed,” which is what you’ll need when you first start learning.
The “teacher speed” recordings aren’t made by using audio software to slow down a normal-speed recording.
Language101.com has made their “teacher speed” recordings by carefully training the language teachers to say each word 25 percent slower and then add enough silence between the words so that you can say each word after the teacher.
Say, for example, that you want to learn the French phrase “How are you?” (formal form). Click the audio player below and then say the phrase out loud after the teacher.
Normal Speed Audio
When you are learning to say it for the first time, it would be really nice to hear the phrase slower. Click the audio player below to hear the same phrase said much more slowly. Say each word out loud after the teacher.
Slow Speed Audio
Of course, you don’t have to waste time on the slow recordings after you have learned to say and hear the words at normal speed.
Why Language101.com Is Fast for Most People
Language101.com is a speed learning system. It requires that you study quickly and then rewards your quick study with quick learning.
After you have tried to say a phrase, you will grade yourself. The phrases that you grade yourself well on will be scheduled for review further in the future. Phrases you grade yourself poorly on will come back for review quickly.
The result is that you don’t waste time reviewing things you already know, and you can go full speed ahead into learning new material.
Two Translations to Reduce Confusion
If you click on the screenshot below you will notice that Language101.com has two translations of the Spanish phrase into English. One of those is labeled “Meaning” and the other is labeled “Literal.”
Meaning is what the foreign phrase really means in English.
Literal is a word-by-word translation of the foreign phrase into English.
Often the “Literal” translation doesn’t make sense in English.
The “Meaning” translation lets you know what the phrase means, and the “Literal” translation helps you get a feel for the foreign language word order.
Why the Name Language101.com?
In American culture, universities will typically call their introductory Spanish class, Spanish 101. The second year’s class will be Spanish 202, followed by Spanish 303, and so on.
So Language101.com is a short way of saying to Americans, “This site is where you’ll start learning Spanish or your favorite language.”
European universities don’t use the same naming convention for their classes, so Language101.com doesn’t really make any sense to someone from the UK until we explain it.
Hopefully now, if you’re a European, Aussie, Kiwi, or other English speaker reading this you will understand the American tradition of calling your first language class, “Language 101.”
What Else Should You Know About Language101.com?
In addition to trying the demos below, click on the link below then read the Testimonials and the FAQ pages, which are at the top of the page you will see after clicking below.
To Try Language101.com Pick Your Language—Then Click “Try It”
Who Wrote This Review?
by Brent Van Arsdell
I wrote this review of Language101.com. I wrote it because I wanted you to know what our software does do and what it does not do. I also wanted you to know who should use it and who really shouldn’t use it.
Thank you for reading this Language101.com review.