Mango Languages is a crowd favorite for language learners because it’s engaging, offers real-world education, and can be accessed for free through institutions everywhere. In this Mango Languages review, learn everything you need to know about this resource for your own language goals: what it does well, what it doesn’t, and who should use it.
And if you fall under the category of language learners who won’t really benefit, this Mango Languages review ends with a couple of other recommendations, based on Mango Languages’ biggest flaws.
Mango Languages available
To start, Mango Languages offers plenty of languages, plus quite a few different dialects/accents within those languages, including:
- Arabic (Egyptian)
- Arabic (Iraqi)
- Arabic (Levantine)
- Arabic (MS)*
- Aramaic (Chaldean)
- Chinese (Mandarin)*
- Creole (Haitian)
- English (Shakespeare)
- Filipino (Tagalog)
- French (Canadian)
- Greek (Ancient)
- Greek (Koine)
- Hebrew (Biblical)
- Portuguese (Brazil)*
- Persian (Dari)
- Persian (Farsi)
- Punjabi (Pakistani)
- Scottish Gaelic
- Spanish (Castilian)*
- Spanish (LAm)*
The languages marked with an asterisk(*) also include a variety of different cultural courses, from etiquette to business to superstitions and beyond.
These courses mean that you can also use Mango Languages to learn professional phrases, or even just fun ones (Like St Patrick’s Day Irish, for example). If you’re looking for a clear-cut, specific path in your target language, this is a great, unique approach.
Fun vocabulary options are a great way to make sure you’re enjoying the language learning process! Even if you don’t *need* St Patrick’s Day vocabulary, it still qualifies as legitimate exposure to the language. These fun sections are not reliable across languages, though, so check what’s available before assuming you can use it to learn professional Uzbek, for example.
Mango Languages: an overview
Mango Language’s courses are laid out in a very simple, modern way – no advertising, no outside podcasts or blog posts, nothing – so you can focus on the language and nothing else. It’s been completely redone within the past couple of years, and these updates have made massive improvements to the platform’s usability.
These courses are broken up into units and chapters. Once you start whichever chapter you like (there are no requirements for going through any prior lessons or units, just pick and choose whichever lessons suit your fancy), you’ll see that each chapter is one conversation that you’ll be dissecting. You’ll get a collection of phrases/sentences for a real-life conversation, and break them down bit by bit.
Specifically, you’ll learn to have these conversations by learning the individual words, phrases, and then sentences, with some nice little cultural facts thrown in. You’ll then learn to piece together all of this information yourself, with the option for plenty of help along the way.
As you continue on through these lessons, you’ll learn and understand each individual word and phrase in a variety of different ways. And each of these ways will be repeated many times.
When I say Mango Languages takes sentences bit by bit, I mean bit by bit. The first thing you learn isn’t the entire phrase included in the first piece of dialogue, but just the first word. Mango Languages crawls. Excellent for beginners, but painful for everyone else.
Nope, can’t fast-forward the speed, either.
For each and every little bit, you’ll get:
- the word you’re learning
- its translation
- an audio recording (you can repeat as many times as you like)
- the option to record yourself saying it (to compare with their audio)
- the pronunciation
Think you’ve got it? The next step is a chance for you to translate it independently.
These sections are giving you the tools that you need to use the language, it’s up to you to piece the tools together correctly using critical thinking. Using the examples, grammar notes, and cultural notes, you’re led to rise to the challenge of forming foreign language sentences.
Did you notice the color coding? As a visual learner, I do love this part. It makes it easier for me to create the link in my brain between the two phrases and helps me to pick apart what each individual word means, and how the words come together in a way that makes sense.
As you learn new languages, you learn that sometimes the most difficult part is that sentences aren’t built the same across different languages. Words are all out of order, some words don’t even exist in other languages, and some languages need 10 words to say something that another language says in one.
Then, each phrase is repeated consistently while you continue to learn more, which is very helpful in turning that short-term memory into long-term memory if you need to take it slow. Later on in this post, we’ll take a look at Daily Review, which helps even more with building long-term memory.
Note: I completely forgot to turn off the narrator’s voice up until now in this Mango Languages review! From here on out, you’ll hear limited English and mostly Spanish. This is easily configured in the settings, in the upper right-hand corner.
Once you have the meaning down, Mango Languages has you actually practice the words and sounds.
So, if you’re an ultimate beginner in the language and have never studied any language before, Mango Languages definitely has a few decent options to offer!
And a lot of simple repetitions. This is, again, excellent for beginners. A lot of the time, there’s no easy way to learn something except seeing or hearing it as many times as it takes for your brain to catch on. Consistency is key, especially when it seems like a word is never going to stick!
Recently, Mango Languages has also included more tools to help baby language learners form a habit. With the mobile app, you can add and customize study reminders by day of the week and the time of day you want to receive your reminder. Very handy for even the busiest or most distractible language learners.
And even if you’re not using the mobile app, desktop users can access the review section at any time. Instead of going through the initial lessons over and over again, you can basically review the flashcards automatically created based on your past lessons.
Click the button, and you get those same options for self-study:
- switch between “literal” and “understood” translation
- listen to the audio
- record yourself saying it
PLUS, unique to this section is the self-reporting buttons on the bottom and the option to take a card out of the deck in cases where you know that card like the back of your hand, so you don’t waste your time.
Self-reporting flashcards are my absolute favorite! They make it easier to get an accurate understanding of what you’re learning, instead of a resource assuming that you know any given term better or worse than you actually do.
I also love the power language learners have over what they need to review. Some language learning resources are much stricter about this, so it’s good to see this level of customization. There’s nothing more irritating than being forced to review terms that you already know.
Plus, it’s such an attractive interface! The only other resource that does this as well is Rocket Languages.
Mango Languages review: pricing and access
While Mango Languages is a paid resource, there’s a good chance you can find your way to free access through local institutions. They partner with public libraries, corporations, schools, and other public entities all over to provide free, unlimited access to all 70+ of their language learning courses at any time.
If you can’t find access through an institution, however, you can always opt for a paid subscription yourself. Fortunately, paid subscriptions are still very reasonably priced at less than $10/ month. Click here for updated pricing.
Who Mango Languages is for
For one, this Mango Languages review makes it clear that beginner language learners would benefit the most. As you grow in your language learning, the speed and repetition become unbearable, but it’s a very generous start for those who process slowly or are simply brand new to the language. This is also true concerning the content itself – it’s just for beginners.
It’s also pretty surface-level, meaning you’re not going to be able to find clear, tangible grammatical explanations to study. I mean, there are some tossed into individual chapters, of course, but it doesn’t suit grammar- and rule-focused learners. You’ll get a general feel of the grammar that you need to understand one particular phrase, and that’s it.
At the end of the day, if you want a simple, modern design with hand-holding through a collection of pretty simple phrases, as well as some cultural education (depending on the language) in a frankly huge variety of languages, I recommend you give Mango Languages a shot.
But for many language learners, Mango Languages will be much too slow. If this is the case, I might suggest uTalk for support in the less commonly learned languages or Glossika for a more advanced approach.