uTalk is a vocab app that brings languages to us that can be hard to find elsewhere; so whether you’re learning something common like Spanish or not-so-common like Cebuano, uTalk pretty much as you covered.
With 140+ languages, there are plenty of options to choose from. But that’s not all you should be thinking about when it comes to your language learning strategy! In this uTalk review, let’s discuss the pros and cons of using this app to learn a language.
uTalk review: languages
One of the best reasons to use uTalk to learn a language is that there are so many languages available that you can’t find anywhere else. uTalk currently supports 140+ different languages to learn, with new languages being added all the time.
You can use uTalk to learn:
- Arabic (Egyptian)
- Arabic (Gulf)
- Arabic (Lebanese)
- Arabic (Modern Standard)
- Arabic (Moroccan)
- Armenian (Eastern)
- Chinese (Hakka)
- Chinese (Mandarin)
- English (American)
- English (Australian)
- English (British)
- English (Canadian)
- English (Cockney)
- English (Indian)
- English (Scottish)
- Filipino (Tagalog)
- French (Canadian)
- German (Swiss)
- Greek (Ancient)
- Haitian Creole
- Kurdish (Kurmanji)
- Kurdish (Sorani)
- Persian (Dari)
- Persian (Farsi)
- Persian (Tajiki)
- Pidgin (Nigerian)
- Portuguese (Brazilian)
- Punjabi (Indian)
- Punjabi (Pakistani)
- Saami (Southern)
- Scottish Gaelic
- Spanish (Spanish)
- Spanish (Argentinian)
- Spanish (Latin American)
- Tok Pisin
Suffice to say…it’s a lot (151, to be precise). So many different languages, including different accents! Now let’s talk about what uTalk does with them.
When you first open up the uTalk app, you’ll be shown this screen, featuring every single one of those 140+ languages, with your most recent language at the top.
Selecting a language gets you this screen, where you’re presented with all 60+ categories of vocabulary, for you to go through in any order that you see fit. If you’ve been working on this language, the categories that you’re working on will show up on top, just like before.
Above that is “My Phrasebook”, where you can search for a specific phrase to practice it.
Let’s dive into the “Home” category, shall we?
No matter which category you choose, you’ll be presented with six options:
With these six games, uTalk carries you through a whole bunch of different phrases related to your chosen category, from introducing phrases to you for the first time all the way to being able to say the phrase spontaneously (and not just regurgitating).
You’ll learn through speaking, listening, and visual learning, kind of like how Rosetta Stone attributes new vocabulary to different images.
These individual games are fairly simple, so let’s take a look at what it’s like to go through them and learn this new vocab!
First, we have Phrase Practice. This section isn’t so much a game as it is a resource: you get the new vocab, the image, an audio recording, the translation…basically everything you need to start learning your translations/definitions.
From here, you should be getting yourself pretty familiar with all these terms. Throughout uTalk’s games you will get plenty of time to get your confidence, but do make sure you’re taking some time here, too!
I say that because this is the last time you’ll see the English translations – for the rest of these quizzes, you’ll be identifying each vocab word by either its picture or its audio.
Also, when I tried out uTalk for the first time, I did not take my time and instantly regretted it!
Make sure you both listen to the audio (slowing it down if you need to – just tap the turtle icon) and record yourself mimicking the audio. Not only is this used as a way to learn here, but speaking also plays a pretty big role in some of the other games!
Once you’ve reviewed the terms as much as you need to, you’ll start with an Easy Game.
First, you’ll be presented with a few relevant terms one at a time by way of its assigned image and its audio (it’s hard to see in the first screenshot, but there’s a little orange speaker icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the fourth image).
The images are then flipped over, shuffled, and flipped back in a different order. Then an audio plays, the text is presented, and your job is to select the image that belongs to the audio and text. Play the audio as many times as you need.
This is awesome practice! You learn to associate new vocabulary both with its sound and with a picture, which is really tackling a lot of senses in one go.
The next game is simpler but at the same time a step more difficult. You’re not coming up with translations yourself just yet, but are learning to produce the language yourself.
uTalk presents the image, the text, and the audio. Your job is to record yourself repeating the word and compare your recording to their audio.
uTalk doesn’t have speech recognition, which I’m not even mad about – speech recognition generally isn’t very accurate, so this is much more helpful!
Go ahead and repeat their audio and your audio as many times as you need to feel confident!
This can technically be helpful for pronunciation (though I recommend Speechling more for that), but I’d say this would be more helpful for retaining the vocabulary into your memory. Speaking is absolutely a helpful way to practice memory, so use this as such!
The Hard Game is where you start testing to see how effectively you’re learning, and whether or not you need to study more. This is active use of your memory.
You get a number of images and an audio track. Your job is to select the image that belongs to that audio track. No more text, no more translations. Now it’s up to you to know which words mean what.
Once you get to this point, you should have a decent idea of if you need more practice or not. By now you’ll be tested on whether or not you kind of have a hang on this or not.
Memory Game takes it a step further by cutting your time shorter. With the Hard Game, you get plenty of time to process and think, and then make your choice.
With Memory Game, you’re flashed with images for a couple of seconds, and they’re instantly covered back up. Then audio plays, and you have to select which image (remembering which image is where) goes with the audio clip you’re hearing.
This is where uTalk gets intense! You only get to see these images for like 3 seconds before they’re covered up. When you tap on one card, only that one card flips back over, so there’s no getting around it!
Last but not least we have Recall Game! In this final exercise, you’ll be tested on this vocab with every skill you’ve been practicing: you get the English word/phrase and the image, and your job is to record yourself saying the correct foreign phrase.
Just like with the Speaking Game, there’s no attempt at speech recognition – you’re trusted to know for yourself whether or not you’ve got it. Once you make your recording and the English is translated, you have the option to:
- replay your own recorded audio
- play uTalk’s native audio
- report that you got it wrong
- report that you got it right
I love that it’s totally up to you to say how well you did on your own speaking portion, and whether or not you got the phrase right. Self-reporting is where it’s at!
uTalk review: prices
uTalk’s payment model is super interesting! uTalk gives you the option to earn more time, earn more information. Or, to make things simpler, you can just pay to play.
Here are your two options for accessing uTalk languages:
For one, uCoins gives you the option not only to work your way through (earning uCoins as you play uTalk’s games) but also to only pay for a little at a time.
If 60+ different topics spanning 140+ different languages is too much for you (’cause that is definitely a lot), just pay for the topics that are actually beneficial to you.
Or, for the very simple price of $10/month, you can get free reign over everything! All languages, all topics, priority support…everything! Really not a bad deal at all, amirite?
uTalk review: who it’s for
Judging by this uTalk review, am I a fan? Absolutely! And no, that’s not just because you get 20% off with my link. I also love how it’s not only incredibly useful for learning new vocab, but also how many unique languages it supports.
Suffice to say, uTalk is a great option for language learners looking for resources to support lesser-known languages that aren’t available elsewhere.
uTalk is also very helpful for not only getting easy access to a ton of really useful vocab but learning it effectively using a variety of different methods, including visually and orally.
If that sounds like you, click here to get 20% uTalk!