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Mondly vs Pimsleur
Figure out which language learning app is better in this Pimsleur vs Mondly comparison
With divergent price points, lesson types, and overall approaches to language learning, Mondly and Pimsleur are very different platforms. Where Mondly offers a fun, gamified program with short lessons and a cheap price tag, Pimsleur offers deeper and more comprehensive lessons with a focus on speaking and conversational skills. So which one is better? Find out in this detailed comparison, where we cover everything you need to know about each language learning app.
Given this is a lengthy comparison, we’ve added convenient jump-to links above so you can quickly navigate this article.
Video Guide: Pimsleur vs Mondly
In this video, team member John breaks down how the language learning apps from Mondly and Pimsleur stack up. He covers lesson structure and effectiveness, pricing, and a lot more.
Advantages of Using Pimsleur for Language Learning
Let’s kick this comparison off by highlighting what we feel are the strengths of the Pimsleur language programs, and the areas in which they beat Mondly.
Audio Lessons Simulate Real World Experience
The first clear highlight of the Pimsleur program is that Pimsleur is much better than Mondly at developing your conversational skills. Instead of just listening to or reading an individual word or phrase, and then robotically repeating it in order to learn it (like you do with Mondly most of the time), the Pimsleur audio lessons are much more powerful and effective.
The Pimsleur lessons prompt you to respond to a native speaker using words, phrases and sentences in the context of a mock conversation. You’re actively involved in tracking the conversation, and the moderator of the audio lessons keeps you engaged as you need to understand what’s going on in the conversation and respond at the proper times.
In my opinion, this active participation is powerful at getting you to recall and use the target language under pressure just as you would in real life situations. That’s the key point here: you’re getting simulated real world experience with Pimsleur. And honestly, this is about the best environment for truly learning a new language – especially as compared to just listening to and repeating words in a vacuum like you do with Mondly.
Complete Lessons On The Go
My second advantage in favor of Pimsleur is that because the core Pimsleur lessons are audio-based, I like the fact you can complete these lessons while you’re exercising, cleaning your house, taking your dog for a walk, or just pacing your living room. It’s just nice you don’t have to be fixed to your computer screen or phone at all times like you do with Mondly.
I think it’s safe to say that when you’re studying (especially after being at a desk all day), sometimes it’s just nice to switch things up and get a change of scenery to break up the monotony. And the Pimsleur lessons definitely allow for that.
In fact, their mobile app even comes with a special driving mode so you can learn and knock out lessons while you’re on the road. So overall, the flexibility of the Pimsleur lessons definitely deserve high praise.
Better Suited for Advanced Learners
The last advantage in favor of Pimsleur is that their lessons, language content and learning framework are better suited for people looking to gain an intermediate understanding of a new language. This is contrast to Mondly’s lessons, which don’t really progress beyond the basic level.
In fact, the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels from Mondly don’t seem to be that much different from one another. Even when you get to the “advanced” Mondly levels, the lessons are still somewhat basic.
They only seem to focus on present and past tense, and don’t progress towards the more difficult future or past imperfect tenses. Pimsleur’s lessons, on other hand, do clearly advance past the basic stage. So there’s no question that if your goal is to progress towards an intermediate to advanced stage of fluency with a new language, Pimsleur is the way to go.
Now that we’ve covered what you need to know about Pimsleur, let’s dive into strengths of the Mondly language programs so you can understand the areas in which Mondly is better than Pimsleur.
Mondly Makes Language Learning Fun
The first major advantage of Mondly’s app is the fact that they try to gamify the language learning experience and make it fun (sort of like how Babbel does it). It all starts with the main dashboard, which acts as a cool, interactive map. From this dashboard, you can track your stats and dig into the phrases and concepts you’ve already learned through a nifty, interactive brain tool.
Also, as you complete lessons and drills, you earn points which feed into a leaderboard, where you can keep track of your streaks and compare your performance against friends and other Mondly users to keep yourself motivated and energized. Basically, the whole feel of the program is fun and sort of game-like.
But perhaps the best feature is Mondly’s virtual reality and augmented reality learning apps that are designed to complement their core lessons. This is really where Mondly differentiates itself from Pimsleur (and other competitors), and why they are widely considered an innovator in the digital language learning landscape.
The Mondly VR app is a virtual immersion tool that places you in simulated environments. You’ll be immersed in all kinds of settings and situations that require you to speak to locals. For example, you might be placed in a scene where you’re ordering a coffee, checking into a hotel, or getting directions from a taxi driver.
The VR app is a one-time purchase that only costs around $5, which isn’t that bad in itself, but the likely bigger issue here is that you’ll also need an Oculus headset to use it. This might rule out the VR app for quite a few folks.
Luckily, if you don’t have an Oculus headset, Mondly also offers their AR app, which is free as long as you sign up for a premium account. The AR app takes a scan of your current room and then uses augmented reality technology to generate a CGI teacher and animations right in your living room, basement or whatever room you’re in.
For example, if the lesson is about musical instruments, the teacher will show you animations of drums, guitars, and pianos. In this CGI environment, the instructor will provide some notes and insights about what you’re looking at, and then have you practice using the words in sentences. You can also interact with the animations and walk around them for a 360-degree view. I thought it might be gimmicky, but it’s pretty amazing.
Overall, I found the VR and AR apps to be a nice change of pace from their standard lessons. They’re definitely not comparable to a standalone program, but they are a nice complementary tool for pronunciation and conversational practice. Plus, it’s just cool to add in some clever tech to diversify your language lessons and keep things fun and interesting.
Job-Specific Lessons and Courses
Another major highlight that favors Mondly is their job-specific courses and lessons. This is another feature that differentiates Mondly from Pimsleur and other competitors.
Personally, I think these courses can be super helpful for working professionals. For example, Mondly offers courses directly related to marketing, negotiations, customer service, finance, and healthcare, among others. In short, if you’re learning a new language in part for your job or to boost your career, then Mondly is a great option.
Before we dive into my final verdict, let’s briefly touch on cost, as that can be an important topic. Starting with Pimsleur, they offer two different options: a Premium plan which costs $20 per month and includes access to one language; or the Pimsleur All Access plan, which costs $21/month (yes, just a dollar more) and includes access to all Pimsleur languages (over 50 in total).
With Mondly, they actually offer a free version, but it’s very limited. Honestly, it’s really more like a free trial than anything. Thus, most people opt for the Mondly Premium Plan, which unlocks all of their content and features across their 40 or so languages. This costs $10 per month, or around $48 if you want to pay up for an entire year in advance.
So overall, it’s pretty clear that Mondly is the cheaper option if you’re on a tight budget. That said, in reality, both companies are pretty affordable at around $20 or less per month, and come in under the prices of companies like Rocket Languages. In addition, it should be noted that Pimsleur does offer a free 7-day trial period so you can always test the waters before fully committing.
Final Verdict: Pimsleur vs Mondly
That about does it for the detail in this comparison, so let’s get to the final verdict. Should you choose Mondly or Pimsleur? Well, after testing each program, I think it’s pretty clear that Pimsleur is the winner. I just think Pimsleur offers the more complete and effective language learning program from top to bottom.
Sure, I like that Mondly offers fun ways to learn with their innovative VR and AR apps, and I like their short lessons. However, if you’re truly serious about learning a new language, I think Pimsleur is the better option. Their audio-based lessons do a much better job of developing your conversational skills, and I like how flexible their lessons are. Plus, perhaps most importantly, the Pimsleur lessons and framework are just more robust than Mondly’s, advancing well past a basic level as you get deep into the program. So all in all, I think Pimsleur is the way to go.
Which language learning program is better, Mondly or Pimsleur?
After testing the apps and language courses from both companies, our team believes Pimsleur is more effective than Mondly for learning a new language.
What is the main difference between Mondly and Pimsleur?
The main difference between Pimsleur and Mondly is that Pimsleur focuses on audio lessons and guided native conversations, whereas Mondly more so attempts to make the language learning process fun through a variety of drills and virtual reality games.
Which language learning app is cheaper, Mondly or Pimsleur?
Comparing the subscription options between both of these companies, Mondly is more affordable than Pimsleur.