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Mondly vs Rocket Languages
Find out which program is best for you in this detailed Rocket Languages vs Mondly comparison
Despite that companies like Rosetta Stone, Duolingo and Babbel get all the attention in the language learning world, there are a number of very good alternatives, with Rocket Languages and Mondly being two such programs. But between these two language apps, how do you choose? After all, Mondly and Rocket Languages are very different in how they approach language learning. In this detailed guide, we compare and contrast these two language apps, so you can make a more informed decision on which one is the best fit for you.
Use the jump-to links above to quickly navigate through this detailed article.
Video Guide: Mondly vs Rocket Languages
In the above video, John from the TPI team provides a high-level overview of how the language learning apps from Mondly and Rocket Languages stack up. For more detail, please continue reading below.
Why To Choose Rocket Languages Over Mondly
Let’s dive into this comparison by first covering the major reasons why our team thinks Rocket Languages is better and more effective than Mondly for learning a new language. We’ll then cover Mondly’s strengths below.
Better at Developing Your Conversational Skills
The first major advantage in favor of Rocket Languages is that Rocket 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 Rocket Language audio lessons are much more powerful and effective.
Their interactive lessons prompt you use vocabulary you’ve learned and respond to native speakers in the context of simulated conversations. You’re actively involved in tracking the conversation and the moderator of the audio lessons keeps you alert, as you need to understand what’s going on and respond at the proper intervals.
In my opinion, this active participation is powerful at getting you to recall and use language under pressure just as you would in real life situations (but without the pressure). I suppose that’s the key point here – you’re getting simulated real world experience with Rocket. And in my humble opinion, this is about the best practice for truly learning a new language.
By contrast, with Mondly’s core lessons, you simply listen to and repeat words in a vacuum, which is not my favorite approach. Thus, I found this to be a huge advantage for Rocket in that regard.
The second advantage for Rocket Languages is that because roughly half of the Rocket lessons are audio-based, I like that you can complete these lessons while you’re moving around. You can do them while exercising, gardening, taking your dog for a walk, whatever.
It’s just nice you don’t have to be glued to your computer or phone at all times like you do with Mondly. Personally, I like to pace around the house with my earbuds in while listening to lessons and speaking new words, so I found Rocket to be better for this (see also Memrise, which is great for this type of learning).
Sometimes you just need a break or a change of scenery when learning to mix things up and keep yourself fresh and energized. So from that perspective, I have to give props to Rocket for how flexible their lessons are.
Rocket Emphasizes Grammar
The Rocket Language program makes grammar and culture much more of a priority than Mondly. With Mondly, the only real grammatical lesson you get is that a list of conjugations will drop down when you click on a verb. That’s it.
In comparison, Rocket provides detailed instruction and insights about grammar in multiple ways. First, as you complete Rocket’s interactive audio lessons, the moderator routinely stops to touch on different grammar principles and verbally explain the rationale behind them.
However, the bulk of the Rocket grammar instruction is delivered through the company’s language and culture lessons, which sort of take the form of a digital textbook. Rocket does a great job breaking these lessons down into short, digestible chunks for users. Each section (or chapter if you want to look at it that way) within the grammar lessons is only about 3 to 6 sentences long on average.
Then within the lesson, there are dozens of stoppage points where you interact with examples and pictures to keep you engaged. So overall, I was just really impressed with the level of grammar and cultural insights the Rocket courses provide, as well as how the company integrates this material into their lessons.
Better Suited for Advanced Learners
The last advantage in favor of Rocket is that their lessons and learning framework are better suited for people looking to gain an intermediate to advanced 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 tend to focus on present and past tenses, and don’t progress towards the more complex future or past imperfect tenses. Rocket’s lessons, on other hand, do advance past the basic stage and incorporate more complex concepts.
Now that you understand the strengths of the Rocket Languages program, let’s turn the tables and cover the areas in which Mondly beats Rocket.
Virtual and Augmented Reality Apps
The clearest advantage for Mondly has to be their virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) learning apps, which are designed to complement their standard lessons. This is really where Mondly differentiates itself from Rocket and other competitors 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 situations that require you to speak to locals, including ordering a coffee at a local café, talking with the receptionist at a hotel, or telling a taxi driver where you want to go.
Now, the VR app does cost around $5, which in and of itself isn’t too bad, but the bigger issue is that you unfortunately need to purchase an Oculus headset as well if you don’t already have one.
That will rule some people out, but for those who aren’t on the Oculus train already, 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 room and then uses augmented reality technology to generate a CGI teacher and animations right in your own office, kitchen or whatever room you’re in.
For example, if you’re learning about different beverages, the teacher will show you animations of coffee, tea, juice, and soda. Then, the instructor will provide some background and instruction in this CGI classroom, and have you practice using the words in sentences.
You can interact with the animations and even get up to walk around and get a 360-degree view. It’s pretty cool.
Overall, I found the VR and AR apps to be a nice change of pace from the standard lessons. They’re definitely not a standalone learning tool (sort of like FluentU), but they are a nice complementary feature for pronunciation and conversational practice. Plus, it’s just cool to add in some fun and smart tech to diversify your language lessons and keep things fun and interesting.
One aspect of language learning that doesn’t get a ton of attention is lesson duration. In short, Rocket’s lessons take about 45 minutes each to complete, while you can knock out a Mondly lesson in about 10 minutes. For folks with busy schedules that can only squeeze in a few minutes of learning each day, this might make Mondly a preferable choice.
That said, although the Rocket lessons take 45 minutes each to complete, you can always pause them and pick right back up where you left off at anytime. There were numerous times when I was using Rocket that I saved a lesson for the night, and came back the next day to finish the last 15 minutes or so. It wasn’t that big of a deal.
But if you’re a little OCD and can’t not finish lessons, plus have a tighter schedule, Mondly might be the answer.
Useful Courses for Working Professionals
The last advantage in favor of Mondly is that I like how they offer job-specific courses and lessons. Personally, I think these are super useful for working professionals who are learning a new language for work purposes.
As an example, Mondly offers courses directly related to marketing, negotiations, customer service, finance, and healthcare. Bottom line, if you’re learning a new language in part to advance your career, then Mondly is a great option.
Before we jump into the verdict, let’s quickly compare pricing and affordability, as this can be an important topic.
Mondly offers two different subscription options. The first is a free version that is very limited. Honestly, it’s really more like a free trial than anything. Therefore, most people opt for the second option: their Premium Plan. This paid subscription unlocks all of Mondly’s content and features across their 40 languages. This Premium Plan costs $10 per month, or around $48 per year if you if you don’t mind paying for an entire year in advance.
Rocket Languages, on the other hand, only offers lifetime plans as opposed to monthly and yearly subscriptions. In other words, it’s one-time charge for lifetime access. These packages range from around $150 to $450, depending on how many levels you want to purchase.
However, just so you know, those prices are a little deceiving as they’re just the MSRPs. Rocket Languages is almost always running some sort of deal or special promotion, and in most cases, you can expect to receive at least $50 off, if not more. So be sure to check for coupon codes before buying.
From an overall cost perspective, it’s kind of difficult to compare these two companies. It all depends on what you’re looking for. If you just want a few months of access to sort of dip your toe in the water, then obviously Mondly is the more affordable option. However, if you’re committed to learning a new language and want lifetime access, then Rocket is the way to go.
And finally, I do just want to mention that Rocket does offer a free trial period, as well as a 60-day money back guarantee, if you want to test it out before jumping in. It’s sort of like the Mondly’s free version in that respect.
Final Verdict: Rocket Languages vs Mondly
That about does it for the detail in this comparison, so let’s get to the final verdict. Should you choose Rocket Languages or Mondly? Honestly, after having used each program, I don’t think it’s even close. Rocket is clearly the winner. They just offer the more complete language program from top to bottom.
In terms of comprehensiveness and depth of lesson work, Mondly just can’t compete with Rocket’s interactive audio lessons or the level of grammar instruction they provide. With that said, I think Mondly is an excellent supplemental study resource, especially if you’re looking to switch things up and have some fun with their VR and AR apps. Plus their short lessons are fun and quick to complete. However, if you’re truly serious about learning a second or third language and you don’t mind paying a little extra to do so, then Rocket Languages is the way to go.
Which app/program is better, Rocket Languages or Mondly?
After testing each app/course, our in-house language team thinks Rocket Languages offers the more effective program for learning a new language. From top to bottom, Rocket offers a more comprehensive program than Mondly.
Which program is more affordable, Mondly or Rocket Languages?
Mondly’s subscription plans are more affordable than Rocket’s. With that said, Rocket Languages regularly runs sales and special promotions throughout the year.
Which program is more effective for developing speaking skills?
After testing each program, it’s clear that Rocket Languages does a better job than Mondly of developing your abilities to hold conversations with native speakers.