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Mondly vs Rosetta Stone
Determine which language learning program is right for you in this Rosetta Stone vs Mondly comparison
For years, Rosetta Stone has been the go-to company in language learning; however, upstart language company Mondly has come on very strong recently with rave reviews from its users. So which language app do you go with? The old school, tried and true name, or the new company with awesome features and tools? We answer just that question in this detailed guide that explores how the language learning courses from Mondly and Rosetta Stone stack up.
Given that this is a lengthy, detailed comparison, we’ve included jump-to links above so you can quickly navigate this article.
Video Review: Mondly Or Rosetta Stone?
In the video above, John from the TPI team compares and contrasts the language apps from Rosetta Stone and Mondly. For more detail regarding how these two language learning programs stack up against one another, be sure to continue reading our full, written analysis below.
To begin this comparison, let’s take a look at the areas in which Rosetta Stone excels in relation to Mondly.
Top-Notch Speech Recognition Technology
The first major advantage in favor of Rosetta Stone is their proprietary TruAccent speech recognition technology, which is a tool the company has spent years developing.
Essentially, when you’re asked to repeat words or phrases, fill in blanks, or describe what’s happening in the various images you see during Rosetta Stone’s lessons, the company’s TruAccent technology is listening and if you mispronounce a word or phrase, it will prompt you to say it again until you get it right.
It’s definitely one of the better speech recognition tools I’ve tested and gets very high marks (almost as good as the speech technology from Rocket Languages).
That said, I do need to note that Mondly does employ their own speech recognition tech as well, but I’m just not a huge fan.
It’s sort of clunky compared to Rosetta’s and I don’t like that you have to manually hold down the microphone button the entire time you’re speaking. It can just become annoying.
So overall, you have to hand it to Rosetta Stone and their TruAccent technology. It’s about as close as you can come to getting pronunciation feedback from a real person.
More Effective for Intermediate Learners
The second highlight of Rosetta Stone’s program is that their lessons and language content are better equipped for people looking to achieve an intermediate level of fluency of a new language (whether you are learning Spanish, Italian, or French).
Rosetta’s lessons are deep and well-developed, whereas Mondly’s lessons don’t really move too far past the basic level.
In fact, the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels from Mondly are very similar to one another. There’s really not many differences between the three levels, which is sort of surprising.
Even when you get to the “Advanced” Mondly levels, the lessons are pretty basic. They only focus on present and past tenses, and don’t progress towards the more complex future or past imperfect tenses.
Rosetta Stone’s lessons, on other hand, do advance past the basic stage. Therefore, there’s no question that if you’re goal is to reach an intermediate level of fluency with a new language, Rosetta Stone is the better bet (Pimsleur is also a good choice for intermediate to advanced learners).
Another aspect about Rosetta Stone is the immersive experience it offers its users. So, as you progress through the Rosetta Stone course, you’ll notice there is very little use of English directions and translations. To some people, this may be a negative, however, the company does this on purpose.
Rosetta Stone purposely limits the use of English within lessons in order to mimic the natural language learning process (almost as if you are a toddler learning English). The goal is to help you acquire the target language through visual cues, inference, and your own intuition (as opposed to spoon feeding you English translations).
All in all, our team found this teaching method to be very effective (though you do need patience).
Extra Resources for Users
My third highlight for Rosetta is all about the extra resources Rosetta Stone offers its users.
Now to be clear, Mondly offers some pretty unique resources as well, but there’s no ignoring all the extras that come with the Rosetta Stone subscription. This includes:
on-demand videos (which allow you to dive deeper into specific topics and become more familiar with local culture);
short stories (so can you improve your reading and listening skills);
interactive phrasebooks (so you can perfect your pronunciation using Rosetta Stone’s speech recognition technology); and
live classes (for an additional fee).
The live classes might actually might be the best resource of them all. To reiterate here, you do have to pay extra. These services are not included in the standard subscription packages.
So you’re sort of getting customized classes in a way. The coaches help you perfect your pronunciation, provide clarity around grammar rules, and perhaps most importantly, offer encouragement to keep you motivated.
Overall, it’s just a very valuable service that you should consider taking advantage of.
Now that you have an idea of the areas in which Rosetta Stone excels, let’s cover the major advantages of using Mondly to learn a new language.
Mondly Makes the Language Learning Process Fun
My first highlight for Mondly is that I like how they try to gamify the language learning experience and make it fun. The main dashboard takes the form of a cool, interactive map that is very fun to use.
From there, you can track your stats and really dig into what you’ve already learned through a neat, interactive brain tool.
Then, as you complete lessons and drills, you earn points with a corresponding leaderboard, where you can keep track of your streaks and compare your performance against friends and other Mondly users to keep yourself motivated and inspired.
However, perhaps the coolest aspect of the Mondly program is their virtual reality and augmented reality learning apps that are designed to complement their standard lessons.
This is really where Mondly differentiates itself from Rosetta Stone and other competitors, and why they are widely considered a pioneer in the digital language learning landscape.
The Mondly VR app is a virtual immersion tool that places you in simulated environments. You’ll be placed into all sorts of situations that require you to speak to locals, whether you’re ordering a sandwich, talking to a taxi driver, or conversing with a new friend on a train ride.
The VR app does cost around $5, which isn’t too bad in and of itself, but the big bummer is that you’ll need an Oculus headset to use it. This will rule out quite a few folks.
Luckily though, 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 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 vegetables, the teacher will show you animations of onions, corn, carrots, and peas in a CGI environment.
They’ll provide some background and instruction in this CGI space, and then have you practice using the words in sentences. You can even interact with the animations and 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 program in their own right, but they are a nice complementary tool for pronunciation and conversational practice.
My final pro in favor of Mondly is that I like their job-specific courses and lessons. This is another aspect that separates Mondly from Rosetta Stone and other competitors.
I personally think these courses are super useful for working professionals. For example, Mondly offers courses directly related to marketing, negotiations, customer service, finance, healthcare, and more.
So bottom line, if you’re learning a new language in part for your job, then Mondly is a great option.
Before we dive into our final thoughts, let’s quickly compare pricing, starting with Rosetta Stone. They offer three different options: a 3-month subscription, 12-month subscription, and a lifetime subscription.
The 3- and 12-month plans include access to only one language and cost around $8 to $12 per month (after factoring in discounts and promo codes), whereas the lifetime plan grants you access to all 25 Rosetta Stone languages and costs around $400 total (though it’s regularly on sale for around $200).
Mondly, on the other hand, is a little different in that they actually offer a free version; however, it’s extremely limited. It’s really more like a free trial than anything else. As a result, most people opt for the Premium Plan, which unlocks all of Mondly’s content and features across their 40 or so languages.
This costs $10 per month, or around $48 per year if you want to pay for 12 months in advance.
Comparing the two, it’s pretty clear Mondly is the more affordable option by a pretty good margin.
However, I should add that Rosetta Stone does offer a free 3-day trial period as well a 30-day money back guarantee. So, sort of like the Mondly free version, you can always test the waters with Rosetta before fully committing.
Final Verdict: Rosetta Stone or Mondly?
That about does it for the detail in this comparison, so let’s get to the final verdict. Should you choose Mondly or Rosetta Stone?
Well, after testing each program, it’s a very close call. The two companies are very similar in several respects, but ultimately, I have to give the edge to Rosetta Stone.
While I like that Mondly offers innovative and fun ways to learn with their VR and AR apps, I just think Rosetta Stone is the better option if you’re serious about learning a new language.
At the end of the day, I just think Rosetta’s speech recognition technology is better, their lessons are slightly more robust than Mondly’s, and they just provide a ton of extra resources, including the option for live classes. So all in all, I think Rosetta Stone is the way to go.
Which language program is more effective, Mondly or Rosetta Stone?
After testing the apps and courses from both companies, our team believes Rosetta Stone offers the more effective language learning program from top to bottom.
Which language program is more affordable, Rosetta Stone or Mondly?
Comparing the subscription options from both companies, it is clear that Mondly is more affordable than Rosetta Stone.
What language app is better for achieving an intermediate to advanced level of fluency?
Although both companies have their own strengths, our in-house language experts think Rosetta Stone’s lessons and courses offer you the best shot of advancing past the basic level of fluency.
What is the difference between Rosetta Stone and Mondly?
Mondly offers more diversity within their lessons, including the use of a proprietary AR/VR app, whereas the Rosetta Stone lessons take a more traditional approach.