Test Prep Insight is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
Find out whether LingoPie is worth it in this detailed review
There are dozens of choices available when it comes to language learning. You can use specialty apps, expert tutoring, live classes, or sign-up for immersive trips. Recently, however, video-on-demand alternatives like LingoPie have been making waves in the language learning industry because of their premium content and fun learning experience. In this article, we review and evaluate the LingoPie program and discuss whether our team thinks it’s an effective language learning tool.
Use the jump-to links above to quickly navigate through this detailed review.
Video Review: Is LingoPie Good?
In the video above, John from the Test Prep Insight team covers the pros and cons of using LingoPie to learn a new language. For more detail, be sure to continue reading our full written review below.
How LingoPie Works
To kick this review off, let’s quickly cover exactly what LingoPie is and how it works. By definition, LingoPie is a video-on-demand platform for language learning.
In simpler terms, it’s an app that uses real TV shows and movies to help you learn a new language. For me at least, this has immediate appeal. After all, who doesn’t like watching TV and movies?
Let me break down more specifically how the program works. After you sign up and select your target language, you are brought to a dashboard that looks very similar to Netflix.
In fact, I’ve seen some people on reddit call LingoPie the “Netflix of language learning.” That seems like a bit of stretch, but I get the analogy.
In any event, there are all sorts of shows and movies to choose from broken out by category, just like how Netflix does it (e.g. latest releases, cartoons, mysteries, suspense, etc.).
Then once you start watching a particular show or movie, there are subtitles and other features and tools to help you understand and learn what is being said by the various characters. I’ll touch on all of these different features when we discuss narrow pros and cons below, but for now, that’s the gist of how the program works.
The whole idea here is that LingoPie is trying to combine binging TV shows on Netflix and language learning. This is based on the theory that you’ll stick with it longer than other language apps since you’re doing something that you actually like and you’re having fun. Simple enough.
Given their premium content library, I was actually pretty surprised by how affordable the LingoPie subscription options are. The company offers three different plans to choose from:
Three months for $36
Annual plan for $144
Lifetime subscription for $650
That being said, those are just the MSRPs, and that’s noteworthy because the company is almost always running some sort of sale or special promotion.
For example, their annual plan is usually marked down to $72 (or $6 per month), and their lifetime subscription is usually discounted all the way down to $200.
There are a ton of cool and useful features within the LingoPie platform to aid the learning process. Frankly, I was simply expecting to watch some TV shows with subtitles, but LingoPie definitely goes above and beyond that.
Let me cover some of the features and tools that stood out. First, I like that you can quickly toggle back and forth between English subtitles and subtitles in your target language, or you have the option to display both at the same time.
Next, there’s a loop setting which you can switch on that makes the scene repeat itself until you understand what’s going on. It can be slightly annoying at first, but this definitely comes in handy when things start to pick up and move fast in the show or movie.
Piggybacking on that previous point, I also like that LingoPie allows you to control the playback speed. This is extremely helpful, especially if you’re a beginner. LingoPie competitor Yabla offers the same types of features too.
I was constantly adjusting the speed depending on the show or movie, as well as how quickly the characters were talking, and playing the show at 0.75x speed was great.
Finally, you can pause the show or movie you’re watching at anytime and participate by repeating the sentence the character just said. This is an awesome little feature which you can use to sharpen your verbal skills.
Plus, what’s cool here is that LingoPie uses speech recognition technology that records your voice and then grades your pronunciation on a scale from 1 to 100. That way, it’s not all listening and reading—you actually get some verbal practice too.
This is technically another feature, but I think LingoPie excels when it comes to grammar instruction.
First, LingoPie color codes the subtitles in your target language (e.g. nouns are blue, verbs are pink, adjectives are green). That way you can learn to visually identify the various grammatical elements of your target language.
Plus, you can click on any word within the subtitle, and it will immediately pull up the definition, whether its singular/plural, masculine/feminine, etc.
And lastly, you can click the light bulb symbol below the screen, which will pull up LingoPie’s “grammar coach” to give you a detailed explanation of why the character said a particular word, or break down the grammar rules behind the statement.
For example, when you click the lightbulb for a sentence that contains the phrase “por esto,” the grammar coach will explain that pronouns like “esto” are used to replace nouns and help avoid repetition by referring to a specific thing or situation previously mentioned or easily identified within the context of the conversation.
In other words, LingoPie uses short, direct, and clear explanations, which I really like. Bottom line, grammar is clearly a strength of the LingoPie program.
This is another feature that I thought deserved its own section, and that is the fact that LingoPie automatically creates interactive flashcards for you.
Let me explain how it works. If you’re watching a show or movie and reading the subtitles, then come across a word or phrase that you don’t understand and you click it to find out more detail, LingoPie automatically creates a flashcard for you to review at a later time.
To be clear, we’re not just talking about some boring flashcard with one word on each side. Rather, these are interactive, video-based flashcards that use the exact clip from the show or movie where the word or phrase was said, which really helps with recall.
Being able to put a face or scene to a word definitely boosts material retention and helps with using the word in the proper context. Therefore, I have to give LingoPie credit. The auto-generated flashcards are definitely a nice touch.
What Our Team Dislikes About LingoPie
Now that we’ve touched on the positives, let’s turn the tables and discuss some of the negatives of using LingoPie to learn a new language.
Subtitles Can Be Inaccurate At Times
Unfortunately, the subtitles that LingoPie uses are not always 100% correct. Sometimes when you click on a word, it will show the literal definition, even though it is different from how the the word or phrase was used in the TV show or movie.
In other words, LingoPie does not always account for the context in which the word or phrase was used.
Let’s take the word “nail” for example. LingoPie might refer to nail in the sense of fingernails, when really the character was saying “let’s hang the painting with a nail” instead.
You get it. These sorts of colloquial mix-ups are expected, but it does hinder the learning process from time to time.
Wish There Was More Verbal Practice
Although LingoPie does allow you to record yourself repeating sentences, I’d still like to see the company offer more opportunity for verbal practice.
More specifically, it would be great if there was an opportunity for spontaneous language usage as opposed to just listening and repeating words in a vacuum. I am referring to some sort of drill or exercise that mimics or resembles a full conversation, similar to what Rocket Languages offers.
This would really round out the LingoPie program and help users develop their verbal skills, so they can start holding basic conversations sooner.
Plus, although I like that the LingoPie program offers speech recognition technology which grades your pronunciation from 1 to 100, it’s far from perfect.
For example, there was an instance in which I repeated the sentence in English rather than Spanish, and the tool still gave me a grade of 30 out of 100 somehow. 🤷
Bottom line, it’s nice to have the pronunciation feedback, but just keep in mind it’s not always 100% accurate.
Not Ideal For Beginners
I do not believe that the LingoPie program is ideal for beginners, especially if you are someone who gets frustrated easily.
I say this because there’s essentially no structure or organized curriculum to gradually bring you up to speed. Instead, you’re sort of just thrown into the fire and expected to pick up the language immediately and organically.
Although the company does allow you to filter shows and movies by level (basic, moderate or expert), it can still be quite frustrating as a newcomer. The shows and movies progress quickly, and the language choices used by the characters tend to be complex.
As you can probably imagine, the characters in the various shows and movies are not using basic sentences like “the car is red” or “the dog is hungry“, for example.
Ultimately, we would recommend LingoPie for people who at least have a basic understanding of or foundation in the new language, even if it’s just one year of high school Spanish or French for example.
Limited Language Selections
The last negative is pretty straightforward—LingoPie only offers programs for eight languages (Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian).
Therefore, if you are trying to learn Dutch, Danish, Greek, Romanian, Swedish, or any other language, LingoPie simply is not an option for you.
Verdict: Is LingoPie Worth It?
Time to answer the big question—is LingoPie worth the money? And more importantly, is it effective for learning a new language?
Well, after using and reviewing the program, there’s certainly a lot to like. The company’s subscription plans are very affordable at less than $6 per month; the content is top-notch (after all, it’s premium shows and movies); and the company offers all sorts of unique and helpful tools and features to aid in the learning process.
With that said, however, there are some negatives as well. Most notably is that there is no clear curriculum or learning framework. Instead, you’re sort left on your own to figure things out.
At the end of the day, our team sees LingoPie as an ideal supplemental tool for intermediate to advanced learners, and not necessarily a standalone program for beginners.
As long as you have basic foundational knowledge of your target language, then I think LingoPie is worth it. It’s definitely an entertaining and fun way to learn a new language.
No, unfortunately LingoPie is not free. However, the company does offer a seven day free trial so you can see whether you like the program or not before fully committing.
How much is LingoPie?
LingoPie offers three different subscription options (three months, 12 months, or lifetime). From a monthly cost perspective, the company’s annual plan is the most affordable at around $6 per month.
Does LingoPie offer a lifetime subscription?
Yes, LingoPie offers a lifetime subscription. The MSRP is around $650, although it can often be found on sale for closer to $200. The lifetime plan grants you unlimited access to all languages that LingoPie covers.
Is LingoPie good for learning a new language?
After testing out the LingoPie program, our team does think that it is an effective tool for learning a new language. However, we would recommend it more as supplemental tool for intermediate learners as opposed to a standalone language program for beginners.
Are there alternatives to LingoPie?
Yes, there are several video-on-demand alternatives to LingoPie. The most popular alternatives are FluentU, Yabla, and LingQ.