Customer Review

402 of 420 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, October 5, 2010
This review is from: Learn Spanish: Fluenz Spanish Latin America 1+2+3+4+5 for Mac, PC,iPhone, iPad & Android phones (DVD-ROM)
I have completed 4 of the 5 levels of Fluenz Spanish and am on lesson 3 of level 5. Before investing in this great language learning program, I tried RS, Rocket Spanish and Tell Me More Spanish. Fluenz is by far the best language learning software out there if you are serious about LEARNING the Spanish language.

My background...Never studied a language before. I'm retired and was looking to something to keep the brain hoping along. I liked the Spanish language so much that I decided to work towards an oral proficiency rating so I enrolled in a Spanish certificate program at the University of Wisconsin (7 semesters of Spanish required). I tested out of Spanish 1. I'm currently taking Spanish 2, and outside of additional vocabulary, I found that I knew all of grammar and sentence construction required for Spanish 2 and should have enrolled in Spanish 3. So, I'm at least at a 3rd semester university level of Spanish. My Spanish professor continually praises my pronunciation, knowledge of grammar and sentence construction. Where did I learn all of this? Using the Fluenz program!

As I stated at the start, I have tried Rosetta Stone (fell asleep), Rocket Spanish (very little grammar)and Tell Me More Spanish (not bad but only for those who are at an intermediate level). By far, Fluenz Spanish offers the most grammar instruction of any of the others and will provide you with a solid foundation in the Spanish language. Some have posted reviews here after only completing 1 - 2 levels. If your goal is 'fluency' I suggest that you finish all of the lessons before judging how much fluency you will acquire using this program. How do you measure fluency anyway? What does that mean? I will say that Fluenz's main focus is not on building a huge vocabulary but on building a strong foundation. What good is it to know a lot of Spanish words if you don't know how to construct a sentence or conjugate classes of verbs or know when to use ser vs estar or pasear vs cominar or para vs por? You will not be understood if you can't put the words you know together to communicate with a Spanish speaker. That is the main goal of the Fluenz program....teaching you to communicate!

Learning a new language, may initially seem fairly simple, but it is not. Learning a new language requires lots and lots of hard work. If you are only looking to parrot some touristy phrases then maybe this is not the program for you because you will learn far more. At first glance, it may seem that the conversations revolve around touristy type things but everything you learn is applicable to everyday situations. I know. It's what I've been doing in my UWM class. All communications are in Spanish using Skype, voice boards and e-mail. The professor lives in Spain! We write about the economy in Spain, our dogs, cultural things, different sites in Madrid, etc.

Any language learning program is, by nature, scripted. It helps to use supplemental materials such as a grammar workbook for extra practice, listening and listening and listening to lots of Spanish even if you don't understand it verbatim, finding a Spanish speaking partner to communicate with, etc. Fluenz will provide you with a solid foundation on which to build your fluency, but, in the end it's up to the student to reach out and explore additional learning opportunities. Most of us didn't learn English in 6 months!

The top 6 reasons to invest in yourself and buy this program:
1. The onscreen tutor - nothing on the market comes close to the benefits of having a real person explain, what can be, complex grammar and sentence constructions.

2. Emphasis on correct pronunciation - It's not so much how fast someone speaks, it's how clearly they enunciate each word. All of the Spanish speakers enunciate each word very clearly. Also, the speech speed starts out slower in the early lessons and increases to a speed you will hear, say, watching Spanish language television.

3. Each lesson builds on previous lessons. It may seem a bit repetive, however, the goal is to move the student from a translational phase to an instinctual phase where not much thought is needed to communicate in Spanish.

4. Customer support - best in the business. Most language learning software companies only provide technical support. The Fluenz team is ready, willing and able to provide all the language support you could ever want. Stuck on a concept? Just ask. You'll get an easily understandable answer complete with examples.

5. Provides a strong foundation on which to continue to build your fluency. After only 4 levels, I feel that I can pretty much figure out something new when I see it because my foundation is so strong. My Spanish professor does not restrict her use of the language to what we have already learned but I have been able to understand what she is communicating whether she's using a verb tense that I've not seen, words I don't know or Spanish idioms and sayings.

6. Supplemental CDs and podcasts - Hearing spoken Spanish w/o subtitles forces you to focus on what is being said overall. You may not understand what is being said verbatim, but if you can pick up key words, you will know what the speaker is communicating. Great for practicing what you will experience in the real world.

And, one last thing, the interface is simple and beautiful! The program is for adults, taught by adults.
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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 12, 2011 1:56:54 PM PDT
Does this complete set discuss the subjunctive mode?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2011 10:23:15 PM PST
Yes it does in level 5. Good luck with learning the subjunctive mode! It's difficult as it's a mode that is seldom used in English so you don't have an English reference to link it to.

Posted on Aug 19, 2012 4:15:46 PM PDT
Audragoofy2 says:
You say this program is great for adults. Would it be, in your mind, just as great and effective for teens, too?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2012 10:44:27 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 20, 2012 10:45:19 AM PDT
My granddaughter uses the program to supplement her HS Spanish class. What she really likes is that she can practice speaking in private. As you probably know all too well, teens are a bit self conscious about speaking in front of the class. My other granddaughter uses the Fluenz French program and likes it as well. She's a pre-teen. They like the learning thru conversation aspect and that they can work at their own pace. No grades! Just work on it until you understand it! No pressure learning! In school they memorize a lot of things but don't spend a lot of time actually using what they memorize. The only drawback is that some of the conversational situations are not all that interesting to them. I would highly recommend any of the Fluenz programs for teens. I think they have come out with a tablet version as well.

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 12:03:02 PM PST
JFASS says:
Thank You for your detailed review. I just bought the Fluenz program. I am also curious about the classes you mentioned you were taking through the University of Wisconsin. Are these online classes that anyone can take? I live in CA but would be interested in taking them, especially if it provides practice with communication in Spanish. Could you possibly post a link to the classes at UWM?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 11:07:05 PM PST
Here you go: http://www4.uwm.edu/sce/course.cfm?id=18724 There are a series of 6 classes which, when completed, will earn you a Spanish Certificate. Patrice Burns was my instructor for several classes. She's happy to Skype with you from Madrid and exchange e-mails in Spanish. She's a native English speaker but has lived and worked in Madrid for quite a few years. Karen Woelfle-Potter is a good instructor as well. Communication with a fluent Spanish speaker is critical to language learning success. ¡Buen suerte!

Posted on Apr 1, 2013 10:01:28 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 1, 2013 10:01:47 AM PDT
E. Tedford says:
I took Spanish in elementary, middle and high school, plus 2 or 3 semesters in college. I have a relatively large vocabulary (mostly nouns and verbs) and can muddle my way through most basic conversations with what I know. However, I'm pretty terrible at anything other than present tense and my vocabulary is certainly lacking in some areas. Do you think this program would be helpful for someone with my background, or do you think it would be too basic? I'm trying to decide between getting some sort of independent study program and taking an actual class and I understand that some repetition of existing knowledge and foundation is helpful, but I definitely want to be able to expand upon what I already know. Thanks!

Posted on May 24, 2013 8:54:30 AM PDT
nicole says:
First I would like to say thank you for such a detailed review. It really does help in trying to make a decision on such a big step as in learning a new language. As someone in my mid 20's I have a background in spanish. Learned all through high school and spend a fair share of time in Mexico, I know it's not all the same type of spanish, but myself like the comment from E. Tedford i do have a basis for most vocabulary. i can understand a lot of what is said by picking out the words i do know. would this type of learning be what i would need to understand complete context of sentences and would that be considered a beginner or would i be able to start farther down the line with level 2 or 3?

Posted on Jul 6, 2014 3:04:20 PM PDT
Danielle V. says:
Thank you for such a detailed review. :)

Posted on May 13, 2015 1:38:59 PM PDT
Jill Colt says:
Thank you for such a thorough review! I was curious how long it took you to get through levels 1-5.
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