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on July 10, 2015
Fluenz is the best Spanish program we have used. We are homeschoolers, and over the years I tried several different programs with our children, including Rosetta stone, Berlitz, and Learnables. All of them fell short of our expectations. Fluenz is absolutely amazing compared to those other programs.

(Rosetta Stone was very confusing to my daughter, because they never explained anything, and expected her to learn through "immersion." I did the Rosetta Stone program myself up to level/year 4, and I think I only gained about 1-2 years of high school level Spanish )

The Fluenz program is highly superior to all the other programs. It provides a teacher who speaks in English, and who teaches the lesson and explains anything that is confusing. The practices are very thorough, and my daughter's accent is extremely good. Many people have commented that she sounds like a native speaker.

You can repeat or skip any sections that you want to. You learn through pictures and video, conversations, and also through extensive writing/grammar exercises. The entire program can be done on the computer.

As a mom who homeschools 5 children, and who has only a basic knowledge of Spanish, I really appreciated the fact that my daughter could do her entire Spanish program on her own. That freed up my time to help her with some of her other classwork. With Fluenz, I know my children could learn any language, regardless of my own person knowledge.

The only negative to this program is that there is a lot of repetition. So if you have a child who highly dislikes repetition, they may not like it. But honestly, without the repetition, you probably will not retain much of what you learned.

Soon, when my daughter is done with this program, she is going to test out of college Spanish through the CLEP program. You can get up to 14 college credits that way.

I tend to be very picky about curriculum, but I have to say that I cannot be more pleased with Fluenz.
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on March 3, 2017
I never review products, however I will make an exception in this case. While I cannot compare Fluenz to other Spanish language software, I can compare it to the two years of H.S. Spanish, a year of Latin and two years of German in college. I really wish this was available back when I struggled with those courses. This requires work, but it is not tedious.

Update: My wife, daughter, and I recently took a trip to Mexico...not to the resorts. We traveled throughout the country with the skills learned from this awesome software. This was the point at which I realized that Fluenz is teaching you the phrases and vocab to effectively communicate and ultimately enjoy your time "off the tourist trail". I really wish I could rate higher. Next trip...Peru!
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on January 30, 2010
I went on a vacation to Costa Rica, and resolved to learn Spanish. I studied French in high school and college, and I enjoyed it for the most part. I've NEVER had an opportunity to actually use my French, as I've found that everyone who speaks French usually speaks English. So, I thought I would try to learn Spanish, and maybe I could actually use it.

I found a website which reviewed many Spanish Learning Software packages, and many of them are only PC compatible. The two highest rated Mac compatibles were Fluenz and Rosetta Stone, #2 & #3, respectively. I had seen the Rosetta Stone commercials ad nauseum, so I thought it would be a good starting point. The "no drills" and "no memorization" aspects sounded great, so RS was my starting point.

I started out with Rosetta Stone 1, 2, & 3. RS is a beautiful program, with lovely pictures, and an intuitive interface. There were many, many times when I was clueless as to what to do, so I would just click until I got it right. RS would sense this, and would present the material again until I scored 90% or better. However, there WERE times when I would figure out the answer through the process off elimination, without truly understanding what I was saying/doing. For example, "comprar": did it mean "to shop" or "to buy"? I couldn't tell. Also, the speech recognition on Rosetta Stone could prove to be very temperamental. There were some words, some ONE-SYLLABLE words, that RS simply couldn't accept. I would record them with my iPhone, and play it back into the microphone, and it STILL wouldn't work. These occasions were rare, but troublesome. There were multi-syllable words or phrases that I had to use the iPhone trick for. I could repeat it one hundred times into the microphone, and it would NEVER NEVER accept what I said. After a while, I felt like I was getting great practice on how to record phrases with my iPhone, but for learning Spanish, my progress was slow. Also, I wasn't learning anything practical for use as a tourist. I want to learn how to bargain a little bit: "I will give you fifty, OK?" I wasn't getting that with Rosetta Stone. I think I completed Disc 2 of RS. Again, it was good, but there were many things that I wasn't sure about.

I heard about Fluenz from that website, and decided to give it a try. I ordered 1+2+3+4+5. A bit ambitious, but, like anything, the unit price goes down when you buy in bulk. I just finished up the first disc, so I'm not at any kind of expert level, but I liked what I've seen so far. I feel like I've really nailed the present tense conjugations of the following words: To Be (both Estar and Ser), To Go (very useful for meatball future tense), To Want, To Need, To Eat, To Drink. These words will get a tourist through a great many situations.

Fluenz's approach is different than Rosetta Stone. They start with Sonia Gil giving an intro, then a simple conversation between two or more people. You can listen to it without subtitles, with Spanish subtitles, or with English and Spanish subtitles. You should listen to it three times, once with each subtitle option. Sonia comes back, and breaks down the dialog, explaining what each word means, and how they relate to each other. There are then various drills, many of which involve typing down what you hear. These are challenging, and fun for me. I pride myself on my spelling, and these can be hard but satisfying to complete.

Fluenz does NOT use voice-recognition, which simply and effectively eliminates the frustrations I had with RS. My accent may not be as polished as it might be with RS, but at least I'm not fretting about getting stuck on a certain passage, wondering if it is me or the computer that is at fault. However, Fluenz DOES make use of the microphone. The aforementioned conversations are repeated, with you taking the role of one of the characters. You say the line that is shown, and click 'stop', and the conversation continues. You then play back the conversation, so you can hear your own voice. At that point in the lesson, you can tell if your accent is crap or not. And this works for me. I want to be a tourist, not a Telemundo newscaster. If I can crack a joke in Spanish, and make a senorita laugh, then this whole language thing will have paid off.

One thing I've found to be kind of humorous: Sonia Gil is very attractive. Sometimes my mind goes blank, as I'm just staring at her face, and I miss what she said completely. Doh!

MacBook users: Both Rosetta Stone and Fluenz work beautifully with my 2009 MacBook. No external microphones needed. RS adjusts the sensitivity of the microphone automatically, Fluenz does not. You will have to go System Preferences/Sound to adjust it. Once you do, it is done. No problem.

I recommend Fluenz over Rosetta Stone, especially if you are an adult who wants to 'speak tourist'. Rosetta Stone is good, but the little snags proved to be frustrating for me. Fluenz is more real world oriented, with expressions like: "We are going to the store together, would you like to come?", whereas Rosetta Stone had expressions like: "The car is in front of the house" or "the dog wants meat"

The people at Fluenz are great as well. I ordered 1+2+3+4+5, but I only received 1+2+3. I contacted Amazon, who said "Because Fluenz's inventory is constantly changing, we can't replace items sold by them that are Fulfilled by Amazon." I could either return the whole thing, or they could refund part of the money. I let Fluenz know about this, and they promptly sent me the missing discs 4+5. So Fluenz's customer service is great. Over educated young college grads.

Follow Up: 5/17/10: I've been using Fluenz, off and on, (it's hard to remain focused), but to address my previous statement: "For example, "comprar": did it mean "to shop" or "to buy"? I couldn't tell. " Comprar means both "to shop for" and "to buy". Doh!

I trade comments with Sonia on Facebook, she's the best! Nothing wrong with Rosetta Stone, but Fluenz is the real deal, in my opinion.
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on September 10, 2017
My husband needs to learn spanish in order to take a test to move him along while trying to get his Phd, and after reading great reviews and not so great reviews of rosetta stone, we finally decided on this one. My husband loves it! It's so comprehensive and challenging. He does a lesson everyday and is about two months into it. It's about a 3-4 month course if you do it daily. Wonderful buy as my hubby can already translate many things in Spanish already!
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on November 3, 2014
The lessons are thoughtfully planned out, keeping the pace manageable. You're not forced to memorize tons of verb conjugations up front. Instead, they're woven-in gradually. Learning a language is all about repetition, so there's plenty of time to introduce tougher material in small bites, without ever having to torture the student.

I took Spanish I & II in college. And when I purchased Fluenz, I also bought Rosetta Stone. Between these three methods, I find Fluenz to be by far the best. I do a lesson each morning when I arrive at the office. I actually look forward to it. I'm almost done with the second disc.

The effort that when into preparing these lessons is obvious, and it really makes life easier for the student. Muy bien!
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on February 12, 2017
This program is absolutely fantastic. It teaches you in a manner that doesn't just flood you with vocab words to memorize, it teaches you just enough so you don't get overwhelmed and forget the information. However, the only way to learn a new language is to have someone to speak it with because memorization will only take you so far. Unless you have someone to practice with, purchasing any type of language learning program isn't going to do a whole lot of good. I'd also combine this with another tool such as a language learning podcast or even Duolingo just for some extra vocab.
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on December 23, 2013
A few years ago, I took a job that required me to live in China. Naturally I wanted to learn a bit of the language so I plopped down a pile of money on Rosetta Stone Mandarin. Six months later, I had decent vocabulary and no ability to speak or understand a lick.

Fluenz was new to the market at that time and so I gave them a shot. I immediately began to pick it up and use it on my travels. The combination of listening, speaking, reading, writing and translating in both directions *worked for me.* While both Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur would have you believe that their approach "let's you learn a new language the way you learned your first," trust me when I say that's ridiculous. You only get to learn your first language once, and that's while you're a little sponge running around the house listening to your parent.

The Fluenz approach is designed for adults who are trying to add a language, and frankly I think it's the right way.

I like the their programs so much that I went on to Spanish as a refresher for my secondary school studies (40 years hence) and I just ordered French for my 2014 challenge.

On top of the quality of the program and how well it works, Fluenz is an excellent company that supports its users and products. Every question I've asked has been answered quickly, politely and efficiently. Their ordering process is without peer, I ordered French at 3:50PM last Thursday and received it at 11AM Friday, and I live on the other side of the country. And, as a repeat customer they offer significant discounts each year around Christmas.

If you want to learn and you're willing to devote the time, Fluenz is the way to go. I can't wait to move on to Italian and German.
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on August 19, 2017
I am not usually one to write reviews unless I come across a product as effective and fun as Fluenz. I have been going through the Spanish training for 6 weeks and I already am feeling somewhat confident in my current (although still limited) abilities and that I will be able to get to a point of fluency in time. Fluenz is different from any other language course I've taken. This course builds your grammar and vocabulary using everyday scenarios and gives you building blocks on which to build. They are tools that you can then employ to make many different sentences. Each day I look forward to the hour I spend studying Spanish with Fluenz.
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on September 10, 2013
I've been using this product for a few weeks and find it very helpful. I did a lot of research of Fluenz versus Rosetta Stone and decided to go with Fluenz because of my learning style. It is very interactive and makes it enjoyable to learn. You're not just sitting there looking at words then finding out what they mean. They have videos, practice converstations where you hear the conversation in Spanish, then see the conversation in Spanish with english subtitles. It hammers in words by using different methods, visual, typing, matching English with Spanish phrases. I've been using it on a Mac and PC (can install on up to 3 computers) and have had no problems with the software yet, although I'm only in Lesson 1. The main lady in the video can be a little annoying with her talking so much about how great the program is. But she's still effective nevertheless. There are hours and hours and hours of videos and they are done professionally with nice subtle background music rather than have everything quiet. It also allows you to speak back and record how you say the words which was interesting in playing the recording. I'd highly recommend this product for anyone that's serious about learning Spanish.
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on September 1, 2017
Years ago, I first purchased Fluenz 2 to learn some Spanish before a trip to Mexico. I had researched most of the programs at that time and Fluenz seemed the best suited for not only reading, but “living” in a Spanish-speaking society as the program involved reading, listening, writing, and speaking the language. As we were staying in a small fishing village in Mexico, I found myself conversing not only with drivers who spoke no English but with the community of shop owners and others on the street. Knowing much of the language greatly enriched our visit. Now, years later, I found that the online support remains excellent. At no charge, they readily upgraded our earlier version that is no longer recognized by newer computers or phones to the newest version. This Fluenz 3 version is even better than Fluenz 2 with improved graphics and explanations for speaking certain sounds and gives more nuances of the language in an even more efficient format. I am in my 60’s and would definitely recommend this program to anyone with the desire to learn the language.
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