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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 June 23, 2017
I purchased this course back in 2011, and started it then got busy and went on to other things. I recently went back to it, and it is new and improved! It is now available as an on-line experience, and can also be used on devices such as IPAD.

I wrote them to see if I was eligible for the on-line version, and they immediately set me up at no extra charge over my original purchase price.

I am really enjoying the course. The Ipad format is most convenient for me as I can use it during commercials, or other times when I'm not at my computer. I even use it when I'm having insomnia!

The audio is perfect and clear with a crisp accent. That is so helpful for people learning a language. The workouts really help you retain what you just learned.

Over the years, I've tried a number of courses, and made headway in all of them, but this is by far the best I've experienced,
Mike
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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 March 22, 2018
I absolutely loved this program! I first purchased Fluenz for Spanish after I had already completed all five levels of Rosetta Stone and was looking for something else to help further my learning. Once I began using Fluenz, I realized that it was a far superior program. Sonia served as a wonderful Spanish tutor throughout all five levels, breaking the lessons down in a way that fostered true learning. The lessons are practical, relevant and fun all at the same time.

My Spanish proficiency is much stronger after having completed all five levels, and my only regret is that there aren't five more levels for me to tackle. I would definitely be willing to make an additional investment if Sonia and her team ever decides to create an advanced-level program. I highly recommend this program to anyone looking to gain at least an intermediate level of understanding of the Spanish language.
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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 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 November 12, 2017
The course is very good (imo) and I enjoy it. I enjoy certain workouts (exercises) more than others,
but that's probably because I am not a native English speaker so certain aspects of Spanish are easier for me than for native speakers of English. I like the workouts that require translations into Spanish most. But all are very good...

I very much like sessions dedicated to verbs, and the reviews. Verbs and conjugations are one of the most difficult aspects of Spanish for me,
requiring a lot of practice. I wish there we a little more reviews, not many more, just 1 more or so per course part.
They might be optional: to take or not, as one wishes.. I would not mind even some tests later (or in parallel).
Not as a measure of fluency, but possibly as an (optional) additional motivation. That said I am quite motivated without...

The structure of the course is very good, too.
Modern, with emphasis on correct practical applications of the language even with limited vocabulary.
After the first part, you will not be mute, after the first two parts, you will have a street survival Spanish.
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on June 24, 2014
I purchased this as I am unable to commit to a summer semester but wanted something I could work on in my own time.
I previously used Rosetta Stone but quickly became disheartened when all I could do was name a few objects and couldn't string the words I learned together to form a coherent sentence.
Close to a month in of using this program and I can honeslty say I am really enjoying it and feeling comfortable with my knowledge of the language and already moving toward having quick, "hey, how are you doing?" / "He's out at lunch right now" conversations with Spanish speaking co-workers. I try to spend one hour each weeknight on a class, and I repeat the class at least twice before moving on. I'd say I'm average when it comes to learning a new language. Slow and steady is my motto.
Fluenz uses social media well and Sonia Gil is active on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube that I find it a nice break from the learning environment to check out her page and stay influenzed (see what I did there?) and motivated to stick with the program.
Each class builds upon things learned from the previous 2-3 classes to really get the material to stick with you and there are multiple excercises in each class that help you read, write, vocalize and visualize the words you are learning.
One thing I was not aware of was the need for a microphone. I think I had assumed that there would be one with the program. There isn't, and it's a must have to really be able to speak the lingo and listen back to how you would sound if your name was Pedro.
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