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Showing 1-10 of 243 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 343 reviews
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.
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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 January 9, 2014
I rarely write reviews but I had to for Fluenz Spanish. They have hit language instruction for adults dead on. I have been struggling with Spanish on and off since high school. I learn a little, lose interest in the learning method, and never get past the basics. As a police officer I feel I should have functional Spanish conversational skills and the "should" is turning into "need" every year, both to serve others and also to protect myself. I had tried Rosetta in the past and it was OK, but after several weeks I felt I had not learned anything useful. Honestly, I got good at understanding a little and guessing the rest. After a renewed commitment to learn Spanish for good, I researched my options and decided to try Fluenz. GOOD CHOICE!! The style of teaching is easy, builds upon itself, and drills down on both learning and retention. I committed to treat this like a college class and do one session, plus review the last session, 4-6 times a week. I have learned and retained more than through any other self instruction method. If you have tried others and have given up - TRY THIS!!
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on December 29, 2011
I'm a new student so am still on the first CD of Fluenz, but I absolutely love how they developed this program.

I've tried to learn Spanish countless times in my life, but always gave up after awhile because it was difficult to maintain what I'd learned due to not having anyone to practice with, or having difficulties picking it up out of a book or through strictly audible CDs. I'd taken Spanish in high school, and much later in community colleges, and have always gotten good grades but never really learned how to confidently have a conversation with a native Spanish speaker. When trying to learn in a classroom setting, I often would miss much of what the instructor would be saying, and of course after the class is over the only things I had left to study were my notes and a book. But with this CD-based learning system I can repeat the lessons as many times as I want, to really fully understand what's being said. This is a huge advantage for someone like me, who is not as quick at absorbing new material as some are.

So I'm determined to do it this time. And I think Fluenz will make it possible to really learn this language, mainly because it is so thorough, and teaches in so many different ways at once (visually, audibly, and in written form). It's almost impossible NOT to learn it if you actually do all of the exercises.

Fluenz typically starts a session with a short talk describing the session by Sonia Gil, one of the program's developers. That is followed by a conversation between a couple of Spanish speakers. The situations used are ones that you would typically find yourself in, such as ordering food and drinks in a restaurant. The first person speaks at a normal rate, but the next person doesn't reply until you press the "Next" button, so you control the tempo of the conversation. Each time you listen to the conversation you can choose whether you want subtitles in Spanish, English and Spanish, or no subtitles at all. And you can repeat it as many times as you want with whatever subtitles you choose. They recommend you hear each conversation a minimum of 3 times.

After the conversation is over, Sonia comes back on and (in English) explains each word of the conversation and how they are used together. Then there are lots of different types of quizzes to reinforce what you've learned. The student has to repeat the sentences and words verbally, has to match them up with English translations (in writing), has to type them out when they are played back audibly, and you have to use proper grammar with all the accents, upside-down question marks and exclamation points, etc. The program creates hotkeys on the keyboard to make this possible on an English keyboard without using the dreaded Alt/keypad method of creating Spanish letters.

The result of all of this is the learning of a new language without nearly so much pain as you would otherwise expect. Yes, you still have to stick to it, and you still have to practice. But if you go through the exercises you can't help but learn.

There are a few shortcomings, but I think they are minor. For example, when I first encountered the part where I had to match Spanish sentences with their correct English counterparts, there were no instructions I could find on the page to explain exactly how to do that. Through trial and error I finally realized I was supposed to drag the Spanish sentence over to the correct English one and drop it there. Maybe it is explained somewhere, and I just missed it, but if that's the case it wasn't obvious. Also, some of the hotkeys for typing Spanish letters are rather cumbersome, like the upside-down punctuation (question mark and exclamation point). But again, I think these shortcomings are minor.

If you are on the fence as to which language program to buy, definitely take a close look at Fluenz. There is a reason why Fluenz Spanish has so many 5-star ratings. They have almost no marketing budget, which is why you probably hadn't heard of them until now. If you're like me, you probably checked out Rosetta Stone since you'd heard of them (they spend lots of money on advertising), but thought you'd check into other programs as well. Good idea. From what I've read about Rosetta Stone, I'm very glad I chose Fluenz instead.
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on April 23, 2014
This is very good. But learning a new language still takes work. I gave it the full five stars because it is a quality program. The developers put a lot of effort into this, and it shows. but in all fairness I also have "the stone" and it is more fun. To be fair I think you need both to really learn spanish. I unlike others do not feel it necessary to belittle the competition. This gives it to you like a "Big Boy" no games but still some fun interaction and a better understanding of what you are saying. So if you can afford it get both. This is a very good program if you are prepared to study. If you will take a spanish course in school use this first.
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on May 10, 2017
I really enjoy this program. I jumped right in and felt like I was learning a lot in no time. My first issue, though, was that I received it without a registration code, and it was a hassle to resolve that issue. Amazon was great, though, and I wound up with a huge discount off the cost of the entire series, which was so generous. I feel like I'm progressing and looking forward to easily conversing in Spanish soon. I like the way the sessions are set up - you get a brief overview of the lesson followed by an audio conversation and the opportunity to display Spanish/English subtitles. After this, the narrator is back to break down and explain what you just learned. Next up is practice and more practice on the elements you just learned and reinforcing what you've already learned in previous sessions. My only problem with the software is that it does tend to hang up quite frequently. It's manageable, but annoying. Overall, I give this extremely high marks for being a thoughtful and simple way to learn a new language.
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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 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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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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