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After Finishing Fluenz

12 Comments
3 Helpful
zac.hilliker
Posts: 0
Registered:
Sep 25, 2016
Jul 30, 2018 at 11:24am

I finished all 5 levels of Fluenz a few months ago now, and I just wanted to give some feedback and suggestions. Maybe other users can give their two cents as well, whether you've completed the program or not!

This is by far the most smooth and natural program I've come across. From the $10 generic "Learn X Language" you can find in your local computer store to Fluenz's competitors, I didn't know learning a new language could be so easy (even when it's hard) until I discovered Fluenz after researching Language-learning software for work. I have been and will continue to recommend Fluenz to anyone I know that wants to learn a new language. In my opinion, Fluenz is a perfect balance between too much information or analysis of a language and not enough. I loved it so much that I finished all 5 levels in less than 6 months! And that's with one-week breaks here and there! I've come to trust Fluenz so much that I don't really know where to go with my Spanish journey from here! I already have a digital pen pal that I write to in Spanish pretty much every day. Sometimes they have to tell me to try again when I don't get it right, but overall they are very impressed with how far I've come.

Recommendations/requests!
- The Flashcards are an awesome way to practice. I can't even tell you how many times I've done the flashcards of every lesson, every level, especially since I completed the program. The "Write the Phrases You Hear" workouts of the lessons are, in my opinion, where I was most engaged. It requires you to listen while also realizing how the words and grammar you just learned are used. It would be so amazing if there was also a separate tool, like the Flashcards, that is only for writing what you hear. Even if it only included the phrases that are already recorded and used in the lessons, having this separate resource is a great way to work on listening outside of the lessons. I just started going into the lessons and only doing the listening workouts, but it would be very convenient and useful to be able to access "Listening Flashcards" on their own. Please, please!
- Curriculum. Like I said, I trust Fluenz with my Spanish, but after finishing 5 levels, I really felt like there was no finality or any direction given as to what I should do next! If Fluenz is a path to Fluency, help a brother out! It would be great to see a "curriculum," some sort of diagram, or SOMETHING that says, here is everything you can learn in Spanish, and here is what you learned/will learn with Fluenz. I don't mean individual words or phrases. For example, I only know the subjunctive exists because of comments I've seen here in the Commons. I would have just been confused every time I saw verbs in the subjunctive. I see people suggesting that it's not used as much, but that hasn't been my experience with my pen pals. We also never covered what we would call "imperative sentences" in English. Not "Can I have your number?" but "Give me your number!" ;-) I can go combing through hundreds of language-learning resources that exist out there and start figuring out what I already know, but I would feel so much more confident if Fluenz provided me with what I've been taught and what I still need to learn. Recommendations for other resources would be awesome, too. If you're not going to teach me everything in 5 levels, at least tell me a good place to learn more.
- Advanced Supplement. This kind of goes with my prior point. I would definitely pay for an advanced Spanish supplement to the program. I know recording and organizing the lessons takes a lot of time and effort, but I don't think at the higher levels we really need all of that in order to build onto what we already know. Even if it only included subject matter, explanations, and a few examples and practice workouts, I would be very happy!
- Speaking and Listening. I think it is understood when using a computer program to learn a language that you will have to look elsewhere to get the speaking and listening experience needed to become fluent. I know it's a complicated and cumbersome task, but having the option to talk with someone live would really take Fluenz to the next level. The immersion program is a great way to get that experience, but for those that don't have the time and/or money to participate, it would be great to get feedback and direction from a company you trust.
- If I have to give one criticism of the program, it would be with the way questions are translated. It is very common and casual in English to structure questions the same way that they are in Spanish; that is, the same structure as a statement but with intonation distinguishing it as either a question or statement. This isn't always the case, of course, but sometimes it was more odd to change the structure than to just keep it in line with the Spanish. This was especially clear in the very strange translations for "tampoco." You will never hear someone say in English "Don't you want to go either?" Instead, it would the somewhat rhetorical question, "You don't want to go either?" I think that "tampoco" can be explained better in order to avoid this type of strange translation. It seems unnecessarily complicated when the English translation can usually very easily match up to the Spanish.

I'm determined to become Fluent in Spanish, and I hope I can continue with Fluenz in some way!

Fabrice
Posts: 0
San Diego, CA
United States
Registered:
Sep 17, 2012
Jul 30, 2018 at 4:59pm

People who say the subjunctive is rarely used do not know the language. The interesting thing about spanish is that the negative imperative and the subjunctive are closely related so that's one conjugation that serves two purposes :) I hear imperfect subjunctive all the time too, so it is something to learn. After finishing Fluenz I would suggest you take a look at "coffee break spanish". I don't remember at what level they start teaching the subjunctive but you can ask them. I found it to be the best course to continue learning.

kenodad
Posts: 0
Katy, TX
Registered:
Aug 1, 2018
Aug 8, 2018 at 5:27pm

Think about this: http://www.synergyspanish.com/sidewaysfluently.html A ton of new vocabulary, grammar and tons of practice. You can pay for the whole thing at a discount. I am actually half way through that program and I just purchased Fuenz Spanish for additional practice. I am familiar with most of the vocab in Fluenz because of this program. You can find sample of how the program works on the creators blog.

kenodad
Posts: 0
Katy, TX
Registered:
Aug 1, 2018
Aug 8, 2018 at 5:54pm

Think about this: http://www.synergyspanish.com/sidewaysfluently.html A ton of new vocabulary, grammar and tons of practice. You can pay for the whole thing at a discount. I am actually half way through that program and I just purchased Fuenz Spanish for additional practice. I am familiar with most of the vocab in Fluenz because of this program. You can find sample of how the program works on the creators blog. The following is the kind of sentences you are exposed to.

zac.hilliker
Posts: 0
Registered:
Sep 25, 2016
Aug 24, 2018 at 5:58am

One more note that I forgot to mention....reading and responding to posts in the Commons is easier than checking your email, so the lack of response from someone at Fluenz is rather disappointing. I look at the commons almost everyday, so I know there are not an overwhelming number of posts to respond to across all of the languages. Far from it. We just have to trust that the person who answers is more knowledgeable with the language than we are. It's almost like the seeing-impaired leading the blind! They might get you where you need to go, or they might run you into a wall. ;-)

andy@fluenz
Posts: 0
France
United States
Registered:
Feb 6, 2011
Aug 24, 2018 at 4:30pm

Zac, I'd like to mention that I check the Fluenz Commons every day as well and although I may not respond to every single post/comment on here, we definitely do take note of your feedback/suggestions, etc. As for language-related questions, we've made this a place where users can help other users with their questions, though our language experts do check and respond from time-to-time.

DennisG
Posts: 0
Seattle, WA
United States
Registered:
Jan 26, 2011
Aug 25, 2018 at 5:56pm

Hey, Andy, with all due respect (and you've earned plenty of it), why don't you respond to every single post/comment on here? These are your customers. It serves no one's interest to ignore people when a simple thank-you for your comment might make their day. I've seen many questions go weeks before someone at Fluenz gets around to addressing them. That can't possibly feel good to the person who originally posted.

Fabrice
Posts: 0
San Diego, CA
United States
Registered:
Sep 17, 2012
Aug 26, 2018 at 1:16am

Well I told them a year ago that the forums are still showing "beta". Yet, i'm learning Italian (I think it's been out in 2010) and Sophie Pera keeps mentioning the "commons" as a place for people to get help and answers about the program, so it's been in beta for 8 years at least. I think Fluenz is a great program, but this website is really bad. There are "oldies" like me, DennisG and others who do their best to help newcomers, and once in a while we see someone from fluenz to help. Andy is great at answering questions about technical issues and the french language but there is definitely a lack of follow up for other languages. I feel i'm the only one answering questions about Mandarin. Like DennisG says, sometimes there is no answer, sometimes it takes weeks or months to get an answer. I think Fluenz needs to clearly define what those "Beta" forums are about, and set expectations.

andy@fluenz
Posts: 0
France
United States
Registered:
Feb 6, 2011
Aug 27, 2018 at 1:43am

@Dennis, Thanks for your response, I agree with your point of view and I'll make it a point now to respond more. I will always answer any technical questions and questions regarding French since I'm fluent, but I don't speak any other languages, so I leave that up to other users with more experience to respond to or our language team - though I agree, it may take them time to respond.
@Fabrice, we're working on a new Fluenz site and a new Commons as well, both should be ready early next year. I sincerely appreciate all of the help that you "oldies" give to the other Fluenz users here. I don't see it as the "Seeing-impaired leading the blind" --you guys are extremely helpful and give some solid answers.

zac.hilliker
Posts: 0
Registered:
Sep 25, 2016
Aug 30, 2018 at 5:07am

I don't answer anyone in the commons unless I am confident in the answer, and I always make sure to research the topic a little more before answering, so I have learned more from it, in a sense. There are definitely good responses, but there are occasions when other users offer their two cents, and frankly, it's nonsense, more confusing than helpful, or only partly true. The person who posted then has to read all the answers and figure out on their own what is useful or what makes sense, and they may end up more confused in the end. An expert in the language, from Fluenz, should be chiming in with "Fabrice is right" or "Here's a more thorough explanation" or something to provide fidelity in the validity of the answer given. Like I said, it's easier than checking your email, and you shouldn't be going it alone, Andy. It should be too easy for one expert from each language to respond to questions in the commons once or twice a week.

toltec
Posts: 0
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Registered:
May 5, 2016
Sep 8, 2018 at 6:54pm

I found this true with Spanish. The main problem was in writing the phrase you see or hear. At times after I make the corrections, it still doesn't accept it. I go back a step and redo it or go back and hit the answer without typing it and I move on.

campbelllt
Posts: 0
Registered:
Dec 31, 2016
Nov 20, 2018 at 9:33am

I totally agree with everything you said! A listening comprehension exercise of some sort is needed!

Sonia Gil
Posts: 0
Miami, FL
United States
Registered:
Sep 21, 2010
Nov 28, 2018 at 4:26pm

I wanted to chime in.. First know that we do take note and although it might take us time to act upon it, we will.
1. There is an entire new commons in the works. Easier to responde to and keep track of.
2. We do have member sof the language team coming in often now, you'll see them answering - Emilie and Apolonia (both crazy amazing, and fluent in several languages- they have worked within our languages team for many years now).
3. As for comprehension. Have you guys been using the podcasts???? Hmmm?? Level 5 is my favorite, it is basically an Audio Book, a summarized version of "Como agua para Chocolate" - one of my very favorite novels.
4. Zack- I hear ya on higher levels. We definitely do not have enough demand for full program versions of higher levels. Creating the curriculum is by far the hardest part- much more so than recordings or even programming. But a guide is something that is doable. (Noted noted!!). Finally GRACIASSSSS.. you are all the very best users I could have ever dreamed of. I feel absolutely blessed, our team is incredibly proud of what we have built, and comments like these make the work worth it. Anyone who can leave a review on amazon would really help us out :) . Cheers

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