This article has been sponsored by Beelinguapp – Learn languages with stories you love.
The lovely people from Beelinguapp asked me if I’d like to try out their app and then tell you about it.
A new app for German learners? Of course, I would!
And I went exploring. First to their website to see what they had to say, and I liked what I read:
Our mission is to make learning a language as simple and fun as reading your favorite book.
Learn by reading your favorite type of story. Our library includes science & technology, history, culture, mystery, adventure and more. Stories are written with cues to help you understand the sentence, even if you don’t understand each word.
Think of your native language as training wheels that we keep close by to give you confidence as you read. Peek at the native translation if you need a hand.
Test your knowledge with comprehension quizzes, flashcards, and more. Measure your progress as you master more advanced words and read more challenging stories.
Then I downloaded the app, which is available from the App Store or Google Play.
Once you’ve downloaded the app you’ll need to set it up for which language you want to learn. As a reader of my blog it’s obviously German! (But other languages are also available)
If you are not a native English speaker, you can learn it from English or one of the 11 other supported languages.
You can choose between three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. You can read news articles, listen to music, and read texts across a range of topics, including:
- History & Culture
- Science & Technology
- Phrases & Conversations
- Action & Adventure
- Fairy Tales & Fables
Beelinguapp has two versions, a free one with limited choices of about 50 texts and also ads, and a premium version. The premium version costs £4.99 per month or £39.99 per annum. But, once you’ve set up your levels etc.. a little popup appears offering you an annual subscription of £19.99 if you buy it within the next 30 minutes.
I decided to be a beginner and chose a beginner’s story about food & drink.
It started with a few keywords, which you can save as flashcards. I have to say, these weren’t keywords I expected for beginner’s level, and I also thought that the story was quite hard for beginners. But it was a very enjoyable story which you can read in German and English and either see both texts on the screen or change the settings to seeing one text only followed by the other one.
I then decided to look at a text from each level from the Science & Technology section. Not something I would normally choose to read, but – again – surprisingly enjoyable articles.
As you can see in the screenshots, the beginner’s text is easier than the other texts, but not like the texts you would find in a beginner’s textbook.
I also checked out the news section, especially as I got push notifications on my phone. Very topical and always with the option to read the English at the same time.
The following screenshots about the ease of Covid restrictions in England, an article about the Tour de France and another about Stonehenge caught my eye in the last few weeks.
So, …. do I like it or not?
- Although the flashcards look useful, they tell you from which article they are taken, but without a clickable link to that article. You would have to search for that article if you wanted to read more.
- On the other hand, the push notifications give you some random new words, sometimes easy, sometimes hard and often unusual. A lot more fun than your average beginner’s vocabulary.
- I find the beginners’ texts too hard and fear they might be off-putting for those who are absolute beginners.
- But they are perfect for anybody who doesn’t want to start learning German with “Mein Name ist …, ich wohne in…, ich bin … Jahre alt”
- You can do a lot with the texts, read the German, then the English, listen to the German while reading the German or English text, change the font size, listen to the audio at 0.75% or even 0.5% (I found that speed far too slow, but you might like it.)
All in all, these are fantastic stories with lots of ways to use them. They would be a perfect way to add extra German learning to lessons or whichever other method somebody uses. As the English option (or whichever language you had set it to be) is always available you can read any article that you like the sound of – no matter what level you are.
If you are thinking of buying the premium version, £39.99 for a whole year is a good price, and if you decide to buy within 30 minutes, £19.99 is even better!
AND …. I haven’t found any mistakes – yet! ☺
So, go to Beelinguapp, download the app and explore. Then tell me what you think.