PROS / It offers the unique feature of musical lessons.
CONS / It doesn’t offer flashcard or video exercises.
VERDICT / This is an effective Spanish learning tool with some uncommon helpful features, though it lacks some tools that we look for in this category.
Language Zen brands itself as the fastest way to learn Spanish. It’s a relatively new language learning program with both free and paid offerings. Its exercises, lessons and courses focus on all aspects of the language. For the writing aspect, it's excellent at helping you learn spelling, grammar, punctuation and more. It also has a unique musical module that is both fun and useful for expanding your Spanish vocabulary, which helps make up for some features it lacks.
You don’t have to pay anything to start learning Spanish with Language Zen. All you have to do is click “Start Learning” on the homepage to start with the basics. There are also special courses that focus on different aspects of conversation like greeting people, telling time and getting around. There are even courses for flirting with guys and girls, which none of the other learning Spanish programs we reviewed have. Of the 13 courses Learning Zen offers, eight are available for free – but only to a point. For unlimited access to all Learning Zen’s courses, you need to go behind the paywall.
The courses in Language Zen are quite simple. You hear a word or phrase along with its meaning and how to spell it. Then you see a sentence you need to complete by typing in or speaking the corresponding words and phrases into a microphone. This is great because it teaches pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and more in one simple exercise. Another learning activity is a translation matching exercise where a Spanish word is displayed and you pick its corresponding English translation from a list. This helps cement the literal meanings of Spanish words in your mind.
One of the unique things about this learn Spanish program is that it allows you to learn while listening to music. You can listen to hundreds of Spanish songs from popular artists like Beyonce and Shakira. As the song plays, the lyrics scroll below the player, which allows you to sing along. You can toggle the lyrics from Spanish to English to learn exactly what’s being sung and its translation. You can even start a customized lesson based on the lyrics of the song you’re listening to. This is a great feature for music lovers.
This Spanish learning program makes it easy to track your progress. The View Progress button on the homepage takes you to a window that displays an at-a-glance view of how much you’ve learned and where your strengths and weaknesses are. Alternatively, you can click on the Review tab to see a list of words you’ve learned along with their English translations. You can also check the Facts and Phrases option that gives you an in-depth look at mechanics, grammar, syntax and your skill level in all of them. This helps you understand where you stand in your Spanish learning journey.
As good as this learning Spanish program is, it’s missing several of the tools and features we look for in this category. For example, while it has speech recognition capabilities, it lacks an accuracy gauge, which would allow it to evaluate how well you pronounce the words you’re learning. It doesn’t have flashcards, videos or live tutors either. Any of these options would greatly increase the program’s usefulness for different learning styles.
In case you ever have a problem or question you can contact the company by email. Response times are quick, usually within 24 hours, and the help you get is detailed and should resolve any issue you may have.
Language Zen is an effective and useful Spanish learning program. You can start learning for free, and the lessons can be used by anyone who speaks and writes English. The music learning tool is both useful and unique among the Spanish learning programs on our side-by-side comparison chart. While it doesn’t have everything we look for in the best Spanish learning programs we reviewed, it has enough to make it worth its price tag.