Review of the Day – “OUINO”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to a new episode of our series Review of the Day.
“Review of the Day?”, I hear you say. “More like Review of the Year.”,
And it’s true. I don’t do reviews very often.
Now, there are loads and loads of courses and websites and apps out there that I could review, and possibly make some of them sweet sweet affiliate dollars.
But I find it really hard to talk about something if I’m not all that into it and I wouldn’t use it myself. Like Duolingo for instance. Or soap.
So I’ve decided to not do any reviews unless I’m genuinely excited about something.
And a few weeks ago, through a Youtube ad of all places, I found something that got me so excited, I actually reached out to the developers and I am really happy to tell all of you about it today.
It is called:

Ouino

Yes, that’s … that’s really their name.

I think it’s a play on words with the French oui (yes) and no and at the same time, it kinda sorta sounds like “we know“. The creators are from Canada and the whole thing started out with the pair French-English, so it would make sense, but I’m not sure.
Anyway, so Ouino is what we could call a

Language Learning Homebase

So it’s a program that offers you everything you need to self study – topic based lectures, grammar instructions, verb conjugation, vocabulary training, loads of exercises, listening comprehension, speech training, reading comprehension and of course progress tracking.
It’s not the only product that does this, of course.
But there are a few things about Ouino that I found really really cool and that made me go like “Oh wow, I’d actually use that for studying.”

Now, a big disclaimer in advance: I did NOT really thoroughly test Ouino.
I peeked around a bit, but I didn’t really study with it. That’s because I am not really learning a language at the moment and I don’t have much active experience with tools like that, so I can’t really compare. And I have a very particular learning style anyway (those of you who have read my post on how to learn vocabulary will know what I mean)

So… technically, this is not really a review in the classic sense.
What I am telling you is just my initial impression.
The thing is… for roughly 90% of the learning tools out there, my initial reaction is like “Meh… don’t really care.”, whereas Ouino got me so excited that I actually reached out to the developers to laud them (and get a couple of freebies for y’all ;).
So yeah, let me tell you why I think Ouino is a great option.

Ouino – What I like

And the first is something that ALL online courses should offer in my opinion.

No Content Restrictions – Non Linear Approach

Learning a new language, especially in the beginning, is quite overwhelming and unless you are an expert in learning, you’ll need guidance.
That’s why virtually all apps and courses organize their material in a linear fashion that you can follow. Problem is… many FORCE you to follow it.
That’s for instance why I cannot use Duolingo. Their skill tree forces me to do lots of lectures and modules that I absolutely don’t care about, just to “unlock” a topic that I’m actually interested in.
It’s actually quite weird if you think about it, that an app for learning would actively BLOCK you from learning the topic you want to learn.

So it makes perfect sense that Ouino has decided to “free” the content.
They DO offer a linear progression, but it is just that – an OFFER.
They know that every learner is different and comes with different needs, interests and prior skills. And they try to that justice, by giving you the freedom to decide. You can follow their suggested path, but you have the freedom to access or skip any lecture and module at any time.
If you’re a complete beginner and you want to start with passive voice, you can.
And frankly… I love that.
Cool.
Next reason.

Rating Your Understanding

This is nowhere near as “fundamental a thing” as what we just had but it’s a pretty cool and useful feature.
For each topic or module … not sure how they call it, actually… so after completing a module, you rate how well you understood it and that rating is then displayed in the overview.
That’s a great way to keep track of what you know well and what needs a review and it’s a feature that I haven’t seen anywhere else.
And if you’re wondering how I know about it even though I didn’t really use the program… well that brings us right to the next big plus.

Great video guide

Most websites and apps have the usual promo-video where they tell you how much fun it is to learn with their app, and how easy it is, and that they use the latest NASA space tech AI algorithms for their vocabulary trainer.
But to really get an impression of the product, you need to make an account.

That’s different for Ouino.
They have a complete video guide, 12 videos with about 4 minutes each, that introduce all the parts of the system in detail – how they work, what you can do with them and also, why they made the things the way they are.
Yes, they also have the typical boring stock footage of beautiful young people laughing slow motion or smiling while studying on an iPad in a coffee shop.
But they do show a LOT of the software and by watching them you can get a REALLY good impression of what Ouino offers and if it might be something for you.
Now, they’ve actually recently made a big upgrade to the software, including new designs and a flashcard trainer.
And these changes are NOT reflected in the video guide just yet (the are shown in the video below, though)
So yeah… the video guide is a tiny bit outdated, but you can definitely get an impression of the software, you also get a sense of respect for the learner. Which brings us right to my next point.

Genuine respect for the learner

This might be just in my head, but while watching the videos I got a feeling that Ouino really genuinely respects the learner as an individual with individual needs and wants and likes, and the respect that and want to empower you to do it your way.
They’re not trying to sell you their product by telling you 10 times how you can learn German in a fun way. Instead, they talk to you like you’re an adult.
It’s often just nuances, and I’m really curious if you get a similar impression but just to give you one example, in one of the videos they talk about Ouino as the “primary tool” which you then supplement with other stuff that the program doesn’t offer. They even have a video about what to do beyond Ouino.
I felt like they’re not trying to talk you into using the software, but instead made a genuine offer and that’s awesome in a web that is flooded with landing page garbage.
And it’s a pretty good offer, at that, which brings us to my last big plus.

Great pricing

Ouino has a sale going at the moment where they offer lifetime access for about $100. Which is RIDICULOUSLY CHEAP price for such a comprehensive all round learning platform with 440 lectures and 1200 exercises.
Well, I know it’s not cheap for everybody. Some of you come from countries with a really weak currency, and $100 bucks is like a month’s salary.
But it’s cheap in comparison to the overall market and what some Youtubers charge for their Udemy or Teachable courses… not gonna name any names, but it’s a bit ridiculous.
Anyway, even if Ouino is not on sale, it’s somewhere around the price of a Netflix subscription, which is a really good deal in my opinion.
Of course, they offer the customary 60 day money back guarantee, but there’s also a free demo, which is my last pro.

Free Demo

Ouino offers you a free demo, where you get one trial lecture, you can click through all the menus and modules and see all the lectures and content that you’ll have access to in the full version.
And while many sites offer a free trial period or a portion of free content, what’s special about the Ouino demo is that you DON’T NEED AN ACCOUNT. You just click demo and you can play around.
I think that’s pretty cool because I hate creating an account or having to login via Facebook or Google JUST to check for 10 minutes if I like something.

Anyway, so those were my pros for Ouino, but of course, we also need to look at the flip side of the coin

Ouino – The Cons

And the first negative is of course the name… Ouino. I mean, come on, how am I supposed to ever remember the spelling of that. Do I have to take French lessons now?! And to make it even worse is the fact that their website is called ouinolanguages.com…. that just looks poutine tastes. And sounds like that insufferable curd cheese. #quebectriggered
But the REALLY big, serious criticism I have is their logo. A white “o” a red background – it looks like the freaking Opera browser symbol and it is soooo confusing, oh my gosh!!
Yeah… obviously, I don’t really have anything negative to say :).
The only thing that I can really think of is that they’re interface has room for improvement when it comes to navigation, because there’s a lot of scrolling to do.
But other than that, I don’t really have cons to speak of.

As I said in the beginning… I did not thoroughly use Ouino, so there’s an off chance that it’s super buggy or laggy or maybe their customer service sucks or whatever.
But they have pretty good reviews and I think the people behind it really do care, so I don’t think my intuition is too far off.
And my intuition says that it might be one of, if not THE best online learning platform out there and if you’re looking for one you should definitely check it out.
Here’s the link to their German learning homepage, where you can also find the free demo (just scroll down):

Ouino – Learning German

And here’s their video about the upgrade they recently made:

 

And here’s a link to their video guide, if you want to check that out: Ouino – Video Guide.

So yeah… that’s my review/preview of Ouino, and I’m really curious what you think. Does it look like something you’d use? Do you get the same vibes from their videos? Or do you actually have experience with Ouino? I feel like it’s still a fairly small project, at least on the German learning side, but if one of you has used it, it would be AWESOME to hear your thoughts. And please be honest. The good, the bad and the ugly. We want it all.
But yeah… let me know in the comments what you think.
Have a great week and I’ll see you … wait.. actually… I feel like I forgot something..
uhm..
Oh right… the people at Ouino actually have a little giveaway for you. And by little giveaway I mean

!!! Three Lifetime Memberships !!!

Isn’t that crazy :)!!!
That is the best giveaway we’ve had so far.
And because people always talk about the power of visualization, I thought, why not do that this time.
So here’s what you have to do in order to win:

It’s March 2022 and you’ve reached fluency in German.
What will you do?

And I DON’T WANT realism. Turn off your head and yearn for a bit. I want DREAMS!!! With details :)!
So yeah… leave your vision in the comments below and I’ll randomly pick three.
Oh, and please please please please please ONLY enter the competition if you’ve checked out the demo and you REALLY like the program and you’ll use it a lot.
And another request, and this might sound a bit weird… if paying for it would not be a problem for you, please consider not entering the competition. Or share your dreams but leave a little disclaimer that I shouldn’t pick you.
There are lots of people reading here, who genuinely can’t afford this program or who would have to save up for it. So let’s give those people a chance to win it :)!

Thanks a lot and I’ll see you in the comments!

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RuthE
RuthE
1 year ago

I looked the website over and ordered 2 programs (the second [Spanish] was double discounted!), and I am pleased to report that I’ve dropped Duolingo for them. I hadn’t realized how annoying the game pressure on DL had been, even though it brought me a long way in German and Spanish.

I have been pleased with Ouino. It’s taken a week or so to find where I definitely need to start.

I would like to become fluent enough in German to participate in these conversations in German without the dictionary. :-)

RogerH
1 year ago

Gesundheitsbericht

Auch wenn mich hier nicht viele Leute kennen … Ich bin gerade zurück auf der Genesungsstation, im Gold Coast Private Hospital, Queensland, Australien.

Auf der Intensivstation (ICU) hatte ich eine große Vierfach-Bypass-Herzoperation, die mein Leben gerettet hat, zumindest vorläufig.

Ich freue mich, hier wieder an Gesprächen teilzunehmen, und jeder, der ein Problem mit der Herzgesundheit hat, kann mir gerne eine E-Mail schicken. Ich bin kein Arzt, einfach nur ein Freund, wenn Sie mit mir auf Deutsch oder meiner Muttersprache Englisch sprechen wollen unter goldcoastlanguages@gmail.com

Ahmad Mazaheri
Ahmad Mazaheri
1 year ago
Reply to  RogerH

Cute Besserung liebe Roger . Ich freue mich dich wieder zu sehen . Ich drücke die Daumen für dich .

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

Many thanks for your review Manuel. I had never heard of the Ouino app before so I checked out the demo and a day later purchased a lifetime version. It is excellent.

Janel Browning
Janel Browning
1 year ago

In March 2022, when I am fluent in German and able to move freely about the world, I will relocate to Bavaria and spend six months in intensive training for Beerfest, Oktoberfest 2022. I will become an expert in all drinking games, as only a fluent German-speaker would be able, and culminate my experience by mastering Das Boot.

Keith Ward
Keith Ward
1 year ago

Many thanks for your review Manuel. I had never heard of the Ouino app before so I checked out the demo and a day later purchased a lifetime version. It is excellent.

Renee de la Prade
Renee de la Prade
1 year ago

Meine Traum ist… Ethnomusicologie studieren in Hamburg Universitaet. Ich moechte vielen Grooves entdecken and regelmaessig schreiben an die verbindungen zwischen Kulturen und Musik. Ich liebe Trainieren und ich hasse die meisten Workoutmusik… meine andere Traum ist sehr gutes, energiereiches Musik zu komponieren, die enthaelt Themen und Grooves von alte Musik, in verbindung mit neuen Technologie.

shauser31416
shauser31416
1 year ago

March 2022 Breaking News! A little old lady (that’s me :) ) was recently seen entering the dreaded Einhorn Wald. According to reliable sources, she hypnotized the Einhörnen with her fluent German singing of oomp-pah songs. Then she told them to stop being mean and stinky. Data are still coming in, but early signs are good.

mokcyn
mokcyn
1 year ago

My dream is to become semi-fluent despite being on life saving medication that turns my memory into mush. Some days even English is a bit of a challenge, lol. This blog is so clever & funny it is easier to retain new information. But still I struggle. It is embarrassing to be this “slooooooow” because nearly every year I visit a friend in Germany for several months at a time. So far, the apps I’ve tried aren’t helpful enough. It would be fabulous to have better retention. People think I know more than I do because my pronunciation is fairly good. That stuff I can remember! (I love rolling the language off my tongue.) This language app looks better than most. Who knows, might be the daily brain food I need.

Alicen
Alicen
1 year ago

Guten Tag Emanuel, danke schön für die Empfehlung (für Ouino). Ich werde es bestimmt besuchen, bisher klingt es super:).

Fancypantser
Fancypantser
1 year ago

Ich würde gern den 3 Groschenoper von Brecht in einem kleinen Theater in Berlin anschauen und mitsingen…
I‘ve seen it many times in English, das erste Mal mit 14 Jahr.

Sting hat auf Deutsch dieses Mackie Messer Lied gesungen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YokJ2BbdwdU
Doch man sieht nur die im Lichte
Die im Dunklen sieht man nicht…

I’ve figured out on my own what his name means.
Mackie = eine Macke haben = a flawed man
Messer = knife

jpolemis
jpolemis
1 year ago

Ohhh I am so in!

March 2022 I am fluent in German and eating my way through the country. I looooove street food. I decide it is time to take on the challenge: try every type of wurst there is and make a blog (in German of course) to share my foodie adventures with the world. Of course vloggers like Easy German make me a regular to teach food vocabulary. Fortunately I don’t gain 500lbs since I walk to each town instead of by vehicle. We eventually meet and discuss various peculiar linguistics around the names of Wurst (and how Mettwurst is wet in some areas and dry in others).

Geraldine Amaya
Geraldine Amaya
1 year ago

¿Qué haría?, What would I do? Was würde ich tun? (yeah, i used traslator for the german part)

Ich würde ohne Untertitel fernsehen, ich würde Musik hören, ohne die Texte lesen zu müssen, um zu wissen, was sie sagen, ich würde ein Buch lesen, ohne ein Wörterbuch zu verwenden, und ich würde mit anderen Menschen sprechen, ohne vorher darüber nachdenken zu müssen, wie ich es sagen soll und dass sie mich verstehen. (ah y sería presidenta jiji si claro)

Gracias por tu Blog anyway ; )

shauser31416
shauser31416
1 year ago

March 2022 Breaking News: A little old lady ( me :) ) was reported marching into the dreaded Einhorner Wald. According to reliable sources, she hypnotized the Einhorner by fluently singing oop-pah songs, then told them to stop being mean and stinky. Data are incomplete, but results so far are promising.

lisa
1 year ago

Just spent some time playing with the Ouino Program (I suppose that would be “Janein” in Deutsch?). I REALLY like the pronunciation section, something I have a hard time learning and I enjoyed using their approach A LOT. Almost worth the $100. I wish this was available elsewhere.

I struggled with the other formats for exercises because they are in a “hurry hurry hurry do it fast” format, which does not work well for me. I did the exercises on an intermediate level and did very well (high scores) but I didn’t enjoy it. I just don’t normally read that quickly, so I end up “cheating” by scanning the answer options for a few words to give me a clue, and then choosing fast based on this speed reading method. I was even able to get “fluency” on some exercises using my speed reading. But it was not a thoughtful process and I’m not sure I would learn anything this way. And I hate time pressure. One of the joys of studying for me is taking the time to think about what I am seeing. So … not for me. But thank you for your review. Now, to find some other way to learn pronunciation…

coleussanctus
coleussanctus
1 year ago
Reply to  German-is-easy

Neat, I didn’t know something like that existed. My cheapo method is to pop in earbuds and repeat after the recording. Especially the recordings that are just one word. BTW, it’s pretty handy that the dictionary has audio on the main page now.

Lisa
Lisa
1 year ago
Reply to  German-is-easy

Yes, the record and play back, comparing to a native speaker is AWESOME. It is soooo hard to learn to hear new language sounds, and then to form them with the (not-formed-to-make-that-noise) lips. Hearing over and over and approaching the correct sound (asymptotically) really works. L.

Lisa
Lisa
1 year ago
Reply to  Lisa

Do it!!! Put it on your site!! That would be so super fantastic, that even the unicorns would revere you. Not THAT would be an accomplishment…

Taniacar
Taniacar
1 year ago

Hi, Emanuel,

Thank you for your review. I had never heard about Ouino before. And yes, I feel you when you say they should’ve picked a more pronounceable name, lol. I’ve tried different language learning apps like Duolingo, Busuu, Rosetta Stone. And I feel like Ouino has a different approach and is much more complete. It might be something that I would buy, but unfortunately, I can’t afford it. Maybe I’ll save up for it in the future.
I’ve been using Seedlang’s trial for the last few days. Do you know it? I would like to see your review of it. It’s from a YouTube channel called Easy German. I watch one of their videos every day, while I’m having breakfast.

Now…

It’s March 2022 and I’ve reached fluency in German. Yay! Is this really happening? Let’s go to Germany, let’s talk to natives and practice it and enjoy it. This is freedom. Now I can read German authors, really read them, not some translation. Don’t get me wrong, I, myself, am a translator, but there’s always something lost in translation. There’s nothing like reading the original. Now all those German books I’ve bought back in the day when I was still learning it, hoping that someday I could read them, now I can take them off the shelf and clear away the dust. I can watch Dark without subtitles. I can watch plenty of movies and series and just enjoy German without being distracted by text.

This is a dream come true.

Ich bin frei!

Taniacar
Taniacar
1 year ago
Reply to  German-is-easy

Wow, I had no idea. What a coincidence! I’m glad I mentioned it. I was curious, so I went to check it and I just watched a video where you’re in. It’s nice to put a face to the name. You should have your own YouTube channel :)

Taniacar
Taniacar
1 year ago
Reply to  German-is-easy

Cool. I just read your review. But now I’m wondering… which do you think is the best? Seedlang or Ouino?

Taniacar
Taniacar
1 year ago
Reply to  German-is-easy

I actually contacted Jeremy. I’m a translator, and now I’m working with him, translating the app into Portuguese. And because of that, I have a free membership :) He’s really nice. You were right.

Annasc
Annasc
1 year ago

Such a great tool! So I have a dream, and a very detailed one. I feel like my german skills are not nearly enough to describe it though.

So, the year in 2022 I’ve reached fluency in German. Hope the medicine also reaches fluency in treating covid, so I just buy a ticket and go to Germany, where I visit my favourite band’s concert. I then wait for 10 hours to meet the front man, and then I tell him everything I’ve been wanting to tell for almost.. wow, almost 10 years!

Theeeen, we become friends, he starts to show me around, takes me to some cool underground places and clubs, where I amaze everyone with my german skills :D
We talk for hours, because I really admire his music taste and we share some hobbies.

So then, one day, he sees me playing piano and realizes – he wants me in his band! And that’s how I become a band member. And it all start just from me learning German fluent enough. Wonderful, is’t it?

Elsa
Elsa
1 year ago
Reply to  Annasc

Darf ich frage, von welches Band du sprichst?

Annasc
Annasc
1 year ago
Reply to  Elsa

Oomph Band :)

Sharonloh
Sharonloh
1 year ago

Based on the demo version, seems like a great learning platform! I really like how I can choose what I want to learn, without unlocking and all those stuff. The fact that the videos keeps playing without needing me to constantly click on it enables me to leave the video playing in the background while I’m cooking or doing housechores! The repetition in slower mode is also helpful for me to repeat after each sentence. I also like the fact that I can easily save my flashcards in sentences, rather than just words. I like the structures of the lesson and how they are according to themes. I wish the reading practice also has audio, but okay, to be fair it’s reading practice, not listening :P I think the writing practice seems more on a listening practice side for me. It doesn’t quite give me the skill I need to write when I stare at a blank piece of paper… if that makes sense? I can’t access the lessons other than the demo version but it’ll be great if there are lessons where I can learn how to write a letter to a friend for example, or a letter of complain etc. Not sure if the flashcard has a spaced-repetition feature but I love that everything has a quiz to it! The quizzes are pretty fun! From the general look of it, seems like the materials covered goes up to around B2. Not sure if I missed it but I don’t see more complex topics like environment, economy, natural disaster or things like how to put forth an argument, how to voice opinion.. It’s quite limited as to what I can see from the demo version. But all in all, I think Ouino is on the right track! —– Hello March 2022 – there I am, standing hand-in-hand next to my Swiss fiancé, reciting our wedding vows to each other in German. Excited, yet nervous with my Lampenfieber, I gather my strength to give a speech fully in German in front of a Swiss crowd. H*ck, I could even pull off singing a song in German (how about Silbermond – Das Beste?) and dedicate it to my loved one. I’d savour the moment of watching jaw-dropped faces among the crowd. That very feeling of confidence, of achievement, of enjoyment, makes my special day way more memorable than the beautiful white dress I wear. As Malaysian, I find many things in Switzerland fascinating. So many aspects of life here is so different than back at home. It gives me a bitter-sweet feeling as I need to learn everything from scratch in a new culture, yet every single day I get to learn so many interesting things. March 2022, I’ll have a Youtube channel where I share with my fellow Malaysians about life here, especially for those who would never be able to afford a travel to European countries. I’d also make videos of me speaking fluently in German, explaining about how… Read more »

kat99
kat99
1 year ago

So here goes, It is March 2022 and miraculously, I have reached fluency in German. The first thing I will do is enter random bakeries and order the most exquisite dish that I’ve always been afraid to order. I will also confidently walk into official buildings and chat with the receptionist, instead of my currently awkward ‘Ja, genau’ to any questions asked. I will also go attend all the lectures that are offered at my uni, but in German (that is really out of realism, believe me). I will also finally read all the Harry Potter books in German, which has been my dream since I first started German (I mean, Harry Potter und der Feuerkelch definitely sounds way cooler). Most far-fetched, I would want to publish a book on jokes in German, because being funny is German is a total dream.
I would continue my journey of becoming a polyglot and move on to Spanish next (12 languages in my lifetime is my goal).

It’s so weird that I don’t see many reviews of Ouino, its logo reminds me of the Opera browser. I stumbled across it on one of my language learning program hunts and found it interesting but out of my student budget, like most of the language learning options.

kat99
kat99
1 year ago
Reply to  German-is-easy

Thanks! Already replied to your email :)

Gabriela Costa
Gabriela Costa
1 year ago

The freedom to be able to choose your own learning path is something that many apps don’t allow (and if they do, you lose XP or “stars” from previous levels and my obsessive compulsive disorder won’t let me go in peace without those XP hahahaha)
It’s March 2022 and I sit at the MauerPark with a very large sign that says “Let’s chat about anything”. The day is beautiful and we are all happy and vaccinated. So people come to me and I can talk in German about any topic with natives and non-natives. So we talk about architecture, video games, politics, gossip, history, weather, loving advice, how to produce less waste, etc… all this without butterflies in my stomach, without sweating, shaking and stuttering. People will say to me, “Wow, it’s very nice to talk to you! Your German is very good” and I will smile at the memory that I have struggled for years for that moment. A team of youtubers who were recording at Mauerpark (typical, right? Haha) will come up to me and ask, “Why are you doing this?” and I will say that I have been slapped a lot in the face by the German language, and now I am happy that I can hear and be heard, understand and be understood and, therefore, I want to share with everyone that I finally got it!!
Everyone applauds, but the sound is weird… something like “beep beep beep”. Then I realize that is the sound of my alarm clock. It’s time to wake up for another day of struggle to learn German…

samsader
samsader
1 year ago

I would hop on a plane and go visit all the sweet wonderful native German speakers I have met during my language learning journey and use my new language as much as possible. Then I would offer English tutoring lessons online and perhaps try to teach German in my community. I also really want my future child to be bilingual and I want to teach them German and English. I can’t afford a German teacher and Duolingo is strange at best. I think its great you are holding this competition and the Ouino program looks really great!