Review of the Day – Seedlang

Hello everyone,

it’s been a while that I have reviewed a language learning tool. And the reason is that I find most of the stuff out there kind of meh.
Spaced repetition… meh. Language games… meh. Learn German the quick and fun way… meh meh meeeeehhhhhhh.
But today, I want to tell you about an app that’s actually really cool. And not only because I am in it ;).
Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for …

Seedlang aka  “Duolingo’s reckoning”

Seedlang was born out of frustration of its creator Jeremy. Jeremy, one of the most grounded, least ego driven people I know, came up with the idea for an app because he was frustrated with his slowgress (that’s mix of slow and progress) at learning German.
He wanted to create an app that uses native speaker video as the core learning tool because he felt like that’s what he’d like to use himself. And being a (very very good) software developer, he got to work. The app went through some phases but things really came together when Jeremy met Cari.
Yes, THE Cari. From the famous German learning Youtube channel GetGermanized.
Nah, of course the channel is Easy German. I just wanted to piss Cari off a bit ;).
Together, Jeremy and Cari (and Januzs) drank beers and created the content for the Seedlang. And the beers fun they had REALLY shows and it’s what makes the app so great.
But enough with the history lesson. Let’s find out what Seedlang actually is.

What is Seedlang

Just like Duolingo, Seedlang wants to take you from zero to hero.  So it’s not an add on but more of a learning home base. The  content organized in a sort of learning tree with lectures, or learning decks. Each deck has a certain topic, like The Dative Case or The Imperative. So far nothing new.What makes Seedlang special and amazing in my opinion is how the topic is presented.  You don’t just get an overview over the grammar followed by a bunch of exercises. What you get is a little funny, sometimes quirky story …. IN VIDEO !!!
And not video randomly pulled from the web but it was shot specifically for this app. For example, one deck is about “negatives” in German. The story is that Cari is trying to get her friend to do something fun but he uses the various ways to negate everything she proposes. Here’s a screen shot.

 

(And yes, this is actually me, in my comfy bathrobe :). I’m in a few of the videos.)

So you get the grammar topic presented in a short funny sketch or scene, and the ones I’ve seen are really really lovely!!!
This in itself is already really cool, but that’s only the beginning.
You can click on EVERY word in the transcript and get not only a translation but also relevant grammar information. For instance, if you clicked on habe, you’d get the option to see the full conjugation table. Or if you click on schlechte, you get information about why the adjective has the ending it has. So all the grammar is there, whenever you need it.
After you’ve watched the short scene, the app makes you practice what you just saw using the clips, y
ou can add words to your vocabulary deck, you can record yourself and compare it to how the native speaker said it and I’m sure there are some other features that I forgot to mention.
Here’s the Seedlang welcome video, so you can get a better impression, of course with the typical up-beat promotional guitar-music in the background :)

 

As you can see, there’s lots of stuff to explore and try, but the two things that really make Seedlang unique and the reason why I wanted to tell you guys about it are the lovely, fun, engaging videos and the functionality that allows you to break down every sentence and check on the stuff you don’t understand from within the lecture. There’s just soooo much potential in this and it’s definitely a lot of fun and engaging.  It’s made with a LOT of love by Jeremy and Cari and you can really feel that.
So bottom line…. CHECK IT OUT, bros!!!
Here’s the link:

Seedlang – the best App for German learning

It’s a Freemium model, so some of the features are reserved for paying members. But you can check out lots of content (about one third) for free and see if it works for you and if you want to give the pro version a try.
And if you decide to do it, you can get a nice 30% discount. All you have to do is sign up through the link I just gave you!

So this was my review  of Seedlang. And now I’m curious about your thoughts. How does the app sound to you? Will you give it a shot? And if you have tried it already, what are your impressions? Did you enjoy it? Do you think it is helpful?
Let me know all your thoughts in the comments and I’ll see you next time.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell  Jeremy’s latest idea: a trivia game show in German tailored for learners, where you can actually play against other students answering questions in German. I’m actually co-hosting the first “season” with Cari and it was a lot of fun and it’s really really engaging. You can find it in the lecture tree :)

Oh… and here’s the Easy German Video on Seedlang, if you want to see Jeremy, the creator :). It’s really funny:

for members :)

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Sonnenblume Y

Sounds really cool! I’ll give it a spin…but I also have a question. Are the videos ‘streaming’, meaning do I need internet to play them or is there an option to pre-download them on my phone and play them offline? I’m limited with my phone data and it would eat up most of my quota. And it’d be great to be able to learn on the go, not just at home on wifi. Thanks!

Jeremy
Jeremy

For now we don’t have a true mobile app so the site won’t work offline. We are working on the mobile app and will get it out as soon as we can!

Sonnenblume Y

I also can’t find the app in Google Play and the links above don’t seem to work. Am I doing something wrong?

Jeremy
Jeremy

Hey Sonnenblume, unfortunately we aren’t a proper mobile app yet, and are aiming for April of next year to release one. But if you register on the site we’ll notify you when the mobile app is closer to being ready.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Btw, the link above is working for me. But you could also go straight to http://www.seedlang.com?pr=dailygerman

Sonnenblume Y

Thank you, this link now works for me :) Looking forward to the mobile app as well (I think the word app confused me into thinking it’s for phone use :-) )

orientdude
orientdude

I will give it a try. It sounds fun. But the video streaming or offline use is an issue. So hopefully Jeremy can clarify this. Cheers, Steve

Jeremy
Jeremy

Hi Orientdude, yeah as I said above unfortunately we are still some months away from having a true mobile app. It’s a huge priority for us, but will take some time as our resources are limited.

weedhatch55
weedhatch55

I used Duolingo and it was OKish, I was frustrated by not being able to make progress unless got it absolutely correct in their view, and the speech was very difficult to understand on my laptop.
I subscribed to Easy German but I am too much of a beginner to get the best from it.
I subscribe here, obsessively, and am entertained and I do learn some German (and English at the same time) but for me, it is not a real course, just fun.
I also bought the Lucas Kern Learn German Easily, which I like a lot.It just needed a bit more structure for me.

Do I need another? Oh yes, and this might pull them all together. I will give it a try.

But if I had just fallen over it while browsing the web, I would have been put off by the “music” and the mid-atlanticc American accent.( I am in the dis-United Kingdom). Please no music, or make it enhance the video, not just some mindless looped jingle that makes the speech more difficult to understand.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Fair points on the video weedhatch, though to be fair I’m from NY and not the mid-atlantic :) . We’ll do a new video before we release the mobile app and we will have learned from the production of the last one. Btw, if you haven’t checked out Easy German in a while, Cari does alot more beginner content now than she used to.

weedhatch55
weedhatch55

PS Can we have a video of “The Story of Thomas and Maria with the Unicorn”?

az_p
az_p

I for one am totally for the app being web-based if it allows it to be developed cross-platform!

Jeremy
Jeremy

that’s exactly the plan az_p :)

sierra
sierra

I will check it out. I appreciate their efforts and their creative style. My problem though isn’t tools to learn, it is time or energy (enough sleep??) to learn.

I will pass on trivia. It is too easy to compare oneself to others and then feel dumb/inferior etc. I don’t need that in my life. Thanks any way.

And I agree with the above comment about music needing to be very quiet, or preferable none. [Though I don’t understand the ‘mid-atlantic American accent”. I have no idea what that means. “Mid-atlantic” sounds wet. And cold. And probably damp. I am an American, God help us, and I have no idea what that means. Mid west? Virginia/Deleware/North Carolina? (somewhere midway along the Atlantic seaboard??? Must be a Disunited-Kingdom term that hasn’t arrived in America yet. At least in Oregon.]

Jeremy
Jeremy

Hi Sierra, I understand what you mean regarding trivia. We will be adding an option to “play solo” with the trivia so that students can play with the goal of getting a high score, or even compete against themselves. But yeah, I understand that competitive learning is not for everyone, so we will always have other ways to learn that are more relaxed :)

Amerikanerin
Amerikanerin

Used Seedlang in its genesis and loved it! Intuitive, fun and obviously created by someone that thinks like me. Never understood Duolingo and Company – sorry, just don’t understand their popularity, but totally enjoyed Seedlang.

However, Easy German moved to Patreon and the fee for Seedlang skyrocketed. Found sponsoring Easy German through Patreon for each video more affordable – there is a price bracket for every wallet.

Will return to Seedlang to try the free part and see if they’ve adjusted their prices for paying members. Either way, I can verify (as a user) everything you wrote about Seedlang – it really is a great language learning site.

Easy German is also great – I hope that everyone on this blog is somehow supporting Easy German. Their videos are so incredibly well-made, subtitled in TWO languages and the exercises are better than we have in German class at Uni. Anyone serious about learning German should be sponsoring German with Jenny and personally, I love Deutsch für Euch – that girl is also bent on teaching us German. Learn German with Anja is also good – there are so many more really good ones but German is Easy, followed by the above are really Top Notch stuff. Crème de la crème, so to speak.

Amerikanerin
Amerikanerin

Ok, just checked out Seedlang and I can say a Good Site has improved by sorting its content better – much easier to navigate than before, but seriously, I find it to be slightly too expensive. The annual subscription fee for this site is fine. The different levels of patronage for Easy German and German with Jenny are fine, but Seedlang is much too pricey. Sorry, but the only way to fix a problem is to identify it, oder?

Jeremy
Jeremy

Hi Amerikanerin, I’m sorry that you feel that way regarding our pricing. With the 30% discount, we are actually cheaper than some of our competitors, but we have some extra costs that they don’t have, especially with the video production and hosting. But we’ll always be reevaluating everything, so I do appreciate feedback :)

Prue Densem
Prue Densem

I’ve tried to register for seedling but I haven’t received email to confirm. Then I tried to log in but a pop up message said I haven’t confirmed email. I checked my email address is correct.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Hi Prue, sorry that you had trouble but if you email me at jeremy@seedlang.com I would be able to confirm your account!

James W
James W

I will definitely try it out as I seem to have plateaued using mainly Duolingo, especially in listening and understanding real life speech

Anonymous
Anonymous

I’m on patreon with Easy German and I love using seedling. it is really a great app and between this website and Easy German videos and seedling – no excuses!

Julio
Julio

Is not working. Help, please

Anonymous
Anonymous

Love you guys!! I am anxious to try out Seedlang. I may likely be hooked just because you guys are so full of love & joy that I may forget I am learning.

Ivananana
Ivananana

I’ve been boored og Duolingo for some time now, and now really looking forward to spend my free weekend cheking this out (and hope its as cool as your blog ) :)

Lamb
Lamb

In my opinion , Sendlang is absolutely brilliant. I joined with a 30 per cent discount and even though money is tight at the moment , I believe this was money well spent. I am learning German predominantly as an hobby and a challenge. And German is not an Easy Language. But I only wished that “German is easy” and “Seedlang” was around years ago. I was sponsored for German is easy and thanks for the free membership. And I was absolutely delighted that Emanuel was part of the Seedlang team. Seedlang videos are fun and well put together. And the listening and speaking and hearing oneself is invaluable to actually using German. As I been learning German for years and never actually lived in Germany the whole process has gotten me to speak in German.

Trivia Quiz is absolutely brilliant , entertainment , and loved the way in which some trival facts were throw in. Trivia might well be suitable for teaching us valuable insights into the German Culture , Geography , personalities , politics ,history etc. It was great fun to play against other members.

Great thing for me about Seedlang is that it suits all levels of abilities. And there is suitable content for advanced learners. I used Duolingo for about an hour or two in the past and was quickly bored. Whereas , Seedlang has more or less captured me. I don’t understand the streaks and don’t really understand the levels.

I learned most of my German through BBC courses and programs and then some Open University. But the way in which these two approaches are working both “German is easy” and now Seendlang are taking my German to a new level. German is easy for deeper understanding and Seedlang for actually speaking German is marvelous.

Seedlang is fun , enjoyment learning. I hope in the future that Seedlang continues to supply content for all levels of abilities and doesn’t neglect advance learners.

And thanks again for “German is easy” your approach is brilliant.

All I can say is try Seedlang it’s the best approach to learning a language.

.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Wow Lamb, thank you so very much for this amazing comment! It’s great to know that people see that value in what we’re creating! Regarding your comment about advanced content, it’s a big part of our mission that we want to be there at all levels across a student’s entire journey toward fluency. And I’m glad you appreciate the trivia decks, I’m a big fan of them as well! :) Feel free to reach out to me at jeremy@seedlang.com if you ever have any feature requests or feedback as you go through the decks. Cheers!

dbayly
dbayly

i’m a long time duoLingo user, not happy with my progress there given the hours I put in, so I gave seedlang a try. The video adds value for sure, but it fails for me on a couple of points. The videos that have me repeat back depend on ME to notice the difference between the video speakers and my voicing of the phrase. duoLingo does this a lot better, even though it sometimes jumps the gun and other times misses words. OTOH, seedlang lets me repeat exercises. until I get it right. In the initial exercises, the repetition in the various modes was a bit tedious.
I looked at the prices to go pro, but I’ve blown my German spending budget on Emmanuel this year and simply cannot afford a subscription. So for me, its not an interesting proposition as yet. Please keep us up to date on substantive updates.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Hi dbayly, yes the matter of listening to yourself and self-evaluating how you are speaking is just different than having the computer give you a thumbs up or thumbs down. The best part about it is self-correcting specific mistakes, like: oh, I thought I was saying “durch” right but I was way off! But I acknowledge that it’s not for everyone, so we’ll be continuing to add more interactions and card types in the future. So please do stay tuned! :)

Micah
Micah

Really awesome collaboration here. I’m excited to use it!