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, you 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:
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: