My opinion about Glossika

Most language learners probably haven’t heard of Glossika. Indeed, this product does not enjoy too much popularity, perhaps because of the relatively high price (30$ per month or 298$ per year), but largely because of their at least weird marketing strategy. But it’s a very good product, perhaps one of the best language learning products. And, although they have some weird strategies, the idea Glossika relies on is brilliant. But before I start this review which already seems to be a sponsorship (although it is not!), I must emphasize something: Glossika is not for beginners. Period. No matter what you are told, Glossika should not be used as the first resource when you start to learn a foreign language. You need to know some aspects of language grammar and at least 4-500 words before you subscribe to Glossika.

Let me explain a little about what Glossika means. Until a few years ago, Glossika was a company that didn’t produce anything original: some e-books, textbooks and audio courses. Many are now free, and you can download them from here. At one point (in 2017, if I’m not mistaken), they have completely upgraded the brand, moving to a new system with a very good idea behind it. They don’t focus on grammar (like Babbel does) or words (like Memrise does), but on… sentences. That’s why I also said that those who begin learning a foreign language cannot use Glossika, you must know some grammar in order to be able to formulate a sentence. Glossika revolves around only one factor: Reps. I suppose Reps (or Rep) come from ‘repetition’. Reps are the number of repetitions of a sentence already known (revised) or the number of sentences learned in that day (x5). The structure is as follows: Each set has 5 new sentences, each repeated 5 times, so 25 reps per set. After the learning process, the sentences are repeated several times over the next few days, with an SRS system like Anki. No, there isn’t a complex (and sometimes confusing) gamification system, like Duolingo and Memrise have, for example. The only number that matters is the number of reps. For example, I have 12323 reps for German and 2358 reps for Spanish. Glossika also has levels, from A1 to C2, exactly on the CEFR structure.

This is how the ‘study page’ looks like: English translation, study language, then Pronunciation and Phonetics.

Glossika is not a game. The user interface is good, but not great, not like Drops or Duolingo, which are famous for their awesome UI . Glossika is a serious resource, with almost no gamification elements, made for serious learners.

Pros? Glossika offers you grammar, lexicon, vocabulary and sentence structure, all in one. The study sessions are short, so the learner can learn as many sessions as he wants per day. And a mix of Memrise (words), Duolingo (sentences and lexicon) and Babbel (grammar), can only be completed with the addition of a ‘unique’ system of SRS (called GMS, from Glossika Mass Sentences), which makes Glossika a wonderful mix that has the effect of more efficient learning.

Cons? Price. 30$ per month. A lot of money, especially if you live in a country in which every dollar means eating for one day (hehe). I am not a marketing specialist, but I suppose if they developed a offer for using Glossika for only one or two languages for a lower price, the project would be more successful. I don’t need to learn Thai or Armenian, why should I still pay for them? There isn’t a Glossika application on Android or iOS, only a website. Indeed, the site is well optimized, but some users may be bothered by the inexistence of a mobile app. I am not interested, because I do not use my phone very much, but those who only learn from the phone can be really bothered by it.

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