Utalk Review

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Reviews from utalk employees about utalk culture, salaries, benefits, work-life balance, management, job security, and more. UTalk is essentially a fancy flashcard app, an alternative to Memrise and a great way to learn words and phrases in hundreds of different languages. There are thousands of potential language pair combinations and tons of native speaker audio recordings with picture associations.

In this uTalk review, we'll take a look at the software's interface and the content it offers to give you a better feel for how the programme works. We’ll also introduce you to uTalk’s in-app currency and other payment options to see if this app is right for you.

Our Verdict

starstarstarstarstar_borderProgrammes like this could easily fall into the trap of “quantity over quality.” However, uTalk isn’t one of them. It does not pretend to be something it is not and does exactly what it says on the box; a very useful supplementary tool, thoughtfully prepared and well-executed. CHECK OUT UTALKContentshideOur VerdictTL;DR uTalk ReviewPROSCONSWhat is uTalk?What Can You Do On uTalk?uTalk's Exercises

Utalk Languages

The Easy and Hard GameThe Speaking GameThe Memory GameThe Recall GameuTalk's AchievementsWhat Does uTalk Look Like?Who is uTalk Best For?What Languages Does uTalk Offer?How Much Does uTalk Cost?What Are The Pros and Cons of uTalk?ProsConsAre There Any uTalk Alternatives?uTalk vs DuolingouTalk vs MemriseA Round-Up of Our uTalk Review

TL;DR uTalk Review

Here are some quick pros and cons of uTalk, if you don't want to read the whole review:

PROS

  • Male and female native speakers provide audio samples
  • Lessons are fun and engaging
  • A clean, easy-to-navigate interface that doesn’t require an Internet connection
  • Achievements give tangible rewards that can unlock more content

CONS

  • Microtransactions are off-putting if you opt-out of the monthly subscription
  • Some phrases are hard to depict with pictures, making retention more difficult
  • Not enough to get you to fluency by itself

What is uTalk?

Rather than a language-learning programme in the traditional sense, uTalk is a tool designed to be used alongside other methods of learning. The programme uses dual-coding and spaced repetition, two proven methods of language learning and retention. First and foremost, uTalk helps you commit words to your short-term memory. Then, with exercises that gradually increase in difficulty, you’ll move those terms into your long-term memory. All the while being a fun and engaging app, encouraging you to stick with it. We go into more detail in this uTalk review.

Check out what uTalk has to offer

What Can You Do On uTalk?

While carrying our research for this uTalk review, we discovered that the platform has six basic exercises: phrase practice, the easy game, the speaking game, the hard game, the memory game, and the recall game.

These games are the same regardless of which language or topic you’re studying. As you play each game, you’ll earn points, otherwise known as uCoins (the app’s in-game currency, so to speak), and achievements, all of which serve to mark your progress and stimulate that feel-good dopamine.

Speaking of topics, uTalk offers dozens upon dozens of different topics to focus on. Each topic should take you about two to three hours to complete with a handful of repetitions. But so long as you have access to other topics, you can practice as little or as much as you want.

Something to note: we weren’t able to test out the My Phrasebook option. This feature is limited to subscribed users only—you can’t purchase access with uCoins. Presumably, the feature allows you to go back and review all words from all unlocked topics in your chosen language. But until such time as we can confirm that, it’s best just to see the feature for yourself.

uTalk's Exercises

Utalk Review

All six of the exercises share the same basic principle. You’re given a word and a picture to associate it with. In the phrase practice, you’ll hear both a male and female native speaker narrate the words for you. No computerised renditions in sight! You’re provided with all the words you’ll learn in that topic and given the chance to record yourself.

The Easy and Hard Game

The easy game is your standard “listen to the word and select the correct picture” exercise. The easy game is so named because it provides you with the written words as they’re spoken. The hard game is the same exercise, just without the extra crutch of the words provided in written form.

The Speaking Game

The speaking game is unique in that it doesn’t just have you repeat the words. You repeat the words, and then your recordings are then used in the next game. If you don’t pronounce the words correctly, you’ll have no hope of picking the correct answer. It challenges not only your ability to recall them but also to pronounce them.

The Memory Game

The memory game is broken down into two phases. The first is your standard exercise of memorizing where pictures are and correctly matching them to the given word. Just like you’d use physical flashcards, speaking the phrases aloud in the visible stage helps identify words when they’re hidden. The second is a timed section where you’ll have to answer as many words correctly within a short period.

The Recall Game

The recall game gives you the English phrase, and you have to record the appropriate translation without any further guidance. Once you finish recording, you’ll hear the narrator repeat the correct answer back to you. You’ll have to mark for yourself whether you got it right or not. It’s a great way to hold yourself accountable for your own progress!

uTalk's Achievements

Any time you complete an exercise, you’ll earn points. The harder the exercise, the more points you’re eligible to earn. You can earn anywhere from 15 points to 100 points. Those points accumulate towards your mastery of a certain topic.

When you hit certain milestones, you’ll earn an achievement. There are achievements for just about anything you can think of. Playing for a certain amount of time, not playing for a certain amount of time. To sweeten the deal, some of these achievements come with the added reward of uCoins. You can then use these uCoins to unlock further topics.

What Does uTalk Look Like?

Unlike other language programmes, uTalk is not accessed via your web browser from your desktop. It’s actually a desktop app you download, which means that you don’t have to be connected to the internet in order to proceed with your lessons.

As with most programmes these days, the app also offers a mobile version for learning on the go. There is no discernable difference between the desktop and mobile versions. If anything, the desktop version is modelled to act very similarly to a mobile app.

Who is uTalk Best For?

To use their own words, uTalk is “for anyone who wants to learn keywords and phrases in another language.” So while it’s not useful for full language mastery on its own, it shines as a supplementary tool. While researching for this uTalk review, we came to the following conclusions: beginners will find that easier topics help to build a foundation of pronunciation and basic vocabulary, while intermediate learners will find the diversity of topics help to close gaps their other lessons might not teach them.

Find out if uTalk is for you

What Languages Does uTalk Offer?

uTalk offers a staggering 144 languages on its platform.

  • Afrikaans
  • Albanian
  • Amharic
  • Arabic (Egyptian, Gulf, Lebanese, Modern Standard, and Moroccan)
  • Armenian
  • Assamese
  • Azerbaijani
  • Basque
  • Belarusian
  • Bengali
  • Bosnian
  • Bulgarian
  • Burmese
  • Cantonese
  • Catalan
  • Cebuano
  • Chichemba
  • Chichewa
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dari
  • Dutch
  • Dzongkha
  • English (US, Australian, UK, Canadian, Cockney, Indian, and Scottish)
  • Esperanto
  • Estonian
  • Fijian
  • Filipino (Tagalog)
  • Finnish
  • Flemish
  • French (France and Canadian)
  • Galician
  • Georgian
  • German (Germany and Swiss)
  • Greek (Modern and Ancient)
  • Greenlandic
  • Gujarati
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hausa
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Icelandic
  • Igbo
  • Ilocano
  • Indonesian
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Javanese
  • Kachchi
  • Kannada
  • Kazakh
  • Khmer
  • Kinyarwanda
  • Korean
  • Utalk
  • Kurdish (Kurmanji and Sorani)
  • Kyrgyz
  • Ladino
  • Lao
  • Latin
  • Latvian
  • Lingala
  • Lithuanian
  • Luganda
  • Luxembourgish
  • Macedonian
  • Malagasy
  • Malay
  • Malayalam
  • Maltese
  • Manx
  • Maori
  • Marathi
  • Mongolian
  • Neapolitan
  • Nepali
  • Norwegian
  • Odia
  • Oromo
  • Pashto
  • Persian
  • Pidgin (Nigerian)
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (European and Brazilian)
  • Punjabi (Indian and Pakistani) Romanian
  • Rundi
  • Russian
  • Saami (Southern)
  • Samoan
  • Sardinian
  • Scots
  • Scottish Gaelic
  • Serbian
  • Shona
  • Sicilian
  • Sindhi
  • Sinhala
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Somali
  • Spanish (Spain, Argentinian, and Latin American)
  • Swahili
  • Swedish
  • Tajiki
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Thai
  • Tibetan
  • Tigrinya
  • Tok Pisin
  • Tswana
  • Tumbuka
  • Turkish
  • Turkmen
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Uzbek
  • Vietnamese
  • Welsh
  • Wolof
  • Wu Chinese (Shanghainese)
  • Xhosa
  • Utalk Review Center

  • Yoruba
  • Zulu
  • Another feature they offer is that these languages are not exclusively taught in English. They boast lessons for native speakers for over 100 languages, making for over 20,000 possible language combinations. This is almost unheard of by any other language education platform on the market.

    Therein lies the rub: uTalk doesn’t actually teach you a language, not in the traditional sense. Sure, you’ll definitely be able to get around once you have some topics under your belt. But words and phrases are all you’ll ever attain with uTalk alone. With some of these languages endangered, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any material to get you to conversational fluency.

    How Much Does uTalk Cost?

    uTalk utilises an in-programme currency called “uCoins” that work similarly to microtransactions in mobile games. You can purchase these coins in batches of 40 for $1.99, 200 for $8.99, 800 for $32.99, or 2600 for $64.99. Weird intervals, you say? We thought so, too.

    But these coins are used to unlock topics, and they’re not restricted to any one language. You can buy whatever topic in whatever language suits your fancy, and they remain unlocked after your purchase with coins.

    If that seems too sporadic, then uTalk’s monthly subscription might be better suited for you. For $9.99 a month you unlock all topics for all languages, plus any new languages they add for free and access to the phrasebook feature to review all of your topics. If you’re interested in more than the most barebones of topics or want to learn multiple languages, this is probably the better option. Bear in mind that if you later unsubscribe, you’ll lose access to any language and topic you haven’t purchased outright.

    What Are The Pros and Cons of uTalk?

    Pros

    • Male and female native speakers provide audio samples
    • Lessons are fun and engaging
    • A clean, easy-to-navigate interface that doesn’t require an Internet connection
    • Achievements give tangible rewards that can unlock more content

    Cons

    • Microtransactions are off-putting if you opt-out of the monthly subscription
    • Some phrases are hard to depict with pictures, making retention more difficult
    • Not enough to get you to fluency by itself

    Are There Any uTalk Alternatives?

    uTalk vs Duolingo

    In concept, uTalk and Duolingo are almost indistinguishable. Both apps focus on teaching you vocabulary and phrases and use gamification to keep you motivated. But while DuoLingo is completely free of charge, many lessons use text to speech and don’t provide very authentic pronunciation. uTalk, on the other hand, uses only native speakers for audio narration.

    Check out our DuoLingo review if you’d like to learn more.

    uTalk vs Memrise

    Utalk Review Reddit

    While Memrise’s content is not quite as flashy or gamey as uTalk, it does have its perks. It offers more content for its free trial than uTalk, and hosts user-created lessons in addition to its official ones. It may not offer nearly the same selection of languages, but it certainly doesn’t skimp, either!

    We took a more in-depth look at Memrise in our review.

    A Round-Up of Our uTalk Review

    The number of languages uTalk offers is absolutely mind-boggling. What’s more, they’re always open to adding more based on user feedback. If we had to pick anything negative to say about the app, it’s that sometimes the choice of pictures is a bit peculiar. Some concepts are hard to portray in a single image, after all. And maybe the use of uCoins feels like a gimmicky cash-grab, too.

    But uTalk never once pretends to be something it is not. It never claims to make you fluent in a language, merely that it will provide you with some helpful tools along the way. In this regard, uTalk excels with its fun and engaging lessons and a wide array of topics. It’s definitely an option to keep in your back pocket for a rainy day!

    Find out more about uTalk
    Japanese

    It’s a grievance we hear from our clients all the time: you want to practice your foreign language outside of class, but you don’t have time to sit down with a course book or spend hours in front of the computer. The folks at uTalk understand that you’re on the go, and therefore, they’ve developed a simple, user-friendly foreign language-learning app that offers useful lessons in bite-size, 10-minute chunks.

    ATTENTION LANGUAGE LEARNERS! Interested in getting in some extra foreign language practice? We’re teaming up with uTalk and giving away a FREE PREMIUM ACCESS CODE that will let you check out everything we’ll mention in this review. But time is limited: Leave a comment HERE to enter today!

    uTalk is an app available for iPhone users and supports over 120 languages. It offers a free introduction to all languages; from there, the basic package is $9.99, and the premium package is $15.99. If you can swing it, we recommend the premium package, as it comes with an extensive phrasebook, so you’re never without a dictionary. A huge advantage to uTalk is that it’s fully functional offline, so if you’re in an area without internet (e.g., while traveling) or don’t want to rack up huge data fees while away from WiFi, you can still use it to your heart’s content.

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    Real-life topics

    uTalk lessons are structured similarly. They are organized by topics, the majority of which are centered around real-life themes, such as going shopping or spending a day at the beach. We’ve found that these topics are especially useful for those who are in a foreign country for business or vacation, as they deal with things that travelers frequently encounter (e.g., ordering at a restaurant, checking in at a hotel). uTalk also includes lessons on basic (yet necessary) features of language, such as the alphabet and numbers.

    As mentioned above, premium users are armed with an extensive phrasebook, which can be of great utility when you see a sign with a word you don’t recognize. Our favorite use of the phrasebook was in conjunction with reading foreign-language books: simply read at your leisure, and when you encounter a word you don’t know, quickly look it up in the phrasebook.

    Though the lessons cover useful topics, they don’t seem to be organized in any meaningful way, which means they should be viewed as standalone lessons rather than part of a sequence. In the future, we’d like to see a bit more structure regarding the order of the lessons (e.g., learning basic numbers before asking for directions).

    Utalk Review Questions

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    Engaging activities

    Each lesson comes with six activities. First, there’s a practice session in which you’re introduced to the key vocabulary items. Then, there are five games, all of which are fun, interactive, and — best of all — last only about 5 or 10 minutes. The games help build your vocabulary, test your memory, and allow you to compare your speech to a native speaker.

    The games are engaging and effective for improving your vocabulary for real-life situations you’re likely to encounter. However, there is very little direct grammar practice, so uTalk should not be considered a replacement to an in-depth course book. Still, it serves as an excellent supplement to language classes, allowing you to practice the vocabulary you’ve learned in class.

    Motivation to keep going

    All language learners run out of steam every now and then. Indeed, maintaining motivation is tricky, and the developers behind uTalk understand this. When you complete an activity, you are backed by a rewarding point system that allows you to track your progress. Best of all, completing activities unlocks new destinations on a virtual map (see below).

    Interested in Spanish? Check out our Spanish Classes in Miami.

    After finishing a lesson, you “travel” to a new place, and receive a little history and geography lesson along the way. So in addition to becoming a world traveler, you might get some inspiration for the next foreign language you want to learn!

    uTalk Premium is a $15.99 value — but we’re giving it away for FREE! Simply leave a comment HERE and you’re automatically entered to win a free premium access code.

    Ultimately, uTalk is a great tool for busy people who want to practice while they’re on the go. Its lessons are useful, its activities are fun, and its point system is rewarding. As noted previously, it doesn’t cover much in terms of grammar, so it’s not meant to be an all-in-one tool for mastering a foreign language. Still, it’s an excellent start, and will help both expand vocabulary and improve pronunciation. And the fact that it can be used offline means that you can practice your languages skills anytime, anywhere. If you’re interested in checking it out for yourself, see the uTalk website for more information.