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LingoDeer Review: What You Need To Know (Plus Alternatives)

Chad Emery Published on September 30, 2021
LingoDeer review

Solid lessons without bells and whistles

What really makes LingoDeer stand out from other apps is the detailed explanations of difficult topics, like grammar. However, some courses aren’t very thorough and you won’t improve your speaking skills. Overall, it’s a helpful app if you’re learning a language like Chinese or Japanese, but LingoDeer definitely isn’t the best option for more popular languages like Spanish and French.


User Experience 9
Quality of Content 7.5
Features Available 7
Value for Money 7


  • Excellent for Asian languages
  • Learn to write other alphabets quickly
  • Clear explanations of difficult topics
  • High-quality audio with native speakers
  • Lessons are entertaining


  • The levels aren’t always consistent
  • Not enough speaking practice
  • Courses aren’t as complete as other apps
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LingoDeer Languages

Korean, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Vietnamese

LingoDeer Overview

I’ve used a lot of different language apps over the years, and they all offer something unique. Some apps like MosaLingua and FluentU teach you using music and videos in your target language. Other apps like LinguaLift break down difficult topics like grammar by giving you detailed explanations.

Everybody learns in a different way, and that’s why it’s important to find the best language app for you. I’ve made a lot of mistakes on my language learning journey, and I could have avoided them if I used tools that actually helped me.

So hopefully after reading my LingoDeer review, you’ll be able to decide if it’s a tool that will help you achieve your language learning goals.

Lingodeer App Homepage

To kick off this LingoDeer review, I want to discuss the app’s approach to language learning. The most important thing you need to know is that LingoDeer emphasizes grammar. A lot.

The LingoDeer website compares learning a language without grammar to building a house without a blueprint. While this is a fair comparison, I think it puts a little too much focus on grammar.

It’s easy to fixate on grammar rules when you’re learning a language, but doing this can be a vicious cycle. By memorizing grammar rules, you aren’t practicing your speaking skills. And when you finally do practice speaking, as soon as you make a grammar mistake, you’ll become frustrated.

That’s why I think using LingoDeer along with a more immersive language learning tool, like Pimsleur or italki, could be a better solution.

LingoDeer Review: Main Features

One aspect of the LingoDeer app that I really like is that it doesn’t waste your time with a bunch of useless features. Its features aren’t flashy or the most innovative, but they work – and that’s the most important thing. To make sure you understand exactly what LingoDeer offers, let’s take a look at the app’s main features.

Language Courses

The language courses are the most important aspect of the LingoDeer app. These are the core lessons that teach you everything from grammar and vocabulary to reading and pronunciation. Each course has a different number of lessons, and some courses are more developed than others.

LingoDeer Language Courses Screenshot

All LingoDeer courses follow the CEFR framework (as well as others, like HSK for Chinese) to help you determine your level. However, I found that the content in each course isn’t always appropriate for the level it’s in. This isn’t that big of a problem, but you may get some more advanced content in beginner lessons (or vice versa).

Fluency Practice

The fluency practice exercises can help you expand on what you learn in the core lessons. I actually found these activities really helpful because you can practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

LingoDeer Fluent Japanese Practice Screenshot

I wish these activities were available for all of LingoDeer’s language courses, but unfortunately they’re not. They’re only available for Chinese, French, Japanese, and Korean.

Travel Phrasebook

The Travel Phrasebook has a bunch of useful words and phrases that will help you if you’re taking a trip. It’s available for all languages, too.

LingoDeer Korean Travel Phrasebook Screenshot

The Travel Phrasebook definitely isn’t a substitute for the core lessons though, especially if you want to become conversational. It’s definitely helpful to learn important travel vocabulary quickly though!

Character Drills

The Character Drills are one of the coolest features of LingoDeer. They’re also one of the reasons it stands out from its alternatives. These exercises show you the correct stroke order for different characters in your target language’s writing system. Character Drills are available for Japanese and Chinese.

LingoDeer Chinese Character Drills Screenshot

After you see the stroke order, you practice writing the character directly in the app. I tried a few different exercises and they actually do help. Some apps aren’t very accurate and tell you that everything you draw is correct. That’s not the case with LingoDeer (Drops is another good choice too). If you don’t draw the character correctly, LingoDeer gives you hints to help you improve.

LingoDeer Plus

In addition to the original LingoDeer app, you can also download the LingoDeer Plus app. LingoDeer Plus is from the same company and it’s full of games that help you practice using your target language.

LingoDeer Plus review screenshot

The games in LingoDeer Plus are entertaining and can help you master basic concepts, but it’s not a substitute for the more complete language courses in the original app.

It’s also a completely different subscription from LingoDeer, so if you want to use both apps, you’ll have to pay for both. For this reason, I don’t think LingoDeer Plus is really worth it. It’s too expensive for what it is.

LingoDeer Languages

LingoDeer offers the following languages: Korean, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, and Vietnamese. Some apps like Mondly and Drops offer a huge amount of languages, and others like LinguaLift and MosaLingua stick to just a few. LingoDeer falls somewhere in the middle.

Each LingoDeer language course is unique though and they don’t all offer the same amount of content. To give you a better idea of what you can learn with LingoDeer, I took a look at its individual courses.

LingoDeer Korean Review

Compared to other Korean apps, LingoDeer stands out because of its practice exercises. These can really improve your listening and speaking skills. But LingoDeer doesn’t teach Hangul, the Korean alphabet, so you’ll need to use another app to learn that. You’ll also need to find a different way to practice speaking Korean since LingoDeer doesn’t really have helpful speaking practice.

LingoDeer Korean Review screenshot

The LingoDeer Korean course can help you achieve a B1 or TOPIK 3 level in Korean. The lessons include topics like everyday vocabulary, beginner and intermediate grammar, and conversational topics.

LingoDeer Japanese Review

The LingoDeer Japanese course is an excellent introduction to the language. This is mainly because of its writing lessons and its detailed explanations of Japanese grammar. While the lesson topics are pretty generic, the fact that LingoDeer teaches you to write makes it one of the best apps to learn Japanese.

LingoDeer Japanese review screenshot

Using LingoDeer for Japanese will also improve your conversation skills up to a B1 or JLPT N3 level.

LingoDeer Chinese Review

If you want to start learning how to write Chinese characters quickly, you should definitely try LingoDeer. While the actual Chinese course covers somewhat generic topics, the writing practice is top-notch. The audio in the course is also really good and only uses native speakers.

LingoDeer Chinese review screenshot

There are some other great apps to learn Chinese out there, too. Because Chinese is so different from most other languages, it’s best to use a combination of these apps to learn. With LingoDeer, you can study B1 or HSK 4 level.

LingoDeer Spanish Review

LingoDeer is not the best app to learn Spanish. In fact, there are a lot of Spanish learning apps that are better. The LingoDeer Spanish course covers the basics, but it doesn’t cover much more than that.

LingoDeer Spanish review screenshot

Where LingoDeer does do well is its grammar explanations. If you want to learn grammar rules, it may be worth checking out. However, if you’re looking to become conversational, it’s best to use other apps.

LingoDeer Review: Overall Learning Experience

I really enjoyed using LingoDeer and I think it has the potential to be a really strong language learning app, especially for Japanese and Chinese. I like that each course is developed individually and is specific to each language. The course material isn’t copied and pasted between languages, which is what a lot of other apps like (like Duolingo).

If I were learning Japanese or Chinese, I would definitely use LingoDeer regularly. However, for more common languages like Spanish and French, I think there are better options out there. The courses for these languages aren’t very long and they don’t teach you how to actually speak.

You can access a few lessons of each course for free though, so it’s best to try LingoDeer yourself to see if you like it.

LingoDeer Review: Areas of Improvement

LingoDeer definitely has its strong points, but there are also quite a few areas of improvement. I’ve already discussed a couple of them through this review, but the main ones are:

  • The courses are somewhat generic and don’t go in-depth
  • Some courses have a lot of material and others don’t have much at all
  • The overall lack of speaking practice
  • Having to buy two subscriptions if you want LingoDeer Plus

While none of these are deal-breakers, I think they should be included for the price you pay for LingoDeer. It’s not the most expensive language app available, but it definitely isn’t the cheapest either.

LingoDeer Price

The price of a LingoDeer subscription for one language is $14.99 per month, $39.99 for 3 months, or $79.99 per year. You also have the option to buy a lifetime membership, which costs $159.99.

lingodeer price 2022

Before you buy a subscription, you can try a few LingoDeer lessons for free. This will give you a good idea if the price is worth it for you.

LingoDeer Free Trial

LingoDeer offers an unlimited free trial to all of its language courses. The free trial includes the alphabet lessons, the first unit of the course, the level tests, flashcards, and the review exercises. It gives you a taste of everything LingoDeer has to offer, but is pretty limited. LingoDeer also offers a 7-day money-back guarantee if you purchase a subscription directly through the website.

LingoDeer Multilingual Pass Price

The LingoDeer Multilingual Pass costs $14.99 per month, $34.99 for 3 months, or $79.99 per year. You can also buy a lifetime Multilingual Pass for $159.99, which is the same price as lifetime access to a single language.

LingoDeer Multilingual Pass Price list

If you enjoy using LingoDeer and want to learn multiple languages, the lifetime subscription to the Multilingual Pass is your best option.

LingoDeer Plus Price

LingoDeer Plus costs $8.99 per month, $19.99 for 3 months, or $54.99 per year. LingoDeer Plus is a separate app from LingoDeer and requires a separate subscription. The activities also don’t relate directly to the LingoDeer courses, so you can use LingoDeer Plus on its own if you’re just looking for some extra practice.

LingoDeer Discount and Sales

LingoDeer offers discounts and sales throughout the year. These usually occur around major holidays like Christmas and New Year and can have discounts up to 60% off. The company also runs a yearly Back2School Giveaway that includes a few different prizes.

LingoDeer Alternatives and Competitors

There are a lot of apps like LingoDeer available, but the main alternatives are Babbel, Pimsleur, Busuu, Rosetta Stone, and Duolingo. While all of these apps offer several different language courses, the quality and structure of their courses are really different. Babbel and Pimsleur focus on making you conversational quickly. Busuu has a comprehensive course with helpful explanations, similar to LingoDeer. And Rosetta Stone and Duolingo can be good options if you just want to learn the basics of a language.

LingoDeer vs Babbel

Babbel App homepage

In general, Babbel’s language courses tend to be more in-depth than LingoDeer’s. Babbel also has a more defined structure and extensive practice exercises. That doesn’t mean it’s better than LingoDeer altogether though. For Japanese and Chinese, LingoDeer is the better option because it teaches you to write. Babbel doesn’t offer any writing practice for non-Latin languages. You can read more about it in this Babbel review or in this complete Lingodeer vs Babbel comparison.

LingoDeer vs Pimsleur

Pimsleur app homepage

LingoDeer and Pimsleur have two completely different approaches to learning a new language. Pimsleur focuses on getting you to a conversational level quickly, and it uses audio lessons to do it. It doesn’t have detailed grammar explanations like LingoDeer, and it doesn’t offer any form of writing practice. If you want to learn to speak quickly, Pimsleur is your best choice. If you want to learn grammar and writing, you’re better off using LingoDeer. You can check out this Pimsleur review to learn more.

LingoDeer vs Busuu

Busuu App Homepage

Busuu is a well-round app that helps you improve all aspects of communication, from reading and writing to speaking and listening. Especially for common languages like Spanish and French, Busuu is definitely better than LingoDeer. If you’re learning an Asian language though, LingoDeer stands out because it actually teaches you to write. Busuu doesn’t do this. You can learn more about it in this Busuu review.

LingoDeer vs Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone App Homepage

Rosetta Stone courses are immersive and you won’t see any English in the lessons. This can be a little intimidating, but it forces you to learn quickly. LingoDeer, on the other hand, holds your hand as it guides you through the course. For more casual language learners, this may be the better option between the two. You can Try Rosetta Stone for free or read this Rosetta Stone review to learn more.

LingoDeer vs Duolingo

Duolingo App Homepage

Duolingo is one of the most famous language learning apps because it’s completely free. It’s full of ads that interrupt your lessons though. It’s courses aren’t very high-quality either. Between the two, LingoDeer is definitely the better choice. Each of LingoDeer’s courses are developed individually for each language, and they teach you useful vocabulary. Duolingo can give you a very basic introduction to another language, but nothing more. You can try Duolingo for free or read more about it in this Duolingo review.

LingoDeer vs Memrise

Memrise language app homepage

Memrise is mainly a flashcard app that teaches you new words and phrases, but it also has more complete language courses. In terms of quality, LingoDeer’s courses offer more depth and explanations. Another way LingoDeer is better than Memrise is its pricing. What you pay for Memrise depends on your device and the prices aren’t always very clear. LingoDeer’s prices are easy to understand and aren’t “salesy” like Memrise’s. You can check out this Memrise review to learn more.

LingoDeer Review FAQ

How much does LingoDeer cost?

LingoDeer costs between $6.42 and $12.99 per month for access to one language course. It costs between $6.66 and $14.99 per month for access to all language courses. You can also buy a lifetime pass to one language course for $119.99 or all language courses for $159.99.

How many free lessons does LingoDeer offer?

LingoDeer offers a free trial that includes the alphabet lessons, the first unit of the course, the level tests, flashcards, and the review exercises. It’s a good way to try the app without buying it. LingoDeer also offers a 7-day money-back guarantee if you want to try the entire course.

Is LingoDeer worth it?

If you’re learning Chinese or Japanese, LingoDeer is definitely worth it. LingoDeer does an excellent job teaching you how to write in these languages, and it also breaks down the grammar to make it easier to understand. LingoDeer isn’t worth it if you’re learning a more common language like Spanish or French though.

Can you learn two languages on LingoDeer?

Yes, LingoDeer offers a multilingual pass that gives you access to all of its language courses. This means you can learn two, three, or more languages at the same time with LingoDeer.

Is LingoDeer better than Duolingo?

In one word: YES. LingoDeer is much better than Duolingo because its lessons are higher quality, there are no ads that interrupt your learning, and you can actually learn a language with LingoDeer. The same can’t be said for Duolingo.

LingoDeer Review Methodology

To write this LingoDeer review, I downloaded and tried various lessons in the different language courses available. I also read through reviews and ratings from popular sites like Facebook, Google Play, and the Apple App Store to see what other users had to say. This review is an independent review and all of the opinions in it are my own. This review is not sponsored by LingoDeer and I am not associated with LingoDeer in any way.

Chad Emery

Chad is the founder and editor of Langoly. He was a TEFL-certified English teacher for many years and has been an active language learner for many more. His articles have been featured around the web by organizations like the Government of Canada's Translation Bureau and Simon & Schuster. In his free time, Chad is an avid traveler and loves running in new places. Connect with Chad on LinkedIn.

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