FluentU vs Yabla for Learning Languages through Video Immersion
FluentU and Yabla are subscription websites for learning languages with authentic videos. Because they include subtitles (as well as English translations), the videos are a great way to improve your comprehension and learn new vocabulary. In this FluentU vs Yabla review, we’ll start with what both websites offer and then focus on the advantages of one over the other.
Features of both FluentU and Yabla:
- available in multiple languages
- ability to show or hide the subtitles and English translation
- click on a word to see the translation, and add it to a set of flashcards to review later
- play short sections in loops if you want to focus on a particular phrase or sentence
- a large library of videos with new videos added each week
- free videos to check them out before committing to a paid subscription
- schools/classroom subscriptions for teachers who want to assign videos as homework and track their students’ progress
FluentU offers videos in Spanish, French, Italian, German, English, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. (Italian seems to have fewer content than the other languages, and Portuguese appears to be in the works.) FluentU costs $15/month or $120/year for the Basic plan and $30/month or $240/year for the Plus plan.
The video interface is quite neat and clean, with the translations appearing when you hover over the word. Clicking on the word gives you more sample sentences and the option to add the word to a flashcard set.
If you are learning several languages, then FluentU will be perfect for you because your subscription gives you access to ALL languages. Fifteen dollars a month to learn nine languages is a pretty great deal.
Yabla offers videos in Spanish, French, Italian, German, English, and Chinese. Yabla costs $9.95 a month, BUT each language is a separate subscription, i.e. if you wanted to subscribe to both Spanish and French, you would need to pay $9.95/month two times.
The video interface includes the dictionary on the right if you click on a word, as well as options to slow the video down and play a vocabulary game:
Note that you can use the dictionary to look up any words, not just those that are used in the video you are watching.
How to Choose between FluentU and Yabla
I recommend both websites because they offer invaluable exposure to authentic language. So is there a clear winner in the FluentU vs Yabla competition? The best way to decide between the two basically depends on how many and which languages you are learning:
If you are learning two or more languages, then FluentU will be a better deal especially on the Basic plan.
If you are learning Italian, there is currently more content available at Yabla.
If you are learning Japanese, Korean, or Russian, your only option is FluentU.
Let me know your thoughts on these websites!
This post was last updated March 2018.
Dr. Wagner has a PhD in Linguistics and is dedicated to learning and teaching languages online and abroad. She has studied in Quebec and Australia, taught English in France, and is currently based in the US.