Created to introduce new words in your target language in small four-word batches, iTranslate Lingo is an app from iTranslate.
Lessons in iTranslate Lingo are broken into batches which teach words in kanji or kana (depending on the word) with romaji and a translation underneath. Computer-generated audio plays automatically in the lesson. Once you progress through all four lessons, you receive a series of practice questions to test your short-term memory of the words you just learned:
- Choose the Japanese translation (based on the English)
- Choose the English translation (based on the Japanese)
- Type the correct translation (character multiple choice)
- Speak the word below
iTranslate Lingo isn't perfect. To start with, it's not very personal: while you can choose your native and target languages from among fourteen options, translations (and even the words you choose) appear in a very automated way, just like the audio. And learning words like ライス, ウインドウ, and レグ instead of the actual Japanese counterparts feels strange.
There are other issues with a one-to-one, translation-based program like this. When learning a batch of words, for example, I was given:
"Week" is written 週, not 一週間前に, which means "one week ago."
Another issue came up during the speaking section of the practice. Even though I said 一週間前に, the app heard it as １週間前に—and marked it wrong, moving on to the next item without allowing a retry. There was no way to go back.
If you stick with it, once a lesson is complete, the app gives you a score based on your percentage of correct answers. If you scored "low"—which isn't defined 🤨—on any items, you can review them from the dashboard.
iTranslate Lingo's free version limits users to three lessons of four words each per day. The PRO version, which costs $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year, allows unlimited lessons.
The bottom line? Even though iTranslate Lingo has the potential to be a useful daily vocabulary supplement for Japanese learners, with its daily reminders and simple repetition, it still lacks too much to be worth the price — especially forty bucks a year!