Language transfer

Recently I started studying a bit of Spanish and found “Language tranfer”: Free Courses — Language Transfer

This is probably the most amazing language learning course for beginners I have ever seen. Basically, they teach principles on how to create sentences from scratch. Lesson by lesson sentences get more complex.

Has anyone here used Language transfer?
Are there similar products for Spanish or other languages?


I tried this a little for French but I ended up deleting it, because you just learn so much more with Assimil or with Lingq. With Language Transfer you learn only like 5-6 words a lesson or one or two sentences, and they aren’t in any dialogue, so they don’t have any built-in context to them. I also found that there was too much English conversation and the learner they had as an had a poor accent as well (no shade to them, I do too, but I don’t necessarily need to hear it.) I did about 15-17 lessons so I didn’t complete the whole thing. I was enjoying it for a little until I got tired of it though!

I also think this method teaches you to think too much… just listening and absorbing and then is better IMO. Not that you don’t want to not learn grammar, but in a balance with more input.

Someone posted, either on here or on another language forum, Ilya Frank’s program in Russian. I think it’s a bit more interesting, and probably more effective! ILYA FRANK’S READING METHOD.


But actually, i have heard more experienced learners say, you need a lot of material. so any first program is going to be just a first stepping stone. so if you like this program, keep doing it until it’s done or until you get tired of it and then find another one. it’s good to do if you like it and keeps you interested.


I’ve listened to some of the Spanish lessons and my only concern with them is that if she, the student, makes a mistake with a word or phrase, I don’t want that to be the thing that sticks in my head!

I think that’s a very good point. In the beginning, you don’t have to tools to do much more than drills and exercises. Reading material in the beginning is necessarily so primitive it is painful for an adult learner to slog through. Children’s books bored me when I was a child :slight_smile:

But at some point, your skills develop to a point where they can and should be put to better use than drills and exercises. Everyone is different, but I think we all know intuitively when that point is reached.

That’s exactly what happened to me. I spent 8 months with Duolingo, but eventually it became tedious and dull. I switched to LingQ with nothing but imported newspaper and magazine articles that truly interested me and my reading progress leaped forward. I reached a point where my skills allowed a more unstructured, yet still intensive learning experience.

I found it interesting but find LingQ much better to learn Greek.

Tried Language Transfer up to lesson 20, then stopped. Not criticizing it, some may find it useful. I’ve tried a variety of language apps plus textbooks. My favorites are LingQ, Clozemaster, and Google Translate (also have DeepL). Duolingo has value for beginners of a target language as well as having a good textbook and dictionary.

Google Translate is valuable (think of a sentence and type it in or say it out loud, can’t do that with any app).
LingQ is terrific. About 2 months in and it is highly effective.
Clozemaster is outstanding, IMO. Mass input of sentences. I do the Fluency Fast Track (vocab & multiple choice modes) plus the Most Common Words (listening & text input modes).

1 Like

Hi, Jan!

“Basically, they teach principles on how to create sentences from scratch. Lesson by lesson sentences get more complex.”
That’s basically a reinvention of the Michel Thomas method (, which has been around for a long time.

I think it’s very helpful for (absolute) beginners and for L2s that are very distant from learners’ L1 (in my case: Japanese). It’s less useful for not so distant languages that share a lot of similarities (say, Dutch <-> German, Portuguese <-> Gallego <-> Spanish, etc.), though.

I’ve often recommended this method as a kind of “grammar light” approach in the LingQ forum because it can give language learners a huge motivation boost at the beginning of their language journeys.

That said, it’s never meant to be used alone, but should be combined with other language learning methods (CI / Mass Immersion, etc.).

1 Like

I’ve used it for Greek, and it got me comfortable with speaking faster than any other program (although I still make mistakes and stumble a bit–I don’t practice speaking much). It’s been around for years, but I find it far better than most auditory courses. Michalis focuses on building logical connections between concepts and slowing down the process so you can improve recall. His “Thinking Method” book does a good job of laying it out.

Personally, I have auditory learning issues, so LT was the one program that actually worked for me. They have a Spanish version as well. It’ll help you internalize key concepts that you’ll recognize later in textbooks or while reading.

It’s free and high quality, so definitely worth a shot.

1 Like

I don’t have any experience with the method, but have listened to a couple tracks. However, I don’t think brief exposure of incorrect Spanish from one of the students would be a problem any more than it is a problem in the millions of live classrooms from high schools to colleges. Language learning requires so very many repetitions in varied contexts to stick that brief exposure to a single recorded student is unlikely to make much of an impression. It is also corrected immediately by the instructor on the tape.

I wish they had Norwegian. I’d sign up!

I’m a huge fan of Cløsema5ter. For people like me who don’t read anywhere near the amount they should, this app is a Godsend for ensuring literacy.

How I like to use the app is on listening mode. When I encounter a sentence that I feel I haven’t mastered I mark it as a “Favorite”. And when I encounter it later and I feel I have mastered it I then unmark “Favorite”. That is my way of creating something like “LingQs” in Cløsema5ter.

Beyond sentences played & sentences mastered, my percentage of Favorites vs Sentences played is very telling for me as far as gauging my progress. I like to play/add new sentences only when my Favorites ratio is 25% or less (I thoroughly understand 75% or more of all the sentences or paragraphs I currently have in play).

I mostly fly through my French reviews and only snapshot view the sentences without always slowing down to read them, but I always read the Japanese ones.

The cool thing they did too is that on listening mode, once you’ve answered, you can click on the next sentence and the previous audio stops so the audio doesn’t intrude on your new sentence. The audio from the previous sentence used to continue playing to completion if you hit “next sentence” before it was done speaking.

Just a phenomenal app. If left to my own devices, I’d literally be just listening, having conversations, watching shows in my L2’s, and doing flashcards. It’s great that an app like this keeps me honest and continues to increase my Japanese literacy.

1 Like

Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but the similarities are exactly why LT works so well. The “Transfer” part of the name isn’t incidental, and in case of Romance languages (I don’t know how the other courses are laid out) the course is using those shared roots and similarities to teach you the new language.

That is cool. I downloaded it. If you have already started in the language, where do you start with it?

Not used. Thanks for letting me know about this site though.

1 Like

Hi, Gigusek!

I know Latin, French, and Spanish very well.
So, when I started learning Brazilian Portuguese a few years ago, I could listen to / read simple texts from minute 1, immediately knew thousands of words (esp. those similar to Spanish), and got a lot of the grammar (e.g., the subjunctive mood) for free.

Why should I waste my time with “Michel Thomas” or the “Language Transfer” teaching me the basics when Portuguese (either the European or the Brazilian variant) is basically a free ride in terms of grammar and vocabulary, but the difficult parts tend to be:

  • the sophisticated pronunciation 
  • the contractions 
  • the constant interferences between Spanish and Portuguese? 

In my case, I don’t need this approach neither for Romance nor for Germanic languages where I can start without preparation from minute 1. However, it’s very useful at the beginning for learning the basics in more distant languages, say: Russian, Arabic, Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, Vietnamese, etc.


Yeah, makes total sense when you describe it from this angle!

I’m also learning Spanish and French and a lot of French grammar is pretty easy even this early (I’ve started very recently) thanks to what I already know from Spanish. I haven’t considered what it would be like if I was native or fluent in Spanish before but as you say it’d probably be very inefficient to go through LT at that point.

1 Like

Clozemaster is perfect for someone like yourself who has a solid foundation in a target language (like Spanish or French). I would start with the 100 most common words and keep going. You already know the most common words, but the key is in the variety of sentences and how they’re structured.

I study the sentence along with the individual word if necessary. Clozemaster Common Words uses each word in every possible context, so you’ll see a ton of different sentences using the same clozed word.

I usually use listen and text input modes, but vocab is actually harder and multiple choice is good also. I’ll switch it up at times. The beauty of Clozemaster is the massive input of sentences. How the ‘little words’ are used in a sentence structure. The variety of verbs with all their conjugations seen ‘in real time’.

It’s a sleeper (many aren’t aware of it). It WILL help you no matter what level you are at. Best to be at least strong A2 or B1 before getting the real benefits from it. Clozemaster staff recommends absolute beginners use Duolingo or a similar app first prior to using CM.