The country of the Philippines has recently been designated as Newly Industrial and also as an Emerging Market, so there is no better time to learn to speak or polish up on the Filipino language.
Filipino is, in fact, one of the most geographically dispersed languages in the world, second only to English. It is likely that whether planning your next exotic vacation, connecting with business prospects, or learning about other cultures, you have come across Filipino or one of its close relatives. FilipinoPod101, created by Innovative Languages, is one of the quickest ways we’ve found to learn Filipino on your own time.
Filipino vs. Tagalog
Wait, you might think, shouldn’t I learn to speak Tagalog? Isn’t that what is spoken in The Philippines?
The answer is yes, along with many other dialects that are all variations of Filipino. Tagalog is spoken by about 1/3 of the country’s population and is very wide-spread throughout the world.
It is widely used in public communications and government affairs. To better understand the relationship between Filipino and Tagalog, you can compare British English to American English. Both speakers can be understood by each other, and generally the only differences are spelling and dialects.
FilipinoPod101 Review: Overview
FilipinoPod101 boldly proclaims that it will teach you the Filipino language in the most fun, easiest, and fastest way. You can quickly try out a free lesson before even signing up. Once you decide to sign up for a monthly subscription, you have a free lifetime account. Then, you can choose your subscription options. A seven-day trial period is absolutely free.
With your free account, you have access to audio and video lessons, learning tools like flashcards, and common Filipino word lists. Upgrade to one of the monthly subscription plans, and you will receive access to:
- English translations, lesson notes, and quizzes
- Interactive vocabulary and phrase learning tools
- Thousands of video and audio podcast lessons by native Filipino speakers
- Mini-lessons delivered to your inbox each day
- One-on-one instruction with a native speaker (PremiumPLUS subscription)
What We Liked About FilipinoPod101
We really enjoyed the time we spent learning on the platform. Here are the things we liked the most:
What we Didn’t Like About FilipinoPod101
No language learning program is perfect and this one has a few downsides. Here’s what we didn’t love:
What are the Lessons Like
The lessons do not need to be completed in order, which offers you further customization of your learning. However, they are structured to take you up the ladder toward fluency. Absolute Beginners start out with learning “hello” and how to introduce themselves. Beginner level starts with learning “I love you” and other simple phrases.
Intermediate lessons start off with speaking during interactions with others, and Advanced learners begin to learn about Metropolitan Manila and the government. In all levels of the lessons, the Philippine culture is sprinkled throughout immersing you deeper into the history of the Philippines.
Who Should Buy FilipinoPod101?
FilipinoPod101 is an exceptional learning tool for those who:
- want to quickly learn useful phrases for an upcoming vacation or business trip
- plan to expand their business to the Philippines
- do not have time to attend or cannot find classes
- want to know how to learn Filipino quickly and effectively
- thrive with independent study programs
Who Shouldn’t Buy FilipinoPod101
Since everyone learns best in different ways, you cannot find an all-encompassing language learning program. Those who may not benefit from FilipinoPod101 include those who:
- need feedback or additional instruction
- lack focus and dedication
- thrive in a classroom environment
FilipinoPod101 vs. The Competition
There are quite a few apps and programs that promise to teach you to speak Filipino. The truth is that most of these free apps are nothing more than a glorified translation dictionary. This means they truly can’t compare to the in-depth learning you will find in FilipinoPod101.
Since Filipino is not a highly-sought language, you will find little in the way of local community college courses and even online materials. Here is a brief comparison of the few we did find.
FilipinoPod101 vs. MyLanguageExchange.com
My Language Exchange claims to be the best way to learn Filipino. The idea is fairly simple. You are paired with a Filipino speaker who wants to learn English (or your native language.) All lessons are planned by a certified teacher and are hosted on the website.
There is no educational requirement of your paired speaker, so you may not receive correct information from them. If used in conjunction with another learning application, this could be highly beneficial but not as a primary way to learn Filipino.
FilipinoPod101 vs. Rosetta Stone Tagalog
First, we must note that standardized Filipino language learning programs are few and far between. We did find Rosetta Stone offers courses so you can learn to speak Tagalog. While many speak this version of Filipino, we prefer to start learning with the standardize version first.
That being said, Rosetta Stone offers a 3-day trial period for their latest available lesson. You can then decide whether you want to sign up for 3-, 6-, 12- or 24-month subscription with an increasing discount for the longer the term. You can add tutoring online for an additional fee. Though you receive access to both the desktop version and mobile app, you will need to purchase a microphone and speakers to get the most from this system.
Is it Worth the Money?
Ultimately, that depends on how keen you are to learn Filipino. We recommend testing the free 7-day trial, and seeing if you find it useful for your level and learning style. This is a great option for those who are on the edge about learning Filipino.
Dedicated learners will certainly benefit from a Premium or PremiumPLUS subscription with one-on-one instruction included. If you’ve already made up your mind and have decided to get a membership, use our link below to get 30% off.
The Secret Lifetime Membership Option
I’ll be honest: I’m not a big fan of paying monthly (or even yearly) for something. If this is you too, there’s a secret lifetime membership option that you may not have heard about.
For the price of roughly 3-4 years membership, you can get lifetime access to FilipinoPod101. If you know you’re a lifelong learner and are dedicated to a long term goal, this might be your best bet.
For the obsessive polyglots out there, there’s also an option to purchase lifetime premium access to all 34 languages (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, French… etc). It’s not cheap, but could be great value for the right person.
Important Note: I think it’s worth noting that Innovative isn’t one of these fly-by-night product makers that abandon their products after selling a bunch of lifetime memberships. They’ve been around for years and are constantly improving the interfaces and releasing new lessons. In fact, I’ve been using their JapanesePod program for years!
FilipinoPod101 Review: Summary
We can confidently recommend FilipinoPod101 for both Philippines expats and leisure travelers alike. With a mobile app and online access to FilipinoPod101’s entire learning library, you can easily fit learning Filipino into your already busy lifestyle.