Our Story

Several years ago we set out to create the language-learning program we had always wanted for ourselves. In the eight years since then we’ve handcrafted seven language programs, each one individually tailored to the needs of real learners. We spent all that time carving a unique path through each language to allow English-speakers to learn better and faster. While teaching Mandarin as if it was Spanish is very common, it wasn't good enough for us.

Languages are the result of billions of conversations over hundreds, even thousands of years. This is the complexity that makes them beautiful and which tempts so many of us to take up the challenge of learning them. Of course it’s possible to play with an App and pick up a few words, but to actually retain enough Spanish to ask questions, give and receive directions, and have a conversation in a real setting takes a lot more than that.

It takes a great teacher, the kind who leads, inspires, and challenges us to fluency. Conveying the magic of a great one-on-one tutorial in a digital program begins by placing the tutor at the center of learning—even on the iPhone. For those who really want to learn, our great teachers, our great explanations, and the way each language is carefully taught can make all the difference in the world. And that's what inspires our work.

One more thing. While engaging, beautiful design is often dismissed as irrelevant in education, we beg to differ.

“Boutique is a word we like. We see ourselves within the artisan tradition, which means we pay attention to details, we have a real dialogue with our users, we worry about craftsmanship, and we have the time to learn about learning. We're small enough not to worry about investors and analysts, and instead choose to focus entirely on continuously improving our own products every single day.”

Sonia Gil


Our Linguistics

The best-known and commercially successful theory for teaching languages during the past century believes that absolutely no English should ever be used to explain how the language being learned works, even if the learner is a complete beginner.

This is based on the belief that adults should learn new languages in the same way they learned their first one as very young children.

Yet, contemporary linguistics research suggests that adults learn languages differently than children. While children learn languages instinctively, as if they are hard-wired to acquire them, they lose this ability upon reaching puberty.

Around the age of 12 or 13, the brain essentially solidifies, radically changing how we learn languages. This is likely the reason it’s so difficult for adults—unlike children—to learn new languages without an accent. And it is the reason why adults shouldn’t expect to learn a new language in the same way they learned their mother tongue.

The flip side is that adults have a major advantage over children when it comes to learning a new language: they already know

an entire system of grammar and vocabulary—that of their own mother tongue.

This is why they can learn new languages much more quickly by relating the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of the language they already know to the one they are trying to learn. Although adults can't learn new languages instinctively like children because their brains have changed, they can learn very quickly. The key is to use one’s knowledge of English as leverage for learning the new language.

If English and Mandarin share a similar way of creating the simple future, doesn't it make sense to draw this out? If the English words for "automobile" and "cell phone" share the same roots with several Romance languages, wouldn't it help to emphasize the association?

By approaching the new language from the point of view of English, what seems unintelligible is made clear. This is the essence of leveraging English to learn each of the Fluenz languages.

Work with us

As our company grows, we continue to expand into a variety of areas. Whenever we have the opportunity to add team members we go back to the many resumes people have sent us over time. While we can't answer every single email we receive, we do keep them on file for future reference. In case you're curious about working at Fluenz, here are a few ideas.

Ideal team members are constantly trying to reach a balance between the right amounts of optimism and realism. This balancing act extends to being creative and resourceful without losing a single-task orientation, as well as having amazing ideas yet getting the job done. Team members either come with a broad world-view or the willingness to acquire one quickly.

We also believe in humor and in beautiful design.

Send your cover letter and resume to talent@fluenz.com.

Fluenz Spanish (LA) 1+2+3+4+5 less than $75 per level*