Not so long ago in a land not so far away (at my desk) I was invited to test out Yabla. I’d very briefly come across Yabla on Twitter but never had the chance to give it a go until then. I’ve been having a little play over the last month or so and I’m a bit of a fan! So today I wanted to share with you a little insight into Yabla.
What is Yabla?
Yabla is an online foreign language video platform that provides subtitles for each video in both the target language and English. Don’t worry though – if you’re feeling keen you can choose to hide one or the other or both sets of subtitles. After each video, you’re offered a fill in the blank exercise which is ideal for checking you understood what you just watched – making Yabla more than just passive language learning and giving it the edge over watching a video on a site not made with language learners in mind. Yabla is currently available for French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Mandarin Chinese (and English, which I forgot to mention in the video – oops!). You pay your monthly subscription fee and are entitled to watch as much video content in your chosen language as your brain can handle.
What’s the good stuff?
The content is authentic, varied, and enjoyable. Also the length of the videos is manageable and non-intimidating, even for a beginner! In fact, one of Yabla’s perks is that it’s not just for beginners. It can sometimes be hard to find suitable content once you get beyond beginner level – but Yabla has the goods to keep you covered. I love that Yabla videos are ranked with difficulty ratings and give details on the accent in each video – both of which are super easy to spot on the home page. You can also choose to sort videos by difficulty rating or category to decide what you fancy watching. If there’s too much choice, just bookmark a video to watch later! Or, if you know you’ll be out somewhere exciting later, download the video to your computer, tablet, or mobile. Speaking of mobile, the apps are really handy to catch up with a bit of learning on the road. There’s also a flashcard option – if you click a word on the subtitles during video, it’ll be added to your flashcard pile. Oh yes, and useful, concise and informative weekly e-mails with great grammar tips.
Any bad stuff?
Clutching at straws here but it would be nice to be able to organise the videos by accent. Also, not all videos are available to download, which is a shame, but I’m sure this will come in time – and until then there’s more content than you could watch available to download anyway!
I’ve felt so inspired by Yabla that I’ve put together a little video to explain all…Guess what? Yabla are very kindly offering a selection of monthly subscriptions to 20 of you lovely folk who read this blog! You will get a free 1 month trial in the language of your choice! All you have to do is leave a comment saying why you’d love to try Yabla and the winners will be picked at random on November 14th 2014. The giveaway will close at 23.59GMT on November 13th 2014. Good luck!
Do you use Yabla? What do you think? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below!