“Fabulo” App Review (Android, All Ages)

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Ever since I realized I practice foreign languages more with phone apps than computer programs, I’ve been trying to find a language app that can match the quality and effectiveness of other language apps such as Duolingo and Babbel (Unfortunately neither of these apps offer Tagalog/Filipino). After searching through the Play Store for a good 30 minutes and experimenting with some ineffective Tagalog language apps, I finally came across a wonderful (and free!) app called “Fabulo” from Android developer Hallberg Ryman.

Highlights

  • Free and easy to use!
  • Does not cost extra to have access to the entire app
  • Uses different strategies to teach sentence structure and grammar
  • Utilizes repetition to ensure that your memory retains vocabulary words
  • Comes in the following languages: German, English, Danish, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Serbian, Bosnian, French, Italian, Turkish, Hungarian, Greek, Portuguese, Slovak, Tagalog, Croatian, Latvian, Czech, Lithuanian, Spanish, Polish

What makes this app so great is Fabulo’s approach to learning a language. Like most language apps, it splits vocabulary words into different categories such as “First Words,” “Color,” “Counting,” etc. Once you start a new category, the app teaches you the language by introducing you to basic vocabulary. It uses several strategies to teach vocabulary:

  • Matching vocabulary words with a photo
  • Using multiple choice – The app will show you a photo and then you are presented with four different words. You then select the matching word.

After you have learned a certain number of vocabulary words, the app starts using the vocabulary words in three different ways to maximize your learning. I appreciate how the app takes the same vocab words and shows you how to use the words in every day situations.

  • Fill in the blank – The app gives you a sentence and then you fill in the blank. This helps you see how the vocabulary word is used in every day sentences.
  • Translating a sentence – The app gives you a language in Tagalog and you have to translate it to English (or vice versa). This is great for reinforcing if you truly understand grammar concepts.
  • Putting a sentence in order – Sometimes the app will scramble the words of a sentence, and it’s up to you to put the sentence back in the correct order. This also reinforces proper sentence structure.

Another reason why this app stands out is because of its emphasis on repetition. Completingone category literally took me 30 minutes straight (which is much longer than other language apps). And one category will probably only focus on 20 words, but you practice the same 20 words repeatedly in different situations. Once you get addicted to this app, it’s easy to lose track of time. I found myself already on this app for over an hour, but I was learning a lot as well!

The only downside of this app is the navigation. Make sure that when you choose your category, don’t choose “All Words” or else you’ll be practicing the words in every single category! Once you start practicing, there’s a status bar in the top right corner of the screen to let you know your progress. If you see that your status bar hasn’t increased in a while, then you might be in the “All Words” category.

I’m happy to finally find a Tagalog app that is pretty effective! Thanks again “Fabulo”!

App screenshots

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Disclosure: All views and opinions with regard to the products or the company are my own and were not influenced by the company.

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