Rype is a subscription-based language-learning site through which you can access 30-minute or 60-minute language lessons with a top-notch tutor.
The languages available through the site are: English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Italian and Arabic. According to a Medium post by founder Sean Kim, the site is working toward making Japanese, Russian, Portuguese available, too.
Kim launched the site because he saw an opportunity to provide a website for language learning that combined expert teachers, fair prices and was designed for busy people.
Language learning has been a big business for a long time. Language schools, private tutors, and software reigned supreme for many years. As apps have emerged first through Facebook and then through mobile phones, language learning has become more accessible than ever.
Therefore, it’s important to be discerning about how you learn a language. It takes a lot of time and, in most cases, a lot of money.
Our review will help you make the right decision by doing an in-depth analysis of the following aspects of Rype
- How the site works (signing up, doing lessons, etc.)
- How much it costs
- How it compares to language school and software
Once we’ve covered each of these areas, we’ll conclude our review talking about the site’s pros and cons, then let you know who we think is a good fit for the site.
How Rype Works
To understand what the user experience is like, we signed up for a seven-day free trial. Because of this, we were able to set up an account, search through their teacher database and get a pretty hands-on grasp of what the service does and doesn’t do.
If you’re like us and sign up for the free trial, the process will require a credit card number, your full name, email address, and a password. You’ll also be asked which language you want to learn.
Once you have this information entered, your free trial kicks in and you click through a couple of screens to get to your dashboard, which is comprised of a booking page and a reservation page.
When we clicked on the option to book a lesson, Rype’s strength really shined: the booking engine. The site allows you to pick days and time ranges during which you’re available, kind of like how you can choose flights based on dates and departure times.
The site will narrow down your search results and provide you with a real-time list of which teachers are available at the times you’re available.
Booking a time is as simple as clicking one button and, if necessary, leaving a few notes for your teacher.
Head to the Reservations tab to view the upcoming lessons you’ve reserved and to cancel them or reschedule them.
As for the quality of the teachers you find, Rype’s website claims that all of their teachers "have professional teaching experience and have their own resources when it comes to teaching you a language. This means that language lesson plans will vary from teacher to teacher, language to language, and so on."
Rype’s teachers have professional teaching experience and will work with you to come up with a lesson plan that will help you reach your language-learning goals.
The Rype Language Hacking Course and eBook
One of the things we noticed Rype’s home page is their Masterclass language series, a four-part video course designed to expedite your learning process by providing tips gleaned from linguists and language-learning experts.
Basically, this course is intended to supercharge your language learning through advice from people who know languages inside and out.
Rype’s founder says that Rype users who do the course show more progress in their lessons than those who don’t. The video series is free for those who enter their email address.
Rype also offers a free ebook with helpful tips for learning languages quicker.
Based on our research of Rype, the two easiest ways to reach them are by the chat support they have on their website and by scheduling a call with their support specialist Michele, who, according to her chat profile, is based in Cape Coral, FL.
We asked Michele if it was possible to book same-day sessions. After two hours, we’d yet to receive a response, which isn’t entirely out of the ordinary. Many companies who use chat support will respond by email later in the day or the following day.
However, a few days later, we sent an email requesting that our free trial be canceled and Michele responded within minutes.
Rype has a two-tiered fee structure: Rype GO and Rype X. Rype GO gets you unlimited 30-minute sessions each month. Rype X gets you unlimited 1-hour sessions.
Here’s a table of the cost of each of these plans...not that the "12 months paid monthly" means you’re signing a 12-month contract to use Rype but you’re paying monthly instead of yearly:
|Membership type||Rype GO||Rype X|
|12 months paid yearly||$1,380 annually||$2,580|
|12 months paid monthly||$135 per month||$235 per month|
|Month-to-month||$175 per month||$295 per month|
Rype X presents the better value because you’re getting lessons that are twice as long as Rype GO but the fees are less than twice as much. However, you’ll have to decide for yourself if you have the time for the one-hour sessions that come with X.
Rype’s FAQ section notes that you could be on the hook for cancellation fees if you end your contract early.
How do these prices compare to other types of language learning like language schools and software? That’s what we’ll cover in the next section.
How Rype Compares to Language Schools, Language Software and Other Sites
Rype offers an advantage over language school because you get to do your lessons from the comfort of your own home. If you want to learn Spanish in bed, you can learn Spanish in bed. Also, you can work with your instructor to come up with a personalized lesson plan tailored to your ability and skill.
Software like Rosetta Stone, on the other hand, is equally as convenient but it doesn’t leverage real-life conversations between an expert and a student, nor does it tailor a lesson plan to your ability.
And, speaking as someone who went to language school and was learning Spanish in Spain, it’s the face time with real humans – the listening, processing and responding – that really sharpens your skills.
The main advantage to software, though, is that it’s cheaper than language school and Rype. A one-year subscription costs $179.
As far as language schools go, my experience is that their curriculum is designed for groups at certain skill levels.
Basically, they group everyone together based on how good they are at the language, then teach them in bulk. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if their classes are conversation-heavy and your goal is to be conversational.
There isn’t nearly the customization that you could get from a Rype lesson plan, but, then again, some language schools offer private sessions where you can fine-tune your skills in a one-on-one setting. However, these lessons come at an additional cost, in most cases.
As far as cost goes, language schools in the United States can be more expensive or cheaper than Rype’s annual or monthly fees.
For example, taking a Spanish course at a local community college may be around $400 for a four-month semester, whereas four months of Rype GO at the month-to-month rate would be more than $700.
The advantage Rype has over taking language courses at a community college is that you can take lessons at any time during the day because you can form your lesson schedule around your work and family schedule.
Colleges and/or language schools tend to offer courses at specific times during the day, times that don’t change to accommodate your situation.
Pros, Cons and Who Rype Is Good For
Rype’s strengths are that you can choose lesson times that work for you and you can take as many lessons as you need for one flat rate. We also like how their teachers have, according to Rype, professional teaching experience.
The downside to the site is that, while you get to spend 30 or 60 minutes with a private tutor, the monthly fees you’ll pay may not be doable for you if you’re on a tight budget. Granted, those fees are cheaper than what you’d pay for a language school or weekly sessions with a tutor in your area.
In our opinion, Rype is an excellent choice for someone who doesn’t have much time to take language lessons and wants a way to get private lessons at times that are convenient for you.
Also, based on our research, we think this site is best for someone who is disciplined. Your Rype membership could easily turn into a gym membership in which you’re paying every month but not using Rype’s teachers.