Babbel review

Course Review

  • About 60,000 lessons with 10,000 hours of content, in a bite-sized lesson format
  • Ideal for absolute beginners and intermediate learners
  • Available on iOS, Android, Web
  • Available languages: As of Dec 2019 – 14 Languages – Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Polish, Russian, Dutch, Turkish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Indonesian, English

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Review

One of the earliest language learning apps was Babbel, which was founded in 2007. It operates entirely off paid subscriptions. It offers an ad-free language learning environment for beginners to intermediate level students.

It is relatively cheap and easy to use compared to other language apps on the market. Indeed, the statistics speak for themselves, as Babbel already has 2 million paid subscriptions internationally and growing. Scottish Equity Partners

Aimed mainly at beginner learners, it is perfect for learning a new language from scratch. Or if you are at an intermediate level, looking to boost your vocabulary or improve your use of sentence structures.

However, the user interface is not pretty to look at, and some exercises can feel dull and repetitive at times. So, if you have problems with motivation, you might want to check out some other apps on the market. Babbel should primarily be used as a support to other learning methods or more advanced language apps.

Content

The course content comprises of 60,000 lessons, covering 10,000 hours of language learning content overall. The Babbel apps helps you use most of the skills needed to learn a language. Your skills are honed by carrying out different tasks, such as completing sentences with missing words, translating, placing words in order and replicating phrases and words.

Babbel’s lessons are mainly quiz-styled and use audio, pictures and words to help you with the grammar and vocabulary of your chosen language.

Review Feature

This feature automatically reminds you of words and phrases so that you can practice. The system uses spaced repetition, a concept from psychology that helps with learning and retention by repeating information at certain time intervals. It is a method that helps move vocabulary that you have learned from your short-term memory to your long-term memory.

The Review feature determines when an item has been placed in your long-term memory. It will move you on to the next stage in the course.

Review is set up to remind you automatically, and it knows precisely what vocabulary to present to you for optimum learning. Although this method does work, it can end up creating a bit of a boring environment as you are constantly reviewing everything. But for others, this might be the perfect way to learn.

Speech Recognition

If you are interested in working on your pronunciation you can enjoy using Babbel’s speech recognition technology. You are able to compare your voice to native speakers which is great to boost your confidence as you work through the course.

Babbel For Business

Since 2017, around 400 companies from different industries have already been using the Babbel for Business program. It has helped them create multilingual teams and increase innovation and productivity in their business.

Usability

User Interface

Babbel will not win any awards for design soon. It is easy to use for the average person who has no tech knowledge. But when it comes to its aesthetic appeal, it is very disappointing. So, if you like your apps with a bit of flair, Babbel is certainly not for you.

Also, you end up doing exercises that can be quite boring and repetitive. The variety of exercises available can also be an issue. If you someone who enjoys lots of variety when you use an app, and keep you engaged, then Babbel might be sadly lacking in that respect.

Does It Work

Regardless of its flaws, 73% of Babbel’s users in a study have indicated that within only 5 hours, they were able to have a simple conversation. Also, research conducted in 2016, found that 92% of the participants were able to improve their language proficiency using Babbel after only two months.

Tracking Your Progress

You can use Babbel on any platform. There is also an activity tracker that tracks your weekly learning. Your learning can be monitored in My Activity. There is also an area which involves building dots on a board and building a habit. This system can help provide a motivational boost for some people.

Babbel works by introducing learners to practical words and phrases that they would normally use on an everyday basis. They ensure that that this is pushed in the language that they are aiming to learn.

This technique helps new speakers to use conversational phrases when they are communicating with others who speak the language.

Babbel then uses these common words in further activities and quizzes to ensure that the learner understands them and to reinforce the proper use of them. The program then guides users to start using their newly learned words in their phrases and simulated conversations.

Like most of the language apps around, Babbel, is specifically designed for busy people. The lessons are bite-sized and can be as short as 15 or 30 minutes.

The inside game mechanics have been designed to try and make sure that language students stay motivated to achieve set goals. So far, research has found that the average user continues to learn Babbel for more than 12 months, so they must be doing something right.

Tailored Especially For You

The course has been designed so that each language you are learning is tailored to your native language. It has been determined that there is a direct connection to how you learn, based on your native language. Babbel cleverly offers different individual paths for you to learn in this way. This pathway builds on grammatical concepts that are shared with your mother tongue. It is also designed to skip over any mutual words that you may already know.

There is the standard placement quiz that helps Babbel to determine where you need to start in the course itself. The course categories themselves are related to topical issues, vocabulary or grammar.

As mentioned earlier, Babbel helps you work on all the skills required to learn a language.

You also have the freedom to move from one level to another of your choosing. This flexibility is not always available in other language apps. This luxury means that you can have more control on your language learning. It also opens the app up a bit more for more advanced users as they can skip to where they would prefer to be in the course.

Cost

Subscription Membership

When you take out a paid membership with Babbel, you have unlimited access to the language program on both the website and mobile apps. Babbel also offers a money-back guarantee for up to 20 days from the date of purchase. This option is super handy if you decide it is not your cup of tea after all.

The prices are very competitive in the market, and the six-month and yearly plans are the most economical by far. There is a free version of Babbel that you can also try out, but you only receive a few basic language lessons, and then you quickly hit the subscription paywall.

Although the subscriptions are competitive, you must pay for every single language you want to learn. This extra cost can turn Babbel into an expensive language app if you have more language learning aspirations.

Current prices for Babbel are as follows:

  • One month is €9.95 per month
  • Three months is €6.65 per month
  • Six months is €5.55 per month
  • Twelve months is €4.95 per month

Summary

Babbel is a great language learning solution if you are looking to learn a language for the first time. It can also be a useful tool for intermediate level students that want to review what they have learned so far. It can help them further advance their grammar and help with sentence construction.

It is very affordable in comparison to other language apps, especially if you decide to opt for the longer-term subscriptions, such as six months or yearly. You also have a 20-day money-back guarantee which is great if you decide it is not for you after all.

However, it is only best used as a support for any form of serious language learning. If you want to advance further in a language and become fluent, you must consider using more advanced apps.

The repetitive nature of the course may become too boring for some people. The user interface is quite basic and not aesthetically pleasing on the eye. Also, the cost of the course can jump quite a bit if you want to learn more than one language. This extra cost is because you must pay for them individually. Whereas, other courses offer several languages for a lower price overall.

Pros & Cons

Very competitive pricing and easy to useNo development of conversation skills
Flexible and individual learning planUnable to download material
Helps build most language learning skillsRepetitive lessons
Caters only for beginners and intermediate level students
Must pay subscription for every different language

User Reviews

one of the best programs

5.0 rating
July 2

I have not tried all the other programs but I honestly think that this is one of the best apps out there.

Kirk

deceiving subscription

1.0 rating
December 2

some languages only offer the basic level but it let me still subscribe to it for 1 year. I had completed it after only 1 month and now I still got to pay the rest of the 11 months without getting any benefit.

Sarah Sundrik

political correctness?

3.0 rating
November 15

come on guys, why would you change the word “firemen” to “firefighters”? trying to be political correct at any cost is just stupid.

Max B.

new app is bad

3.0 rating
August 25

I don’t like the newly updated app at all. When I want to repeat the learned material I can no longer write the correct answers, but I have to click on the answers. This won’t teach you how to write at all.

Steve S

Fun to use

4.0 rating
April 2

Learning with Babbel is a lot of fun and I’m enjoying compared to other learning apps. I’m also making a ton of progress with it.

Tom Harvery

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