Learning a new language is challenging for anyone, especially if you’re trying to pick it up as an adult. Whether you’re learning for work opportunities, an upcoming holiday or maybe even for a love interest, there are many language-learning apps out there that claim they can help you learn your chosen language.
We’ve reviewed one of the most popular language-learning apps out there, Babbel, so you can decide whether to try it out or not so you don’t need to waste your time. Babbel claims to be able to help you learn 14 languages, which is not as many as the Memrise app, which has more languages to choose from. We have all the answers to the questions you have about the popular language app. We’ll go over the basics you need to know.
Babbel App Review
My first observation about the app is that it is really easy to navigate and definitely feels like a ‘premium’ app. It’s simple to navigate and in my experience wasn’t glitchy or slow.
Of course, you would expect this with Babbel being within the intermediate pricing range, the Babbel app is a good choice if you’re already past the beginner stage of your chosen language, and are ready to commit to learning.
One of the great features is that there is a great range of courses that you can choose to suit your level: newcomer, beginner, pre-intermediate, intermediate, advanced and a whole range in between. It’s particularly useful if you’re keen to practise vocabulary and sentence structures.
You can go between the different levels as you please, so you need to ‘complete’ a level before moving on to the next like is the case with some of its competitors.
Babbel does have some good features that the other language apps don’t have and it can be a strong complementary way of learning along with in-person or one-to-one online lessons.
But there may be some options out there that offer good features for a lower price, or even for free. These options may well be better suited to your needs, especially if you’re a beginner.
We’re going to explore some of the pros and cons of the Babbel app, talk about how to use it and answer some questions that you might have about the popular language-learning app.
Pros and cons of the Babbel app
- One of the main pros of the Babbel app is that it lets you jump around between levels if you feel what you’re doing is too easy or too difficult. This is a feature that many of the other language learning apps out there don’t offer. So you don’t need to ‘complete’ a level before moving on to the next.
- Another pro is that Babbel offers a wide range of different courses, so you don’t need to follow just one set curriculum. You have the option to do a business language course, or just focus on listening or speaking, for example.
- Babbel is definitely a good option for those who already have some foundational knowledge of the language.
- Another great feature of the app is that you can book live classes with their tutors. While the classes seem to gear towards the lower levels, this is a great feature that many other language learning apps don’t offer.
- One of the cons about the app is that membership does not allow access to all language courses, so if you want to learn Spanish and German, you’ll need to pay for two memberships.
- Another con is that it is on the pricier side. Although the features do seem to be worth it in our opinion, if you’re a beginner and or if you’re not going to make use of the live lessons, or just want to practise vocabulary, it is quite a lot to pay and there are probably other options out there more suited to your needs.
- The only other negative point is that it only has 14 languages to learn from. While this may seem like a lot, many people may find that the language they want to learn isn’t offered on Babbel. When compared to another app like Duolingo, which currently offers 31 languages. But we can only hope that they are able to add more languages to the app later on.
Features of the Babbel app
Within Babbel, you’ll be able to learn via interactive grammar lessons, vocabulary lessons and basic phrases for conversations that are tailored towards your chosen level. There are also exercises to practice your speaking on Babbel to work on your pronunciation. This is a great feature for people who are a bit nervous to speak a new language.
You also have the option to take part in live lessons with tutors in a small group.
It’s not compulsory to use all the features of the app, so you can tailor your learning to what you need, and focus on the skills that you think you need to work on.
How do you use the Babbel app?
First, you’ll select your native language and pick which of the fourteen languages you’d like to learn. You’ll then be prompted to sign up or log in and you will direct you to the relevant language course.
Babbel will ask you to sign-up for a paid subscription or start a 7-day free trial. Babbel offers three paid subscription options. A 3-month, 6-month and annual plan. Like many similar subscriptions, you’ll save more by signing up for a longer plan.
You’ll then be taken to the relevant language course and will be prompted to take a free placement test, which will place you on the correct language level. You’ll be asked five questions to determine your proficiency.
However, as mentioned before, you don’t need to stick with that level, and you can jump between them. This is a handy feature if you are stronger in some areas than in others. So you could focus on intermediate listening activities but do advanced reading exercises if you’re stronger in that area.
What languages can you learn with Babbel?
With Babbel, you can learn 14 different languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Turkish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Indonesian and English.
How much does Babbel cost?
After the 7-day free trial, Babbel has three payment plans, you can choose to pay for three months at a time, six months at a time, or pay annually. Of course, the annual plan works out to be the least per month, just £5.99 (or a £71.88 annual charge). The six-month plan costs £7.99 per month (charged £44.94 every six months. Or you can pay £9.99 per month (or charged £29.97 per three months)
Does Babbel have a free trial?
Yes. Babbel offers a seven-day free trial. While not a very long trial, it gives you enough time to get to grips with the features of the app. We do recommend that you try using the app every day to benefit the most, even if it’s just for five or ten minutes. After the free trial, you’ll be prompted to sign up for one of the three payment options.
There are many language-learning platforms out there, and to be honest, Babbel is a great one if you’re really serious about learning a language and if you are willing to put in the hours of learning required.
It offers a lot of features that you won’t get from cheaper or free language apps. And, as we have explained, the features are good tools for learning if you’re willing and ready to take the time to use them all.
However, we don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to pay for an app if you’re a beginner, and there are some other free options out there if you’re just getting into the swing of things. For more app reviews, check out our blog reviewing apps on a range of topics.