Busuu was founded in 2008, and the company took its name from speakers of the Busuu language in Cameroon. Since then, it has had over 100 million users.
Busuu claims to be able to help you learn one of its 12 offered languages in just 10 minutes a day by using its language course app.
We’ve tried and reviewed this popular language-learning app, so you can decide whether it’ll be a good choice for you.
Busuu App Review
First off, the free version of Busuu is quite limited, but the paid programme unlocks some good features. Busuu’s paid course offers most of the same features you find in similar language courses and apps, like Babbel and the Mondly app.
However, the free version isn’t much to shout about. It’s not as user-friendly as some of its competitors, but it does offer basic language learning tools.
In the free version, you have to start at the beginning of your chosen language and complete lessons to move on to the next. This isn’t ideal if you already have a good bit of knowledge of the language.
However, you could view it as a revision exercise and work your way up to the correct level.
The lessons are very similar to other language apps out there. The vocabulary exercises are good in that they teach you new words in context, as opposed to drilling the individual words into you with no guidance as to how they are used.
Busuu does have some good features that the other free versions of language apps don’t have. For example, the opportunity to have your writing exercises corrected by native speakers in the “community” section.
The premium version of the app is a much more user-friendly and comprehensive language course.
Firstly, you can do a placement test so that you don’t need to waste your time doing exercises on topics that you already know.
Next, you can set your goals for how quickly you would like to learn your chosen language. So, it may create a personalised plan for you to study for 20 minutes a day for six months to reach that goal.
So if you need that accountability and structured plan, Busuu is a good option for you.
The Busuu app has great lessons focusing on grammar, sentence structure, and conjugating verbs.
The premium version is definitely much more enjoyable to use than the free plan, it offers a functional programme that uses an effective teaching method along with flowing lesson plans that build on each other. You also have access to the active, friendly community of learners, who are there to help with your studying and motivate you.
Next, we’re going to explore some of the pros and cons of the Busuu app and answer some burning questions that you might have about Busuu.
Pros and cons of the Busuu app
- Very well-structured courses on the paid plan
- User-friendly experience on the paid plan
- Good value for a long-term subscription
- Relatively small language selection
- Some boring typing exercises
- Lacks speaking and pronunciation exercises
On the whole, Busuu’s courses are well-structured and I saw an improvement in my fluency while using the app. There are many language apps whose lessons seem a little all over the place.
And for the price, it’s a great app if you’re ready to take your learning seriously.
However, by only offering 12 languages, you may not be able to study your chosen language with Busuu, which is a real shame! We can only hope they add in more languages soon.
Also, I did have some issues with the writing and speaking lessons on the app. The writing lessons are pretty boring and there is a real lack of speaking and pronunciation exercises. However, this is often to be expected with apps, as it’s tricky to do.
Features of the Busuu app
Within Busuu, you’ll be able to learn via interactive grammar lessons, vocabulary lessons and basic phrases for conversations that are tailored towards your chosen level. You also have the option to work with a private tutor for half an hour of one-on-one lessons. While you have to pay extra for these, you pay less than you would on another platform to do the same.
Lessons in Busuu break down into three or four mini-lessons, which are all on the same topic and the same words.
The first mini-lesson shows you the words you will use, and the second gives you practice using them. The lesson ends with either a quiz or a writing exercise.
There are a lot of writing exercises on the app, which, to be honest, are a little tedious. However, you can have your writing corrected by a native speaker, which is a great feature. But remember that these people are other, regular Busuu users, not trained teachers, so you may see some inconsistencies in the corrections.
How do you use the Busuu app?
First, you’ll be asked to pick which of the 12 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.
Busuu does not offer a free trial. It offers a free version and paid plans.
Busuu offers a “casual learner” plan or a “serious learner” plan. The serious learner plan is only around £1 more than the casual learner, and it offers access to all of the resources, so I’d recommend going for this one. 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 placement test, which will place you on the correct language level. You’ll be asked a series of questions to determine your proficiency.
Within the premium version, you don’t need to stick with that level, and you can jump between different lessons and courses as you please.
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 Busuu?
Busuu has courses in twelve languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Turkish), each language course gives access to native speakers ready to correct your writing exercises.
How much does Busuu cost?
Busuu has two subscriptions plans – a “casual learner” plan, and a “serious learner” plan.
Within each is three payment plans, you can choose to pay for one, six, or twelve months at a time. When you first create an account, Busuu will offer a 24-hour discount on the annual plan, so for the “serious learner” plan, it will cost only £38.99 – which is a great value. Alternatively, you can pay monthly and cancel any time for £10.99 or pay for 6 months for £59.99.
For me, the annual plan is definitely worth it for this price and the access to resources that they offer.
Does Busuu have a free trial?
No, Busuu does not offer a free trial.
There are many language-learning apps out there, and in my opinion, Busuu is one of the best if you’re willing to pay and if you’re really serious about learning a language.
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.
However, we don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to pay for an app if you’re a beginner, and there are some better free options out there if you’re just getting into the swing of things.