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If you are on a quest to learn a new language, you may be curious to know if the Babbel app and software is right for you.
There are many reasons why you may be interested in becoming bilingual. Some people want to learn a new language for career or business purposes. Knowing a language other than your own opens up a ton of employment prospects.
In our rapidly progressive world, an increasing number of companies are doing business in a variety of countries. However, this can only be accomplished by hiring globally minded people who can communicate with those who live in foreign countries. And even in smaller, local companies, being able to speak a second language will give you an edge over other job candidates.
Or, you may want to use the skill of knowing a second language to meet people from different parts of the world. While you may never become fluent in every language, even if you become familiar with one new culture or meet one person in your life from another country whom you would like to know better, one of the best ways you can start to gain an understanding is by learning to speak their language.
Further, you will become more culturally aware by learning a new language, which will allow you to gain a better appreciation for other people's opinions and points of view. You’ll be able to make connections with different groups of people by networking and communicating with them in their native tongues.
There are also some people who want to learn foreign languages for the sheer pleasure of knowing different ways of saying specific words or phrases.
Regardless of your purpose, self-education and self-directed learning have become popular ways to learn a foreign language.
But does Babbel actually help you learn a language in just 10 minutes a day?
And is it worth the price?
In this in-depth review, we will go over all of the features, benefits, and downsides of Babbel. By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll know for certain if you should invest your time and money into Babbel.
Let’s get to it.
What Is Babbel?
Babbel is an online/mobile-app-based language-learning course. It is one of the most popular language-learning courses because of its ease of use and budget-friendly price for different language courses.
The experts behind Babbel analyzed the strongest academic learning practices and chose only empirically proven and time-tested methods to teach languages. They then input all of their instructional information into a digital format for people to have easy access to. They created a powerful curriculum available to anyone who has access to the Internet—wherever you are and whenever you're ready to learn.
Babbel currently offers lessons for learning 14 foreign languages, but most people turn to this app to learn Spanish, Italian, French, and German.
This program works by introducing learners to practical words and phrases that they would use on an everyday basis in the language they are aiming to learn.
This way, new speakers will be able to use conversational phrases when communicating with others who speak the language, instead of using choppy sentences that don't have a natural flow to them. This helps learners gain confidence in their ability to communicate with native speakers.
Babbel then uses these common words in activities and quizzes to ensure the learner understands them, and to reinforce their proper use. The program then guides users to start using their newly learned words in their own phrases and simulated conversations.
The lessons that Babbel offers are quiz-styled items with pictures, words, and audio to help you master the grammar and vocabulary of the language you are learning.
Each of the lessons takes 10-15 minutes to complete and reinforces previously learned concepts so they are not forgotten, and so each lesson can build upon the last. These progressive lessons are inter-connected to create a framework that gives users the shortest path to learning and speaking a new language.
The curriculum begins with teaching simple conversational tools, and then helps users apply that knowledge to common topics such as food, travel, animals, exercise, and sightseeing. This helps learners gain a foundational understanding of the language before building upon it for fluency.
The lessons work very well for beginners or intermediate learners. For beginners, these courses are an effective introduction to a particular foreign language, providing the fundamentals that are necessary to creating a foundation for communication.
Because of its affordable price, which will be discussed in detail later, Babbel is also ideal for those who want to learn a language, but don’t want to fork over a hefty sum of money for the lessons.
A large part of language courses—especially for languages that are popular—focus heavily on beginner-level materials. However, there are fewer course materials available in the intermediate level, especially for less-popular languages. So, if you are aiming to learn Turkish, for example, you may not be able to gain more than a basic understanding of the language by using this app.
The lessons can be accessed online or through the Babbel mobile app. With the easy-to-use interface, users can guide their own learning in short amounts of time. Creating your own account with Babbel provides you with a more personalized experience when accessing the web version.
Creating an account is free, and the only prerequisite is that the user must be 18 years of age or older. Using your account, you can access your Babbel content through the website on a computer, or by using the Babbel app, which is available for both Android and Apple. You do not need to create unique accounts for every Babbel product—you can log in with just one account on any device to access all of your courses.
After completing a language course from Babbel, you will be equipped with a foundational knowledge of any of the languages available. While you will not finish the program speaking a foreign language fluently, the courses are wonderful when used as supplemental learning materials along with other resources.
This is a great tool to use for review and to help reinforce your current knowledge. It can also help you have a better understanding of the correct use of grammar in the language you are learning.
The Core Features of Babbel
The language lessons in Babbel are delivered in a quiz format online. With Internet connectivity, they are accessible through your smartphone, tablet, or PC.
The languages are broken down into topics, which are then divided into more specific courses, each of which focuses on a specific characteristic of the language. For example, the Spanish curriculum offers a vocabulary section with 31 courses available, providing users with a wide range of materials, such as lessons on greetings, body parts, and lifestyles.
In addition to its courses, Babbel has a review feature that offers additional exercises users can revisit after learning the language. In keeping with the quiz format, users have the option of doing fill-in-the-blank written exercises, spoken-response exercises, or a standard flashcard review.
These reviews not only help to reinforce your knowledge, they also ensure that your pronunciation is both modern and correct. Babbel uses human voices and speech recognition to ensure that you are able to speak confidently.
Babbel makes it a point to explain the grammar rules and concepts of the language by giving users an in-depth explanation of why words are used how they are. They even offer lessons on specific grammar rules to help you address a particular grammatical issue that you may not understand.
For example, they offer an entire lesson on how to form the prepositional case. This is Babbel's most unique feature, and is certainly helpful for learning and retaining even the most complex grammar rules. And, because the explanation is provided in English, there is no pressure to exclusively use the language you are learning to understand its concepts and grammar rules.
Additionally, Babbel guarantees that their lessons are customized specifically to each language. So, for example, if an English speaker is learning French, it will be taught differently from the way the material would be presented to an Italian speaker. This way, users benefit from useful content that makes sense to them and offers a maximum learning effect.
How Much Does Babbel Cost?
If you are not sure if Babbel is the right platform for you, they offer a free trial as “Lesson 1” of the language of your choice. However, payment is necessary to access the full course.
The following are the fees for Babbel’s language courses (figures are in US dollars):
- One month (charged monthly) – $12.95.
- Quarterly (charged every three months) – $26.85 (or $8.95/month).
- Semi-annually (charged every six months) – $44.70 (or $7.45/month). This is Babbel’s best-selling service.
- Annually (charged every 12 months) – $83.40 (or $6.95/month).
Keep in mind that these monthly fees are applicable for each language you are learning. So, if you are learning both Spanish and French, you will pay double the amount of the fees listed above. All courses come with a 20-day, money-back guarantee. This means that you can contact Babbel within 20 days of your initial purchase to get a full refund.
What Are the Benefits of Babbel?
As a language-learning tool, Babbel provides you with the following benefits:
Develops your ability to focus better.
Research has shown that bilingual speakers are able to process new information with more efficiency and ease than those who speak only one language. When you learn something new, your brain has to manage the complexity of the incoming information as it makes sense of new patterns.
This process improves your brain’s “executive functioning”—the command system that controls cognitive processes that we use for planning, problem solving, and learning.
Keeps your brain in shape.
By using Babbel, you can provide your brain with enhanced cognitive functions, especially in the parts of the brain that are involved in memory and emotions, as well as several areas of the cerebral cortex.
Most people are aware that the more you use your brain, the better it works. Using Babbel to learn a new language keeps your memory in shape by constantly testing your ability to recall information quickly.
Saves you time and money.
Compared with the money you would spend by enrolling in a sit-down language class, using Babbel allows you to save money while learning on your own schedule.
Plus, you can work on your learning anywhere you are, so you don't have to drive to a scheduled class and sit through a lecture.
Allows you to learn a language at your own pace.
Whether your pace is faster or slower than a transitional classroom setting, you get to make all the rules when you are your own teacher.
This may even include taking your time with some more complex or difficult lessons, and breezing through some lessons that you may already be familiar with.
Gives you the confidence to start speaking in the new language that you’re learning.
Because Babbel focuses on everyday, modern language, you can be sure that what you learn using this app will be easily understood by native speakers. Beginners start off by learning standard greetings such as, “Hello, how are you?” before gradually building up to more functional dialogues like, “Where can I find a quick place to have lunch?”
By learning through conversation, users are taught vocabulary both actively and passively. Babbel leads your brain to connect concepts by passively teaching new information that is based on the context of the dialogue. This gives users the confidence to create comprehensive sentences, allowing you to be confident in your ability to start speaking the language right away.
The Downside of Babbel
Babbel is not the ideal option for advanced learners of a foreign language because its course material does not go beyond an intermediate level.
Further, if you are learning a less popular language such as Danish or Russian, Babbel only offers a collection of beginner courses, leaving any options for more complex material to a minimum, or non-existent. Babbel is also not ideal for those who want to learn Japanese, Arabic, or Mandarin, as courses for these languages are not yet offered.
Why I Recommend Babbel!
Hopefully this review can help you decide if Babbel is the right language-learning tool for you.
It is solid in helping with your goal to learn a new language, considering that it provides useful vocabulary for daily interactions. With Babbel, you can start speaking the new language after only a few lessons.
Using this program is a great way to get some extra language practice in during the day. Doing just 5 minutes here or 10 minutes there can add up and improve your ability to speak and understand a language.
Babbel is also a winner when it comes to the price of the product compared with other language-learning tools out there. Plus, they offer a simple and easy refund process if you find that this is not the right tool for you.
Ready to be a polyglot? Why don’t you check out Babbel today?