Babbel. A language software that has been downloaded more than 10 million times to smartphones. One of the greatest language learning tools ever made. Is Babbel free or does it cost something? How does it work? Find the answer to your questions in our Babbel review.
Price: Free. Premium Version Starting from 4.95€/month
Overall Rank: 85 out of 100
What Is Babbel?
Babbel is a language learning software that you can download on your phone or use on their website. It is one of the world’s most used language tools with millions of users worldwide. Nowadays Babbel has more than 450 employees to run this tool and to provide the best language learning experience for you.
There are two guys behind Babbel who can speak more than 10 languages fluently. So, we can say that Babbel is created by real professionals. Key people of Babbel are from Germany. In German babbeln means to chat. The name also refers to the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel.
Babbel claims to be the shortest path to real-life conversations. Is it? You’ll decide. In my opinion, it’s a great language learning tool that can significantly improve your skills. I think it beats formal classroom lessons 100-0.
The video below explains in 35 seconds what is the idea of Babbel. “We believe that language learning should be enjoyable.”
How Does Babbel Work?
You can use Babbel with a smartphone, tablet or your computer. Platforms may look a bit different on different devices, but the main ideas are the same. Make language learning as enjoyable as possible. I took the pictures that I use in this review from Babbel German smartphone app.
There are many kinds of exercises in Babbel:
1.Listen and Repeat:
In this section, you hear (and see) the word and then you need to repeat it. The software listens to your pronunciation, and if you say the word right, you can move to the next exercise.
2.Choose the Translation
The app give you a word and you need to choose the right translation for it.
3.Write the Translation
In this section, you see the language and the picture of its meaning. Then you need to write the right word in your target language (in this example the target language is German)
NOTE: These examples were taken from a smartphone app version. The computer version is a bit different and can be even more efficient because you can probably type faster on your computer than on your phone.
=> Try Babbel Yourself!
This video also shows how you can learn with Babbel. It shows what kind of exercises there are and how you can use it on your holiday.
What Languages Can You Learn with Babbel?
There are 14 different languages on Babbel which includes almost all of the biggest ones. Here is a list of languages you can learn in Babbel:
As you can see in the picture above, you can study some a bit more rare languages like Swedish and Dutch. However, you can’t yet study my mother tongue Finnish. But who knows if they will add it in the future? 😉
How Many Lessons There Are in Babbel?
Each lesson on Babbel takes around 10-15 minutes. They relate to different subjects like, for example, Basics, building sentences, telephone calls, grammar, culture, media, friendships and so on.
It depends on each language how many lessons there are but, in general, the number seems to be huge. In Babbel German, there are hundreds (if not a thousand) different lessons, so there is lots of content to go through. I believe that if you would go through all content with Babbel, you could already have conversations with native speakers.
Is Babbel Free?
Yes and no.
There is a free version available on Babbel that anyone can use without paying a single penny. Then they have also a paid version if you are serious about learning a new language.
The price of Babbel premium depends on how long membership you take. If you take only 1 month at first, it costs 9,95€/month. But if you pay for a year it costs the only 4,95€/month.
In all of those plans there is a 20-day money back guarantee, no questions asked.
Pros & Cons
- Very User-Friendly Platform
- Free Version Available
- Premium Version Is Very Cheap
- Several Ways of Practicing a New Language
- Language Learning Process Is Enjoyable
- 20-Day Money-Back Guarantee on Premium Memberships
- Full Version Is Not Free
- No Points (Some Language Learning Apps Give You Points to Keep You More Motivated)
Conclusion – Is Babbel Worth It?
If you can learn a language with a cost of a pizza, you can guess if this is worth it or not. Of course Babbel it’s worth it! It’s much cheaper than, for example, Rosetta Stone and still, they provide more or less the same quality.
You can make enormous progress with Babbel in a short period. What if you would take a challenge of learning as much as you can with Babbel in 1 month. Then see how much you can learn in such a short period.
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Have you used Babbel to learn a new language?
Personally, this Babbel would be suitable for those who wanted to travel overseas to work or just for fun purposes. It can be an interesting app. For me, I have intention to go to Germany to study as a student and I had to pass German language before I am allowed to take that course; in fact, all lectures are conducted in German, only a few exceptions that the lecturer can conduct in English on top of German.
Hi Hong Yunhai,
yeah, I believe that Babbel can be profitable for anyone who wants to learn a new language. You can also use Babbel for German.
I am also currently learning German because I am living in Austria and German skills would be beneficial in my day-job. However, I haven’t practiced German very much recently because I am using my free time to build successful online businesses. However, I think that German is quite easy language to learn. Especially for those who already speak English.
Great review of Babbel, thank you. I’ve used Duolingo and FluentU in the past but not really had much experience with Babbel – do you think it is worth the upgrade? Of all the apps out there, is this your favourite or would you recommend any others?
Great site by the way!
Duolingo and FluentU are also great resources to learn a new language online. I think that Babbel is worth the upgrade. It’s definitely more comprehensive than, for example, Duolingo.
However, it’s hard to say which one is my favorite because many apps are very useful. It also depends on what kind of things you want to practice. Babbel is definitely one of the best. Then LingQ and Duolingo are also great. I recommend using many of them.
Many people have told me that as a programmer I should be able to pick up new languages easily, but that’s simply not the case. The primary reason I believe that is true is because computer languages make sense, human languages do not.
For example, in English the word “ghoti” could be pronounced “fish”. Let me break that down for you; the letters “G” & “H” in the word “rough” sounds like an “F”. The letter “O” can sound like an “I” like in the word “women”, finally the letters “T” and “I” are often used to create a “SH” sound like in the word “relationship”.
So, the point is…there aren’t hard and fast rules in a human language like there are in computer languages. Computers don’t look at a word and interpret it in a different way. Pronunciation plays absolutely no role in programming.
The REAL point is that in order to learn languages, most of us need help that goes way beyond the, “here’s the word now repeat it” approach. It seems like Babbel gives you that in spades.
Has it helped you learn other languages quicker, or more thoroughly?
you are right that computer and human languages are different.
However, I think that anyone can learn both with practice, practice and practice. I think that the best practice is to speak a language with a native speaker but many language apps also very helpful.
I have used Babbel with German and it seems to be helpful. I have even considered working for them in the future ;). Well, probably not but I believe it would be a good company to work for.
I have never heard of babbel. However, I am interested in using a program that helps me to brush my English skills and learn French. Babbel seems to be supporting English and French. I think I can make use of this app.
However, before, I use this app, I need to be sure whether I will have time to use it every day. Considering the foreign exchange rates in my home country the subscription charge of 4.95 euro will be somewhat expensive for me, even though it is less than what I have to pay if I join a traditional language class.
yeah, Babbel is definitely one of the best language learning games in the world. It’s definitely superior to expensive programs like Rosetta Stone.
It could be interesting if you could, for example, commit to learning a new language for one month like 1 hour per day. Then you could see how much you can make progress in one month just by paying €5. I think it will be quite a good progress 😉
That game sound interesting. I need to play it, it will give me more informations and proper ways of dealing languages. It may not be easy but I think it is not impossible as well if you really are willing to learn, may take time yes but when you harvest the fruit of your labor it will all worth it. Thank for this 🙂
Yeah, anything worthwhile in life requires work and efforts. However, it’s definitely worth it 🙂
It’s my first time hearing of Babbel. I’ve come across some few apps in the which I downloaded thinking it was a good as they made it look. Turned out it was a total scrap.
Now that I’ve heard about Babbel withe your recommendations on it, I think i’ll give it a try. Am keen about learning French and German, especially the later because I plan on taking a masters course over there next year.
I’m surprised that you haven’t heard of Babbel even though it’s one of the most popular language learning apps in the world. But that’s understandable if you haven’t been in “language learning industry”.
Babbel will definitely help you to master German and French.
Great review about Babbel and i know this is very helpful. The problem only about this is you need to pay money to start learning. It is my first time to hear about the software and i want to try this out. I never heard eversince here in Philippines about babbel. I will try this at some other time to know if i will do an upgrade or not.
Actually, you don’t need to pay money to start. You can get started for free but if you want to get full benefit out of the system you must pay. Still, I think it’s worth it if you really want to learn a new language.
This looks really interesting, especially the speaking interface. How well does it deal with different accents?
Duolingo sometimes has trouble picking mine up, and it’s all well and good to say I need to learn the accent too, but people who speak the language themselves understand me totally fine!
It’s a shame that the number of languages is quite limited, but I do want to learn Danish at some point so when I get started on that I’ll have to remember to give this app a try 🙂
I think the best way to get an answer to the accents is to try it. It’s free to try Babbel. I think it works pretty well with different accents also.
If you want to learn Danish, you can also try DanishClass101.
I have used several translations apps for new languages but don’t have much experience with Babbel. Do you think it’s worth the upgrade? The layout for mobile seems very easy to understand and work with.
If you want to learn a specific language, in my opinion, using the Babbel premium is certainly worth the update.
Was wanting to learn Czech. Since this isn’t available but Russian and Polish are. Which would be better to learn to get be able to understand Czech?
Good question. I haven’t research Czech language learning resources though.