Babbel is a paid language learning service that aims to strike a balance between thoroughness and cost efficiency.
- You can learn any of 14 languages using any one of them as a base.
- A personalized progress assessment manager.
- In-depth grammar lessons as part of the curriculum.
- Offline functionality helps further realize the promise of mobility.
- Cheaper than other paid services without sacrificing quality.
- Enables the user to learn any language using any other language from the selection.
- Isn’t a strictly online service, allowing the user to learn even when offline.
- An emphasis on contextual and conversational learning.
- Far more limited selection of languages to learn from compared to main competitors.
- Weaker voice recognition engine compared to the competition.
- There’s a noticeable difference in the content between the mobile applications and the website.
Online learning resources seem to keep getting better and better as they get more numerous. With the diversity in services comes a diversity in approaches with no one service fitting all students. While in terms of cost, Babbel sits in the middle between the far more expensive and known Rosetta Stone and the far cheaper free service Duolingo, it has an entirely different approach from both. Compared to the former, Babbel is more difficult for beginners and it might be better to use it after making oneself somewhat familiar with a language. Compared to the latter, it pushes students to write more than to read and has a far more conversational approach, almost entirely teaching in the form of conversation. It has a greater emphasis on teaching grammar than the alternatives, which seem to adhere more to the philosophy of having students learn grammar through practice. Price-wise, Babbel is cheap. Far cheaper than Rosetta Stone, which costs 299 dollars a year compared to Babbel’s 83.40 dollars for a yearly subscription. In addition to the cheaper price of the yearly subscription, Babbel offers full access to all its languages for an extra 16.5 dollars instead of charging for each extra language separately. This is definitely a selling point if you’re planning to learn multiple languages or would simply like to learn the same language using different languages. However, the limited selection of languages you can learn or learn from may overshadow this additional feature, and the free alternative that is Duolingo doesn't limit access to any of its languages for the same price of zero. The language selection of Babbel is limited to fourteen counting English, but for all the languages available you can learn any using any. You can learn French as a German speaker or Swedish as a speaker of Indonesian. Duolingo’s crowd-sourced library results in a much longer and rapidly growing list of languages to learn from, while also making English courses available to far more people from different linguistic backgrounds. One major advantage of Babbel over its competition is offline support on its mobile apps, which very convenient for people who travel a lot. Another major advantage is the ability to choose a general theme of learning in a sense. You can choose an interest or profession so that Babbel’s software focuses on its vocabulary during the learning process. If you’re planning to work or study abroad, this more focused approach can be very helpful.