If you’ve been searching for the best language learning app, you’ve probably come across Babbel.
It’s a reasonably priced and helpful program ideal for beginners.
And with millions of subscribers from around the world, it’s fair to say it’s very popular.
But is Babbel worth the hype?
Read our honest Babbel review and find out!
What is Babbel?
Essentially, Babbel is an interactive and engaging language app that will help you improve your language skills.
It’s practical and efficient – with Babbel’s bite-sized lessons, you can easily fit language learning into your daily routine.
There are original podcasts, games, videos, and useful features for you to explore.
And you’ll even get the chance to join live classes.
With the Babbel subscription, you’ll get unlimited access to hundreds of quality lessons. From vocab to culture, Babbel will provide you with a thoughtfully crafted, well-rounded curriculum.
And Babbel’s learning paths will put you on the right track. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with so much content, but this feature will add structure and guidance to your learning.
Overall, Babbel is a very useful language learning course.
However, you shouldn’t expect too much. Babbel won’t make you a fluent speaker. It won’t even take you to the intermediate level unless you do the extra work.
In other words, Babbel is a great additional learning source. But it can also be a good primary source – it all depends on your goals.
So, let’s dig deeper into the platform’ content and features so you can determine whether Babbel is a good option for you!
How Does Babbel Work?
First of all, you can use Babbel on all your devices. And that’s good news.
The Babbel app is very convenient – you can learn on the go. You can even download content and take lessons offline.
So, Babbel put a lot of effort into making language learning a lot easier.
Plus, you won’t get bored so easily. Each Babbel lesson is about 10 to 15 minutes long, and everything is fast-paced and engaging.
Yes, lessons might get a bit repetitive after a while, but there are all kinds of exercises and drills to keep you active.
Most of Babbel consists of fill-in-the-blank exercises, digital flashcard drills, and matching words to images.
And thanks to the app’s speech recognition engine, you’ll also work on your pronunciation.
So, Babbel teaches reading, writing, listening, and speaking. And it will provide you with grammar notes and cultural insights.
That said, Babbel is a well-rounded program that will help you gain basic conversational skills.
After all, the program is centered around natural conversation and native pronunciation. And contextual learning and pronunciation practice are crucial parts of learning any new language.
But how much will you actually learn with Babbel?
When it comes to levels, Babbel uses The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR.) With Babbel, you can receive certificates for up to B2 level in English.
Just a little reminder; at the B2 level you should understand:
• Main ideas of complex text
• Standard spoken language
• Texts with a broad reading vocabulary
However, as we mentioned earlier, Babbel won’t bring your skills to advanced levels. You should take this B2 level with a gran of salt.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to your motivation and self-discipline. You should see Babbel as a tool – and if you do the extra work and keep improving your skills, you’ll be on the road to fluency.
Babbel’s guided learning path wasn’t here at the beginning. But Babbel added this feature to make everything more streamlined and structured.
With the Learning Path, you’ll be able to see the last lesson you completed, what’s coming next, upcoming reviews, and even motivational messages.
And it’s all there on Babbel’s all-in-one-place Home Page.
Babbel currently offers 14 languages.
You can learn:
- Portuguese (Brazilian)
Every course is created by experts and linguists.
Although Babbel offers multiple languages, a standard subscription gives you access to one language.
Nonetheless, all the popular languages are there. But if you want to learn a less popular language or dialect, you’ll have to look somewhere else.
In terms of topics, Babbel covers all the basics. It’s focused on practical vocabulary useful for traveling and everyday situations.
Also, all languages are divided into subjects and more specific courses. Therefore, you can focus on a topic you like.
Most languages include Countries and Traditions, Special Courses (such as Idioms and Tongue Twister words), and Words and Sentences.
You’ll learn about society, sports, food, travel, festivals, environment, culture, academic fields, and so on.
One thing is for sure: Babbel will prepare you for real-world situations and conversations.
Speech recognition technology
One of the ways of building strong conversational skills is pronunciation practice.
Luckily, Babbel has good speech recognition technology. The program listens to your voice and then compares it to their own native speaker samples for instant feedback.
This is not the same as talking to a real native speaker, but it’s still very useful. Once you learn how to pronounce words, you can start practicing
And why not practice with real people during virtual classes?
One of the best things about Babbel is the possibility to join live lessons and learn in a friendly and productive environment.
Getting started with Babbel Live is fairly easy. There are hundreds of classes offered each week, and you just need to find a perfect slot. You can choose what works best for you based on your level and interest.
Babbel Live is not included in the standard subscription though. So if you want to add live classes to your learning routine, you’ll have to pay extra.
And Babbel Live subscription is actually a bit pricey (compared to some other options), but considering the effectiveness of live language lessons, it’s worthwhile.
If you’re serious about your language learning, you should definitely consider checking it out.
Besides live classes, Babbel also offers language podcasts and an online magazine.
Additionally, the app has a Review Manager to ensure you remember what you learn for the long term.
Review exercises are available in a variety of formats, and that’s really great. You can focus on reading, speaking, listening, or spelling.
Plus, the app allows you to set learning reminders. That way, you can be more organized and stay on schedule.
All things considered, Babbel has cool and useful features, and they will undoubtedly make your language learning process a whole lot easier.
Key Decision-Making Criteria
- User-friendliness & learning interface – Babbel is very easy to navigate. The app looks neat, and the web version has a well-designed all-in-one-place Home Page. 9/10
- Convenience – You can download the items you want to work on before going offline. Moreover, with the app’s podcasts, you can learn while you’re doing something else. And that makes Babbel very convenient and practical. 9.5/10
- Languages offered – With courses in 14 languages, Babbel has a nice selection of languages. But it could definitely be better. 8/10
- Quality of content – Created by experts and experienced linguists, Babbel lessons are well-structured and reliable. And although Babbel claims that they are suitable for all levels, there’s actually no in-depth content for advanced learners. But if you’re a beginner, you’ll find the app very useful and effective. 8.5/10
- Available platforms – You can use Babbel on multiple devices (computer, Apple, Android…) If you’re using Babbel across devices, your progress is synced so you can pick up where you left off. 10/10
- Payment methods – Babbel accepts different payment methods (credit cards, PayPal…) There are also in-app purchases available. And in case you’re not satisfied with your program, there’s a 20-day money-back guarantee. 9.5/10
- Customer support – Babbel has very helpful customer support. You can get help by topic (technical issues, subscription, courses…) as well as individual help from the Babbel team you can easily reach. 9.5/10
Pros & Cons
As you can see, Babbel has a lot of benefits, but it could also improve some things.
So, let’s sum up Babbel’s highlights and drawbacks.
- Focused on all language skills
- Live classes option
- The amount of content varies between languages
- Doesn’t feel very unique/authentic
- Lack of advanced content
Who is Babbel For?
In the end, who is Babbel best for?
Well, it’s pretty obvious – Babbel is a good learning source for absolute beginners.
It’s also useful for learners with some experience who want to brush up on their skills.
But if you’re an advanced speaker and you want to practice, you should opt for something else.
How Much Does Babbel Cost?
Babbel offers several subscription plans to choose from:
- 1 month for $10.50
- 3 months for $31
- 6 months for $63
- 12 months $126
But you should keep an eye out for promotions and discounts. Babbel offers special deals and discounts very often.
You can also get the Babbel lifetime subscription, but you can opt for these monthly subscriptions if you don’t wish to commit to a long-term deal.
They also offer a free trial and a 20-day money-back guarantee.
All in all, the app is reasonably priced. But if you want to get Babel Live, you’ll have to purchase a special subscription.
Similar Platforms to Consider
If you want to explore more options, you can check out similar platforms.
Rocket Languages is definitely worth checking out. It’s well-rounded and effective, and it offers quality content.
With Rocket Languages, you can achieve all of your goals and you can delve deeper into the language and culture.
Another great (but less complete) option is Busuu.
Busuu is an award-winning language app based on short lessons, video clips, and exercises. And it’s a slightly cheaper option than Babbel.
Is Babbel Worth it? Final Thoughts
Here comes the final verdict – is Babbel worth it?
Well, it all depends on your learning style, goals, and preferences. And you were probably expecting such an answer.
The thing is, you need to find an app that works for you.
But generally speaking, Babbel is a great supplemental resource. So, if you don’t have unrealistic expectations, you will find it useful.
With Babbel, you will expand your vocabulary, learn basic grammar, and master your pronunciation.
You’ll also develop conversational skills (especially if you opt for Babbel Live), but you won’t build a strong foundation like you would with some other programs.
Nevertheless, it’s an affordable and effective app, and if you’re aware of the well-marketed hype, it will definitely help you out on your language learning journey.