Babbel vs. Duolingo: A Comparative Review

(Last Updated On: November 4, 2021)

Learning a language has become much easier nowadays thanks to a plethora of language learning platforms on the web. Today we are reviewing two of the most popular e-learning platforms for languages to portray which one will work better for you. In this Babbel vs. Duolingo review, we’ll focus on their features, price, and of course differences so that you can have a clear picture of which one you should opt for, Babbel or Duolingo.


Babbel is a paid language learning platform that offers courses in 14 languages German, Italian, Swedish, Turkish, and more. In this instructional app, you’ll find a variety of materials that focus on both vocabulary and grammar lessons. Plus, the basic conversation is covered on Babbel as well.The app is suitable for both beginners and learners on the intermediate level. This app presents a great balance between attention to detail and cost-effectiveness which is beginner-friendly.

What Is Duolingo?


Duolingo is undoubtedly the most well-known free language learning app on the web. It offers gamified courses on 36 languages including common ones like Chinese, Korean, and Latin, as well rare ones which you usually don’t come across on e-learning platforms such as Scottish Gaelic and Swahili. This app focuses more on vocabulary and grammar for beginners in comparison to Babbel that concentrates on basic conversation as well.

Babbel or Duolingo: Which One is the Best?

Babbel and Duolingo are two of the most popular language learning platforms for beginners. While Babbel focuses on replicating traditional language learning classes, Duolingo is more on the lighter end of the learning spectrum. Let’s say, you’re planning to travel to Europe for a month and you want a learn vocabulary as well as day-to-day conversational phrases. In that case, Duolingo will be your guy. On the other hand, Babbel focuses on teaching the ins and outs of a language including contextual and cultural differences.

This is why Babbel helps to achieve a well-rounded experience when it comes to learning a new language. But then again, Duolingo offers user-friendly lessons with colorful graphics and incentives that make you want to complete a challenge and move on to the next level so check out what it has in store for you. It’s up to your whether you prefer to learn more engaging lessons on well-rounded lessons that cover conversational language as well.

Feedback on lessons and quizzes also play a huge role in determining the quality of language learning platform. In both of these apps, the feedback is based on how well you interact with the learning resources. Based on that, the later lessons are shaped and presented to you.

In Babbel, the feedback is controlled by a general tracker and does not have a fixed schedule on when you might receive it. Whereas Duolingo delivers instant grading and gives you incentives in the form of fluency scores that motivate you to take up the next challenge.

Each of these language learning apps is targeted towards a specific type of learner. So, one does not surpass the other in terms of superiority. You should be focusing on the type of content as well as user interface before you choose one of the language learning apps. Both Babbel and Duolingo have similarities and striking differences which should help you figure out which one you should try out.

Babbel vs. Duolingo: Major Similarities

  • Both Babbel and Duolingo start with the basics of a language before moving to an advanced level so if you’re a beginner you can either go for Babbel or Duolingo.
  • Both Babbel and Duolingo have short lessons ranging from 10 to 20 minutes which you can easily fit into your busy schedule.
  • Both offer a portable learning experience through mobile devices.
  • Both utilize spaced repetition which helps in what you’ve learned before moving on to something new.

Babbel vs. Duolingo: Major Differences

  • Babbel is suitable for learners who want to master a language, whereas Duolingo is ideal for users who want to dabble on a language.
  • Babbel focuses on teaching grammar and cultural tips including regional differences in languages whereas Duolingo doesn’t cover cultural nuance; it strictly focuses on grammar and vocabulary. The content is undoubtedly the major difference when it comes to Babbel vs. Duolingo.
  • Babbel delivers an ad-free experience. In Duolingo, you’ll be subjected to ads if you choose the free version which can be distracting. However, it offers a monthly subscription for ad-free use.
  • Babbel’s interface is suitable for serious learners as it promotes a straightforward approach to learning a language. On the other hand, Duolingo’s colorful and flashy characters are targeted towards children and young learners.


Babbel vs. Duolingo: Pros and Cons


  • Pros:
  • Emphasizes conversational learning
  • Lessons can help in real-life interactions
  • High-quality audio track
  • Very detailed with explanations in each lesson
  • Lessons progress in a coherent pattern
  • Focuses on in-depth grammar lessons
  • More affordable than many other paid language learning apps


  • Exercises can be repetitive
  • Payment is required for each language
  • Not the best option for advanced learners



  • Interactive and gamified lessons that keep the learners motivated
  • Offers courses in 36 languages
  • Easy to use interface
  • Phrases are played loudly for a better understanding
  • Offer recording exercises to improve speaking skills
  • Allows you to redo exercises if you want to strengthen your skills


  • Tests you on words before introducing them to the lesson
  • You can’t jump to a certain topic before completing all the previous tasks
  • You need to opt for a monthly subscription if you want an ad-free experience

Is Babbel Worth It?

To simply answer that question, yes. Babbel is an effective language learning app that is ideal for people who want to learn both the theoretical and practical applications of a language on a beginner level.
Based on its price packages and quality of content, Babbel is an excellent tool if you are keen on learning a foreign language before going on a vacation, for a work trip, or education in a specific country. Since this app promotes cultural and contextual learning, you’ll be able to utilize it easily in a city where the native language is the one you’ve learned.

The lessons on Babbel are systematic yet fun. Since they include multiple styles into one program, you’ll not be bored at all. Plus, you can track your progress so you can understand the effectiveness of the program firsthand. The majority of the time users love to hop on to the next lesson because they’ve enjoyed learning from the previous one so much.

Is Babbel Legit? Babbel was launched in Berlin, Germany in January 2008. It has a moderately large staff base with 450 employees and freelancers who work as tutors who create the lessons as well as workers who are behind the mechanism of the app.

It quickly gained international success with 73% of the learners saying they were able to keep up with quick conversations after using Babbel to learn a language. It uses cognitive research to add new vocabulary and grammar so that you can gain more information as you continue to use the app. For a no-ad experience at a reasonable annual subscription price, Babbel is surely worth it.

Is Duolingo Worth It?

Duolingo is undoubtedly worth it for learning the basics of a language you’re interested in. As it’s packed with game-like features, the app is targeted towards children and people who want to learn a language as a hobby. Just like Babbel, Duolingo also helps you to learn how to keep up with a basic conversation. Before you start the lessons, this app allows you to take a proficiency test to see where you stand but you can always skip this if you are new to the language.

Initially, you’ll learn basic vocabulary but before you know it you’ll be forming sentences as well. Since it uses a combination of matching words, fill-in-the-blanks, and sentence translations, kids will be familiar with the concept as well.

Is Duolingo Legit? Duolingo started its operation in November 2011. Currently, it has over 200 employees and more than 300 million users. Since Duolingo doesn’t take payment for its regular version it earns through advertisements and certification tests which cost around $20.


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