Babbel Review 2021: Is Babbel Worth It?​

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Learning a language can be a fun activity to pick up anytime. It’s also a super useful skill to have, especially if you’re looking to travel the world. There are many reasons to learn a new language and you may look to an online learning site to do just that. Almost everyone has had to take up at least one language course in school.

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(Last Updated On: July 22, 2021)

Now, you don’t even have to attend physical classes for this. Online learning is becoming increasingly popular as it is easily accessible for many. Platforms and sites like Babbel offer convenient language lessons on the go!

If you’re looking for honest Babbel reviews, MakeMeSmart is the place to be! This Babbel review will contain information you would need to decide whether you want to try this program or not. Before we get started, it’s worth noting that Babble doesn’t do cookie-cutter courses for the different languages, as many of its competitors do. So if you don’t want to pick up an app that’s “too easy,” Babbel would be the way to go.

Babbel – An Introduction​

Language learning app Babbel is a subscription-based platform dedicated to help people learn 14 languages: Spanish, German, French, Swedish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish, Turkish, Danish, Russian, Indonesian, Norwegian, and English. The app contains pre-recorded content that follows a specific curriculum, which means that Babbel does not offer any live lessons on their platform.

Babbel has its own web and mobile apps through which you can learn and practice a language. And there’s no competition to complete a language course so you learn at your own pace. Filled with interactive exercises that can feel challenging but rather rewarding. This language app offers words, phrases, and concepts that you wouldn’t find in your regular online language course. Consider learning a language for the multiple benefits it provides. Not only are you earning a new skill, but it can also help you in professional sectors.

The Basics of Babbel

Starting with Babbel is pretty simple. All you need to do is to select a language and they will give you two options. As a student, you can either start as a beginner or take a placement quiz and the program will decide on a level for you.

As a complete beginner, your lessons will include basic vocabulary, like numbers, greetings, essential phrases, verbs, and complete sentences. Each lesson is broken up into 10 to 15 minutes practice sessions, which is extremely beneficial to those new to learning a language. You will be given the opportunity to learn new words, sentences, and phrases in each and every lesson. Expect the program to include more conventional and drill activities like:

Sort the Items or Spell the Word – Build a word or phrase.

Listen and Repeat –  A new word or phrase is said by a native speaker. If your microphone is enabled on your laptop/computer/mobile device, you have the ability to repeat each one.

Select the Right Translation –  Match the words or phrases on the screen to the right photos.

Lessons on Babbel​

An important part of this Babbel review would be laying down the lesson format so you can understand whether this app could prove to be useful for you or not. Babbel does a great job at marking the learning paths to monitor progress, and is arguably better at doing so than its competitors. There’s an extensive amount of content available on Babbel’s different lessons and courses. Organisation is key, but that should be a key component for any language course you are wishing to complete.

On Babbel’s site, learners will take a placement quiz to determine the stage they are at on their language journey. For example, if you ace the quiz and have a pre-existing understanding of a certain language, you will start your learning with Babbel on more advanced lessons. Alternatively, if you are a complete beginner to a new language, then you would start on the starter lessons. Don’t be put off by this – learning is why we’re all here!

Once this has been completed, your lessons will commence, and each lesson includes high-quality content and structure. There is also the option to access the site’s speech recognition service.

Babbel’s Speech Recognition Technology​

When undertaking our Babbel review, we explored Babbel’s available speech recognition technology. This form of tech has become increasingly popular and common with language learning platforms in recent times. There are some other apps and programs that rely on this technology in their language courses, like TruAccent™ speech recognition, used by Rosetta Stone. Babbel has successfully developed their very own, individual speech recognition system. This feature picks up your voice before comparing it to their personal native speaker samples. Thus, Babbel is able to provide instant feedback using this tech.

Their developer says this is browser-based, which simply means that it doesn’t need API calls or a server to check your pronunciation. What does this have to do with a Babble review, you ask? The end-user is directly affected by this as this minor change allows the app to work faster. With that said, the rest of the app isn’t the fastest.

Babbel Pricing​

One of Babble’s best features found in our Babbel review is their competitive pricing. If you can find a Babbel discount coupon – even better.

The regular monthly subscription costs $13, but you can avail it for $7 a month if you select the annual subscription. There are options for three-month and six-month subscriptions as well. The low pricing does explain why their platform has millions of paid learners.

That being said, some of its biggest competitors, like Duolingo, are “free.” This may be another reason behind the low prices. Meanwhile, other SaaS language services (Glossika, for example) are much pricier in comparison to Babbel.

Babbel vs. Duolingo​

Duolingo is often mentioned in Babbel reviews. You’ll hear about how these platforms are competitors due to their similarity. We won’t get into all the nitty-gritty in this case but only state some points which differentiate Babbel from Duolingo. By the way, you can find all the nitty-gritty with our comprehensive comparison if you click here.

All the content on Duolingo is user-generated. So, every time you make a translation on that app, they sell it off to companies who are willing to pay. Babbel doesn’t feature a business model like this. All of Babbel’s operations are paid for by subscriptions.

Unlike Duolingo, Babbel doesn’t do the “crowd-sourced” control. All of the courses on Babbel are designed and organized by their own linguists and educators. On the other hand, Duolingo depends on volunteer contributors who monitor the creation and alteration of courses. This is a key reason why Duolingo often produces bizarre translations.

One more difference that is commonly compared is that Duolingo is free. The cost is that your translations will be sold to keep the platform free for learners.

While doing this Babbel review, we realized that the depth of content of this platform is much better than Duolingo’s. They have clearly invested more money and time into the languages they teach.

8.5Expert Score
Babbel Review 2021: Is Babbel Worth It?​
Our Final Verdict - Is Babbel Worth It?​
In conclusion, we feel that Babbel is a great learning site to introduce yourself to learning languages from the foundations. The content covered on the platform will ensure each and every learner that signs up has a solid understanding of the basics of the language they are choosing to learn. All of Babbel’s content is intentionally crafted by linguists and educators. Sure, the platform misses out on a handful of important languages like Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic, but it provides a developed content base for the languages that are on offer. With that said, we wouldn’t say that you would be able to communicate naturally with locals by scrolling through a gamified web service, filling the blanks, and matching pictures. Babbel is effective in terms of getting the key concepts and vocabulary across to it’s learners, and uses real-life context to help students understand. This language learning supplement is an ideal choice for complete beginners.
PROS
  • Native Speakers: Babbel’s lessons are narrated by local speakers who have clear pronunciations but talk at a quick, real-life pace. The more lessons you complete on Babbel, the less you will find yourself needing to repeat what has already been said. Real-time listening skills will also improve significantly with experts.
  • Plenty of Content: Although the number of languages taught on Babbel is limited to 14, the content on each of those languages is rich and diverse. The online dashboard contains a “My Level” area, where you can choose between different levels. Once selected, each section presents several courses filled with short video clips and immediate lessons.
  • Organised Curriculum Sequence: A logical and thoughtful approach to any curriculum makes the courses more legible for the students. Unlike with other free apps, you will feel like you are building a foundation with Babbel. Each lesson continues from the base of the last and there’s nothing random in the courses. Babbel reviews always tell about how the words and phrases are woven into the lessons where students can understand their uses in different contexts.
  • Language Rules Explained Accurately: This is something you wouldn’t generally get with free apps. Language rules are very important, but fortunately, Babbel has got you covered. A number of learning sites don’t consider this when preparing language content - Babbel does. Not only does Babbel describe the language rules seamlessly, but it also provides instant opportunities to practice.
  • Teaches Useful Sentences: Much like you would expect from any language app, Babbel teaches entire phrases and sentences that can be used in real conversations. If you’re planning on touring a new country and truly want to immerse yourself in the culture, you have to know the basics of the language. You have to learn how to hold a general conversation and this is where Babbel comes in handy. This is interesting because every time you learn a new sentence, you could try pushing yourself to come up with variations in the sentence. Change the noun or verb and you’ll see you’ve progressed in your lessons.
  • Conversation Building: Babbel reviews are mostly positive things about how the platform can engage learners in a simulated conversation. You get a small explanation of the situation before the conversation begins. During this time, you have to fill in the blanks to form complete sentences. While a few of the other activities on Babbel are more straightforward, incorporating everything into a conversation makes it feel more interactive.
  • Convenient Learning: Let’s be real – you don’t have all the time in the world to commit to learning a new language. Especially if you’re an adult with a career, you know that time is of the essence. Chances are, you are always on the go. Under these circumstances, it’s necessary that whatever platform you choose comes with a convenient app for mobile devices. The integration between the online dashboard on a laptop or PC and the app also needs to be smooth. Babbel is very convenient and accessible for many. On Babbel’s app, progress is tracked on both ends, so you automatically pick up where you left off. You are certainly never missing a lesson. Some lessons from a few courses are downloadable too, giving you a great opportunity to brush up on your studies when you’re offline.
CONS
  • If you’ve checked out other Babbel reviews, you probably know the main things users don’t like about this platform. Babbel comes with its own shortcomings that you should know.
  • We have mentioned this once or twice before but let’s just get it out there once again – the lessons and study structure of Babbel is planned so that it can sometimes be monotonous. Some lessons can be time-consuming and somewhat in-depth, which explains why the lessons could be termed as “tedious.”
  • However, with Babbel, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives of the site, which makes it a great learning site overall.

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