Whether you’ve just started learning a language or you’ve already mastered a second or third language, there’s a high chance you’ve heard of the language app Babbel. Considering that it’s one of the most popular language-learning resources online, many language learners have encountered or used it at one point in their language-learning journeys.
These are just a couple of questions that this Babbel review aims to answer. In this Babbel app review, we’ll get a closer look at how the Babbel method works, its features and course materials, and whether it’s effective for reaching fluency. Let’s get to it, shall we?
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What is Babbel?
Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Babbel is a subscription-based language learning app that was launched in 2008. The app is built on the premise of learning language through real-life conversations and effective review methods to lodge new vocab or grammar into long-term memory.
Babbel helps build all core language skills — listening, speaking, reading, and writing — through a variety of exercises. What’s great is that you’ll be learning phrases that are actually used by locals.
Babbel’s comprehensive courses can also take you from beginner to advanced levels, although the structure and thoroughness vary per language. Some courses have curricula primarily organized into difficulty levels while some are organized by topics (e.g., Business German, Countries and Traditions, etc.).
What languages can you learn with Babbel?
One of the most common criticisms of Babbel is its slim roster of languages. As of writing, the app only has 13 languages (or 14 if you count the Latin American Spanish separately) on offer.
Spanish (Latin America), Spanish (Spain), French, Italian, German, Russian, Portuguese, Norwegian, Polish, Dutch, Swedish, Turkish, Danish, Indonesian
How Babbel courses and lessons work
Because each language has distinct features and cultural contexts, Babbel’s course offerings vary per language. The number of courses and lessons available also differ. What’s great is that you can preview the curricula on the website before you commit.
For this Babbel review, I chose to learn French, which is one of its most comprehensive courses. Babbel French has 20 courses ranging from newcomer to advanced and 51 specialized courses (e.g., French grammar, Business French, French idioms), making up a total of 71 courses.
The French course lets you learn over 3,000 commonly used words. This should be enough to make you conversational in the language, if not fluent.
Each course has varying numbers of lessons but it’s usually within 8 to 15 lessons per course, all clearly labeled and can be taken in any order you prefer. Want to jump to intermediate course 3 lesson 4 right away? You can! You won’t be forced down any particular learning path.
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