Learn languages online

Learn a language online on Babbel.com with our award winning, fully interactive language courses. You’ll make fast progress and have fun doing it.

Try it now

How The Rosetta Stone Cracked The Hieroglyphic Code

In today’s world, where businesses are international and broadcasts are multilingual, lots and lots of text needs to be translated every day, the bulk of it by non-digital professionals. So what does any of this have to do with the Rosetta Stone? Patience. There’s a story here, but to start we have to flashback – way back – all the way back to Egypt circa 500 B.C. ...

How I Learned To Love The French Language

When I started learning French as a freshman in high school, I remember experiencing a deep sense of inadequacy, an abundance of self-doubt, and a general feeling of oafishness.This lasted for about six months, causing me to question my intelligence, my worthiness, and my reasons for being there in the first place...

You Can’t Say That In English! Untranslatable Words From Around The World

By some estimates the English language has more than a million words. It’s impossible to nail down an exact figure, but it’s generally agreed that no other language has nearly as many. It’s not like any of us *use* all one million words, but still – you would think that English must have a word for everything, right? No way. Not even close. There are over 6,000 languages spoken on Earth...

139 Old Norse Words That Invaded The English Language

The Old Norse noun víking meant an overseas expedition, and a vikingr was someone who went on one of these expeditions. In the popular imagination, the Vikings were essentially pirates from the fjords of Denmark and Norway who descended on medieval England like a bloodthirsty frat party; they raped, pillaged, murdered, razed villages and then sailed back across the North Sea with the loot. But the truth is far more nuanced...

How To Eat Like An Italian

The first meal you ever eat in Italy is an adventure. I had just arrived in Florence with my friend Tom, armed only with a phrasebook and plenty of self-confidence. We strolled along the Arno river and took selfies in front of the Ponte Vecchio. As the last rays of the sun gleamed off il Duomo, we spotted a quiet restaurant overlooking the river. This was the moment we had been waiting for. Our first meal in Italy...

My Favorite Spanish Words

When I left university I felt like I was bursting through a set of saloon swing doors, arms loaded with qualifications about to hold up the professional world until they handed over the job of my dreams. I think many graduates feel like this, and this misplaced confidence compounds the disappointment when...

Why People Learn Languages

There are as many different answers to this question as there are language learners. So Babbel decided to conduct a survey to start narrowing it down a bit. Over 5,000 Babbel users in six countries took part – in France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy, and the USA. They were asked about their...

The Polyglot Game

Polyglots Matthew & Erika turn their multilingual skills into a game. Just how quickly and easily can these polyglots switch from one language to another? They both use their language skills every day in their work at Babbel. But our resident polyglots...

Ocean Piglets, Shield Toads and Naked Snails

The German language is famous for some really long nouns (Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän comes to mind). This is because German nouns, verbs, prepositions and adjectives are like lego bricks; you can stick them together in almost any way to create new words that encapsulate new concepts. This gives the language a special ability to name just about anything...

My Favorite German Words, My Barber and I

As I settled into the barber’s chair and once again attempted to allay my long-held fear of a man with a sharp implement in his hand and questionable politics, I readied my mind. I had been coming to this barber ever since my follicles first demanded it...

5 Ways That Speaking A Language Is Like Playing Music

Erika can’t really say where she’s from. Not because she doesn’t know (she was born in Soriano nel Cimino, Italy) but because her family history is one of such incessant wanderlust that there are actually too many places she could claim as home (the last three generations of her family have lived on four different continents)...

Top 10 Tips To Learn A Language by Matthew The Polyglot

Matthew Youlden speaks nine languages fluently and understands more than a dozen more. We work in the same office in Berlin, so I constantly hear him using his skills, switching from language to language like a chameleon changing colors. In fact, for the longest time I didn’t even know he was British...