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

A Flâneur In Paris: How I Discovered A Secret City Hiding In Plain Sight

The idea of the “flâneur” is peculiarly French – though it may appear scattered throughout several other cultures as well. Deriving from the French verb, “flâner”, meaning “to stroll” or “to saunter”, a “flâneur” is, simply put, “a person who walks the city in order to experience it”...

Does Learning A Foreign Language Actually Pay Off?

For a more well-rounded take on how knowing a foreign language can pay off, we asked our friend Rob, who carved himself a lucrative niche thanks to his language skills. He’s had a rewarding and exciting career specifically because he knows multiple languages...

7 Reasons Why Every American Should Learn Spanish

Do you want to improve your job prospects, increase your chances of finding love and immerse yourself in another culture without leaving your hometown? Look no further than the Spanish language! It’s America’s second most spoken, and most widely taught, non-English language. It’s also the country’s fastest growing language – period...

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...

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. ...

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...

5 Quotes To Inspire Any Language Learner

Are you desperate to learn a language, or already taking on the challenge, but find it difficult to stay motivated? When your ultimate goal, language fluency, seems months or years away motivation becomes the most important factor during the long haul. So here are five inspiring quotes to remind you that learning a foreign language is totally worth...

Public Viewings, Wellness And Shootings: How To Not Speak Denglish

British kids usually learn French, Spanish or German at school. I loved learning German. So much so that I studied German to A-Level (entspricht etwa Abitur) and then at university. I was finally able to read Schiller, Goethe and Brecht in the authors’ own words. So imagine my disappointment when I found the language actually spoken in Germany was somewhat… familiar. Double Whopper mit leckerem Bacon und Cheddar Cheese...

The Pigeon Without Wings, And other Brazilian Soccer Expressions

It’s undeniable that Brazil is “o País do Futebol” (the country of football), but not everyone may be aware that Brazilians also have their own “língua do futebol”. I consulted Pedro, our resident carioca da gema, to learn about his favorite Brazilian-Portuguese football expressions...

How To Name Animals In German

The German language has a pretty special ability: nouns, verbs, prepositions and adjectives can be stuck together like lego bricks to create new words that describe new things. With German you can invent a name for just about anything. Call it the language’s lego brick-like quality, or Legosteineigenschaft (see what I just did there?)...

My Favorite German Words

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)...

25 American Movies With Hilarious Foreign Titles

There seem to be several strategies when translating the name of a film into another language, and none of them work perfectly. You can go for a literal word-for-word translation, try to describe the film in the title, guess what the name might be based on the poster, or make up something completely new. Famous examples of bad translations include...

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...