Which language
learning app
is right for you?

What sets Babbel apart from its competitors

At Babbel, we believe we are making the most effective language learning app on the market. We sometimes get asked how Babbel compares to its competitors, like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone. We’ve prepared this handy guide to help you evaluate.

Everyone learns differently, and some apps are more geared toward certain learning styles than others. For instance, Babbel uses science-backed learning methodologies to help you grasp your new language and remember what you learn. Some of Babbel’s competitors tend to focus on learning through gamification, while others focus on total immersion with little guidance in your native language. Decide which language learning program is right for you based on how you like to learn and the product features that matter most.

Babbel Rosetta Stone Duolingo
Learn to have real-life conversations Icon image Icon image Icon image
10-15 minute, bite-sized lessons Icon image Icon image Icon image
Courses designed by
language experts
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Helpful tips in your
native language
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Personalized review
sessions
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Speech recognition
technology
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Easy-to-understand
grammar tips
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Synchronized across
devices
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Cost of the
program
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Your first full lesson
is free
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Learn to have real-life conversations Icon image
10-15 minute, bite-sized lessons Icon image
Courses designed by language experts Icon image
Helpful tips in your native language Icon image
Personalized review sessions Icon image
Speech recognition technology Icon image
Easy-to-understand grammar tips Icon image
Synchronized across all devices Icon image
Cost of the program Icon image
Your first full lesson is free Icon image
Learn to have real-life conversations Icon image
10-15 minute, bite-sized lessons Icon image
Courses designed by language experts Icon image
Helpful tips in your native language Icon image
Personalized review sessions Icon image
Speech recognition technology Icon image
Easy-to-understand grammar tips Icon image
Synchronized across all devices Icon image
Cost of the program Not Available
Your first full lesson is free Not Available
Learn to have real-life conversations Icon image
10-15 minute, bite-sized lessons Icon image
Courses designed by language experts Icon image
Helpful tips in your native language Icon image
Personalized review sessions Icon image
Speech recognition technology Icon image
Easy-to-understand grammar tips Icon image
Synchronized across all devices Icon image
Cost of the program Dollar sign Dollar sign Dollar sign
Your first full lesson is free Icon image

See for yourself what sets Babbel apart

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Language learning you’ll actually use

Babbel is the shortest path to real-life conversations in a new language. A research-backed online language learning program and mobile app, we currently offer 14 different languages. Babbel is one of the best language learning apps, as evidenced by its dedicated base of more than one million active users, as well as by an independent study conducted by researchers at the City University of New York.

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Real-life conversations

Babbel teaches you vocabulary and grammar skills that you can actually use in practical situations. With Babbel, you will not learn random words and phrases with no link to reality. From the start, we’ll teach you how to have real-life conversations. From ordering at a restaurant to asking for directions, Babbel teaches you skills with practical applications. You’ll be able to use what you’ve learned right away, and then you can build on that progress in subsequent lessons. Each Babbel module also includes participation in a simulated conversation with native speakers about relevant topics that you can use in real life. That’s the whole purpose of learning a language: to be able to have conversations. We’ll help you gain the knowledge and confidence to do so.

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Bite-sized lessons

All of Babbel’s lessons can be completed in 10-15 minutes. Research shows that when you learn in short bursts, you take in more information and retain it better. We know you’re busy and that learning a language is a commitment. Our bite-sized lessons enable you to easily fit language learning into your schedule. Whenever you have a few minutes to spare – during your commute, while you’re waiting at the doctor’s office, or when dinner’s in the oven – you can complete a full Babbel lesson, turning downtime into time well spent.

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Courses designed by language experts

Rather than relying on an algorithm, Babbel’s courses have been meticulously crafted by our team of hundreds of language experts for your success. Your learning program is tailored based on both your native language and the language you want to learn. Babbel is the only language learning program that takes your native language into account and offers specialized courses based on specific language pairings. Our experts use effective educational methodologies to make sure you’re really learning and that the information will stick with you in the future.

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Helpful tips in native language

Babbel’s courses include useful hints in your native language, which make the learning process smoother and help you really grasp the concepts you’re learning. Other language learning programs throw you in the deep end. While one school of thought says that “immersive” learning works, the fact is our adult brains are wired to think in our native language. Babbel’s method of combining immersion in your new language with support from your native language is a highly effective way to learn. Let’s say you’re stuck on a tough grammatical concept. Your right brain refuses to move forward unless that concept is logically explained. And that’s exactly what Babbel does.

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Personalized review sessions

Our Review Manager updates based on your learning progress and allows you to review key information, so you’ll remember your new language for the long term. While many language learning programs have you review the content periodically, only Babbel’s adapts to your strengths and areas where you need improvement to make sure you really retain what you learn.

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Speech recognition technology

One of Babbel’s primary goals is to get you speaking right away. Our speech recognition technology gives you the opportunity to practice, so you’ll be able to speak correctly and with confidence.

Learning Topics

Easy-to-understand grammar tips

Unlike its competitors, Babbel makes sure you really grasp grammatical concepts and can use them correctly. Using learning techniques like matching and sentence completion, Babbel’s courses are designed to introduce grammar rules seamlessly into your language learning experience.

With these tools, Babbel gets
you conversational fast

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Babbel on the go

Babbel is designed to fit conveniently into your busy schedule. Our program is available on desktop, tablet, and mobile – and your learning progress syncs across your devices. This means you can pick up right where you left off when you switch from using your computer to using your phone, and vice versa.

The smart way to learn a language

Babbel is the #1 selling language learning app in the world. We were founded in 2007 and have been considered the industry leader since then. In addition, we’ve been ranked as the world’s #1 innovative company in education. Our promise is to provide courses that give you language skills you can use right away. 73% of our users indicated that they’d be able to have a short, simple conversation in their new language within five hours of using Babbel.

One point that sets Babbel apart from its competitors is the Babbel Method. The best language learning apps are designed by language experts, and our language team is one of Babbel’s greatest assets. This team of experts designs our courses using empirically proven learning methods, including speech recognition technology that helps you speak a new language with confidence, a personalized review manager to help you retain what you learn for the long-term, and courses tailored to your native language and specific interests.

The Babbel Method takes into account that everyone learns differently and uses listening, speaking, seeing, reading and writing to help them master their new language.

Babbel promises the shortest path to real-life conversations by:

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Immersing you in a new language through real-life dialogues that get you speaking right away
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Building each course based on your native language and personal interests

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Employing proven cognitive techniques that move new vocabulary to your long-term memory

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Using human voices and speech recognition to get you speaking confidently

Learn smarter, not harder

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Speak instantly with confidence

Babbel gives you the skills needed to start speaking your new language right away by immersing you in real-life conversations, rather than drilling isolated vocabulary or grammar rules. Beginners start with greetings like, “Hello, how are you,” and gradually build up to practical dialogues like, “How can I book a single room?” This method of learning through conversation also teaches vocabulary actively and passively in the context of the dialogues. Our speech recognition technology lets you practice speaking aloud, giving you the confidence to start talking right away. The ability to have real-life conversations based on what you learn is an area in which Babbel’s competitors are lacking.

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Retain for the long term

What’s the use of learning something only to forget all the information down the road? This is why Babbel is carefully designed to make what you learn stick. Our courses send information from short-term to long-term memory by reintroducing words and phrases periodically and providing a review manager to move this new information into patterns that the brain will save.

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Refine your pronunciation

At Babbel, we believe authentically learning a language will lead to authentic experiences. We use real voices of native speakers in our lessons so you can hear how the language actually sounds and then practice your accent with our speech recognition technology. Once you get that down, you can speak the language with confidence.

Learning Topics

Learning tailored to your needs

Every individual has different interests and learns best in different ways. Babbel offers a mix of reading, writing, speaking, seeing, and listening to help address your individual learning type. When you learn with Babbel, you can choose from a wide range of topics (like business, food, travel, and more) that are useful in real-life situations.

How Babbel takes a modern approach to language learning

The Babbel Approach

Old school language learning tends to focus on rote memorization of words and phrases through the use of flashcards, audio tapes, textbooks and CD-ROMs. But simply memorizing words and phrases won’t necessarily help you in real-life situations. If the conversation takes an unexpected turn, you’ll be lost. Babbel makes sure you’re ready to have those real-life conversations.

Outdated technology is at the core of old-school language learning, and digital innovations have improved upon this technology over the years. CDs are a relic of the past; many computers don’t even come with CD players anymore. And textbooks are an inadequate medium for something as dynamic as language learning. Babbel is the modern way to learn a language. We use technology and proven teaching methods to make language learning easy and fun.

While there are other ways to learn a language online, some of which come at no cost, you truly get what you pay for. You can pick up some vocabulary from free programs, but the lessons aren’t designed to get you speaking the language or to help you retain it for the long term. That’s what sets Babbel apart. And it won’t break the bank. You can get Babbel for a lower monthly price than your Netflix or Spotify subscription. Learn more about old-school versus modern language learning in the Babbel Magazine.

Babbel really works

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Proven successful

We’re not all talk. The Babbel Efficacy Study, conducted by researchers from the City University of New York and the University of South Carolina, found that Babbel users can learn Spanish faster than users of the other language learning apps tested.* Babbel users were able to cover the requirements of a semester-long college Spanish course in just 21 hours of study with Babbel over a two-month period, compared to 34 hours for Duolingo users and 55 hours for Rosetta Stone users. In other words, Babbel users can learn Spanish more than 2.5x faster than users of Rosetta Stone. Additionally, the study found that 9 out of 10 Babbel users improved their Spanish proficiency in just two months. 95% of users surveyed said Babbel is “easy to use” and 99% said they would continue learning with Babbel. The study supported what we already knew: Babbel is one of the most effective language learning apps on the market.

*Vesselinov, R. and Grego, J. The Babbel Efficacy Study. New York 2016

Babbel Medal

Praise from the Press

PC Magazine
“Babbel exceeds expectations, delivering high-quality, self-paced courses.”
The Economist
“Babbel’s lessons, unlike Duolingo’s, first focus on building basic conversational skills.”
Business Insider
“This empirically-proven method will have you speaking correctly and confidently in no time. So if you're serious about learning a foreign language, you might want to give Babbel a shot.”
The Telegraph
“The concept is based on quick, bite-size lessons presented in an entertaining visual way. It was quick, easy and enjoyable enough to convince me to sign up.”
The Next Web
“Babbel is one of the stalwarts of the online language-learning sphere.”
Fast Company
“Named 2016's most innovative company in education”

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