Learning a new language in just 15 hours sounds too good to be true. Impossible, even. We were cautiously optimistic when a university study found that complete beginners only need 15 hours of studying with Babbel to learn the equivalent of a full college semester of Spanish.
So we decided to test it out for ourselves.
We challenged three beginners — Jenna, Jordan and Deb — to study Spanish with Babbel for 15 hours, and then threw them into a situation in which they were entirely immersed in the language. The competition was presented in Spanish, and the contestants were only allowed to speak Spanish. And with that, the 15-Hour Spanish Challenge was underway.
Contestants were forced out of their comfort zones and into the aisles of a Brooklyn supermarket. Under a strict time limit, they were tasked with finding a Spanish-speaking shopper and asking them for the ingredients to their favorite recipe (all in Spanish, of course!). Then they had to locate the ingredients and put them in their shopping cart before time ran out. The contestant to get the most correct ingredients in their cart would be the winner.
Check out the video to see who it was.
So how did Babbel’s app help the contestants prepare for the challenge?
- Interactive Dialogues — Fun, interactive dialogues gave contestants the confidence to speak Spanish with native speakers. The app’s integrated speech recognition technology helped them ace their pronunciation.
- Review Manager — With Babbel’s curated review sessions, contestants were able to reinforce what they were learning, helping them retain the information for the long term.
- Bite-Sized Lessons — 10-15 minute lessons allowed the contestants to learn on the go and at their own pace. Plus, Babbel syncs learning progress across devices, so they could easily pick up right where they left off.
Learning a language is about speaking a language, and with the help of Babbel, our novice challenge participants were able to have simple conversations in just 15 hours – and you can too!