Why Pay For Babbel — And Why ‘Free’ Apps Cost More Than You Think

Why isn’t Babbel free? Other language learning apps are! It’s a good question, and we have a good answer.

If you’re going to pay money for your language learning app, it’s only right that you get a clear idea of what it is you’re paying for first. Here’s why Babbel isn’t free.

1. The Myth Of ‘Free’ 

To put it bluntly: There’s no such thing as a free language-learning app. That much is probably clear to anyone who knows that labor isn’t free, either. If there isn’t a price tag for the user to see, then there are other ways you end up paying for something:

  1. You give up your personal data, which third parties use for advertising purposes. To quote the blogger Andrew Lewis: “If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.” Whenever you interact with something on Facebook, it’s recorded, and then this data is analyzed so the ads you see are personally tailored to you. The same goes for Google, which from your browsing habits alone (never mind the rest of the data it collects on you) knows a whole lot more about you than social media does. We’re not trying to paint some 1984-style dystopian picture here — but we want to be clear about our company values. At Babbel, thanks to our payment model, we only keep the information we need, and we never sell it.
  2. Another way is to put up with ads. This is fairly self-explanatory, but they can also be pretty invasive. At Babbel, we decided against ads — because when you’re learning, it’s learning you should be focused on.
  3. Or you can select an app with a so-called “freemium” model. This means that you can use them for free up ’til a certain point, but better content is hidden behind a paywall. Either you pay a fixed price for the full content, or you end up paying a cent here, a dollar there — which all adds up. In contrast, with Babbel you pay once and get access to all our lessons — which are constantly being expanded and updated.

With Babbel, you pay a fixed monthly fee for access to all our lessons — without suffering through ads, and without your data being passed on to third parties.

2. Value For Your Money

So how does Babbel compare to offline and traditional learning opportunities? A private tutor will set you back at least $20 per hour ($30 is closer to the average), and professional classes quite a bit more. Even group learning typically comes to about $15 to $30 per hour. Babbel is a much bigger bang for your buck in comparison, with prices from $6.95 per month. For this price, you get to decide how much and how often you want to learn. If you do one lesson per day, you end up paying only $0.22 per 15-minute lesson — that’s less than a quarter! 

At this point, it should be said that Babbel and learning with a tutor are not the same thing. There are different learning methods that produce different results for different people. It only makes sense to combine several different methods and figure out which one works best for you: sticky notes, watching foreign films, writing your own hip-hop lyrics in French, cooking recipes … creativity has no limits. Your language-learning process should be as dynamic as your life.

If you can afford a tutor or a language class, then Babbel is a fantastic way to keep practicing when you’re outside the classroom. Whatever you need more work on, whether it’s building your vocabulary, strengthening your conversational skills, or even improving your pronunciation (with our speech recognition software), Babbel is a great addition to your studies.

It comes down to value: With Babbel, one 15-minute language lesson costs less than a quarter. You can pick from 14 different languages to learn and 7 display languages. Get the most for your money!

Bonus Tip:

Babbel can also be used as an educational tool to take your career up a notch. Your employer may be willing to cover the costs of your professional development or even get other employees involved, too.

3. Quality Matters To Us

With Babbel, you’re paying for quality. We have more than 150 people working on our Didactics team and, with their expert linguistics knowledge, they can build the courses themselves — instead of working with machine-translated content like other apps. Teaching is a skill that takes years of study to master. After all, you wouldn’t want your kids to be taught math by someone who wasn’t qualified to be a mathematics teacher.

Don’t get us wrong — algorithms are great! But they’re also not a substitute for trained experts producing content. We have a real didactic method behind Babbel, and our team ensures your learning experience is tailored to suit your native language. A French native speaker, for example, will learn Italian in a completely different way than a German native speaker. Our team not only has expert knowledge about the grammatical aspects of these languages but, unlike a machine, they also know about the real world. That’s why we build our lessons around real-life situations.

Babbel means premium content — made in Germany with quality tech.

So try out whether or not Babbel is right for you. You’ll be paying a fair price for expert content, ad-free learning and data security!

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