What are your options when there’s no Slovak on Babbel? Ling, of course. But more on than that later. First, we’re going to look at how Babbel got to where it is today and why you should learn languages like Slovak generally. Towards the end of the post, we will also walk you through why you should learn foreign languages with the Ling App. Are you ready? Let’s get started!
Babbel’s Story Of Growth
Babbel has a simple origin story. In 2006 one of Thomas Holl’s friends wanted to learn Spanish. Thomas tried to help his friends but what he discovered during a Google search was that there were barely any materials online- that’s when the idea of Babbel was born. Thomas, and his three co-founders, admit they were pretty arrogant when they started. For a start, none of them had a teaching background, and it was brash of them to think they could dive straight in at the deep end of teaching a foreign language.
They originally tried adapting materials, but it didn’t mold well in an online format, so they started designing their own courses, and that is when their brand exploded.
But what is the philosophical principle holding it all together? The notion that not one size fits all. For example, French is easier to learn for a Spanish speaker than it is for an Indonesian. Applying that theory means the French course for a Spanish speaker is different from the French course for an Indonesian.
For evidence of its success, look no further than the year 2015 when they raised $22million in funding and then, even more lucratively, gained the attention of Apple, who had the company build a version of its app for the Apple Watch.
Of course, Babbel eventually had to expand from its Berlin base and in 2015 opened a U.S office in New York to better understand U.S learners.
Babbel was one of the few global businesses that actually benefited during the pandemic. With learners trapped at home, using an app was the only way to get their language practice. In October 2020, Babbel crossed the 10million subscribers mark, and recently it was announced they were launching an online teaching service where users could speak to native tutors in their target language.
A Little Information About Slovak
Learning Slovak has never been easier. But first, some info. Slovakia was disproportionately affected by the fall of communism and the Croatian war. Formerly it was part of Czechoslovakia but split in the 90s.
There are 12 Slavic languages, and Slovak is one of them. The language is written in the Latin script and is part of the Indo-European language group. There are currently five million speakers.
Why Should You Learn Slovak?
Firstly, as Babbel points out, 56% of users learn a language to communicate better when traveling. So we’re going to assume you’re reading this because you want to go to Slovakia either for business or pleasure. Needless to say, if you speak the language, you are much more likely to form deeper and long-lasting bonds with local people and potential colleagues. I personally find that studying the nuances of the lexicon of a country tells you a lot about the psychological and philosophical constitution of a people. But that’s a little too deep for this article, so we’re going to focus now on why you should visit Slovakia.
- Sense of Optimism. In relative terms, Slovakia can be considered a brand new country. It was only founded in 1993. It isn’t weighed down by history, and there’s a sense that people can forge their own destiny.
- Scenery and Skiing. Most of Slovakia lies above sea level, meaning spectacular views everywhere. The highest mountain range is the Carpathians. Not to mention there are 100 high-altitude lakes. Of course, being so mountainous means ample opportunities for skiing. The prices are low, and the mountains are high! The most famous ski resort is Jasná.
- Food, Drink, and Parties. Slovakians are ranked in the top 10 of most alcohol consumed per capita. Of course, this brings all sorts of health problems, but on the lighter side, it means they do like to party! The national drink is called Borovička and is similar to gin. The capital Bratislava is where you want to be if you prefer nightlife over day life.
Alternatives For Language Learners
- SimplyLearn is a phrasebook brought to you by Simya Solutions. Although it’s not a great way to learn Slovak, it will help you out in an emergency situation when you’re grasping for the right words.
- Youtube is the easiest way to learn Slovak. Like the app, you should build Youtube into your daily learning routine. It is invaluable to become part of a language learning community. Although apps like Babbel and Ling are beginning to embed cultural videos in their courses, Youtube is still the best for learning about a culture. The best channel I’ve been able to find is Learn Slovak With Stories.
- Preply. Learn Slovak with a native speaker. Although its much more expensive it is the best way to practice your speaking.
- Learn Slovak with Ling language courses
No Slovak On Babbel? Learn With Ling!
We pay particularly close attention to apps like Duolingo and Babbel because the level of success they’ve had is undeniable. Our mission is to bring many of the elements that these apps have, improve on them, and then focus on lesser-spoken languages.
That means we have listening practice recorded with native speakers, none intrusive simple grammar guides, SRS flashcards, mini-quizzes, and a chatbot that allows you to practice your speaking.
We also have the most dedicated blog in the language learning community. Sometimes we post up to 20 blogs a week on this site. If you’re interested in finding out more about Slovak, check out these two blogs Slovak Verbs and cooking verbs in Slovak.