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Babbel Vs Duolingo: Short But Honest Review

October 18, 2020

There are many people who are using apps and software for learning a new language. Babbel and Duolingo are two well-known language learning resources you can find online these days. They both have vocabulary practice in a wide range of languages. Both are accessible and affordable platforms for language learning.

But which one is the better option?

Well, it depends on what you need. Babbel and Duolingo have their strengths and weaknesses, just like any other product or service. In this review, I will talk about the differences between each one of them.

I hope that this Babbel vs. Duolingo match will help you figure out which platform is the best for you and suitable for your learning style. So, let’s get started.

Babbel Vs Duolingo: Which Languages You Can Learn

  • Babbel is harder for beginners compare with Duolingo
  • Duolingo has more languages to learn than Babbel, while Babbel offers 14 languages to learn, but you can learn 37 different languages in Duolingo
  • In terms of price, Babbel is cheap. However, Duolingo is free but has ads for the free version. You also can pay a monthly subscription, which it will be no ads
  • Babbel's lessons are useful in real-life interactions. On the other hand, users report that some phrases are not practical

Babbel Offers These Language Courses:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • Indonesian
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Swedish
  • Turkish

Duolingo Can Teach You Languages That Babbel Offers Plus:

  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese
  • Arabic
  • Czech
  • Greek
  • Hawaiian
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Irish
  • Latin
  • Romanian
  • Scottish Gaelic
  • Swahili
  • Ukrainian
  • Welsh

Technically not languages but you can learn them on Duolingo:

  • Esperanto
  • Klingon
  • High Valyrian

Currently being developed on Duolingo:

  • Hungarian
  • Navajo
  • Finnish


Duolingo Review

Duolingo is probably the most famous language learning application on the market. One of its biggest advantages is the fact that it is completely free, while the disadvantage may be that the lessons are relatively random. They have no additional explanations, which are sometimes key to understanding segments of a particular language.

The lessons are based on text, sound, or images, and through a series of questions and offered answers the application helps you to master one of the large numbers of languages that you can find on Duolingo.


Babbel Review

Babbel stands for a language learning service that aims to strike a balance between thoroughness and cost-effectiveness. The disadvantage of this service is that the free version offers only an initial lesson for each course.

However, bearing in mind that this is the only drawback, it can also be ignored. Like Linguist, this service offers you the ability to navigate through the lessons as you wish, and its biggest advantage is the fact that each course is adapted to the language in question.

While this sounds logical, the fact is that many courses are taught the same lessons, only translated into a given language. You can use Babbel if you visit a foreign country without worrying about whether are the words you learned true or you can create a cultural problem.


Babbel Vs Duolingo: Pros VS Cons For Each One


Pros Cons
Lessons are useful in real-life interactions A limited number of language courses offered
Audio tracks are clear You need to pay for each language course
Accents like those used by native speakers Not ideal for higher intermediate or advanced learners
Lessons follow a coherent pattern, building upon what has been previously taught There is a noticeable difference in content between mobile apps and websites
Cheaper than other paid services without sacrificing quality Weaker engine voice recognition compared to the competition
It is not a strictly online service, allowing the user to learn even offline
Emphasis on contextual and conversational learning
In-depth grammar lessons as part of the curriculum
The personalized progress assessment manager



Pros Cons
All courses are free There is no information in the beginning about how the whole course works
Allows tracking of your study time Duolingo doesn't fix bugs
Gamified lesson serves as a motivation for learners Tests you on words that have not been covered/introduced in the lesson
Allows you to take different language lessons simultaneously  free of charge The app breaks, sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently
Offers 95 different language courses in 38 languages If you want to learn a certain topic, you haven`t got any access to it unless you go through all the previous tasks
The operation is very easy and you have a clear overview of the content and different options
Phrases or vocabulary you learn are always spoken out loudly. There are also recording exercises to improve your speaking skills
If you are unsure about a word in a translation task you can retrieve its meaning/translation.  Grammar rules are explained in almost every task.
You are able to redo certain exercises or to strengthen the skills you already learned -> this helps to reinforce what you have learned

Price For Babbel And Duolingo

While in terms of price, Babbel sits halfway between the far more expensive and famous Rosetta Stone and the far cheaper free service Duolingo, which has a completely different approach from both.

Babbel is cheap. Babbel got $ 83.40 for an annual subscription. With a cheaper annual subscription price, Babbel offers full access to all of its languages for an additional $ 16.5, instead of charging for each additional language separately. This is definitely a point of sale if you are planning to learn multiple languages or would just like to learn the same language using different languages. However, the limited choice of languages you can learn or learn from can overshadow this additional feature and the free choice that Duolingo does not restrict access to any of its languages for the same price from scratch.

Final Thoughts

Sources of online learning seem to be getting better and better as they get more numerous. With diversity in services comes diversity in approaches without a single service that befits all language learners.

Babbel is harder for beginners and it might be better to use it after getting yourself acquainted with the language. Compared to Duolingo it pushes students to write more than reading and has a far more conversational approach, almost entirely teaching in the form of conversations. It is a greater emphasis on teaching grammars than alternatives, which seem to adhere more to the philosophy that students learn grammar through practice.

The choice of Babbel language is limited to fourteen countings in English, but for all the languages ​​available you can learn any use either. You can learn French as a German speaker or Swedish as an Indonesian speaker. Duolingo's mass-sourced library results in a much longer and rapidly growing list of languages ​​to learn from, and also making English language courses available to far more people from different language backgrounds. One of the main advantages of Babbel over the competition is the lack of support on its mobile applications which is very suitable for people who travel a lot. Another great advantage is the ability to choose a general learning topic in terms. You can choose an occupation or profession so that Babbel software focuses on your vocabulary during the learning process. If you are planning to work or study abroad, this more focused approach can be very helpful.

As I already said, the number of language learning apps out there is mind-boggling. You should consider learning a new language with Ling App.

Say goodbye to school books

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Practice hundreds of dialogues on the go. Talk to our chatbot about daily life topics.
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Stanislava Zivojinov

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