Duolingo and Babbel are two different language-learning platforms available today. Each different program provides various benefits and drawbacks, and one program might not be right for everyone. That’s why having multiple options is so great! In this article, we’ll be comparing Babbel vs. Duolingo thoroughly so you can make an informed decision about which platform might be best for you.

What Is Babbel?

Babbel is a paid language learning platform that focuses on practical language learning through conversation in addition to vocabulary and grammar. It’s marketed to beginners and intermediate learners and offers fourteen language choices. The application starts at around $7 per month, but you must pay for every language you want to learn. In this Babbel review, we’ll go a bit more in-depth to Babel’s pros, cons, and uses.

How Babbel Works

After selecting the language you want to learn on Babbel, they will direct you through a proficiency test to help determine where your skills lie. After that, you will be given a free trial lesson to see if you like the program. Once your trial is up, you’ll have the choice of picking between one-month, three-month, six-month, and twelve-month plans. The longer the plan period, the less you’ll end up paying.

Babbel’s edge lies in the fact that it’s designed around teaching its users how to speak in practical conversation. Rather than only teaching the user one word at a time, it’s set up to teach phrases and sentences, in addition to understanding sentence structure.

Pros and Cons of Babbel

When comparing Babbel vs. Duolingo, the main con to Babbel is the fact that you cannot use it for free. After you finish the trial lesson, you must either purchase a membership or quit using the platform. However, compared to other paid language-learning programs, Babbel is relatively cheap. However, its language choices are far fewer than Duolingo, too.

The lessons taught in Babbel are useful, focused concepts that show the user how to speak in real conversation. There is also an abundance of help available if you have questions, and the lessons taught in Babbel build upon each other, making it easier to retain what you learn. The audio feed from Babbel is also very clear and easy to understand.

However, Babbel doesn’t have nearly as many features as Duolingo does, and specifically the features that help keep you motivated. Additionally, there’s not much variety in terms of exercises, so they can grow boring. Also, if you’re looking to learn more than one language, the price of Babbel can quickly climb while Duolingo stays free.

What Is Duolingo?

Duolingo is a free language learning platform that focuses on things called “skills.” These skills are small modules that have to do with a specific topic, and you end up learning individual words more than sentences. In this Duolingo review, we’ll tell you a bit more about how the program works and how it might benefit you.

Due to its structure, Duolingo is best suited to beginners, but intermediate learners may find some benefit in some of its other functions, like story mode. Duolingo offers more than double the language options of Babbel, and it’s one of the most widely used language-learning platforms available. It’s also very user-friendly.

How Duolingo Works

Duolingo is unique because it’s built around a distinctly progress-based structure. Users finish lessons in order to pass checkpoints, complete courses, and earn “gold status.” When you’ve made gold status for a language on Duolingo, it’s suggested that you know the language well.

Duolingo is 100% free, which sets it apart from Babbel. However, it does have ads within the platform that some users may not like. To get rid of ads, you can subscribe to Duolingo Plus, which starts around $7 per month, just like Babel. Duolingo Plus also allows users to download lessons to learn offline, too.

Duolingo’s app-based design also means that it integrates into your life exceptionally well. When setting up your language in Duolingo, you will be prompted to pick how much time you’d like to spend learning the language each day. There are four “goal” levels that Duolingo will prompt you to complete each day:

  • Casual: 5 minutes per day
  • Regular: 10 minutes per day
  • Serious: 15 minutes per day
  • Insane: 20 minutes per day

Pros and Cons of Duolingo

When comparing Babbel vs. Duolingo, it’s clear that Duolingo’s biggest advantage is that it’s available for free. It’s also easy to start using, and there are many languages to interest users. It’s also designed to be similar to a game or app, with skill badges to earn and points to accrue in order to show your prowess. However, Duolingo’s learning style is different in that it throws sentences together seemingly randomly.

Duolingo’s focus is more on vocabulary and grammar rather than useful real-life sentences. As such, the audio for these sentences is a bit strange, too. This may be fine for some people who are only looking to dabble in a language or learn several at one time, but for serious users who want to learn and use a language right away, this might not be sufficient.

Conclusion

For Babbel vs. Duolingo, there isn’t a clear winning program between the two. However, each application has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each one has various situations where it might be the better choice. For a student looking to learn and use a language immediately, for example, Babbel might be the better choice because it teaches you useful sentences right away.

However, for someone who’s just looking to have a little fun learning something new, Babbel would likely get boring quickly, and it would probably be overkill, too. With Duolingo, someone looking to dabble or someone who’s not sure what language they want to learn could try several new languages at once, or they would be able to try one on for size before fully committing to it as they’d have to with Babbel.

Overall, Duolingo seems to be the more generally useful application across the board, while Babbel’s uses are more situational but no less significant.