We get it. You’re learning a new language but you don’t want to waste your time using the wrong product. With dozens of language apps out there in the market, each has their own advantages and disadvantages. The question is, which is right for you based on your learning needs, budget, schedule, and more?
You’re in luck. In today’s complete guide of Babbel vs Busuu, we’re going to reveal how each language app works, their pros and cons, business models, and alternatives you should consider. Let’s get started!
Overview of Babbel and Busuu
To keep things nice and organized, we decided to rank both language apps using these 5 critical factors:
- Time Required
- Language selection
- Cost: $12.95/month to $83.40/year
- Time required: 30 minutes a session
- Language selection: 14 languages available
- Engagement: Medium
- Specialty: Helps with beginner conversation phrases
- Cost: $12.99/mo to $85/year
- Time required: 30 minutes a session
- Language selection: 12+ languages available
- Engagement: Low-Medium
- Specialty: Grammar and vocabulary
Babbel vs Busuu breakdown
What is Babbel?
Babbel is a premium language app (no free plan) that offers instructional language lessons to beginner language learners. These are pre-packaged lessons that offer to help you with basic vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structures. The way Babbel has positioned themselves is that they claim to help you with more conversation skills compared to the other free apps out there.
What is Busuu?
Similar to Babbel, Busuu is an instructional language app to help you learn basic vocabulary and grammar. Unlike Babbel, Busuu offers a free plan but the plan only comes with minimal features like testing yourself with exercises and quizzes. If you want access to their grammar units, courses, and certifications, you’ll need to upgrade to their premium subscription (more info below).
How Babbel Works
Let’s go through how you would join Babbel as a new user.
1. What language do you want to learn?
You can get started by choosing which language youwant to learn. Given that you’re required to pay for each language course, you should make sure this is the language that you’re looking to learn over the next period. Babbel has over 30+ languages you can choose from.
2. Evalute your language skills
When you first get started, Babbel asks 10 or more questions to get a sense of how skilled you are in the target language. It appears that they are looking to get an idea of where to place you in their course and what lessons to recommend once you become a member. They also seem to collect some data about you to learn about your interests, demographic, etc.
3. Upgrade to a paid subscription
Once you’ve finished the first trial lesson, you’ll be asked to select a paid plan to continue your lessons. As of 2018, Babbel offers 4 different options, including a monthly plan, 3 month plan, 6 month plan, and a 12 month plan. If you choose a 3 month, 6 month, or 12 month plan, you’ll be billed upfront, so make sure you know that you’ll be learning with them for that period.
How Busuu Works
1. Pick which language you want to learn
The first step is to choose from one of the 11+ languages that Busuu offers. From there, you’ll create a free account to get started.
2. Upgrade to a Paid Subscription
The free version of Busuu’s app will only allow you to use their exercises and quizzes. If you want to gain access to advanced grammar units, tests, and full lesson plans, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
As of this writing, Busuu’s plans are broken down into four different billing cycles: 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, and 24 months. Like other apps, they’ll offer a larger discount if you sign up for a longer period of time.
3. Pick your level and topic of choice
Once you’re inside the Busuu app, you can choose which language level (and topic) that you want to learn for. These breakdown into:
- Beginner A1
- Elementary A2
- Intermediate B1
- Upper Intermediate B2
4. Complete the full set of lessons
Each lesson on Busuu will aim to focus on the following features:
As you choose different levels, the difficulty level will also adjust to reflect your choice. The paid premium option will allow you to download their lesson offline and learn while you are on-the-go. Based on reviews of other influencers like Benny Lewis, it seems that the materials being taught don’t always reflect the appropriate levels chosen. They do offer a chat feature which several have mentioned that it’s the main use of the app.
Both Busuu and Babbel have a simple business model: a recurring subscription paid by their users. As we mentioned above, the slight difference is that Busuu offers a very limited free version with exercises and quizzes, whereas Babbel requries you to upgrade to access any of their lessons and courses.
From a price perspective, they are also very similar ranging from around $6/mo to $13/mo on average with month-to-month, 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month plans available.
In terms of focus and specialty, both apps offer a similar service and there’s no noticeable difference. The only potential difference is that Babbel claims to offer conversational lessons but neither offers access to live conversational practice or sessions with native speakers.
In conclusion: Is Babbel better than Busuu?
At the end of the day, there does not seem to be a clear answer on which app is better. From a price, value, and time required perspective, they offer a very similar service. However, from a brand perspective it does seem that Babbel is more recognized, but that’s not a strong measure on whether it’s truly better than a similar service.
An Alternative to Babbel and Busuu
Now that we’ve given you an overview of the language apps, we want to offer an alternative (or complementary) solution that will help you:
- Build genuine relationships/friendships with other language speakers
- Explore new job opportunities in foreign countries/companies
- Travel around new countries with confidence
- and learn around your busy schedule.
That is, most software-based instructional apps can be useful for helping you learn basic words. However, the way we learned our native language was by speaking it with real humans and teachers. Why should learning your second or third language be any different?
This is why we’d like to introduce you to Rype.
Speak with confidence in record time with Rype
If you want to see real results in your language speaking abilities, research shows that the human brain retains…
5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from a lecture.
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
20% of what they learn from audio-visual
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned (Rype)
90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately (Rype)
100% personalized language program
While Babbel and Busuu offers a standard ‘one-size-fits-all’ curriculum that is identical for everyone, Rype offers a fully personalized language program based on your specific needs, goals, and level. The reason we can offer this is because each of our lessons are private. Think of it as having a personal trainer but for learning a new language.
The benefits of this approach is that you’ll be able to learn what you want, how you want, when you want. We understand that as individual humans, we all learn with different styles and that some students learn faster or slower than others. By personalizing each lesson to suit your specific needs, we’ve seen that students can learn significantly faster with higher engagement and enjoyment.
Concluding our Babbel and Busuu review
We hope this breakdown between Babbel and Busuu was useful. Like most solutions, both offer pros and cons, and you should be aware of them to see which one is right for you.
If you’re ready to accelerate your results to speak a new language confidently, Rype offers a risk-free trial for new members which you can claim today. Or learn how it works here.
If you still have questions, email us at anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can’t wait to have you inside our family.
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