Review: Babbel

By Ms. IT Nerd

Have you ever wanted to learn another language for work, to talk to your in-laws, to connect with the local people in another country or to learn for the joy of learning? For me it was the desire to learn French on my own schedule so that I can converse with Francophone speaking people when I travelled to French speaking cities of Canada such as Quebec City or any other French-speaking country in the world.

Why Babbel? The idea of learning in the privacy of my own home on my schedule was very appealing to me as I am still have memories from my experience in high school French class. Babbel offers instruction in many languages: German, English, Turkish, Italian, Portuguese, Indonesian, Dutch, French, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian Polish and Russian.

From the first lesson I can tell that the Babbel language program is designed for all ages with different learning styles that can be self-directed at times. It is an intuitive program each lesson within the course starts off with pronunciation with pictures then builds on it with grammar and along the way provides you with tips and setting you up slowly to conversational level French. I notice on the app it allows you to practice a phrase indefinitely if you have voice recognition turned on (which I highly recommend) then you can have it correct your pronunciation until you get it right. However, when I use my laptop and login via the Internet Babbel will only allow you a finite number of tries before you are move on to the next phrase or word. While I may be frustrated at times, Babbel does a good job of not only teaching pronunciation, but also corrects you on your grammar and spelling. Having said that, Babbel does an excellent job at bookmarking your spot from your desktop to mobile phone app as it’s all under your account.

One thing I wish was for Babbel to have a rewind button while you are in the middle of a lesson. While Babbel will repeat a phrase on the screen it does not allow you to go back to a previous screen within a lesson unless you are willing to start over. Another item on my wish list (after all this is the holiday season) would be for Babbel to have a chart of verbs in a similar way they have a running list of vocabulary of words that I have already learned. Finally, for any future updates Babbel a value-add would be to provide users with an explanation as to why they are wrong. Currently, it will beep and show the correction but I am slow sometimes and I have to look at the correct answer closely and reason out the various reason I was wrong as there could be a variety of reasons such as mis-spelled by one letter, I forgot part of a phrase, I used the wrong feminine or masculine form or plural or apostrophe, or I was missing an article in a sentence.

Babbel pricing is subscription based and can be viewed here. I enjoyed learning again with Babbel it’s intuitive and it’s easy to get started and use. Compared to other options it’s reasonably priced and more convenient than an in-person classes.



One Response to “Review: Babbel”

  1. […] Learning a new language might be something that Mom could really go for. There’s no better way to do it than by using Babble. Mom can use it on her computer or smartphone to learn a number of languages easily. Read the review that my wife did on Babble here. […]

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