Babbel Review: It Talks the Talk AND Lives Up to the Hype
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You know those projects in elementary school where you’d make a family tree? Well, I never got to make one and I’m still a little salty about it. So I decided to start as an adult (minus the colorful construction paper) and gathered all the family gossip from my relatives. I already knew that I’m (literally 99.9%) German, but I didn’t realize that I was the first generation in my family to not be taught at least some of the language.
I tried to learn other languages before—French in high school and Spanish in college—but guess how much of it I know now? Exactly. This time around I wanted to try a different method so it would *actually* stick. I chose the infamous Babbel language learning app, which is currently available in a lifetime subscription for $150 (through 10/23).
Babbel has amazing reviews and over 10 million users around the world—73% of which Babbel says noted they’d be able to have a short, simple chat in their new language within five hours of lessons.
Of 14 available courses, I (obviously) picked German. But I can practice all of them anytime I want.
Worth the Price...As Long as I Stick With It
The $150 price tag initially seemed high to me, so I did the math and realized the lifetime subscription will end up saving me thousands vs. paying monthly or yearly fees with other apps. And, it’s usually $599, so this price was too good to pass up.
What really sold me was the “speech-recognition technology” that listens to my pronunciation. When I studied French and Spanish, I’d have people ask me to say something, and I’d chicken out because I didn’t have enough practice. With Babbel, I’m forced to practice my speech, which is a good thing (though I can turn it off if I want to practice without talking!).
From Oktoberfest Lingo to Real German Studies
Babbel had me take a skill-level quiz, and I was placed into the beginner’s course; though I do know a little German lingo from attending Oktoberfest. I also set custom notifications that ping me to come for a lesson after work.
Each session really does take around 10 minutes—oftentimes a lot less! And, when I’m not in the mood to learn anything new (hello, Fridays after 5pm), I can grab a quick review session instead. It lets me choose if I want to review with flashcards, writing, listening, speaking, or playing one of the games (which nerds like me will think are super fun).
I’m also pleasantly surprised with the offline mode. I thought downloading lessons or review sessions was going to be a pain in the you-know-what, but it’s actually just a tap of the download button on each lesson.
I’m Hooked on Babbel FR
Warning: Babbel gets ADDICTING. And I’m not talking about cheesy motivational phrases, I mean like binge-reading an entire book in one sitting vibes.
I’m following a character named Freddy through his move to Germany. I get to play him in mock conversations in things like ordering at a bakery, planning a bike ride, and even celebrating his birthday. At the end of each convo, Babbel tricks me into doing another lesson with something like: Come back to bake a cake for Freddy’s birthday! How can I say no? And just like that, I do 17+ lessons in one sitting.
I’ve been using Babbel for over a week now, and I’m halfway done with the Newcomer course—with ten (longer ones) to go! I think this is enough content to last at least a few years of consistent learning. Then I might have to dabble in some French or Spanish again because I seriously don’t remember a thing.
The Start of a Lifelong Journey
Now every generation in my family knows some German. I plan to continue using the app every day and build a really good habit. I mean, I got a killer deal on a lifetime Babbel subscription ($150, regularly $599) and I’m going to make the most of it! Who knows, maybe I can properly order a bier or vegetarian schnitzel at the next festival in my town.
Babbel Language Learning: Lifetime Subscription (All Languages)
Learn 14 Languages & Access More Than 10,000 Hours of High-Quality Language Education Online
Prices subject to change. Babbel $149.97 price drop ends 11:59pm 10/23/23.
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