Babbel is one of the cheap ways to get started with learning Spanish (or any of their other 13 languages). You can start with Babbel by getting a 1 month membership for $12.95, so the initial investment is much lower than with other courses which can be up to $300 – $500.
I like that you can start it for cheaply, because I see many people who get very excited about learning a new language, and with that excitement they spend hundreds of $$$ on a course, and then a month later they lose their enthusiasm and never use the program again.
I think Babbel offers a great way to get started with learning a new language for a month or two, and then seeing if you fall in love with the new language and want to commit to studying the language until you are fluent, or if you find that you don’t particularly like the language and lose your enthusiasm for learning the new language.
Overview of Babbel
Babbel is a software type program which teaches you mostly through listening, writing and spelling, but also incorporating elements of speaking and reading. Their software and material are both high quality! They are also constantly improving it, which is always nice to see!
Unlike audio course, you would have to sit down and complete the exercises. If you the kind of person who wants to dedicate full attention to the activity of learning the language, with a dedicated time for it, then Babbel would be perfect for you!
The lessons on Babbel are fairly short, at 4-12 minutes per lesson, so their course is quite adaptable to how many minutes you can set aside at a time!
It is quite similar in this way with Rosetta Stone and Fluenz, but at a much cheaper price point!
Pros of Babbel
1. Cheap entry price point
Like I mentioned earlier, Babbel would be a cheap way to start learning a language, so you can later see if you fall in love with the language, and would like to commit for the long term.
If you find that you don’t like learning the language, or lose your motivation to do so, you can just cancel your membership and you don’t have to spend $300 – $500 to get started like you do with many other courses.
2. Good for intermediate level students
While the majority of language learning courses are designed for complete beginners, Babbel is a great choice for people who already speak the language a little bit! This is mainly because you are allowed to skip around in the lessons, choose which lessons you want to learn, and don’t have to go in a straight line from the beginning to the end.
3. They do a good job at keeping you motivated
I think that since they use a subscription model and would like to keep you using their software as long as possible, it is in their interest to keep you motivated and interested in using their software.
And they do a great job at it! They have a points and rewards system integrated in their software, making learning a language a bit like a video game, so you get a bit addicted to it and motivated to keep going!
Cons of Babbel
1. The course requires your full attention
This is not a con for everyone, but in today’s world, many people would claim to be very busy and have no free time, so they may find difficult to dedicate time exclusive for learning a language. If that’s the case, then perhaps an audio course such as Rocket Spanish would be better for you!
2. To use Babbel, you must be online
They don’t offer offline content such as PDF study guides, or downloadable MP3 files. Again, not a con for everyone, but I like downloading these to study on the go, where I may not always have an internet connection.
To recommend Rocket Languages again, they offer downloadable MP3’s, downloadable games, PDF study sheets and workbook exercises.
3. Can throw a lot of new words at beginners
This doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, especially if you enjoy the challenge!
However, when I tried Babbel on a new language, Italian, I found that I was seeing many new words at the beginning of the course which I didn’t understand and were never explained to me. This can be a little bit frustrating if you are not prepared for it.
I like Babbel and it’s a great and inexpensive course for people who want to dedicate time exclusively for learning a language.
I didn’t stay with it too long, because I prefer audio courses to listen to in the car and during my workouts, so I chose Rocket Languages as my main course.
In conclusion, Babbel is a great and inexpensive course, so definitely worth trying out for a month to see if it’s right for you!