Babbel is one of those things that you find and suddenly you get motivated. I’ve wanted to learn how to speak Spanish for years, but I rarely take the time to delve into my Rosetta Stone or other desktop software to do it. With me, if I’m in front of my desk, I’m likely blogging…and I can’t blog and speak at the same time. My brain just doesn’t work that way.
But what if I could learn a language while I’m on a plane, in the car or otherwise away from my computer? Sadly, the majority of language learning apps that I’ve tried are severely lacking in both content and method. Babbel, from what I’ve seen, manages to fill the void in both departments. First off, have a look at the video:
As you can see, the desktop version of Babbel is pretty in depth. The mobile version, obviously, lacks that depth but is still plenty strong to keep you up on your practice sessions or learning new material. The great part? It’s also free. What’s really cool about the mobile apps is that they have voice recognition. There are 7 languages available, and Babbel can tell you if your pronunciation is right or still needs a bit of work.
Before you even get to the speaking part, though, there are introductory lessons that are engaging and very well thought out in their teaching methods. You’ll first go through a series of words, listening to them with pictures that give you context by which you can remember them. Once you’ve heard them, you’ll go through a series of quizzes that work both from your native and the learned language to help you retain the information. It’s the same method that Rosetta Stone uses, but in a lighter version that is well-suited to mobile.
The goal of giving away the mobile apps for free, of course, is to get you to sign up for the full content lessons for when you’re in front of your computer. Honestly, they’re affordable and quite good from what I’ve seen. I’d say that they’re well worth the $7.95 price point for a 3 month subscription.
Barring all else, give it a try. You can download the language of your choice via the App Store and there’s no commitment necessary. I’m inspired by Babbel, and hopefully you will be too. However, if you know of a better choice for mobile, please fill me in.