Summary: Babbel is an affordable language learning tool that offers a lot of information and can be of great help to beginners and lower intermediate students. They structured the lessons very well, providing explanations and a lot of vocabulary for their students. The materials are easy to go through and fairly engaging. It’s not my favorite resource around but it’s not bad either.
Through its repetitive lesson structure, Babbel offers a solid starting point.
Babbel offers comprehensive and extensive lessons; they’ll work well for any beginner student.
The price is very reasonable.
I Like… Repetitive nature of the lessons
The lessons are connected and they build up your knowledge in a progressive way
Engaging content and comprehensive lessons
Flexible learning plan and self-directed – you have can choose what to learn and when to do it
I Don’t Like… No downloadable materials
Not a very unique learning structure, similar to Duolingo (matching words to images)
Won’t sufficiently develop your conversational skills
Price: The price for a personal plan varies depending on the length of the subscription. One month costs $12.95 and the price falls to $6.95/month if you purchase a full year. There are also 3 and 6-month plans as well.
Languages: German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish, Dutch, Polish, Indonesian, Russian, Danish, Norwegian, and English
Duolingo and LingoDeer are two free alternatives to Babbel that are fairly similar but don’t cover the content with as much depth.
It’s hard to give the best alternative for Babbel because it depends so much on the language you’re studying, along with your own preferences. We’ve really liked Italy Made Easy for Italian, Baselang for Spanish, ChineseFor.Us for Mandarin, Rocket French for French, and Semantica for Portuguese.
Summary: Yabla is a platform that makes it easier for language learners to incorporate tv and other videos into their study routine. They support six languages, all of which have over 1000 short videos included. You’ll find captions in two languages and can click on unknown words to see their definitions. It’s pretty useful but I’m not so certain that it’s worth paying for.
It works fine but won’t be winning any design awards
Lots of variety in video content
The price is reasonable for a supplementary study tool.
Lots of multi-part video series.
Entertaining content covering a wide variety of topics.
Some useful activities to review the content from the videos.
I Don’t Like…
Although each language has over 1000 videos, most videos are only 1-2 minutes long.
The design could be improved, especially on mobile.
I had a hard time using it enough to justify continuing to pay for a subscription.
Price: A subscription to Yabla costs $9.95/month, $54.95/six-months, or $99.95/year.
Summary:Verbling is a language learning platform where you can find and book classes directly from a teacher. It’s very similar to italki with a few minor differences. Unfortunately, on Verbling, the cost of lessons are generally higher and the number of teachers to choose from fewer. Still, it’s a fairly good option for finding a teacher.
Professional teachers that have to submit an application
Doesn’t use Skype for lessons
Cheaper than most options, but more expensive than italki
I Like Teachers are experienced and professional. No need to deposit money or buy credits first. Can simply pay one lesson at a time. Also has many payment options including Bitcoin. Well designed platform that makes booking lessons easy.
I Don’t Like Lessons are more expensive compared to italki. Far fewer teachers to choose from compared to italki. Fairly expensive if you’re only looking for conversation practice.
Price: The cost of lessons varies depending on the teacher and the language. The average cost for an hour long Spanish class is $18, for French it’s $24, and for German it’s $31. There are many other languages available as well.
Summary: italki is the most flexible and affordable place to find a tutor for the language you’re learning. They have a huge number of teachers offering classes to students of over 100 different languages. As a learner, you’ll be able to find a tutor that best fits your learning style, schedule, and personality. Teachers are able to set their own prices and make their own schedule.
You’ll find everyone from long-time professionals to brand new teachers.
The overall platform has tons of useful features but also some room for improvement.
Huge number of teachers, low prices, and flexible scheduling.
I Like… There are large numbers of teachers available even for less common languages.
You can find skilled teachers even at low prices.
The flexibility to schedule lessons whenever convenient. The huge number of teachers guarantees you’ll find someone to fit your schedule.
The extra features like answers, notebook, and language partners makes it easy to ask questions, get your writing checked, and find a free language exchange partner.
I Don’t Like… You have to load money onto your account before paying for a class. You can’t simply pay one class at a time without buying credits first.
You may need to try several tutors before finding one that fits your learning and personality style.
It’s easy to not take classes as often as you should.
Price: The prices vary by teacher and language with some being as low as $4 and others as high as $60 per hour. Most will fall somewhere near the $10 per hour range.
Summary: Lingvist is a great language learning tool which relies primarily on flashcards. It is an intelligent resource which judges your fluency level in the language and accordingly sets the difficulty of the questions for you. It also has a separate challenges section that trains your reading, listening, grammar and speaking skills. While the resource is a simple one, it is quite addictive and fun to use. It’s only suitable for beginner or intermediate level learners.
The app is designed exceptionally well with content that was clearly well thought through.
Easy to learn lots of new words and improve your grammar, but it won’t take you past the intermediate level.
A monthly subscription is rather expensive, but prices become more reasonable with longer subscription lengths.
The flashcard system which ensures revision
The speed of the whole learning process
Use of external motivators
I Don’t Like
Lack of variety of exercises
Speaking skills aren’t prioritized
Limited number of challenges
Price: The free version allows access to most features but is limited in some ways. Paid subscriptions vary by length; the monthly plan costs $22.95, quarterly is $15.98 per month, and yearly is $7.50 per month.
Languages: French, German, Spanish, Russian, Estonian