Babbel vs Duolingo. Which is to Choose for your Next Language Course?

TL;DR: You will be able to know the difference between Babbel vs Duolingo with this tutorial.

Are you confused which language course to choose? Have you heard of Babbel and Duolingo? Well, if not you can look at this article to know about these two language learning platforms. By looking at the comparison between them, you can easily choose what suits you better. So, Babbel vs Duolingo? Let’s take a closer look to see which one is the best.

Babbel and Duolingo both are the language learning platform that offers similar learning programs on basis of style and content, with affordable prices. However, this might confuse you what to choose. But as we go in deep, there are some differences between these two that might help you to decide what language to choose. This article will specially for those who want to know about language learning app Babbel and Duolingo.

At first, let’s see in detail what is Babbel and Duolingo.

What is Babbel?

Babbel is a German subscription-based language learning app and e-learning platform that is available in various languages. It currently offers 15 different languages like German, English (US + UK), Spanish, French, Portuguese, Brazilian, Italian, Swedish, and others. Babbel lets users to create and edit their account information, upload pictures, learn languages by using various tools like speech and voice recognition and learning at convenient time. Users can use Babbel through web, iOS, and Android. User can take any of the beginner, intermediate and grammar courses, vocabulary lessons, along with idioms, tongue-twisters, colloquialisms, etc. Users can take online English test that assesses their beginning and intermediate reading and listening skills. Moreover, Babbel have won many awards like Best Web Application or Service, Comenius EduMedia Seal, Erasmus EuroMedia Seal of Approval, Innovate 4 Society, and many more.

Babbel account

Pros of Babbel

  1. Lesson and exercises are engaging, fun, fast-moving.
  2. Frequent inclusion of English translation and directions.
  3. Babbel give importance to real-life conversation and learning rather than vocabulary and grammar.
  4. Lessons take just 10 to 15 minutes to complete, making it easy to squeeze in learning.
  5. It is a great app for beginners and intermediate learners with affordable price.

Cons of Babbel

  1. Courses are not for the advanced learners.
  2. Limited collection of languages.
  3. Users must pay per language course in Babbel.

What is Duolingo?

Duolingo is a free language learning website and app that helps users to learn different languages like Turkish, English, Russian, Spanish, German, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, French, Ukrainian through online medium. Users are allowed to practice grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation using spaced repetition. This app contains exercises like written translation, speaking, and reading comprehension and short stories. Overall, Duolingo offers 106 different language courses in 40 languages. It also organizes leagues where users can compete against their friends and badges are also given for completing particular objectives or any challenges. This app uses a set of game-style techniques to engage the users and check their progress as they learn the language. Duolingo is specially for the beginners who are learning new languages for the first time.

Duolingo account

Pros of Duolingo

  1. It offers totally free learning version.
  2. Lessons are game-like, fun, and offers a modern learning experience.
  3. Duolingo offers more languages than Babbel.
  4. The courses provide limited understanding of the languages and great for learning basic vocabulary, sentence structure and common phrases.
  5. The app has short efficient lessons ranging from 5 to 20 minutes with quizzes at the end of every lesson.

Cons of Duolingo

  1. It can be repetitive and monotonous due to robotic voice and lessons.
  2. Chances of losing interest is high as there is no real incentive.
  3. Duolingo is not designed for learners who wish to develop high proficiency in a language or multiple languages.
  4. It does not provide explanation why an answer is right or wrong.

Now, let’s see the comparison of Babbel vs Duolingo.


Babbel vs Duolingo

Babbel and Duolingo both are popular platform that offers similar services. Duolingo is good for the beginners, whereas Babbel is for the beginner and intermediate learners. There are limited languages offered by Babbel, whereas Duolingo offers more languages than Babbel. Likewise, Babbel offers lessons with conversational practice and cultural immersion, whereas Duolingo offers adaptive learning lessons. Overall, Babbel and Duolingo may be different while comparing between their prices, features, teaching technique, and so on.

Let’s look at some of the comparison point of Babbel vs Duolingo in detail.

Price Comparison

Both Babbel and Duolingo have free version, i.e., trial period, where you can see lessons, view the courses. You can continue to learn free in Duolingo but not in Babbel. The trial period of Duolingo is 14 days where as Babbel is only 7 days, but you can continue learning for free in Duolingo. The free version is ad supported, which can be distracting and annoying. If you upgrade to Duolingo Plus it has a few benefits like no ads, downloadable lessons, unlimited game perks and progress quizzes. The cost of 12 months subscription is $83.88 USD.

You have to pay per languages in Babbel, but are a little cheaper than Babbel. The cost of 12 months subscription is $83.40 USD and also offers a 20 days money back guarantee.

Languages Comparison

If you want to learn as many languages as you want, then Duolingo might be suitable for you. Because Babbel only provides 15 languages while Duolingo provides 40 languages. Most of the Asian languages like Korean, mandarin, Arabic, Japanese is not included on Babbel. However, Babbel is best if you want to learn Spanish.

Teaching Technique Comparison

Babbel takes a more structured approach to language instruction. It focuses on the learning curve that has already been tuned. It means while learning, you will learn pre-ordered words, phrases, and sentences.

Moreover, Duolingo provides learning new words by giving immediate feedback on tests. It is simple strategy, but may be good for beginners to lay foundation while learning new languages.

Features Comparison

Both Babbel and Duolingo have quite different features. Babbel integrates grammar instruction into their lessons in a very subtle and efficient way. It is better with using natural sentences and phrases. But, Duolingo’s lessons can be repetitive and monotonous due to robotic voice and lessons. The speaking skills in Babbel is more robust than in Duolingo. So, it is best for developing your speaking skills.

Further, Babbel offers live classes, but you have to pay extra to access them. It offers hundreds of small group live classes per week across all different learning levels. At the meantime, Duolingo does not provides online classes, but gives you access to online events, where you can connect with other learners to discuss topics in your target language. Moreover, you can jump from one level /course to another in Babbel, whereas you’ve to go in order to complete modules in Duolingo.

Duolingo gamify the learning experience for example, when you complete a lesson, you earn experience points and Duolingo currency called ‘lingots’. It creates fun, game-like environment to motivate and keep learners engaging.

Ease of use

User interface is important as they contact with customers. Good user interface makes it easy for users to explore the different services that app provides. In this case, Duolingo has easy-to-use mobile application, whereas Babbel app devise function on both desktop and mobile. Both apps are simple to use, but Duolingo beats Babbel in term of design.

Engagement Comparison

Babbel app is set up in the traditional lesson format. You progress from one module to the another. There are multiple classes beneath each module. The topic being discussed determines the focus of each class. The multiple assessments are the major method of involvement in Babbel.

There is a series of questions and examples to help you improve your language skills in Babbel. If you make a mistake, you’ll be required to review it and then graded by an assessment-level teacher. You will then get a score for each question.

Duolingo has a good grading system, which is a great source of encouragement for students who use this app. You are given a fluency score, which is a measurement of your ability to match words to meaning. As you go up the learning tree, your fluency score unlocks several degrees of linguistic mastery. It also uses games to make tests and lessons engaging.

Final Verdict: Babbel vs Duolingo

As above comparison between Babbel and Duolingo, both offers similar kind of services and are easy to learn. Yet, you still might want to know what is best between Babbel and Duolingo. Duolingo is best if you’re looking for free app. The lessons are game-like, fun, less daunting, and offers a modern learning experience. Likewise, you can learn multiple languages in compared to Babbel. Also, Duolingo has clean dashboard and it is easy to navigate, and contains daily goal tracker and scoreboard.

Babbel is for beginners as well as intermediate learners, where Duolingo is good for beginners only. Babbel detailly explain the grammar rules and cultural contexts of phrases and sentences, and allows deeper understanding of the learning material. In my opinion, Babbel is better as some of its features are great for learning. Babbel is better for practicing your conversational skills, which is an imperative part of language acquisition. Further, their live classes are better organized and well-executed.

Hence, in conclusion, Babbel best for learning new language course.

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