Busuu vs Babbel

Busuu vs Babbel: Which Language App Has More Value?

Maria Claudia Alvarado Published on December 19, 2023
Busuu vs Babbel

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Using an app to study a new language can make the process of learning a lot easier. If you are looking for the best app to help you achieve your language goals, you may have heard about Babbel and Busuu. Both apps have comprehensive courses and quick interactive lessons, but Babbel stands out for its features and approach.

Editor’s Choice

Babbel Overview
Babbel provides comprehensive language courses that teach you how to apply grammar as you learn. This app stands out for offering high-quality tools to help you review what you previously studied, like flashcards, games, and speaking and listening exercises. 
babbel logo
Price $14.95 / month
Free trial 1 Lesson
Try Babbel

Language learners compare Babbel and Busuu because they both have interactive lessons and multiple tools to develop your skills. While Busuu and Babbel can seem similar, they have key differences that could help you decide which one fits best in your study routine. In this article, we will look at the differences between Busuu and Babbel and comparetheir strengths and weaknesses.

Busuu vs Babbel: A Quick Breakdown

Busuu and Babbel both offer 14 language courses that you can use to start studying from the complete beginner level. They have quick, interactive lessons that you can complete in a few minutes. But Babbel has integrated grammar explanations that teach you how to apply the language without interrupting your learning. It also has multiple features to review what you previously learned, like flashcards, games, and speaking and listening exercises. Busuu has cultural notes that show you how to use the language in the right context and you can share your speaking and writing exercises with native speakers to get feedback.

Check out the table below to see how Babbel and Busuu compare based on the languages they offer, their subscription prices, and free trials. 

14 languages14 languages
1 free lesson7-day free trial
Try NowTry Now

Babbel vs Busuu: Cost Comparison

A Babbel subscription starts at $14.95 per month to study one language. If you are interested in using Babbel for longer, you can buy 3 months for $35.99 ($11.99 per month), 6 months for $47.94 ($7.99 per month), and 12 months for $95.88 ($7.99 per month). Babbel also has a Lifetime subscription available for $499 that gives you unlimited access to all the language courses on the platform. You can try the first lesson of each Babbel language course for free to see if you like using the app.

Busuu offers different subscription options which start at $13.95 per month. You can also get a 6-month subscription for $50.70 ($8.45 per month) or 12 months for $58.38 ($4.78 per month). You can try Busuu for free for 7 days once you create an account.

Busuu and Babbel are similar in price to other comparable language apps. Busuu has the community aspect that allows you to interact with other language students from all around the world, but this is not a replacement for speaking with a real-life native speaker. Babbel’s price is very similar to Busuu’s, it offers the same amount of languages, and can develop your language skills more effectively. For the price and what its subscription includes, Babbel wins. 

If you’d like to see other options, we have more app recommendations for you. Here are some similar alternatives:

Babbel and Busuu: How They Work

Busuu and Babbel offer dynamic exercises that teach you vocabulary and grammar. In addition, Babbel has tools like games, flashcards, and speaking and listening reviews to ensure that you remember what you studied. Busuu has cultural notes that teach you to use the language in context, but its grammar notes aren’t as integrated as Babbel’s. The Busuu community of users shares tips and feedback to make language learning more effective, but with Babbel, you can take live classes with native speakers.  

Take a look below at how these apps are rated across the web:

Apple Store4.74.7
Google Play4.54.6
Trust Pilot3.94.4
Total Average Score4.44.5

How Babbel Works

Babbel is a well-known language-learning app and online platform. It has 14 language courses you can start as a complete beginner and use to develop all four language skills. Babbel courses have a structured lesson plan, but you can also skip lessons or jump to a different level to study the content that interests you the most. You can take Babbel’s placement test to find the best spot to start your language studies.

Each lesson consists of multiple fill-in-the-blank and mix-and-match exercises that introduce new vocabulary and phrases in the target language. Every unit has exercises voiced by native speakers and uses Babbel’s voice recognition tool to train your listening and speaking skills. You can also find grammar tips that teach you how to apply the language as you practice.

babbel portuguese lesson

Depending on the language you are learning, you can find flashcards, games, quizzes, and listening and speaking reviews to test out what you learned. If you want to practice speaking with native speakers, Babbel Live lets you take online group lessons available through Zoom. Each class lasts around 60 minutes and has up to 6 people per group.

You can learn more about the app in this complete Babbel review.

How Busuu Works

Busuu is an app and platform with comprehensive language courses. It has a structured but flexible lesson plan that lets you start with the basics or test your skills to find the right place to start. Busuu has content for students from the complete beginner up to the advanced levels, so everyone can use it.

Each lesson includes clips of native speakers introducing different words and phrases. Then, you complete grammar, vocabulary, speaking, and listening exercises. Busuu also includes grammar and cultural notes to teach you how to apply the language in real-world scenarios.

Busuu French

Busuu has a large user community filled with language students from all around the world. You can submit your writing and speaking exercises to get feedback on the language you’re learning, and help people who are learning the language you speak. Busuu’s community is very active, so you don’t have to wait long to get feedback.  

You can learn more about the app in this complete Busuu review.

Babbel: The Good and The Bad

One of Babbel’s best features is its approach to grammar. Most apps have separate grammar reviews that you need to read before completing a lesson. Babbel, on the other hand, has integrated grammar tips that teach you how to apply grammar to its exercises as you go. This way, you don’t have to interrupt your study time and can learn through practice instead of just memorizing.

The app’s speech recognition technology is also more advanced than the ones you can find in other apps in the same price range. In every speaking review, you listen to a native speaker say a phrase. Then, you repeat after. If you don’t pronounce the word the correct way, Babbel marks it for later review and lets you continue practicing saying that word so you can get the proper pronunciation through repetition. The app also asks for your native language the first time you use the voice recognition tool, which makes me think that they take students’ native languages into consideration.

babbel norwegian course

Babbel is a thorough way to learn a new language, but if you want to learn one of the less popular languages on the platform like Indonesian or Dutch, you might be surprised to find that there’s less content available. All of the content you can find on Babbel is developed by professional linguists, so it makes sense that it takes time to create a special lesson plan for each language. However, since the subscription price is the same for all languages, one would expect to have the same features available. My best advice is to contact Babbel’s support team to make sure you are getting access to the features that you actually want to use.

Another area of improvement is Babbel’s limited trial. The app has many high-quality tools and features, but you can only access them if you upgrade to a subscription. I like to test an app for a couple of days so I can decide if I like using it before purchasing a subscription. Sadly, Babbel has a limited trial experience that only lets you try the first lesson for each language.  

Busuu: The Good and The Bad

Busuu has a unique community aspect that many other apps lack. If you don’t know anyone who speaks the language that you want to learn but you would like to practice interacting with native speakers, Busuu is a great way to start. You can use this app to send your speaking and writing exercises to other language students around the world using Busuu and get feedback quickly. In exchange, you can also help people studying your native language by providing useful commentaries on their posts.

The app uses a similar mix of dynamic exercises in its lessons, but a feature that really stood out to me was the integrated cultural notes. After you complete a couple of lessons at the beginner level, you can find cultural notes that explain how to use the language in different contexts and how to approach strangers versus family and friends. This is very helpful if you are studying a language like Japanese, where there is a big difference in the level of formality with which you would talk to a teacher, an official, or a childhood friend.

lesson vocabulary on busuu

But of course, there are areas where Busuu could improve. The voice recognition tool is definitely one of them. I was excited with the app’s premise of having all the necessary tools to become fluent, until the voice recognition tool bugged and forced me to close the app and restart my lesson. This might be due to recent updates, but I can only imagine that other students would be as frustrated as I was.

Busuu lets you review vocabulary and grammar, but the tools it uses to do so aren’t as many. Busuu’s lessons are very much the same, with the difference that they focus on vocabulary or grammar. They are also quite short, which is great if you are looking to refresh your knowledge quickly, but not so much if you want a deeper  grammar or vocabulary practice.

Busuu or Babbel : Which Language Learning App is Better?

Busuu and Babbel have similar lesson structures and offer the same number of languages on their apps and platforms. At first glance, it can seem like there’s little difference, but after using both apps and testing their features, I think Babbel has the best value. Whether you are a complete beginner or an advanced learner, you can find useful features in Babbel to develop your language skills.

I also enjoyed using Busuu and would recommend it to people who want to experience the community aspect of language learning. However, it is more expensive and, if your goal is to become fluent quickly, you won’t be able to achieve that unless you talk with a native speaker. Babbel has live classes that you can schedule whenever you want, but it also gives you the option of looking for tutors elsewhere if you don’t want to pay for a Babbel tutor. Overall, I would recommend Babbel for having a fair price for its value and being an effective study tool.

Babbel or Busuu: FAQ

Is Busuu better than Babbel?

Busuu and Babbel are similar language apps, but Babbel is better than Busuu because it has integrated grammar tips and better speech recognition technology to help you practice pronunciation.

Is there anything better than Babbel?

If you’re learning a language, Depending on your learning style and the language that you want to study, there might be better options than what Babbel offers. Not every language has the same content. Some of the less popular languages on Babbel, like Norwegian, Dutch, or Swedish, have less content and tools available. If you want to study one of these languages, you can probably find more comprehensive online language courses or apps. 

Can you become fluent using Busuu?

Busuu lessons can help you develop all areas of language and get feedback from other language students. However, if your goal is to become fluent, you need to practice speaking with a real-life native speaker. You can use platforms like italki or Preply to find a language tutor. 

Can Babbel make you fluent?

Babbel lessons are comprehensive and can improve your language level but, to become fluent, you need to use additional language learning resources. If you want to become fluent quickly, you can immerse yourself in the language using podcasts or videos to listen to how real native speakers speak in real life. You can also use authentic language resources like newspapers or magazine articles to practice reading and understanding.

Maria Claudia Alvarado

Maria Alvarado is a content writer and translator from Lima, Peru. She graduated from the Savannah College of Arts and Design in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Writing. She is fluent in Spanish and English, has intermediate knowledge of French and German, and is learning Japanese. She hopes to bring consciousness about the importance of language learning through her articles and aspires to learn as many languages as possible.

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