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Yabla Review: Is It Effective? [Plus Cost and Alternatives]

Kelsey Wetherbee Published on March 8, 2022

Fun and helpful for intermediate learners

Yabla is an online learning platform that offers 6 languages. The content consists of videos made by native speakers and there is a wide variety to choose from. Beginner lessons include pronunciation and grammar breakdowns, while intermediate and advanced videos focus on culture, humor, and specialized topics. Learning from the videos can be challenging for beginners, but it is a great platform for intermediate or advanced learners to develop listening and understanding.


User Experience 8.5
Quality of Content 8
Features Available 8.5
Value for Money 9


User Experience 10
Quality of Content 10
Features Available 10
Value for Money 10


  • All content is from native speakers, no computerized voices
  • Tons of different types of videos
  • Many practice exercises for each video


  • Almost no speaking practice
  • Lack of course structure
  • Not all features available on the app
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Languages Available on Yabla:

Spanish, French, Italian, German, English, Chinese (Mandarin)

Yabla Overview

Yabla uses videos to create an immersive learning experience. Native speakers create all the content and there is a wide variety of topics so there is something everyone will enjoy. There are many interactive features for each video, too. You can slow down the speech, click on words to see the definition, and jump between different parts of the video (similar to Lingopie).

After you watch the video, there are practice activities such as vocabulary flashcards and fill-in-the-blank exercises. See more about how Yabla works in this video:

Yabla is fun and interactive, and when used correctly, the videos can be a useful learning tool. The content is different for each language, and often includes cultural topics to help you learn about the countries, as well. For example, in the French course you can watch a video about the Eiffel Tower, but in the Mandarin course you can watch how to pair wine with Chinese food.

But to be successful with Yabla, you have to be an active learner. Simply watching the video won’t help very much. It is more effective to look-up new words in the Yabla dictionary and complete all of the practice exercises. Yabla also recommends watching each video multiple times.

Screenshot of the Yabla platform

Yabla might be challenging for beginners. There is no course structure to guide you through a typical language-learning progression. This provides an “immersion-style” learning experience, but it may be difficult to see progress at first. Mondly and Duolingo are good places to start if you’re a complete beginner.

Still, it’s a wonderful app for intermediate to advanced learners who are trying to improve their listening and understanding.

Yabla Price

Yabla has a few different subscription options. A one-month subscription costs $12.95, a six-month subscription costs $54.95 ($9.16 per month), and a one-year subscription costs $99.95 ($8.33 per month). Each subscription gives you access to only one language, but you can use the course on both the online platform and mobile app.

Yabla price and cost table

Yabla’s pricing is pretty standard and comparable to other apps, such as Babbel or Rosetta Stone. These language apps also give you access to only one language. If you are interested in learning multiple languages at the same time, FluentU or Lingopie might be better choices because you can access all their available languages. If you’re on a limited budget, MosaLingua is an excellent choice with high-quality content.

Yabla Free Trial

Yabla offers a 15 day free trial, but you have to enter your credit card information. If you don’t want to take the risk of forgetting to cancel the charge before the trial period expires, there is also access to 11 free videos in each course. With these free videos you can use all the features and games available.

Yabla Discount

Yabla does not offer discounts to individuals, but there is a discount if you are a teacher and buying it for your students. There is also the option to give Yabla as a gift. You can choose between gifting someone 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year.

Yabla Review: How It Can (or Can’t) Help You

Getting started on Yabla is easy. After setting up an account, you have access to all videos in the course. There are no placement tests so you can jump right to the level that is right for you. There is no tutorial to help you get started either, but the platform is easy to figure out.

Yabla sign up screenshot

After setting up your account, that’s when the hard part starts – actually learning your target language. Overall, I think Yabla can be a useful tool to help you overcome the challenges most language learners face. Let’s take a look at a few of those challenges and see exactly how Yabla addresses them.

Challenge 1: Beginning a New Language

Even though it’s a little scary, the best way to learn a new language fast is to fully immerse yourself. Yabla lets you do just that. 

Each of Yabla’s language courses has thousands of videos for you to choose from. The videos range from newbie to advanced level, similar to LingQ. The videos offer different features so you can make the most of your study time.

For example, you can turn subtitles on/off, fast forward, rewind, and slow down the video speed. One of the best aspects is that native speakers make all the videos, so you’re listening to a real person’s voice and are exposed to different accents from the moment you begin learning.

Challenge 2: Learning & Remembering New Words

To help you learn and remember new vocabulary, Yabla has interactive games. By playing these, you’ll build up your vocabulary and memorize words without having to use boring flashcards.

Depending on the language course you choose, each video comes with at least three different practice exercises. In my opinion, the vocabulary practice is the most useful game.

Each video has about 8-10 words that you learn in a flashcard-style game. There are also fill-in-the-blank activities to practice listening skills and Scribe to practice spelling the words. If you enjoy games like this, Drops is another app you should check out to quickly build up your vocabulary.

Challenge 3: Understanding & Speaking to Native Speakers

One of the most difficult parts of learning a language, especially when you’re a beginner, is understanding native speakers. Yabla stands out from most other language apps when it comes to improving this skill – and that’s because of its dictionary.

This feature is also one of the reasons why I recommend using the online Yabla platform instead of the mobile app. The online platform has a split screen that shows the video on one side and a dictionary on the other. You can click on any word in the video transcript and it will show you the definition.

Yabla dictionary screenshot

On the app, you still have access to the dictionary, but clicking on a word takes you to another screen. It still works, but I found it more convenient to have the dictionary on the same screen, especially for the languages where I had to look up a lot of the words.

Challenge 4: Making Language Learning a Routine

Another challenge all of us language learners face is sticking with it. Studying consistently and getting in the routine of practicing can be an uphill battle.

Yabla is fun to use and entertaining, so it makes getting in the routine of studying pretty easy. Even if you only use Yabla for 15 minutes each day, you’ll start to notice improvements in your comprehension. This by itself is motivating and will make you excited to study more day after day.

Yabla Languages

Yabla has six languages available: Spanish, French, Italian, German, Chinese, and English. With a subscription, you get access to only one language. Because native speakers produce the videos, each language has its own unique content. Some languages have more videos than others, but each course has over a thousand videos.

Yabla Chinese Review

There are many reasons to learn Mandarin, but getting started can be difficult. Yabla provides resources to help beginners, such as a Pinyin table, tone pairs, dictionary, and basic vocabulary. For Mandarin learners, the online Yabla platform is way more helpful than the app. This is because the Yabla Chinese dictionary appears on the same screen, so you can easily look up any word.

Most of the beginner videos focus on vocabulary learning, songs, and Chinese characters. The intermediate and advanced videos have some interesting topics like cuisine, short TV shows, and business. To learn even more quickly, you can pair Yabla with one of these Chinese learning apps.

Yabla Spanish Review

There are over 2,500+ videos in the Spanish course. One feature I liked, that is only available on the online platform and not the app, are the Spanish lessons. These are written explanations of different grammar topics with suggestions for videos to watch to practice. This can be helpful for beginners to start with. For advanced learners or those that want to jump right into the content videos, there are tons of TV shows, travel videos, and interviews that show the daily life of people.

Yabla Spanish review screenshot

Yabla also tells you in which country each video was made, such as Mexico, Colombia, and Spain, so you can focus on learning a specific type of Spanish if you want. There are quite a few other apps to learn Spanish that can complement what you learn with Yabla too.

Yabla French Review

The Yabla French course has the least amount of videos of the three languages reviewed here. There are 1,700 videos to choose from, with the most content for intermediate through advanced learners. Like the Spanish course, there are written lessons about the basic concepts, as well as a wide variety of videos teaching vocabulary and pronunciation.

The category with the most videos is travel, with many videos about Paris and French culture. This would be a great course for someone preparing for a trip to France, because you could practice French and plan your trip at the same time. There are plenty of other French learning apps if you’re looking for more extensive content.

Yabla Review: Overall Learning Experience

Yabla was easy to use and I enjoyed watching the videos. Much like Netflix, I could see how it could be easy to pick a video series and binge watch it, but at least you’re learning a language at the same time! Even though the videos are fun, if you aren’t completing the practice games for each video then it’s not the most effective tool.

Yabla practice game screenshot

Because you have access to all the videos, you can choose how you want to learn. If you want an immersive experience, you can jump right into the videos about culture or watch a TV series. If you prefer a more traditional approach, there are videos that explain grammar concepts, vocabulary, and pronunciation. There are even music videos if you want to practice for your next karaoke night.

The learning experience is better on the online platform than on the app. There are many more features on the online platform, such as the ability to see lessons, track your progress, and set daily goals. On the app, you still have access to all of the videos and practice games, but I liked the ease of the platform more.

Yabla Review: Areas of Improvement

There is no course structure to guide you through the process, which is similar to apps like Lingopie and Glossika. While this isn’t as important for intermediate and advanced speakers that already know the basics, it might be frustrating for beginners. You also need a lot of self-discipline to learn and advance.

Whereas other apps have checkpoints or don’t give you access to more difficult material until you finish other lessons, with Yabla you are able to do (or not do) any practice exercises. It just depends on your learning style.

The mobile app doesn’t have all the features that are on the online platform. In this day and age, where everyone has their cell phone right next to them at all times, it’s much easier to grab your phone and use the app, especially for a quick practice during a free minute of the day. Other courses like Pimsleur and Rocket Languages have apps that are much more complete.

There is almost no speaking practice or any sort of production practice. The one speaking activity is only available on the online platform. The focus is very clearly on listening and vocabulary, with very little emphasis on any type of production.

Yabla Review: Alternatives & Competitors

If you think Yabla isn’t right for you, there are other alternatives. FluentU is another app that focuses on videos as the main way of learning, and gives you access to more languages. MosaLingua and Busuu take a more traditional approach to learning, by teaching specific grammar and vocabulary points. Babbel is another good option for intermediate and advanced learners looking to perfect their language.

Yabla vs Babbel

Babbel App homepage

Both Yabla and Babbel are good for intermediate and advanced learners. A lot of apps tend to focus on the lower levels, but both Yabla and Babbel have produced quality material for upper levels. While Babbel focuses on more advanced grammar topics and phrases, Yabla’s videos will help learners who want to train their ear by listening to a more natural form of speech. The apps are similar in price, so it comes down to which format you prefer learning with. Check out this Babbel review to learn more or click below to try Babbel for free.

Yabla vs FluentU

FluentU App Homepage

FluentU is very similar to Yabla because both apps focus on videos. While both apps offer about the same number of videos, FluentU has more practice options available, such as flash card decks, audio, and a review function. FluentU is the more expensive option, but you have access to all 13 languages.

FluentU might be the better choice for beginners because they have more videos and practice activities that are truly for beginners. To learn more about it, check out this FluentU review. You can also try it free for 15 days by clicking the button below.

Yabla vs MosaLingua

MosaLingua App Homepage

Yabla and MosaLingua take different approaches to language learning. MosaLingua uses more static content and teaches the language in a traditional style by breaking down different grammar topics and using spaced repetition to learn/remember vocabulary. A yearly subscription to MosaLingua is cheaper than Yabla and gives you access to all of their languages. You can learn more in this MosaLingua review.

Since both apps offer a free trial period, you can test them out to see which one fits better with your learning style.

Yabla vs Busuu

Busuu App Homepage

Busuu is another app that follows a more traditional learning method. It guides you through a logical learning progression and has lessons focused on specific skills, such as grammar, vocabulary, and speaking. The app costs about the same as Yabla too. Busuu is the better choice if you want more structured lessons, and Yabla is the better choice for an immersion approach. Learn more in this Busuu review or click below to try it for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Yabla any good?

Yabla is a useful app to learn a language, especially for intermediate and advanced learners. There are thousands of videos available, all from native speakers. Yabla is a good app for those who want to improve their understanding and vocabulary. But, it might be difficult to learn from Yabla if you are a complete beginner.

Which is better: Yabla or FluentU?

FluentU is the better app if you want to learn a language thoroughly. Both apps focus on video content, but FluentU has better practice activities that go along with the video. FluentU is slightly more expensive, but you get access to all of their languages with one subscription. There is also a review feature to help you remember what you have already learned.

Does Yabla have Japanese?

No, Yabla does not currently offer Japanese. FluentU is a similar app to Yabla that offers Japanese though. Yabla offers Spanish, French, Italian, German, Chinese, and English.

Does Yabla have an app?

Yes. You can access Yabla through the mobile app or on the online platform. Accounts are synced across both platforms so you can keep track of your progress and find your favorite videos. However, there are more features available on the online platform than on the app.

What does Yabla mean in Spanish?

Yabla comes from the Spanish word “habla,” which means he/she speaks. Yabla began as a platform to learn Spanish, but has expanded to six languages.

About This Yabla Review

This is an independent Yabla review, and the company has not sponsored this article. To write this review, I used the 15-day free trial to thoroughly test its content and features. I also found additional information on the Yabla website to verify my findings.

Kelsey Wetherbee

Kelsey is the Content Manager and Editor of Langoly. She is a TEFL-certified English teacher with more than eight years of classroom experience in three different countries. She’s an avid language learner with an advanced level of Spanish and is currently studying French. Whenever possible, she loves to travel and enjoys meeting people from all over the world. Connect with Kelsey on LinkedIn.

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1 Comment

  • As a person who DID used Yabla for learning Chinese, I have to say it’s a wonderful resource, probably the ONLY one for Chinese (because FluentU is mainly Taiwanese) for upgrading the listening skill through many different videos of different subjects and different speaking ways. So, you will hear a citizen, a countryman, and people from all sides of China, and that is great to learn how to understand them. And the lack of course structure means that you create your own course, you study as you prefer.
    The quality of videos is actually great! Some might say that some videos are cracking and not clear. True, but it is clear enough for you to understand. Because once you can understand a conversation in a crackling environment, your listening skills will improve faster. It’s like “baptism by fire”. So, embrace it and try to get the most out of it.
    For speaking practice you can download any app online to practice that. Or you can find a buddy in any chat app that focuses on China. What Yabla gives you is the variety of voices and pronunciations so you can train your ear to recognize many different versions of the same speech. This way you will know if a person is from South or North or West or East. And these videos will help you understand South accent better.
    Don’t be picky about subjects! Listen all the videos and understand them. I never watched any wine connosieur videos, but here I did and I have to tell you, it was truly great. Or aerobic videos, but here I did and it was great for learning language. Because learning language means you need as much input as you can from every angle. Even Buddhism videos were good, although the guy talking was annoying to listen but I survived and now I know more about the subject.

    Create your own lesson plan, listen, then relisten a day-two days later, then relisten again 10 days later (I am talking about the same video. Do like this for all) and that’s how you learn. This is just a crude version, you need to refine it a little to be a successfull lesson plan. And I spent 7 months on Yabla to go through all the videos. So, you will probably need more. I studied every day, half day videos, half day vocabulary.

    Oh, and one more thing about Chinese: study vocabulary first, then go to videos. Without vocabulary you are just wasting your time and money.

    I wish there were more sites like Yabla, but there is not.

    And one more thing: while for learning words you need flashcards and to spend a lot of time repeating and repeating, with audio, you don’t. It’s enough to do it a couple of times the right way and then you are free. So, once you finish the Yabla videos, you don’t need to go back to them for a few years. What you do need is find more videos elsewhere, because the secret is in patterns (I am talking about learning Chinese, not other languages). So, the more pattern you hear and really hear, the better you will be in recognizing new patterns. Because Chinese is hard for a beginner because many words sound the same and spoken in a sentence can confuse the brain because it does not know which of the few similar ones is that. So, after hearing many patters, your brain will slowly adopt and start to understand the words even if they are not spoken in a sentence but stand on their own. It’s an interesting phenomenon with Chinese learning, and that’s why I like Yabla because it helps you learn many patters that might not be possible if you are alone in China trying to study for the first time.