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Duolingo vs Babbel (best free language learning apps / software)

Number of Languages
Teaching Method
User Interface
Additional Tools
Mobile App
Social Interaction
Offline Access
Business Language Learning
Customer Support
Babbel isn’t free. It offers a subscription model that costs $12.95 per month. More affordable plans available for long-term commitments.
Duolingo is free to use but it monetizes through Duolingo Plus – a subscription that costs $6.99 per month, offering ad-free learning and some additional features.

Babbel offers in-depth courses in 14 languages, it’s not free but offers richer content for serious learners. 👌🏼⏰💵

Duolingo offers a fun, game-like approach to learning 30+ languages. 🎮🌐 It’s completely free but has premium subscription for ad-free experience. 🆓📚

Babbel Pros & Cons

Top Pros
  • 🎯Focused lessons

  • 🗣️Conversational practice

  • 🏫In-depth courses

  • ⏰Flexible learning time

  • 📝Grammar explanations

Duolingo Pros & Cons

Top Pros
  • 💬Wide range languages

  • 🎮Game-like lessons

  • 👐Interactive exercises

  • 🎯Personalized learning

  • 📱Great mobile app

  • 💰Free to use

Top Cons
  • 💰No free version

  • 🌍Fewer languages

  • 👥Limited social interaction

  • 📱App could be better

  • 💼No business language learning

  • 🎧Limited pronunciation help

Top Cons
  • 👨‍🎓Not for advanced learners

  • 🗣️Less focus on speaking

  • 💼Lacks business language learning

  • 💰Ads in free version

  • 🌐Limited offline access

Other best free language learning apps


Rosetta Stone is a software-based language learning system which offers 24 languages. 👥💻 It’s a bit pricey but provides quality content. 💰👍


Memrise is great for visual learning of 16 languages. 🎨👁️ It has both free version and Pro subscriptions. 👏💸


Busuu offers 12 languages with a strong community for language practice. 🌍🗣️ It has limited free access with premium subscriptions. 👍💲


Some of the best free language learning apps include Duolingo, Babbel, Memrise, Rosetta Stone, and Busuu. These platforms provide comprehensive language learning tools, lessons, and practice exercises for a variety of languages.

On Duolingo, learners start by choosing their target language and setting a daily goal. The learning process primarily consists of a series of short, game-like exercises where learners gradually learn the vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure of a new language. Users are rewarded with points for correct answers and encouraged to maintain a daily streak.

Yes, users on Duolingo can opt to learn multiple languages simultaneously. Each individual language course operates independently, allowing learners to switch between their chosen languages whenever they wish.

While Babbel does offer a free trial for new users, it is primarily a paid app. The cost ranges depending on the chosen subscription length, with long-term subscriptions offering more significant savings.

Both Babbel and Duolingo provide high-quality language learning resources. However, while Duolingo offers a completely free service, Babbel is subscription-based. Additionally, Babbel’s curriculum is more structured, making it ideal for users seeking a more traditional learning approach.

Yes, Duolingo offers a Duolingo English Test that is accepted by various universities worldwide as proof of English proficiency.

Indeed, Duolingo has social aspects. Users can connect with friends for added motivation, join a club with other learners, or participate in leaderboards to compete against other users worldwide.

Currently, Babbel offers courses in 14 languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish, Dutch, Polish, Indonesian, Russian, Danish, Norwegian, and English.

Yes, alongside its mobile application, Babbel also offers a desktop platform. This allows learners to continue their lessons seamlessly, regardless of the device they are using.

Babbel employs a teaching method that emphasizes conversational language skills. Lessons are designed around practical, everyday situations, enabling learners to start speaking a new language quickly. Grammar and vocabulary are taught within the context of authentic dialogues.

Yes, Babbel offers tests at the end of each course to assess learners’ progress. Learners can also choose their level of proficiency when starting a new language, ensuring that the lessons are appropriate for their knowledge level.

Yes, you can. Duolingo allows users to download lessons for offline use. This is particularly handy for learners who wish to study when internet access is not available.

Duolingo uses gamification to make language learning fun and engaging. The app rewards learners with virtual coins, unlocks new levels upon progress, and allows competition with friends to maintain motivation.

Babbel offers a free trial that gives the learner access to one course in the language of their choice. After this, a subscription is necessary to continue access to all courses and features.

While Babbel doesn’t provide a formal language proficiency test, it offers review sessions and quizzes throughout the courses that help learners track their progress and understand their proficiency levels.

Duolingo is versatile and user-friendly, making it suitable for a broad age range, including children, teenagers, adults, and seniors. However, there is also a Duolingo Kids application specifically designed for children under the age of 12.

As of 2021, Duolingo boasts a community of over 300 million users worldwide, confirming its popularity as a top free language learning app.

While Duolingo is an excellent resource for getting started with a new language or strengthening existing language skills, achieving fluency requires more immersion and interaction than the app provides by itself. However, Duolingo can be a critical tool in a broader learning plan that includes conversation practice, reading, and cultural immersion.

Absolutely. On Babbel, learners progress at their own pace. The system saves the learner’s progress automatically, allowing them to pick up where they left off whenever they log in next.

Like any language learning tool, Babbel’s effectiveness highly depends on the user’s commitment. While it provides the resources for beginners to understand and communicate basic concepts, achieving fluency may require additional methods, such as immersion and real-world conversation practices.

Some of the best free language learning applications include Duolingo, Babbel, Rosetta Stone, HelloTalk, and Memrise, among others.

Duolingo is popular because it uses a gamified approach to make language learning fun. Besides, it offers various languages for free which makes it an affordable choice for many learners.

Though Babbel offers some free content, it primarily operates on a subscription-based model. It gives you a free trial period after which you need to purchase a subscription to access its full content.

Yes, Duolingo allows you to learn multiple languages simultaneously. Each of your chosen languages will have a separate learning path.

No, you don’t need to be constantly online. Babbel provides the option to download lessons for offline use which comes in handy during travel or when you don’t have access to the internet.

Duolingo structures its lessons into themed blocks, where each block focuses on specific language skills or vocabulary sets. It gradually increases difficulty to ensure continous learner’s progress.

Babbel uses a conversational method of teaching, concentrating on real-life scenarios. It includes interactive dialogues, grammar lessons, and vocabulary practice with a focus on pronunciation.

Duolingo focuses on improving reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in the target language. The app’s varied exercise formats help to strengthen all these areas.

You can learn more than 30 languages using Duolingo including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, and even Esperanto.

Babbel offers 14 languages which include Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish, Dutch, Polish, Indonesian, Norwegian, Danish, Russian, and English.

For optimal results, Duolingo recommends daily practice. The app encourages learning by streak count, which motivates learners to use the app consistently.

Yes, upon successfully completing a course, Babbel provides a certificate of completion which you can include in your resume or LinkedIn profile.

Duolingo can be an excellent tool for kids due to its gamified structure that makes learning fun. However, parental supervision is always recommended while the child is interacting with the app.

Yes, Babbel offers a variety of specialization language courses designed specifically for business professionals to develop proficient communication skills in foreign languages.

While free language learning apps like Duolingo are a great starting point, they may lack depth in explaining grammatical structures and cultural nuances. They might also not provide enough conversation practice necessary for language fluency.

Yes, Babbel has partnerships with several universities and schools around the world as part of its Babbel for Education program. These institutions use Babbel’s courses as part of their curriculum to aid language learning.

Duolingo offers a Duolingo English Test as a certified proof for English proficiency, which is accepted by thousands of universities worldwide.

Babbel offers various subscription plans ranging from a one-month to a one-year subscription. The price per month decreases with the length of the subscription plan.

Yes, you can switch between languages at any time in Duolingo. However, it’s generally recommended to grasp the basics of one language before moving on to another for effective learning.

Babbel offers comprehensive customer support, which includes a help center that answers common questions, email support, and active social media channels for updates and assistance.