Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One To Learn New Languages?)

Welcome to Taughtup’s Comprehensive comparison of Babbel and Pimsleur language apps. 

Choosing the right language learning companion for you. Choosing the right language-learning app is an important decision to make, and we hope that this review of Babbel and Pimsleur will be useful in your decision-making process.

Related: Best Apps To Learn A Language While Driving-No-5-Is-My-Favorite (taughtup.com)

This was a tough comparison for sure, and they are close in quality and effectiveness. I like Babbel for its real-life scenarios and experiences. It puts you in a position where learning phrases, verbs, nouns, pronouns, and adjectives becomes simple and easier to pick up. Babbel has a great approach, although saying that, I found better results with using Pimsleur.

The primarily audio-only approach works best for me; I can listen in the car, at home, or out and about, developing my knowledge and language prowess. Pimsleur makes it a seamless learning experience.

4.5/5

Effective Spoken Language Emphasis: Pimsleur strongly focuses on developing conversational skills, making it an excellent choice for learners who want to prioritize speaking and listening. 

Graduated Interval Recall (Spaced Repetition): Pimsleur employs a scientifically proven technique called Graduated Interval Recall (GIR) or spaced repetition. This feature helps reinforce memory retention by strategically reintroducing previously learned content at specific intervals. 

User-Friendly and Flexible: Pimsleur’s user-friendly interface and clear structure make it easy for learners to navigate the app and track their progress. The lessons are well-organized and self-paced, allowing users to learn quickly without feeling rushed.

Native Speaker Audio: Pimsleur’s audio lessons feature recordings by native speakers, providing learners with authentic pronunciation, intonation, and accents. 

While Pimsleur has many advantages for language learners, it’s essential to consider personal preferences. Some learners may thrive with an audio-based approach, while others might benefit from a more comprehensive platform that includes visual and interactive elements. Exploring different language learning apps and methods can help individuals find the best fit for their needs and language learning goals.

Remember, language apps should not be used in isolation. Get out there, travel, and speak with locals, friends, and family. You can also do meetups to practice your language skills with native speakers in your local area, so when you feel good, giving that a go will kick-start your journey.

Introduction

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)​

Learning a new language has become increasingly important in today’s interconnected world. With the rise of language learning apps like Babbel and Pimsleur, acquiring language skills has never been more accessible. However, with many learning applications available, it can be challenging to determine which app best suits you and helps you meet your goals.

In this comprehensive blog post, we will compare and contrast Babbel and Pimsleur, two of the most popular language-learning platforms, based on first-hand experiences from users and a thorough analysis of their feature sets. By the end, you will have more clarity around the strengths and weaknesses of each app, helping you make an informed decision about which one to choose.

Methodology and Approach

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Pimsleur method
Pimsleur

Before delving into this learning app comparison, it’s essential to comprehend the distinct methodologies and approaches employed by the applications of Babbel and Pimsleur. These factors are vital in shaping the learning experience and determining their effectiveness in different contexts, but are the differences between the 2 platform’s approaches?

Well, let’s take a look.

Babbel

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Babbel utilizes a structured, interactive approach to build foundational language skills. The platform emphasizes a combination of listening, speaking, reading, and writing exercises designed to simulate real-life conversations and engages you in real-world, realistic, immersive scenarios aiming to replicate experiences you’ll see when traveling or living abroad. It offers courses across various proficiency levels, covering essential vocabulary, grammar, and cultural insights. Babbel’s philosophy is tried and tested, and you’ll do really well with their approach.

Pimsleur

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Pimsleur, on the other hand, adopts a solely audio-based, conversation-driven approach. Developed by Dr. Paul Pimsleur (legend!), the program employs spaced repetition and graduated interval recall techniques – basically, rinse and repeat!

Pimsleur’s core philosophy revolves around mastering pronunciation and understanding through listening and repetition. 

I have used both platforms, but I’ve had more success with Pimsleur due to its spaced, audio-focused approach. 

Now that we understand both platforms’ underlying methodologies let’s dive deeper into their specific features and compare them based on various criteria.

Let’s do this thing. 

Course Selection and Languages Offered

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Pimsleur languages
Pimsleur

One of the crucial aspects to consider when choosing a language learning app is the breadth and depth of courses offered. The availability of a wide range of languages and diverse course offerings ensures a more personalized and enriching learning experience.

Babbel

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Babbel offers a substantial collection of languages, including popular options such as Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese. It provides comprehensive courses tailored to different proficiency levels, enabling learners to start from scratch or build upon existing language skills. Additionally, Babbel offers specialized courses for specific purposes, such as business, travel, and culture.

Pimsleur

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Pimsleur, though not as extensive in terms of language offerings as Babbel, covers a wide range of popular languages, including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, and Japanese, among others. The app primarily focuses on spoken language skills, making it an ideal choice for individuals looking to develop conversational abilities quickly.

You always want additional supporting learning tools to accompany the apps, but what does each come with, let’s find out.

Learning Materials and Content

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Babbel Resources
Babbel

The quality and variety of learning materials play a vital role in engaging learners and facilitating effective language acquisition. Let’s compare the learning materials and content offered by Babbel and Pimsleur.

Babbel

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Babbel provides many interactive learning materials, including vocabulary lessons, dialogues, grammar explanations, and writing exercises. The lessons are structured and organized, offering a clear learning path. The app also incorporates multimedia elements, such as audio recordings and visual cues, to enhance comprehension and retention. Furthermore, Babbel integrates speech recognition technology, enabling learners to practice pronunciation and receive instant feedback.

Pimsleur

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Pimsleur’s learning materials predominantly consist of audio lessons. Each lesson focuses on developing conversational skills by presenting dialogues and guiding learners through a series of repetition exercises. The app encourages active participation and prompts learners to respond orally, helping them internalize the language. However, Pimsleur needs more visual and written components in Babbel, which may pose challenges for individuals who prefer a more visual or text-based learning approach.

Saying this, sometimes Babbel can seem “too much” for learners. Too many stimuli to focus on, and sometimes it can be tricky to use with everything you need to do in the program.

How effective are these platforms’ teaching effectiveness for people wanting to learn a language?

Keep ready to find out more.

Teaching Methodology and Effectiveness

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Babbel Learning and Teaching
Babbel

The teaching methodologies employed by Babbel and Pimsleur significantly impact their effectiveness in facilitating language acquisition. Understanding these approaches will help you identify which app aligns better with your learning style and goals.

Babbel

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Babbel’s emphasis on interactive exercises and structured learning enables learners to grasp fundamental grammar and vocabulary concepts efficiently. The platform’s approach of presenting real-life dialogues and contextual exercises enhances practical language usage. Moreover, Babbel encourages active engagement through writing exercises and speech recognition, providing learners with valuable feedback to improve their language skills. Users often appreciate the content’s practicality, enabling them to apply their knowledge in real-world situations effectively.

Pimsleur

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Pimsleur’s audio-based teaching method strongly emphasizes listening and speaking skills. The spaced repetition technique and graduated interval recall system promote language retention and reinforce learning. Pimsleur helps learners develop essential language skills quickly by focusing on pronunciation and conversational fluency. The repetitive nature of the lessons may be ideal for those who prefer auditory learning. Still, it might not suit visual learners or individuals who wish to learn reading and writing skills simultaneously.

Like with all software, the user experience, navigation, and how simple it is to use are all huge considerations, but which is best?

Let’s find out in our next section.

User Experience and Interface

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Babbel UI
Babbel

A language learning app’s user experience and interface significantly impact its usability and learner engagement. Let’s evaluate the user experience of Babbel and Pimsleur.

Babbel

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Babbel boasts an intuitive and user-friendly interface, allowing learners to navigate the app effortlessly. The lessons are well-organized, with clear instructions and interactive exercises. The app also offers the flexibility to choose the learning pace, making it suitable for casual learners and those aiming for faster progress. Additionally, Babbel’s visual design, including appealing visuals and user-friendly icons, enhances the overall learning experience.

Pimsleur

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Pimsleur’s interface primarily revolves around audio lessons, which can be easily accessed and played within the app. The lessons follow a linear structure, enabling learners to progress systematically. While the app lacks Babbel’s visual appeal and gamified elements, Pimsleur’s simplicity appeals to individuals who prefer a no-frills approach to language learning.

We’ve talked a ton about features and functions so far, but we know how pricing can be a sticking point for a lot of learners and can even be a barrier to entry.

Let’s jump to the next section and find out how the pricing stacks up and compares.

Pricing

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Pricing can be a big deal when considering any tool or software, so let’s check out the pricing of these two language applications.

Babbel

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

6 months

Babbel monthly subscription
$ 11
15
Monthly
  • Best option for short term
25% off

12 months

Babbel monthly subscrrption
$ 7
45
Monthly
  • Best option for medium term
50% off

One-Off

Babbel lifetime subscription
$599
$ 349 one-off payment
  • Best option for long term use
Best value

Babbel has a free plan, but it doesn’t give you much because they really want you to upgrade to a paid plan. 

The paid plans start at $14.95 USD for a 1-month subscription and go up to $349 USD for a lifetime plan. 

The lifetime plan is definitely worth it, but it was a little rich for our blood, so we opted to try it for a 1-month quick subscription to test it out.

Pimsleur

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Premium Monthly

Pimsleur Monthly Subscription
$ 19
95
Monthly
  • French only
1 language

All Access Monthly

Pimsleur Monthly Subscription
$ 20
95
Monthly
  • All Languages
All Languages

All Access Annual

Babbel Annual subscription
$ 164
95
Billed Annually
  • All
Annual

Pimsleur could be more transparent with its pricing, but its subscription plans start at $19.99 for a basic plan. Pimsleur has a 7-day free trial, so we advise you to start with that first. After that expires, you have a couple of choices, as outlined below

  • Monthly all-access plan – $20.95 USD
  • Annual all-access plan – $164.95 USD

Whichever choice you choose, getting a long-term plan would be the best choice, but before you dive in and spend those hard-earned $$$ of yours, take out the 7-day trial and try it for yourself. 

The last comparison we’ll do to wrap up this review, are the pros and cons. We know nothing is perfect, so let’s see how the positives and negatives stack up to each other between Babbel and Pimsleur.

Babbel pros and cons

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

Babbel is a fantastic program, but like all learning apps, they have good and bad points. There’s a lot to diagnose, whether they have great scenarios for you to test or are better for reading content. 

Let’s investigate the pros and cons of Babbel. 

Pros

  • Structured and Comprehensive Learning:
  • Interactive and Engaging Lessons: 
  • Real-Life Language Use:

Cons

  • Subscription Cost: 
  • Limited Speaking Practice:
  • Less Emphasis on Cultural Immersion

Pimsleur pros and cons

Babbel vs Pimsleur (Best One to Learn New Languages?)

As mentioned in this post, Pimsleur is a phenomenal platform for learning a new language. It’s mainly audio-based, but it has content to read for learners to add more finesse to the app. But, taking a step back for a minute, what are the pros and cons of Pimsleur? Well, let’s take a look right now. 

Let’s investigate the pros and cons of Babbel. 

Pros

  • Strong Focus on Spoken Language Skills:
  • Effective Graduated Interval Recall (Spaced Repetition):
  • User-Friendly and Portable:

Cons

  • Limited Written and Reading Practice: 
  • Limited Language Selection:
  • Primarily audio approach

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right language-learning app can significantly influence your journey to fluency. After a comprehensive comparison of Babbel and Pimsleur, it’s clear that both platforms offer distinct strengths and cater to different learning preferences.

Babbel’s structured approach, interactive exercises, and multimedia-rich content make it an excellent choice for learners who appreciate a comprehensive learning experience focusing on all language skills. On the other hand, Pimsleur’s audio-based methodology, conversation-driven lessons, and emphasis on pronunciation are well-suited for individuals aiming to develop conversational fluency quickly.

But you didn’t come here for a wishy-washy non-answer, did you? Let’s see, if you need the whole sensory experience where you are put into real-world situations that you could find yourself in with a wealth of resources, Babbel is the way to go.

But, if you enjoy learning on the go when doing other tasks such as traveling, commuting, watching TV, doing homework, or anything of the like, having a single stimulus like audio, honestly, look no further than Pimsleur.

Remember, language learning is a journey that requires dedication and practice. With the right language learning app, you can confidently embark on this exciting journey and achieve fluency in the language of your choice when paired with a cohesive strategy involving various mediums.

Let us know how you get on in your language-learning journey. Make sure to have lots of fun, and we hope you’ll comment back and let us know exactly how you got on.

Thanks so much.

Peace!

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