APP CULTURE

Get conversational With Babbel

Babbel – Learn Languages

Speak Spanish, French & more

VIEW

If you’re like most, you plan your vacations well in advance: booking flights, renting rooms, researching museums. But when it comes to learning a bit of the local language...you try to get to it, but perhaps end up downloading a translation app instead. Sound familiar?

According to research conducted by the developer of the popular language-learning app Babbel, it’s not just you—it’s human nature. “We get more of a spike from people who come back from summer holiday wishing they’d learned Spanish than those who do it before they go,” says Babbel’s chief product officer, Geoff Stead.

No matter how soon your upcoming trip (or if you just returned), there’s still time to learn a language. Thankfully, Babbel’s unique approach can get you speaking a new vocabulary surprisingly fast.

Babbel helps you learn and speak phrases useful in everyday life.

The first thing to know about Babbel is that it adjusts its lessons based on your mother tongue. Dutch and German, for example, are similar in structure, whereas Italian is quite different from them, explains Stead. “So if you have a Dutch person learning German and Italian person learning German, their courses will be different.”

Babbel is smart in other ways too. After you tell the app your primary motivation for learning a new language, it personalizes your lessons.

“If you’re learning for work, you’ll get grammar and some cultural lessons. If you’re on holiday, we might give you a lesson on how to order drinks,” says Stead.

The top four reasons for learning a language are the same all over the world—travel, romance, family, and work.

— Geoff Stead, Babbel’s chief product officer

Whatever your reason for learning, Babbel focuses on getting you conversant as soon as possible to build your confidence. Conversations within the lessons are created by the 150 language experts on staff (rather than by algorithms) and they introduce just enough grammar to give you context.

New to the app? Stead has some research-based tips.

First, avoid binge-learning. “If you learn for three hours today and then not for a month, that’s worse than doing five minutes per day every day of the month,” he says.

Follow along with conversations—and learn about grammar and the use of accents as you do.

Stead recommends using the app for five to 15 minutes a day by weaving the lessons into an existing routine. If you can do this for seven to 10 days, you’re much more likely to keep going, according to his data.

The most effective step you can take? Set a concrete goal before you start, and decide how much time you’re willing to commit. “Don’t come in thinking, ‘I want to learn Spanish.’ Come in thinking, ‘I want to have a conversation with someone, and go to a restaurant and order—and I want to do it in two months.’”

    Babbel – Learn Languages

    Speak Spanish, French & more

    VIEW