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LingoPie vs Babbel
Detailed comparison between two popular, yet distinctly different language apps
Given that it is extremely difficult to learn a new language on your own, many people turn to speciality apps/programs to help jumpstart the process. In this article, we compare and contrast two effective language apps (Babbel and LingoPie) that differ greatly in terms of learning method and lesson format. That way, you can determine which of these language learning apps is the best fit for your specific needs and learning preferences.
Given that this is a lengthy, detailed comparison, we’ve included jump-to links above for your convenience.
Video: Which Language App Is Better?
In the video above, John from the TPI team compares the language learning programs from Babbel and LingoPie. For more information regarding these two apps, continue reading our full, written comparison below.
Rather than providing a more general overview of each of these language apps, we are instead going to focus on the main differences between the two, and run down the key areas where our team sees each company winning, and having an advantage over the other. With that in mind, let’s start with the reasons to choose Babbel over LingoPie.
Clear-Cut Lesson Plan
The first reason is the fact that Babbel offers a clear-cut lesson plan and curriculum (similar to Pimsleur and Rocket Languages). This is because Babbel is a traditional language learning app, whereas LingoPie is a video on-demand platform that also happens to offer various tools and features to help you learn a new language (similar to FluentU).
In our team’s opinion, having a set lesson plan and curriculum is better for two reasons. First, a structured approach helps you progress through the language acquisition process systematically, and prevents you from from feeling overwhelmed.
Second, we like that within a structured learning environment there are clear objectives and goals for each lesson. This not only helps you maintain consistency in learning, but it also helps you stay motivated as you work towards these goals.
Bottom line, if you’re the type of person who needs guidance and direction, then you will likely prefer the organization of Babbel’s language courses more so than LingoPie’s free-flowing learning approach.
More Ideal For Beginners
Reason number two, and this relates back to the previous point, but we think Babbel is also the better choice for newcomers and beginners. And really this boils down to two words – lesson progression.
Babbel excels at starting with simple one-and two-word building blocks, and gradually progressing from there. The program takes a slow and steady approach for beginners, focusing on building a strong foundation in the basics before moving on to longer sentences, and basic conversations.
In contrast, LingoPie immerses you directly into the language by having you watch TV shows and movies, which can be overwhelming at first since there’s no guidance during the fast-paced dialogues. In other words, this may lead to frustration initially.
Therefore, if you get frustrated easily or quickly disheartened, then Babbel is the more ideal option for you.
Engaging Lesson Format
Lesson format is the third reason to choose Babbel, and there are two main reasons for this.
First, each lesson is concise, typically lasting only 5 to 15 minutes, which is very manageable. Not everyone can spare 30 to 60 minutes per day for language learning, so the ability to make progress in 10-minute increments like this is a significant benefit.
Second, the Babbel lessons are enjoyable and interactive. They cover a variety of quick exercises and drills that encompass reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These exercises include fill-in-the-blanks, matching pairs, pronunciation practice, associating pictures with phrases, verb conjugation, grammar tips, and more. This diverse approach makes the learning process engaging and rapid (like Duolingo).
Helpful Review Sessions
Lastly, we’d like to emphasize Babbel’s review sessions. We appreciate that Babbel consistently encourages these sessions to help solidify new vocabulary into your long-term memory.
Plus, we like that Babbel offers flexibility in how you want to review, which is quite unique. You can choose between flashcards, listening exercises, speaking practice, or writing tasks. This flexibility allows you to focus on areas where you feel less confident so that you can refine and improve your skills.
Now that we have covered the major highlights in favor of Babbel, let’s turn the tables, and discuss the major reasons to choose LingoPie to help you learn a new language.
LingoPie Is More Affordable
The Babbel subscription options range from $8 to $15 per month, whereas the LingoPie plans cost around $6 to $12 per month. Therefore, LingoPie is technically the cheaper option between the two by a buck or two per month, but really, both apps are in the same cost ballpark and honestly, pretty affordable overall within the world of language learning.
Entertaining Approach To Learning
The next highlight for LingoPie is its unique and engaging approach to language learning.
Unlike traditional language apps, Lingopie resembles streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, but for language education. Users can watch popular TV shows and movies in their target language, with subtitles available in both English and the language being learned.
Lingopie also provides various tools and features to aid comprehension, making the process enjoyable and less daunting. By integrating learning into entertaining content, Lingopie aims to make language acquisition more engaging and sustainable, encouraging users to continue learning in a fun and casual manner.
Better Choice For Visual Learners
It’s clear that LingoPie is the preferred option for visual learners given the company’s focus on video content. If you learn best through visual stimuli, LingoPie’s video library will likely appeal to you.
In contrast, Babbel does not include any video content in its program. While Babbel does offer live classes, they come at an additional cost. Therefore, if visual learning is your strength, LingoPie is likely the better choice for you over Babbel.
Lastly, our team was pleasantly surprised by the range of features and tools offered by LingoPie for learning. Initially, we were simply expecting to watch TV shows with subtitles, but the program offers much more than that. For example,
You can hover over words in the subtitles for detailed definitions;
You can click on a word to generate an interactive, video-based flashcard;
There’s a loop setting that repeats scenes until you grasp them;
You can adjust playback speed to slow things down when you are confused; and
There are color-coded subtitles, and an AI-based coach for grammar instruction.
Overall, these tools provide for a comprehensive and engaging learning experience.
Verdict: LingoPie Or Babbel For Language Learning?
Well, after using and testing both apps, it’s hard to definitively pick a winner. The two company’s approaches to learning are so different that comparing them directly is challenging. Each app has its own, unique strengths and weaknesses.
Here’s what we suggest: consider using both apps together. You could subscribe to Babbel’s plan, which usually costs between $8 and $12 per month, and also get LingoPie’s annual plan for $6 per month. This way, for about $15 per month (still cheaper than Pimsleur, by the way), you can use Babbel to establish a solid foundation in your target language, and then use LingoPie’s video library, and additional tools to supplement your learning.
This combination allows you to benefit from the strengths of both apps, especially as LingoPie becomes more valuable as you progress from a newcomer to a beginner, and then from a beginner to an intermediate level of fluency.
Babbel is more of a traditional language learning app that features a clear lesson plan, and set curriculum. LingoPie, on the other hand, is a video-based platform that offers various tools and features to help you learn a new language through watching international tv shows and movies.
Which language app is better - LingoPie or Babbel?
The answer as to which language app is better largely depends on your learning style and preferences. If you prefer to follow a clear learning path with various milestones and goals, Babbel is the better option. However, if you want to try something new and fun, and not be constrained by a rigid lesson structure, LingoPie is a great option.
What languages can you learn with LingoPie and Babbel?
Currently, LingoPie offers video content for 10 languages. Babbel, on the other hand, offers courses for 14 different languages.