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LingQ vs Babbel

Detailed comparison of the language learning apps LingQ and Babbel

Although LingQ and Babbel do share several similarities, the two language learning apps do differ in several key areas. In this article, we highlight those differences so you can quickly determine which language program better suits your specific needs and learning preferences. That way, you can start learning a new language right away.

  • Price
  • Lesson Length
  • Verbal Practice
  • Speech Recognition Software
  • Languages Covered
  • Grammar Instruction
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    • $8-$15/mo
    • 10-15 Minutes
    • Moderate Focus
    • 14
    • Layered Into Lessons
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    • $8-$15/mo
    • Varies By Lesson
    • None
    • 40+
    • Limited Instruction

Outline: Babbel vs LingQ

Given that this is a lengthy, detailed comparison, we’ve included jump-to links above for your convenience.

Video: LingQ or Babbel?

In the video above, John from the Test Prep Insight team compares the language learning apps from Babbel and LingQ. For more detail, be sure to continue reading our full written comparison below.



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  • Money Back Guarantee
Our Score


  • star
  • star
  • star
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  • Short, engaging lesson format (10-15 minutes each)
  • Clear, structured learning path
  • Much better than LingQ for developing your writing and speaking skills
  • Short daily review sessions are great for increasing retention
  • Streamlined grammar instruction that is easy-to-understand
  • No video instruction
  • Does not gamify the learning experience like LingQ
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Why Choose Babbel Over LingQ

To kick this comparison off, let’s discuss the learning method behind Babbel and the strengths of their language program in comparison to LingQ.

How Babbel Works

In comparison to LingQ, Babbel adopts a more comprehensive approach to language instruction, integrating writing, speaking, reading, listening, and grammar into their lessons across various mediums and exercises.

This balanced approach is aimed at effectively developing the skills necessary for conversing in the target language.

babbel german dashboard
A look inside the Babbel app

Additionally, Babbel offers review sessions and supplementary tools such as games, podcasts, and stories to help move new vocabulary from short-term to long-term memory.

In essence, Babbel structures its curriculum into short, varied, and captivating lessons, complemented by review sessions and additional resources to reinforce learning.

Price Comparison

LingQ offers a limited free version of their app but ultimately encourages users to sign up for one of their premium plans, which range from $8 to $15 per month, depending on the duration of the subscription.

On the other hand, Babbel’s plans range from $8 to $18 per month, also depending on the subscription duration.

Overall, the pricing between the two companies is quite similar, with no clear winner in terms of cost.

Structured Learning Path

The first difference is that Babbel provides a well-defined lesson plan and curriculum, whereas LingQ does not.

Babbel follows a traditional approach to language learning (similar to Rosetta Stone and Duolingo), offering a structured path, while LingQ presents a collection of various materials like books, podcasts, and news articles packaged to aid language learning.

Having a set lesson plan and curriculum is beneficial for two reasons. First, a structured approach helps you progress systematically, preventing you from feeling overwhelmed.

babbel spanish drill
Example practice exercise from Babbel

Second, within a structured environment, there are clear objectives and goals for each lesson, which not only maintains consistency but also keeps you motivated as you work towards these goals.

Therefore, if you prefer guidance and direction, you will likely prefer Babbel’s organized courses over LingQ’s more flexible approach.

Diverse Lessons

Next, I prefer Babbel’s lesson format, which I find more diverse, engaging, and comprehensive than LingQ’s.

Babbel emphasizes both expressive and receptive language skills, including speaking, writing, listening, and reading, whereas LingQ primarily focuses on reading and listening. This limitation in LingQ’s approach is one of my biggest issues with it.

Babbel French exercise
The Babbel lessons are short and engaging

Additionally, Babbel’s lessons are enjoyable and fast-paced, incorporating a variety of drills and exercises such as fill-in-the-blanks, matching pairs, pronunciation practice, matching pictures to phrases, conjugating verbs, and quick grammar tips. This diversity keeps the learning process enjoyable and dynamic, making the lessons fly by.

Grammar Instruction

The final aspect I prefer about Babbel’s program over LingQ’s is their focus on grammar. Babbel integrates grammar “building block” lessons throughout their coursework, covering essential topics such as pronouns, past tense verbs, modals, and more.

babbel spanish grammar
Babbel offers insightful grammar instruction

These grammar lessons are not lengthy or dense but rather short, direct, and easily digestible, which is crucial during the early stages of language acquisition. It’s important not to overload new learners with overly detailed explanations, and Babbel does an excellent job of balancing this (like Rocket Languages).

In contrast, grammar is not a priority in LingQ’s program; it is more of an afterthought.

➡️Want more detail? Read our full review of the Babbel app



  • Free Version Available
  • 40+ Languages
  • Free Version Available
  • 40+ Languages
Our Score


  • star
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  • star
  • star
  • star
  • Massive library of lessons (books, podcasts, news articles, etc.)
  • Ability to upload your own content and make them into lessons
  • Learn new vocabulary in the proper context
  • LingQ does a great job of gamifying the learning experience
  • Free version is extremely limited
  • Program overall lacks guidance (no clear learning path)
  • Limited grammar instruction
  • User generated content contains errors
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Why Choose LingQ Over Babbel

Now that you have a better understanding of what Babbel has to offer, let’s turn the tables and discuss why you should choose LingQ to learn Spanish, Italian, German, or any other language.

How LingQ Works

The short story is that LingQ transforms various written and audio content into language learning lessons, allowing users to import their own materials or choose from a library of books, news articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, and more.

lingq language lesson
Example lesson from LingQ

These materials are presented in the target language without English translations, aiming to immerse learners in the language and provide extensive exposure to aid in natural acquisition of vocabulary in context (similar to the LingoPie learning method).

Massive Content Library

First off, LingQ boasts an impressive library of content with a plethora of choices that can easily captivate users. The platform offers a wide array of lessons ranging from current news articles to books, cartoons, and podcasts, allowing users to immerse themselves in topics of interest such as sports, technology, culture, science, travel, and history.

lingq content library
A look at the LingQ content library

This approach not only provides context for language use but also enhances vocabulary retention by connecting new information to existing knowledge through engaging, relevant content.

Import Your Own Content

Secondly, I appreciate that LingQ allows users to effortlessly import their own content and convert it into personalized lessons. Users can simply copy and paste information or upload a file, and LingQ will automatically generate a transcript, transforming articles, books, podcasts, or other uploads into customized lessons.

This feature aligns with the importance of using relevant and interesting material, as it enhances engagement and effectiveness. Moreover, learning with familiar content allows for a focus on understanding the language itself rather than the content, while also providing context for learning new words and phrases, facilitating easier retention and application in various contexts.

Fun Learning Experience

Lastly, I appreciate how LingQ gamifies the learning experience by rewarding users with points and coins for various activities like reading, listening, and learning new words. As users accumulate points, they progress through different levels, providing a sense of achievement and advancement.

lingq language games
LingQ makes the learning process exciting

LingQ also tracks users’ streaks, offers challenges and contests, and provides leaderboards to compare progress with others, fostering a sense of competition and motivation for improvement.

This gamification makes the learning process more enjoyable and engaging, boosting confidence and encouraging continued learning, for which LingQ deserves credit.

➡️Also Worth Reading: Babbel vs Mosalingua

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Verdict: Which Language App Is Best?

After testing both apps, I have to give the win to Babbel.

While LingQ has its positives, such as its extensive content library and gamified learning approach, Babbel’s language courses are more comprehensive and effective overall.

I prefer Babbel’s structured learning path, and their lessons are more diverse, incorporating aspects of speaking and writing, in addition to reading and listening.

Additionally, I appreciate Babbel’s approach to teaching grammar. Therefore, if you’re serious about learning a new language, I highly recommend Babbel over LingQ.

➡️ Read Next: Babbel vs Rosetta Stone


How does LingQ and Babbel compare?

Babbel offers a structured learning path with diverse lessons that include speaking and writing, while LingQ provides a more flexible approach with a focus on reading and listening. Babbel also emphasizes grammar instruction, which is less of a priority in LingQ’s program.

Which language app is better - Babbel or LingQ?

Babbel’s structured approach, comprehensive lessons, and emphasis on grammar make it a better language app than LingQ for those seeking a guided and well-rounded learning experience. Additionally, Babbel’s focus on diverse lesson formats, including speaking and writing practice, enhances the overall effectiveness and engagement of its language courses compared to LingQ.