There are zero downsides to learning a second language. It can give your career a competitive advantage, enrich your travel experiences, and can even improve your memory and cognition.
Even with all of the extra time we're spending at home, nobody wants to spend hours a day trying to become bilingual. Language learning should be a fun, immersive, and most importantly, an efficient process.
Instead of enrolling in monotonous online classes or hiring a pricey tutor, consider using an app to help you grasp a foreign tongue. There are a ton of online language learning programs out there, but we've narrowed it down to the two top dogs: Rosetta Stone and Babbel.
Here's everything you need to know
- Both have apps that allow you to take language learning on the go
- Both apps are available for iOS and Android
- Both are subscriptions, with the ability to pause or cancel at any time
- Both offer lessons that you can download and use without Wi-Fi
- Babbel offers only 13 languages, whereas Rosetta Stone offers 24
- Rosetta Stone's App has way more features that allow you to completely immerse yourself in a new language, like TruAccent®, Seek & Speak® and Phrasebook (more on these below)
- Rosetta Stone is a better bang for your buck- their 24-month subscription works out at £5.99 a month and gives you access to all 24 of their languages
- Babbel's 24-month subscription works out at USD $6.95 a month, and even though they sometimes have special offers, you only get access to one language
Rosetta Stone Overview
Rosetta Stone is a really well-known name in language learning, and they have really upped their game with their feature-packed app. The lessons only take around 10 minutes - short enough to finish during a morning coffee break. Their app focuses on conversational learning, the acquisition of new phrases, and vocabulary that you would actually use in a real-life conversation.
On top of its very engaging lessons, Rosetta Stone's next-level features really set it apart. The TruAccent® feature listens to you speak out loud and helps you perfect your accent with a light-up indicator. We also love that you can download the bite-sized lesson and listen to them without Wi-FI--perfect for an evening walk.
The Phrasebook and Seek & Speak® features will also come in handy on your future travels. Phrasebook teaches you short, useful expressions and Seek & Speak® lets you partake in a fun scavenger hunt for everyday items, like fruit and vegetables. It tasks you with seeking out a list of items, and once you take an image of one of the items, it will translate it for you.
Best of all, you can structure your lessons to learn the topics that interest you the most. There are so many different features and ways to learn, so we didn't get bored and always found ourselves wanting to spend more time on the easy-to-navigate app.
Rosetta Stone also offers the best lifetime value of any online language learning program. For just £199, you get all 24 languages for the rest of your life! Or you can opt to pay £5.99 each month and cancel anytime. Either way, it's the best value out there!
Babbel offers 13 languages and on-the-go learning from any of your devices. It uses what is called the "Babbel Method"- well-structured lessons that build on each other with realistic scenarios and interactive dialogues. We were excited to try Babbel because it claims to be "the fastest path to learn a new language."
We enjoyed it at the start, but we found their teaching method to be very inconsistent. While our editor learning French had a mostly positive experience, the other learning Italian (who has an Italian partner) found the lessons flat, and worst of all, inaccurate.
Plus, their range of features became a little boring after a while. It's vital with language learning that you keep your brain interested by constantly switching up the way you are learning. So we got pretty bored with Babbel very quickly.
As we said, there's no downside to learning a new language. Both Rosetta Stone and Babbel have taken this once boring task and brought it into the 21st century. But, if you're looking for the language learning app that is most convenient, affordable, interactive, and has the largest range of features, then we recommend Rosetta Stone.
It's easy to use, the lessons are bite-sized, and the sheer amount of different features meant that we never got bored.
There are tons of options out there, but ultimately if you are committed to learning a second language in the most efficient way possible, Rosetta Stone is the one for you. You'll find yourself picking up words and sentences in no time!
The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers only: Up To 45% Off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Languages & Free Tutoring Sessions!