Difference Between Duolingo and Babbel

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 24, 2023


Difference Between Duolingo and Babbel

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Today, mobile phones have made it possible for people to fulfill their impossible and difficult tasks easily. Be it communicating with anyone from any corner of the world or taking classes online sitting at home. Mobile phones have emerged as one of the most useful inventions of the times. We can locate a place, read books in the form of Kindle editions or e-books, play video games, and many more. One of the most beneficial features of mobile phones is educational apps. These apps allow an individual to learn new concepts, coding, or any other language. Language learning apps like Duolingo, Memrise, Babbel, Rosetta Stone, and many others offer courses in languages from Spanish to Hawaiian.

Duolingo is an app that provides effective and efficient courses and analyses the user's reading, listening, and speaking skills. Rather than focussing on memorizing the concepts and terms, it teaches the user by presenting everything in context. It believes in the representation of the combination of skills to show the use of language in the real world. Duolingo aims to develop the best education in the world, and it is available universally.

On the other hand, Babbel is an e-learning platform available in various languages. It helps the users to practice all areas of language. The program includes vocabulary drills, reading and writing exercises, and live lessons that can be repeated many times. Babbel has also introduced podcasts, new games, stories, and more to help users to explore new ideas. Apart from teaching, the teacher of the program also discusses building confidence and personality development etc. in the users.

Duolingo vs Babbel

Duolingo is an American company that provides learning language services to the people. It is one of the most popular language-learning platforms. The lessons provided by them are very short and are about 5 to 10 minutes long. It includes various exercises like listening drills, fill-in-the-blank exercises, verbal practice, matching pairs, and mock conversations. Duolingo can be downloaded as an app from the Play Store or used as a website. The e-learning platform works on every device, whether Android, phone, desktop, or anything else. Duolingo uses a lot of animations to make learning fun for users. These features add life to the app and make it one of the most popular language-learning apps.

Babbel is a German company used as an e-learning platform available in various languages. The lessons provided to them are super-fast and take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. The lessons include several interactive drills and exercises. These exercises are similar for all Babbel language courses. Babbel is one of the first software programs to explore online language learning. A beginner needs to sign in with an account in the Babbel app or website. After signing in, the app offers suggestions like selecting language, medium of levels, and other tips. Babbel uses various accents to improve the user's pronunciation. Rather than showing animations, it focuses on stock photography and plain colors. These features make the app a popular medium and help in the user's language-learning journey.

Every Duolingo and Babbel user' is surrounded by a simple question, "Which is better? Duolingo or Babbel"?  The uncertainty of users is justified because both of the language learning apps have the same method of dealing with the users. They have similar programs, which raises confusion in the minds of the people. But they have distinct features from each other and have their pros and cons, which make them different from each other.

Difference Between Duolingo and Babbel in Tabular Form

Parameters of ComparisonDuolingoBabbel
DefinitionDuolingo is an online language learning tool that provides learning apps and language certification.Babbel is an e-learning platform that provides various language courses and activities.
Method of ApproachDuolingo provides modules and exercises with a playful and gamified approach.Babbel focuses on the traditional approach to providing lessons and instructions.
LanguagesThe users can learn 37 different languages in Duolingo.Babbel offers 14 languages for the users to learn.
CostDuolingo app is free and users are not restricted from learning materials.The Babbel app is paid and requires a subscription from the users.
GrammarDuolingo doesn't prioritize exercises in the lessons and lags in grammar.Babbel is superior in terms of grammar and incorporates exercises in the lessons.
Live lessonsThe app doesn't provide live lessons.The app provides live lessons every week.
FlexibilityDuolingo is flexible in terms of platform compatibility.Babbel is more flexible than Duolingo in customizing lessons.

What is Duolingo?

Duolingo is an American company and the world's most popular platform for learning new languages. It was founded in 2011 by Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker. The co-founder Luis von Ahn, is also the chief executive officer of Duolingo. The employees working in the company are more than 500 in numbers coming from 30 different countries. The majority of the employees are women and non-whites. Duolingo is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US. The company also has offices in New York, Seattle, Beijing and Berlin. Duolingo's native clients are mostly on Android, IOS, and Web Browser.

The app has become the most downloaded learning app in the world, with more than 500 million users.  In addition to its language learning platform, Duolingo has also created an affordable and convenient language certification option called Duolingo English Test. It is taken online on demand. The users do not need to visit any test centers to practice it. The test can be taken from the home via computer or webcam. The test is taken in 1 hour, and the results are declared within two days.

Duolingo, with a gamified approach, incorporates exercises, modules, and quizzes to make language learning fun and interesting. It offers podcasts in various languages to the users and uses simplified grammar and vocabulary to make learning less complicated.

Duolingo is a free e-learning platform but also includes an optional subscription fee in the Super Duolingo program. Super Duolingo offers benefits like countless hearts, skipping levels ads, and many others. Duolingo offers more than 40 languages to the users for learning. Some are Danish, German, High Valyrian, Japanese, Polish, Swahili, Yiddish, Czech, etc.

Duolingo provides various services under its platform. The beneficial services are:-

  • Duolingo ABC- It is a free app designed for children aged from 3 to 6. The app teaches the children how to read and offers 300 entertaining and fun-filled lessons. The lessons feel like games that help the kids learn numerous skills like science, phonics, phonemic awareness, and comprehension.
  • Duolingo Math- Duolingo released this app on iOS. It includes an elementary-level math curriculum and a brain training course. Elementary-level math curriculum covers classroom topics like geometry, areas, and multiplications. While brain training course is designed for adults and covers advanced topics like mental math skills with tough exercises.
  • Duolingo Music- The Company announced that it will soon release music as a subject in its course catalog. The app will deal with music learning and playing.

As mentioned earlier, Duolingo can be downloaded as an app or used as a website. Duolingo will provide a choice for the users to choose the language to learn. For beginners, the concept of language learning is taught from the basics. For the advanced ones, a placement test is taken to determine the knowledge of the user. Then, users create their avatars and play games to earn rewards. On the avatar profile, badges are shown, and flag icons are displayed.

What is Babbel?

Babbel is a German paid language learning software that combines various effective methods to learn foreign languages in a new way. It was launched in August 2007 but was initially released in January 2008 by the co-founders Thomas Holl, Toine Diepstraten, Lorenz Heine, and Markus Witte. Over 650 employees of the company work in Berlin, while 30 work in New York City. Babbel is headquartered in Berlin, Germany.

Babbel boasts over 10 million downloads from users around the world. It helps the users practice in all language areas- reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The e-learning platform offers vocabulary drills, reading exercises, and live lessons. These lessons are very short and quick and are about 10-15 minutes long. Babbel proves beneficial for those starting a new language and building the foundation for learning.

Babbel is a mixture of various features like speech recognition, progress check, and a section of review. Speech recognition allows the users to respond verbally. But it is an additional format, and users can learn the languages through live classes. Progress check allows the users to check their progress on every lesson or a weekly basis. It provides a percentage in each lesson to let the users know their progress. The review section allows the users to revisit or view the learned lessons or concepts.

 Apart from these features, Babbel provides a service called Babbel Live to allow users to interact with live instructors. It also offers podcasts and blog posts on the magazine website. Babbel also consists of a section on Culture Bites that includes short videos related to culture. These videos provide cultural knowledge and facts to the users. Another effective feature is 2 Minute Stories. 2 Minute Stories deals with short stories related to conversational phrases. It mostly comes in use for the beginners.

Babbel can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or used as a website. The user, especially the beginner, needs to create an account by signing in. After signing in, the users are provided with various languages to choose from for learning. Babbel offers learning in terms of levels. The levels range from A1 (beginner) to C1 (proficient).

Babbel is not a free app and does not offer any free trials. It is paid and requires a subscription. The subscriptions are based on every month. The one-month subscription costs $13.95. The three-month subscription costs $29.85. The six-month subscription costs $50.70, and the twelve-month subscription costs $83.40.

 Currently, Babbel provides learning of 14 different languages:-

  1. Spanish
  2. French
  3. German
  4. Italian
  5. Portuguese (Brazilian)
  6. Polish
  7. Russian
  8. Dutch
  9. Turkish
  10. Danish
  11. Norwegian
  12. Swedish
  13. Indonesian
  14. English

Main Differences Between Duolingo and Babbel (In Points)

  • Duolingo is an app that provides language learning services to the users. Babbel is an e-learning platform available in various languages that provides foreign language courses.
  • Duolingo is rated 3.6 across the internet. On the other hand, Babbel is rated 4.4 across the internet.
  • The word Duolingo is derived from the Latin words 'duo' and 'lingua' which means two and mother tongue, respectively. Whereas, the word Babbel is derived from the Hebrew verb 'bālal’ which means to jumble or to confuse your words.
  • Duolingo lacks a price tag and can be used for free. While Babbel includes various price tags in the form of monthly subscriptions and is a paid app.
  • Duolingo includes more units of the lessons with game-like exercises. On the other hand, Babbel focuses on a traditional approach and sometimes the lessons become boring.
  • Duolingo aims at memorizing the users with words and phrases in isolation. Whereas, Babbel focuses on authentic context.
  • Duolingo lacks comprehensive topics. While Babbel's lessons appear more topically comprehensive than Duolingo's.
  • Duolingo is mostly meant for beginners and not for advanced learners. On the other hand, Babbel deals with both beginners and advanced learners.
  • Duolingo does not provide the facility of live interactions with the teachers. Whereas, Babbel involves live interaction with the teacher through the service Babbel Live.
  • Duolingo was founded in 2011. While Babbel was released in January 2008.
  • Duolingo is an American-based company and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US. On the other hand, Babbel is a German-based company and is headquartered in Berlin, Germany.


In short, language learning apps like Duolingo and Babbel offer an engaging way to learn a new language. These apps have similar ways of dealing with users but are different in various aspects like services, facilities, prices, etc. While Duolingo is used to brush up on the skills and languages already known by the users in a gamified way, Babbel is usually meant for serious learners and covers a wide range of topics under it.


  • speechify.com
  • langoly.com
  • duolingo.com
  • babble.com


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"Difference Between Duolingo and Babbel." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 19 Apr. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-duolingo-and-babbel>.

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