The Babbel Blog

language learning in the digital age

Claire, 28, learns Dutch to make a new start in Amsterdam

Posted on June 10, 2016 by

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Presenting the latest chapter of our Babbel user portraits — a snapshot of users’ lives and experiences learning a new language. Want to share your own story? Let us know in the comments section below!

Have you ever dreamt of leaving everything behind in order to make a fresh start abroad? This is exactly what 28-year old Claire did. She left her life as a city planner in Paris and moved to Amsterdam, where she met Mirjam, with whom she lives today. She talks to us about her experience learning Dutch and her new lifestyle.

 

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Following your team in France this summer? Read this first

Posted on June 7, 2016 by

 

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This week, millions of European football fans will descend on France for the beginning of the European championships. So of course, as outspoken proponents of language learning and cultural understanding, we at Babbel feel obliged to help out any way we can. That’s why we’ve put together a simple list of dos and don’ts for the visitors. And if enough people pay attention, it might just make life a little easier for their hosts too.

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Refugees learn German for daily life with SINGA Language Café and Babbel

Posted on June 1, 2016 by

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Ze-bra-strei-fen,” Ismael, Sadeq, Ahmed and Aynob say in chorus while sitting around a table in the language café, before they start animatedly discussing the correct pronunciation: is the “Z” pronounced like an “S?” In Arabic there is no “ts” sound, as pronounced in the German letter “Z.” It’s not an easy phrase to start with, but the four refugees from Syria and Iraq don’t let themselves get discouraged, and repeat it again. “Zebrastreifen.” To ease their introduction to the topic, “Specifics of road transport in Germany,” I wrack my brain for a simple synonym: “Fußgängerüberweg” (pedestrian crossing)! Sure, the word is longer and more complicated, but the students’ motivation energizes me — they’re following my every word to learn as much German as quickly as possible.

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Inside Babbel: Hack Day 5

Posted on May 31, 2016 by

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Every few months, Babbel’s finest minds team up to face one another in an off-site battle of the hacks. The aim is simply to make the best learning tool they possibly can in just one day. I recently joined the Hack Day’s fifth iteration to report back from the front lines.

 
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Inside Babbel: Communicating Across Cultures

Posted on May 27, 2016 by

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By startup standards, we’re getting pretty big. And as a language-learning company that straddles two continents, we’re also pretty international. That’s great, but it’s also a challenge: how do we go about talking to one another while navigating the various linguistic and cultural divides? Here’s how it works in practice:

 

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User Portrait: Introducing Richard Janssen

Posted on May 9, 2016 by

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Richard Janssen knows a thing or two about languages. Like our very own Matthew Youlden, he’s what we call a hyperpolyglot. Upon hearing the extent of Richard’s linguistic abilities, Sam Taylor decided to put those skills to the test (with a little help from Babbel, of course).

 

Here’s part one of two — in which we meet Richard and find out what makes him tick.

 

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Inside Babbel: Matthew Youlden

Posted on May 6, 2016 by

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Matthew Youlden is a hyperpolyglot, linguist and Language Ambassador at Babbel. You may know him from being literally all over the internet. But who is he, really? Sam Taylor has the answers.
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Portrait: Hans From Switzerland – An International Life Full of Languages

Posted on April 27, 2016 by

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Presenting the latest chapter of our Babbel user portraits — a snapshot of users’ lives and experiences learning a new language. Want to share your own story? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Today we introduce you to multilingual Hans from Switzerland. This 69-year-old polyglot isn’t just a passionate language learner — he’s also a linguist, an organist, a marketing and database expert, and a website developer! Here, he talks about his mother tongue of Romansch, his love for foreign languages and cultures (he’s currently learning Swedish and Welsh), and how his language skills helped him land his dream job.

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Who, what, when, why? Our user survey explained

Posted on March 21, 2016 by

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Here on the Babbel blog, we make no secret of our love for letters. Words, after all, are what we do.

But once in a while, they say, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone. So we’ve been crunching some numbers — big ones: we asked our users about how they learn with Babbel, and 45,000 of them got back to us (okay, 44,584 — but who’s counting?).

We scratched our heads, put the kettle on, dusted off our calculators and got to work. Here’s what we found out.

 

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Inside Babbel: Refugees Welcome

Posted on February 1, 2016 by

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For the past two months, volunteers from Babbel have been visiting the LAGeSo refugee centre in Berlin’s Bundesallee to distribute free online German courses. Sam Taylor talked to some of the project’s participants to find out more about their experiences.

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