The Babbel Blog

Online Language Learning

German dialects course: Why Babbel is called Babbel and other funny stories behind the scenes of the new course

Posted on January 7, 2013 by

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

This post in: French (Français), German (Deutsch), Spanish (Español), Italienian (Italiano)

“Wos babbelscht’n du do?” – This isn’t German. Or is it…? Actually it is. It’s Hessian dialect for “Was redest du denn da?” (“What are you talking about?”). Listen to Hessian dialect

If you learn a new language, it’s most useful to learn its standard variety. But many languages like German have different dialects which give us the best insight into what the people are like and how they live. We at Babbel thought that making a dialect course might not only be a nice example of what German can sound like, but also be a chance to give a broader idea of how diverse Germany and its people are.

During the production of this course, we had a lot of fun discovering German ourselves, which is the mother tongue of many of our employees. And we were astonished at how many of us can speak a dialect (“Hey, I didn’t know that you can speak Hessian, wow!”). This led to a lot of funny discussions à la “No, I never ever heard that word before in my life!” or “Really, you call a meatball Bagges? No way!” The lunch break was the ideal time to ask colleagues where they come from and where they grew up. Just to be followed by the question “So you surely can speak a dialect, can’t you?” To make a long story short: We got to know each other better and from a completely different angle.

When it came to recording, we were in stitches. Some sentences had to be re-recorded over and over again because our speakers kept collapsing with laughter. But the result was worth the stomach pains from laughing. In the dialect course, which currently consists of six dialects (Berlin dialect, Upper Franconian, Hessian, Swabian, Saxonian and Bavarian), you’ll learn that you’ll get the same bread roll, if you buy a Weckla in Swabia, a Semmela in Franconia or a Schrippe in Berlin. You’ll come to understand a Bavarian if he’s talking about a Hallodri (scallywag) and get to know what a Hessian Kräbbel (jam donut) is. You’ll not only learn regional vocabulary on food and every day life, but also a lot about the region where the dialects are spoken and how their people are wired. And you’ll finally unravel the mystery of why Babbel is called Babbel: it’s Hessian dialect for to talk, to speak. So let’s get started and babbel German with the dialect course!

Maren has been working with Babbel since September 2011. As a project manager she authored the dialect course amongst others. She grew up in Berlin, but since her mother is from Hesse and her father from Bavaria, she got to know the regional varieties of German from her childhood on. Her relatives in Saxony and Thuringia and not least her husband from Franconia contribute to the fact that she sometimes orders a Schrippe in Bavaria or is looking for a Kräbbel in Berlin…

 

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

How learning a new language fulfils seven of your New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on December 31, 2012 by

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

This post in: French (Français), German (Deutsch), Spanish (Español), Italienian (Italiano)

It’s that time of year again: 2013 is on the way and you’re looking back and contemplating the year passed. As you’re taking stock of what worked out and what didn’t quite, you decide to use the New Year as chance to change for the better. New Year’s resolutions last little longer than the euphoric effect of a glass of bubbly. Often you take on too many changes at once. But at babbel.com, we’ve figured out a way you can keep at least seven of your resolutions….

Easy as pie. Learn a new language!

 

Some of the more common New Year’s resolutions of the 21st century:

1. Less stress.

One of the most oft-mentioned resolutions is to reduce daily stress. Now you’re probably imagining, what’s a Babbel language course have to do with a visit to the spa?

Perhaps you’ve heard of the psychological term “flow.” Flow means a feeling of being immersed in and concentrating on an engaging mental activity. From the bodily point of view, flow can be observed in the synchronization of heart rate, breathing and blood pressure.

Studying is often associated with tedium and stress. At babbel.com, the developers knew this from the outset. Their aim when designing the Babbel language courses was to integrate the learning process seamlessly. In other words, the idea was to make it so easy and entertaining that you learn effortlessly, having fun through measurable progress and a sense of achievement.

2. Be healthier

Studying is not the most movement-intensive activity, but it exercises that most vital of muscles, your brain. In a study, Swedish researchers at Lund University reported that learning a foreign language has a direct influence on the growth of your brain. Consistently learning new grammatical structures, acquiring new vocabulary and practicing pronunciation all have a direct impact on our capacity for memory. Other studies show that people who speak two or more languages are affected by dementia only much later in life, if at all.

3. Drink/smoke less

Engaging in a new and exciting hobby distracts you from other habits. With the money you save by not buying two packs of cigarettes a month, you can already pay for a one month course with babbel.com (see item 4).

4. Save money

A language course need not be expensive. Compared to traditional courses, language courses offered online are quite affordable and offer high quality content. But not only that. A new language can be learned through the regular reading of articles and texts in foreign newspapers on the web, or by watching movies in their original version with subtitles. This lets you save money to take a trip, for example, which leads us right to the next resolution…

5. Take a trip

Lack of incentive and motivation can make it difficult to follow through on your resolutions. In many countries you might visit English can get you pretty far, but for others you should definitely have a command of the essential words and phrases in the local language. It’s a great way to get to know new and interesting people.

6. Find a better job

A survey by the German Federal Institute of Education shows that one in three working people needs at least basic skills in a foreign language, and one in every six needs more specialized knowledge. “Depending on the position, additional language skills can always be an advantage when it comes to standing out from other applicants, especially with a slightly unusual language,” says Anne Seeanner, Public Relations Manager at Monster Germany.

Several studies in multilingual regions or countries like Canada and some U.S. states also show that bilingual people earn up to 20% more than their monolingual counterparts.

7. Help others

You also don’t have to learn languages all alone. With language exchanges (“tandems”) people meet each other and share their native languages. It’s that easy with resolutions.

In honor of these many resolutions, babbel.com is offering a New Year’s special. Between the 3rd and 14th of January there is a special year-long subscription price for your preferred language for €48. Just to compare, a standard 3-month subscription costs €33.30.

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

The new course on Spanish slang will whip you into shape!

Posted on December 20, 2012 by

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

This post in: French (Français), German (Deutsch), Spanish (Español), Italienian (Italiano)

It comes easily, blatantly and directly: slang. It’s already fun in your own native language to put out all the stops, or to find further colloquial synonyms for cash, knackered or broke!

What’s even more exciting is to go on a sort of discovery tour in a language that you’re currently learning, especially when you knock a local’s socks off with your smashing foreign language knowledge.

What rolls off the tongue for you in your own language, may look suddenly silly in a foreign language. So, how do you actually express yourself with a small interjection like: “bloody hell!” when you can’t even find the words for it.

When I was learning Spanish and could say „Estoy tiesa“(I’m broke) instead of “No tengo dinero” (I don’t have any money) for the first time, I was tickled pink. My Spanish friends were also very happy. So, we “hicimos un fiestón” (had a big party) right on the spot, and I learned “¿Tienes un resacón?“ (Do you have a major hangover?) the very next morning. It’s even a little different if you tell your friends: “Anoche lo pasamos bomba y hoy estoy hecha polvo” (Last night we went on a bender, and today I’m knackered), rather than just saying: “Anoche hicimos una fiesta y hoy no estoy muy bien.” (Last night we had a party and today I’m not feeling very well).

Not so simple, is it? For Babbel users it will be a bed of roses with the Spanish colloquial course with topics, such as love, party, the beach and people. The French colloquial course offers categories like youth slang, Verlan or shortened word forms. Keeping this in mind, we have paid special attention to the fun aspect in these courses with authentic dialogues, as well.

Knock yourself out!

Since April 2012, Frauke has worked in the content division at Babbel. As a project manager, she has created, among others, the Spanish colloquial course. Since she first tried out her knowledge of Spanish vocabulary and phrases in Sevilla (Spain) at the age of 20, she knows very well the advantages of being proficient in the ‘true’ local language as fast as possible.

Apart from both of these courses, we have also published the following on 20 December:

German Dialects Course
German Beginner’s Course 6
Portuguese Refresher 1 (new release)
Italian Refresher 1 (new release)
Dutch Beginner’s Course 1

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

New Italian idioms course spices up your Babbel lessons

Posted on November 29, 2012 by

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

This post in : German (Deutsch), Francais (French), Spanish (Español), Italian (Italiano)­­

"avere gli occhi foderati di prosciutto"There’s almost no one who’s been with Babbel as long as Barbara. Around five years ago, the Italian translator and Finnish studies specialist started in content and support (at that time still as a student). As of this year, she’s an integral and essential part of our content team. Barbara is always unpacking yet another new language and knows what it means to have eyes lined with ham.

 

 

We use language to convey our thoughts and describe what we see. But the fact that we employ metaphors and images to do so is something we don’t always realize. You could say, “I already know the ropes,” but what ropes are those?  Idioms are deeply embedded in our consciousness, and we often take them at face value. But idioms give spice to language. They express what we mean, short and sweet, and depending on the language, can bring some of the more absurd images to mind…

That we at Babbel in particular can warm to such a theme is obvious: We’ve already published special courses for French, Spanish, Portuguese, English and Spanish “idioms.”  So, fresh out of the oven, here comes the new course on Italian idioms. Now you can find out what the Italians mean when they say “to arrive at the bean” (“capitare a fagiolo“), “to pretend to have a trader’s ears” (“fare orecchie da mercanti“), or to get two birds with a broad bean (“prendere due piccioni con una fava“).

Fundamentally, Babbel thinks important for you to commit phrases you’ve learned to long-term memory, and the intelligent review manager and audio-visual presentation of idioms help with that. But it’s certainly not always easy for us to find the right images, especially for things like, “It’s not flour from your sack” (“non è farina del tuo sacco“, which in English would be “it’s not your own work”) or “to have eyes lined with ham” (“avere gli occhi foderati di prosciutto“, in English “to stick one’s head in the sand”).

That was the challenge that we on the Babbel content team were happy to take on, though not without a good dose of humor: Why not bring the idioms to life ourselves? And so we actually put ham on our eyes and held a sack of flour in our hands for the camera, under the amused and perhaps envious gaze of the rest of the Babbel crew, who nevertheless must’ve gotten a sense of how fun our jobs can be.

If you’re “just dying” (meaning, you can’t wait) to try out this course, follow this link: We hope you “in bocca al lupo!“—no, not get in the wolf’s mouth, but break a leg!

Further new courses also are available for:

French: Refresher course 2
Swedish: Numbers
Portuguese: Grammar

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Speaking a language is like riding a bicycle… New courses for returning learners!

Posted on October 30, 2012 by

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Katja Wilde, Content Project Manager at Babbel

This post in : German (Deutsch), Francais (French), Spanish (Español), Italian (Italiano)

“I studied French in school.“ How many times have I heard this as a Babbel Content Manager? Since so many of you seem to harbor a desire to dust off those language skills and polish them up without having to take a long, involved course at the same time, we’ve redesigned our refresher course to make it even more effective and fun.

Studying languages is really like riding a bicycle . . . you never forget it. Just lack of practice and re-entry can make it tough sometimes. That’s why we here at Babbel have developed a new course concept so you’ll be to able to express yourself and communicate in everyday situations again.

Logically interlocking units bring dormant vocabulary and grammar knowledge back to life—and have you review them effectively in common dialogues. The idea here is to combine the refreshing of basic essentials with their use in an everyday speaking context.

You’ll repeat useful words and sentences and then use them in a dialogue. This prepares you for the grammar lesson that follows. So for example, once you’ve practiced “J’en prends 100 grammes” (I’ll take 100 grams of that) in the French “Shopping” section, you’ll go over the grammar of it once again in detail, including why and when you use the pronoun “en.” At the end, the grammar knowledge you’ve reviewed is combined with the vocabulary from the last lesson—the “grand finale,” as editorial director Miriam Plieninger calls it. And the cycle is complete.

The new edition of the refresher course is available for German, Spanish, French and English at Babbel.com. This comes in parallel with the release of the Beginner’s Course 5 for German, and the Beginner’s Course 4 for Brazilian Portuguese. More refresher courses as well as new course formats for higher levels are planned for next month.

Link to courses:

ENG>DEU: http://www.babbel.com/learn-german-online/65356-new
ENG>SPA: http://www.babbel.com/learn-spanish-online/65408-new
ENG>FRA: http://www.babbel.com/learn-french-online/65390-new
ENG>POR: http://www.babbel.com/learn-portuguese-online/88007-new

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Babbel for Windows 8 – Five questions for Dari Salimi

Posted on October 23, 2012 by

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

 

 

Dari is our product manager for mobile Apps and these days he’s a very sought after man here at Babbel. Nevertheless our Blog author Aishah was able to track him down and ask him a few questions to coincide with the upcoming Windows 8 Release on 26th October (and the corresponding Babbel App for Windows 8). Privately Dari is a committed Apple user. Nevertheless he is certainly very happy with the new Apps, especially from a visual perspective.

 

What do you do at Babbel? Do you actually ever get around to learning yourself?

For me it’s more a case of “learning by testing”. But of course a lot of it sticks. I would say my favourite language to learn is Spanish.
I’ve been at Babbel for about a year. When I started here the vocab trainer for iPhone had already been developed. Since then we have optimised the Apps for iPad and also brought one out for Android.

As you say, there is already Babbel for iOS and Android. Why then soon for Windows 8 as well?

Our Apps for iOS and Android are very successful – the subject of learning is not only becoming more and more relevant, but also more popular.  We had the opportunity to take a look at Windows 8 and the technology behind it as part of a collaborative project with Microsoft in Berlin. Coming into direct contact with Microsoft experts tipped the balance. Of course I had already wondered if and when we would start work on an App for Windows 8. But now we are going to be the first provider of a language learning App in the Windows Store, and that’s something we can be very proud of.

What is special about Windows 8?

I find the most interesting aspect is their attempt to join together mobile and stationary usage. Windows 8 doesn’t just support conventional PC use via mouse and keyboard, but also touchscreens, which are most widely distributed among mobile devices. Also the design of the user interface has changed dramatically. For us it is a welcome change, which suits our audiovisual vocab trainers perfectly.

What was it like to collaborate with Microsoft? Was it the start of a beautiful friendship?

It was definitely an enjoyable collaboration, especially since we didn’t just work with a contact person for the business side, but we also had access to a developer at Microsoft. This direct communication made the whole development process much smoother. We are excited to see how things develop, although as yet we haven’t forged any concrete plans. First of all we need to wait and see how Windows 8 and especially the Babbel Apps for Windows 8 are received by the users. The much-loved voice recognition will be added as an update, since for technical reasons we were unable to include it in the release version. A conversion for Windows Phone 8 would likewise be another interesting step. For the time being it will be just for PC and tablet. Another option would be to integrate all of the web-accessible courses into the App. We certainly have a lot to think about.

What can the user expect from the Babbel App for Windows 8?

With the official release all of the eleven Babbel languages will be available as individual Apps in the Windows Store under the category ‘Education’. As far as content and didactics go, we will be staying true to our existing Apps and the Babbel concept. In my opinion our Apps fit really well to the new Windows 8 look. But most of all the user can expect one thing: lots of fun!

Try out German here
Brazilian Portuguese here
French here
Italian here
Spanish here
Dutch here
Indonesian here
Polish here
Swedish here
Turkish here


Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Building bridges with languages – a volunteer’s experience with Babbel

Posted on October 19, 2012 by

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Read this post in German (Deutsch)Spanish (Español)French (Français), Italian (Italiano)

© Cross-Cultural Solutions Volunteer with local children

There is no denying that these are challenging times. While there are incredible advances being made in local communities everyday – from improved healthcare, to more accessible education — social issues still impede the progress of countless communities around the world. The incredible thing is that we each have the ability to support progress toward a more sustainable global community. Some commit their time and efforts to projects on the ground, while others support social activism through advocacy. Babbel is proud to have been able to lend our support by giving the gift of language; for over a year, Babbel has given away language courses to the CCS volunteers.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart” – Nelson Mandela

Connecting across cultures is no easy task and to be truly accepted into a new community is a process that takes patience and time. Learning how to communicate in the local language, even if you’ve just got the basics, is an incredible tool for any intrepid international volunteer who’s looking to genuinely engage with local people.

For Megan, the Brazilian Portuguese Babbel courses were an invaluable resource as she prepared for her CCS experience in Brazil. The level of communication that she was able to reach with Babbel helped her connect with her Brazilian coworkers, made conversations more meaningful and as a result, she felt that her work had added impact.

“I love that you can start with the beginner level, and work through levels linearly, if that’s how you learn best.” 

“I also love the topic-based courses. For example, many of my volunteers don’t have much time, and instead can focus on the ‘travel’ course to teach them targeted phrases to prepare them for travelling to Brazil.”

The Babbel system offers an efficient and fun overview of a language, while simultaneously teaching grammar and useful phrases. Some students of the program start at a level at which they’re already comfortable and simply use the program to refresh skills, while others choose start from the beginning.

Preparations for an international volunteering experience can be a bit of whirlwind. The excitement of the upcoming experience, combined with tying up loose ends at work or school, and packing can leave little time for learning the basics of the local language. With Babbel, it’s easy to get ahead by dedicating just a bit of time each day. Megan learned most of what she brought with her to Brazil during her lunch breaks at work.

The Babbel system is designed for the user to learn whenever is convenient. There are no timetables and deadlines. Babbel works with a set of courses that can be approached in a linear or thematic way. The classical approach to language learning — grammar, grammar, and more grammar — would put far too great of a burden on the busy schedule of a learner for them to achieve a worthwhile standard of parlance in a short time. Likewise a ‘phrasebook’ approach is not always enough.

So for Megan, day-to-day activities, like ordering food and drinks, negotiating cab fares, and getting around town were made much easier thanks to the language skills that she gained with Babbel. Above all, her knowledge of Portuguese enabled her to make a lasting connection with her new neighbors in Salvador, as well as the staff and beneficiaries at the local organization that she worked to support.

Last year, Babbel offered all volunteers of the Cross-Cultural Solutions — CCS –, a nonprofit organization specializing in culturally immersive international volunteer experiences, a chance to try out its online language course free of charge. By utilizing the Babbel program to learn a new language, volunteers were able to better communicate with local people during their international experience.

Babbel talked with Megan Heise, a Cross-Cultural Solutions Program Site Specialist for Brazil and Ghana, who’s volunteered with CCS in Brazil, Costa Rica, and Ghana herself.  Megan used Babbel to learn Brazilian Portuguese prior to her international volunteer experience with CCS in Salvador, Brazil.

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Wired Academic predicts “Towering Growth Trajectory”

Posted on October 11, 2012 by

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Language Learning: Berlin’s Babbel.com Builds Towering Growth Trajectory

If you are interested in digital and distance learning, you must have heard of the excellent independent news and information center Wired Academic. Its editor, Paul Glader, also writer, journalism teacher at King’s College and entrepreneur came to visit us in Berlin to interview Markus Witte, CEO of Babbel. Glader is writing for several publications ranging from ESPN.com to The Washington Post and is travelling and studying German in his spare time. Wired Academic is profiling several language learning programs and startups in the United States and Europe. This is the third in a series of such profiles.

Click here to read the article!

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

New Features on Babbel.com, Part 1: DIY Anti-Spam and Anti-Typo

Posted on October 10, 2012 by

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

A fair bit of time has passed since the upheaval of Dust and Dirt and Candlelight, and although the heavier particles have now settled, there is still a good amount of dust in circulation. There have been quite a few changes recently, of which many users are probably still blissfully unaware, despite notification via the Babbel board. This Features Series hopes to shed a bit of light on the darker corners of the Babbel universe.

Every day in the Support Team we get to read the general wishes of our users as well as new and helpful suggestions for improvement. Often these make complete sense and we are equally excited about their implementation as you are, and equally disappointed when our heroic programmers don’t have these assignments completed and on our desks by yesterday. On the other hand, we are witness to the herculean efforts of our developers and editorial team, and we see great things happening, which we wish were there for all to see. So with this in mind I shall, together with Aishah, be keeping you informed of new Features on Babbel.

Lazy Spammers

First of all we want to show you what you yourselves can do to join the fight against Spam and Harassment. Alongside the active use of the ‘Report’ function in the Messages section and with Friend Requests, as well as the ‘Report as offending’ function in Chat, you can do the following:

Under Profile > Settings there are two options with regard to receiving messages within Babbel. If you check both the boxes by ‘Babbel Messages’ you can assert that 1) only people who are your friends can send you messages and 2) only users with at least 100 Babbel points can send you friend requests. So you now have the great advantage of being able to specify that only users who are active beyond just the Community functions can be your friends. In general Spammers can’t be bothered to do any real work or learning. So only when these requirements are fulfilled can someone qualify as your friend and only then may they write to you.

Most Wanted Feature Request 

click to enlarge

Interestingly this simple but ingenious idea was suggested to us by one of our dedicated users. Proof if you need it that we are actually listening to and acting on your suggestions. Nevertheless we should also mention that some suggestions do not always fit in with the wishes of other users, and are even sometimes in direct contradiction. However there was one request where our users were unanimous and that was our ‘Most Wanted Feature Request’. This one wish, which has been by far the most frequently and also most vehemently requested, was that simple typing errors should not be counted as mistakes; that there absolutely must be a possibility to confirm that the word you had entered was the one you had intended to write.

Of course such a simple idea does not necessarily mean an equally simple task when it comes to the programming. However, when our developer Trond finally presented us with an immediately usable solution, it was a time for celebration here at Babbel.

So how do you do it? Simply log into Babbel and copy this link into the address bar of your browser, then press Enter: http://www.babbel.com/go/confirm-by-enter

And if you decide you don’t want it anymore, simply do the same but use this link: http://www.babbel.com/go/no-confirm-by-enter

Why are we not simply building it in as standard? Well, we are actually. First of all we wanted to give you the choice, but it has already proved so popular that it is now standard in the new Review Manager.

Stay tuned. In the next installment we will be telling you all about the star wars and heart aches!

 

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Spoiled for choice? Babbel for Android, iPhone / iPod and iPad – now also for Kindle

Posted on September 10, 2012 by

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Read this post in German (Deutsch), Spanish (Español), French (Français), Italian (Italiano)

Aishah El Muntasser does not only write blog posts for Babbel. For over a year she has been answering our customers’ questions quite tirelessly. In order to be able to really help she insists on trying all the new stuff herself. Which sometimes means jumping in at the deep end. Read her latest report here:

I’m in my mid-thirties and hopelessly old-fashioned. I recently had an iPad in my hand for the first time in my life—and the Babbel iBook “Learn Spanish: Beginner’s Course 1” was to blame for that. I was impressed. I hadn’t completely taken in this new experience when yet another device was plopped down in front of me: a Kindle, with the new eBook “Learn German: Beginner’s Course 1”. I was again impressed but confused: which one was better? So-called multiple device users would never ask themselves that question. For them it’s the most normal thing in the world to own multiple mobile devices.

Fortunately there are several people on the Babbel team whose life is instinctively tech-inclined. Anne, for example, has an iPad and a Kindle and takes both (!) along with her on vacation. So I asked her, “what exactly is the difference?”

I personally don’t see any big difference, except that the Kindle (Touch) is smaller, not so colorful and “interactive”, which means that there isn’t happening that much. Both have highlighting and note-taking features, and both books introduce essential vocabulary words in conversational situations. Both also have explanations and examples of grammar, as well as review sessions with answer keys.

Anne clues me in that the Kindle doesn’t light up as much, so eats much less energy and rarely needs to be charged. Also the display doesn’t reflect in the sun. Both of these aspects make Kindle the winner for a trip to sunny places. She takes the Kindle Touch from my hand and in the first moment awkwardly swipes around the screen, murmuring that hers is the kind with a keyboard. And then she makes the thing seem so appealing to me that I want to have one too. But just the simple Kindle, I’ll stay old-fashioned.

It’s not a matter of either-or, but rather play-it-by-ear: what does the situation call for, format and handling-wise? Learning vocabulary with an Android telephone on the bus, doing interactive grammar exercises on the couch with an iPad, or flipping through a Kindle book on the beach? After iPhone/iPod, iPad and Android, Kindle is now the fourth possibility to learn with Babbel on-the-go. The Babbel eBook for Kindle is the closest among them to a classic text book.

And for those of you who don’t want to have anything to do with any of it, you can just do the online courses. You can… but don’t have to choose.

Thank you for sharing our writing!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone