The Babbel Blog

language learning in the digital age

What's going on in Russia on March 8th?

Posted on March 7, 2017 by


Lars works as a Russian course editor for Babbel. Having lived half of his life in Russia and half of his life in Germany, he understands and appreciates the endearing idiosyncracies of both cultures. Here, he gives us an insight into one of the many traditional celebrations in Russia.


Brazilian football language: English roots, native flowers

Posted on July 4, 2014 by

Brazilian football language
With the World Cup in full swing, everybody is brushing up on their Brazilian football language and throwing around words like jogo bonito! and golaço!.
These words are part of every football fan’s vocabulary, testament to the vibrancy of Brazilian footballing culture and its impact on the world.
Yet we need only step back a century, to the birth of Brazilian football, and we have to acknowledge the influence of a small island nation that has only won one World Cup compared to Brazil’s five – England.

How to memorise vocabulary: User tips

Posted on June 4, 2014 by

How to memorise vocabulary
We asked you for your favourite ways to memorise vocabulary, and the tips were great. Some are old classics and some are slightly more off-the-wall. Which ones do you use, and what would you add? Tell us in the comments!

1. Exercise while saying the words – Joseph

This has been proven to be effective. A study in 2010 tested subjects who bicycled while learning vocabulary, and found “that simultaneous physical activity during vocabulary learning facilitates memorization of new items”.

Je t'aime… moi non plus – how to break up when you cannot make up

Posted on February 14, 2013 by

At this time of year, it’s really worth taking a closer look at what actually brings a couple together. It’s most likely a mixture of a number of things; physical attraction, personality, charm, interests, but successful communication is of utmost importance. To make a relationship work, its constituents must be able to understand one another. Everyone has his or her own way of expressing and conveying feelings, but how is this process complicated when these constituents don’t speak the same language? Couples in a bilingual relationship face a somewhat harder challenge than those in monolingual relationships. While everyone knows how to say ‘I love you’ in several languages, not everyone can express himself or herself well if and when a relationship turns sour.
The vocabulary lessons conjured up and developed at Babbel draw upon realistic dialogues inspired by everyday life. And part of modern life is undoubtedly ‘breaking up’; that moment when single life beckons once again. But how do you break up in a foreign language? How do you find the right words to make your soon-to-be ex-partner understand your reasons? We turned Saint Valentine on his head to help all you freedom fighters out. Enough Schmulz. Let’s learn something practical.

And for all those who are lucky in love, there’s tons of vocabulary and a veritable bundle of courses available on Babbel that teach you how to give compliments, express feelings, and keep the flame alive until the next Valentine’s Day arrives.
In French
In Italian
In Spanish
In German
and many more!

On Holiday with Babbel

Posted on March 13, 2012 by

With such a long winter, Germans love to go on holiday. Five people are taking a holiday in the Canary Islands from the Babbel office alone!
To make the best out of any trip, you should be able to communicate in the local language at least a little. Here are nine cases where our travel-themed courses can give you a hand:
1. Planning
Whether you’re sightseeing in Rome or on a package tour in Tuscany, “Preparativi” (Preparations) gives you A to Z! Here you’ll find the fundamentals for planning your Italian holiday.
2. Hotels and Accomodation
Just got there and already problems with the room? Here you’ll find everything you need to book the right room or politely complain (for example in Spanish)
3. Manners and Customs
How does it really work with tapas? Are you supposed to give a tip? Impress your friends and acquaint yourself with manners and customs.
4. How to get from A to B
In the urban jungle you can quickly lose the big picture. Here you’ll find lots of useful phrases for navigating public transportation, parks and nightlife (for example in German).
5. Communication
Ciao! Come stai? Per favore, grazie –  The most important Italian greetings and polite phrases at a glance. You’ll get the conversation underway quickly.
6. Culture

How about a trip to the Louvre? But to speak eloquently about art, you’ll need the necessary vocabulary. You’ll find the most important words here.
7. Bars and Cafés
Spend the day on the beach and experience long nights partying on the streets of Rio. With the vocabulary course Bars and Cafes you’ll have a lot of fun!
8. Culinary
Holiday in France without great food and wine? Forget it!
 All the necessary words and phrases for (almost) everything edible and drinkable. You’ll also find the best phrases for ordering in a restaurant or cafe here.
9. Flirting
¡Hola guapa! (Hi beautiful!)
The Spanish temperament sometimes rubs off on holidaygoers. Go for it… but say it right! Here you’ll learn the words and phrases to give a compliment.

Manage Your Babbel Vocabulary

Posted on April 16, 2010 by

One of the things that makes Babbel unique has always been its high degree of personalization: Babbel’s features keep track and tailor themselves to each learner’s individual progress.
All the words and phrases you’ve ever studied on Babbel are added to your personal Vocabulary. Then, by encouraging you to review items at optimal intervals, a sophisticated Review Manager further helps you to commit vocabulary to long-term memory. It tracks your successes and errors, and calculates what is best to review, when. This innovative system not only makes learning close to effortless, but also makes it a lot more efficient.
We’ve revamped the My Vocabulary overview to make it even clearer. Due to popular demand, we’ve also made it possible to print out your vocabulary words. Go take a look here after you’ve logged into Babbel.

Babbel Vocabulary Trainer for Download

Posted on April 15, 2010 by

Babbel RefreshAfter featuring the new Babbel Apps for iPhone and iPod Touch yesterday, we’ll give you the lowdown on another new feature: our vocabulary trainer Babbel Refresh.

We at Babbel think  that in order to make progress in learning, it’s important to stay present with the language. That means, instead of straining to slog through long lessons, it can actually be more efficient to review with short, bite-sized units — as long as they’re consistent and evenly spaced.

With this in mind, we’ve innovated Babbel Refresh, an application that you download and run locally on your computer. It individually calculates optimal intervals between sessions,  chooses words and phrases from your Personal Vocabulary that are due to review, and gently reminds you to engage with the language you are studying. It’s a great tool for staying motivated!

Download Babbel Refresh here.

Mini-Vocab Packages for the Last Minute Language Learner

Posted on July 7, 2009 by

There’s always a little bit of anxiety that comes along with traveling abroad, whether for business or for pleasure. Possible scenario, night before — for example — the flight to Berlin, a sudden pang:  “Oh right, they speak German in Germany, and I don’t even know how to say ‘how are you’.  How am I going to manage to order my morning coffee?!?”
We at Babbel have now developed a stress-reducing linguistic survival kit (and perhaps path to that caffeine fix in a foreign country) for the last-minute language learner: the Mini-Vocab Package. Compiled especially for the spontaneous traveler, it offers essential words and phrases – in German, French, Spanish, Italian and English – to get through that first encounter with the locals unscathed.
For those who’ve got a little more time before the big trip, besides the Mini-Vocab, there are twenty other in-depth  packages for all relevant situations while traveling, from leaving the airport to arriving at the car rental desk.  There is of course also the opportunity to hook up with someone from Babbel’s now more than 350,000-strong community to chat, trade travel tips or set up a language exchange.
To go directly to the newly compiled Mini-Vocab package, click here. If you are not already registered at Babbel, after a quick and easy registration you will be taken straight through to travel vocabulary.  For our press release, click here.

New Vocab Package "Politics and Voting" in time for EU Elections

Posted on May 28, 2009 by

Though we at Babbel are of course internationally minded and outward-looking, we can’t deny that we’re based in Europe — in Berlin, to be exact. The languages we teach — English, French, Spanish, German and Italian — are largely represented in Europe, and among our over 300,000 users, there are more than a few Europeans too. So we thought it would be a good idea to get you in the Babbel community prepared for next week’s European Parliament elections with a special vocabulary package. Called “Politics and Voting,” it will teach you all the important phrases and terms to debate and make a choice about the European Union’s future….  whether you’re in a position to vote or you just want to persuade your European tandem partner!

Since 2002, the European Union has been officially urging every student in the continent to start learning a foreign language as early as possible. They’ve pursued a number of projects with the goal of extending the benefits of lifelong foreign language learning to every European citizen, improving the quality of language education, and achieving a language-friendly environment for all. Sounds a bit like, right? Read our press release here.