People will tell you the only way to really learn a language is to completely immerse yourself in a country where that language is spoken. Personally, that has always seemed terrifying to me. While I’m definitely up for traveling and experiencing new cultures, going all in without basic language skills just isn’t the way I work.
That’s where Babbel comes in. Babbel is one of the most popular language learning apps on the market for studying new languages on the go and at your own pace. The app emphasizes real-life conversational skills, so you won’t get bogged down on grammatical structures and verb patterns. The lessons are created by language experts, and they aim to prepare you for real situations with native speakers.
And right now, you can get 15% off a lifetime subscription to Babbel Language Learning ($149; stacksocial.com) with the code LANGUAGE15. A lifetime subscription is huge when it comes to getting the most out of the app, since you’ll be able to return to lessons time and time again and brush up on whichever section or topic you might need.
So how does it all work?
First, you’ll choose one of 14 languages. While Babbel offers familiar languages like Spanish, French and Italian, it also offers less commonly studied ones like Polish, Indonesian, Danish and more.
Once you pick your language, you’ll cover a wide range of real-ife, situational topics through bite-sized courses. Each course takes about 10 to 15 minutes, so you can pick one up on the commute to work, during your lunch break, or really at any point you have some time to kill. Topics you’ll cover range from business and travel to food and family, so you’ll really start to grasp simple phrases and conversational language in no time. In fact, Babbel claims that within a month, you’ll be able to “speak confidently about practical topics,” like asking for directions, making new friends and much more.
Beyond this, Babbel includes a ton of additional features tailored to making sure you learn the language in a real, practical and accurate way. The app utilizes speech recognition technology to make sure your pronunciation is accurate compared with how native speakers would say certain words. You’ll get curated review tools to reinforce what you learn, and interactive dialogue with native speakers to prepare you for real conversation. On top of all that, you can download different courses and lessons so that even without Wi-Fi, you can continue studying when you want.
When it comes to learning languages on your own time, and in a practical way that’s relevant to the conversational skills you’d want to develop, Babbel seems like the way to go. Included in Fast Company’s 2016 roundup of the world’s 50 most innovative companies, Babbel truly aims to make language learning more accessible for people around the world.