When I started to learn new languages, I came across various platforms. Out of all, the two the most difficult choices for me were Babbel vs Rosetta Stone.
Both have a lot of similarities and choosing between the two became a task. Therefore, I decided to spend some time by using each platform to understand which one works for me.
In this article, I will share my experience with Babbel and Rosetta Stone so you can understand which one works the best for you.
I will also show a detailed comparison between the two platforms based on the languages offered, structure, price, and more.
Babbel vs Rosetta Stone: Quick Comparison
Here is a quick comparison between Babbel and Rosetta Stone:
|$13.95/month for the subscription model. The web app is cheaper than mobile app subscription.
|$36/month subscription fee for unlimited access.
|14 languages like Spanish, French, German, and Italian. The focus is on European languages.
|28 languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Chinese, etc.
|A mix of writing, listening, and speech recognition exercises. Follows traditional grammar and vocabulary lesson format.
|Immersion method with no translation. Focuses on associating words and phrases with images.
|Choose to learn one language at a time. Lessons are sequential within a language.
|Option to switch between languages at any time. Lessons are not sequential.
|Provides review and feedback after exercises to reinforce concepts.
|Minimal feedback. Mostly self-directed immersion.
|Includes some games, quizzes, and writing exercises for variety.
|Very game-like. Rewards and scoring systems motivate progress.
|A separate mobile app is available for practice on the go. Not required.
|Mobile app included with the subscription. An important part of the immersion process.
|Email customer support is available.
|Email, live chat, and phone support are available.
Who Is Babbel Right For?
I strongly believe Babbel was created for absolutely anyone. So, if you’re curious about the ultra beginner-friendly language learning tool, then check out the following check marks:
- Looking for live lessons
- Needs extensive resource material
- Looking to develop faster speaking skills
- Needs lessons to be divided into smaller chunks
- Anyone looking to get fluent in their target language.
- Wants frequent feedback for improving your pronunciation
- Needs a speech moderator who would rate your speaking skills
- Enjoys different kinds of teaching techniques to understand the lesson better
Who Is Rosetta Stone Right For?
Rosetta Stone is best for anyone genuinely committed to learning the language. That being said, if you are okay with the following features, then Rosetta Stone is for you.
- Visual learning
- Lack of verbal learning
- Abundance of additional resources
- Rarely communicates in your native language
- In-depth content that immerses you in your target language
What is Babbel?
A subscription-based platform, Babbel provides online classes for learning languages. Developed in 2007, the app presently offers courses in 13 languages.
Its web and mobile applications help you learn and practice a new language according to your pace.
The language experts build a course based on your native language. Therefore, you can learn the language more efficiently. From podcasts to practice games and live tutoring sessions, Babbel comprises several interactive features.
I have done a detailed Babbel review that you can check out. The review will give you a detailed insight into what Babbel offers and my experience using the platform.
What is Rosetta Stone?
Rosetta Stone has been one of the leading language-learning platforms since 1992. Not only does it function smoothly on a web browser, but it is also compatible with Apple and Android devices.
It teaches a language in a pattern similar to how babies are taught, that is, without translations.
Here, the focus is on learning via audiovisual mediums. Rosetta Stone consists of lessons that make you associate and match words with pictures appearing on the screen. In the end, the user receives the chance to redo lessons or move to the next lesson.
You can also check out my experience with Rosetta to learn more about the platform!
Babbel vs Rosetta Stone: Key Differences
Here are the key differences between Babbel and Rosett Stone.
Babbel focuses on a detailed explanation of the topic from basic to advanced, gives you feedback on your pronunciation, and simultaneously switches back and forth between your native language and your target language.
This is much easier to grasp by thinking from a beginner’s perspective.
On the other hand, Rosetta Stone focuses more on your target language, the lesson structure is more sentence-based than dialogue, and finally, better audio quality than Babbel.
Personally, I prefer Babbel’s features more as they are more feasible for a beginner. Babbel’s dialogue-based structure helps me communicate well, and switching back and forth between my native language and targetted one helps me understand each lesson.
On the flip side, Rosetta Stone only offers better audio quality than Babble, which I can compromise with.
Babbel vs Rosetta Stone: Features
Now, let us look at some of the interesting features offered by Babbel and Rosetta Stone.
Babbel key features
- The app offers podcasts for students who are learning German, Spanish, French, or/and Italian. While some of these podcasts have a great deal of English in them, the others are monolingual.
- One can also enjoy some supplementary courses available for each of the 13 languages. These courses are designed based on particular skills and interests like tongue twisters, countries, traditions, and so on. A quick refresher course is also available for you to brush up on the language you had learnt a long time before.
- Babbel lets the users access optional live classes in ‘Babbel Live’. This feature is available in French, German, and Spanish. However, you need to pay a fee if you want to join Babbel Live.
Several Rosetta Stone users have enjoyed the following features:
- There is a phrasebook containing some categories of useful sentences from the lessons you studied. After listening to a native speaker, you can practice speaking it aloud and recording it.
- Audio Companion comes in handy when you wish to download MP3 practice sessions both online and offline.
- A video section titled ‘On demand’ lets the user watch quick clips related to a specific culture. It also provides useful tips on conversational skills.
- If you have an iPhone, you can use its camera to point at an object and receive a translation in the language you are learning. This ‘Seek & Speak’ feature is available in some languages only.
- Rosetta Stone provides an additional feature called ‘Stories’. A story comprises a few paragraphs that you have to read first. After a native speaker says it aloud, you can record yourself speaking the paragraphs. With each higher level, the level of the story gets difficult. It is a wonderful tool for comprehending and speaking purposes.
Quick Verdict: Rosetta Stone has a higher authority than Babbel after going through the provided features. Despite Babbel offering live lectures, supplementary courses, and podcasts, the rest of Rosetta’s features dominate Babbel with its quantity.
Babbel vs Rosetta Stone: Functionality
Babbel’s lesson content emphasizes language one uses in real-life situations, such as booking a cab, ordering a cup of coffee, and the like. Each lesson contains a simulated dialogue that you can apply in a real situation.
Since the app uses native speakers’ audio recordings, the learner can hear the natural pronunciation. It implies that your speaking skills are strengthened, and your accent is honed.
The personalized review manager helps in learning and mastering words that are difficult to remember. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete a lesson.
The application also lets users explore a plethora of articles about the target language. Moreover, you can directly connect with language experts if you want to accelerate your learning via live tutoring sessions.
Rosetta Stone’s complete immersion method teaches a new language only in that specific language. So native speakers will not have to face any trouble in their learning process. Besides core lessons, you can opt for other features like Extended Learning and Stories.
Multiple users who have the same learning proficiencies can play games together to develop their language skills even better. Its Live Tutoring sessions allow you to practice the language with up to 3 learners along with a native speaker. However, it requires extra charges.
Quick Verdict: Rosetta Stone focuses on only teaching in your target language, which was difficult for me as a beginner. The only thing I did like about Rosetta was the video clips from native speakers, which helped me understand how to speak certain phrases.
On the other hand, Babbel taught me real-life phrases that helped me in day-to-day life. Plus, the platform explaining things in my native language was a huge help.
Babbel vs Rosetta Stone: Languages offered
Now, I will compare Babbel vs Rosetta Stone in terms of the languages you can learn on the platforms.
Quick Verdict: Rosetta Stone has a wide range of offered languages (24) compared to Babbel (13). So, naturally, Rosetta Stone wins this section.
Babbel vs Rosetta Stone: Structure of Courses
First, I will provide an outline of the structure of Babbel’s courses.
Each of the lessons constitutes multiple interactive exercises. It starts with an exercise where you have to listen to new words or phrases and repeat them afterwards.
Next, the lesson will take the form of a drill through digital flashcards. What follows after is a short lesson on grammar or conjugation.
You will also be asked to type and reconstruct some words or phrases. Finally, you have to complete a fill-in-the-blanks exercise. In the end, there will be a mock conversation.
Moving on to Rosetta Stone, its lessons will roughly take an hour to complete from scratch. There is a core, a 30-minute learning module, and 3 to 15 supplemental drills lasting for 5 to 10 minutes in each lesson.
These drills cater to developing your pronunciation, reading, writing, and listening skills. The sentences will become more grammatically complex as you keep on advancing each level.
Quick Verdict: Both course structures are curated in a way that allows you to better understand them. So, both the modules are good in their own place.
What Is The Best Way To Learn A New Language?
One of the best ways to learn a new language is to be among people who speak it very well. Suppose you’re in a country where no one speaks the language you speak, so you will need to learn their language as quickly as possible to communicate with others.
This is an effective method, but it is not great for beginners because everyone wants to learn at their own pace. You can also ask any native speaker to teach you a few words so you can get by in that city easily.
Babbel and Rosetta Stone are also amazing options for you to learn a new language, but learning with these tools will take time.
Babbel vs Rosetta Stone: Pros & Cons
Here are the benefits & drawbacks of Babbel and Rosetta Stone.
- You can also listen to podcasts of some of the languages in Babbel.
- Babbel’s French and Spanish language courses are better than other languages.
- Babbel also gives you the option to download the lessons and watch them offline.
- You can practice your grammar from the supplementary grammar section on Babbel.
- The structure of the courses is much better, and it easily takes learners from beginner to advanced level.
- The exercises on Babbel are a bit tedious, and it also gives you the option to skip the questions if you don’t like them simply.
- Babbel only offers 13 languages for you to learn; it does not offer you languages like Chinese, Thai, and all.
Rosetta Stone Pros
- The audio quality is clear, making it easier for you to learn.
- Vocabulary lessons introduce both plural and singular words.
- Rosetta Stone is also really easy to use and understand, similar to Babbel.
- Exercises filled with repetitive words that help you learn those words better.
- The exercises are in a gaming format where you complete one level, and it advances you to another.
Rosetta Stone Cons
- Exercises are a bit slow on Rosetta Stone in comparison to Babbel.
- If you want to learn to write & speak in a language you want, then Rosetta Stone is not a good option for you.
The Pricing Structures
Now, let us compare Babbel vs Rosetta Stobe based on their pricing models.
It offers a variety of four subscription models that allow the user to access any one language.
- Monthly: $13.95/month.
- 3-month: $9.95/month
- 6-month plan: $8.45/month
- 12 months: $83.40
- Lifetime: $299.99
I have also done a detailed breakdown of Babbel’s pricing with each plan. You can check the post to see what each plan by Babbel offers.
Bonus: We have an exclusive Babbel Coupon that can help you get additional savings on your purchase.
Rosetta Stone Pricing
This app provides three kinds of subscription plans. The 3-month and 12-month plans enable the user to access only one language. The lifetime subscription grants access to all the languages available on the platform.
- Three Months: $15.99/ Month
- Twelve Months: $7.99/ Month
- Lifetime Subscription: $149 (one-time payment)
Check our Discount Code if you wish to save BIG on your next Rosetta Stone purchase!
Quick Verdict: Babbel’s subscription plans are not only cheaper in comparison to Rosetta Stone, but they also offer two additional plans.
- Pimsleur vs Rosetta Stone
- Busuu vs Babbel
- FluentU vs Babbel
- Rosetta Stone vs Duolingo
- Pimsleur vs Rosetta Stone
- Memrise vs Babbel
- Babbel Spanish Review
- Rosetta Stone Spanish Review
Final Verdict: Which One Is Better In 2024?
If you observe the difference in pointers in the above section, you will notice Rosetta Stone only has a few defending points.
I personally love-hate the immersive content feature, and I’ll tell you why: I love the immersive no native language feature because the more I am invested in my target language, the faster I can grasp the language.
However, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you how frustrating the initial days were. So, if you are low on patience and tolerance, Rosetta Stone is not for you. Besides, the lack of verbal learning was a drawback for me.
On the other hand, Babbel was not only highly grammar-focused but also helped me develop my speaking skills as the speech moderator graded my pronunciation skills.
Overall, Babbel is outperforming Rosetta Stone in terms of the subscription plans it offers. Plus, unlike Rosetta, Babbel also offers 30 to 50% discounts.
Editor’s note: If you are on your way to learning a new language, you can check out our handpicked list of the best language-learning applications!
FAQs On Babbel vs Rosetta Stone
Though both apps are useful for building a robust vocabulary base, Babbel gives you more scope to hear conversational phrases that you can apply in real-life situations. If you wish to learn to talk to people naturally, Babbel is the better choice.
People often prefer Duolingo because it contains grammar lessons, multiple-choice questions, vocabulary cards, and so on.
Presently, Duolingo has gained immense popularity for learning languages free of cost.
If you want a language learning tool for the short term, like one month, three months, or one year, then Babbel is slightly more affordable than Rosetta Stone. But if you are looking to buy, then Rosetta Stone’s Lifetime Subscription costs $179, and Babbel’s Lifetime subscription costs $239.
After closely reviewing the Spanish programs of both Rosetta Stone and Babbel, it is clear Babbel has a better Spanish learning program. We have also done a detailed review of Babbel’s Spanish program here.
The biggest difference between Babbel and Rosetta Stone is that Babbel focuses on engagingly teaching more comprehensive lessons, whereas Rosetta Stone focuses on more images and repetitive content.
Yes, Learning a new language is definitely worth it because it can develop your brain and increase your ability to focus more on the tasks at hand. You will also get new opportunities in the language you learned.