Review: Babbel vs Anki vs VocApp – best language learning apps

Review: Babbel vs Anki vs VocApp – best language learning apps

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Ah, technology… how ingenious it is! Whether you want to learn a new language or you want to go back to studying a language you haven’t spoken in years, don’t worry! Today you can do it thanks to several useful language learning apps.

There are really plenty of apps and websites that allow you to learn foreign languages online and that promise you to become fluent in foreign languages, with the need to use them only for a short time a day.

Today we will talk about some of the best language learning apps, I will review them, we will analyse three of them (Babbel, Anki and VocApp) and we will see the pros and cons of those apps so that you will know how to learn languages fast.

Let’s start by summarizing the major differences

Babbel – Main points about the app

  • 1. Babbel is a paid app and website, which you pay by subscribing monthly, annually or for three months;
  • 2. It offers language lessons in 14 different languages;
  • 3. Babbel has a learning path designed in a professional and comprehensive way;
  • 4. Babbel recommends using the app for 15 minutes a day.

Anki – Key information about the app

  • 1. Anki is a free app for Windows and Android, but charges you for devices that use iOS;
  • 2. Sometimes you can find some flashcards to learn a language, if not you need to create them;
  • 3. Anki’s interface is not intuitive and you have to study its user manual before you can use it;
  • 4. If you want to learn a new language, you should use Anki for at least 30-60 minutes a day and you should manually create 25 new flashcards every day.

VocApp – Main points about the app

  • 1. VocApp is a free app and website. You can buy language courses or megapacks of a language, which include all language courses. However, there are many language courses and study materials that are free;
  • 2. It offers language lessons in 36 different languages;
  • 3. VocApp is easy to use, offers language courses with flashcards, and you can create new ones with the new vocabulary you plan to learn;
  • 4. If you want to learn a new language, you should use VocApp for at least 5 minutes a day.

Now we will go into detail, analyzing and doing a little review for each useful app for learning foreign languages.

Babbel language learning app – Review

Let’s start with a Babbel review. Everyone knows this application and website! Babbel is a company that was founded in 2008 in Berlin, Germany, and is well known for the huge advertising investment it has made over the last decade.

This app currently offers language courses in 14 different languages, which are as follows: German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Turkish, Dutch, Polish, Norwegian, Indonesian, Russian, Danish and English. Babbel offers complete language lessons, guiding those who want to learn a new language with learning paths.

The first step is a placement quiz that is used to get started, to understand with which words you are dealing with; after that, the app asks the student to write down the words that he has just learnt and to pronounce them. One thing I love about Babbel, in fact, is the voice recognition system it uses: the app listens to your voice and then compares it with a native speaker’s for immediate feedback and, if you pronounce them incorrectly, it asks you to pronounce the words again.

By the way, you can check how the language lessons are structured using the free trial. In fact, the other lessons are structured exactly like the demo lesson.

This app includes different language levels; in fact, when you sign up, it asks if you are a beginner or if you have an advanced or intermediate level. Not all the different language levels are available for the various languages, so before you sign up, it would be better to check if there are courses available for the language level that you want to study.

The app offers courses on different topics, which are then divided into lessons. Some examples are: culture, city, life, nature, leisure, making friends and socializing.

Babbel offers competitive prices, which is perhaps why it has so many subscribers! You can register for free and you’ll find the first lesson of each course so you can try Babbel’s service for yourself, as I mentioned before.

The costs are as follows:

  • 9.95€ for the monthly subscription;
  • 19.95€ for the quarterly subscription;
  • 59.40€ for the annual subscription.

If you don’t like the app, you have 20 days to request a refund.

That’s what I like and what I don’t like:




Easy to use

It doesn’t develop conversation skills

Low prices

Limited languages choices

Well structured courses

Few varieties of exercises

Voice Recognition System

If you want to learn more than one language at a time, you need to pay for more language courses

Anki language learning app – Review

Let’s continue with the Anki review. Anki, unlike Babbel, is not so popular. Let’s start by saying that this is not exactly an app, but rather a software that was created in 2006.

Anki is not exactly a software that offers language courses. Anki is a software with which you can learn new languages, but where you need to create study cards (which we will call flashcards) or buy flashcards. However, creating a deck of flashcards is really laborious, so it is better to use pre-made decks of cards.

If Babbel offers learning paths, Anki offers flashcards that can contain text, images, sounds and videos. The learning with this program is based on spaced repetition learning, that is vocabulary storage, which is simple and effective for language learning. Flashcards are really useful and functional, therefore, to learn a new foreign language.

Anki’s issue is that, since it’s a software, its interface is not intuitive and therefore you have to study its manual before starting to study a language. In any case, it’s not that difficult to find tutorials and guides that summarize it online. The silver lining of this software is that it allows you to create different flashcards’ decks at once, so it allows you to study different languages at the same time.

You can check how this software works by downloading it to your computer or smartphone. Another plus of the software is that every change you make on your computer will automatically be made on your smartphone.

As far as prices, Anki is a free program for both Windows and Android, but it charges you if your device uses iOS. However, you can use the website completely free of charge from both iOS and Android/ Windows devices.

Anki is a completely flexible and customizable program, as you can create new flashcards. In addition, users can also challenge themselves with fast sessions, often lasting one minute or less, to test their knowledge of the language.

That’s what I like and what I don’t like:




You can customize your learning

It’s hard to use

Free (sometimes)

You can’t completely trust decks since they were created by other users

Learning method based on memorization

Decks are hard to use

You can study several languages at once

Sometimes it can be boring 

VocApp language learning app – Review

Now let’s move on to VocApp! VocApp is a Polish application that was created in 2014 in Warsaw by teachers, programmers and graphic designers. Today this app and website offer courses in 36 different languages, including English, French, Spanish, Polish, Italian, Kazakh, Turkish, Arabic, Greek, Russian, Danish, Swedish, Korean, Ukrainian, Czech, Romanian, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese and Latin.

VocApp, just like Anki, uses the memorization-based language learning method, which is simple and effective for people who wish to learn a new language. VocApp allows users to learn foreign languages through courses created by linguists. These courses have different topics, such as everyday phrases, preparations for foreign language exams, or business courses. Every course is divided into lessons, that makes it easier to play with every different deck and to learn new vocabulary.

Learning is done using flashcards that always contain words, examples of how to use them, images and their pronunciation. The app and website allow users to play with these flashcards so that they can learn foreign languages online in a fun way. In addition to offering packages created by linguists, VocApp also offers the ability to create your own flashcards.

VocApp gives all users the opportunity to try out all courses for free, providing forty free flashcards of each course.

Let’s move on to prices now: VocApp membership is free and a free language course is available for all languages. Most of the other courses are paid. Here are the prices:

  • A life-time access to a language course costs €19.99;
  • A specific megapack (all language courses for a language) costs €49.00;
  • All megapacks in all of the available languages cost €99.00.

The app gives new users the opportunity to try the app for a period of 30 days. In case you don’t feel comfortable, you can request a refund with no questions asked.

That’s what I like and what I don’t like:



You can customize your learning

If you don’t buy megapacks, you must pay for every single language course

Easy to use

It doesn’t have a placement quiz – you need to be aware of your proficiency skills

Learning method based on memorization


Wide choice of languages

A wide range of courses is not available for less popular languages yet


Conclusions – Best language learning app

After analyzing and comparing these three language learning tools, we can say that Babbel is perhaps the tool that differs the most among the others since it is not based on flashcards like Anki and VocApp. If you plan to learn a foreign language online as quickly as possible, Babbel and VocApp are probably the best solutions for you, since you already find on their app and on their website content that is created and proofread by linguists, differently from Anki.

In any case, these apps are complementary to language learning, so do not feel overwhelmed with tons of new terms everyday and try to take advantage from your private classes, language exchanges or occasional conversations with foreign language speakers.

Anyway, if this is the case and you would like to follow our advice on using language learning apps as a complementary learning source, we strongly recommend you to use Vocapp as it definitely looks like a game, making your learning process less stressing then. This will make you look the learning process as something actually pleasant and enjoyable. Vocapp contains tons of unusual courses made for those willing to learn something different.

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