Babbel and Rosetta Stone are two of the biggest and most popular language learning programs in the world. Anyone looking to get started with learning a new language has more than likely seen one or both of these apps.
Both apps teach a large range of languages using pre-recorded phrases and words as well as speech recognition technology to test your pronunciation.
In this article, you will learn all that you need to know about both apps, their main features, and differences and by the end you will know if Babbel is a better resource for learning a language than Rosetta Stone.
To find out if is Babbel (see also ‘Does Babbel Work?‘) better than Rosetta Stone, read the complete article and come to a solid conclusion.
Let’s start the comparison off by covering the format and structure of Babbels (see also ‘Does Babbel Have Japanese?‘) core lessons. This way you can start to form an idea of what their course looks like and whether it will be suitable for your specific learning style.
With Babbel, the core lessons are shorter than Rosetta Stone’s. Each lesson will only take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete, and then they go by very quickly. This is largely due to each lesson being made up of several quick hit, interactive drills and exercises.
You will generally start with an exercise where you listen to new words or phrases and then have to repeat them. Then the lesson will very quickly transition into some digital flashcard drills and then move onto shorter grammar or conjunction lessons.
Next you will be asked to reconstruct words or phrases by typing them in via a keyboard and finally you will be asked to complete a fill in the blank exercise by following a mock conversation.
The lessons are very fast moving and take on a hybrid approach with a variety of drills and exercises.
As you will see this method of teaching (see also our article on teachable moments) is not the case with Rosetta Stone.
So now you have gotten to grips with the way Babbel (see also ‘Which Is Better Duolingo Or Babbel?‘) works let us dive right into the strengths of their course and who it will be best for.
Variety Of Exercises And Drills
The first major pro must be the variety of Babbels lessons, drills and exercises. The way that they present the same content but in a different way every time keeps it from becoming stale and remains fresh and engaging.
The lessons will force you to interact with the material through several different perspectives including listening, speaking, reading, writing and through visuals.
As a result of this not only do you experience all these mediums but you also will not get easily bored with the lessons.
Use Of English
Babbels uses English sparingly and will only give out hints in English if you find yourself struggling in a drill or exercise. Rosetta Stone in comparison believes in 100% immersion and this means no English help within the lessons.
The use of English for directions and translations can be helpful especially for those just starting out.
The lack of English in Rosetta Stone can be off putting for beginners as they are routinely punished for their lack of knowledge when they can easily be corrected by the English translation.
Babbels use of limited English allows for lessons to continue flowing and keeps you from raging when you get stuck on a particular phrase or sentence.
The last big plus of using Babbel is their incorporation of grammar content into their lessons, this is something Rosetta Stone does not focus on as heavily. Babbel integrates grammar into their lessons in a subtle and efficient way.
A grammar exercise may include a quick one to two sentence explanation in English regarding adjectives or adverbs and then leaves you to fill in example sentences.
Rosetta Stone’s lessons take around an hour to do from start to finish and each lesson contains a 30 minute learning module and 3 to 15 drills that range from 5 to 10 minutes in length. These drills consist of pronunciation, listening, reading and writing.
You spend most of the lesson listening to a word or phrase and then matching it with the corresponding image. The idea is to listen to a native speaker say the phrase and be able to match it to an image.
Rosetta Stones Strengths
When you are asked to repeat words, phrases or fill in the blanks then Rosetta Stone’s TruAccent technology will listen to you speak and if you mispronounce a word or phrase then you will be prompted to redo it until you get it right.
Babbel also has a similar technology but the Rosetta Stone variant is more polished but it is not an overwhelming victory.
Better For Visual Learners
Although Babbel also uses images and graphics, it does seem like it is more of a priority in the Rosetta Stone lessons.
Rosetta is big on making you learn through visual cues, intuition and interference. It is very much personal preference and it is not for everyone but Rosetta does have a leg up on Babbel here.
Now that we have covered all the important details in the comparison, let’s answer the question. Is Babbel better than Rosetta Stone? After testing both, Babbel definitely has the edge as they offer a more effective language learning course.
That is not to say that Rosetta Stone does not have its own strengths but ultimately there were big differences that tipped the favor to Babbel. The shorter lessons on Babbel are a major plus as it means you can just do a lesson without it taking up too much time.
A greater variety of drills and exercises keeps the learning always feeling fresh and exciting; they are much more engaging and fun. Whereas Rosetta Stone lessons can be monotonous and are too long.
In conclusion Babbel is the better overall program from top to bottom and if your goal is simply to obtain an elementary or intermediate level understanding of a new language then you should be seriously considering using Babbel.