Babbel is currently one of the most popular language-learning platforms out there right now and for good reason.
From German to Indonesian, to Swedish, and English, there is plenty to love about this app, especially with the variety of languages it offers lessons for. (Check out ‘Can You Learn More Than One Language On Babbel?’)
However, there are some shortfalls with this otherwise popular app.
Chief among which, is that same variety.
While covering plenty of European languages and some extra, Babbel doesn’t actually offer many of the world’s most popular languages to learn, such as the various forms of Mandarin, Arabic, or, in our case, the Babbel Japanese course. But, why does Babbel not have Japanese or any Chinese languages, and are there any alternatives to Babbel?
And, does this mean that if you want to learn this increasingly popular East Asian language, either for business or leisure, you have no options?
No, of course not!
While Babbel might not be willing to put out language lessons for Japanese, that doesn’t mean that others have done the same.
In this guide, we take you through some of the most popular and effective alternatives to Babbel, all of which will give you at least some kind of lessons in Japanese!
What Makes Babbel So Popular?
Before we get any deeper into this topic, it’s probably worth seeing what exactly makes Babbel such a popular and effective platform in the first place.
That way, not only will you know what a good learning platform offers, but also see where its competitors fall short or improve on with Japanese.
One of the many things that users of Babbel notice when first using it is how quickly the lessons start.
From pretty much session one, you’re being asked to physically say the words that you’re learning, helping you commit them to memory that much easier.
Plus, the lessons are perfectly balanced between long-form and short questions and prompts that both help you commit these words to memory, as well as keep those words in your memory too.
Not only that but unlike many language–learning platforms, Babbel also uses native speakers to help coach your pronunciation, helping you pick up on those finer pronunciation points that you otherwise may have missed if you were just working with ai-generated voices and pronunciation.
Why Does Babbel Not Have Japanese?
So, if it already has so much going for it, why hasn’t Babbel tried to start teaching Japanese?
Well, part of that has to do with the differences between Japanese, and most of the languages that Babbel offers lessons for.
Outside of Indonesian, a Malay language, the vast majority of offered languages at Babbel are European, with many sharing similar phrases and words, and all sharing a Latinized alphabet.
Japanese, by contrast, not only is a language that is completely unrelated to either the Germanic or Romance languages of Europe but also uses a completely different writing system too, meaning that you’re just as much learning a completely new way of writing as you are listening and speaking.
Plus, if these competitors are anything to go by, Babbel would be entering a market that already has some well-established and phenomenal courses for learning Japanese!
Starting off with one of the strongest language-learning platforms that you can find out there, we have Rocket and their amazing course for learning Japanese!
Rocket has been getting amazing traction in recent years, and it’s easy to see why.
The structure that this platform opts, for, with clear distinctions between difficulty levels, and some effective tools for seeing your progress, Rocket Japanese is an easy-to-understand platform that helps give you a clear image of how fast and how far you have progressed with your lessons.
Plus, the podcast elements to many of the lessons do what excellent language platforms like Babbel does, giving you notes for pronunciation and less clear verbal differentiations, something that you can’t get with an ai-generated voice.
Plus, there are a ton of languages to learn from here, not just Japanese.
You can pick up a little Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, French, or English, giving it a variety that even Babbel doesn’t have!
If you’re looking for a service that replicates a lot of your favorite features in Babbel, then Lingodeer is a platform that you should be looking out for.
There are a ton of different exercises for you to try, keeping the engagement up for you while you are learning, and making sure that the lessons and Japanese words sink in as you continue to learn.
The platform even offers helpful tips between lessons for grammar, a feature that helps make up for the lack of overall human or native pronunciation.
You can even try the lessons for yourself for free, although you will need to pay a subscription fee if you’re looking to complete the course.
While the service originally focused on learning Asian-centric languages, Lingodeer has since expanded into teaching many more, including Russian, Italian, Portuguese, and many more.
So, if you’re looking to pick up a 3rd or 4th language, you know where to look!
Alongside Rocket, Mondly has become one of the most popular language-learning services in recent years.
Part of that success comes down to the format that Mondly has chosen for its language learning. Yes, there is a clear structure for progression, but the lesson format is also remarkably quick, even for a language application.
They take around 10 minutes at most, keeping them engaging and snappy. Their short length makes them perfect for quick morning lessons, or binging when you have the extra time available.
There are plenty of different formats to learn Japanese through as well, using written tests alongside audio logs, and even chatbot conversations as well, giving you a learning partner to practice your pronunciation with, which makes up for the lack of a human element that may otherwise make its Japanese lessons less effective.
Plus, you don’t have to learn Japanese through Kanji either.
You can swap between the traditional Japanese system, or a Latinized version, allowing you to pick whether you want to learn them one at a time, or both simultaneously (although we recommend definitely learning both before visiting Japan to explore the Japanese culture!).
If you’re looking for a language-learning app to build good learning routines with, you’ve come to the right place here!
This next one is a little different from the usual learning platforms that teach languages, but one that is definitely worth checking out for yourself.
As the name suggests, Japanesepod101 isn’t so much a learning platform of its own but is a podcast that people can sign up to listen to.
Covering virtually all levels of experience and proficiency, this is a service that pretty much any Japanese Learner will get something out of.
With both native Japanese speakers and proficient speakers involved in this podcast, Japanese learners will also be able to pick up on some essential pronunciation and grammar details that you would otherwise struggle with.
Add to that it’s a lower price than Babbel, and it’s certainly a tempting offer for language learners to take.
However, the format of its teaching does hold it back at the same time.
There is very little in the way of interactivity with this Japanese language service, meaning that it could be harder to get the phrases ingrained and fully learned in your memory.
Still, it’s a simple format to understand, and there is a ton of content, so it’s definitely one to consider.
So, with so many high-quality language-learning apps and platforms here that teach Japanese, which will you sink your time into first?
Let us know!