EduReviewerThe Ultimate Battle of Memrise vs Babbel | Which One?

The Ultimate Battle of Memrise vs Babbel | Which One? (September, 2022)

Babbel vs Memrise Overview

Learning a 2nd language is often not that big of a deal because most education systems have it integrated into the curriculum. If you’re from an English-speaking country, you can learn any of the other languages in school. And if you’re not, English is often the 2nd language by default.

Things get tricky when you go for the 3rd language. Sure, there are plenty of learning centers across the country. But the truth is that not all of us have the time or resources to physically visit an education center. That’s where the Memrise vs Babbel discussion comes into play.

You can choose either of them after you read our elaborate reviews on the features. We’re going to take a holistic approach and break each app down into sections. We’re also going to cover the advantages, disadvantages, and even a comparison table for your betting understanding.

However, we believe Babbel is superior in the Babbel vs Memrise battle simply because it’s more practical for day-to-day use. But then again, we believe in freedom of choice, so we’ll just lay the facts for you.

Key Features of Platforms for Learners

Memrise or Babbel? Which one should you go for if you’re a student?

After analyzing both of the apps in-depth, we believe Babbel is a better choice for students. It’s not a stickler for grammar but you’ll learn proper grammar for whatever language you’re going for. At the same time, Memrise does a great job of including repetitive lessons to build up your basics.

So, let’s go over a few quick features for both these apps and see how it works for students.

  • Video of Locals

Memrise includes hundreds of videos from all over the world. The idea is simple. You see how the native people talk, including their body language. So, when you’re in a real-life scenario, you know exactly how to communicate what you’re trying to say.

Babble, on the other hand, is mostly packed with certified professionals. It’s great if you want to learn the right way but it might be a long journey for you to actually implement it.

  • Vocabulary

One of the basics of learning another language is learning the vocabulary. The more you know, the more you can express your thoughts. If you can’t find the right word when in a crucial moment, it’s not a very empowering experience. Memrise can help you out a lot in this case because you get to cover almost all the words a language can offer.

But when it comes to Babble, it has very nice real-life examples for use of the vocabulary. It’s just that the library is not very inclusive.

  • Cost

If you’re a student, it’s understandable why the overall cost of a learning app is important for you. Between Memrise or Babbel, Memrise is the cheaper one overall. However, Babbel offers a student discount which is a very nice touch in our opinion.

Memrise: Why is it Better than Babbel?

The problem with the current itinerary of language learning apps, it’s hard to define one as the “best”. It’s simply because all of the apps have their perks and drawbacks. It comes down to the user on what they need in their lives.

Learn from Locals

Memrise is a great contender in our Babbel vs Memrise discussion, primarily because of the cost. It’s more affordable. And you already know about the video lessons from locals. If you’re planning to visit any particular country or simply settle there, learning the native way to talk is a great start. And Memrise is the unbeatable companion for your journey.

User-Generated Courses

Another unique feature on the Memrise platform is the number of available courses. This opens up plenty of room for potential learners to go beyond the courses designed by professionals only.
You can also search for any specific topic or term on the search engine.

Chances are, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. Babbel, in this case, lags behind because it only offers courses by professionals.

Customizability

This is the best feature by far, especially for the busy bees out there. Memrise doesn’t have any fixed length on the courses. You can customize your own course length based on your needs and your schedule. So, there’s no reason to compromise with work or sleep just for the sake of learning a language.

Cost-Effective

Babbel just can’t beat Memrise when it comes to the subscription charges. It’s pretty much half of what Babbel costs for monthly, yearly, or long-term packages. You can get Memrise for a lifetime for only $119.99!

Babbel: How is it Better than Babbel?

If you’ve already made up your mind about going for Memrise, we politely ask you to hold your horses. Before you pull the trigger, you should at least know in which areas Babbel lands a stronger punch.

Learn to Converse

The whole modality of the Babbel platform is designed to help the learners use their skills. It’s not designed for an academic perspective at all. Babble uses both your primary language and work on your new language skill based on that. As a result, you get a really nice contrast on what various phrases actually mean.

Grammar

Babbel is very keen on making you learn grammar, but the right way. If it just put out grammatical instructions and read them plainly, it would be very boring. If you look at Babbel vs Memrise as a tutor, Memrise is guilty of it. Babbel has come up with a teaching technique through practical examples.

In fact, it takes your native language as the baseline and explains how the grammar is different and how to apply it correctly. The end result of the exercises is very much fun to practice.

Live Classes

This is an additional feature that you have to pay for on top of the subscription fee. In our opinion, it’s completely worth it. The Babbel professionals host classes throughout the year in small groups.

By that, we mean up to 6 students small! In an hour in that class, you’ll learn about everything from common restaurant lingo to official lingo in a bureaucratic scenario.

Podcasts/Videos/Games

One of the core business modalities for Babbel has been making the experience enjoyable for the students. That’s why it offers a wide range of video tutorials from the teaching professionals, podcasts that you can listen to while driving, or even play games to apply the terms and phrases you’ve learned!

You can also read Babbel magazine to know about success stories regarding the app from around the world.

Pricing Comparison

The price of a subscription ultimately plays a major role in making the decision. People who’re trying to learn a new language for a specific purpose don’t bother with the pricing. But for students or people who do it for the sake of learning something new, price is a big factor. Here goes the Memrise vs Babbel price comparison.

However, it’s different when you think of Babbel vs Memrise for teachers. We have a dedicated section coming up for teachers so stay tuned for that.

Memrise

Babbel and Memrise both cost money if you want the full potential. Memrise is the cheaper of the two. You can start free to learn the basics if you’re not ready to make a monetary commitment. The lessons are somewhat limited and you get ads in between. In the pro version, however, you get access to all the available courses and no ads!

For a month, Memrise costs $8.49 only. If you want to buy the package for a year because you don’t have enough time during the day for longer sessions, you need to spend only $29.99. The best one, in our opinion, is the lifetime package that you can get for $119.99 only!

Babbel

Babble is an overall richer platform between Memrise and Babbel. So, the cost is a little higher. Another thing is that Babbel doesn’t have a free version.

If you go for the annual package, a month of subscription costs around $7. However, if you want to go month-to-month, you may have to pay upwards of $14 per month. Babbel also offers a lifetime package just like Memrise. But this time, it costs a whopping $500.

Considering its features and the purpose, a $500 lifetime pass is worth it if you’re moving to a country for long-term study or setting there for life.

Quality of Learning

We’ve already covered a lot of the unique characteristics of both language learning apps. But how do these features translate in terms of quality? Is Memrise better than Babbel or vice versa?

Memrise

Memrise primarily focuses on creating the basics of the new language for the new learners. It means a lot of repetition of the same phrases and lots of vocabulary to deal with. The best advantage Memrise has in the Memrise vs Babbel battle is the utilization of native speakers.

You can learn a lot about Italian language grammar and other trivia from your English-speaking professor who has a degree in Italian. But it will never be the same if you learned directly from an Italian and it’s one of the best language learning apps in that sense.

This helps the learners a lot in the process of learning by observing. You can focus on the body language of the speakers as well as their facial expressions. When you pair it up with the affordable pricing plan as well as the free feature, it’s really hard to beat Memrise in terms of feasibility.

Babbel

If “speaking” a language is your priority rather than learning all the intricate details of how the grammar is designed, Babbel is the way to go. The learning app is designed based on a lifestyle rather than a curriculum.

This teaching method is known as the “Babbel Method” and apparently, it’s the “shortest path to real-life conversations”. And we have to agree with it. The courses are designed in a way that you use whatever you learn right away. Many academics from renowned universities like the City University of New York, Michigan State University, Yale University, etc. have tested and verified this method!

The highlight of Babbel is the use of your native language. The whole learning process somewhat depends on how you can connect both languages through practical examples and fun-to-do exercises. It’s a more enjoyable experience when compared to Memrise for sure. But this enjoyment comes at the price of limited language options and high subscription fees.

Main Disadvantages of the Platforms

So far, we’ve mostly discussed the benefits of each platform. We’ve also compared the two based on use cases. What we haven’t done yet is go over the disadvantages of Babbel vs Memrise. Let’s just do that.

Memrise

As Memrise is the more affordable option between the two, it’s more likely that you’re planning to go for it. And that’s why it’s important that we list the disadvantages of Memrise first.

  • Value Proposition

You already know that Memrise starts with the basic free plan and you can upgrade at any time if you want. From what we’ve seen, the paid subscriptions don’t provide enough value. What we’re trying to say is that you won’t find any noticeable or significant benefits after you switch to the Pro for free.

  • Not Good for Practical Use

Sure, you can create a solid library of vocabulary in your head but in a Memrise vs Babbel battle for learning day-to-day traits, Memrise is not a good option. It just doesn’t provide enough resources to help you combine the vocabulary to create meaningful sentences.

Babbel

We’ve been saying over and over that Babbel is the overall better performer. But it doesn’t mean that this language learning app is free from all flaws.

  • No Free Version

For first-time learners, it’s often hard to go for paid tools. It’s entirely psychological and it makes sense.

You wouldn’t want to spend money on something that you don’t know anything about, right? That’s one of the biggest drawbacks of Babbel. If you want to use it, you have to pay at least the minimum.

  • Limited Number of Languages

The languages Babbel offers to the learners are packed with all kinds of grammar instructions as well as real-life scenarios to make the lessons effective.

The problem is that the number of languages is pretty low. You get only 14 languages to learn. In comparison, Memrise offers around 29 languages from all over the world.

  • No Native Speakers

Don’t get us wrong. All of the teaching professionals at Babbel are certified and there’s no question about their capabilities. It’s just that there is no native touch to the learning process. It’s not like there are no native speakers as a teacher because there are.

But it’s not nearly as inclusive as Memrise where you can access thousands of videos of native people going on with their daily lives.

  • Fixed Length Courses

Well, it can also be not a drawback if you configure the app that way. But for the most part, the courses on Babbel are not nearly as customizable as Memrise. It takes a holistic approach to courses whereas Memrise takes a modular approach and lets you choose what components of a language you want to learn.

Overall Comparison

Babbel Memrise
Pricing Moderately Expensive Affordable
Teaching Approach Conversational, lifestyle, grammar incorporation Vocabulary-oriented, repetitive
Number of Languages 14 23
Extracurricular Activities Podcasts/Games/Magazine None
Customizable Course Length No Yes
Free Version/Trial No Yes
Speech Recognition Good Bad
Avg. Course Length 5-20 minutes 10-15 minutes

Babbel vs Memrise for Teachers

As a student or potential learner, you already know almost everything there is to know about the Babbel vs Memrise battle. But what if you want to be a teacher for either of these platforms? How beneficial is it? Let’s find out.

Babbel

A teaching position at Babbel could be a very lucrative career opportunity in the US. Teachers get paid between $592 and $762. Of course, it’s a range and it varies from teacher to teacher based on their skills and coverage.

On a different note, if you’re a teacher and you want to access one of the courses from Babbel, you can get a 60% discount! Needless to say, you’ll need to prove that you’re a teacher via ID.me.

Memrise

Just like Babbel, Memrise is very serious about ensuring the satisfaction of the teachers. It’s a company based in London, UK and the labor laws are pretty strict there, even for online positions. Teachers at Memrise are paid between £47,000 and £60,000 a year based on experience.

Also, the work culture is excellent with a lot of activities for team building every week.

Apart from teachers, Memrise also hires software engineers, data analysts, and lots of other professionals who can provide value to the overall business model.

FAQ

Is Memrise better than Babbel?

In some areas, it is. And for other areas, it’s not. Memrise is better in terms of the number of languages offered to learners, the vocabulary, and the native-speaker approach to make the learning process more immersive.

Is Memrise Cheaper than Babbel?

Yes, Memrise is cheaper than Babbel no matter how you look at it. All of the packages including the monthly, yearly, and long-term packages are almost half the price when compared to Babbel. If the expense of learning a new language is a concern for you, you can go for Memrise with your eyes closed.

Can you become fluent with Memrise?

It’s entirely possible but the process is not intuitive. Memrise is designed for more of an academic approach where you focus more on memorizing in volume. It simply means you get way more languages and vocabulary to deal with but fewer instances where you can actually apply them.

By Alina Burakova
Updated on September 5, 2022
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