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Old 21.02.2017, 20:10
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Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

Hi everyone!
Lately I've been trying to complement my german course with other learning tools such as web and smartphone apps. I've tried Duolingo and Memrise. They are both free!
I use Memrise mostly for personalized vocabulary lists that I create. Duolingo for general grammar and because its simply very addictive although it is somewhat limited on the amount of vocabulary that you can learn with it.

I was just wondering if anyone else is using any other learning apps. What works for you? Which do you find best?
Cheers!
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:06
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Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

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Hi everyone!
Lately I've been trying to complement my german course with other learning tools such as web and smartphone apps. I've tried Duolingo and Memrise. They are both free!
I use Memrise mostly for personalized vocabulary lists that I create. Duolingo for general grammar and because its simply very addictive although it is somewhat limited on the amount of vocabulary that you can learn with it.

I was just wondering if anyone else is using any other learning apps. What works for you? Which do you find best?
Cheers!
Michel Thomas audio. The others you mentioned are also very useful.
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Old 22.02.2017, 11:39
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Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

Duo and Memrise are the best ones AFAIK. Memrise's official courses are great and definitely worth working through. The only annoying thing about them is that there's only one correct answer per question. I also like Memrise's flashcard databases shared by other users, especially the ones with native audio. Huge time saver.

There's also Anki for flashcards. And some free apps created by the Goethe Institute, including a fun game where you have to figure out what happened to your missing uncle by interviewing people, carrying out tasks. Not for beginners.

Not an app, but have you looked at Pimsleur? I only did about 10 lessons but damn if that stuff doesn't stick in your brain and roll reflexively off your tongue when you're in the appropriate situation (and with pretty on-point pronunciation, too). Tedious, though, and some of the sentences are annoying, but I'm gonna get back to them.

You might want to check out some Reddit subs about language learning. People there have tried everything.
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Old 27.02.2017, 19:32
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Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

I have tried Pimsleur, used it mainly while commuting. Definitely a good tool to subconsciously drill in some listening comprehension.

Has anyone tried Babbel or Busuu?
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Old 08.03.2017, 18:02
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Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

Currently learning Spanish and I am using Duolingo which I quite like. It's easy and straightforward, best of all is that it keeps you in the flow. So when I am commuting in the train I refresh my skills or extend them :-)

My colleague uses in addition also Babbel, which as far as I could see has some more grammar exercises included.
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Old 08.03.2017, 18:06
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Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

FWIW I use HelloTalk and Tandem for finding language partners (Italian and German). Regular communication with native speakers helps a lot
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Old 16.03.2017, 11:13
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Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

I tried Babbel for French. Liked it much better than Duolingo but it's not for free.
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Old 16.03.2017, 11:23
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Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

I like rosetta stone, on a tablet it's amazing as I use it on the tram/train/bus rides.
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Old 16.03.2017, 13:46
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Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

BuyClub is running a special at the moment on LingQ if that might be of interest. They have a number of languages. Not sure how long the offer will last (the counter says 4 more days).

Details on this link: https://www.buyclub.ch/geneva/deals/lingq-mar-2017/
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Old 20.03.2017, 18:54
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Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

I've been doing Duolingo steadily for the past two or three years. In fact, I currently have a 508 day streak. I actually started using it earlier, but my streak got broken. Now, I've been only doing this about twice or three times a day---so I'm not fluent in French, and I'm sceptical of Duolingo's claims that I am 52% fluent in French. But...

But...even with a little bit of practice, I notice significant improvement. I now know by ear the difference between "un" and "une". Also, while I'm not perfect at it, I can hear the differences between "é" and "è". I'm also surprised to learn that even when I'm stumped and don't know a particular word, I can make a good educated guess as to the rest of the sentence and I'm usually right.

Duolingo by itself will not enable you to learn a foreign language (and if I were teleported to Lausane, I know I will quickly discover how much French I *don't* know), but I think it is a big help and I recommend it. (I haven't done this myself, but I think that if you participate in group activities where you write something in French or correct somebody else's French, you will get much more out of Duoling.)

P.S. For the heck of it, I tried German, and from the feel of the first lesson---it's a much tougher language to learn. Not impossible, but tougher. If I ever get back to it, I may ammend that statement, but my sympathies for anybody who will have to learn the difference between "der", "die", and "das" as well as essential non-obvious words like "entschuldigen" that don't exactly roll off the tongue.
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Old 19.04.2017, 15:53
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Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

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Has anyone tried Babbel or Busuu?
I tried them both numerous times but didn't remember either, so I downloaded them again and paid for a year on each. In the name of science.

This is for the Android apps only and not the full-on website experience (where applicable).

Word on the street is that Babbel is better, but if I had to choose one, I'd go with Busuu. For me Babbel's app is frustrating. It's hard to explain. Things like not auto-advancing to the next question and so on. You can't skip around as much. You can't swipe past vocab you know but instead have to tap the button to play the audio, and then a button appears that you have to tap to get to the next word. Their keyboard makes me crazy. (With most apps you can use your phone's keyboard, which is fantastic if the app allows allow glide/swipe.)

Upgrading from trial to paid didn't seem to improve the experience on either app. It just unlocks more content. After I've used them a bit longer I'll be able to talk more about how well they teach.

Two of Duolingo's huge strengths are 1) multiple answers accepted for the translations and 2) you can see the q&a from other users and thereby learn about the nuances between the answers. I learned a TON of grammar from that, and there were often links in the comments as well. TBH, I don't think anyone can come near to Duo without offering something similar. And Duolingo is free.

(I've kicked Duo money and I've upgraded to premium on Memrise, so it's not really about the price. I wish I could find more awesome apps and I'd happily pay for them.)

Actually, I have a few more recommendations:
Beelinguapp - Short stories translated and narrated by native speakers. Content provided by volunteers. Mostly free.
Lingvist - Another flashcard app, but you learn the words in sentences/context. I appreciate that the sentences are sometimes more complex, so you get grammar exposure. Free.
Clozemaster - You're presented with sentences and you have to fill in the blank. It's supposed to be a 'What to do after finishing Duolingo' solution. Free.
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