Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Language corner
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 21.02.2017, 21:10
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Zürich
Posts: 14
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
GuigiV has become a little unpopularGuigiV has become a little unpopular
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!
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank GuigiV for this useful post:
  #2  
Old 21.02.2017, 23:06
JoeUK's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 509
Groaned at 21 Times in 19 Posts
Thanked 698 Times in 362 Posts
JoeUK has an excellent reputationJoeUK has an excellent reputationJoeUK has an excellent reputationJoeUK has an excellent reputation
Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

Quote:
View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank JoeUK for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 22.02.2017, 12:39
PetZombie's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: ZH
Posts: 31
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 14 Times in 7 Posts
PetZombie is considered knowledgeablePetZombie is considered knowledgeablePetZombie is considered knowledgeable
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.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank PetZombie for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 27.02.2017, 20:32
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Zürich
Posts: 14
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
GuigiV has become a little unpopularGuigiV has become a little unpopular
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?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08.03.2017, 19:02
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Zurich
Posts: 9
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
stevoh has no particular reputation at present
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.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank stevoh for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 08.03.2017, 19:06
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Geneva area
Posts: 319
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 328 Times in 147 Posts
hairybadger has earned the respect of manyhairybadger has earned the respect of manyhairybadger has earned the respect of many
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
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank hairybadger for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 16.03.2017, 12:13
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Zurich
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Abciximab has no particular reputation at present
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.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Abciximab for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 16.03.2017, 12:23
Spinal's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Zurich
Posts: 330
Groaned at 3 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 234 Times in 118 Posts
Spinal is considered knowledgeableSpinal is considered knowledgeableSpinal is considered knowledgeable
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.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Spinal for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 16.03.2017, 14:46
Verbier's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lully VD
Posts: 3,800
Groaned at 13 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 3,799 Times in 1,951 Posts
Verbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond repute
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/
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Verbier for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 20.03.2017, 19:54
eddiejc1's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Derwood, MD USA
Posts: 1,005
Groaned at 22 Times in 20 Posts
Thanked 684 Times in 372 Posts
eddiejc1 has an excellent reputationeddiejc1 has an excellent reputationeddiejc1 has an excellent reputationeddiejc1 has an excellent reputation
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.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank eddiejc1 for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 19.04.2017, 16:53
PetZombie's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: ZH
Posts: 31
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 14 Times in 7 Posts
PetZombie is considered knowledgeablePetZombie is considered knowledgeablePetZombie is considered knowledgeable
Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

Quote:
View Post

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.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank PetZombie for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 30.04.2017, 10:39
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 45
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 20 Times in 12 Posts
tulika has no particular reputation at present
Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

I have been using Duolingo for a year now, love it. It is good for building vocabulary. But it is not much help for grammar.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 30.04.2017, 10:45
robBob's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Zurich
Posts: 772
Groaned at 20 Times in 11 Posts
Thanked 536 Times in 320 Posts
robBob is considered knowledgeablerobBob is considered knowledgeablerobBob is considered knowledgeable
Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

Just use the TV with sub titles. For Swiss senders - page 777, In Germany - 150.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 30.04.2017, 18:48
hannah'sauntie's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Baden
Posts: 4,658
Groaned at 25 Times in 23 Posts
Thanked 6,456 Times in 2,924 Posts
hannah'sauntie has a reputation beyond reputehannah'sauntie has a reputation beyond reputehannah'sauntie has a reputation beyond reputehannah'sauntie has a reputation beyond reputehannah'sauntie has a reputation beyond reputehannah'sauntie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

Quote:
View Post
I have been using Duolingo for a year now, love it. It is good for building vocabulary. But it is not much help for grammar.
I love Duolingo too, and I think that it does help with grammar, but in a way that, almost like you learn as a child, it kind of creeps up on you, if that makes sense.
Also, there is the option to discuss problems with other users, which is helpful.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 30.04.2017, 19:03
Castro's Avatar
à la mod
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Basel-Land of Smiles
Posts: 5,046
Groaned at 103 Times in 83 Posts
Thanked 14,379 Times in 4,629 Posts
Castro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

Quote:
View Post
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.
Confused
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03.05.2017, 11:37
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Bern
Posts: 16
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 6 Times in 2 Posts
ptollan has no particular reputation at present
Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

Funny, I think Duolingo is completely overrated. In fact, I think it's a fairly awful educational tool, for many reasons. Based on just the app alone...

1. Basically no grammar hints or tips
2. The questions are so ridiculously easy to guess a lot of the time, which means you just go through an exercise of quickly stabbing at the screen without actually considering what you've entered, and thus it doesn't really sink in
3. No logical structure to the order in which you are introduced to aspects of the language. With German I was apparently 30% fluent before I was shown how to count to 10
4. Continually asking you to redo the basics. I can conjugate pretty much every tense now, but Duolingo still thinks I need to practice "Hallo" and "Woher kommst du?"
5. Completely stupid examples ALL THE TIME "The cow is eating an apple"... "My sister, my sister!".... "The dog runs into the wall" etc. etc. Just teach me useful, practical examples!

The most useful thing for me would be to practice listening, so I would love more of the questions where you have to listen in German and then write out what was said (or even better, write out a response). Unfortunately, these are in the minority.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03.05.2017, 11:56
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Zurich
Posts: 15
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 3 Posts
Vogelsang has no particular reputation at present
Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

I've been using Rosetta Stone Advanced. It's not as slick or "gamey" as the other versions, but has a lot more content and at much more advanced levels (if I ever make it that far...).
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03.05.2017, 12:18
amogles's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 9,096
Groaned at 174 Times in 149 Posts
Thanked 17,035 Times in 7,229 Posts
amogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

Am presently learning a foreign language for an upcopming trip using a combination of Nemo and Duolingo.

Nemo is good for the very basics. Duolingo is better at grammar and more complex sentences. It can also be frustrating though as the people who set it up appear not to have had English as a first language so you have to learn to type in bad English as it will flag down correct English as wrong.

But this is only on the more advanced levels mind you. I guess they haven't been beta tested as extensively as the basic ones. Up to about level 5 Duolingo is awesome.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08.06.2017, 16:40
PetZombie's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: ZH
Posts: 31
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 14 Times in 7 Posts
PetZombie is considered knowledgeablePetZombie is considered knowledgeablePetZombie is considered knowledgeable
Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

Quote:
View Post
Confused
Sorry. If you tell me what's confusing I'll clarify (to the best of my admittedly limited ability).
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09.06.2017, 19:34
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Wädenswil
Posts: 12
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Devantoi has no particular reputation at present
Re: Duolingo vs Memrise vs Babbel vs Busuu

I haven't tried them all but Duolingo has been so perfect for me that I haven't bothered to try any others. 107 day streak!!! ;-)
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2in1 laptops: MS Surface Book vs Lenovo Yoga vs HP Spectre 360 vs Dell Inspiron Troublawesome TV/internet/telephone 17 12.11.2017 19:54
Swisscom vs Orange vs Sunrise signal strength... opinions please. Richdog TV/internet/telephone 69 29.11.2016 21:51
St gallen vs UZH vs HEC lausanne vs ESADE moutouln Education 0 14.07.2016 02:31
Interdiscount vs Migro electronics vs fust vs conforama ... vribium Daily life 12 30.11.2014 15:03
[Basel] German language school Academia vs Berlitz vs Inlingua vs Migros klubschule SarcasmXXL Language corner 2 31.10.2014 10:55


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 20:32.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0