Software Comparison
Italki vs +Babbel vs Duolingo

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Listed in : Language Learning

Italki gives you the opportunity to find the most efficient online language teachers from around the world.This application is the leader in online la... Learn More

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Listed in : Language Learning

+Babbel is the best way to learn a foreign language; the comprehensive learning system combines efficient education methods with state-of-the-art tech... Learn More


Listed in : Language Learning

With Duolingo, you can learn a language free of charge. Leveling up and competing with friends, this is a real fun while learning. You have the chance... Learn More

Pricing Starting From

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Italki

Language Learning

Free Plan

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+Babbel

Language Learning

$ 12.95
For 12 Months / 1 user(s)

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Duolingo

Language Learning

No Pricing Available yet.

Coupons & Deals

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+Babbel

Language Learning

No Coupons or Deals are available yet for +Babbel.

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Duolingo

Language Learning

No Coupons or Deals are available yet for Duolingo.

Available Features

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Italki

Language Learning

Unlimited Messages

Unlimited Follower Requests

Unlimited Questions

Unlimited Notebooks

Unlimited Discussions

Highlighted Questions

Highlighted Notebooks

Premium Badge

Personal URL

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+Babbel

Language Learning

Mobile vocabulary trainer

Interactive

The Review Manager

Speech recognition

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Duolingo

Language Learning

Free Trial Availability

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Italki

Language Learning

No Free Trial Available.

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+Babbel

Language Learning
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Duolingo

Language Learning

No Free Trial Available.

Cloudswave Editorial Review

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Italki

Language Learning

Italki Review by Cloudswave

Easily Learn Another Language with iTalki

Like a lot of people, I recently wanted to learn a new language, but didn’t want to have to sign up for a course at the local college, and I found other traditional options, like language programs, to be lacking. Fortunately, I found iTalki, the most unique solution out there.

iTalki Has Plenty of Fans

To be honest, iTalki was one of the first platforms I considered for learning another language. I still looked at others, of course, but iTalki has gotten so much exposure from various outlets that it was the easy first choice to begin my search. It’s been mentioned in the Guardian, Mashable, TechCrunch, South China Morning Post and the Independent, just to name a handful. All of those publications have mentioned iTalki in a positive light as well, which served as pretty powerful testimonials when it was time for me to invest in a platform of my own. Fortunately, I can report that those publications definitely had it right because iTalki is extremely good for learning a new language.

The Main Difference Between iTalki and Everything Else

All those mentions in various publications aren’t why I actually chose iTalki though. The main difference between this platform and every other title I know of on the market (and I considered quite a few) is that it actually connects you to real human beings. Usually, you can’t get this kind of help unless you’re taking a class or a course. For most of us, this is simply unrealistic, either because our schedule or our budget wouldn’t allow it. That leaves some version of flash cards left. You either use software where you match words to the proper translation or listen to an audio CD where you’re supposed to repeat a word you hear after hearing what it means. Frankly, I just wasn’t willing to spend good money on anything that rudimentary, especially because I wasn’t even convinced it would work. To me, it just made far more sense to actually work with a real, live teacher who spoke the language. This way, I could get help with any problem I was having. What I have found from trying to learn a new language—and I think most people would agree with this—is that there are sometimes minor hurdles that can end up holding back your progress if you don’t get them addressed ASAP. Unfortunately, most programs just aren’t equipped to do this. Likewise, iTalki has been extremely helpful because the teacher I was connected to had all kinds of little tips and tricks he basically came up with himself. Like any teacher, he’s seen his students struggle with certain things and invented his own way of overcoming them. Once again, this is a unique feature you’re not going to get from a typical language title.

How iTalki Works

Simply put, iTalki is basically just Skype for people who want to learn another language. That’s far from all it does though. When you log on to iTalki, you won’t just get assigned to some teacher. Instead, you get to search through a library of profiles, sorted by the language you want to learn. Every profile lists their experience and even shows you the reviews they’ve received from others who have been in your shoes. Currently, there are more than 1,000 teachers on iTalki, so you won’t be lacking for options either. However, if you’re struggling with making a choice or would just like some free advice, their customer service professionals can help push you in the right direction. Once you’ve found someone you believe will be a good fit, just contact them through iTalki and tell them what language you’d like to learn or improve on and why. This will help them design a plan that fits your personal needs. Here again is just one more reason I love iTalki. I had taken Spanish in high school and so I already knew the basics. Now, though, I wanted to become proficient. What I didn’t want to do was spend good money in order to go through the basics all over again before I could finally get to the more advanced stuff. With my own personal coach, this wasn’t a problem. The next step is scheduling your lesson. Coaches post when they’re available, though most are pretty flexible. I usually take mine right before work, but sometimes, I’ll schedule a block for the weekend to help get caught up or just make the most of some down time in my agenda.

Test Your Progress

Now, the thought may have occurred to you that there’s no way of knowing how far you’re progressing if you’re just talking to the same person over and over. That’s why iTalki gives you online language tests you can take for an objective measure. These aren’t just any tests either. You’ll have access to some of the best in the world, like Oxford University Press!

Learn About Another Culture

For those of you who want to learn a language because you’re planning a trip abroad, I can’t recommend iTalki enough. Not only will you get to learn this language, but you can choose a teacher from the area you’ll be traveling too as well. You can even plan to meet up with them while you’re there! No other language program that I know of is going to give you an opportunity to learn about a culture you plan to experience firsthand. If you’re traveling to Italy, say, a program might make some mention of holidays there and various parts of the country that differ from yours. However, when you consider how different Northern Italy is from Southern Italy, for example, there’s no way any platform is going to do this justice. With your own personal coach, though, talking about these important differences will just be part of the lesson plan.    For all these reasons and more, I hope you’ll give iTalki a try. I know you’ll find it as helpful as I did and enjoy all the secondary benefits that come from talking to a real person who speaks your language of choice.  
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+Babbel

Language Learning

No Cloudswave Editorial Review available yet.

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Duolingo

Language Learning

Duolingo Review by Cloudswave

Whether it’s about the gadgets and pieces of technology you use on a daily basis, the lifestyle you maintain, or the ideals and beliefs you have about life in general, keeping up with the changing times is a critical ingredient for survival in a fast-paced and demanding society.
One aspect people need to continuously polish is their ability to communicate. Communication, after all, is how they connect, interact, and collaborate with other people.
That said, in this age of globalization, the ability to communicate in multiple languages can open up a world of possibilities.

Benefits of learning a new language

Aside from possibly advancing your career, there are several advantages to learning a new language:  

Sharpens the mind

Acquiring a second language improves your retention skills as you associate unfamiliar words with familiar images or concepts. It exercises the brain, slows down brain ageing, rejuvenates the mind, boosts your decision-making skills, and helps those on a dormant career path to keep their brains active.

Helps to understand cultural differences

When traveling or relocating to another country, knowing the country’s language lets you interact well with locals. Speaking their language enables you to understand and appreciate cultures different from your own, making assimilation easier for you.  

Makes exploring new places more fun

The ability to speak another language lets you communicate with more people, setting the stage for making new friends. You’re no longer restricted to mingling only with those who speak your native tongue.  

Boosts work efficiency

The Internet has broken down geographical boundaries. As the demand to work with international customers increases, so does the need for employees speaking a client’s language.  

Challenges to learning a new language

Language is a complex system made up of various parts, which makes learning difficult and intimidating to some. In truth, however, learning the language is the easy part. What’s tricky is doing all the work learning entails, day after day, consistently.
This is where Duolingo steps in.  

What is Duolingo?

Created by Carnegie Mellon University professor and reCAPTCHA creator Luis von Ahn in collaboration with Severin Hacker, von Ahn’s graduate student, Duolingo is a cloud-based language learning application that allows users to quickly learn a new language – free of charge. Duolingo Combining the principles of gamification with an adaptive learning platform, Duolingo supports a number of languages that include Danish, Dutch, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish, with several more in different phases of incubation.
Words are spoken by a native speaker and can repeatedly be played, while speech bubbles show word translations and offer grammar pointers. Duolingo also uses tools such as images for new vocabulary, word pairings, and pronunciation, listening, and translation exercises to facilitate learning by making it more fun.
Duolingo lessons are presented on a modular basis, with the more advanced modules becoming active only after completing the basic ones. Duolingo, however, allows you to “test out” of certain modules, a feature that’s especially useful if the language you’ve chosen to learn isn’t exactly new to you.
When learning a new language, you can either start with the basics or take an “entrance test” for Duolingo to determine your proficiency level.
Duolingo is available as a Chrome browser extension for easy access. The native mobile app can be downloaded from the App Store, Google Play, and Windows Store for on-the-go language learning.  

Duolingo features

Aside from letting you save hundreds of dollars in tuition money, what other benefits can you get from Duolingo?  

Intuitive and user-friendly application

A simple and straightforward application with a minimalistic, clutter-free but feature-rich interface, to get started with Duolingo, create an account, select the language you’d like to learn, and you’re ready to go. You may also set daily goals, such as 20 experience points per day, to keep you motivated. duolingo3 Duolingo’s home screen shows you all the required modules to successfully complete the course, called the “skill tree,” and how you’re progressing. It contains a quick link to the lingot store where you can buy power-ups, timed practice tests, and progress quizzes. A lingot is Duolingo’s virtual currency and can be earned by completing a skill, leveling up, performing 10-day streaks, or inviting friends to join the Duolingo community of language learners.
The Words tab shows you a list of all the words you’ve already learned, while the Activity tab provides a timeline of all the activities you’ve already completed, such as “learned a skill” or “leveled up.” The Discussion tab is where you can browse through the discussion threads started by other Duolingo users, or, if you have a question you need help with, create your own.
The Immersion tab is where you go when you’re ready to work on real-world translations. Your translation tier is by default at one and moves up as you receive upvotes from your peers.  

Skills enhancement

Aside from the ability to replay how words are pronounced, Duolingo allows you to strengthen the skills you’ve already acquired through listening and pronunciation exercises, and translations. Plus, completed modules can be redone anytime, so you can run through certain words and phrases you feel you need to practice on more.
Duolingo also employs a “spaced repetition” algorithm that automatically assigns the labels “still strong,” “pretty good,” “time to practice,” and “overdue” to each word listed in the Words tab, depending on the number of days you last practiced on them. This is so you know when to perform practice exercises on the words again and ensure they’re etched into your memory for the long term.
Review flashcards are likewise available to help you check how your vocabulary is faring. A word is flashed on the screen. To flip the flashcard, click on it and Duolingo shows you the correct translation. Depending on whether or not you translated the word correctly, choose between “I was wrong” and “I was right” to see the next word. Words you get wrong will be shown back to you for review when the flashcard set is done.
To make learning more engaging and interactive, you can invite friends to sign up with Duolingo and challenge them to friendly competitions.  

Progress monitoring and other features

After each lesson or module, Duolingo shows you a progress report detailing how many experience points you’ve attained, how far along you are to reaching the next level of proficiency, how many lingots, if any, have been awarded to you, and so on.
Your overall language fluency percentage is prominently displayed on the top-right portion of the home screen. A proficiency badge can also be added to your LinkedIn account in just a few clicks.
Other features worth mentioning are Duolingo’s motivation tools. Aside from experience points, lingots, and the fluency score, the app uses leaderboards to keep track of scores, checkpoints you need to pass, a streak counter, and trophies for unlocked achievements to keep pushing learners towards their goals.  

Duolingo for Schools

Duolingo isn’t just for personal use. Even educators are now integrating Duolingo into their language learning systems. It’s mostly used as a reinforcement tool, for warm-up sessions, homework, an incentive, as a game, and for summer or winter break to keep students’ skills sharp.
Duolingo enables language instructors to meet other educators through a forum where they can compare notes and swap ideas. They can also download activity plans via schools.duolingo.com, and, depending on the metrics they prefer, can assess student progress using Duolingo data on total time spent, points earned, skill tree overview, and streak days. Duolingo  Lesson To set up your Duolingo classroom, the site to visit is dashboard.duolingo.com. You should already have an active Duolingo account when creating classrooms. After clicking on the Create Classroom button, name your classroom, and select the language you’re teaching.
To begin adding students to the classroom, click the Invite Students button and Duolingo automatically generates a classroom link that you can send to your students via email, instant messaging, social media, and other communication channels. When they click on the link, they will be prompted to press the Continue button so they can start taking Duolingo lessons.
Privacy and progress sharing settings can be customized, so you have complete control over who joins your classrooms and which social and content features, e.g., discussion forum, activity stream, or Immersion tab, your students are allowed to access.
If you have questions or need help with any of your classrooms, Duolingo for Schools has an FAQ section, a help center, and an educator’s forum. Feedbacks are welcome, new features can be requested, and bugs and abuse reports can be forwarded to Duolingo for investigation and resolution.
Like Duolingo, Duolingo for Schools is 100% free.  

Conclusion

Whatever your reasons for learning a new language – for career advancement, travel and meet new people, and so on – Duolingo has visually engaging and interactive tools to assist you in your quest to master a foreign language. If you’re a language teacher, the app’s gamified environment can keep your students engaged.
And for a price that’s hard to beat, using Duolingo to learn a new language is as risk-free as risk-free can be.

Most Favorable User Review

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Italki

Language Learning
User review from
10
dilemmalyn
Oct 30, 2014

Great!

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+Babbel

Language Learning
User review from
10
richard.fraccaro
Apr 23, 2014

A fantastic learning system. The free version is mainly just vocabulary lists with a really good automated review system, but the paid version has the kind of lessons you would get from an accredited language course.

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Duolingo

Language Learning
User review from
10
Muhammad Uzair Khalid
Aug 25, 2015

For me, It is one of the easiest ways to learn a new language! The learning technique has been made easy through this technique. There are subsequent practice questions at each step that helps you to memorize new words and grammar properly. Currently, I am learning German and Spanish from this app.

Pros : The user interactive display along with level-wise categorization helps a lot in keeping up the motivation for users. It is always nice to spend half an hour or so on a daily basis, to clear the next level on this website. Duolingo not only helps in improving the reading and writing parts of a language but also manages to help with the listening and speaking parts. There are questions in which we are supposed to speak up complete sentences, and the pronunciation of the words is also tested. Additionally, there are questions related to listening in which the users are supposed to answer based on what is being said in the recording. To sum it up, I would say that if someone is willing to learn a new language, Duolingo serves as a perfect platform.

Cons : The only con that I see is that the total number of language in Duolingo is limited. For example, currently I am living in Finland, and I want to learn Finnish from Duolingo but unfortunately, this app doesn't have Finnish language in it. I just hope that they will soon add Finnish language as well, in their app.

Most Unfavorable User Review

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Italki

Language Learning

No unfavorable user review available yet for Italki.

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+Babbel

Language Learning
  • User review from
    2
    wwilsongm
    May 14, 2014

    I think this program focuses too much on spelling words. I would like to see more opportunities to identify correct words by clicking on them. I would also like to see a short skit/cartoon illustrating the activity and using the vocabulary in context. Then we could practice with words and pictures. Spelling words should come much later in the learning process.

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    Duolingo

    Language Learning

    No unfavorable user review available yet for Duolingo.

    Most Favorable Critic Review

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    Italki

    Language Learning
    100
    Karyn Tripp , Teach Beside Me

    Friday 03 January 2014

    We have been really trying to teach our kids a foreign language in our homeschool, but since I am not fluent in any other languages it is hard for me to take it to the next level beyond easy vocabulary. I love that this gives him interaction with native speakers and allows him to hear the language spoken. I think this is so critical to learning a language and really helps his learning move at a much quicker pace.  If you are looking for an interactive way for your kids to learn a new language, I definitely recommend italki!

    More about Italki
    View all the Italki Critic Reviews
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    +Babbel

    Language Learning
    75
    KIT EATON , The New York Times

    Wednesday 25 July 2012

    The app is also refreshingly clean and simple to look at, so there’s very little to distract you from the business of learning. However, you may find it a bit dry, which, let’s face it, may be an issue, particularly if you have bad memories of language class from your school days. A Wi-Fi or mobile data connection is needed to upload your data, by the way.

    More about +Babbel
    View all the +Babbel Critic Reviews
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    Duolingo

    Language Learning
    100
    Ron , Language Surfer

    Tuesday 08 October 2013

    I had heard about Duolingo a while ago, but until recently I hadn't paid too much attention to it. I had tried several other online language learning platforms and hadn't been too impressed with them, so I wasn't expecting much this time. Well, I was wrong. Duolingo is a great language learning tool. A fantastic learning tool.

    More about Duolingo
    View all the Duolingo Critic Reviews

    Most Unfavorable Critic Review

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    Italki

    Language Learning

    No critic review available yet for Italki .

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    +Babbel

    Language Learning
    50
    Christopher Gavula , Gear Diary

    Wednesday 09 May 2012

    When looking at both sites, I really like the look and feel of Babbel, but I don’t like the cost and I don’t like the lack of languages I want to learn.

    More about +Babbel
    View all the +Babbel Critic Reviews
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    Duolingo

    Language Learning
    50
    Sam Gendreau , Lingholic

    Monday 05 May 2014

    To wrap this review up, I would say that as with most other things in life, Duolingo has some good and bad sides to it. In retrospect, what I liked the most about the app is its ease of use on the go and the addictive elements to it that turn in into sort of a game. I’d like to see such elements expanded in future versions of the app, which I think would make Duolingo a lot better.However, because of the downsides I’ve outlined above, I’ll be honest and say that I will probably not make extensive use of Duolingo in the future. I simply find audio methods such as Pimsleur to be more effective while on the go, with others such as Assimil or Teach yourself better when at home or in a café. Of course, these latter are not free, but time does have a cost too. Free always has an appeal, but free also comes with a price, be it your time, efficiency, or else.

    More about Duolingo
    View all the Duolingo Critic Reviews

    Demo Video

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    Italki Demo Video

    Language Learning
    screenshot for +Babbel

    +Babbel Demo Video

    Language Learning
    screenshot for Duolingo

    Duolingo Demo Video

    Language Learning

    Screenshots

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    Italki

    Language Learning
    Screenshot for Italki 4 screenshots available
    screenshot for +Babbel

    +Babbel

    Language Learning
    Screenshot for +Babbel 4 screenshots available
    screenshot for Duolingo

    Duolingo

    Language Learning
    Screenshot for Duolingo 4 screenshots available

    Typical Customer

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    Italki

    Language Learning
    • Business
    • Personal Use
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    +Babbel

    Language Learning
    • Personal Use
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    Duolingo

    Language Learning
    • N/A

    Supported Devices

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    Italki

    Language Learning
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    +Babbel

    Language Learning
    screenshot for Duolingo

    Duolingo

    Language Learning

    Supported Languages

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    Italki

    Language Learning
    • English
    • French
    • Spanish
    • Italian
    • German
    • Russian
    • Japanese
    • Chinese
    • Arabic
    • Hebrew
    • Portuguese
    • Polish
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    +Babbel

    Language Learning
    • English
    • French
    • Spanish
    • Italian
    • German
    • Portuguese
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    Duolingo

    Language Learning
    • English
    • French
    • Spanish
    • Italian
    • German
    • Russian
    • Japanese
    • Chinese
    • Arabic
    • Hebrew
    • Portuguese
    • Polish

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