Babbel Integrated Brazilian Portuguese Language Learning Website, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad Application, Social Network, More
Babbel combines multi-media visual and auditory learning, social networking interactivity, sound educational methodology, mobile apps (for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad - Babbel Mobile) and desktop goodies (Babbel Refresh) in a one-stop integrated platform for learning Portuguese.
They've very recently expanded their platform by adding loads of new features to the Web interface as well as mobile and desktop apps to enhance your Portuguese learning efforts online - and take them mobile:
Babbel Refresh: Bite-sized units catered to your individual Portuguese learning program, spaced out appropriately and delivered to your via a free desktop app! (Free, works with Windows and Mac.)
Babbel Mobile: Synchronizes your Babbel account with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, allowing you to study Portuguese on your mobile device - even if you're offline! Babbel Mobile is free to download for everybody, and access to the Vocabulary is available for free for those who already are subscribers to Babbel. If you're not on Babbel, you can purchase the vocabulary as a stand alone app, which has 3000 words and phrases, for a onetime $7.99 USD.
Babbel's interface is the definition of eye candy, works on any modern Web browser, loads quickly and runs solidly. The dynamic learning system reviews you on terms and phrases you've learned while seamlessly incorporating new ones on topics you select. This guarantees you'll be interested in what you're studying - and that it will be the most applicable to your specific needs and goals.
Part of the Babbel learning system involves media-rich (and user shared) virtual flash cards. The flash card stacks are organized into "packages" (groups of cards) that treat common themes (eg, youth hostels, winter sports, restaurants and eating out, fruits and vegetables, clothing, standard greetings, giving and receiving compliments, etc). With input and contributions from the users, these packages get consistently better as more contributions flow in.
Furthermore, an intelligent system organizes all the vocabulary words you've learned. You get a comprehensive overview of everything you've studied - and it signals which are your problem words so you'll know you need to practice them again. This syncs seamlessly with the Babbel Refresh desktop application as well, using your personalized Vocabulary list to calculate reminders for what's best to review next and how often. Wow - talk about helpful!
Add to all of this Babbel's social networking tools, including the ability to hook up with other users interested in sharing and exchanging language skills, and you have a dynamic Portuguese-education platform that covers all the bases.
In addition to Brazilian Portuguese, Babbel is available for learning English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish.
So try a Babbel lesson free and see if it works for you. You can select one of various options for your free lesson, too. Chances are you'll be up and learning in no time, making friends to share with, quizzing yourself on the go and progressing more quickly than you thought possible.
Treat yourself and have some fun learning Portuguese - go Babbel!
Free or Subscription?
Finding free options for learning Portuguese online (and off) can be difficult, especially compared to those available for the likes of Spanish and French. Thus it's well worth subscribing to a paid service to truly open the doors to your virtual classroom.
Having researched and tested free and paid options extensively, we definitely say that Babbel sits right at the top of your options - it's incredibly fun and intuitive, offers online and offline solutions and is amazingly fairly priced: between $6.62 and $11.95 USD per month depending on your subscription option. (Compare that with $539 for the full Rosetta Stone Portuguese course, for example. You could use Babbel for 67+ months at that price!)
For most people's needs, we recommend the 3-month option which runs $7.95 per month. It's a great way to leap ahead.