- Free plan
- Intuitive platform
- Ability to speak with native speakers
- Competitive price
- Engaging exercises
- No 24/7 customer support
- Lack of extra resources
- Absence of C1 and C2 levels
Used by millions, Busuu is a well-known and well-loved language-learning application. Based in the UK, this platform ensures an engaging experience by providing a decent variety of exercises. There are 12 courses available, and all of them are built taking into consideration the language’s and country’s cultural aspects. In other words, besides teaching vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, Busuu also provides hints on how to properly behave when speaking with the natives. What’s more, Busuu offers a limited free plan that you can use forever. That being said, a paid subscription is necessary to have access to Busuu’s full potential, such as the ability to interact with other people using the app. The price can be as low as $5.41 per month, and there’s a 14-day money-back guarantee to test the premium plans.
With 12 language courses in its roster, Busuu surely provides at least one language that you’ll want to learn. It offers the most popular courses, such as Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian), and German, but it also allows you to learn some more niche languages like Turkish or Polish. Though it’s not the most thorough portfolio on the market, this language learning app compensates by providing all its courses with just one subscription.
Like many of its competitors, Busuu takes advantage of flashcards to teach you a new language. However, this language learning website goes a step further by integrating other types of exercises to enhance your learning efficiency as well as teach you how to actually have conversations. These include following dialogues spoken by native speakers, and taking quizzes to test your knowledge of what has been learned so far.
Speaking of testing, Busuu provides an interesting review page where it tells you the strength of the acquired words. The software ranks each piece of vocabulary from ‘weak’ to ‘strong’, allowing you to easily understand where you still need to improve.
Getting Social With the Natives
Another unique feature provided by this language learning application is its built-in social platform. By allowing you to connect with native speakers of the language you’re learning, Busuu enables you to further improve your language skills while making new friends. You can either start conversations, ask for feedback about an exercise you don’t understand, or record yourself and ask for advice on how to improve your speaking skills and pronunciation. It’s not possible to have live classes, though – all the help you get is from users, not certified teachers.
Busuu's language courses go up to the B2 level, meaning that when you're finished with your lessons, you'll be able to have conversations in the language being learned – something that the official certificates issued will prove. While there's a general structure in place, Busuu offers the option to build the course to your own needs, which considers your goals, schedule, and the level you want to achieve. An excellent addition is that the software informs you how long it will take to reach your objectives with the amount of time you’re willing to invest daily.
Lessons take approximately 10 minutes. Busuu usually starts with some flashcards displaying new vocabulary, then it prompts you to do some memorization exercises, and finishes the lesson with prerecorded dialogues where you have to insert the new words into spaces. While this is far from comprehensive, it provides the necessary number of exercises to make the course engaging.
While on desktop Busuu is available in its web format only, on mobile you can use the applications designed for iOS and Android. Regardless of the platform, the software is fairly intuitive, easy to navigate, and pleasant to look at.
There are three different tabs: ‘lessons’, ‘social’, and ‘review’. The ‘lessons’ page is quite extensive as it contains all the exercises from A1 to B2 levels, but it’s easy to navigate since it always prompts you to the last exercise you’ve done.
The social page is also cleverly designed. On the ‘Discover’ tab, you can find a vast array of profiles from people who either are learning the language you speak natively or who are masters at the language you want to learn. The app shows you the users’ profile picture, what languages they speak, and a small bio. If you’re interested in someone, you just need to click ‘view’ and add them as friends to start a conversation.
Lastly, the ‘review’ tab allows you to filter all vocabulary learned so far by the level of expertise, which makes it straightforward to know which words need further attention.
Busuu offers a limited free version of its platform – users can do most of the lessons provided, but there are some locked exercises that are rather important. However, if you’re just interested in learning a new language by using flashcards, the free plan will suffice.
To unlock Busuu’s full potential a paid subscription is necessary. There are two tiers: Premium and Premium Plus. The former allows you to learn one language with access to all exercises and to speak with native speakers; it also provides the ability to download the lessons’ content for offline study. On the other hand, the latter unlocks all 12 courses and provides a personalized study plan as well as official certificates every time you finish one of the courses’ levels.
While the Premium subscription is cheaper – $5.41 per month with a 24-month billing cycle – Premium Plus is a better choice for people who want to learn more one language. For example, if you’re looking to learn three distinct languages, each course will cost you $2.08 per month with Premium Plus.
By providing an easy-to-navigate and thorough FAQ, Busuu ensures that you won’t need to contact customer support often. The page includes help in over ten languages and covers topics that go from privacy to basic troubleshooting. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t offer many communication channels to get in touch with the customer service team. There is neither a live chat nor 24/7 customer support. Instead, the only way you can contact a customer support agent is by emailing them or messaging them through social media. For the latter, you can use either Twitter or Facebook as Busuu is fairly active on both platforms.
There’s plenty to love about Busuu: it’s straightforward to use, provides a generous free plan, and it allows you to get in touch with native speakers. There are also plenty of exercises to do, which makes the application exciting throughout the full course. Moreover, considering that you learn about grammar, cultural aspects, and the correct way to speak and write each word, Busuu ensures that you’re capable of having conversations with natives by the end of your language course. Despite this, it would be nice to have the ability to schedule lessons with certified teachers or to access extra learning resources. Prices start at $5.41 per month, and you can take advantage of the 14-day money-back guarantee to test either the Premium or the Premium Plus subscription.Visit BusuuUse Busuu for Free