Learning a new language comes with many benefits. Speaking a second language will not only give you an edge when applying for a job, but it also allows you to blend in with the locals when traveling and even reduces the risk of age-related cognitive diseases. Fortunately, learning a new language has never been easier, as there are plenty of apps out there that allow you to study whenever and wherever you want. While Busuu and Pimsleur are great examples of that, both companies provide a unique learning experience. Not only do they boast portfolios with a distinctive number of courses, but their teaching methods are also quite different. So, which one will help you achieve your language goals the fastest?
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|# of Languages||12||51|
|Languages||ES, FR, DE, PT, JP, RU, CN||ES, FR, DE, JP, IT, CN, RU, PT, EN|
|Average Duration of Lessons||10 mins||30 mins|
|Free Trial||1 Lesson|
|Money-Back Guarantee||14 days|
Busuu is a user-friendly language learning app that will teach you any language up to level B2. You can count on more than ten language courses, including the most popular ones, such as Spanish, Russian, German, and Japanese. Better yet, while courses roughly follow the same structure, Busuu takes into consideration each language's cultural context and allows you to personalize your studying journey.
From listening to writing, Busuu comes with every kind of exercise required to properly learn a new language. In other words, you'll learn how to pronounce words correctly, all the important grammar rules, and how to write complete sentences. Each lesson takes around 10 minutes to complete, making Busuu the perfect app to use on the go.
The best part of Busuu is its free version that you can use forever. Although a bit limited since you don't have access to grammar exercises or the vocabulary trainer, it's a good place to start. However, with prices starting at $5.41 per month, investing in a paid account is worthwhile. You can even get full access to all languages for as low as $6.28 per month, and you can test the premium version for 14 days through the company's money-back guarantee.
With over 50 language courses available, Pimsleur boasts one of the widest portfolios on the market. Unfortunately, it isn’t the most comprehensive app out there. Since all lessons are audio-based, the software focuses on speaking and listening. This means that other essential factors, such as grammar and writing, aren’t included. On the bright side, Pimsleur is the perfect option for people who want to learn a new language while multitasking. You just need to plug in your earphones, press play, and start learning. Although courses are a bit generic and targeted at businessmen, Pimsleur still takes cultural context into account when structuring its courses.
You can get Pimsleur by either purchasing each level separately or through a subscription. The former costs $119.95 per level, whereas the latter costs $14.95 per month. Considering that you can finish the full course within five months by doing one lesson a day, the subscription is far more advantageous. You also have the option to get a premium version of the app, which comes with interactive games and review exercises to improve your language learning even further. You can try Pimsleur’s first lesson for free, but the company doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee.
Busuu and Pimsleur were created 40 years apart and are excellent examples of how things have changed over time. While the pioneer Pimsleur still delivers audio-based language courses, Busuu provides a more engaging platform with various types of exercises. The same can be said about the pricing structure. Pimsleur offers the option to purchase each level, whereas Busuu is strictly subscription-based – making Busuu far more competitive. Even if we place both subscriptions side-by-side, Pimsleur continues to be three times more expensive than Busuu. Of course, which language learning app you should choose depends on your studying method. If you prefer to passively listen to native speakers and repeat words after them, Pimsleur is the better option. On the other hand, if you favor having a more active role and greater interaction, Busuu is the way to go. Finally, if you’re looking for a free solution, it’s worthwhile to try out Busuu’s free version.