Skip to Content

Memrise vs Babbel: Which Is The Best Pick For Beginners?

Memrise vs Babbel: Which Is The Best Pick For Beginners?

It’s time to head off on an adventure, but you need to learn a new language to feel comfortable. As I go through Memrise vs Babbel, I’ll show you more about each of the programs so you can see which one is the best option for you.

56% of Europeans know a second language, while only around 20% of people in America know a second language. If you’re in either one of these groups and want to become a part of the group of people that widened their ability to communicate, I’m here to help.

Continue reading this article, and I’ll go over both Memrise vs Babbel as well as important things you need to know about both language learning options.

Main Differences Between Memrise vs Babbel

The main differences between Memrise vs Babbel are:

  • Memrise didn’t start out focused on language learning, whereas Babbel’s only goal is to get you conversational in your chosen language
  • Memrise is set up to help you memorize primarily, whereas Babbel uses multiple methods of teaching languages
  • Memrise’s has 23 languages to learn, whereas Babbel only has 14
  • Memrise may not be enough to teach you a language, whereas Babbel has helped many people achieve their language speaking goals

Memrise has come a long way recently, but there are still things left to desire. Even so, some people find it helpful, and we had to put it up against Babbel. Since Babbel is very popular, you’ll be able to see what other users find helpful when learning languages and see if Memrise has the ability to dethrone this major player.

Memrise vs Babbel: Memrise Overview

Memrise was founded in 2010 by Ben Whately and “Grand Master of Memory” Ed Cooke. Ben’s stance is that classroom learning doesn’t work, so he set out to create something that would effectively teach people different languages. He doesn’t believe people are bad at learning languages and that the academic system fails people.

Around 60 million users are learning languages using Memrise. Users are in over 189 countries, and they’re experiencing the power of language immersion to learn the language of their choice. Memrise tries to bring you as close as they can to living in the country of the language you want to learn.

With the belief in mind that if you don’t have fun that you don’t learn, you’ll be able to learn a new language while enjoying yourself.

Getting Started & Using Memrise

When you start your journey with Memrise, it’s very simple. Once you click “Get started,” you’ll need to enter your primary language and the language you want to learn. You can choose to start from scratch because you’re a beginner, or you can choose how far along you’d like to start.

After this, you can create your account using Google, Facebook, or your email address. After registering, you’ll go to the next screen where you take your first very short lesson.

Once you complete the short lesson, you’ll continue to set a goal so Memrise can help you stick with it. After that, you can go through the other lessons as you rank up.

Teaching Quality

I honestly thought Babbel was my favorite until I saw how Memrise teaches. They have actual native speakers of each of the languages on video, which makes things very engaging. I could tell they were native speakers by how familiar they were with the language, and it gave me a lot more confidence in the app.

The found claims Memrise is the fun and fast route to language acquisition, and I think he might be right. Having the visuals from the videos of the people makes me see them and their actions whenever I try to think of the word I learned.

They focus more on how you “get” how it works than what you learned about the rights and wrongs of the language. The goal of the app is to allow users to immerse themselves in the language like they’re in the country with all native speakers but without having to actually go there—or leave your home at all.


If you need help with Memrise, you can check out their FAQ section, which has quite a bit of help. If you can’t find what you need there, you can search the community forum or use the contact form to send them a message.


No matter which way you choose, it’s pretty inexpensive to use Memrise.

  • Pay monthly for $8.99 per month
  • Pay annually for $3.75 per month
  • Pay $139.99 for lifetime access

Memrise vs Babbel: Babbel Overview


When founders Markus Witte and Thomas Holl started Babbel, they had no idea what they were getting into. Neither of them had any experience with language, but they both wanted to create a better learning experience. Keep in mind that this was back in 2007 when there was no app store.

Since Babbel has been around for over a decade, its had its fair share of change and growth. They firmly believe in their ability to quickly get users to confidently have conversations in their new language.

You can download the Babbel app for free, but you will need to buy a subscription if you want to go through all of the parts of the course. There is a demo, but it’s very short.

Getting Started & Using Babbel

Once you download the app, you’ll start getting prompts to create your account. Once you start with account creation, the app will ask you about your goals and interests. After entering this information, you can go into Babbel’s demo lesson.

It’s really easy to use the app since it’s well designed. Instead of having modules and information all over, it is nicely designed, so it’s easy to see where you need to go and what you need to do. Once you unlock all of the courses with a subscription, you’ll be able to progress through the lessons methodically.

Teaching Quality

Babbel uses both your primary language and your new language to teach you. Some apps like Rosetta Stone barely allow you to see your own language while you’re learning. Some people find this helpful because they only focus on the new language. However, other people, like me, don’t think it’s very helpful.

You can use Babbel hands-free when you take your lessons with voice recognition. Keep in mind that some users have said the app finds it difficult to understand them. It can feel frustrating when you’re saying the word, but the app fails to recognize it.


It’s easy to contact Babbel if their tutorials don’t give you the information you need. All you have to do is submit a contact form and let them know what’s happening.


Babbel makes it easy for anyone to get started with language with its low pricing structure. If you only want to give it a try for a month, you can start out for as little as $13.95.

If you want to have access to the app longer, you can save a good bit of money.

  • 3 months – Save 30% for a total payment of $29.85
  • 6 months – Save 40% for a total payment of $50.70
  • 12 months – Save 50% for a total payment of $83.40

Is It Worth the Time to Learn a Language?

If you’re tight on time, you might wonder if you should take time out of your busy day to learn a new language.

Learning new languages can open up a new world of opportunities for you. There are a lot of jobs that need bilingual people to work in those positions.

You may also find that you experience great joy from learning something new. It can build confidence and allow you to make new friends and confidently travel to new places.

Other Language Programs to Consider

Not everyone has the same opinion of these language programs. While I love Memrise and Babbel, you might find one of these most helpful.

  • Duolingo – This free language app can get you started while hanging out with Duo, the cute green owl. Keep in mind that there are lots of ads.
  • Mondly – For those of you that enjoy games, Mondly is a great option. You can jump around a little bit and even see the parts of your brain that light up when you learn a word.
  • Fluenz – If you like more of an academic type setting, then this could be a good option for you. It very much models the experience you have with a tutor.


Question: Do Memrise or Babbel have free versions?

Answer: There are some free demo sections with Memrise and Babbel, but you ultimately need to pay the subscription price.

Question: Can Memrise make you fluent?

Answer: The founds of Memrise created a program that allows you to get very close to fluent, but some people find they need more to achieve that goal.

Question: Are language learning apps effective?

Answer: You can learn a lot from language learning apps, but getting out and having conversations will really make things buzz along.

Question: Is learning a new language good for you?

Answer: Yes. Learning a new language helps you keep sharp and builds your confidence.

Conclusion – Which Learning Platform is Best?

Before running across Memrise, I would have said that Babbel was my favorite language learning app. However, after trying Memrise out myself, I really enjoy the video part of the learning. The way they bring back the same words and have different people speak them on video is very helpful.

Babbel is very good too, but my number one pick is Memrise. If you want to check out some other helpful language program reviews, you can see a couple here: Babbel vs Duolingo and Memrise vs Duolingo.