Ever since my first trip to Paris, France in 2014, I have wanted to learn French online and learn to speak this beautiful language. Part of it was because I had a really hard time communicating when I was in France and the other part of it was because the language is so beautiful. French is pretty widely spoken, in 29 countries to be exact, and it is scattered across the world, even in places you would not think (like Madagascar, Haiti, areas of Canada, and French Polynesia) and to me, I found it to be a crucial language to learn for my travels.
I travel as a career in photography, advertising and blogging. Imagine if there were no language barriers at all? We would easily be able to communicate globally and have a better understanding of each other. Often times I find I am trying to read body language because I cannot understand the spoken language. This was the biggest driving force in wanting to learn French online and give language learning another chance.
I’m going to be traveling to French Polynesia in the summer of 2019, so I wanted to learn French before I go. I did my research on different programs and decided to use Babbel to learn French from my trip! I took my lessons wherever I was, whether I am on a plane, in airports, at home, on a bus, etc. I found that I could easily work this into my day, every day, and have a solid understanding of the language before my trip. Today I want to share my Babbel Review with you, and the process of utilizing the app to learn French online and preparing for my upcoming trip.
Learn French Online: The Easy Way
So what is Babbel? In short, an easy way to learn a new language online or via the app and it is a subscription offering 1-12 month packages across 14 language options. So maybe you don’t want to learn French online like me, but maybe you want to learn Spanish, Turkish, English, or one of the other languages offered. The programs are all set up the same. You can download the app (what I did) and easily take your courses there, you can do it from a computer OR you can learn on both platforms. Once you are signed up and logged in both your computer and app track your progress and start you at the next lesson.
The easiest part of learning French online for me was being able to adapt to my already hectic schedule. I am all over the world, in various time zones per month, constantly moving, and always busy. Here are some of the times I found it was easy for me to practice my French:
- early in the morning with my coffee before I started my day
- with my headphones on when flying to a new destination or home
- long bus, train or car rides
- taking breaks from my office and doing a quick lesson
- laying in bed at night instead of watching TV
What I think was pure brilliance is the teaching methods behind Babbel. In the very first session, which lasted all of maybe 7 minutes, I learned three of the most common things “hello,” “goodbye” and “how’s it going?” What struck me as most interesting and kept my attention was that the app did not just tell you the word in English and then in French. There was 7 modules of learning these words from: listening and speaking it back, word association, spelling the French words from scrambled letters, using them in a sentence, and even writing them out with no help. This is a sure way that you can understand the words, repetitiveness. By the end of the session I was speaking French! Additionally, you can pick courses that YOU want to take. For example, maybe you want to take a course and learn about France at the same time. You are essentially knocking out a two for one deal.
Babbel Review: The Bottom line
For years I told myself I could never and would never learn another language. It was written on the wall that I would just fail like all the times before in a traditional classroom. But you know what? A classroom environment during a forced time isn’t for everyone. I found with using Babbel to learn French online that I could be in the right mindset anywhere in the world to take a lesson. I show up at my convenience and take the classes via the Babbel app on my phone. Overwhelmingly, my Babbel review is positive.
I walked away from my very first lesson being able to communicate with friends I have who speak French, and with each additional lesson I learned more. It is exciting knowing that you are progressing in something you have always wanted to do.
There is also an element of mystery when people don’t know you speak another language and you can understand them, and converse.
If I can learn French online, SO CAN YOU! The reality is, you have to stay on top of it. You can’t learn French online by giving 15 minutes a month. You are going to most likely forget everything you learned the month before. With these short lesson plans, you can really squeeze them in anywhere.
My friends at Babbel want to give YOU a 25% discount to learn any language they offer! I can’t recommend Babbel enough if you are thinking about learning a new language. Believe me when I say, I did not think I would have the capacity to take on this challenge or that I could even learn a new language, but I am glad I did! Now I feel confident in my French language enough to start and carry on basic conversation skills. Babbel has given me the confidence to succeed in something I have always wanted to do and now that I had the chance to learn French online, I will continue practicing and getting better before my trip to French Polynesia so I can have those conversations with locals and deepen my use and understanding of the language abroad.
Disclosure: This article is written in partnership with Babbel. As always, opinions are entirely my own.