Busuu is a popular language learning app that you can access via your smartphone, tablet or computer. This means you can use it wherever you are with an internet connection.
It uses similar methods of learning to Duolingo such as gamification so is highly addictive and fun to use. However the content and style are quite different to Duolingo.
There is a free plan and two paid Premium plans which we will look at in more detail along with a limited time special offer.
Busuu is based on the Common European Framework of Languages which means that you will be following a structured approach of language learning that is recognised across all countries. So whether you learn Spanish, French or German, you will be learning the same level and structure of language.
If you are a serious language learner then this is a huge advantage of using Busuu app. If you later on want to study with a language school by knowing what level you are at, this makes it easier to transfer to a class situation at the right level.
With Busuu you can learn the most common European languages as well as more complex ones such as Russian and Arabic. The full list includes the following languages:
Spanish – Portuguese
French – Japanese
German – Polish
English – Turkish
Italian – Russian
Chinese – Arabic
First of all you do a placement test to work out what level you are at. This is really useful if you have had a break from learning and aren’t sure what you remember.
To start with you create your own study plan.
a) choose your goals; speak like a local when travelling / communicate with friends/family / help with education / learn for fun / professional development/business
b) Choose the level you want to achieve: beginner / elementary / intermediate / upper intermediate
c) Set your schedule to fit your lifestyle: Which day / the time of day / how many mins per day / if you want to receive notifications or not.
Once you choose the above to create your study plan it summarises it all and tells you what date you will reach that level by.
Good mix of practical situations and dialogues to learn key words and phrases as well as teaches important grammar such as the formal and informal words for you: tú and usted or key verbs such as “estar” and “ser” (to be), as well as pronunciation tips by learning the sounds typical in Spanish such as “c” and “z”.
Review: After the first 18 lessons you do a review of recent lessons.
Vocabulary – you get to see your “weak words” those that you don’t know well. As well as “Medium words” – those you know quite well and ”Strong words” that you do know well. So this helps you to use your study time efficiently by focusing most on your “weak words”.
Saved words – you can save words that you want to make a note of or that you really want to learn well.
Delete words – you can delete words you don’t want to learn or use. Maybe these are ones that you know really well already and don’t want to waste time learning.
Review words – You can click to “review” words, in which case you will hear the word spoken and you then have to type what you hear in the box. You then see if you are correct or not.
You can help other users by correcting their exercises or you can request that someone corrects you.
You get to see who has asked you to correct their exercise.
There are many differences between the free Busuu version and the paid Premium Plus version.
With the free version you don’t get to learn as much vocabulary as with the paid version. However, if you are a complete beginner, this isn’t too much of a problem since to begin with you just need to learn the most basic and commonly used words.
Due to the learning style of the app, you get to learn how words are used in context, within a full sentence, which is an advantage because you get to see how the word is used in real life as you can see in the example below:
As you can see from the screenshot above, you not only get to learn the word for a baguette (un bocadillo) but you also get to see how it would be used in a phrase in a bar or café to order one. You also hear the words pronounced which helps you to speak the language.
The beauty of Busuu is that it gets you to use words in authentic dialogues and practical situations rather than random phrases that other apps like Duolingo teach you that you would probably never need to use.
In addition to learning vocabulary, you also get access to grammar lessons along with listening and reading comprehension exercises.
To summarise, if you are learning a language as a hobby or if you simply want to learn a few survival phrases for a holiday or trip to the country then the free version is just what you need. However, if you are a more serious language learner and want to become fluent or advanced you will need to use other resources or sign up for one of the paid versions of Busuu; either Busuu Premium or Premium Plus.
With the Premium plan you get access to much more language learning content. As well as the vocabulary flashcards you also gain access to all grammar lessons and exercises, reading and writing exercises, audio dialogues, quizzes and you can also join the Busuu community where you can connect with native speakers to get feedback from them on your written and spoken skills.
With the Premium Plus plan you also get:
1) Learn up to 12 languages (Busuu Premium only allows 1 language)
2) Personalised Study Plan
3) Official certificates. If you finish the coursework for the level of language you chose, then you will be granted an official certification in digital format. You just download it to your computer and even print it out if you wish.
It is certified by McGraw-Hill Education one of the world’s most respected educational organisations.
Both Premium plans allow you to:
There is a 3-month, 12-month and 24-month plan. You will pay less per month if you sign up to a longer plan, however you have to pay in full in advance for the whole 3 months or 12 months or 24 months that you choose.
The good thing is, if you have paid for a course you will most probably want to use it and learn as much as possible from it.
The prices are summarised below:
Plan: Premium Price / Premium Plus Price
3-month: $9.99/month / $11.66/month
12-month: $5.83/month / $6.66/month
24-month plan: $5.41/month / $6.24/month
You get to see handy little tables summarising grammar points concisely so that they are easy to take in and help you understand more complex grammar rules simply. You get to see useful tips boxes with short explanations with examples.
The audio material is realistic as you get to hear things like train station announcements, viewing a home to rent or booking tickets.
You can connect with native speakers to ask them to correct your speaking exercises. So if you are happy to, you could record yourself saying a sentence and ask them to listen to it and give feedback.
There are only 12 languages you can choose to learn whereas other language apps like Duolingo offer many more. However, if they offer the language that you want to learn, this is not a problem.
There is no pay per month option. The shortest amount of time you can sign up for is 3 months and you have to pay for the full 3 months in advance.
Until 31st March 2021 you can obtain a 10% discount on any language course with Busuu.
Use Code: BusuuWorldWide