Press Releases - Are you a journalist, blogger or maybe just interested in some more in-depth information about Babbel? On these pages, you can find official press releases, reviews, press kits, news and information about awards related to the Babbel learning system. Babbel and Cambridge English Set the Pace in Online Language Assessment <p><strong><a href="">Babbel</a>, the world’s top-grossing language app, and Cambridge English, the global gold-standard in language assessment, launch the Babbel English Test powered by Cambridge English. This online language assessment allows adult learners of English to assess their listening and reading skills online from level A1 (beginner) up to and including B1 (intermediate). Test takers will earn a certificate of achievement, which can be downloaded and used to demonstrate English skills to potential employers, for self-assessment, when warming up for an exam, or to enhance an online career profile.</strong></p> <p>The Babbel English Test is available now <a href="">as part of the Babbel back to work bundles</a> for €59 and <a href=";utm_campaign=b2w">separately</a> at a cost of €39.</p> <p>”Online language learning is taking off in a big way”, says <strong>Juliet Wilson, Director of Assessment at Cambridge English</strong>, “but until now it’s been difficult for learners to know whether they are really learning the right skills, or to demonstrate their real level. What they know? By working with Babbel, we can give learners reliable evidence of their progress and a certificate of achievement that demonstrates what they have learned. Cambridge English exists to help people to learn English, and prove their skills to the world, and we have chosen to work with Babbel because we are impressed by their energy and commitment to delivering high quality language learning.”</p> <p>“With 10 years of experience teaching languages online behind us, we are well aware of the need for flexible and mobile language tests. However, ensuring the test’s quality and validity was paramount”, commented <strong>Thomas Holl, founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Babbel</strong>. ”This is why we are immensely proud to launch the Babbel English Test with Cambridge English, the biggest and best name in language assessment. Together we’ve created the highest quality English test on the digital learning market.“</p> <p>The Babbel English Test features a set of around 70 different questions per session, each testing a variety of listening and reading comprehension skills. Like Babbel’s lesson content, these tasks reflect authentic, real-life situations. These include, for example, images of posters and signs, listening tasks featuring recordings of speakers with different accents, as well as radio-broadcasts and real conversations. The exam itself has hundreds of potential variations and will never be the same twice, no matter how often it is taken.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>About Cambridge English:</strong></p> <p>Cambridge English Language Assessment is a department of the University of Cambridge. They develop and produce the Cambridge English exams and qualifications for language teachers, which are taken by over 5 million people in 130 countries every year. Around the world, over 20,000 universities, employers, government ministries and other organisations rely on their exams and qualifications as proof of English language ability. They also develop a leading range of support materials and courses for students and teachers around the world.</p> <p>Cambridge English is a not-for-profit organisation which exists to help people to learn English and prove their skills to the world. All of their work is supported by a dedicated team of researchers.</p> <p>Cambridge English has played a leading role in the development of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages since its inception and also provides support and consultancy to institutions, ministries and regional and national governments around the world in a wide range of projects involving language learning, teaching and assessment.</p> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 Make the Most out of Your Next City Trip With Babbel and TripAdvisor <p><strong><a href="">Babbel</a>, your shortest path to a conversation in a new language, and TripAdvisor, the travel planning and booking site, join forces to inspire travelers and get them ready for their next city trip. For this joint campaign, the companies have combined their expertise and built an interactive city-trip themed campaign website. The site features customized language lessons for some of the world’s most popular cities as well as recent TripAdvisor 2016 Travellers’ Choice Destination award winners: London, Paris, Rome, New York, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro, St. Petersburg, Istanbul and Ubud (Indonesia).</strong></p> <p>“Languages and traveling obviously go very well together,“ says <strong>Markus Witte, founder and CEO of Babbel</strong>. “TripAdvisor is an incredible site which is mainly driven by its users and the content they provide. Building the tailored Babbel lessons, we made use of this content. The result is a fun and useful experience to make the most out of a city trip by empowering real-life conversations in a new language.“</p> <p>The customized language lessons were built by Babbel’s language experts and inspired by real user reviews on TripAdvisor, giving a realistic glimpse into authentic experiences to be had in each destination. In the end, Babbel aims to empower people to have real-life conversations. While the lessons give insights into local language and culture, TripAdvisor recommends award-winning accommodations, so travelers have all the tools at hand to explore their favorite destinations like they’ve always wanted to.</p> <p>“This collaboration with Babbel is designed to help make key life moments, such as taking a trip, even more meaningful,” says <strong>Nicole Brown, TripAdvisor’s Senior Director of Brand Partnerships</strong>. “TripAdvisor helps travelers feel confident that they’ve made the right decision, offering the latest reviews and the lowest prices to unleash the full potential of every trip. Learning the basics of the local language before traveling to a new destination builds confidence even further, transforming an ordinary holiday into a wonderfully unique experience; which is exactly what TripAdvisor provides to our community every day.”</p> <p>The joint campaign will go live April 11, 2017, and will run worldwide for six months. While the campaign website is available publicly via mobile and desktop, Babbel and TripAdvisor users will receive special offers on Babbel language courses as well as travel booking via TripAdvisor.</p> <p>The website is available via: <a href=""></a></p> <hr /> Tue, 11 Apr 2017 Julie Hansen Named CEO US of Babbel, the World’s Most Innovative Company in Education <p><strong><a href="">Babbel</a>’s app is the shortest path to a conversation in a new language. To start the new year, the company welcomes Julie Hansen as U.S. Chief Executive Officer (CEO US). Effective immediately, the online veteran and former COO and President of Business Insider spearheads the next phase of development in the U.S. online learning market. She will take over the lead from Babbel founder Thomas Holl, who transitions to Chief Strategy Officer in the company’s Berlin headquarters. Since 2015, Holl has been building a growing presence for Babbel in the U.S., implementing the company’s DNA from the beginning.</strong></p> <p>Hansen’s appointment marks the startup’s commitment to make Babbel a household brand and continue its unparalleled success. With more than one million current paying subscribers and six-digit downloads per day, it is the most successful online language learning program worldwide. Hansen was Business Insider’s fifth employee, and it was under her leadership that the news site became the most visited business outlet on the internet; she is driven by the potential to make a similarly massive impact at Babbel.</p> <p>“I am thrilled about starting at Babbel, as this brings me back to my entrepreneurial roots,” says <strong>Julie Hansen, Babbel CEO US</strong>. “Given how interconnected our world is today, learning a language has never been more relevant. In a growing digital learning market, Babbel is clearly the only company that understands how to teach, effectively, languages online. It offers a superior product and a working business model. The product and company are second to none.”</p> <p>Babbel’s app combines the strongest academic research with advanced learning technology. In fact, the company’s promise to provide the shortest path to a real life conversation is a fact: A recent independent study has proven that Babbel users learn faster than users of other language learning apps.<sup>1</sup> Additionally Fast Company Magazine named Babbel the world’s most innovative company in education.</p> <p>“We are proud to welcome Julie on board, who besides having a track record in publishing, also has vast experience in consumer learning products,” <strong>Markus Witte, global CEO and founder of Babbel</strong>. “As millions of more Americans embrace learning a new language, she will make sure that Babbel is their go-to app. A product that delivers results by making them speak their new language like they always wanted to.”</p> <p>Prior to Babbel and Business Insider, Hansen held top management roles at sports site and Condé Nast Publications, and has over two decades of experience expanding online media companies, launching interactive web sites, deploying mobile apps, and leading online and offline marketing campaigns. She began her career at Penguin Books.</p> <hr /> <p><sup>1</sup> <sub>Vesselinov &amp; Grego. <a href="">The Babbel Efficacy Study</a>. 2016</sub></p> <hr /> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 Speak the language like you’ve always wanted to — Babbel launches massive brand campaign <p><a href="">Babbel</a>, the fastest way to learn a new language, has launched an extensive new branding campaign. Its goal? — clearly position the Babbel brand globally, and showcase the core strengths of the Babbel App. At the center of the campaign is Babbel’s primary brand message: To help people speak a new language quickly and like they’ve always wanted to. Babbel makes this possible through an extensive selection of language courses developed by expert linguists, and with its focus on authentic conversations and guided learning. The campaign will be launched in the UK and 10 additional countries on the 31st of October. Two new TV-Spots, developed in close collaboration with the renowned agency Wieden+Kennedy, kick off the campaign. With its exclusive client list, Wieden+Kennedy is among the leading creative agencies in the world.</p> <p>“Babbel aims to get people speaking a new language as quickly as possible,” says Arne Schepker, CMO at Babbel. “Unlike buying a car, customers are more likely to make spontaneous purchases when it comes to online language learning. For us, it’s essential that we communicate what makes us unique in an accessible way, thus anchoring our customers’ awareness in the long term.”</p> <p>Two TV-spots reveal the fantasy language scenarios of two Babbel learners — one learning English, the other French. In mastering the language, be it the sophisticated English of the 18th century nobility or the subtle French of beloved French films, Babbel learners are part of the story. Rather than standing on the sidelines, the Babbel learner uses his or her newfound language ability to become part of the action, to become part of a foreign world. Only the French TV spot will be aired in the UK, with Babbel seeking to attract Britons with a passion for language learning. In developing the TV-spot, the Babbel Brand team and Wieden+Kennedy weren’t concerned with finding new values, but rather drilling deeper into Babbel’s existing brand message.</p> <p>Sophie Bodoh, Creative Director at Wieden+Kennedy says, “Everyone has different motivations for learning a language, but we recognised one common truth that applies to every new learner: They have some kind of fantasy about what it will be like to speak a new language confidently. Using the familiar cinematic worlds of different countries, we show Babbel users playing out their own unique language-speaking fantasies.“</p> <p>With the integrated campaign, which also extends to all marketing and communication channels, Babbel is taking an important developmental step away from Direct Response marketing toward initiating a more sustained brand impact. Since Babbel is already achieving between 50 to 80% brand awareness in its core markets, it’s important now to communicate what Babbel really does: Help people to speak a new language like they’ve always wanted to.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Credits:</strong></p> <p>Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy London</p> <p>Creative Director: Sophie Bodoh</p> <p>Creative: Max Batten, Ben Shaffery</p> <p>Account Director: Sophy Woltman</p> <p>Planning Director: Harriet Lowson</p> <p>Production Company: Somesuch London</p> <p>Director: Sam Hibbard</p> <p>Producer: James Waters</p> <p>TV-Spots filmed in Prague, 19.9 to 20.9.2016</p> <p><strong>Babbel</strong></p> <p>Head of Brand: Sylvain Lierre</p> <p>Senior Brand Manager: Jim Liu</p> <p>Junior Brand Manager: Pauline Laggoun</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Click here to watch “Tiny Whale”:</strong> <a href=""></a></p> <hr /> <p><strong>About Wieden+Kennedy London</strong></p> <p>Wieden+Kennedy London is a creatively-driven communications agency, part of the global micro-network of eight W+K offices around the world. Driven to do the best work of our lives, we’re proud to work with, and help build, fantastic brands like RB, Nike, Honda, and Three. <a href=""></a> Twitter: @W2Optimism</p> Mon, 31 Oct 2016 A Semester of Spanish in 15 hours - New Study Examines Babbel <p><a href="">Babbel</a>, the shortest path to a real-life conversation in a new language, today publishes the results of an independent study looking at the efficacy of the app’s Spanish courses. Over a period of two months, specialist researchers from City University of New York (CUNY) and the University of South Carolina examined the progress of 391 randomly selected learners. Using WebCAPE, a standard measure of language proficiency for universities and businesses, the researchers evaluated participants’ knowledge of Spanish at the beginning and the end of the study.</p> <p>Key findings from The Babbel Efficacy Study are as follows:</p> <p>– “Truly novice users with no knowledge of Spanish need on average 15 hours of study in a two-month period to cover the requirements for one college semester of Spanish.”</p> <p>– “[In general] users need on average 21 hours of study in a two-month period to cover the requirements for one college semester of Spanish.”</p> <p>– “The average study time for the final study sample was about 19h, or a little over two hours a week.”</p> <p>– “The Babbel app works similarly well for people with different gender, age, native language, education, employment, status, etc.”</p> <p>– “There are only a handful of studies of direct objective measures of efficacy of language learning apps. Among them the efficacy of Babbel is the best so far.”<sup>1</sup></p> <p>In order to build on insights gained from product data and internal surveys, Babbel sought an independent and expert validation of its teaching methodologies. The results of the subsequent research should shed light on the market for online language learning and help consumers make conscious decisions.</p> <p>“Unfortunately, it’s still hard for people to know what they can expect from online language learning,” says <strong>Markus Witte, founder and CEO of Babbel</strong>. “We feel a strong need to educate consumers. A first step is to offer them a metric they can relate to, such as study times at college. In the end though, users will always evaluate a service based on how well it works for their specific needs. That’s the essential metric for us – personally defined learning success.”</p> <p>While the study primarily measures academic test performance, it already offers hints as to how well Babbel helps people to converse in real-life situations: 81% of participants confirmed that Babbel had improved their ability to communicate in Spanish. This supports an earlier study conducted by Babbel in 2016, in which 73% of nearly 45k surveyed users stated they would have the confidence to hold a conversation in their new language after 5 hours with the app.</p> <p>Additionally, the researchers calculated that Babbel has a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of +59.3. The NPS is the market standard for measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty to a product. Considering that the industry average NPS for software and apps is +28<sup>2</sup>, and that Babbel is a paid subscription service, this is a clear indication of the app’s high perceived value.</p> <p>“At Babbel we research our users’ success with their new language in various real-life situations,” says <strong>Karen Plemons, Head of User Research at Babbel</strong>. “Empowering our users to achieve this kind of success is at our core. Taken as a whole, these new findings confirm that we are succeeding when it comes to delivering what really matters to language learners everywhere.”</p> <p>In contrast to other language learning products also tested by the researchers, Babbel has a unique methodology which combines established learning science with advanced technology. All courses are based on real-life dialogues, enabling learners to put their new language to use as fast as possible. Furthermore, the app is designed to ensure progress is made regardless of the learner’s background. The effectiveness of this approach is apparent in the study: researchers found that gender, age, native language and level of education have no statistically significant bearing on participants’ progress.</p> <hr /> <p><sup>1</sup> <sub> Vesselinov, R. and Grego, J. The Babbel Efficacy Study. New York 2016</sub> <sup>2</sup> <sub> 2016 Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Average Net Promoter Scores for US consumer sectors</sub></p> <hr /> <p>Babbel’s 2016 User Survey can be found here: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Other studies by Vesselinov/Grego can be found here: <a href=""> </a></p> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 Nosotros los Bandidos: Babbel Launches Spanish Lesson Based on Narcos <p><strong>Netflix, the world’s leading Internet television network and Babbel, the app offering the shortest path to a real-life conversation in a new language, draw their guns to launch a new Spanish language learning lesson based on the widely-acclaimed series, Narcos.</strong></p> <p>The successful show based on the true story of the growth and spread of cocaine drug cartels across the globe, debuted its second season on September 2nd, available exclusively on Netflix. Designed just like any <a href="">Babbel</a> lesson, the Narcos demo “Speak Spanish like El Patrón” teaches you everything you need to know, from scoring deals to hiding contraband, to the complexities of privilege — all the while learning Spanish.</p> <p>Several studies suggest that language acquisition may be facilitated by watching subtitled television programs<sup>1</sup>. With the rich bilingual dialogues in Spanish and English, Narcos Season 1 allowed Netflix members a chance to brush up on their language skills. For the launch of the second season, Netflix and Babbel came together to inspire even more people to learn Spanish through a fun, narco-style language experience.</p> <p>“Many people worldwide are introduced to new languages through TV series and movies. By using what you love to watch, to learn a language you’d like to know, we’ve created an emotional connection that bonds you to a new language that might otherwise have remained inaccessible,” adds Thomas Holl, founder and President of the Babbel Inc. “The partnership with Netflix lets users engage with Spanish in a uniquely Pablo Escobar way, showing them that learning a new language doesn’t have to feel like sitting in a Colombian prison.”</p> <p>“Speak Spanish like El Patrón” is available for global audiences at <a href=""></a>. The demo lesson features images and audio material from the original Narcos series and is adapted to teach Narco-Spanish in six of Babbel’s display languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish.</p> <hr /> <p><sup>1</sup> <sub> Richards, Jack C. The Changing Face of Language Learning - Learning Beyond the Classroom. Sydney 2014</sub></p> <hr /> <p><strong>About Netflix</strong></p> <p>Netflix is the world’’s leading Internet television network with over 83 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.</p> Mon, 05 Sep 2016 Language-Learning App Babbel Hits One Million Customers <p>In 2007, Babbel set out to make language learning easy and accessible to everyone. One million paying customers later, the Berlin-based startup is one step closer to this goal. For a company operating a premium-only, subscription-based business model, such a milestone is certainly worthy of celebration.</p> <p>Although Babbel recently published a large-scale survey into the motivations and learning habits of its users, this news marks the first time the company has disclosed such numbers.</p> <p>Further cause for celebration comes in the form of a Fast Company feature which names Babbel one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies. Published annually, the index is widely considered to be an international who’s who of disruptive and creative organisations. Babbel also takes the top spot among the publication’s top ten innovative companies in education. The app sets itself apart from other online learning products by encouraging learners to apply their new skills from the very first lesson, quickly enabling them to become conversational in a new language.</p> <p>“We’re very proud to be positively impacting the lives of so many people,” says Markus Witte, Founder and CEO of Babbel. “And this latest recognition from Fast Company really reinforces the global relevance of online language learning. That said, we’re really just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible.”</p> <p>For Babbel, all signs point to continued product innovation and growth in 2016. The company, already synonymous with online language learning in much of Europe, is now targeting rapid expansion beyond its home markets. In support of this push, Babbel’s management team has been bolstered with world-class talent in the form of Arne Schepker (CMO) and Martin Kütter (COO).</p> <p>Both new arrivals bring with them considerable experience: Schepker has previously served as VP of Brand Marketing at Zalando, prior to which he led P&amp;G Switzerland’s marketing team. Kütter has more than 17 years of management experience, including spells as COO of Delivery Hero and Telefonica Germany.</p> <hr /> Wed, 17 Feb 2016 Global Survey Reveals Why the World Learns Languages Online <p>56 percent of global users of Babbel – a market-leading language learning app – say that being able “to communicate better while traveling” is a top motivator for learning a new language. The international study surveyed over 44,000 respondents – including 2,510 U.S. respondents – and found out “self-improvement” (50 percent) and “mental fitness” (28 percent) round out the top three reasons for language learning in the 2016 Global User Survey.</p> <p>Among Americans the most popular languages to learn are Spanish (27 percent), followed by French (20 percent), and German (17 percent). According to those surveyed around the world, English tops the list as the most popular language learned (28 percent), followed by Spanish (18 percent), French and Italian (13 percent), and German (9 percent).</p> <p>The survey includes findings broken out by country, gender, age, language, and occupation.</p> <p>Specific to the U.S., notable survey findings include:</p> <p>1 . See the World and Improve Yourself: Top U.S. motivators for learning a new language are travel (22 percent), self-improvement (21 percent), and cultural interest (14 percent).</p> <p>2 . Connect with Your Roots: 13 percent of U.S. users learn because they want to reconnect with their ancestral roots - more than six times the global average.</p> <p>3 . Train Your Brain: U.S. respondents believe learning languages helps them stay mentally fit (94 percent), improve self-confidence (88 percent), explore places (87 percent), understand the world (86 percent), and meet people (76 percent).</p> <p>Among the worldwide findings are the following:</p> <p>1 . Climb the Corporate Ladder: The top “career” languages are English (47 percent), German (18 percent), French and Spanish (15 percent), and Italian (8 percent). Notably, only 19 percent of global respondents indicated they are learning a new language for a career boost.</p> <p>2 . Be Disciplined: The top countries to learn according to a fixed routine were Brazil (56 percent), U.S. (51 percent), Spain (46 percent), France (37 percent), and UK (34 percent).</p> <p>3 . Learn Quickly: Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of respondents say they are confident holding a conversation in a new language within five hours of using a language app such as Babbel.</p> <p>“We know that learning a new language unlocks many enrichments in people’s lives,” says Thomas Holl, Co-Founder and President of Babbel. “Babbel has always aimed to create an enjoyable, engaging process of language learning with our easy-to-use app. This survey identifies how our users around the world are personally experiencing the many benefits of learning languages.”</p> <p>Babbel has been helping users learn languages since 2007 through its fun, easy and accessible app that offers over 8,500 hours of learning materials. All content is developed by a professional didactics team of over 100 linguists, authors and language teachers to create highly interactive and unique conversational-style lessons, engaging users on average for more than 12 months. Learning a new language with Babbel is a fun, seamless, and multi-beneficial experience.</p> <hr /> Wed, 20 Jan 2016 Babbel Supports Refugee Initiatives in Large-Scale Campaign <p>Babbel’s app helps people discover foreign languages and learn at their own pace. As diversity is one of its core values, the company feels a responsibility to contribute to efforts that aim to alleviate the current refugee situation in Europe. In order to help refugees integrate into German society, Babbel has partnered with several organizations to facilitate sustainable and effective language learning courses. Together with the Senate of Berlin, AWO Berlin-Mitte, Kiron Open Higher Education and the Hoffnungsträger Foundation, Babbel will provide various refugee projects with €1 million worth of language courses. These projects include support in various refugee projects — from the official refugee registration office in Berlin, Germany, to various refugee homes lead by AWO and learning German at Kiron’s online university.</p> <p>“We know exactly what our customers want from us,” explains Babbel Founder and CEO Markus Witte. “But in providing help to refugees, we find ourselves in completely new territory. That’s why it was important for us to partner with organizations that possess a wealth of relevant experience and expertise. Offering free online courses is all well and good, but you also need to get the courses into the hands of the people that need them.”</p> <p>“Language plays a crucial role in successful integration,” adds Michael Mueller, Mayor of Berlin. “With Babbel, we’re enabling refugees to begin learning German right from their initial registration in Berlin. This non-bureaucratic approach benefits everyone.”</p> <p>The experience that Babbel’s partners bring to the initiative has already proved invaluable. Not only will these organizations deliver the courses directly to refugees, but they’ll also support them in setting up and using the app. A particularly vital insight from AWO came early in the process: to avoid putting certain groups of refugees at a disadvantage, it’s actually best to provide German courses in English or French rather than Arabic, as one might have assumed.</p> <p>“Equality is a key consideration with all of the facilities we provide,” says AWO Berlin Chairman Manfred Nowak. “The majority of refugees have at least a basic knowledge of either English or French. By providing these two options for the Babbel courses, we’re able to cater to a very wide audience.”</p> <p>In addition to providing free access to German courses, the Babbel team is helping to train volunteer teachers who deliver face-to-face lessons in the refugee centers. These training sessions have been running for several weeks, and are delivered by a team of linguists, professional language teachers, translators and education specialists.</p> <hr /> <p>In addition to the above initiatives, Babbel is proud to support:</p> <p>· ABW Berlin · Europaschule Bremen · Refugee Home Neuruppin · Refugee hostel Planegg · Refugee Home Unterhaching · West Vienna Initiative</p> Tue, 01 Dec 2015 Funding Boost for Language App: Babbel Raises $22 Million <p><strong>Global online language learning market leader completes Series C round and secures SEP as new investor</strong></p> <p>Babbel, the leading app for language learning, today announces the successful completion of a $22 million investment round to drive further growth. The round is led by Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) and supported by existing investors Reed Elsevier Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners (NGP), and VC Fonds Technology Berlin managed by IBB Bet.</p> <p>The investment will add momentum to the company’s impressive growth, while ensuring the continuation of its cutting-edge product development. Babbel has been profitable since 2011, with its mobile app now seeing up to 120,000 downloads per day. As the global highest grossing language-learning app in both the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, Babbel operates a subscription-based business model with a clear focus on consumers outside the realm of formal education. With its recently released app for Apple Watch, the company presents a strong vision for the future of language learning.</p> <p>“Babbel is defining a new market and revolutionizing the way people learn languages,” says Babbel Inc. President Thomas Holl. “In SEP we’ve gained a high-profile partner that shares our vision of making learning easy and fun for everyone. This investment enables us to fully capitalize on a significant market shift towards self-motivated learning.”</p> <p>SEP Partner Stuart Paterson, who joins Babbel’s Board of Directors adds: “Babbel sets the standard for online language learning, and its strong international footprint is a reflection of that. We see significant growth potential in this market and are delighted to support the company as it executes its expansion in the Americas.”</p> <p>Babbel helps people to discover the fun of language learning and motivates them to stick with it. In fact, the average customer continues to use the app for more than 12 months. In order to get users conversational quickly, the company employs a team of education and language experts who create specific courses for each language pair – 14 learning languages and 7 display languages are currently on offer. Babbel is available on the web, for smartphone and tablet, and now for Apple Watch.</p> <hr /> <p>About Scottish Equity Partners (SEP)</p> <p>SEP is a leading venture capital investor in high-growth technology and technology-enabled companies. Operating from offices in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, SEP invests up to £20m in innovative, growth-stage companies with a sharp focus on the IT, healthcare and energy sectors. Notable Internet investments include Skyscanner, Mister Spex, MATCHESFASHION.COM and Zuto.</p> <p>For further information, see</p> Wed, 08 Jul 2015 Speak 14 languages easily – Babbel launches app for Apple Watch <p><strong>Location-based app enables users to effortlessly learn 360 words in each of Babbel’s 14 languages, from Spanish to Indonesian</strong></p> <p>Babbel, the app that makes language learning easy and affordable, today announces the launch of its app for Apple Watch. Wearables that control or monitor health or sports activity have already proven popular, but the field of education is still largely uncharted territory for such devices.</p> <p>The Babbel app for Apple Watch is poised to set the pace here with a unique context-dependent approach: it integrates seamlessly with day-to-day life, empowering learners to collect vocabulary while they interact with their surroundings. Also central to the app are elements of game mechanics, designed to increase users’ motivation and maximise learning efficiency in a fun, interactive way.</p> <p>“Apple Watch creates groundbreaking opportunities for language learning, connecting it to our everyday lives,” says Markus Witte, Babbel founder and CEO. “The tremendous role that space and specific places play in the function of our memory is proven, as are the benefits of bite-sized learning. Babbel for Apple Watch brings this to life in a new and fascinating way.”</p> <p>Once the app is opened, it shows all surrounding locations based on the Foursquare API. Nearby locations are shown directly in the app or via Glance. A simple visit to a café or supermarket then becomes an opportunity to collect relevant vocabulary in any of the 14 languages Babbel offers, from Spanish to French to Indonesian. Each language includes 18 different location-specific categories – airport, restaurant, museum, etc. – that in turn contain 20 new words, amounting to a total of 360 words per language.</p> <p>Babbel’s implementation of game mechanics sees users become ‘word hunter-gatherers’, collecting new vocabulary in an attempt to complete each of the app’s categories in their chosen languages.</p> <p>The Babbel app for Apple Watch works via communication with the iPhone. It will be fully functional with or without a subscription to Babbel. The app will be available as soon as the Apple Watch hits stores.</p> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 Babbel Opens Offices in the United States <p><strong>Founder to Head Company’s Expansion in New York City</strong></p> <p>Babbel, the market-leading language learning app experiencing 100 percent revenue growth year-on-year, is now expanding, opening its first office in the United States. Co-Founder and President of Babbel, Inc., Thomas Holl, will head operations in New York.</p> <p>Although a large number of Americans are already learning with Babbel and account for a substantial portion of the company’s total business, this “official” entrance into the U.S. market is an important step for the company, which was founded in 2007 in Berlin and sees more than 1,300 users registering per hour. Babbel’s service, the modern, inexpensive and easy way to learn languages, was recently tailored for the U.S. market and is now available with American English as a display language. Additionally, Babbel is considerably expanding its marketing efforts in the U.S. A double digit percentage of Babbel’s revenue is already coming from the U.S. market.</p> <p>“The United States holds enormous potential for Babbel, and we expect growth in the three-digit percentile in 2015 alone,” says Thomas Holl, co-founder and president of Babbel, Inc. “Babbel features high-quality content developed by a team of language professionals and offers courses specifically created for each language. Like in Europe, this approach to language learning has been well-received in the U.S., as indicated by the widespread popularity of our premium app.”</p> <p>In the United States, just 18 percent of the population is bilingual, as compared to 53 percent in Europe. The fact that foreign languages in the U.S. are not required in schools or in professional life is reflected in the motivation of Babbel users: just 5 percent say they learn a foreign language for work. By contrast, 26 percent are motivated by cultural interest; 23 percent are preparing for upcoming travel; and 20 percent want to keep mentally fit. Accordingly, Babbel’s service – offering mobile, independent language learning outside of a formal education environment – is falling on fertile ground.</p> <p>Babbel currently offers more than 7,000 hours of learning material in 14 languages: English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Turkish, Polish, Indonesian, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Russian. The cloud-based content can be accessed with a computer, smartphone, or tablet – anytime, anywhere. “It is our mission to revolutionize the world of learning and establish quality standards not yet met in the industry,” adds Babbel co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Markus Witte. “Self-directed language learning was a privilege in the past. We’re changing that with Babbel, and we are fueling a current ’zeitgeist’ that we observe from our users globally.”</p> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 International Survey From Babbel Finds Language Learning is the Most Kept New Year’s Resolution <p><strong>With more than 1,300 new users signing up every hour, Babbel, the award-winning language learning app, is today releasing the results of a new survey among 10,000 Babbel users in the United States, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, UK, Italy and France that found people have better odds of learning a new language than achieving other New Year’s resolutions like quitting smoking or being more athletic. In fact, more than 50% of people internationally who set out to learn new languages in January 2014 are still following their New Year’s resolutions today. For Americans aspiring in 2015, top resolutions are to learn Spanish (38.4%), French (28.2%) and Swedish (4.3%), while other countries surveyed largely plan to learn English (44%).</strong></p> <p>In 2014, language learning topped New Year’s resolution lists across U.S. and European markets with Americans in particular reporting a strong success rate. In fact, 62% of U.S. language learners achieved their resolution, successfully adopting a new language in 2014, following dedicated learners in Austria (72%) and Switzerland (64%).</p> <p>“It’s exciting to see a shift in New Year’s resolutions with more Americans looking to improve themselves by learning a second or third language,” said Markus Witte, Babbel founder and CEO. “Their strong success rate is a testament to their passion and hard work and shows that anyone can learn a language. Our app challenges the theory that language learning is a chore or boring, serving up language-specific courses that customize the learning process, build confidence and retain users.”</p> <p>While language learning was a frontrunner in 2014, other popular New Year’s resolutions in the U.S. not surprisingly included losing weight (17%) and eating healthier (13%), whereas Germans aimed to reduce stress (14%) and play more sports (16%) and UK residents planned to read more (11%).</p> <p>Language learning has never been easier and more fun, and with the start of the New Year, it’s the perfect time to adopt a new language. Babbel features customized courses designed based on the user’s native language and serves up bite-sized courses that make learning fun, efficient and effective to do at any age. Simply visit to sign-up or download its free mobile apps, select from one of its 14 languages and start learning today.</p> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 Babbel Welcomes Russian as the 14th Language in Its Portfolio <p>Babbel, the online service for language learning, now offers courses in Russian – the first language with non-latin characters to be added to the company’s portfolio. Russian’s cyrillic alphabet is often the first big hurdle for beginners . Babbel solves this issue with the help of a transliteration table and thematically incorporates the entire cyrillic alphabet into a new Russian beginner’s course. Everyday speaking situations like greetings or visiting a restaurant give users a knowledge of Russian they can start using instantly.</p> <p>Russian is the seventh most common language spoken worldwide, with 275 million speakers. It is no surprise then, that Russian is high on the list of Babbel’s most-requested languages. In order to satisfy these requests, the Babbel team began preparing and implementing the Russian beginner’s course months before its release. The linguists, native speakers and product designers at Babbel faced several problems however: How does one learn the cyrillic alphabet on a latin keyboard? And how can these new letters be conveyed so that they can be used immediately in the context of a conversation?</p> <p>Barbara Baisi, Project Manager for Russian at Babbel, says, “It was very important to us to convey the 33 characters of the cyrillic alphabet in context so that users immediately practice first words and entire phrases that they can use in daily speaking situations. We were beta testing until the last stages of the course design in order to be sure that learning would be easy and motivating even with a latin keyboard.” The problem of writing with a latin keyboard is solved with the help of a transliteration table. Certain latin letters or letter combinations represent cyrillic characters in Russian (e.g. a = a, n = н and ya= я). Users of the Babbel app have it even easier – they will be shown a cyrillic keyboard on their smartphone or tablet.</p> <p>When learning Russian, one can quickly see some commonalities with the Germanic languages. Even if the latin and cyrillic alphabets at first seem completely different, six letters resemble each other in both languages (A, E, K, M, O, T). Some Russian words were taken directly from English and vice versa: “tundra” and “mammoth” are just as familiar in English as “computer” and “lounge” are in Russian. Fortunately, Russian does not present some of the difficulties of the German language, such as the articles “der,” “die” and “das”.</p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 In its sixth year: 1300 new users per hour on Babbel <p>Babbel, the online learning system for languages, reports three-digit growth figures just in time to celebrate its sixth birthday. More record highs are also expected in 2014. The massive increase in demand at Babbel is attributed to the high product quality and strategic personnel development, focussing on the needs of the users. This year, the Berlin-based company continues to set its sights on growth with the introduction of a new language, as well as international expansion.</p> <p>“Such growth figures of well over 100% are fairly common for very small companies, but in our size range it’s a huge success. This development is only possible because of a massive international trend towards language learning for adults. New technologies and products such as ours motivate millions of people around the world, also after school and university, and also without direct pressure, to learn new languages or to refresh existing language skills.” explains Markus Witte, Babbel’s CEO.</p> <p>The number of active customers has nearly tripled in the last year and in December, on average more than 1300 new users registered every hour, signing up for the free trial. Significantly higher numbers are expected for January. Customer satisfaction is still very high: “We are receiving right now in January many thousands of emails with questions and sometimes also with criticism. We appreciate these and take care to ensure that our users have fun learning with Babbel. This is also reflected in the high ratings our apps receive in the App Stores.” emphasises Stephan Seyfarth, Director of Customer Service. The Babbel apps have now been downloaded 20 million times.</p> <p>Babbel looks back at an eventful sixth year: After the second round of financing of over 10 million US dollars in March 2013, the startup was further strengthened with a top-class Board. In addition, five top managers from companies such as Accenture, Bertelsmann and Team Europe have just arrived in the team and reinforced the international management team. By popular demand of the users, two more languages, Danish and Norwegian, were added. The new design, including the new Babbel logo, creates a unified learning environment across all platforms - from Web through Tablet to Smartphone. Learning on-the-go has been made even more attractive thanks to the comprehensive updates to the Babbel apps for iOS and Android.</p> <p>For 2014, in addition to the further expansion of the Babbel teams, among other plans there will be the development of new course formats, as well as the introduction of Russian as a new language. Germany is still the largest single market for Babbel, but already now most customers come from abroad. With significantly increasing figures, the proportion of international users will continue to increase in the new year. It’s not just the TV campaigns launched recently in France and Italy that are contributing to this, but also the proliferation of Babbel via the App Stores and the huge international response.</p> Thu, 30 Jan 2014 Babbel welcomes Boris Diebold as Vice President of Engineering <p>After the recent arrival of Florian Unger from Bertelsmann AG, Babbel, the learning system for languages, gains another top manager from a large company with Boris Diebold coming on board. Diebold, who was previously working for Accenture GmbH, takes over the new position of Vice President of Engineering at Babbel. He is responsible for the technical development of the Babbel learning system and the expansion of the engineering team.</p> <p>With Boris Diebold in the executive position of Vice President of Engineering, Babbel will also be continuing its expansion in IT. Diebold is responsible for technical product develo-pment and the further expansion of the engineering team. In this position, he reports directly to CTO and Babbel co-founder Thomas Holl.</p> <p>Thomas Holl welcomes the expansion of the Babbel management team: “I am delighted that we have acquired Boris Diebold for the position of Vice President of Engineering. With his expertise in the areas of software, project management and team leadership he will bring Babbel to the next level.”</p> <p>Before Babbel, Diebold has worked twelve years in various management positions at Ac-centure GmbH. He managed complex IT projects both in Germany as well as internationally, among others for leading Fortune 500 companies. Most recently, as Senior Manager in the Systems Integration and Technology division, Diebold was responsible for technical account management for multiple clients. In his role, he focused on the implementation of large custom-build software projects with up to 250 employees and offshoring.</p> <p>He began his career while still graduating in computer science as co-founder of the music software company d-lusion interactive which was later acquired by the Berlin-based com-pany Native Instruments.</p> <p>“Instead of moving up another level in a big consulting firm, I want to get closer to the actual product again. I am looking forward to bringing to Babbel my expertise in building up a highly motivated engineering team and, therefore, to help provide the best possible experience to our users”, asserts Boris Diebold.</p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 Babbel launches over 6000 hours of learning material for the iPhone <p>Babbel is launching its complete language learning system for the iPhone to coincide with the release of iOS 7. Users with or without previous knowledge can use one account to log in on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and on the web to access the premium courses. Learning progress is automatically synchronized across all of the platforms.</p> <p>The new iPhone app “Learn {Language} with Babbel - Full Version” makes it easy to integrate learning into everyday life and can be used straight away. Whether you are on the commute to work or on a trip abroad, the app is always to hand and offers a wide range of grammar and vocabulary learning tools, pronunciation lessons and thematic courses for all everyday situations. The courses are created by Babbel’s team of teaching and linguistics experts, product designers and developers, and are tailored to different skill levels. This makes adaptive and motivating learning possible. Babbel is initially releasing the new iPhone app in the most popular languages: English, Spanish and French. The remaining 10 apps will follow shortly.</p> <p>“There are obviously a lot of reasons to learn a language. However, people often don’t have enough time and motivation to really do it. With our iPhone app we want to offer simple and fast access to language learning and to keep learners on board for the long term,” explains Markus Witte, CEO of Babbel.</p> <p>In addition to the extensive range of courses, the iPhone app offers a completely redesigned user interface. Interactive and cinematic animations make the app even more dynamic and entertaining. At the same time, sound and color feedback when solving language tasks creates a deeper and more vivid learning experience. The fresh, clean design has also been transferred to the iPad to give Babbel a uniform look on both the iPhone and iPad. The payment system has also been modified: The new app can now be purchased directly through the iTunes Store.</p> <p>The free vocabulary trainer for the iPhone and iPod touch will remain as an extra offering for smartphones until October. And there is good news for Android users too: the complete range of languages will be made available for Android this year.</p> <p>A 3-month subscription for one language on the Babbel app costs $21.99. Click here to go to the iTunes Store</p> Tue, 24 Sep 2013 Head of Marketing Annabella Da Encarnacao transfers from Team Europe to Team Babbel <p>Babbel’s expansion of its international squad continues. With the arrival of Annabella Da Encarnacao as director of performance marketing, the Berlin-based internet company has signed another top-class player.</p> <p>The Portuguese-born Frenchwoman, who was Team Europe’s marketing manager, will expand the reach of and will pay particular attention to new sales and opportunities for innovation in marketing.</p> <p>“After an intensive period at Team Europe, I am looking forward to working for a company that has a vision too. At Babbel, I’m part of this vision and will contribute towards the goal of creating the best possible learning product and making it well-known. At the same time, it is fulfilling to work on a product that helps people,” Annabella Da Encarnacao said.</p> <p>Annabella Da Encarnacao has many years of experience and expertise in online marketing. Prior to joining Team Europe in 2012, Da Encarnacao scored different positions at leading companies in the industry, including roles at eDarling and Jamba, as well as a role as interim CMO at Delivery Hero. Babbel has now gathered a number of team members from the giants of the league: Arne Gerdes (product manager at GameDuell), Markus Corallo (CFO at, BNP Paribas, Universal Music), Alexis Hue (strategy director at Areva).</p> <p>Markus Witte, CEO and co-founder of Babbel, welcomed the reinforcement to his team: “We are proud to have Annabella on the team. She complements a very experienced and highly competent management team and will</p> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 Servus, Gaudi, Prosit - Get ready for Oktoberfest with Babbel in 20 minutes! <p>The online language learning tool Babbel is making a vocabulary trainer about Oktoberfest available for all visitors to Munich. Useful example sentences and practical pronunciation exercises provide a fast and entertaining preparation for a visit to the world’s largest folk festival. Furthermore, Babbel provides background on the history of Oktoberfest and its attractions.</p> <p>Both beginners and advanced learners can use the new vocabulary trainer to gain Oktoberfest-related German skills, whether to order a Mass, take a spin on the Hexenschaukel, comment on a beautiful girl’s Dirndl, or simply to discover a new side of the German language.</p> <p>The short dialogues between two Oktoberfest visitors and the additional information windows are filled with cultural and historical facts about the festival. In the last of six lessons, courageous learners can try their hand at the Bavarian dialect as that is what every new arrival will encounter, at the very latest when they enter the festival ground. The Babbel apps for iOS, Android and Windows 8 offer mobile learning and the chance to delve deeper into the German language. So then, O’zapft is!</p> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 “Don’t fire the founder – unless you absolutely have to” <p>With his extensive experience in directing and advising international companies such as Bigpoint and MTV, the London entrepreneur Simon Guild will now round out the board of the cross-platform learning system Babbel (Lesson Nine GmbH).</p> <p><b>Simon, in a recent interview you said,: “Don’t fire the founder, at least not immediately. Work with him or her.” Which of the three founders would be the most likely to get fired by you?</b></p> <p>I don’t like firing founders at all. And Babbel is doing fantastically well so I cannot really imagine why you would want to fire anyone right now. You should only do something like that when things are going seriously wrong because you can be sure the business will lose a year if you do.</p> <p><b>If firing the founder is the last choice, what should you be doing first as a new board member?</b></p> <p>The way I operate is to get deeply involved in businesses where I am on the board, so building relationships in the company is critical and means working intensively with the founders. I often start by emphasising analysis as a good basis for appropriate decision making. Always treat the causes of the problem rather than the symptoms. In a recent speech I used the example of small children who start to scream irrationally at dinner because the vegetables are touching the meat. The next thing you know, they are screaming because the vegetables aren’t touching the meat. So I asked the audience what to do about irrationality. The right answer came from my wife. You say, “I think you are tired and you need to go to bed.” So you identify the real problem. Unfortunately, an investor often thinks the only thing he can do is shoot the founder because generally he or she is the only person they know well. I like to get to know the whole team. With Babbel, I had a very good feeling about the team from the beginning and that made a big difference. I really liked the founders. They seemed like good people to me. They have a good sense of what they are trying to achieve. The world has some bad people in it and personally I prefer to work with good people!</p> <p><b>What other reasons did you have for joining Babbel as a board member?</b></p> <p>I believe that Babbel started in the right place with the right team and the right product. It has already started to define how we learn languages today and how we will in the future. And I like the subscription business model. I also have a personal interest in Babbel: my wife is French, we speak French at home. I also speak German and some Spanish. My children are learning these languages too. Now Babbel has got me started on Dutch and Babbel has even made learning this fun - something my Dutch friends find hard to believe! But the challenge that Babbel took and the way it works is, that it focuses on how to keep the experience both entertaining and rewarding. Like playing games, learning a language is about achieving something and about having fun doing it. Learning languages also has the advantage of making you feel better about yourself when you make progress because you are acquiring a real-world skill that will only degrade through a lack of practice. I got something right. I achieved something. I can communicate. I like that.</p> <p><b>You once said that as a Board Member you should watch customer and competitor behaviour like a hawk. What do you think about Babbel’s customers and competitors?</b></p> <p>When I looked at the competition I noticed that there are a lot of language-learning companies, but none of them have positioned themselves really successfully in the global market - yet. And none of them have really got their marketing right, in my opinion. There is a lot of ‘free’ in this area. In the early years of online games, we emphasised ‘play now for free’. That’s useful to start with, but now that people know games are free, we have to give them other reasons to play. As soon as I see something for free, I start wondering what the catch is. How do these people make money? Are they selling my data to the NSA? I think that we can and should be honest with consumers and say there is a free level and there is a paid level. And the paid level is worth the cost. Babbel has a great product that I believe people are willing to pay for. Babbel’s customers come in many shapes and sizes because there are lots of reasons for people to learn a language and lots of different people wanting to learn. Languages are not going to go away because languages are part of your identity and culture. Speaking a hundred words of English is great for survival; speaking 500 words of Dutch will impress everyone. That’s why Babbel is a universal product.</p> <p><b>Simon, you have been and are still involved with a lot of start-ups. What do you think about the German start-up scene?</b></p> <p>German start-ups are some of the best I’ve seen in Europe. I may have been lucky, I don’t know, but the German businesses that I am working with now, and have worked with recently, have been very successful. Berlin is obviously an interesting place for start-ups in Germany. I really like the fact that it has become so international in only a few years. And it is still the cheapest capital city in Western Europe which attracts the kinds of young people you need in the early stages of a business. I think it may get harder in the next two or three years: a lot of money has gone into a lot of businesses and a lot of them won’t work. That’s normal, but may not yet have been widely experienced in Berlin. But Babbel is not going to be one of those because it is a genuinely good business.</p> <p><b>What are the challenges facing Babbel and your visions for the company in the future?</b></p> <p>I think there are some really interesting challenges. Firstly: internationalisation. It is one of the key areas I help with in the companies I am involved in. When I went into Bigpoint, it was a very German business. We made it really international and we made a lot of money doing that. Secondly: differentiation. Babbel is not the only language-learning business in the market, so we need to create clear differentiation. What is Babbel really about? In my experience, a lot of internet start-ups are weak at marketing. It’s a huge generalisation, but most of them are product companies. They come from having a good product idea and they understand customer acquisition but they don’t necessarily understand marketing very well. It’s about positioning the product in the mind of the consumer. That’s essential when you have multiple competitors. The Babbel proposition is simple and clear. The challenge is to position the product in different countries and to give different groups of people slightly different experiences. It is easy to imagine that Germans want to know how things work, so instructions are important, while people in the UK are more intuitive, so ease of use is important. Babbel wants to keep them all interested in learning languages.</p> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 Babbel brings on Simon Guild as new board member <p>With his extensive experience in directing and advising international companies such as Bigpoint and MTV, the London entrepreneur Simon Guild will now round out the board of the cross-platform learning system Babbel (Lesson Nine GmbH).</p> <p>Along with Tony Askew from Reed Elsevier Ventures, Marco Zeller from IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft and the two positions taken up by Babbel founders Markus Witte, Thomas Holl and Lorenz Heine, Simon Guild will become the board’s fifth member. In this position, he will use his extensive knowledge to assist the management in an advisory capacity.</p> <p>The Englishman has previously been a board member for Xing and Spreadshirt and as chairman, he supported Bigpoint’s international expansion. Before Guild began focusing exclusively on his role as a board member for various companies, he was responsible for the Europe-wide expansion of MTV, Nikelodeon and Comedy Central as MTV Networks Europe’s CEO until 2006. In addition to his expertise in international business expansion, Guild also has a special interest in online language learning. Along with English, he speaks French and Spanish fluently, and is currently having success learning Dutch with Babbel.</p> <p>“I believe that Babbel started in the right place with the right team and the right product. It has already started to redefine how we learn languages today and how we will learn in the future”, Guild says.</p> <p>Markus Witte, CEO and chairman of the board, welcomes the addition of Guild to Babbel. “Simon Guild, both professionally and as a person, is an asset to our company, and I’m glad we’ve been able to bring him over. With his extensive experience, his superior expertise and his extraordinary strength of judgment, he will make a difference in the development of the company.”</p> <p>More information can be found in an in-depth interview with Simon Guild - „Don’t shoot the founder-unless you absolutely have to”</p> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 Zabaione or Zampone? Crêpe or Galette? Babbel's Culinary Language Courses <p>What’s behind dishes like Pane Toscano, Un plateau de charcuterie corse, or El lacón con grelos? Babbel’s new courses, “Italian Cuisine,” “French Cuisine,” and “Spanish Cuisine,” shed some light on the typical gastronomy of the regions while demystifying the peculiarities of Mediterranean eating habits. The sequence of the menu, traditional dishes, local ingredients and spices: the language courses are a culinary journey through the South conveying the most essential vocabulary for talking about different food cultures.</p> <p>Zabaione or zampone? Anyone visiting an Italian restaurant without a few Italian words in his pocket might be not-so-pleasantly surprised when a stuffed pig’s foot (zampone) arrives at his table instead of the sweet wine custard (zambaione) he wanted. Manchego, the celebrated Spanish cheese, can be either fresco, curado, semicurado, or viejo. At what level of maturity, then, is the cheese mild or strong? Crêpe and galette: which kind of French pancake is sweet, and which one savory?</p> <p>The new Babbel courses prevent dining glitches and teach the most important terms for Italian, French and Spanish cuisine.</p> <p>Every great meal has its proper wine: Once aspiring gourmets have got the vocabulary courses for Mediterranean specialties under their belt, they can broaden their knowledge with the Babbel course “Wine, Food and Gastronomy.” In nine lessons, the course imparts special vocabulary for, among other things, the world of wine.</p> <p>Click here to go to the Italian culinary courses:</p> <p>More info about Mediterranean food culture on our blog</p> Wed, 26 Jun 2013 Babbel apps crack the 10 million downloads mark <p>The language learning tool Babbel has achieved a record 10 million downloads of its successful apps for mobile language learning. The apps are available in over 190 countries and are especially popular in countries such as Germany, France and the United States. English is the most popular language learned with the Babbel app: The app for learning English represents approximately one third of the apps downloaded. It is followed by the apps for learning Spanish and French.</p> <p>“We’re enormously proud that so many people worldwide have elected for our apps. From the very beginning, Babbel was intended as a cross-platform learning system, and now, after six years, the time is ripe for this. The number of Babbel’s mobile users will soon surpass that of web users. This is a general trend that ties in perfectly with our product concept,” says Markus Witte, CEO of Babbel. Check out the infographic and blogpost for more in-depth information. All users have the option to learn languages flexibly and on-the-go in addition to the online system. The Berlin-based company released the first vocabulary trainers with an integrated voice recognition system and review manager as an app for the iPhone in April 2011 and then for the iPad. The Babbel iPad app topped the international educational download charts in 14 countries. It has been possible to install the complete range of courses with over 6,000 hours of study material on the iPad since the end of 2012.</p> <p>Babbel started offering apps for 11 languages for Android devices in March 2012. Since then, Babbel has topped the Google Play charts in the area of education in several European countries. The Windows 8 app for tablet and PC followed a month later and is now the most successful educational app in the German Windows Store. Babbel presented its new apps for smartphones running Windows Phone 8 in the presence of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, when it received the Innovative 4 Society Award from Microsoft at this year’s CeBIT in March.</p> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 Babbel Closes $10 Million Series B Funding Round <p>Babbel, the online learning system for foreign languages, today announced the closing of a series B funding round. Leading the round is Reed Elsevier Ventures. Other investors include Nokia Growth Partners as well as existing investors, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft via its VC Fonds Technologie Berlin, and Kizoo Technology Ventures. The investment will be used to accelerate international expansion and improve the adaptation to all relevant mobile and online platforms.</p> <p>Present in more than 190 countries, the Berlin-based startup’s strongest footprint to date has so far been in the German market. Now it will aggressively enter other European countries, the Americas and emerging markets. Babbel will also extend its partnerships with different hardware manufacturers, platform providers and media across the world.</p> <p> is operated by Lesson Nine GmbH, Berlin. The company had previously raised a total of $2.2M in equity and debt and has experienced rapid revenue growth of over 200% per year since 2011. Recently, Lesson Nine announced the [acquisition of San Francisco based competitor PlaySay] ( Unrelated to the new investment, the deal was made with operating cash flow.</p> <p>The basis for the language learning system’s success is its consistent use of mobile and Internet technologies and the integration of modern, practical learning content that motivates and guides the learner in an entertaining way. Over 6500 tailor-made learning hours for thirteen languages are available to learners online, as an iPad app and as free vocabulary training apps for iPhone, Android and Windows 8. As of today, the apps have been downloaded over 8 million times.</p> <p>“Babbel is a European digital media success story and I am delighted that we are joining the investor group at this exciting time”, says Tony Askew, General Partner at Reed Elsevier Ventures. “The startup has grown rapidly to over 15 million users and has built a large subscriber base which generates positive cash flow. Babbel’s excellent mobile and online products consistently rate as consumer favorites and Babbel is very well-positioned for explosive growth in the rapidly growing category of mobile and online language learning.”</p> <p>“Nokia Growth Partners believes that in a converged digital world, every business must be mobile and this principle drives our investments,” adds Walter Masalin, principal at Nokia Growth Partners. “As mobile transforms the way people learn, Babbel’s flexible and efficient solution supporting multiple platforms means it is well positioned to capitalize on this trend.”</p> <p>“Since our investment in 2008, Lesson Nine was already able to successfully occupy various markets with its innovative products, and has established itself worldwide as a serious player in the realm of mobile language learning”, says Marco Zeller, Managing Director of IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbh. „This funding round, including other international investors, honors the Berlin company’s extremely positive development, and creates a foundation for even more dynamic growth. We are proud to have been on board with this success story since the beginning, and also to provide more capital as part of this round.”</p> <p>Michael Greve, CEO of Kizoo Technology Ventures says, “since we started working with Babbel five years ago, the product has made an exciting journey from a nice web tool to a modern and fun language learning experience with a huge user base eager to subscribe for the service. I believe the ideal platform for language learning is tablets and we can expect an even more accelerated growth of the beautiful mobile Babbel products in the future.”</p> <p>“We are happy to have two new high-profile international investors on board. This financing round opens a great number of opportunities without limiting our strategic options. The renewed participation of existing investors IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft and Kizoo also pleases me. For our great team of seventy people, there’s still much to be done and much to achieve,” says Markus Witte, CEO of Lesson Nine GmbH.</p> <p>About Babbel is the new way to learn languages. With the online language learning system, both beginners and continuing learners can study French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Swedish, German, Dutch, Indonesian, Polish, Turkish, Norwegian, Danish and English with the help of interactive listening, writing and speaking exercises. The website offers numerous online courses. In addition there are apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android and Windows 8 devices, as well as interactive eBooks. More than 15 million people from over 190 countries are already learning a language with Babbel. Babbel is operated by Lesson Nine GmbH, Berlin. The company was founded in August, 2007, and now has around 170 employees and freelancers. Since March, 2013, Lesson Nine has been involved with Reed Elsevier Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, Kizoo Technology Ventures and IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft via its VC Fonds Technologie Berlin. Further information at:</p> <p>About Reed Elsevier Ventures: Founded in 2000, Reed Elsevier Ventures is a venture capital firm based in London and San Francisco and backed by one of the world’s most successful media and information companies, Reed Elsevier. Reed Elsevier Ventures invests in talented and ambitious entrepreneurs and management teams who have the drive to build large, scalable businesses and the determination to become industry leaders. Reed Elsevier Ventures focus on high growth, internet, media and technology businesses based in the US, Europe or Israel in sectors such as big data and analytics, mobile, new media, healthcare information and groundbreaking analytic technologies. Example portfolio companies include Palantir, one of Silicon Valley’s most valuable technology companies, and Babylon, the world’s most downloaded language translation tool.</p> <p>About Nokia Growth Partners: Nokia Growth Partners invests in companies that are changing the face of mobility, communications and the internet. NGP offers industry expertise, capital and an extensive network, enabling entrepreneurs to build disruptive, industry-changing companies and take them to the global market. With offices in the US, Europe, India and China, NGP extends the reach of companies making their products and services local everywhere. Visit for more information.</p> <p>About IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH: <a href="">The IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft</a> provides venture capital to innovative Berlin enterprises and has established itself as a market leader in the field of early stage financing in the location Berlin. The funds are used primarily for the development and market launch of innovative products or services, as well as for business concepts of creative industries. Currently two of the funds managed by the IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft are in the investment phase, the VC Fonds Technologie Berlin with a fund size of € 52 million and the VC Fonds Kreativwirtschaft Berlin with a fund size of € 30 million. Both VC funds are financed by means of the Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) and the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE) administered by the State Berlin. Since 1997 the IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft Berlin, in consortia with partners, has made 850 million € available to creative and technology-orientated companies; thereof, the portion invested by IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft itself, as lead, co-lead or co-investor, was approximately 116 million €.</p> <p>About Kizoo Technology Ventures: Kizoo helps young start-up teams grow. As a seed and early stage investor with a focus on SaaS, Internet &amp; Mobile Services and Social Applications Kizoo is happy to share its own longtime experience in development, marketing and product management in those markets.</p> Tue, 26 Mar 2013 Education Startup Acquires San Francisco based PlaySay <p>Today announced that it will complete the acquisition of PlaySay, a social language learning app for the iPhone that incorporates real conversations and pronunciation feedback with native speakers. PlaySay users will from now on join PlaySay CEO Ryan Meinzer will join the Babbel Team.</p> <p>This move demonstrates babbel’s long term goal to extend its presence in the worldwide mobile learning market, and in the USA in particular, a market considered ‘the most mature’ by CEO Markus Witte. With 15 million users worldwide, over 8 million downloads of its apps and a growth of 200% a year, has been at the forefront, internationally, of e-learning via mobile devices.</p> <p>Founded by Ryan Meinzer in 2008 PlaySay is ‘a language learning experience’, offering a unique, visionary and fun way to learn Spanish and English. The 2011 TechCrunch Disrupt finalist PlaySay Inc., which has its headquarters in San Francisco, has seen its app ranked #1 in the education category of the iTunes store in ten countries, including the USA.</p> <p>Markus Witte, CEO of, says: “Education is going mobile. This acquisition represents a continuation of our strategy to offer a complete range of mobile solutions to language learning and the possibility to leverage market share in the USA.” will recruit Ryan Meinzer as advisor for babbel’s US operations. “With an affordable price point and focus on mobile, is poised to usurp giants like Rosetta Stone who have neglected the majority of the users in the USA market that spend &lt; $100/year on self-study language learning products. The winner of the race in language learning software will be the one that does mobile the best and will be well positioned in the principle USA market armed with the acquisition of PlaySay.”</p> <p>Users of PlaySay can continue to use the app and can also access the babbel language learning apps on the web, for the iPhone or the iPad. Babbel’s online language learning offers can be found at <a href=""></a>. Learners using can choose to practice Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish, Indonesian, Polish, Norwegian, Danish and Dutch.</p> <p>Markus Witte (CEO) and Thomas Holl (CTO) will make their first visit to Ryan in San Francisco in the first week of April.</p> <p>More information can be found on our <a href="">Babbel Blog</a></p> <p>Link to the <a href="">iTunes Store</a></p> Thu, 21 Mar 2013 German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Microsoft present award for Babbel Windows 8 app at CeBIT 2013 <p>At CeBIT today, the Microsoft initiative, “Chancenrepublik Deutschland” [Opportunity Country: Germany] gave the second “Innovate 4 Society Award” for innovative IT solutions. Winner of the competition in the category “Established Company” is the Berlin-based Lesson Nine GmbH, with their online language learning system,, and their app for Windows 8.</p> <p>“ offers a great combination of intelligent learning content and digital technology,” said Dr. Christian P. Illek, CEO of Microsoft Germany, at the award ceremony. “’s learning methods take full advantage of the possibilities of apps.”</p> <p>The Babbel app makes it possible to learn new languages in an entertaining way. All learning content is accompanied by audio, images and text. The combination of reading and listening, writing and matching ensures that the new vocabulary sticks. With the integrated speech recognition tool, users can practice their pronunciation, while an intelligent review manager presents material for review at individually-tailored intervals.</p> <p>“We’d like to sincerely thank you for the ‘Innovate 4 Society’ award as well as for the collaboration with Microsoft. We look forward to working on more projects together,” said Markus Witte, Managing Director of” As the great response to our Windows 8 app has shown, mobile learning content is proving to be more and more successful. When we learned that we had been nominated for the ‘Innovate 4 Society’ award, we immediately started developing the new Windows 8 Phone app. It is available now, and with it we’ve come one step closer to our vision of mobile, interactive learning.</p> Thu, 14 Mar 2013 Eleven New Language Learning Apps for Windows Phone 8 <p>With the new Business German courses on Babbel, both beginners and professionals can focus on preparing for essential job-related situations, from the interview to everyday office activities online. According to an internal survey, over a third of Babbel users are studying German for professional reasons.</p> <p>Following the successful launch of Business English courses on the web, the online language learning platform is now offering its users Business German. In an internal survey, more than 23% of Babbel users said they had to learn German for their current job and 27% because they were searching for employment in a German-speaking country. “Based on this finding, it became especially important to us to cover all situations that might arise in the workplace,” said Markus Witte, Managing Director of Babbel. “We offer maximum freedom: the user can decide the pace at which he prefers to learn, and can also decide for himself if he wants to complete the course or prepare specifically for an appointment with one lesson.”</p> <p>Just how important it is to speak and understand foreign languages will become clear to anyone on the job search. How do I write a cover letter in German? How do I conduct a meeting or a telephone call? Varied writing, reading, speaking and listening comprehension exercises aimed at verbally preparing German learners - as well as thematically organized lessons- will shed light on all these questions. With an integrated speech recognition tool, the user can practice and perfect her pronunciation. Meanwhile, in the lesson “job application,” there is a special focus on professional cover letters and frequently asked questions about applications, which certainly can be helpful for any professional attempting to apply for a job in Germany.</p> <p>“Foreign language skills are always an advantage when it comes to standing out from the rest. From conversations with our clients in Germany, we know that there is still quite a bit of emphasis put on a candidate’s German language skills,” says Dr. Katrin Luzar, spokesperson of Particularly successful are young professionals who prepare deliberately for job interviews and work-specific situations.</p> Thu, 14 Mar 2013 Business German? Get fit for the job with Babbel's new course <p>With the new Business German courses on, both beginners and professionals can focus on preparing for essential job-related situations, from the interview to everyday office activities online. According to an internal survey, over a third of Babbel users are studying German for professional reasons.</p> <p>Following the successful launch of Business English courses on the web, the online language learning platform is now offering its users Business German. In an internal survey, more than 23% of Babbel users said they had to learn German for their current job and 27% because they were searching for employment in a German-speaking country. “Based on this finding, it became especially important to us to cover all situations that might arise in the workplace,” said Markus Witte, Managing Director of Babbel. “We offer maximum freedom: the user can decide the pace at which he prefers to learn, and can also decide for himself if he wants to complete the course or prepare specifically for an appointment with one lesson.”</p> <p>Just how important it is to speak and understand foreign languages will become clear to anyone on the job search. How do I write a cover letter in German? How do I conduct a meeting or a telephone call? Varied writing, reading, speaking and listening comprehension exercises aimed at verbally preparing German learners - as well as thematically organized lessons- will shed light on all these questions. With an integrated speech recognition tool, the user can practice and perfect her pronunciation. Meanwhile, in the lesson “job application,” there is a special focus on professional cover letters and frequently asked questions about applications, which certainly can be helpful for any professional attempting to apply for a job in Germany.</p> <p>“Foreign language skills are always an advantage when it comes to standing out from the rest. From conversations with our clients in Germany, we know that there is still quite a bit of emphasis put on a candidate’s German language skills,” says Dr. Katrin Luzar, spokesperson of Particularly successful are young professionals who prepare deliberately for job interviews and work-specific situations.</p> Wed, 27 Feb 2013 Five years since launching, Babbel has proven itself as language learning method <p>Today the online language learning system celebrates its fifth birthday. With its successful web offerings and mobile apps, the Berlin startup is now recognized as abroad-based provider for language education worldwide. In 2013, the rate of expansion is increasing, both internally as well as externally.</p> <p>What at the beginning was just an insider tip from Tech Crunch for contemporary, alternative foreign language learning, has emerged from Germany to become widely distributed product within the country’s borders and beyond. Babbel’s success story began with a simple question. In a small apartment in the Berlin neighborhood of Kreuzberg, three friends-software developers and language-lovers alike-were wondering how they could contribute to understanding between their fellow humans through internet.</p> <p>“Our motivation was, and is, to provide a user-friendly, powerful solution that would allow learners to learn a foreign language in a fun but targeted way-regardless of time or place. This responded to learners’ demand for simple, multimedia language study,” recalls co-founder and Managing Director Markus Witte about the beginnings of the startup.</p> <p>On January 15, 2008, the first free vocabulary trainer with the self-developed speech-recognition system for five languages hit the web. The demand was not long in coming. Since then, offers an all-around solution with eleven languages and 6300 learning hours in total, which has reached a broad community. now also employs over sixty full-time employees.</p> <p>The online courses created by the in-house content editing team guide the learner entertainingly with comprehensive, interactive exercises for pronunciation, grammar and listening comprehension. “Almost all traditional study options for adult learners seemed unrealistic or unreasonably regimented. We wanted to show that communicative language learning was also possible online. Our idea was to join up classic vocabulary and grammar training with authentic, everyday dialogues, so that what the user learned could then be quickly applied outside of Babbel. Of course the courses for each language were developed separately,” explained Miriam Plieninger, content editor.</p> <p>Consequently, this vision of mobile, interactive learning will be further developed in the coming year: Babbel courses will be optimized for and accessible on other output channels and operating systems (iOS, or such as most recently on Windows 8). In December the entire website was adapted to the iPad. In February, the language offering will be broadened with the addition of Norwegian and Danish. “We must further expand internally and look for talent that fits with our ‘spirit’ if we are to continue at our rate of growth in 2013,” added Markus Witte. “Beginning in March we will be able to welcome you from our new 1000-square-meter office in Berlin-Kreuzberg.”</p> Tue, 15 Jan 2013 Babbel Publishes its First Kindle eBook for Learning German <p>The online language learning system Babbel has just released a Kindle eBook for learning German. “Learn German: Beginner’s Course 1,” conveys the most essential words and phrases, as well as basic German grammar.</p> <p>Babbel’s celebrated Smartphone and iPad apps have once again confirmed their popularity this month with around a half million downloads. Now Kindle users can benefit, too. With the textbook “Learn German: Beginner’s Course 1,” Babbel has developed an eBook that offers learners a quick and comprehensive introduction to the German language. To optimize the possibilities of the Kindle, some features have been systematically omitted while the learning experience is retained.</p> <p>For those wanting to deepen their knowledge of the language, there are also online courses with extensive listening and pronunciation exercises. Besides the iOS versions in the Apple app store and Android versions in the Google Play store, Babbel Mobile apps are now available in the Amazon app store for learning French, Italian, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Swedish, English, Turkish, Polish, Dutch and Indonesian.</p> <p>Be guided through the eBook with ease and purpose</p> <p>Divided into five chapters, the eBook “Learn German: Beginner’s Course 1” presents the most important German words and phrases in the context of everyday situations. How do I introduce myself? How do I check into a hotel? Where do I buy tickets? The specific details of the German language, such as when to use polite forms (Du or Sie?), as well as social mores (how to tip, for example) are also explained. This makes the eBook an ideal way to prepare oneself for travel to the German-speaking world.</p> <p>The eBook was designed by a team of German teachers and native speakers and is based on the most effective of learning methods. After a brief introduction, each lesson begins with a brief dialogue between two characters. Vocabulary and grammar are explained, then summarized in the glossary and repeated in review quizzes. Learning remains manageable and stays light.</p> <p>The user can intuitively navigate through the eBook: With the menu bar, one can switch to other chapters and insert bookmarks. Learners can mark and store passages as required and compile notes, as well as look up the meaning of words in the eBook using the integrated dictionary with just a tap.</p> <p>The textbook “Learn German: Beginner’s Course 1” can be purchased in the Amazon Kindle shop for [here] (</p> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 iBook for Learners of Spanish Now at Babbel <p>The online language learning system Babbel has published an iBook for native speakers of English to learn Spanish. “Learn Spanish: Beginner’s Course 1” teaches essential vocabulary words and phrases as well as the fundamentals of Spanish grammar. Babbel’s second iBook is an entertaining and up-to-date introduction to this foreign language and is an excellent way to prepare for travel to Spain or Latin America.</p> <p>Online courses and mobile apps from Babbel have been tried and tested. More than seven million people use Babbel’s online courses and mobile apps worldwide. Now with “Learn Spanish: Beginner’s Course 1” the well-known language learning portal is introducing its second iBook, which is also a great complement to the existing online Babbel beginner’s courses.</p> <p>Like the first, this iBook was compiled and designed by Babbel’s in-house editorial team. Five chapters give the learner an overview of the main Spanish and Latin American words and phrases needed for initial communication. How do I introduce myself? How do I order a drink? What’s the difference between ser and estar? How do I use public transportation? The user can easily navigate the comprehensive book’s 77 pages with one movement of the hand. Practical sample dialogues clarify how to use and pronounce the vocabulary, while interactive, audiovisual exercises and digital flashcards round off the review regimen. Learners can also jot down their own notes on the personal notepad. Each lesson concludes with a visual presentation illustrating customs and use of Spanish speaking countries. The glossary at the end of the book gives an overview of vocabulary included. The “Learn Spanish: Beginner’s Course” book can be downloaded from the iBookstore and installed for an introductory price of €6.99</p> <p>Online courses with extensive pronunciation, grammar and listening comprehension exercises can be found on There are mobile apps for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android for learning French, Italian, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Swedish, English, Turkish, Polish, Dutch and Indonesian. More information are to be found on our blog.</p> <p>Go directly to Apple’s iBookstore:</p> <ul> <li>The course “Learn Spanish: Beginner’s Course 1” corresponds to level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).</li> </ul> Thu, 26 Jul 2012