It’s always hard to learn a new language, especially if it’s completely different from yours. For me, in example, would be very easy to learn Romanian, or Spanish, because they are both latin languages. But I don’t like easy things!
I started studying Russian, and I’m loving it. It’s challenging. It uses a completely different alphabet, it has completely different words (even if some are similar to Italian).
The only problem, is that I don’t actually have time to follow a real course, with a teacher, in a class, and also, I have no idea at all if there’s any Russian course where I live.
So, I started looking at online learning platforms and I found three of them. I’m going to review all of them in this article to help you choose the one that you prefer in the case that you are searching for one as well, and I’m going to use the Russian course as an example here, because is the one that I registered on all of them.
An Overview of The Platforms
Duolingo is a free learning platform maintained mainly by the community, meaning that is the community that creates courses and updates them.
There are many courses, from any language to another. The most popular courses are obviously those from English to another language.
I started using Duolingo when I joined Woo because I really needed to improve my English, our company language is English and I was having a hard time in understanding people in our almost daily meetings.
I found it intuitive and easy to use, but from the learning perspective, it’s not that great.
Duolingo presents you with many classes for each language. The firsts are the easy ones, but they don’t teach you exactly everything that you might need at the beginning.
Duolingo does not have an Italian to Russian course, so I started following the English to Russian one. The first things that they teach you are things like “Tim, this is Tom”, or “Here is my house”, but how often does it happen that you go in Russia and say to the first people you meet “Hey, this is my house”? Actually, I never had to say that in my life outside of Italy, and even going further in the course does not improve the quality.
Busuu is pretty much the same as Duolingo, but premium.
The price for the monthly subscription is 9.99 € but it gets cheaper if you choose plans for more months.
Babbel is the best I found for learning languages online.
It is premium as well, with subscriptions starting at 9.95 €/month, but the first lessons of each course are free.
The good thing about Babbel, for the Russian course, is that it starts from the very basic, like the alphabet. It explains exactly what each letter means compared to Italian, and how to pronounce it properly proving examples.
Also, you don’t need to install/get a keyboard because it uses an internal one for the language you want to learn.
Which One To Choose
I would suggest a combination of Duolingo and Babbel. I use Duolingo when I need to strength my vocabulary, and Babbel to learn new things because it’s easier on this last one.
I’m happy to pay for their product if I see results, and so you should do!