Remember the flash cards you had when you were a kid, the ones with the red apple on top and the word “Apple” on the bottom? This is what Babbel is- albeit on a much more sophisticated level. The one I now have is a German course, and about a dozen other languages are also available. The courses can be downloaded for free at Google Play, and comes with a few basic lessons initially. The rest you will have to download in-app separately (still free). What I love about the app is that it has a simple interface, no complicated buttons or tabs, and keeps track of your learning process. You will have to register for it with your email, and they do send you advertisements sometimes, but that is to be expected for free apps I think, and it’s really not that bad.Once you log in, you get a list of categories in which the vocabulary is sorted. According to the app, there are about 3,000 words available on the app, so I guess if you can learn them all by heart you’ll get a pretty good command of the basics.
In every mini-course, there are about a dozen words to learn, but they’re presented to you 4 at a time. You can see the bar next to the Babbel icon on the top left- this indicates how far along you are in that mini-course. When you’re done with a part, it turns green and it’s also recorded in your account so the next time you can try something new. Basically, for each part, the word would first be spoken, during which you could repeat it or move on to the next word, then after the 4 words are presented, there is a short exercise which requires you to match the word (both written out in the bottom and spoken) with its correct English equivalent. You can cheat by just remembering the photo which comes with the word, but those pictures usually don’t mean anything 😛
What I love about the app is how user-friendly it is, and also how you can tailor the length of each lesson to your own needs (a mini-course only takes a few minutes to complete). Also, you can pick the topics that interest you and do those first, and there is no specific flow for the lessons. Actually, there are many other games in the “Review Manager” section which will improve your writing and speaking on those vocabs, but I have yet to try them. Maybe I will write another review when I have toyed around with those.