How Babbel Unlocked My Language Skills (And How You Can Too)

Last fall, I started learning a new language through a premium language learning app, and today I want to tell you about my process and my learning tips. I will continue using the app for the next 3 months, and I want you too to have the opportunity to try Babbel, so I’m sharing a 60% OFF on your subscription by clicking on this link.

Honestly, I was never a girl interested in learning languages. I was very immersed in my Latin culture (TV dramas, music in Spanish, national TV shows), I never traveled outside my country, I never had the privilege of attending a bilingual school, and my classes in English were reduced to just one hour a week, taught by my primary school teacher or some not very qualified professor.

Year after year, all classes were limited to the conjugation of the verb "To Be" in the present and spelling.

Well, that didn't seem like a problem, until I was faced with University life. There I had to connect with the world, I meet people with different backgrounds, and take at least one course completely in English, as well as read content in that language, so I was at a clear disadvantage.

It was then that in 2009 I had my first attempt to learn languages. I remember that I enrolled in an English course at an American binational center, and the only schedule compatible with me was an intensive Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to having to occupy my weekend, it took me at least an hour to transport myself from my house to the other side of the city. At that time, digital solutions that would make online education possible, much less on smartphones, had not yet become widespread.

Apart from how expensive the classes were, I was passing the exams even without understanding anything, I didn't know the correct pronunciation of the words and I felt that this impersonal education was definitely not for me, so I abandoned it to the third module.

For more than a decade, I thought that the ability to learn languages was a natural talent without which I was born, so I convinced myself that I would never develop that skill in my life.

When I became a freelancer, I had to open up to a broader job market to have more opportunities to get clients, so the Translate became my bestie. 

But I really felt motivated to learn languages when I started the world of fashion and beauty, and foreign language words became part of my daily life.

Over the years, the fashion and beauty industry (cosmetics and skincare) became my only hobby, passion, work, object of study, entertainment and profession.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I lost many clients as a community manager, so I focused on making my personal blog and social media project more profitable.

The first step was to start producing bilingual content to reach a much broader audience, and then reach out to brands that share my values to offer to create content for them.

Seeing my work, many other brands hired me as a user-generated content (UGC) creator, or wrote about them on my blog, which would never have been possible without understanding me in the same language.

That was how, one day at a time, I was learning words here and there.

But my big opening happened when I got to know the Babbel app.

Babbel is one of the best language learning apps in the world, basically because it is developed by real language teachers. I’m sharing a 60% OFF on your subscription by clicking on this link.

Just by spending at least 15 minutes studying a day, you can start understanding a new language in as little as 3 weeks – that's why the app offers a 20-day money-back guarantee.

It's simple, because basically you can study and practice from wherever you want, at any time you want, no matter how busy you are (or even if you're tanning at the beach). In addition, the app is very intuitive, and it teaches you real conversations to use in the real world, in a playful way, unlike other free apps with intrusive ads.

In addition to learning new grammar lessons, you can review your vocabulary every day, as many times as you want, to easily memorize it through practice.

By subscribing to any package, you will have two free online classes on Babbel Live with a qualified teacher, via Zoom, in a small group of 6 students, which ensures that learning is personalized.

I started using Babbel in September 2022, with a 6-month uninterrupted subscription, and I could feel my new language unlocking, something I never thought would happen in my 30s.

Already in March of this year, I finished level A2 and I was able to read in English, and I was even able to sign up for a course on the luxury fashion industry, entirely in English! That opened me up to a world of knowledge that I would not have had access to before.

Managing several languages multiplies the sources of information, so it’s essential for communication professionals.

Babbel not only offers vocabulary and grammar for everyday life, it also has specialized language courses to use in your work or employment sector. For example, I finished a course to prepare for a job interview, which includes tips on how to present a resume, and cultural differences in hiring by country.

Other valuable Babbel resources include podcasts, games and a magazine! The app has endless possibilities, which I advise you to explore to the fullest!

My tips for learning a new language

1. Have a motivation

Whether it's planning a trip, learning about a new culture, advancing in your career, connecting with new friends or reconnecting with your roots and preserve your cultural heritage, learning a language only happens, in my experience, if you immerse yourself in understanding how and why the words, phrases, sentences, and understand the language in a broader, historical and cultural context.

In my experience, Spanish is a very rich language due to the great breadth of countries, regions and social groups that speak it as their native language, added to the mixture of cultures, which have their own traditions deeply rooted and develop their own slang, while English is much more concrete, precise, and uses far fewer literary figures to express itself.

My motivation this time was to enter the world of fashion, beauty and lifestyle, contact new clients, connect with new audiences and, ultimately, be sure that there are still opportunities for me and that I can always improve myself!

2. Let go of the desire for perfection

Honestly, as a Spanish writer and journalist, I’m an innately great grammar perfectionist. I love proofreading and I consider myself excellent at Spanish spelling, but I had to accept that in order to learn a new language, I will have to make mistakes over and over again, and embrace imperfection in my path.

The Japanese define it as “wabi-sabi, not stressing over every little detail, just focusing on what is important and finding beauty in simplicity. “Done is better than perfect”, so first focus on making yourself understood.

3. Keep a beginner's mind

A beginner's mind allows itself to unlearn in order to relearn, it never loses the ability to be surprised and remains open to change.

Any questions? My social media channels are open to you!

Jessymar Daneau Tovar (@letroupe)

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