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Busuu Review

Wednesday, May 29th

2024 Arabic Lesson Reviews

Busuu Review 3.5 Star Rating


3.5 Star Rating
  • Plans from free to $13.90 per month
  • Listening and visual approach
  • 14-day money-back guarantee
  • Free membership includes regular lessons in order
  • Beginner to intermediate materials
  • Lessons at your own pace offered on Premium
  • App on Android and iOS
  • 4.7 star average rating

At IE Business School in Spain, Busuu co-founders Bernhard Niesner and Adrian Hilti had mutual dissatisfaction with conventional, costly, and time-consuming language learning methods. They conceived Busuu as their final project for their degree program - an innovative language learning platform offering affordable online courses and interactions with native speakers. Launched in 2008 after their graduation, Busuu rapidly grew in popularity in the language education landscape.

Joining forces

In January 2022, the company officially joined forces with the global education giant Chegg, known for its support of education at all levels. Busuu meticulously structures each language course according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), a globally acknowledged standard for designing language lessons. Across its language offerings, Busuu thoroughly addresses the initial four stages of Arabic. You can expect to cover proficiency levels A1 to B2 in the CEFR method.

Trial lessons are hard to find

You can start learning for free by clicking the blue button on the company's website. This will ask you to sign up with your email or your social media account. However, finding example lessons or videos is difficult if you don't want to sign up right away. We did find examples of lessons and some details about the teaching methods inside the course on the "Arabic Alphabet" page, but finding it on the site wasn't intuitive. On this page, you can see a bit of an example lesson that shows you how Busuu combines visual learning with auditory learning to help you understand and learn the Al-abjadiyah characters. For any more extensive trial lessons or detailed videos, you'll have to make an account. While the initial account is free, this was less transparent than other sites in our review.

Best Arabic Lessons

Tools for personalized learning

There are a lot of fun tools and a mix of audio and visual lessons on Busuu. Busuu's intelligent vocabulary and grammar review tool is designed to recognize your learned words and identify areas where you may be struggling. The company tailors quizzes to reinforce words in your long-term memory, so you can work on the areas where you're struggling most. You can also utilize Busuu's Study Plan to stay organized and increase your chances of achieving language learning goals by five times.

Choose a monthly, bi-annual, or yearly commitment

While most of the program is free, you can also choose a premium membership which gives you access to advanced features like specialized courses, extra grammar review, access to lessons in any order, and more. You can choose from three membership plans with Busuu. The 12-month plan is priced at $166.80 for the year or $6.95 per month. The 6-month plan is available for $83.40, charged bi-annually with a monthly cost of $8.45. Finally, you can pay month-to-month for $13.90 per month.

Beginner and intermediate-focused

The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) serves as the foundation for Busuu's language courses, including Arabic. In general, the CEFR method is divided into six stages from beginner to full fluency. Progressing from Beginner A1, where you can introduce yourself and engage in basic conversations, to Advanced C2, where fluency allows you to discuss complex topics, understand nuanced conversations, and write intricate passages. However, for Arabic, Busuu currently only goes to the B2 level, so you can't currently reach full fluency with Arabic.

Best Arabic Lessons

14-day money-back guarantee

On the Premium Membership page, Busuu notes that you can use the 14-day money-back guarantee to test out the Premium content. If you're not happy with the program during the 14-day window, you're able to get your money back. While this isn't a long window, two weeks of language lessons will give you a pretty good idea of the method. Plus, you can also learn for free without opting for Premium at all.

Students love that it's user-friendly

Busuu's reputation is highly impressive, especially considering that the company was designed by two business students. From third-party review sites like Trustpilot, Busuu has a 4.6-star average rating. On its mobile app, Busuu does even better. It has a 4.7-star average from both the Apple Store and the Google Play Store. Customers praise how user-friendly the app is and that lessons are straightforward, providing easy learning goals and skills even for highly complex languages.

Best for those who want beginner learning

While Busuu stands out as an impressive language-learning site, it falls behind a little for Arabic specifically. While the reviews show that the app as a whole is impressive, the Arabic lessons only reach the B2 level of the CEFR learning method. This means that students looking for more advanced instruction will need to look elsewhere to gain fluency in Arabic. On top of that, the lack of transparency before you sign up is a little frustrating. We'd love to see more sample lessons or training videos so that you don't have to spend ages digging up details on odd corners of Busuu's website. Given these factors, Busuu sits about the middle of the pack despite its rave reviews. But it is extremely affordable, which earns it a slightly higher rating overall.

Where Can You Find the Best Arabic Lessons?

Are you interested in learning Arabic? You may find yourself contemplating a relocation to one of the many countries where Arabic is the national language, or maybe you're just planning a trip to see Egypt. Whether you're looking to reconnect with your culture, learn more about a new one, or brush up on some courses you took in school, learning Arabic can be a truly worthwhile experience.

However, finding Arabic lessons that fit your busy life, include your preferred learning methods, and don't break the bank can be hard. For most people, in-person lessons aren't an option either for cost reasons or time commitments. Fortunately, the realm of online courses continues to grow, offering new Arabic learning opportunities that were previously unavailable.

The Best Arabic Lessons Compare Arabic Lessons Compare Arabic Lesson Reviews What are the best Arabic Lessons Best Arabic Lesson Reviews

Arabic Lesson FAQ

It is estimated that there are over 420 million speakers of Arabic worldwide, making it one of the five most commonly-spoken languages around the globe. This includes both native and non-native speakers.
Generally speaking, there are two basic forms of Arabic: standard and colloquial. The former is used by the media and in universities, literature and formal writing. If you take Arabic lessons from a Western school, this is probably the form you'll get. But, this isn't the way Arabic speakers use the language in their day-to-day lives! If you know that you'll be using Arabic mainly in one particular location (e.g. Egypt vs. Persian Gulf nations vs. Lebanon), it might be worth looking for an Arabic course that at least introduces the dialect of that area. On the other hand, of all of the Arabic dialects, Egyptian is the most widely-understood by all speakers (largely due to the nation's popular music, film and TV industry), so learning the Egyptian dialect is a safe bet too.
If your first language is English, be prepared for your Arabic studies to require some work! Ranked as a Category IV language by the State Department's Foreign Service Institute, Arabic is "exceptionally difficult" on par with Japanese, Korean and Chinese. But, if you're willing to put in the time and effort, it's definitely doable!
Your first step should be to learn the Arabic alphabet, so that you don't have to depend on transliteration into English. Arabic experts also recommend that you memorize the plural forms of every noun you learn, because they can be very different (no tacking on an "s" like we do in English!), as well as the verb forms and any prepositions that go along with them. Finally, as with learning any language, give yourself plenty of time to study regularly; a few minutes here and there won't get you speaking Arabic fluently!
Availability, affordability and access: for those three reasons alone, you should consider studying Arabic online. Many colleges and universities don't offer courses in the language, and there's no guarantee you can secure one of the coveted seats in the class if your school does. Studying Arabic online can be done according to your preferred schedule, and at a fraction of the cost you'd pay per credit hour at a local school.
If you're studying Arabic online, you will probably need to take a few extra steps to enable the language on your computer. The steps depend on whether you're using a Mac or Windows-based PC, so search for the instructions according to your operating system. There are also online Arabic keyboards you can use without changing your computer settings.
No! They're definitely less costly than taking in-person courses. Some programs charge a one-time fee, while others use a month-to-month subscription format. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 for a one-off software purchase, or between $10 and $30 per month for an online course that lasts up to two years. You've got lots of options!
That depends on the provider you choose. Some offer satisfaction guarantees ranging from 30-60 days from the date of purchase or start of the subscription plan, while others only allow you to cancel future months without refunding past payments. We recommend that you use any free materials offered by the Arabic lessons platform prior to making your choice: you can often take full sample lessons or watch a demo of how the program works, which will help you get a feel for which Arabic lessons are the best fit for your preferences and learning style.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Whether you prefer hearing, writing, or speaking, various Arabic programs are designed to offer a range of skill-building exercises. Modern audio materials cover syllables, words, phrases, and sentences for effective repetition.

Alternatively, for visual learners, there are Arabic language platforms that cleverly gamify the entire learning process. These platforms not only cover grammar and writing exercises but also often integrate speech recognition software, allowing you to compare your pronunciation directly with that of a native speaker.

Nearly every Arabic platform offers cultural and historical aspects in their programs. Given the rich historical background and symbolic importance of the Arabic language, a thorough grasp of it requires exploring its historical origins and understanding its contemporary applications. Many of today's language-learning options also emphasize Modern Standard Arabic, mirroring the language you would encounter in general conversations. And, some companies focus on local dialects too.

As you navigate the wide array of online Arabic lessons, it might seem a little daunting to pick the best fit. To help you find the best Arabic lessons for you, we've put together some helpful criteria:

  • Teaching methodology. What type of learner are you? Are you inclined towards auditory learning, finding podcasts or narrations to be your favorite? Perhaps you enjoy engaging in written or gamified exercises to support your learning experience? While several Arabic lesson programs integrate various learning modalities, some platforms prioritize one style over others. Consider your preferred learning approach so you select the most suitable platform for how you learn best.
  • Free trial option. Top-notch Arabic lesson programs allow you to explore the program without making a payment. Look for platforms that offer free trials and pay attention to their duration. You should also look for sites that provide example lessons or preview videos on the site so you can see what you're getting into at a glance. Exercise extra caution if a company doesn't have these important details.
  • Cost vs. value. The cost of the subscription (or one-time payment) is a significant factor for your Arabic education. But you'll also want to assess the value you'll receive. Consider how much fluency you'll gain from the program and whether you can learn Arabic from one program or if you'll need two or three to supplement others that are less complete.
  • Reputation. While many Arabic lesson platforms aren't listed with the Better Business Bureau, there are reviews on third-party sites, linguistics blogs, and mobile apps to consider. Check-in on the ratings for your chosen Arabic lesson provider to make sure you're getting a language source with a great reputation.

To make sure you have the best possible experience learning Arabic, Top Consumer Reviews has assessed and rated the top options for Arabic lessons. We hope our reviews help you achieve your desired level of fluency, whether your goal is travel, cultural understanding, or simply enjoyment of a new language. Enjoy your continuing education in the beautiful language of Arabic!

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