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2020’s Busuu Review: Features, Pros & Cons, Testemonials

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Strengths

  • Determine your level, set goals, track your progress
  • Huge language learning community
  • Offline learning available
  • Highly quality content

Weaknesses

  • Small selection of available languages to learn
  • Limited free basic version

Key Details

YEARS IN BUSINESS

12

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Email, Online Form

APPS

Desktop, Mobile

FREE TRIAL

Yes

Languages To Learn

12

Interface languages

15

Founded in Madrid, in 2008, and now headquartered in London, Busuu is a major player in the online language learning industry. Busuu and its founders have earned numerous awards, including the best innovation and language app awards

The Busuu blog reported in 2018 that the Busuu team had grown more than five times over the years. The company claims the largest language learning community, with more than 100 million users worldwide, enabling interaction with native speakers. Our Busuu review aims to show exactly why so many customers from various platforms rate Busuu as an “excellent” service.

We will take a look at the following:

  • Platform key details
  • Plans and pricing
  • Pros and cons
  • Usability and support
  • User reviews and testimonials
  • Alternatives
  • FAQ

Platform Key Details

Busuu is an AI-enabled online language learning platform available across desktop and mobile devices, worldwide. Currently, Busuu offers 12 languages, with an interface available in 15 different languages – a rather unique feature commended in nearly every Busuu app review.

The lessons (1,000+) are designed by expert linguists in short, manageable lengths. Machine-learning technology adds value through such features as speech recognition, personalized study plans, and tracking of any weak performance (e.g. words, phrases, grammar, etc.) that needs improvement. 

One of the platform’s highlights is the ability to join Busuu’s global ‘community’ and connect with native speakers for peer feedback on your spoken and written lessons/exercises.

Interface languages are:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese

The languages you can learn are:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Turkish

Users can choose to take a 5-minute placement test to determine their level either at the start or half-way through the language course.

Plans and Pricing

Busuu allows free access to the basic version of the app with the option to purchase a premium membership. The premium membership opens up additional features, such as learning units, materials, and certificates. Other than discounts (e.g. currently 50%), Busuu gives you the right to cancel your membership within 14 working days of your initial purchase and may offer a free lesson or trial period. Other services and materials (e.g. business courses, live lessons, etc.) are available for purchase by both basic and premium members.

Value for money is highlighted across several review platforms and Busuu user reviews, which mention that the service is “worth every penny” and “well worth buying”.

Subscription plans can be purchased through the Busuu website, mobile app, or other authorized service providers. Prices offered on different platforms may vary. For instance, a lifetime subscription for Premium Plus ($450) is offered by various providers, with up to a 64% discount available for a limited period.

Drawing on the Busuu website options, plans are available for three periods – 1, 12, or 24 months – as Premium or Premium Plus. Secure payment, in advance, can be done via credit/debit card or other accepted forms of payment, such as PayPal.

The Premium plan includes: 

  • Practice with native speakers 
  • Offline mode 
  • Grammar lessons 
  • Vocabulary training

The Premium Plus plan includes: 

  • All of the above 
  • Personalized study plan 
  • Allows you to learn up to 12 languages 
  • Official certificates 
Months Total Cost 

(Monthly Equivalent)

Total Cost 

(Monthly Equivalent)

1 €9.99pm €10.99pm
12 €69.96 

(€5.83pm)

€79.92 

(€6.66pm)

24 €129.84 

(€5.41)

€149.76 

(€6.42pm)

Busuu for Business currently serves over 250 organizations globally offering all languages together with 24/7 online tutors. To find the right language-learning solution, organizations can book an online demo. 

The following prices give an idea of the Business contract options, regardless of scale:

  • Essential (Basic; one language): from $82 per learner
  • Professional (Standard; all languages): from $94 per learner
  • Global (Comprehensive): tailored individual offer 

Usability

The Busuu language learning app is frequently praised for its ease of use by numerous users who left positive feedback on the Busuu language app review platforms. 

Help and Support

Customer service and technical support are highly rated for their prompt, effective, and professional help. Busuu aims to respond to all emails within 24 hours and appears to largely achieve this. 

Some user comments from Busuu Trustpilot reviews include:

“Excellent customer service.”

“Very helpful, replied straight away.”

“Superb service!”

Busuu support can be reached through direct messaging via the online request submission form or the ‘Help’ button on their website. You can sign in and seek assistance or choose to “Join the conversation” with Verbling or Busuu Live Communities. 

Social media platforms include LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and VK (Russian social network). In addition, the Busuu blog concentrates on language, presenting articles, quizzes, and tips on language options, words, and learning approaches.

Pros & Cons

Huge language learning community enables peer reviews and live conversations with fluent and native speakers

The app allows you to determine your level, set goals, and track your progress

Offline learning possible with premium as well as free membership

Highly rated for quality content and ease of use

McGraw-Hill Education certifications

The free basic version of the app has a lot of limitations

Small selection of available languages to learn

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Busuu User Reviews and Testimonials

Busuu rates a 4.1/5 based on 8,197 Busuu Trustpilot reviews. Busuu receives excellent reviews on both Google Play (4.5 from 392.5k reviews) and App Store (4.7 from 60.7k ratings). In fact, Busuu user reviews are so good that it achieved an “Editor’s Choice” stamp on Google Play. 

Busuu review ratings place the app in the top 10 list of 2020’s best apps, amongst others:

  • CNET – “Best for goal-oriented students
  • Good Housekeeping (#5) – Study plans, AI technology, feedback from native speakers
  • G2 – Ease of use (9.3/10) and quality of support (8.2/10)
  • Tina On Tech – One of the elite systems, well-rounded approach, and more than 100 million users’ community

Older Busuu review ratings of the app show that it has been doing a consistently good job of helping people learn new languages from the start:

  • PCMag (2017) – Polished, professional app; very high-quality material; excellent value
  • Online Course Rater (2018) – Collaborative learning; one of the most innovative language learning apps

Online Course Rater (2018) assesses Busuu as well-designed and affordable, balancing formal instruction and peer reviews from native speakers on written and spoken exercises. In partnership with McGraw-Hill, Busuu students earn McGraw-Hill Education endorsed certificates on completion of the coursework. Busuu certificates review assessments have also been positive. 

Busuu for Business offers language programs for business (their clients include Uber, Puma, and DHL) tailored to your organization’s needs.

Review Platform Rating out of 5 (No. of Reviews) Ranking (No. of Businesses)
AppStore 4.7 60.7k 115th  
G2 4.3 20 4th 52
Google Play 4.5 392.5k    
PCMag (2017) 4.0      
Sitejabber 1.35 49 67th 70
Trustpilot 4.1 8,197    

Busuu negative reviews complain about the limitations of the free version, to the extent that one user in education management reflects that the app is only good for beginners and that “without a Premium account the app is pointless”. For some, these limitations are tempered by premiums being inexpensive, while other users find the price too high when considering the wealth of available language learning options.

Alternatives

There is a large number of online language learning apps, and Busuu frequently features as a competitor against more established services, such as Rosetta Stone and Babbel. Similarly, newer entrants into the market are emerging as alternatives to Busuu, such as Mondly, Duolingo, and Lingoda. We briefly considered and compared Busuu against two of its competitors – Busuu vs Babbel and Mondly.

  Busuu Babbel Mondly
Trustpilot rating 4.1 (8,197 reviews) 4.6 (15,118 reviews) 4.1 (32 reviews)
Founded in 2008 2007 2013
Headquarters England Germany Romania
Languages 12 (15 interfaces) 14 (8 interfaces) 33 (33 interfaces)
Users 100 million + 10 million + 50 million +
Price Best Value: 2-year (multiple languages) Premium Plus ±$177 Best Value: 1-year (one language) plan $83.40 Freemium – Basic Free; 1-year (one language) plan $47.99
Best for Classroom-type, collaboration learning; Goal-oriented users Online school-type learning; Challenging content; Conversational Recall of words and phrases; Kids; Companion study
Reputation Top-quality content and value premium app; Well-rounded Best value premium app; Practical; Easy to use; Tailored Study aid; Gamified, Fun app; AI and reinforced learning

Wrap Up

A key feature that makes Busuu so compelling is the opportunity to engage with native speakers across its vast community of language learners. The fact that the company created a special ‘Save Busuu’ course – an effort to revive the endangered Cameroon language – is another unique and fascinating element.

In terms of Busuu’s language learning approach, the company appears to be creative and innovative. It collaborates with native speakers and incorporates AI technologies to enhance lessons designed by expert linguists.

Offline access, progress tracking, and short lessons, along with being able to use Busuu on as many devices as you want, all enable learning on-the-go. In addition, Busuu offers McGraw-Hill Education certificates for successfully completed coursework across half of its language options. 

Busuu is a relatively affordable platform allowing its users to develop one’s language skills in order to be able to engage in real-life situations. Finally, Busuu allows free members to start learning up to 2 languages, while premium members are given full access to all the available languages.

Busuu review
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FAQ

Is Busuu Better than Duolingo?

As one reviewer observed, both have weaknesses as well as unique features and strengths, and both are well-designed, have fun components, and are easy to access and use. Busuu gets positive reviews that compare rather closely to those for Duolingo – although Trustpilot (4.1 vs 2.5) is a notable exception. Ultimately your learning style will determine which one is better for you.

Can Busuu make you fluent?

While the immersion opportunities included with a Premium plan can advance you towards fluency, without the benefit of true (day-to-day, face-to-face) immersion, arguably no online language learning platform can make you fluent.

Which is the best language learning app?

Language learning is an individual experience and different apps would be identified as the best choice by different types of learners. What is definite from our Busuu review is that customer feedback identifies Busuu as one of the best available language learning apps. It is an affordable, well-rounded, on-the-go option that is most suited for classroom-style, collaborative learning and for goal-oriented users.