• YEARS IN BUSINESS: 13
  • LANGUAGES TO LEARN: 12
  • FREE TRIAL: Yes
  • INTERFACE LANGUAGES: 15
  • APPS: Desktop, Mobile
  • CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Email, Online Form

2021’s Busuu Review: Features, Pros & Cons, Testemonials

  • YEARS IN BUSINESS: 13
  • LANGUAGES TO LEARN: 12
  • FREE TRIAL: Yes
  • INTERFACE LANGUAGES: 15
  • APPS: Desktop, Mobile
  • CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Email, Online Form

Best For

Those Who Love Innovation

STRENGTHS

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

WEAKNESSES

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

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.

Busuu Pricing & Plans

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 Busuu 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. If you cannot decide which one to opt for when it comes to the Busuu Premium vs Premium Plus plans, the information below might help you weigh.

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 free basic version of the app has a lot of limitations
The app allows you to determine your level, set goals, and track your progress Small selection of available languages to learn
Offline learning possible with premium as well as free membership
Highly rated for quality content and ease of use
McGraw-Hill Education certifications

Busuu Language Reviews

In this section, we wanted to provide more information on some of the courses you might take, so stay tuned if you want more information. And, in case you want to explore one-on-one lessons, look for Busuu live lessons review.

Busuu Japanese Review

Like some other language courses, the Japanese course has three different programs: Complete Japanese, Hiragana and Katakana, and Japanese for Travel.

While learning Japanese, three teaching methods are used:

  • Pictures – On the pictures, there will be an English translation.
  • Conversation with natives – Native speakers will use the words from your recent lesson and use them in example sentences to better understand the meaning.
  • Test – This is the part where you’ll recap what you learned. 

That is not all. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about Japanese writing systems, Hiragana and Katakana. 

Busuu Spanish Review

If you opt for learning Spanish, you will have two courses, Spanish for Traveling and Complete Spanish. 

Complete Spanish course consists of speaking, writing, listening, and reading. With this course, you’ll cover all necessary vocabulary and grammar points. While Spanish for Travel helps you master the basics of the language, so you can travel to Spanish-speaking countries without having the problem of communicating about everyday life.

Busuu French Review

Language learners who choose to learn French will have the option to pick one of three offered courses: French for Business, Complete French, and French for Travel.

French for Business is made for business people who want to learn language through business vocabulary. Complete French is for the ones who want to learn the basics that include pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar) 

No matter what course you choose, you can record your voice and send writing notes and receive feedback from the natives with corrections. Upon finishing the course you chose, you’ll get a CEFT certification.

Busuu User Reviews and Testimonials

Busuu rates a 4.1/5 based on 9,401 Busuu Trustpilot reviews. Busuu receives excellent reviews on both Google Play (4.4 from 428.6k reviews) and App Store (4.7 from 62.5k 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 2021’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 62.5k 115th
G2 4.3 20 4th 52
Google Play 4.4 428.6k
PCMag (2017) 4.0
Sitejabber 1.47 57 67th 70
Trustpilot 4.1 9.401

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.

Busuu Alternatives

If you need some time to think about your option, that’s fine. To help you out, we compared two apps with Busuu so you can make a well-informed decision. 

Babbel vs Busuu

When it comes to prices and availability, both apps are almost identical. The difference is that Busuu has a bit richer free version. It offers more content for the ones who want to learn the basics. The other difference is that Babbel offers 14 languages for their learners, while Busuu offers 12. Also, Busuu uniquely offers Asian languages, while Babbel offers Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish.

Read the full Babbel review here.

Busuu vs Duolingo

Both apps offer free versions, as well as premium ones. What’s also common for these apps is that they are for beginners. 

The difference is that with a premium account on Duolingo, you’ll be free of ads, while on Busuu, you’ll get the option of quizzes after each lesson and further grammar practice. The other difference is that on Busuu, language learners can practice with natives. In contrast to Duolingo, where they can just practice grammar, vocabulary, and some common phrases, pronunciation, but not a conversation

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 comes at a cost that is relatively affordable, 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.

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.

What Is Busuu?

Busuu is a language learning platform that is web-based but also available on iOS and Android devices. They offer courses in 12 languages, while their interface is available in 15 languages. People who want to learn a language can practice vocabulary, grammar, and conversation with native speakers.

Is Busuu Worth It?

Both Busuu free vs premium options can be worth your time, depending on what you need. Namely, if you want to learn the basics, the free option is enough, but if you want to learn more than that, you should consider the premium version, especially if you want to talk to natives.

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.

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