July 25, 2008

Palabea – Language Learning Made Easy


It is said that the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in the culture or society that speaks it, but more often than not, financial and time constraints can prevent such an endeavor. This is when Palabea steps in, an online language learning program that is perfect for everyone, from busy mothers who want to learn a new language to time-crunched college students looking to spruce up their foreign language grammar.

Founded in Germany by a pair of global-minded individuals, the Palabea network was designed to help improve learning languages among its users, whether online or offline. The company has partnered with various accredited educational organizations such as Café Babel, the leading European citizen media, and Deutsch Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster. The fact that Palabea has localized their site in various languages (German, English, Spanish, Italian, French, Chinese and Japanese as of this writing) helps ensure that the site remains accessible to a wide audience.

So far, 163 countries are represented on the network, so finding other people who speak the languages you are learning is hardly a concern. As a part of the Palabea community, each user acts as both a student and a teacher. You may communicate or read materials posted by speakers of the language that you are learning, but you will also be encouraged to help others who are looking to speak your native language. Exchanges can be as simple as emailed messages to one another or as in-depth as live video chats. An additional section also exists to help you connect with people in your area who are either learning or know how to speak your languages to help facilitate the learning process even when you sign off.

Palabea is still in its beta testing stage, but it can already boast of having more than 50,000 active users and since its creators are still tweaking with the site, more features and tools will likely be added in the future.

Practical Uses:

  • Connect with native speakers of different languages online and help learn each other’s language
  • Practice your speaking skills even when you are stuck at home with young children
  • Squeeze in a little time to learn new words in your foreign language on your lunch break or after work

Insider Tips:

  • If you are not sure where to start, click on the “Take A Tour” button on the homepage to have a tutorial walk you through the site’s capabilities
  • The Palabea blog (found at is a great way to get news updates about the site and also voice your comments and concerns

What We Liked:

  • You can join any of the many language schools, which are an accredited, international organizations with more structure and guidance towards learning
  • Other users are very friendly and are eager to connect with you
  • The website works with other language learning organizations instead of competing with them, so you get the benefit of their combined resources
  • The network can help you learn even when you are offline by finding people near you who you can meet with to have a face-to-face conversation
  • The website is ad-free as of this review, making site navigation smooth and uncluttered
  • Video and text chats do not require third-party software as it is integrated into the website

What We Didn’t Like:

  • There seems to be little structure in the program outside of the language schools, making the language learning experience a kind of do-it-yourself free-for-all endeavor
  • We are unsure how Palabea intends to monetize its system which means users may eventually be required to pay membership or additional features


Company Info:

  • Launched: November, 2007
  • Privately Owned
  • Headquarters: Berlin, DEU
  • Founded by Sebastian Schkudlara and Patricia Sierra Fernandez
  • Web site:


  • Free


  1. mustafa Sajeeb

    I want to learning French and Spanish language.

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