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Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians take up free language app offer

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have started free language courses from app-maker Babbel

Almost 200,000 Ukrainians have taken up the offer of free app-based language courses to help them prepare to settle in other countries as they escape Russian military attack.

Since the offer was made by language learning app Babbel in May, courses in German, English and Polish have been started in high volumes by Ukrainian speakers.

The courses, which were created by Babbel developers within a month, range from beginner to intermediate levels, and are available on Babbel’s app, which can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store, the Google Play Store and online.

“The creation of our Ukrainian courses is a project that our team poured their hearts into,” said Arne Schepker, CEO at Babbel. “As with many products, reality sets in when it is actually put to use. In this case, it’s humbling to see hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians learn a new language with our platform and do so successfully.

“When we started the initiative, we did so because we were convinced that the provision of language learning is a critical service, especially for displaced people, and – as shown in this case – meeting a real societal need.”

According to Babbel data, 45% of subscribers are joining from Ukraine, followed by 19% of learners joining from Poland and 13% from Germany. More than 59% of learners are choosing to study English.

The courses are designed around the learner’s native language and have been created specifically to help displaced Ukrainians in real-life situations. They are available at A1 (beginner) to B1 (intermediate) levels and cover introductions, basic expressions, asking questions and describing events, as well as common expressions and conversations about daily life.

Read more about tech industry’s support for Ukraine

Babbel has developed resources, such as articles to help people arriving in Germany and Poland, as well as support guides for people in host countries who want to learn Ukrainian. It has also included notifications in its app calling for Russian speakers in Berlin to volunteer where needed.

Furthermore, the company is offering up space for Ukrainian humanitarian organisations in its Berlin office, where a volunteering centre offers support for the care and accommodation of refugees.

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