Develop a Language Learning App like Busuu

These days, being able to communicate in multiple languages can be a valuable asset. We have seen several language learning apps like Busuu, which have recently become quite popular. 

In fact, Busuu already has a remarkable user base of 120 million users worldwide. So, the demand for these kinds of apps is increasing rapidly. Developing an interesting language-learning app can also be a great opportunity for businesses to tap into this growing market and establish a loyal user base. 

In this blog, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about developing a unique language learning like Busuu, and we’ll also touch on some important points that can make this app a success!

What is the Busuu App?

The Busuu app is a popular language learning application that offers courses in over 12 languages, designed for learners of all levels. Founded in 2008, it boasts over 120 million users worldwide and is known for its interactive approach. Busuu combines expert-designed lessons with feedback from native speakers, making it a well-rounded option for mobile language learning. It has positive ratings on app stores, averaging 4.4 stars on Google Play.

What Makes Busuu Unique?

Busuu distinguishes itself by prioritizing the development of practical communication skills and cultivating a community-driven learning environment. Unlike some competitors that emphasize rote memorization, Busuu’s curriculum, built upon the CEFR framework, leans towards practical communication through features like “Busuu Conversations.” 

This in-app functionality allows learners to submit written work or spoken exercises and receive corrections and feedback directly from native speakers within the Busuu community. This not only refines grammar and pronunciation but also exposes users to the natural nuances of language, a critical element for business communication. Additionally, Busuu’s personalized learning paths, powered by features like the “Vocabulary Trainer” and “Grammar Units,” cater to individual needs and goals, ensuring busy professionals can maximize their time investment.

How Busuu Generates Revenue?

Busuu capitalizes on a freemium model, providing a foundation for free language learning. Their true revenue stream stems from premium subscriptions. Upgrading unlocks a world of benefits like personalized study plans, in-depth grammar exercises, offline access for on-the-go learning, and the chance to interact with native speakers. 

These features create a more effective and immersive language experience, justifying the subscription cost. Busuu’s premium plans typically range from $4.87 to $13.95 per month, depending on the chosen billing cycle. With millions of subscribers, this freemium approach, coupled with engaging features, has propelled Busuu to generate an estimated $50 million in revenue in 2022.

Busuu Subscription Plans

PlanDescriptionBilling CyclePrice per Month
FreeBasic access to lessons, limited vocabulary trainers, and no personalized learningFree
Premium Individual (Monthly)Full access to all lessons, grammar exercises, personalized study plans, offline access, vocabulary trainer, and native speaker feedback.Monthly$13.95
Premium Individual (6 Months)Same benefits as the Monthly plan, with a discounted price.6 Months~$8.99 (estimated based on typical discounts)
Premium Individual (12 Months)Same benefits as the Monthly plan, with a discounted price.12 Months~$4.87 (estimated based on typical discounts)

Key Market Takeaways for Language Learning App

According to TechReport, the language learning market is experiencing a golden age, projected to reach a staggering $337.2 billion by 2032. This growth surge is a boon for businesses in the sector, fueled by several key trends. 

Key Market Takeaways for Language Learning App

Source: TechReport

First, there’s a global communication revolution. Younger generations, particularly Gen Z, are increasingly drawn to Asian languages like Japanese and Korean, reflecting a growing cultural exchange. This trend is evident in the success of apps like Duolingo, which reported a surge in Korean learners after the global popularity of K-pop. Businesses are capitalizing on this by offering targeted courses and partnerships. 

For instance, Duolingo partnered with HBO Max to offer a Game of Thrones-themed Valyrian language course, a creative approach to cater to a specific pop-culture-driven audience.

Secondly, established languages like English, Spanish, and Mandarin continue to reign supreme. The Spanish segment, in particular, is expected to grow at a whopping 22% CAGR due to its global reach and economic significance. 

Finally, a digital-savvy youth population with a thirst for cultural immersion and career advancement is driving market growth, especially in the 18-20 age bracket. This trend is fueling the development of innovative learning methods. Memrise, for example, utilizes gamification techniques to make language learning engaging and interactive, perfectly suited for younger audiences. Businesses are also recognizing the power of personalization. Apps like Lingoda offer live tutoring sessions with native speakers, catering to learners who seek a more customized approach.

What Features Make Busuu So Popular Among Its Users?

Busuu’s impressive user base of over 130 million learners speaks volumes about its effectiveness as a language-learning app. But what exactly makes Busuu so popular? 

1. Bite-Sized, Expert-Designed Lessons

Busuu ditches overwhelming textbooks and lengthy lectures in favor of short, engaging “Vocabulary Trainer” and “Grammar Units” crafted by language experts. This bite-sized approach makes learning manageable and allows users to fit practice sessions into their busy schedules.

2. Focus on Practical Communication.

Busuu prioritizes real-world communication skills. Lessons go beyond memorizing vocabulary lists and delve into practical scenarios users might encounter while traveling, working, or socializing with native speakers. The “Conversation Units” focus on everyday situations like ordering food or asking for directions.

3. Interactive Learning with Feedback

Busuu isn’t a passive learning experience. Users actively participate in exercises that reinforce grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. The app’s “Voice Recognition” technology provides instant feedback on pronunciation, helping users identify and correct mistakes.

4. Community of Native Speakers

Busuu fosters a vibrant community where learners can connect with native speakers through the “Community” tab. This human connection goes beyond textbooks, providing users with the opportunity to practice conversations, gain cultural insights, and receive feedback from real people.

5. Personalized Learning Paths

Busuu understands that one-size-fits-all doesn’t work for language learning. The app offers personalized learning paths through its “Learning Goals” feature. Users can choose from various objectives, such as preparing for a trip with the “Travel” goal or brushing up on business vocabulary with the “Career” goal.

6. Offline Accessibility

Busuu is designed for learners who are often on the move. With the “Offline Mode” feature, users can download lessons for offline access, allowing them to continue their language learning journey even without an internet connection. This flexibility makes learning more convenient and removes barriers to consistent practice.

7. Gamification Elements

Busuu incorporates gamification elements to keep users engaged and motivated. Earning points with the “Points System,” completing daily challenges with the “Daily Streak” feature, and unlocking new levels provide a sense of accomplishment and encourage app users to stay on track with their learning goals.

How to Develop a Language Learning App like Busuu?

Developing a language learning app like Busuu involves a comprehensive process. Here is a detailed guide for businesses and companies looking to enter this space.

Step 1: Define Your Niche

Businesses must first identify a specific niche within the language learning market. Analyzing market trends and identifying gaps is crucial. The app could cater to various demographics, such as business professionals seeking to learn industry-specific vocabulary, children needing engaging and interactive content, or travelers looking to pick up essential phrases quickly. After defining the niche, companies should select the languages to offer, prioritizing based on market demand and available resources. This decision will shape the overall direction of the app and its features.

Step 2: Develop Learning Methodology

A well-structured curriculum is the backbone of any effective language-learning app. Companies should plan a logical progression of courses, similar to Busuu’s level-based approach. High-quality content is essential, including audio dialogues, interactive exercises, and clear explanations. This content should be created with the target audience in mind, ensuring it is engaging and relevant.

Step 3: Content Creation and Integration

Creating engaging lessons that cater to various learning styles is vital. This can include a mix of exercises and activities, such as flashcards, quizzes, and interactive games. Incorporating audio recordings from native speakers will enhance pronunciation practice and provide learners with authentic dialogues. This step ensures the app offers a comprehensive learning experience that keeps users motivated.

Step 4: Implement Adaptive Learning

To personalize the learning experience, businesses can leverage machine learning (ML) algorithms. These algorithms can tailor lesson difficulty, suggest relevant topics based on user performance, and optimize content delivery according to individual learning styles. This level of personalization helps users progress more effectively and keeps them engaged with the app.

Step 5: Develop Smart Review Systems

Smart review systems powered by ML are essential for effective vocabulary and grammar retention. By analyzing user performance and identifying forgotten concepts, the app can deliver targeted reviews at optimal intervals. This method, known as spaced repetition, maximizes knowledge retention and helps users build a solid foundation in the new language.

Step 6: Incorporate Advanced Speech Recognition and NLP

Advanced speech recognition technology can go beyond simple word or sentence accuracy. It can analyze intonation and pronunciation nuances, offering corrections specific to the learner’s accent. Additionally, NLP can be used to analyze writing exercises, identify grammatical errors, suggest alternative phrasings, and provide tailored feedback. These technologies enhance the overall learning experience by offering detailed and personalized insights.

Step 7: Build a Recommendation Engine

A recommendation engine can significantly enhance user engagement. By analyzing user data and community interactions, the app can suggest conversation partners with similar learning goals or interests. This feature promotes a feeling of community and motivates people to practice regularly. It also helps users find relevant content and partners, making their learning journey more enjoyable and effective.

Step 8: Develop Community Features

Community-powered content review systems are invaluable. Allowing native speakers to review and provide personalized corrections on learner exercises can greatly improve the learning experience. Using an NLP-powered platform for efficient feedback distribution ensures high-quality and timely reviews. This community interaction not only improves language skills but also enhances cultural understanding.

Step 9: Design and Develop the App

An intuitive design and engaging interface are crucial. The app should be easy to navigate, with a visually appealing layout that keeps users motivated. It’s important to select the appropriate technology stack to ensure scalability, security, and performance. React Native or Flutter are popular choices for cross-platform development, while a robust backend infrastructure is necessary to handle user data and content delivery.

What is the Cost of Developing a Language Learning App Like Busuu?

Development PhaseEstimated Cost Range
1. Research & Planning$5,000 – $15,000
– Market research$2,000 – $5,000
– App concept & design$3,000 – $10,000
2. Front-End Development$20,000 – $50,000
– User Interface (UI) Design$10,000 – $25,000
– Front-End Development$10,000 – $25,000
3. Back-End Development$25,000 – $70,000
– Server-side development$15,000 – $40,000
– API integration$5,000 – $15,000
– Database development$5,000 – $15,000
4. App FeaturesCosts Vary
– Basic features$5,000 – $10,000 per feature
– Advanced features$10,000 – $20,000 per feature
– Community features$5,000 – $10,000 per feature
– Speech recognition$15,000 – $30,000
5. Testing & Quality Assurance$5,000 – $10,000
Total Estimated Cost Range$80,000 – $215,000

Apart from the cost mentioned above, it’s also crucial to understand the variable costs that can significantly impact the budget.

1. Content Creation in Multiple Languages

Busuu offers a vast selection of languages to learn. Developing high-quality learning materials, explanations, and audio recordings for each language requires a significant investment. Businesses need to factor in the cost of hiring qualified language experts and voice actors for each target language.

2. Native Speaker Feedback Integration

At Busuu, one of the key features is the opportunity to improve speaking skills and get valuable feedback from native speakers. This necessitates integrating a system that connects learners with qualified speakers and manages feedback delivery. Building and maintaining such a system adds complexity and cost to the development process.

3. AI-powered Learning Features

Busuu utilizes artificial intelligence for features like personalized study plans and advanced vocabulary reviews. Developing and implementing these functionalities requires expertise in machine learning and can be a costly endeavor. Businesses need to weigh the value proposition against the investment in AI technology.

4. Community Management

Busuu fosters a large community of learners. In order to ensure a positive user experience, the platform needs continuous moderation and management. This can involve hiring community managers, developing tools to address user concerns, and fostering a safe and productive learning environment. These ongoing costs are unique to edtech apps that prioritize user interaction and community building.

Teck Stacks Required to Develop a Language Learning App like Busuu

Developing an education app like Busuu requires a sophisticated technology stack to ensure a seamless user experience and robust functionality. Here are some essential tech stacks 

1. Frontend Development

For a consistent user experience across both iOS and Android platforms, businesses often employ frameworks like React Native or Flutter. These frameworks enable code to be written once and deployed across multiple platforms, ensuring a consistent look and feel for the app. This not only accelerates the development process but also reduces maintenance efforts.

2. Cloud Platforms

Scalability and infrastructure management are vital for handling the growing user base and data needs of a language-learning app. Cloud platforms like GCP or AWS provide scalable solutions for data storage, computing power, and other infrastructure needs. These platforms offer various tools and services to enhance the app’s performance and reliability.

3. Big Data Analytics

Analyzing user data on learning patterns, strengths, and weaknesses allows companies to improve their algorithms for personalized learning continuously. Big data analytics helps identify trends and insights that can inform the development of new features and enhancements, ensuring that the app evolves to meet user needs effectively.

4. Communication APIs

To enable features such as voice recognition and interaction with native speakers, various APIs must be integrated. Communication APIs facilitate the seamless exchange of data between different components of the app and external services, ensuring smooth functionality and enhanced user experiences.

5. Natural Language Processing

For advanced features beyond basic speech recognition, NLP plays a crucial role. NLP technologies can analyze writing exercises, offering nuanced feedback on grammar, sentence structure, and cultural appropriateness. This level of analysis helps provide more personalized and effective learning experiences.

6. Machine Translation

While basic translations are standard, leveraging machine translation for context-specific translations within exercises or dialogues can further personalize the learning experience. This technology ensures that users receive relevant and accurate translations, enhancing their understanding and retention of new vocabulary and phrases.

7. Gamification Techniques

To keep users motivated and engaged, integrating gamification elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards is effective. These game mechanics provide a sense of achievement and competition, encouraging users to continue their learning journey and complete more lessons.

8. AI for Content Delivery

AI can curate and deliver content that aligns with a user’s progress, interests, and learning style. By analyzing user data and their unique behavior, AI can recommend the most relevant lessons and exercises, optimizing the learning path for each individual user.


Language learning apps can really help individuals achieve their personal and professional goals by providing a flexible and engaging learning experience. For instance, these apps open doors to new travel destinations, international friendships, and even career opportunities abroad. This can be a lucrative opportunity for ed tech businesses to jump on this trend and develop a unique language-learning app that can cater to this growing demand and make a fortune out of it!

Looking to Develop a Language Learning App like Busuu?

Idea Usher can help. With over 500,000 hours of development experience, our team of experts can craft a robust language-learning platform like Busuu. We’ll leverage our fluency in back-end technologies to ensure a scalable infrastructure and a user-friendly interface while integrating features like spaced repetition algorithms and gamification to keep users engaged and progressing toward fluency. Let Idea Usher be your guide to building the next big name in language learning apps!

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Q1: How to create a language learning application?

A1: Crafting a language learning app requires a multi-step approach. First, define your target audience and unique selling proposition. Then, choose a tech stack that prioritizes scalability (cloud platforms) and user experience (React Native). Develop core features like vocabulary trainers and gamification for an engaging MVP. Content creation, with audio recordings and translation expertise, is vital. Finally, a freemium model should be considered to attract users and convert them to paying subscribers for long-term profitability.

Q2: Are language learning apps profitable?

A2: The language learning app market is booming, with revenue exceeding $2.9 billion in 2021. Top performers like Busuu leverage subscription models to convert free users into paying customers. Busuu itself boasts millions of subscribers, demonstrating the profitability potential. The key lies in offering engaging content, effective learning methods, and a freemium model that incentivizes paid upgrades for a sustainable revenue stream.

Q3: How long does it take to create a language-learning app?

A3: The timeline for developing a language learning app depends on its complexity. An MVP with core functionalities like vocabulary trainers and progress tracking can take 3-6 months for a single platform. Advanced features like speech recognition and gamification extend this to 9-12 months. Comprehensive apps like Busuu, with multiple languages and social features, can reach development cycles of 18 months or more.

Q4: What tech stack does a language learning app use?

A4: Language learning apps like Busuu rely on a blend of technologies. The front end utilizes frameworks like React Native for a smooth user experience across devices. Powerful back-end languages such as Python (Django/Flask) handle data storage, user management, and communication. Speech recognition engines from Google or IBM power pronunciation practice, while gamification features are often built with engaging JavaScript libraries. Finally, cloud platforms like AWS or Azure ensure scalability and global accessibility.

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