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Language leaders announce Ukrainian courses to aid people displaced by war

Since the war in Ukraine began, it is estimated that as many as 7.5 million people have been displaced, leaving behind their homes and the country they loved in search of safety. 

With countries, people and companies alike doing everything they can to aid refugees, today, Babbel announce the launch of Ukrainian language courses. The courses offer native Ukrainian speakers the opportunity to learn German, Polish or English for free through the app. Regardless of ability, Babbel is hoping to ease the transition, making community transitions across Europe that little bit easier. 

When asked, Babbel’s European CEO, Arne Schepker said, “Language is often more than a skill. It can be a lifesaver, enabling access to critical information and essential services, reducing communication challenges, and empowering mutual understanding across people and communities. It helps build bridges rather than walls, something that the world needs now more than ever. For Babbel, offering language courses for free to refugees in Ukrainian is wholly aligned with our purpose. With millions of Ukrainians displaced and fleeing to the EU, there was an urgency to develop these courses in less than a month from start to finish.”

To further the transition, and ease of language barriers, Babbel has also built a glossary for learning Ukrainian for citizens in host countries so that refugees are welcomed not only with open arms but a modicum of verbal understanding. Furthermore, within the app, users can access resources and articles on arriving in Germany and Poland, while Berlin-based Russian learners will receive in-app push notifications, asking them to volunteer at welcome centres where Russian speakers are needed to help those who have been displaced.

It is important that the world recognises the need to help those in need by offering what they can. Schepker saw the deepening crisis in Ukraine and took to his team to offer Ukrainians the courses and materials needed to smooth the language barrier. By utilising their unique expertise and expert approach, “our courses, developed by our linguistic experts and based in one’s native language, enable faster learning and lead to more meaningful conversations and increased memory. In this case, it meant creating courses that can be applied to real-life situations to meet the urgent language needs of Ukrainian displaced communities.”

Language levels available for Ukrainians learning English or German include A1 to B1, covering introductions, basic expressions, questions, and events. For speakers learning Polish, the language levels offered are A1 to A2, The courses have been developed with the rigour of all Babbel’s world-leading language offerings that are rooted in research, learner experience design, and didactic expertise. Newcomer courses will be immediately available for learners, with beginner and intermediate courses released sequentially throughout the coming month.

Further to the language learning offering to help refugees settle, Babbel is providing office space for Ukrainian humanitarian organizations in their Berlin offices, where a volunteering centre offers support for the care and accommodation of refugees, including child integration activities, information campaigns, call centres and the organization of aid deliveries. 

The courses are also available via the Babbel landing page, including further offerings for Ukrainian refugees, or via the Babbel app.

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