Duolingo Review

Review of Duolingo

Duolingo is a hugely popular app/program, with over 25 million users. In 2013, it was chosen by Apple as its iPhone App of the Year. Duolingo can be downloaded completely free of charge on your phone or used on your computer. The question is: what are its pros and cons? And is it worth spending a lot of your time on it?

Level 8 in ItalianAfter 7 days of extensive use (and 8 levels passed in Italian, woohoo!), I can safely say I’ve familiarized myself pretty well with Duolingo and I’m happy to share with you an honest, balanced review of the app. I hope you’ll enjoy the review, and I’d love if you could also share with the rest of us your experience with Duolingo, and ways you think the app could be made better.

Brief Overview

Duolingo is a free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform, currently offering 5 language courses to English speakers (Latin American Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese and Italian), as well as a variety of other courses (mostly American English, but also Spanish and French) to native speakers of other languages, such as Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and many more.

Duolingo launched for the general public in mid-2012, and as of early 2014 it has a whopping 25+ million users. The program is completely free to use, with no ads or hidden fees: as mentioned on their About Page, Duolingo can sustain itself by letting its users translate real-world documents while they’re learning languages. Third parties that need their websites translated, for example, could pay Duolingo to do that.

How Does It Work?

Choose your level on DuolingoAfter you choose the language you wish to learn, you have the option of starting right from the beginning (Basics 1), which presumes you have no prior background in the language. You also have the option of “taking a shortcut” and directly jumping to later lessons in the app version, or passing a short “placement test” in the web version, to see what Level you might best fit in.

Different levels in DuolingoThrough Duolingo, you get to learn languages in a more “traditional” way, in the sense that you learn vocabulary in stages, starting with things such as the present tense, animals, food, plurals, possessive, clothing, conjunctions, etc. Within each of these levels, you have anywhere from one to 8-9 or more lessons, which in turn comprise a number of exercises. As you progress, the phrases you practice in the lessons/exercises get progressively more complex. Additional verb tenses are introduced much later as you progress through many levels.

Each lesson is composed of 4 types of exercises (see picture below): a translation exercise where you are required to translate from your native language (L1) to your target language (L2) or vice-versa; a listening exercise where you listen to a short phrase being spoken and you write what you hear; a matching exercise where you are introduced to new vocabulary and need to match it with the right photo or vice-versa; and a speaking exercise where you have to read out loud a sentence in the target language. This process is what we could call “gamified”: each lesson is composed of about 15 such exercises, and you have three “lives” (hearts) to complete each one. If you make mistakes more than three times in a level, you have to restart from the beginning of the lesson. One lesson takes anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes to complete, on average (obviously it gets progressively harder as you progress).

Different exercises on Duolingo

Note that Duolingo does not provide any grammatical explanations whatsoever in their lessons. You do translation, listening, matching, and speaking exercises, but you are not told why words are used the way they are. However, if you’re using the web version of Duolingo, you will have access to helpful forums where you can ask questions to fellow language learners.

Good Points

Overall, I must say that for a totally free app, I’ve been rather happy with Duolingo. Here are some of the main features I’ve liked about the app:

  1. Earning lingots on DuolingoIt has an addictive element to it, and as you progress through levels and stages, you get a sense of accomplishment. Since the app tracks your progress and the number of points you acquire every day (see picture below), it also motivates you to keep going and beat your previous records (you can also challenge your friends on Facebook!). Plus, as you gain experience points and pass through different levels, you earn “lingots” with which you can purchase items and bonus lessons.
  2. The app can be easily used on your phone/tablet PC on the go, so it’s a nice time killer when you’re in the bus, train, plane, or waiting for something to happen.
  3. The interface is clean and very easy to use. There is also a nice balance between translation, listening, matching, and speaking exercises. The voice recognition program is not too bad, and if you’re in a public place you always have the option to skip the speaking exercises temporarily.

Progress graph on Duolingo

Bad Points

While I would, overall, recommend Duolingo to most beginning language learners, there are still some significant drawbacks that need to be mentioned.

  1. Given that the program teaches you vocabulary in stages, starting with things such as the present tense, animals, food, plurals, etc., you are not exposed to natural sounding conversations and sentences (at least, not until very much later as you reach more advanced lessons). In this respect, Duolingo is in dramatic opposition to other language methods such as Assimil, Teach Yourself, or Berlitz. I don’t know how often you use the words “elephant”, “lion”, “snake”, or “horse” in your daily conversations with people, but no matter how useless you think this vocabulary is, you’ll have to go through the lessons that introduce it whether you like it or not.
  2. Children write on the shark DuolingoAs stated above, because the program progresses in set stages and introduces vocabulary in what I call “boxes” (animals, food, jobs, furniture, etc.) rather than in a more natural fashion, the sentences you are exposed to, in a large number of early lessons, are essentially useless and at times nonsensical. For example, I’ve come across such sentences as: “My snake eats your cake,” “I have our cow,” “Their elephant drinks milk,” “The knife is in the boot,” “We come from the women,” and many more similar ones. Probably not the best arsenal of sentences to impress the native speakers on your next trip overseas…
  3. Duolingo has no natural sounding conversations, the stuff you would normally find in most good textbooks. Rather, you’ll only be exposed to short phrases/sentences. While we all know that the first thing a native speaker is likely to ask you upon hearing you speak their language is “how long have you been learning X?”, you’ll be left speechless because this is not the type of thing you’ll learn through Duolingo (at least not before several weeks of study).
  4. Duolingo uses a computerized voice system for all of its listening exercises, so you’re not introduced to how the language really sounds. The voice is dry, non-rhythmical, and well, it sounds like a computer. Because of this, I found the listening exercises quite useless, and you will simply not learn to speak or listen to the language correctly. It’s one thing to hear a computer utter an Italian sentence, but it’s entirely another one to go to Rome and find yourself trying to understand the officer at the train station.
  5. As stated above, Duolingo does not offer any explanation of grammatical structures as part of its platform. You may be wondering why at times a particular word comes before the pronoun and at times after, why personal pronouns are dropped and sometimes not, or why the plural masculine article “the”  in Italian is sometimes “gli” and sometimes “i”. Of course, the internet is available at anyone’s disposition and a quick search might yield good results, but it would still be nice to integrate some kind of explanations as part of the Duolingo program.

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To wrap this review up, I would say that as with most other things in life, Duolingo has some good and bad sides to it. In retrospect, what I liked the most about the app is its ease of use on the go and the addictive elements to it that turn in into sort of a game. I’d like to see such elements expanded in future versions of the app, which I think would make Duolingo a lot better.

However, because of the downsides I’ve outlined above, I’ll be honest and say that I will probably not make extensive use of Duolingo in the future. I simply find audio methods such as Pimsleur to be more effective while on the go, with others such as Assimil or Teach Yourself better when at home or in a café. Of course, these latter are not free, but time does have a cost too. Free always has an appeal, but free also comes with a price, be it your time, efficiency, or else.

I hope you’ll have enjoyed this review, and once again, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Duolingo and on this review in the comments section right below!

  • www.lingholic.com is all about the art of learning languages. Learn how to learn and dramatically improve your foreign language acquisition ability.

  • Show Comments (52)

  • Great, honest review! I’ve reached similar conclusions from using it myself. The random and nonsensical sentences in particular drove me mad.

    As you’ve said, it’s not really an input method. There’s no presentation of new structures or vocabulary (maybe it would be nice to have an option to view a word list before you do an exercise) so you kind of have to learn by guessing and getting it right/wrong.

    That said, it has the potential to work as a compliment to an audio course etc because Duolingo exercises do make you think. Right?

    I’m interested to see if it will evolve.

    • Yes Ruth, I agree that it might be a good to have an option to view a word list before you do an exercise. I also think Duolingo should introduce actual conversations (sentence by sentence) in their levels, so that you actually pick up meaningful sentences used in context between individuals.

      Thanks for your comment!

      • Andreea_D

        For real conversations, I’m using: Mondly Languages.
        It is the only one I found that has Conversations lessons. I actually recorded those conversations with one of my friends. Imagine the fun we had :)) Not to mention that, compared to Duolingo, with this app I learn things I can really use day by day.

    • Johnny

      I’m using duolingo on android and before every lesson there’s a list of words that will be covered

      • I’ve found it lists some of the new words, but not all of them. (Maybe my screen is too small to see the rest…)

  • Luiz Lucena

    Good review, Sam!
    I’ve been learning German for 5 years now, and I find Duolingo is a very nice tool to learning words/sentences. It’s funnier than Anki, in my humble opinion. I couldn’t agree more with you on the non-sensical translations!

    • Yes, Anki can get a bit dry, especially since it’s missing that “gamified” aspect to it. It would be nice to have such a flashcard app though!

      How is your German coming along, by the way? Are you relying a lot on Duolingo, or just a little bit?

      • Luiz Lucena

        Thanks for asking, Sam! My German is coming along slow but steady. Its current level is somewhere around B1 level.
        I’ve been relying very little on Duolingo, though. I’ve recently decided that I should review some basics of the language, other than learning new sentences that I hadn’t before. I’m using Linguaphone AllTalk so that I can have a better grasp of spoken German. Apart from that, I am about to begin the active phase of Assimil German with Ease. I think it’ll help.
        Above all things, communicating (or at least trying/struggling to) with Germans either via Skype or in person has definitively helped me to level my German up.
        I had had German tuition before, but I see I’ve done much more progress by means of having a Tandem (that is, a language exchange partner).

        And yeah, it’d be great if Anki went gamified!

        And how is your (Brazilian) Portuguese going?

        Um abraço,

        Luiz

      • Luiz Lucena

        Hey Sam! Sorry for such a bad timing. I’ve tried to commit to using Duolingo once a day, but I couldn’t make it through. Then, I just rely on it a little bit. Still helpful, though.

        • Great to hear you’re still on it, that’s the most important 🙂 I’m sure you’ll make a lot of progress with Glossika. At your level, I would probably advise against using Duolingo. Look for some native material such as news, TV shows, and other such things. This will add some variety to your studies and make things a bit more fun 🙂

          • Luiz Lucena

            Thank you for your valuable tips! I definitely need more fun in my German learning. I’m going to try and do it more often. Sometimes I even dare to watch Deutsche Welle and read some news in natural language (both of which are still that difficult), and even if I’m still at B1, listening to B2 audios and being able to understand most things boosts my self-esteem a lot.
            By the way, how do you approach grammar at the B1 level? Or do you prefer to postpone studying it until you reach B2?

            And how about your Portuguese? How’s it progressing? And thank you for choosing the Brazilian variety! I’m sure we Brazilians would love to communicate with you when you set foot on our country.

            Abraço.

  • Sara E. Foster

    Duolingo has grammatical tips in some languages (for example German), but not in Italian.

    • Oh, that’s good to know! How does Duolingo offer grammatical tips in German? Is it blended in the lessons, or is it before or after them?

      I’m wondering whether other languages also have grammatical tips too.

      • Sara E. Foster

        Both, they appear in the overview of some of the modules, and sometimes pop up during the exercises. Some languages have them, some don’t. But the general idea is that grammar is best taught implicitly, which works great for me, as I am totally immune to explicit grammar teaching, but people’s mileage varies of course.

      • If you’re using the mobile application, you pretty much will never ever see the grammatical tips. The mobile tips inside the application can be startingly useless. https://adventureslaura.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/verb-conjugation.png is an example of such a tip. Try to figure out proper usage of mezcla from that tip. There are similar issues with tips, where say “verde” is presented, and the tip provides advice only for words that end in a or o. No explanation for how to understand when this is not the case.

  • Guest

    Hi Sam,

    Nice review and I agree. It is tough to learn a language by yourself. I tried out Duolingo and remember being asked to translate “the dawn of tomorrow” in Level 4. Seriously? Hmm. Not high frequency. I also had a lot of sentences with everything being green. The decontextualized sentences, clearly excerpted from some type of translation, add to the difficulty of learning a language in which meaning and context are critical. But it’s free and has some cool features to it. And I’m in favor of anything that helps people think globally and learn a new language!

    Why not hop on over to http://wespeke.com and give it a try? WeSpeke is a free social network for language and cultural exchange. It is a fairly new company but has community members from many difficult countries who can connect through text, audio, and video. It is more about practicing a language in an exchange format vs. providing lessons. But it is also fun.

    Keep up the blog; it is always enjoyable to read.

    Cathy

  • Cathy Wilson

    Hi Sam,

    Nice review and I agree. It is tough to learn a language by yourself. I tried out Duolingo and remember being asked to translate “the dawn of tomorrow” in Level 4. Seriously? Hmm. Not high frequency. I also had a lot of sentences with everything being green. The decontextualized sentences, clearly excerpted from some type of translation, add to the difficulty of learning a language in which meaning and context are critical. But it’s free and has some cool features to it. And I’m in favor of anything that helps people think globally and learn a new language!

    Why not hop on over to http://wespeke.com and give it a try? WeSpeke is a free social network for language and cultural exchange. It is a fairly new company but has community members from many different countries who can connect through text, audio, and video. It is more about practicing a language in an exchange format vs. providing lessons. But it is also fun.

    Keep up the blog; it is always enjoyable to read.

  • Interesting review, and after using Duolingo myself for more than 6 months in French and a couple of months for Italian, I agree. I have to say though, that I found the audio of Italian really bad compared to the French one. I think that, if you can’t afford Assimil (I wrote a review about it or something similar: http://nuevoshabitos.net/el-metodo-assimil-resena/, but in Spanish), it’s okay (better than not doing anything!) as you will definitely learn something. However, if you can afford it and are serious about learning, it should definitely just be complimentary to other better methods you mentioned.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

    • Hi Roserin,

      I checked out your review, very interesting! I agree with you but it should be pointed out that there are lots of free resources all over the web. Things such as podcasts, videos, TV shows, or even language exchange partners. In terms of Assimil, the series is quite expensive, and while it’s always nice to have your own copy, I think it can also easily be borrowed in a local library.

    • Have you tried the English audio? There were a lot of people on the Duolingo message board saying once you finish English -> Spanish, do Spanish -> English to reinforce what you learned. I tried, but the voice for English was so awful that it took me more time to process it than the Spanish voice.

  • Great review. I think Duolingo is a great tool for learning language but not on its own. I think it’s great for review and/or in addition to other materials and the points are kind of addicting (thank you gamification). I also like the fact the lessons are relatively short so I can complete them when I don’t have a lot of time to sit down and study other ways.

    On the other hand, I agree that sometimes the sentences we’re given are often quite odd.

    • Shannon, I agree that Duolingo can be great for review and/or in addition to other materials. In the end, it’s a good program to use if you like it and it makes you practice the language!

      Personally, I do enjoy it but I’ve found audio programs such as Pimsleur/Michel Thomas to produce faster results and these latter teach more useful sentences and constructions. I think Duolingo has a lot of potential, but they just need to work on their program’s algorithm and the way it comes up with sentences.

      Another point I didn’t mention in the review is that when taking the bus, for example, the audio exercises are really hard to properly hear. In the Italian version at least, the volume of the audio exercises is a lot lower than the volume when the sentences of other exercises are being read. As a result, I constantly have to change the volume up and down when using the app in a slightly noisy environment.

      • I agree with you. Pimsleur has worked very well for me (although I haven’t tried Michel Thomas yet), but Duolingo still serves as a great way pass a short amount of time refreshing

        vocabulary/some grammar even if the sentences are strange IMHO.

        I haven’t had the same issues with the audio, so I wonder if it is for all of the languages or just Italian?

  • Margaret Nahmias

    Duolingo is good for vocabulary, but I would not use it alone. The downside for me is that there are no translation of the words.

    • Johnny

      on the android version all i do is click on the word and it gives me a translation. but later on they expect you to write it & say it without the help.

  • Nancy

    I wonder why duolingo rejects perfectly good translations, and why their help window won’t submit.

  • Olek

    Duolingo is a service that provides language learning for several other language speakers. For instance, you are a Russian and you can learn English and German on Duolingo. It has a web version, therefore it technically is full platform supported. Read more here: http://ergonotes.com/duolingo-learn-a-foreign-language-with-fun/

  • Kristen Kipilla

    i am on level 8 in italian in Duolingo and while I agree that the phrases are seemingly useless, I think it helps to understand sentence structure and conjugations better in a sense. We are not distracted (for lack of a better word) by particular words we want to use and aren’t naively memorizing them for conversation’s sake. I think by the time I get to better, more useful phrases, I will have a more solid understanding of syntax and be able to apply the new vocabulary more easily. But that is at least what i hope for. Also, with little explanation, it motivates me to investigate futher for a deeper understanding and gives me an even more accomplished feeling.

    • hwethorel

      I agree with these points you make, Kristen; we are indeed not “distracted” by the meaning of the words and therefore better absorb /consolidate knowledge of the syntax. At least, that’s my opinion, speaking as an ex language teacher.

  • I agree. I prefer Babbel that introduces conversational sentences, and grammar.

    • Yes, in fact I have to give Babbel a shot, I’ve heard good things about the app!

  • zachsarette

    Your conclusion is spot on. This app is not free. It costs time. Time that you could spend with a book or a tutor. There are better things to translate while you not work as a free translator for the Duolingo company.

    • Indeed! I feel like people are always enticed by “free” stuff, without considering the opportunity cost that using that “free” thing entails. And if there is one thing that is limited for everyone in equal measure in this world, it’s gotta be time!

  • Ramplo L

    So I realize this is a while after the review was published but I figured I’d throw in my two-cents anyway. I’ve had the site suggested several times so I decided to try and review my french. I agree the word choices are a little strange and having traveled and used my French several times I’ve never come across a use for most of the vocab that is presented.

    My biggest issue is with using the language itself. About 75% of the questions ask you to respond in your native language. When responding in the target language it’s typically “repeat after me” speaking or choosing from a list of sentences. At most I’m asked once per lesson to actually produce the target language. There’s a big difference between being able to read a language and being fluent in a language.

    I may try the service a little longer to see if it actually helps my grammar at all, but I feel like I’ll stop using it sooner rather than later.

    • Yes Ramplo, I’ve felt the same way. The vocab presented in duolingo does not appear to be overly practical, frankly. It would’ve been nice if instead, they had used a system whereby they introduce very common everyday conversations that you are likely to use when meeting native speakers and traveling to the country that speaks your target language. Personally, learning the names of animals and colors is not something that I find very handy when starting off learning a new language. It’s not like people ask each other “what’s your favorite color” every time they bump into each other…!

  • Napoleonnette

    I find Duolingo very useful for languages where you are already somewhat familiar with the grammar structure. In my case, I have extensive knowledge of Romance language grammar, so the Italian course is very easy for me, and I rarely have questions. However, I have almost no knowledge of Germanic languages (other than English of course), so I find the German and Dutch courses much more difficult (and I can only imagine what it must be like for say, a Spanish or French native speaker trying to learn them…).

    Another point is that I am a very visual learner. Specifically, I remember the way words look and I *need* to see words written, so Duolingo works very well for me, especially when languages are pronounced the way they are written (eg. Italian). I once used Pimsleur for Chinese and I thought it was great for learning accent and getting a feel for the language, but for me as a visual learner, it is not the most efficient learning tool. It is much harder for me to learn with Pimsleur because I can’t see the words and I have no idea what is going on grammar-wise (I’m a grammar nerd).

    • NinaMarty

      I am the same! Even when I speak I see the words written! (This is actually a very useful skills when studying as well, I can recall the specific page in a book in my memory and see where and how the words/sentences were written).

      I learned some Italian when I was a kid, because I live in bilingulal zone (slovenian-italian) and I am very familiar with the language although I never had a desire to speak it. Now I figured out I know much more than I thought as I am on the lvl 11 after 3 days 🙂
      Also I did a short German course while living in Berlin for a few months so I have a basic german knowledge as well, which I found out, comes very handy with learning Norwegian, another germanic language 😀

      Anyway, Duolingo is a GREAT learning tool, but as with learning any other skill, it shouldn’t be the only tool! Watch movies, read books, talk to natives,… beside using Duolingo!

      P.S.: Napoleonnette, if you see this, would you be interested in excanging contacts – I see you also learn multiple languages and beeing a grammar nerd you’de maybe be interested in some language comparition disscutions? 🙂

      • Napoleonnette

        Hi! I also see words when I speak them – I was told it was pretty rare so I’m glad to hear somebody else shares this trait. And yes, we can exchange contacts, although I’m not show how to do that without posting contact info in public (I can’t message you, can I?)

  • Robin H

    Although I agree that there isn’t enough grammar support, I don’t have a problem with any of the other points you mentioned. What I do have a big problem with is that just about every question is multiple choice. For someone like me–learning Italian when I already know French and Spanish–guessing the right answer is a no brainer 8 times out of ten, even if I never heard the Italian word before. Real life language use is not a guessing game where you have a small handful of possibilities in front of you to choose from. You have to pull the vocabulary and grammar out of your brain somehow and make a sentence. Huge difference. I’ve been using Duolingo for a few weeks. I think the main benefit is that it has a cute interface that makes it fun to use regularly. Using any tool regularly is better than using the best tool rarely. Duolingo isn’t THAT cute though, and once it starts getting old, it doesn’t have the addictive thing going for it either. I’m a serious language student who wants to be challenged and learn quickly. For me Duolingo isn’t cutting it.

  • Contas Kinte

    I’m guessing the people complaining about the lack of grammar tips within the app are using Apple devices. The desktop and Android version have a whole community with loads of explanations. The Apple version is practically useless. I’m not sure why they have two different versions.

  • Tlaxcalli

    Duolingo is great and can be addictive, but also tedious as an official language course can be. But the app slowly improves. I think they need to add more features, but so far I think the app is great, especially for some languages that may have less resources or if you have less money to spend on language learning programs/classes. That was the idea of it originally – to have an accessible way for people to learn English, or whatever languages they needed to get ahead in life. By crowdsourcing it. Pretty amazing, and I think the app will just get better, continue to offer an ever-expanding number of languages, etc. I think they could even make the courses longer / more in-depth. For one thing, I wish there were more conjugation/vocab exercises. Like you get spatterings of vocab here and there, and spatterings of conjugations. But when do you get to master the entire list of essential conjugations? You never do. You have to do that on your own. For example, I took 3 years of Spanish in high school and am almost done with my Spanish tree which I started from the top… I did way more focused exercises on conjugations in high school than on Duolingo, but the ones that did stick from Duolingo stuck better. I started Duolingo wayyyy after high school, when Spanish started to actually become really useful in my day to day life. Now I have the present tense down but am weak on pretty much every other tense, with some grasp of 3 other tenses, mostly from studying those separately from the app.

  • Shiquaine Onastick

    An important point is that Duolingo courses are created by non-specialists for the most part. For some courses there are no native speakers of English on the course development team. Sometimes there are people who think they are completely fluent in English, when they are not. This can be especially frustrating for high level learners as well as for native speakers whose correct translations are marked incorrect by the program.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Duolingo. I’ve been using it for years and even had a 365+ streak once. It is amazing for brushing up on a language you’ve studied and for getting your feet wet in a new language. Getting through a language’s tree will give you a good feel for the language’s grammar and core vocabulary. Most courses have a very supportive teaching and learning community associated with the course as well.

    My final warning is about Duolingo’s immersion feature. The immersion feature allows users to upload, translate and rate fellow learners’ translations. It can be a real boondoggle. Duolingo can give one a false sense of accomplishment and ability in a language because there is a community of overly-indulgent (or ignorant) language learners who consistently vote up any translation, no matter how awful. I assume this is simply because the person persists in their attempts, and votes the other translators back up. I have encountered multiple people on Duolingo with level 25 in a language and translation level who have no real understanding of the grammar, and who translate articles word-for-word. One can certainly power through the courses and submit terrible, incorrect translations and still reach level 25. So beware.

    • Lev Raphael

      Definitely a useful warning. The people working on the Dutch course, or some of them, are highly disputatious and don’t take well to correction on basci things. Example: “They lived there for a long time” is in a unit for Present Perfect when it’s actually Simple Past.

  • SpiderN

    I am using Duolingo to learn Italian, I think it is the easiest foreign language to learn after English. There is no translation to this app to my language, Greek, so I use the English version. Of course if one cannot speak English well is useless to try another language that is not in the app. But there is a dynamic development of the app, making it more useful in the future. It is the users that develop the lessons in the Incubator. There is also a wide discussion in Forums. Also, learning style of a foreign language is different, it depends on the age mostly. For an adult it is important to decipher the structure of the language, comparing with his native one. For instance the Subject-Object-Verb scheme in Turkish is different from what is it in Italian or English.
    I would like to learn a language not as a machine or a baby, I would like to get explained grammar rules and structure, this is my learning style as an adult. Anyway, it is a matter of choice of each one of us.
    I don’t expect from an app to teach me a foreign language, but to improve my fluency, yes, I would like to. If I would like to learn a foreign language to use it as a tool for studies or in my job I would prefer to be taught by a human teacher or live in this country. Anyway, it is amusing and too motivating this system, even the percentage of fluency it gives to you is fake actually. Game-like style is its main advantage. It can get improved in the future, but the idea of Duolingo is very innovative. More info about its development in Wikipedia.

  • jen

    I’m trying to learn Danish, which is notoriously difficult… I really wish they would let me hear the alphabet! I want to learn basic words before trying to get me to say weird sentences. I’m kind of disappointed in the app. :/

  • kellie

    How do i know how to pronounce the words if it does not show me how to?

  • kellie

    I am trying to learn Vietnamese so i can speak with my mother in law. but when i click the language it will ask me how to say man in Vietnamese.. ( and im like well im here to learn how am i supposed to know im here for help) nor does it say the words for me so i dont even know how to pronounce these words. Please help

  • Kaled Sumari

    asd

  • Kaled Sumari

    asdas

  • Golbart Hasel

    Savvy analysis ! Incidentally , if anyone
    is searching for a NE DoR 20 , my colleague filled out a template
    version here https://goo.gl/tXMOLl

  • Lev Raphael

    I reached level 18 in Swedish and loved how entertaining and informative the program was. The Dutch module is not remotely as good. It’s filled with bad, unidiomatic translations into English. The moderators, or some of them, seem cranky. If you comment and point out a problem, you might find the comment deleted. With the Swedish, I felt myself picking it up much more quickly, but the Dutch (even though I know German) just isn’t sinking in, and that has to be because the exercises aren’t as helpful.

  • Lev Raphael

    I found the Swedish Duolingo far better than the Dutch is. The Dutch has much more complicated grammar; the sentences are often nonsensical or at least unidiomatic in English; and some of the volunteers working on it quite snarky when you make suggestions or express reservations. I’ve taught English grammar and don’t appreciate being condescended to. I felt I made much faster progress and grasped Sweetish better than I’m learning Dutch and both are Germanic languages. I have a good base of German and expected to be further ahead with Dutch than I am now near the end of the course. I’m also not finding it as much fun. I’m not the only one in the comments section who’s had problems.

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