What Is Duolingo All About?
Duolingo is probably the most popular language game in the Universe. It is a website and an app that makes language learning easy, fun and free. Duolingo is a “game” where you earn points when you have learned new words and skills. The more you learn, the more points you will earn and the better you get ranked among your friends and followers.
Price: Totally free!
Overall Rank: 95 out of 100
Who Is the Duolingo for?
In my opinion, Duolingo is the best for the total beginners and for those who have only a little experience with a language they are learning. It can be profitable for the advanced students too but I think that the benefit is greatest when you are just beginning with a language. If you have 0 experience of learning a new language, then Duolingo is perfect for you. I didn’t know anything about speaking German and I started with Duolingo. I did the same before with French.
Many young people nowadays like using their smartphones. If you like using your smartphone, why not to take a full benefit of the time you are using it. Then you can have fun and benefit at the same time.
What Are the Main Benefits Of Using Duolingo?
Duolingo builds up your vocabulary and keeps you motivated day by day. I got a row of studying about 100 days German in a row because of Duolingo. I wanted to continue the streak, so I kept on learning there. One greatest benefits of Duolingo is that it can motivate many people much better than old and stinky textbooks.
Duolingo builds up your vocabulary little by little. First, you learn the basic phrases like, “Hello, how are you?” “How old are you?” “My father is James.” and so on. Then they have sections for many different subjects: Weather, sports, religion, hobbies and much more.
You can also learn grammar in Duolingo. They will have sections for different kind of grammatical subjects. Verbs in the present, past, and future. With German, they go through cases. You learn vocabulary by doing exercises. If you write a sentence in a right form, you’ll get XPs. If you make a mistake, you’ll not be rewarded.
They also have short explanations for each grammar subject. At the beginning of the section, they explain how the grammar works. For example, there are different forms in a box with an explanation (See the picture below)
Compete With Your Friends in Language Learning
I am a very competitive person. I like growing better day by day. That’s why Duolingo’s Leaderboard motivated me when learning languages. It shows how many XPs you have earned in Duolingo compared to people that you follow. You don’t need to know anyone of them personally, but you can see their points just by clicking “Follow” in their profile.
You can see Leaderboard for This week (starting from Monday), This month (starting the first day of every month) and All time (See the picture on the right).
Sometimes when I have been playing Duolingo, I have thought “I still want to overtake that use before I end for today. The leaderboard has motivated me to learn more. You can also take challenges with your friends. For example, you can make a bet who first achieves 10 000 XP, and the winner wins a prize from others. (That is not a feature in Duolingo. It’s just my personal idea.)
What Are the Cons of Duolingo?
It’s hard to find any cons there, but if I compare to some other language learning providers that are using natural methods of learning, there are some things that could be improved.
In Duolingo you learn sentences (and sometimes) only individual words. That is not always the most efficient way of learning. For example, in Leicht Deutsch Lernen (Review coming soon) you learn language by reading full stories when you learn words and sentences because of their natural context. Also, if you are learning a new language with a language partner, you can learn many words because of the context.
In Duolingo you have words put into natural sentences but there is not a whole story which would make words easier to remember. I am not sure how it would work if Duolingo would build entire stories around their language app. Probably it could be worth trying.
Is Duolingo 100% Free?
Yes, it is. Maybe you are wondering how it is possible. Duolingo doesn’t have any ads on their website; they are not charging users anything. So how on earth they can run their business??
The answer relies on their “Immersion” -section. There you can translate texts to another language. For example from English to Spanish or vice versa. You can decide how much you translate. 0 words, one sentence, a few sentences or even the whole text. Then you will gain a lot of XPs because of doing that. You will move up in rankings and at the same time improve your written and translation skills.
Duolingo sells these translations for them who bought the translation. Member does it for free, and then they sell it. That’s how Duolingo gets some money to run their business. I like the business model there. It’s a win-win situation.
My Final Opinion of Duolingo
Duolingo’s success is not a coincidence. It’s very rare that you get something so high-quality for totally free. In many language learning apps you can try it for free, but if you want a full-access, you need to pay for it. In Duolingo, you can get all the features for $0. That makes it different.
If somebody says that learning languages are hard, show him Duolingo. If he says that he is not learning very well in Duolingo, ask him to earn 5000xp. What he needs to do that is nothing but play the game. If after earning 5000xp, he still hasn’t learned anything, I don’t believe he is a vegetable.
It’s impossible to play Duolingo without learning anything. You play the game and learn. That’s just simple as that.
What are your experiences with Duolingo?
Which languages did you study with Duolingo? Was it very beneficial? Leave a comment below!