I’m a language learner. I have been learning Spanish for almost 2 years now. Learning a language is incredibly rewarding for different reasons. I have made friends, found romance, learned so much about other cultures, and encounter new ways to express myself daily.
But that’s not what this post is about. We’re here to answer the question "doesDuolingowork?"
If you don't know, Duolingo is a free language learning app developed by Luis von Ahn. You can pay for Super Duolingo (formerly Duolingo Plus) if you want, but there isn't a major benefit. A search onAnswer The Publicshows wide-ranging interest, much of it skepticism, from the public surrounding Duolingo.
As a person who studies language on a daily basis, I spend a lot of time exploring the internet for tools and resources to help me on my language-learning journey and I’ve begun to notice a theme. Everybody wants to curse Duolingo.
Will Duolingo Make Me Fluent?
As far as I can tell it’s because you “can’t become fluent using the Duolingo app.”
Of course you can’t become fluent using just Duolingo. Like you can’t become fluent using another language app likeChat,Pimsleur, orMondly.
The only way to become fluent is to speak it regularly.
You have to make mistakes, be corrected, and find yourself in new situations that you’ve never had to express verbally in the language before.
Keep in mind that most of the influencers in the language community online with a Duolingo review, especially on YouTube, are being sponsored by some other app or they’ve made their own online courses that they’re trying to push. It’s in their best interest to steer you away from competition.
But Does Duolingo ACTUALLY Work?
As someone who has spent nearly 2 years on a language-learning journey, I’ve put in some time researching the best methods and I have nearly an 900 day streak of Duolingo Spanish lessons.
Duolingo won’t make you fluent but it is a great, free tool to learn and practice vocabulary, grammar, and yes, even a bit of speaking.
The biggest problem with Duolingo isn’t the app itself, it’s the user. You may not realize it but you’ve been using Duolingo incorrectly this whole time.
But don’t worry, I’m going to share some things you can do to get the most out of your Duolingo experience.
How Does Duolingo Work?
Millions of people around the world use it to learn a new language or brush up their language skills. But how does Duolingo work, and is it effective?
Duolingo is known for its gamification approach to language learning. The app uses a combination of game-like features such as badges, rewards, levels, and leaderboards to keep learners engaged and motivated. The app's interface is colorful and user-friendly, allowing learners to earn points and unlock more content as they complete lessons and activities.
Duolingo's core feature is its lessons. The app offers courses in over 40 languages, and each course comprises a series of lessons that cover essential grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation skills. Lessons are bite-sized and structured around the app's gamification system. As learners complete lessons, they unlock new levels that increase in difficulty, ensuring that they maintain a steady learning curve.
In addition to lessons, the app offers a range of activities that reinforce language skills. These activities include listening exercises, reading comprehension, translation, and speaking exercises.
One of the most significant advantages of Duolingo is its personalized approach to language learning. The app uses an adaptive algorithm that tracks a learner's progress and adjusts the difficulty of lessons accordingly. This feature helps ensure that learners remain engaged and not bored or overwhelmed by lessons that are too easy or too difficult for their level.
Additionally, Duolingo uses aspaced repetition systemin which the app will revisit words or concepts that a learner has previously struggled with, repeating them at increasing intervals to solidify the learner's memory of them over the long term.
3 Ways To Get More Out of Duolingo
Use the desktop version of Duolingo
I know, we live in a mobile world, and you’d think Duolingo would make sure to have the best features on the mobile app, but they don’t. Unfortunately this is something many Duolingo learners don't know.
When you learn through Duolingo’s desktop site there is a great “Tips” feature on each skill within a Duolingo course that gives you great information relevant to each lesson.
Things like verb conjugation charts and rules, word comparisons (ser vs. estar), and sentence examples. If you are serious about learning a language and not just playing a game, you should be spending at least twenty minutes per day diving into these tips and taking the lessons seriously.
Using the desktop language course on Duolingo is a game changer. A side benefit of a desktop Duolingo lesson is that you don't lose hearts if you make mistakes like you do on the Duolingo app.
Say EVERYTHING out loud!
If you want to become fluent in your target language you have to speak it.
Simple as that.
You don’t learn to ride a bike by watching videos, reading books, or doing lessons on a phone. You learn by riding a bike. And you won’t learn to speak a language without speaking it and if you're not going to practice with a native speaker (I take lessons with a tutor), you need to get creative.
I’ll be the first to admit that Duolingo’s speech recognition feature is terrible. You can get marked correctly by saying absolute nonsense. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use the app to practice your speaking skills.
Don’t speed through the lessons. Instead, take your time and repeat everything out loud (every sentence!), both the prompt and the answer.
Practice your pronunciation and get used to the flow of the language. Do the same with the Duolingo Stories feature. Listening is helpful, speaking is more helpful when learning a foreign language.
Use Lipsurf with Duolingo to speak more
Here’s another reason to use Duolingo on a desktop browser.
Lipsurfis a voice control browser extension for Chrome that allows you to surf the web by speaking. The coolest thing about Lipsurf is that it integrates with Duolingo to allow you to complete lessons only by speaking. You don’t have to do anything special to set up Lipsurf with Duolingo, it works automatically.
Right now it supports 8 different languages including Spanish, Portuguese, French and German (geared towards an English speaker). It requires your answer to be at least 95% correct to accept it so you know you’re not totally butchering it.
What is Duolingo Max?
Duolingo Maxis a premium service offered by Duolingo, designed for users who are serious about language learning.
Just added in March of 2023, it offers additional features that are not available in the free version of Duolingo or Super Duolingo. As of now, it is only available on iOS and for three languages, English, Spanish, and French.
Just like Super Duolingo, Duolingo Max provides users with unlimited hearts, which means they can make as many mistakes as they want without fear of losing their progress or having to wait for hearts to regenerate.
Additionally, it offers an offline mode for users who do not have access to Wi-Fi or data, making it possible to continue learning a new language even when traveling or in areas with limited connectivity.
The real benefit ofDuolingo Max is that it uses AI via GPT-4to give personalized feedback on errors as well as the opportunity to have real conversation.
Duolingo Max is Duolingo's attempt to stay at the forefront of new technology. Manylanguage learners are already using ChatGPTto help in their language studies. With this GPT-4 integration, Duolingo is providing a seamless transition for their users.
Duolingo Explain My Answer
Explain my answer is a feature that allows you to ask Duolingo's AI integration to give you an explanation of why your answer was incorrect.
A learner can ask for examples, further explanation, or clarification. Real time explanations can help keep the learner from making the mistake again in the future.
Duolingo's Roleplay option allows you to have "side quests" where a learner can select one of the characters and have a real conversation with them. Side quests allow learners to still learn XP like normal lessons.
Roleplay is a massive advancement in how Duolingo facilitates language learning. Conversation (especially speaking) is the best way to learn a new language. The added ability for learners to have to carry real conversation specific to themselves is a huge plus.
So Is Duolingo Effective?
So does Duolingo work? Is it effective?
Maybe that's not the question you should be asking. Instead of asking "does Duolingo work" ask "what am I doing daily to learn my target language?"
At the end of the day, learning a language is about consistency. I'm no language expert, but I've learned you have to do it every single day if you want it to stick.
There are endless rewards received from learning a new language from cultural connection to cognitive benefits, you just have to put in the work to increase your language skills.
And with the continued improvements of the Duolingo platform, like the addition of artificial intelligence features, Duolingo is doing everything it can to continue to advance your language-learning journey.
I'm going to make Duolingo a part of my plan to learn multiple languages and I think you should too.
The other way in which the research is misleading is that learning a language requires more than just an app, in the same way learning just about anything requires more than just a textbook. It's clear that we can achieve a lot with 'just' Duolingo.Can you actually become fluent from Duolingo? ›
Plus, many users noticed that they would study and keep their streak up for days and days, and still not be able to speak the language or could only speak at an intermediate level. And this comes from a lack of human interaction and real speaking practice. So, no, you can't become fluent with Duolingo alone.Can Duolingo get you to C1? ›
At Duolingo, we use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) to set goals for different proficiency levels when we design our courses. The levels are labeled A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2, and they cover increasingly complex language needs.How long does it take to get fluent with Duolingo? ›
Putting in ten hours of study and practice per day, this equates to two months for “easy” languages and four months for “difficult” languages. How do you get started? Web sites such as DuoLingo can teach you 27 languages for free.Can you realistically learn a language on Duolingo? ›
We see this question a lot and the answer is: yes. Duolingo is a free language-learning platform, and every language and lesson is totally free!What is the success rate of Duolingo? ›
The effectiveness measure showed that on average participants gained 8.1 points per one hour of study with Duolingo. The 95% Confidence Interval for the effectiveness is from 5.6 points to 10.7 points gained per one hour of study.How long should I use Duolingo per day? ›
To optimize your learning, aim to spend between 15 and 30 minutes on the app each day. If you're struggling to commit a decent amount of time to your learning, try breaking the time up throughout your day. You could spend five minutes practicing in the morning, another five at lunchtime, and five more in the evening.Which is better babbel or Duolingo? ›
The biggest difference between Babbel and Duolingo is the approach to language learning. Babbel is a better option if you want traditional language instructions through modules and lessons. By contrast, Duolingo works great if you need a playful, gamified experience.How many lessons a day should I do in Duolingo? ›
Casual is one lesson per day, Regular is two, Serious is three, and Insane is five lessons in a day. I have my daily goal set to Serious, which requires completing three lessons daily, but I'll often do more lessons if I have the time, typically around five or six.What is the controversy with Duolingo? ›
Up until a couple of days ago, the Duolingo app was famous for terrorising people into doing their daily lessons so they could ask someone where the horse would drink coffee in a different language. Now, the app and its mascot – a green owl – are under fire for making an NSFW comment about Katy Perry.
Duolingo vs Rosetta Stone, which is better for travel? If you are going to be travelling and want to learn a language at a beginner to intermediate level, we believe Rosetta Stone is a better option than Duolingo. Their lessons are more comprehensive and you will learn more quickly.Why is Duolingo speaking exercises not working? ›
If you are experiencing issues with speaking exercises in the Duolingo Android app, please check for the following settings/permissions: Speaking exercises toggled ON in the Duolingo Android app (Profile tab > Settings > Speaking exercises) Microphone permissions set to ALLOW for Duolingo in your Android settings.Is it hard to get 115 in Duolingo? ›
Upper-Intermediate: A Duolingo test score between 90-115 means the applicant is an upper-intermediate student who can converse on unfamiliar topics, can understand ideas behind both concrete as well as abstract writing and can interact with proficient speakers with ease.What are Duolingo levels equivalent to? ›
Even with some of the well-developed courses, Duolingo may not be enough to completely teach a language to fluency. As mentioned earlier, Duolingo is great for getting a base in a language—but don't expect to get to advanced fluency on Duolingo alone.How do I become fluent in a language after Duolingo? ›
- Continue to Use Duolingo, Even After You've Finished. ...
- Try Babbel to Focus More on Learning Grammar Rules. ...
- Try Learning with Materials Created for Native Speakers. ...
- Chat with Native Speakers on the HelloTalk App.
A good rule of thumb is that you can expect to be conversational in a language within 6-12 months of dedicated study and practice. This means that you'll be able to hold basic conversations and understand most of what is being said. To reach fluency, you'll likely need to dedicate at least 2-3 years to the language.How many people actually finish a Duolingo course? ›
An informal study estimates that course completion rates fall as low as 0.01% for Spanish learners (second most popular language on Duolingo), and peak at 0.24% for Ukrainian learners.Can I get Duolingo results in 24 hours? ›
Duolingo English Test Score is reported on a scale of 10 - 160. Test-takers get their Duolingo English Test results within 48 hours or 2 days of completing the test and can share them with anyone immediately.Does Duolingo ever get hard? ›
Hard Mode is a special type of lesson that randomly appears for learners after they've made some initial progress. It's designed to challenge learners by serving them higher-level content.
You reach the first tier once you hit a 365-day streak. After that, it goes up every year, and this will be reflected on your weekly leaderboards and profile page. So if you keep the flame burning for 3 years, you'll have a little 3-year badge underneath your username.What happens when you reach 100 days on Duolingo? ›
Reaching certain milestones (such as 100 day streak) can earn the user 3 days free of Super Duolingo.What happens when you finish a language in Duolingo? ›
There is no such thing as a “finished” language course. So at Duolingo, we're always working to make our courses better! If you've gotten an update, it's because we're excited to share the latest changes to the existing course.Is there anything better than Duolingo? ›
Busuu. Busuu is an online language learning platform that is available for a wide range of languages. Busuu offers a social aspect that allows users to get feedback on writing and pronunciation from other users, which Duolingo doesn't have. Busuu offers a language learning experience that compares to Duolingo.Has anyone become fluent from Babbel? ›
You will most likely not become fluent with Babbel. It's a solid language app and can give you a strong foundation in your target language, but to achieve fluency, you'll need to use other resources. While it won't help you become fluent, Babbel can help you improve your language skills.What language is Duolingo best at? ›
“Hover” around several skills – spreading your time across a handful of nearby skills – and alternate between gaining crowns and doing new lessons. Hovering across multiple skills helps you maximize learning by practicing what you've already studied while continuing to learn new material.What does 34 hours of Duolingo teach? ›
According to an independent study conducted by the City University of New York and the University of South Carolina, an average of 34 hours of Duolingo are equivalent to a full university semester of language education. You can see a full report of the study here.How accurate is Duolingo? ›
Research has shown that Duolingo is an effective way to learn a new language, but don't just take our word for it: Hear from a few learners who have been using Duolingo to achieve their learning goals!Is Rosetta Stone better than Duolingo? ›
Yes. After thoroughly testing out and reviewing each language learning app, we found Rosetta Stone to be a superior program to Duolingo. While we like Duolingo's gamification of learning, Rosetta Stone is simply more comprehensive and effective.
- Study a little bit each day. This makes learning more manageable, it's easier to fit studying into your schedule, and it leads to more effective learning.
- Set meaningful, short-term goals. ...
- Use your lessons as a starting point.
Each level takes between one and two months to complete. You can expect to be able to start speaking Italian after the first level and progress to a high level of fluency after around six months. Babbel Italian has a tracking feature that allows you to follow your progress as you go through the levels.How many people finish a Duolingo course? ›
Unfortunately, there is a wealth of difference between installing an app, and learning a new language. An informal study estimates that course completion rates fall as low as 0.01% for Spanish learners (second most popular language on Duolingo), and peak at 0.24% for Ukrainian learners.Do people become fluent with Rosetta Stone? ›
Can you become fluent with Rosetta Stone? No, you will not become fluent by studying a language with Rosetta Stone. This is especially true if you're studying a less popular language like Japanese, Korean, or Arabic. However, you can learn the basics of a language and start to have simple conversations.Why did Duolingo remove audio lessons? ›
We removed the Audio Lesson tab, so we can make some room for some exciting future changes when it comes to reviewing long-form listening exercises.Is B2 considered fluent? ›
Level B2 corresponds to independent users of the language, i.e. those who have the necessary fluency to communicate without effort with native speakers.Is 145 a good Duolingo score? ›
What Is A Good Duolingo Test Score? A good Duolingo score will be 110 and above. If you score above 120, it is considered excellent.What is the lowest score in Duolingo? ›
The minimum score is 10 and the others are 15, 20-25, 30-40, 40-50, 55-60, 65-70, 75-80, 85-90, 95-100, 105-110 and 115-120. The highest band corresponds to IELTS 7.0. The highest possible scores in Duolingo are also 125-130, 135-140, 145-150 and 155-160.