ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Duolingo Is My Favorite Free Language Learning App.

Updated on December 14, 2017
raymondphilippe profile image

I live in the Netherlands. And I love to travel. That is when and where knowing languages comes in handy.

Duolingo: The Best Way to Learn a Language

Do You Want To Learn A Foreign Language For Free?

Have you always wanted to study a foreign language, but were too afraid to do so?
Because you think learning a foreign language is much too dull or expensive?
Then now it is high time to reconsider.
You do not have to follow expensive courses anymore. And what may even come as a greater surprise.
It can also be fun.

You can use the Duolingo app or website to learn a new language.
Your new foreign language will be playfully taught to you.

Learning a new language can make a big difference in someone's life, both social and at a professional level.
However, because learning a language can be very expensive, many people cannot afford it.

The purpose of Duolingo is to enable all individuals to learn a new language.
Duolingo aims to deliver a program that will make learning a foreign language both fun and useful.
And they are working on improvements all the time.

Duolingo is an English-language app.
To learn a language, it is, therefore, advisable to have a proficient understanding of English.
The other languages can be learned vice versa.
So, for example, German to English.
Do you want to learn English and you are very good in German (or another language), then this is possible?

What Is Duolingo?

Duolingo is an online platform where users can connect to learn foreign languages.

Duolingo is also an App that you can download for your mobile phone or tablet (both Apple and Android).
From your PC, you can also use the website www.duolingo.com.
You will not have to download anything; you can log in to the site itself. As mentioned before with Duolingo you can learn a new language.
By taking small steps, you will get the hang of the language, and you steadily develop your foreign language skills.
Duolingo is completely free.
So why not give it a try?

Language, Free at Last

What is The Duolingo app?

Duolingo is an educational platform where users can learn by playing a sort of game.

The game format of this language learning is fun to do and may even be a little addictive!

An independent American research shows that it also a very effective way of learning.
The research suggests that 34 hours of practicing on Duolingo is equivalent to one semester of language study at an American university.

They have apps for the iPhone and Android.

From now on you can make your commutes and breaks more productive.
You will be surprised how fast you will be able to speak a foreign language.

Which Languages Can You Learn?

What languages can you learn at this moment?
Currently, the following languages are available through Duolingo:

  • Spanish
  • German
  • Portuguese
  • French
  • Italian

There are plans for multiple languages.
You can learn one language at a time, but it is also possible to start learning all languages at once.

On their incubator page, you can follow the development of proposed new languages. Romanian and Russian are in the pipeline.

Do You Use Duoling?

Do You Use Duoling?

See results

How Does Duolingo Work?

Duolingo can be seen as a kind of game, through which you develop your language skills.

Beginners start at Basics 1. Advanced learners take a short test.

You start (with Basics 1) with the first lesson where only a few words are given.
As you finish each lesson successfully you move down along a learning tree.

The advanced learners can take a test to jump ahead! Their level is adapted, so they get harder (or easier) based on their answers.

There are several exercises that you need to do to complete the lesson.
You get a series of hearts, and every time you make a mistake, a heart disappears.
Are all your hearts lost before you reach the end? Then you have to start again.

For the app to work, you do need to have an internet connection.

Types of exercises
There are different types of tasks in Duolingo.
Because there are many different exercises, you will learn all aspects of a language, so it is not just about writing, but also listening and speaking.

Lingots
While playing with Duolingo, you earn points, named Lingots.
A lingot [ling-guht] is the Duolingo virtual currency
You earn Lingots by for instance:

  • Leveling Up: 1 lingot (multiplied by level reached)
  • Finishing a skill: 2 lingots for completing a new ability
  • etcetera

You can use these Lingots to buy:

  • Heart Refill (this allows you to regain one lost heart during a lesson)
  • Streak Freeze (this enables your streak to remain in place for one full day of inactivity)
  • Timed Practice (this allows you to practice your skills against the clock in Timed Practice)
  • Double or Nothing (You can Attempt to double your five lingot wager by maintaining a seven-day streak)

Duolingo For The Advanced Students

Make translations
When you've had all the necessary classes, you can take it one step further.
Duolingo offers several texts that you can translate.
As a result, you will get to know the language better, and you have to deal with words you did not know before.

Reminder
You receive a reminder if you've taken up to learn the language. At a certain interval, for example, every day, or every other day. You will get an email or notification via your Smartphone or tablet.

Forums
In each exercise, you have the opportunity to ask questions on the forum. Other users can then help you with your problem. Also, you can always read what discussions took place earlier. Perhaps the answer to your question has already been given.

Translations
Users can practice with the interpretation of real-world texts. Duolingo sells these quality translations again to for instance CNN and BuzzFeed.

Does Duolingo Work?

Learning a new language through Duolingo is doable.
Because you are playfully engaged in learning a new language, words will be easily remembered.
The game element ensures that if you want to make progress or compete with your friends, you will have to try new exercises.

Although Duolingo provides a foundation, it doesn't hurt to buy a book teaching the grammatics of the language you are studying.
There are also a ton of videos available on youtube where enthusiastic language teachers go all out on their favorite language.
But best advice still is.
Go to a country where they speak the language you are learning and immerse yourself in real life conversations.

Duolingo: the next chapter in human computation: Luis von Ahn at TEDxCMU 2011

Who is involved in Duolingo app?

The founders of the educational platform Duolingo are Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker.
Luis is the inventor of CAPTCHA / reCAPTCHA which he sold in his twenties.
He is also known for his famous TED Talks.

Using crowdsourcing, where Duolingo volunteers are asked to give life to new Duolingo language courses, the creators are trying to improve and expand Duolingo.

Duolingo Languages

show route and directions
A markerGerman -
Berlin, Germany
get directions

B markerFrench -
Paris, France
get directions

C markerPortuguese -
Lisbon, Portugal
get directions

D markerSpanish -
Madrid, Spain
get directions

E markerEnglish -
Rome, Italy
get directions

Duolingo Home Page

Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo
Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo

Duolingo Sign-Up

Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo
Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo

Duolingo: Step 1 / Getting Started

There are two ways to get started with Duolingo.
Either you log in with your Facebook account, Gmail account, or give your email address, a username, and a password.

Then select the language you would like to learn - Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese or Italian - and you can get started.

Do you have a smartphone with iOS or Android?

Download the Duolingo app, so you can use any unguarded moment to practice the new language.

First, make yourself familiar with the Tabs

  • Home: Where your lessons can be found
  • Activity: Your achievements are mentioned here. For instance, if you learn a new skill or level up in a language
  • Discussion: The Duolingo discussion stream can be found here. You can sort by favorite topics, latest topics or by topics you follow.
    Of course, you can also start a discussion.
  • Immersion: Here you can practice your skills by reading and translating real articles from the Internet.

If it is your first time at Duolingo, you can either start with Basic Lesson 1 or do a Placement Test to determine your current level of skills.

Duolingo First Time In

Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo
Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo

Duolingo Lesson

Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo
Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo

Duolingo Lesson

Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo
Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo

Duolingo: Step 2 / Q & A

Multiple choices, fill-in questions, listen to questions, translations from and into the foreign language, ... there is plenty of variety.

You tap or fill in the solution and press check, then Duolingo lets you know whether or not you have made a mistake.
If you do not know a word go over it in the question and it will show.
It also gives the right answer in case you had it wrong.
To go to the next question, press Continue.

Is something is not working, or you do not entirely agree with a particular solution, then you can report a problem or go through the option to discuss a sentence with other users.

Duolingo Lesson Tree

Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo
Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo

Duolingo Tips and Notes

Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo
Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo

Duolingo: Step 3 / Level up

If you want to, you can start at the beginning of each lesson by learning a bit of theory first, but I'd go straight to the questions instead.

Each lesson consists of 20 questions.

After you have answered all successfully (in every lesson you have three hearts so that you can make three errors), you will get an overview of the new words you have learned, and you can go to the next lesson.

And if you have all the lessons completed in a particular theme (Clothing, Adverbs, Plurals, ...), you can go to the next topic in the tree.

For each lesson you successfully finish, you receive some points, which you need to reach the next level over time.
If you find a lesson trying you can do it again and dive deeper into it by reading the Tips and Notes.

Achievements and Friends

Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo
Learn A Free Foreign Language With Duolingo

Duolingo: Step 4 / Social Pressure

Of course, a game nowadays is not complete without a social aspect.

You can post your progress on Facebook (though I recommend not to do this when you start in order not to bore your friends), you can follow which Facebook friends are active on Duolingo and how many points they have, and you can receive emails telling you that one of your friends has overtaken you.

You are encouraged in other words, in all sorts of ways to persevere.

Which Foreign Language Are You Learning?

See results

Duolingo: Differentiation and Personalized Learning in the Language Classroom

Personal Notes

I decided to refresh some old languages and learn a new one because it stimulates the grey matter between my ears and it can come in handy.

As a teenager, I learned French and German at school.
But somehow I never really got the hang of it.
And besides this is so long ago most of what I learned might still be somewhere but probably not retrievable anymore.

Then there is Spanish.
I never learned Spanish while it is such an important global language.
As I am Dutch myself and we often go to Germany, France, and England it can come in handy if you can do more than just point at objects hoping the Frenchman, German or Englishman will know what you mean.
And the few times I visited Spain I couldn't even read the menus.
Now that will not happen again.

Did I tell you my wife and son (who lives in the UK) are also doing Duolingo.
We can follow each other's progress and "like" it.

So learning languages has become a family affair!
How cool is that?

© 2014 Raymond Philippe

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 2 years ago from California

      Nice detailed hub. Love Duolingo.

    • raymondphilippe profile image
      Author

      Raymond Philippe 4 years ago from The Netherlands

      Hi Flourish. I think Duolingo could be perfect tool to improve the basis knowledge of French and Spanish. I am using it myself to improve on my French and German. It doesn't even have to cost so much time. Thanks for passing by and leaving a comment. Have a great weekend,

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      I like knowing that there are free and low-cost language learning opportunities and have never heard of Duolingo. I would love to learn more languages (or improve the basic knowledge of French and Spanish that I already have).

      Your video introductions are also helpful parts of your hubs.

    • raymondphilippe profile image
      Author

      Raymond Philippe 4 years ago from The Netherlands

      Learning Croatian must have been a labor of love ;-)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great learning experience when I started learning the Croatian language it was a challenging but now got to speak the language and is one of the most difficult languages in the world. Your are definitely motivated.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)