A few days ago, we talked about Busuu as one of the best applications for learning languages.
Today we are going to talk about DUOLINGO, which is another great global app to teach you how to speak a foreign language successfully. It has a volume of downloads ranging from 100 to 500 million in Google Play, and from 50 to 100 million in IOS.
Duolingo is a project that emerged in 2006 thanks to a MacArthur Scholarship granted to the student Severin Hacker. Unlike the usual didactic tools encouraging memorisation, this language app is focused on the user´s constant practice as well as gamification rather than on theoretical aspects, changing drastically and positively the learning method used to master a foreign languages.
French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Vietnamese … and even Esperanto! Learning a second language is no longer an issue, neither of time, nor motivational, nor economic … Thanks to an exquisite care of Duolingo´s framework (where usability and simple designs are paramount) and an intuitive work methodology (based on participation through the community, the 1 to 1 computer model, or the visualisation of learners´ progress in real time), users could manage to be understood in any language in a relatively short time just by dedicating 30 to 60 minutes a day.
Not only factors such as perseverance and discipline are fundamental for learning in Duolingo, but also the system of unlocked achievements, a rankings board and increasing levels; those features make learning with this app an enjoyable experience with just a little effort. Furthermore, it is not necessary to read complicated grammar boxes or learn conjugations, since understanding sentences is encouraged intuitively through images or the community itself.
Duolingo‘s algorithms will determine when you should return to practice the words learned so that you can retain them in the long term. To reinforce this point, you can always download “TINYCARDS”, the complementary game to enhance the Duolingo lessons; the most downloaded educational app in the world uses a spaced repetition system and other smart learning techniques to help you remember new terms.
On the other hand, anyone can take part in creating new language courses; just with one condition, being bilingual in that language; this is possible since 2013 and through the Language Incubator. This is indeed a very interesting option to keep rare languages or those in danger of extinction such as Latin or certain German dialects. As a curiosity, it should be noted that the “High Valyrian” language from the “Game of Thrones” series has currently been published in Duolingo, although we have not yet discovered what native speaker was found to teach us this difficult task 😊.
The Duolingo app is completely free. However, you can always buy the “Plus” option, so ads can be removed, and lessons downloaded to your device to learn offline anytime, anywhere.
So, what are you waiting for to enjoy learning and mastering the languages of the DUOLINGO universe?