Duolingo is a latin-like word that means “bilingual”. Learn foreign languages with this service is easy and fun, and it’s more than words. The ancients used to say that you are as many times a human as many languages you know. Today we have online translators and augmented reality cameras with built-in scanners, but language barriers ...
Duolingo: Not Your Average Lion
Duolingo is a latin-like word that means “bilingual”. Learn foreign languages with this service is easy and fun, and it’s more than words.
The ancients used to say that you are as many times a human as many languages you know. Today we have online translators and augmented reality cameras with built-in scanners, but language barriers are still here. And the rhythm of life doesn’t always let us find an hour or two to dive into language environment to master it.
Another bad joke globalization plays on us is English spread worldwide. We are convinced that in any large city we’ll certainly meet at least one person speaking English, so we get quite disappointed when we suddenly don’t. So sometimes we should take care to get prepared before going abroad.
Duolingo is the learning app for modern times. It won’t take more than 20 minutes a day to get into a new language with it, and all it takes is your smartphone or tablet with Internet connection. Give it the time required, and you won’t even notice the moment you start speaking Spanish, Turkish or Russian, maybe not on an expert level, but quite enough not to get helpless and lost in Istanbul or Barcelona.
OK, you want to learn a language. First, you pick the intensity of your course, from easy (5 minutes a day) up to insane (20 minutes). It may be too loud to say, but if you can pay more attention than you have calculated earlier, you can take tomorrow’s lesson today and shift your schedule. The lessons are organized easily. You learn new words and phrases that contain them, from elementary up to more complicated. The lessons include pictures, pronunciation examples, right answer selections. The correct answers are responded to with a green affirmative signal, and the wrong ones are marked school red. Sometimes your answer is marked as generally right but with no specific accent, you should pay attention to. The tasks are as various as it takes to learn. Within a single lesson, you will have to pick the right selection among proposed options, speak the words into your mic, type them as a dictation or type the translation with the correct original spelling. Take the advantage of Android and install the correct keyboard layout for the language you learn, or you’ll be unable to use the required symbols and accents of, for example, Spanish or German, let alone Cyrillic languages. There's no necessity to create a separate profile if you already have a Google+ or Facebook account. Anyway, you’ll be able to discuss topics with other Duolingo users in the comments section right under each task. With over 50 million users you’ll always find fellows to discuss linguistics. The app gives the most advantages to English-speaking users: all available courses are meant for English speakers. If your native language is, for example, German, Portuguese or Ukrainian, you’ll be limited in languages you can learn from this start. But the service gets constant updates with new language pairs.
The app has nothing to add. It looks great both on smartphones and on tablets. It’s minimalistic, with no pictures unless required by tasks and almost no ads.
We have tried this app on different devices from 2013 and newer, with Android from 4.1 Jelly Bean up to 6.0 Marshmallow, using both stock ROMs and Cyanogenmod custom ones. Duolingo didn’t cause a single crash or slowdown, though we can’t guarantee it won’t on older devices or ROMs.
Cross-platform use 10/10
The app is available for Android, iOS and even Windows Phone. Other platforms users can proceed with Duolingo’s website.
Suddenly Duolingo proposes no paid extras from within the app. It seems even surprising in our free-to-try age, but so it is.
The bottom line
As any other learning app or offline course, it would be fully effective if you combine it with even a slight try of real-life usage. But it’s perfect for learning basics, especially if you’re too busy to pay it anytime,anywhere but on the run.Collapse
A great tool for learning languages whenever and wherever you want, but it requires Internet connection
Pros : Simple minimalistic design;
Cons : Limited to 14 European languages plus Esperanto only;
Language pairs are mostly meant for English speakers.
Cross-platform use 5.0
Average : 4.9