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My Initial Impression of Duolingo - A Review

There is a program on the web called Duolingo that helps you learn a foreign language at no cost. According to the video on the website, they are able to provide this service for free because they actually are able to use the work of the students who are learning to translate web pages all over the internet. I'm not sure exactly how they do this, but it's a pretty cool concept, and if it gets me free language instruction, I'm all in.

I first noticed Duolingo on Facebook, where it had posted that the person had just learned a certain new lesson, and there was a tagline about learning other languages for free. I love learning other languages, but I really need some ongoing instruction to get better at them, so I asked my friends on Facebook if anyone could tell me whether this was a good program, and my friends who use it said it was great, so that's all I needed to hear. I signed up!

It is great! You can chose from among 14 languages to learn--French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Esperanto (I kid you not), Turkish, Norwegian, Ukrainian, or English, for speakers of other languages, of course. I wish they had Japanese and Serbian, so I could impress my husband and my best friend, but maybe they will get more languages eventually. The first thing you can do, if you have prior study, is take a placement test that will enable you to skip the very simple stuff. I decided to start with Spanish, and I placed at Level 5. I already felt very accomplished! The tests are very good: They give you a combination of written and spoken instruction. I translated Spanish phrases into English, and vice-versa; I listened to Spanish phrases and transliterated them, and I repeated a Spanish phrase into the microphone (you don't have to use the microphone function if you don't want to or if you don't have one).

It's easy and fun, and it's kind of like playing a video game, with different levels of achievement and whatnot. Also, if you sign up with Facebook (you can also use G+ or just sign up with your email address), you can see your other friends who are on Facebook and what level they have reached, so it gives kind of a competitive aspect that can be a good motivator, as well.

All in all, I would highly recommend Duolingo. Being able to understand other languages would be useful for all of us, and so far, this program seems like a whole lot of fun!

Image Credit » by geralt

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wolfgirl569 wrote on June 28, 2015, 9:48 PM

Glad you are enjoying it so much. I have just never been interested in learning a new language.

SebastianOnciu wrote on June 29, 2015, 3:17 AM

I started using Duolingo a few weeks ago and the first language I am learning by using this site is also Spanish. I like the way the site is structured and I am confident that it will help me develop my Spanish language skills quite fast. I recommend Duolingo to everyone who wants to start learning a foreign language

FreyaYuki wrote on June 29, 2015, 3:50 AM

Have heard of this but haven't tried it yet. This is cool though. Want to learn another language too. Maybe I will try this when I get more time. It's also great that this is free. I thought before that you had to pay or something. Must have been a different site. So it's really free and you don't have to pay anything? Do you get to study on your own time like you can choose when you want to log in or is there a set time or something like is it okay even if you don't get to log in all the time?

Last Edited: June 29, 2015, 3:54 AM

CoralLevang wrote on June 29, 2015, 5:12 AM

This is SO cool. There is another site that I used for awhile, but cannot remember what it was right now. I had my heartbroken, so I stopped studying for the time being.

AliCanary wrote on June 29, 2015, 9:21 AM

Yep, totally free. They said they use the students' work to translate web pages on the internet (not sure how, but I ain't gonna look a gift horse in the mouth). It's work-at-your-own-pace, which is SO perfect. You can spend as much or as little time as you want, and go as fast as you can!

MelissaE wrote on June 29, 2015, 9:39 PM

This review is very well written. You have made an impressive case for the program.

rescuegal wrote on July 1, 2015, 7:52 AM

I'm on Duolingo and I love it also. I've been remiss in using it here lately. I'm learning Spanish because that's what you hear most in California besides English.

Ruby3881 wrote on July 2, 2015, 8:25 PM

MamaOzzy3881 and my Katydid got me to try DuoLingo. I love it! (Though I've neglected my lessons, of late....) GayleStorm also uses the app emoticon :smile: