Duolingo: The Future of Learning a Language

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Duolingo_logoEvery iPad user has that app he or she uses when they have some time to blow. Generally, it’s something that isn’t very constructive. Some entail throwing birds at pigs, while others reading through gigantic amounts of news you’re never going to use. For those of us who want to be more constructive, however, there’s a different app, and its name is Duolingo. Duolingo allows you to learn a new language, right on your iPad. You can learn Italian, Portuguese, German, French, or Spanish with the app. More languages are coming soon, and just in case you need help understanding this article, you can learn English as well.

What makes Duolingo so special? Well, to start off, it’s completely free to use, and there’s no hidden in-app purchases waiting for you. That alone was enough to get me to try the app, and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve actually been using the app for about a year now, and have enjoyed every second of it. The app makes it fun to learn a new language like your high school spanish teacher never could. The app has lessons pertaining to things such as travel, occupation, colors, education, science and more. To keep you focused, these lessons are organized in tiers so you have to complete the basics before getting yourself into anything more complex.

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To keep you motivated to keep studying, you can turn on practice reminders via email and/or your phone. Also, if you’re into it you earn “lingots” by completing lessons and use these to equip “power ups” (allows you to get more questions wrong), outfits for your mascot, and fun bonus lessons like learning how to flirt in the language you’re learning. I personally think most of these flirting phrases aren’t going to get you any dates unless it’s out of pity, but hey, if it gets you to keep studying, why not. In their most recent update Duolingo added the ability to compete against a bot or another person via game center. It’s a fun way to study, and as I said before, if it gets you to keep going then it’s worth it.

Duolingo is undoubtedly one of my favorite iPad apps of all time. It has kept me using it for almost a year now, which is more than most apps of that sort can say. With more languages to learn on the way, Duolingo is only going to grow and bring free language education to people all around the world. On a recent trip to Peru, I was able to use Duolingo to connect with the family that ran the inn we were staying at. They had been asking questions about the English language, but unfortunately I was only staying the night. However, I told them about Duolingo and with the computer in the lobby they were able to access the website so they could continue learning english. Just another way the iPad and technology are making the world a better place.

Here’s an a link to download Duolingo – it’s free to download and free to use.

Henry T

I'm a high school student who loves everything Apple, especially my iPad. When not studying or working out, I can be found dabbling in music or killing it at volleyball... or writing amazing articles for iPadinsight.com. Talk to me on Google+, my username is Henry T.

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2 thoughts on “Duolingo: The Future of Learning a Language

  1. There’s more to the story. When you use Duolingo, you’re also helping to translate the web. Duolingo CEO Luis Von Ahn explained it like this: when someone needs a web page translated, they can upload the text to Duolingo, which subsequently presents it to Duolingo users, who translate the sentences which comprise the web page’s text. Based on the language into which the web page owner wants the page translated, Duolingo sends the page to users who speak one of the languages and are learning the other. They (and you) are translating huge portions of the web every month. Pretty cool!

  2. Hi HarryT,

    I enjoyed your review about Duolingo and like the app very much as well. Just a writing comment, that spelling language names should consistently be capitalized.