Duolingo was launched in 2011 from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania as an outlet for people to learn new languages at no cost. It’s become fairly popular and updates with new languages on a regular basis. Some of these languages include Turkish and Irish Gaelic. They recently announced on their Twitter account that they’ll be adding Korean. Many people are learning new languages with Duolingo every day. I’m going to tell you about my experience with it.
I started researching language and learning apps as soon as I got my first smart phone last Christmas. I had never had a cellphone before that point and thought it would be cool to have tools and utilities that I could use to learn new things. I already know quite a bit of German, my grandmother herself being from Germany, and I’ve taken two semesters of German in my high school. I wanted to be fluent, though.
That’s where Duolingo comes in. You can learn multiple languages at the same time with its system. It also times and keeps track of your progress and you can set your level of learning and how fast you want to learn with everyday practice. It also gives you a percentage level to look at to see how fluent you are in the language you’re learning. If it’s correct than I’m 24% fluent in German. It also gives you notifications daily so that you remember to practice and don’t slack off.
Duolingo works in a different way than most language classes, though. Instead of giving you list upon list of vocabulary words to memorize or complex grammatical charts, Duolingo feeds you the grammar and vocab slowly as you pick it up piece by piece. A bit like how a toddler or a baby learns to speak. This model works great for me, but others might not like it or find it tedious.
So, all in all, I’d say the app is worth trying. It works fine on my phone and I haven’t experienced any of the audio problems that others seem to have. Although the microphone seems to think I have an accent (“It’s MinnesOta not MinnesoTA!”) and will occasionally misunderstand me.