Duolingo Review

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: November 18, 2021  •  8 min read  •  Brand Review
Approved Course is reader-supported. If you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small commission.

Known as one of the top free language learning apps, Duolingo has become rather popular. It has some unique features to help you learn another language. However, it’s not the only option.

When you want to learn a new language, you need the right tool for you. Duolingo might be the best choice, but it might not be. Let’s look deeper at this language learning app in our Duolingo review.

Duolingo Review

What is Duolingo?

The name says it all, Duolingo is a language learning application you can use to become bi-lingual. It’s available on both desktop and mobile platforms but is more popular on the mobile platform.

The app is very robust and offers a top choice for language learning. While the mobile version might be more popular, the desktop version is the same service.

You can choose from 90 different language courses offered in 20 different languages from around the globe. If you learn best with bite-sized lessons, Duolingo is a great choice for you. It’s excellent for those with busy schedules looking to learn a new language quickly.

Pros & Cons of Duolingo Reviewed

It’s not easy to learn a new language, but with the right app, it can become easier. While Duolingo has some pros and some cons, it might be the right choice for you.

Pros of Duolingo

Cons of Duolingo

While there are some cons to Duolingo, most of the online reviews are very positive. It’s known as one of the top language learning apps available today.

Duolingo Review of the Cost

You can use the free version of Duolingo to learn a new language. It works with both your smartphone and your computer. You can even sync between the two for learning at home and on the go.

Duolingo also offers Duolingo for Schools with a free version. This version allows you to track the progress of students on the same account.

The premium version, known as Duolingo Plus, is a paid subscription. This will give you an ad-free experience and provide a few more features. The cost of Duolingo Plus will vary depending on the plan you choose. It can be as low as $6.99 per month.

The cost will be displayed in your country’s currency when you’re logged in. With Duolingo Plus, you gain access to the following:

There are many helpful features for those choosing Duolingo Plus. It’s a rather affordable option for language learning.

Reviewing the Free Version of Duolingo

The free version of Duolingo has plenty to offer. While you’ll have to deal with annoying ads, you’ll be able to work through the lessons rather quickly and have some fun along the way. Duolingo uses artificial intelligence and language science to personalize the lessons to fit your level and your pace.

You will be able to make up to five mistakes before you have to wait for your hearts to regenerate. The free version makes you wait five hours for one heart to regenerate. This means it will take about an entire day to get all your hearts back.

However, you can practice old lessons or use gems, which you win from finishing lessons to buy hearts. There are also no hearts on the desktop version. This means you can switch over to the desktop app to get more lessons in.

Duolingo Free vs. Plus

While you can certainly use the free version of Duolingo to learn a new language, the Plus version is far superior. It’s worth the cost to get unlimited hearts and get rid of the annoying ads. Plus, you are more likely to use the app if you pay for it.

The Plus version also gives you offline access, which is great. If you’re serious about learning a new language, paying for the Plus version just makes sense. Of course, you can still use the free version of Duolingo to give it a test run.

Comparing Duolingo to University Study

Duolingo provides a study based on listening and reading proficiency compared to taking courses at a university. When compared in both categories, Duolingo outperforms University learning until you reach the 6th or 8th semester of study.

Five units of Duolingo is equal to more than four semesters of study at a university. Seven units are equal to more than five semesters at a university. This holds true for both listening and reading proficiency.

The study looked at 225 Duolingo learners in the United States. Each has reached the end of the beginner-level section, which is five total units. The learners in this group performed as well on listening and reading tests as those completing four semesters in the same language instruction at a university.

Another study was done on 340 Duolingo learners across the globe. These learners had completed Unit 7, which is about halfway through the intermediate level. They performed as well on listening and reading studies as students completing five semesters in the same language at a university.

Speaking was measured in the studies based on the A2 or B1+ levels. Both Spanish and French were measured with about 40% of all students achieving an A2 level, while about 20% of the Spanish students achieved at least a B1 level and about 10% of the French students achieved at least a B1 level.

This was based on students completing the Duolingo Unit 5, which is a beginner-level course.

Frequently Asked Questions About Duolingo

Which languages can I learn with Duolingo?

This language learning app offers the following options:

  1. Spanish
  2. French
  3. Japanese
  4. German
  5. Korean
  6. Italian
  7. Chinese
  8. Hindi
  9. Russian
  10. Arabic
  11. Turkish
  12. Portuguese
  13. Dutch
  14. Latin
  15. Swedish
  16. Irish
  17. Greek
  18. Vietnamese
  19. Polish
  20. Norwegian
  21. Hebrew
  22. Indonesian
  23. Hawaiian
  24. Danish
  25. Finnish
  26. Romanian
  27. High Valyrian
  28. Welsh
  29. Czech
  30. Scottish Gaelic
  31. Yiddish
  32. Swahili
  33. Ukrainian
  34. Hungarian
  35. Klingon
  36. Navajo
  37. Esperanto

Some of the languages, such as Klingon and Navajo are only in their beta version right now.

Will I become fluent by using Duolingo?

Depending on your definition of fluent, you can become fluent using Duolingo. However, there will be no test or any type of criteria to determine if you’re fluent in the language.

With Duolingo, you will likely become comfortable speaking, reading, and writing a new language. It depends on your goals and you can use this app to learn enough to travel or to learn enough for the workplace.

Duolingo develops the courses they offer to help you get to level B2. This is considered the level you need to reach to get a job in the language you’re learning.

How will I learn using Duolingo?

When you choose Duolingo to learn a second language, you will be able to use it on your smartphone or desktop. They offer an Android app, an iOS app, and a web version for both mobile and desktop.

The programs are set up using Crown Levels. This allows your learning to be personalized as you work through the material. When you level up a skill, you will gain more crowns. With this approach, it won’t be a one-size-fits-all type of program.

Instead, you will get a personalized set of lessons based on your needs, goals, and skill level. All lessons will also have helpful skills with five levels per skill. As you go through the lessons, you can test out, if you believe you already know the material.

What is the Duolingo family plan?

The family plan offers the primary account holder the option to share their Duolingo Plus annual subscription with up to five other Duolingo users. It’s not available on the monthly subscription plan, however.

What is Duolingo for Schools?

Another option offered by Duolingo is the Duolingo for schools option. This is a free version of the app that offers bite-sized, fun lessons for students. It can be used to complement your curriculum and is fully customizable.

Duolingo offers a good choice for your language learning. You can use the free version to try it out, but the Plus version is far superior. If you’re serious about learning a new language, Duolingo Plus is likely a good choice. It’s known as one of the top language learning apps on the market today.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story is coming soon!