Duolingo Review & Rating 2021

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Welcome to our Duolingo review! Join us here at MakeMeSmart.com as we discuss everything there is to know about Duolingo as a language learning platform. Our experts have taken a look at everything about the online site, including the courses offered, pricing, and much more.


Looking to introduce yourself to mastering a new skill like learning a new language? Well, if so, Duolingo could be the learning site for you! Download the app, or learn online – Duolingo has got you covered!

(Last Updated On: February 9, 2023)

Introduction to our Duolingo Review

Gone are the days when the only way for you to learn a foreign language was inside a classroom from a tutor. While some people have been able to pick up words and phrases from watching movies using subtitles, it is nowhere near as effective as having someone tutor you.

However, that has changed now. With a smartphone app at your disposal, you can learn wherever, whenever you want. If you have been looking for one, you will almost certainly have come across Duolingo.

Professor Luis Von Ahn and his Ph.D. student Severin Hacker created Duolingo as just an academic endeavour for Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Both aspired to explore other options in the educational sector after selling their previous business, reCAPTCHA, to Google.

They chose language research because there was such a high demand for language learning resources all over the world. By the end of 2009, they had released Duolingo. Many more people later joined and contributed to the development of the project.

With over 300 million active users, Duolingo, at present, is the most prominent language-learning service and the most downloaded educational app in the world. The goal of the company is to make learning affordable, enjoyable, and open to everyone.

Duolingo is a game-like language learning program that has been scientifically proven to be successful. In addition to its core platform, Duolingo developed the Duolingo English Test, a cost-effective and convenient language certification program approved by over 2,000 universities.


Is Duolingo Legit?

The legitimacy of Duolingo as a language-learning system is evident from the first time you use it. Whether you decide to log into Duolingo using an internet browser, or on an iOS or Android smartphone, the user interface is simple and straightforward. If you want to move your progress from one platform to another, all you have to do is create an account using your email address.

You can also sign in with Facebook or Google, in addition to email.

If you are wondering “Is Duolingo Good?” when using the app for the first time, you will notice that Duolingo’s dominance in the field of language learning apps and platforms is quite obvious from the get-go.

The app has a comprehensive and well-rounded structure which gives it the feel of a premium product even for non-paying users, particularly since it is also available in well-performing mobile versions. While there have been no complaints about the platform’s design because it manages to strike a nice balance between playfulness and practicality.

Although the smartphone app lacks some of the functionality of the browser version, and free users will have to close the occasional ad banner, but these are minor issues.

What Languages are Being Offered by Duolingo?

The most important offering of the app is the number of languages being offered, which we will cover next in our Duolingo review. When it comes to most things in the world, English speakers are the ones who get the most attention. It is the universal language after all.

While people who speak German will only be able to learn three languages via Duolingo, people who speak English will have access to 11 times as many languages, approximately 33.

Although a few of these are fantasy languages such as Klingon from Star Trek and Valyrian from Game of Thrones, and Esperanto is a man-made language, the approximately 30 languages available should not be dismissed.

Full List of Languages Offered by Duolingo

Arabic Chinese Czech Danish Dutch Esperanto Finnish French German Greek Hawaiian Hebrew High Valyrian

Hindi Hungarian Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Klingon Korean Latin Navajo Norwegian Polish Portuguese

Romanian Russian Scottish Gaelic Spanish Swahili Swedish Turkish Ukrainian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish


The Structure of Duolingo Courses

Duolingo is extremely well-structured and coordinated. The majority of courses offered by Duolingo are split into five or more tiers. Each tier, in turn, has a set number of modules that can range anywhere between a minimum of five to a maximum of thirty. Every module has a central theme, whether it’s grammatical or thematic.

Furthermore, each module is made up of five different levels. You must complete at least one level of an open module in order to access new modules that will let you advance down the tier tree. You may also complete a checkpoint test to gain access to levels below it.

The completion of all the components in a module turns it into gold which gives the user a level of satisfaction and motivates them to continue. On average, it takes users around five minutes to complete a lesson.

Content Quality With Duolingo

At this point in the Duolingo review, you may start to wonder “Is the content of Duolingo good?” Let’s look into that now. Duolingo can help you build a foundation in a number of languages, but it is really limited in terms of what it offers and how challenging it is.

You will probably want to improve your writing, reading, hearing, and speaking skills, obviously it depends on your interests and prior knowledge. You will also want to know if there is any real-life language processing, which is when you have a thought that you would like to communicate right away without having to wait too long for a translation from English.

What Will You Be Doing With Duolingo?

You will be mainly translating in Duolingo, which involves the processes of reading and writing. In most cases, you will have to translate an expression, a phrase, or a sentence from the language you are practicing into the language you are receiving instructions or vice versa. You could use the keyboard to write the answer, or you could use a word bank to piece together a phrase.

Based on the type of difficulty you like, you can either use the word bank or type out the answers yourself. You may even be asked to choose the accurate translation from a range of options as part of an exercise.

Reading and Listening

Ever since Duolingo introduced its podcast collection, listening and reading exercises have dramatically improved. Although these podcasts are currently only available in Spanish and French, they are fantastic. The episodes can be listened to on Duolingo’s website or downloaded to a podcasting app. However, there is an added advantage to listening on Duolingo’s website and that is the transcripts are also available.

The podcasts feature native speakers in each episode who share real stories with an English-speaking host providing a background in English on a constant basis. The episodes have a duration of around 20 minutes which makes them easy to follow on the go. It has excellent material, however, it is difficult for those who are not yet fluent in English.

Stories, in parallel to the podcasts, put the listening and understanding skills to the test somewhat more than the core exercises. Pay attention to and read the short stories while responding to questions about what you read and heard in these engaging stories. Although just a few languages are available, including French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. The characters’ voices sound real, which adds to the enjoyment of the plot.

The questions tend to be like any other lesson, but in order to answer these, you should have paid enough attention to the story’s substance as well as any new words that emerged, necessitating careful listening as well as comprehension. The tales get more difficult as you progress through this segment, with advanced vocabulary, more complicated sentence structures, and a variety of verb tenses.

Generating Sentences

Speaking and listening are not really given much consideration in the core curriculum. It’s up to you whether or not you want to do the speaking exercises. In the settings, you can activate or deactivate them, as well as briefly disable them when you’re in an area where you can’t perform them.

How this works is you usually repeat or read out loud anything on for such types of tests, and the app evaluates whether you said it accurately.

Clubs were a portion of Duolingo that was intended to help you produce more vocabulary, but it has since been discontinued.


How Expensive is Duolingo in 2021?

Duolingo began as a free app with the intention of remaining free indefinitely. By being ad-supported and introducing a premium subscription titled Duolingo Plus, the company has kept its word.

Duolingo Plus costs $12.99 per month, with a discount if you subscribe for a year in advance at $79.99, or a half year in advance at $47.99. The Plus membership eliminates advertisements, allows you to import lessons to use offline in the mobile app, and gives you full access to the mobile app. It also includes one free “streak patch” per month, which means that if you miss a day of training, your Duolingo stats will not be affected.

So should you pay for the premium subscription to Duolingo Plus? If you enjoy Duolingo and would like to help the people who produced it, or if you prefer the smartphone version to the website version, you may consider paying for Duolingo Plus. However, the free version of the app and the browser both work just fine.

8Expert Score
Duolingo Review - Final Words
If you have a hard time staying motivated, Duolingo is the program for you. This game-like app presents languages in a fun and interactive manner, with a variety of visual and audio features to help you recall what you’ve learned. Another advantage is that Duolingo mixes up the categories of tasks and builds each lesson in different ways, giving the user more versatility. Duolingo is one of the most well-known and simple language-learning apps currently available, and it is also completely free. However bear in mind that it’s free because of the advertising wall – if you don’t like ads, this app isn’t for you. Therefore, the final verdict of our Duolingo Review is – we recommend it for users that are not fully committed and happy to dip in and out of language learning.
  • App is available for free
  • Clarity of available materials & resources
  • Gamified lessons to maintain engagement
  • user-friendly website & app
  • Adverts common on website
  • Some lessons are repetitive & monotonous

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