I can’t begin to express how much I enjoy using Duolingo – a free language learning app. I stumbled across it accidentally when I was looking for productive apps to add to my device. It did not convince me that it would actually be effective so I did not download it right away. About two weeks later a friend of mine mentioned it when we were talking about learning new languages. I was informed about how useful this app really was. The only complaint my friend had was that it gave lots of notifications. After thinking about the notifications received he eventually realized it was something he had selected within the app to encourage that level of intense learning.


Although I did not download a language learning app previously, I had computer applications that I used. My computer learning programs include Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur. Rosetta Stone was great with the vocabulary building. Pimsleur literally had me thinking in another language after 3 months of consistent use. That was a huge deal for me since I have never really done that before with any other language other than English.


How Effective is Duolingo?

“On average, it takes 34 hours of Duolingo to learn the equivalent of one semester of college. Since a semester of college generally takes a lot more than 34 hours of work, this suggests that Duolingo is more effective than a college course.” – Read the entire Duolingo effectiveness report here.

How does it compare to Rosetta Stone?

The Duolingo effectiveness study “was done by an external research team that previously evaluated the effectiveness of other methods such as Rosetta Stone. It is of note that it took 55 hours of study with Rosetta Stone to reach the equivalent of one semester of college. So not only is Duolingo free-er than Rosetta Stone, the study suggests it’s also better.” – Duolingo

Can children use Duolingo?

Having the option to use an app to learn a second and eventually third language is truly remarkable. Not long after I added this language learning app to my routine other relatives started to do the same. My mother in particular started using it on her cellphone and my 6 year old cousin is on the app every day on her tablet. I got my cousin into the app by using it myself. It is colorful and fun in appearance. It is user-friendly and kid friendly. She watched me use it a few times then asked if she could give it a try. I helped her to install it onto her tablet. She is the kind of child who grew up with yourbabycanread and has been ahead of her age group ever since. It only takes her 15 minutes to complete her homework. What made me get her involved in it was the fact that she was always too idle. Busy watching hours and hours of YouTube videos and the like. It made me sick. She needed more things to do. More productive activities. I am happy she enjoys Duolingo enough to do that for at least an hour daily instead of watching pointless videos on YouTube.

How is it free?

Honestly, when I first got it I thought there might be a catch to this free app. Then I found out that it is truly a free app. The company received generous donations for being what it is – useful. Users see occasional sponsored ads that also offset some of their expenses. Another thing they are doing is focusing more on becoming a language certification center. On LinkedIn, Duolingo is also collaborating to display the score on user’s resumeto allow the score to be easily incorporated into a user’s résumé page. Last year Duolingo For Schools was launched allowing teachers to track their students with a dashboard.


Feeling more relaxed about the What’s In It For Them factor. I now find myself using Duolingo language learning app at least 20 minutes per day. When I am in my car I tend to play other tapes to practice while I commute. There is not much of a commute here in paradise but it’s still fun to do when I drive to work or to the beach. Trips are not much more than 15 minutes, but when I look at how many 15 minute trips I get within a week, it is still a better idea than skiping sessions altogether.

Knowledge is power. I encourage you to start using this free language learning app today!


How can I get it?

Get the app: Duolingo – iTunesAndroid 

Languages available on Duolingo for English Speakers includes:

Latin American Spanish




Brazilian Portuguese