A thorough Duolingo review after finishing all of French – Snarky Nomad (2022)

(Quick update: Duolingo just added a huuuuge amount of grammatical explanation to every lesson, at least in French. This was one of my biggest complaints about the service, and it has been immensely improved! I’m still going through it, soI’ll update this article with comments about it as I progress, but it already looks like a great update.)

Oh, language barriers. Instigators of so much awkwardness and discomfort.

We’ve probably all studied a foreign language back in school, forgot practically everything, and kicked ourselves for never moving beyond the nuisance of monolingualism. Plenty of adults think of taking language classes, but it’s not the sort of hobby that can be approached casually; the time commitment is daunting, and conversational abilities rapidly deteriorate without attending those classes forever.

So I was rather looking forward to using Duolingo, which is a totally-free language learning program that claims to be just as effective as competing (and more expensive) programs like Rosetta Stone, andevencomparable to classroom lessons with teachers fluent in that language.They’ve currently got Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, and Swedish, and are in the process of adding several more.

It’s actually more clever than that, though; rather than simply providing language lessons, it’s simultaneously a translation tool. As you build up your vocabulary, the program presents you with (optional) real-world digital texts, and users submit their translations, and vote for the best answer. The site is actually solving two problems at once: Translating the web, and teaching languages. Major publications pay Duolingo for translation services, therebyprovidingthe funding for Duolingo to offer freelanguage lessons to millions. It’s just brilliant.

And I’m happy to say I’ve finally finished all the French lessons on Duolingo, from start to finish, with no previous French experience whatsoever, and was awarded this digitalgolden owl trophy as a reward:

I’ve been recommending Duolingo to everyone who mentions language learning ever since I first heard of it, which usually goes something like “Man, I’d love to learn another language. But I wouldn’t know where to begin.” And I tell them to start usingDuolingo. About a week later, theywrite back to say they’re loving it.

So I’m happy to say that I can finally provide a more thorough review than “use it.” After progressing all the way throughDuolingo’s French lessons, I went straight to a French language conversational get-togetherorganized throughMeetup.com to see how it all worked out, and avery clear picture has emerged of what can be expectedfrom it.

Ihighly recommend it…but with a few pointers for the more troublesome areas.

A little about me and my language background

I’ve studied a few languages before; I took Spanish for 8 years, including a year studying abroad in Spain, and spent some time backpacking through Central and South America. I’m at the point of near-fluency, with exceptions for slang terms and heavy accents. I also studied 1 year of Russian, and got some practice during trips throughRussia and Eastern Europe. I’ve also taughtEnglish in Taiwan in a classroom setting, and Spanish as a private tutor.

So “language expert” isn’t quite accurate, but I’ve studied and taught multiple languages over the course of many years, andthis was my basis of comparison for evaluating Duolingo as a language-learning tool. So I’m comparing it to classroom learning, rather than other sites orapps (though I’ll try to add my thoughts on alternatives as I go through them).

How long did it take?

Well, I did it off and on for about 2 years, but I ran through the last 1/3 of the lessons in about2 weeks. I was trying to make it all the way to the end for the sake of this review, so of course my knowledge of the latter half is rather shaky when compared to earlier lessons.

I would say it’s reasonable to expect that with consistent effort of maybe an hour per day, you could finish within severalmonths, depending on how quickly you pick it up. Having prior knowledge of a similar language is extremely helpful when it comes to vocabulary, for example; knowing Spanish and English ahead of time made the jump to French much easier.

(It’ll also be even fasterwitha language like Spanish, where they actually pronounce the damn letters correctly, instead of French with that nonsensical silentseverywhere…)

So, can I speak French?

Kinda! I sped through the latter half of the lessons, and that’s what contained the bulk of the more challenging grammar rules, but I’m quitesatisfied withtherange of material itcovers. I was able toget by, thoughI definitely need more practice on the later sections.

Duolingo runs through what appears to be the equivalent of a year or twoof college language courses; it teaches you what appears to beall the grammar, and lots of vocabulary. By the time I was finished, the lessons had included 1854 words, and I’ve heard that 2,000 words is the sweet spot for conversational fluency. Notenough for reading a legal documentor comprehending flowery poetry, but enough to be conversational and have a goodtime.

(Video) Lindie Botes & Benny Lewis: Balancing Work and Languages

The lessons are organizedinto 71 groups, like this:

Theyturn gold after you complete them, and gradually deteriorate as time goes on, prompting you to repeat them to get more practice. And yes, I did in fact finish with 100% gold on everything. So HA!

Each of those sections is further subdivided into 2 to 10 lessons, like this:

Each of those lessons includes 20 actual exercises (of one sentence each), so you can get a sense of the scale. It covers a lot.

So if you get all the way through it, you’ll be able to communicate. If you practice repeatedlyuntilyou rarely make major mistakes, you’ll be able to conversewith native speakers without much trouble, except in the cases of weird slang terms or heavy accents.

So the scope of the lessons is great. Onto the details:

Things Duolingodoes well

Each lesson within Duolingo includes several types of exercises, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening, in both directions (both English to French, and French to English, or whatever other language you’re learning). This is great. It coversa wide rangeof contexts, in which you absorb orproduce sentences in whichever foreign language you’re learning.

Here’s one of the very first exercises, going from French to English:

Lessonsusually start with French words, so you can hover over the word to see its meaning. After running through a few of those, they’ll give you the reverse:

Every time you get an answer correct, that green progress bar moves forwarda step; get an answer wrong, and it goes back a step. This is actually a very recent modification; it used to have Legend of Zelda style hearts, and if you lose all three of your hearts, you had to start the whole lesson all over again. Thenew system is ahuge improvement, because you literally cannot fail, which makesitfarless frustrating. You just keep trying, and you’ll get there. Itseems to have doubled the rate at which I progress through these lessons. The smartphone app still has the heart system, but I expect they’ll change it soon.

They have several other types of exercises, including multiple choice, listening to a French phrase and typing what you hear, or listening to andrepeating a French phrase into the microphone (although my microphone doesn’t seem to work very well, so I just switchedoff that feature).

The smartphone/tablet app also has a Mad Lib styleexercise, where you select words already displayed on the screen, rather than typing them out. This cuts down on annoying smartphone typing (although it still has some), which makes the app a lot more usable than I was expecting:

The app also synchronizes with your desktop/laptop account, so you can work on it at home, and picked up where you left off while you’re out.

The fact that it’s a program also means you can hear the correct pronunciations of every word, which, in the case of French, would be completely impossible with just a textbook.

And since it can tell you when you’ve made a mistake, you can seethe correct answer immediately, so you won’tpickup bad habits and cement them for years before someone corrects you. Itsometimesidentifies your mistake specifically, especially if it’s just a word or two. It can’t do this all the time (particularly if your answer is just totally off), but I like that it’s sometimes able to give specifics, instead of just marking it wrong:

It also has a number of game-like elements, including leveling up, XP, bonus levels, rewards, and competitive rankings so that you can compare your progress with a friend’s (which allegedly increases your likelihood to use the program by quite a bit). I haven’t made much use of these, but I’ve heard from younger kids that they find itallquite enjoyable. It’s designed to be fun for everyone, but you can easily just ignore those elements if you don’t care. They don’t get in the way.

So if you’re wondering if it’s possible to learn a whole language just from a simple app, I would say the answer is an emphatic yes. Duolingo runs through every type of exercise you canimagine, covers a broad range of vocabulary and grammar, and offers advantages that textbook studies are incapable of providing, whilesimulating some of the feedback you’d get in a classroom setting, wherea teacher could correct any potential errors. It’s really great.

I do, however, have some issues:

Things Duolingo does poorly

I’ve noticed the program has gone through some major design changes over the last few years, so it’s possible that some of these issues will be resolved at some point (and I’ll try to update this review if I see that happen), but, as it stands currently, here’s where you’re likely to run into trouble:

Major problem #1: No “survival” phrases at the beginning

The first few lessons in Duolingo consist of extremely simple words or phrases, so you build vocabulary gradually, one wordat a time. This is great. But the specific words and phrases it teaches you in the beginningarenot beginner phrases. Instead of teaching you “hello, how are you, what’s your name, where’s the toilet, how much does it cost,” and so on, it teaches you things like “he is a man, she is a woman, the apple is red, the cat is black.”

Obviously those are words you’ll want to know at some point, but it seems somewhatodd that it doesn’t stack the most-used introductory phrases up front. I was about halfway through the lessons before it covered howto ask forthe toilet, and, as far as I can recall, “what’s your name,” and “my name is” were buried exclusively in the un-lockable bonus skill section titled “Flirting,” rather than being integrated into the regular lessons.

For this reason, I would say that if you’re in a huge rush to learn basic “survival” phrases really quickly in a short period of time, I would actually recommendnot using Duolingo. If for some reason you have only a week or two to prepare, get a phrasebook or a cheat sheet of simplephrases and memorize them instead.

If, however, you have several weeks or months, Duolingo is a much better option. AndI can kinda see why they did it this way, as the early lessons present just a couple words at a time, instead of lengthy, tricky sentences.Besides, it willeventually teach you everything you need to know;I justthink it would have been somewhat more practical to place a few basic introductory phrases up front, before anything else.

Major problem #2: Very little grammatical instruction

Duolingo’s model works by throwing you right into the exercises, so you get started reading, writing, listening, and speaking right away, and the fact that it builds on existing knowledge by adding just one or two words at a time, lettingyou hover over a new word so you can seewhat it means, all add up to a system that works extremely well.

Itdoesnot, however, include comprehensive explanationsof grammar rules. If you studied a foreign language back in high school, you might remember terms like subjunctive, preterite, imperfect, conditional, pluperfect, and their billion iterations when it comes to verb conjugation. Duolingo covers them, but they’ll do it with exercises, withouttelling you what’s going on and why.

On the one hand, I can see why they might do this; the program is trying to emulate natural language learning, by throwing you right into the middle of an immersive language experience, instead of spending time explaining when to use the preterite instead of the imperfect. That’s how kids learn.

But the people studying with Duolingo aren’t little kids. They’re most likely adults or teenagers, or maybe older kids (since you need to know how to read and type in order to use the program), allof whose brains are completely different from a toddler’s. Tinychildrenhave an extraordinary ability to soak up language at a young age, but they’re terrible at grasping complex, abstract concepts, like what a participle is. Adults, on the other hand, are terrible at picking up foreign languages, but have a much easier time understanding those abstractconcepts.

So I can understand why they may have wanted to do away with complex grammar lessons, and rely instead on simple repetition for a more “natural” approach, but it would havereally helped if they had said things like “Alright, guys. This is thesubjunctive. You use it whenyou’re talking about something that isn’t real. Like what you want to happen, or what would be sad if it were to happen. Got it? Alright, let’s get started.”

Instead, they just throw you right in, and by the time you’ve “mastered” the subjunctive lessons, you still might have no clue how to use it. If I hadn’t knownit already from Spanish (since a lot of the grammar is the same), I think it would have been far more difficult.

This is, however, rather easily solvable; whenever you get to a new grammar rule that you don’t understand, Google it instead of relying on Duolingo to explain it to you, because it won’t. There are plenty of sites out there, as well as instructional YouTube videos, that will help fill the gaps. Once you getit, dive back in to Duolingo’s lessons and practice using whatever you’ve learned, and you’ll be just fine.

There’s also a little button that says “discussion” that appears at the bottom after you get questionswrong, where you can see user-submitted commentsexplaining the correct answer, and I would highly recommend making use of this as often as is necessary…but you can only see those commentsafter you submit your answer, and you also have to hope that some gracious Duolingo user has offered a useful explanation, instead of Duolingo just offering more thoroughinstructions at the beginning of each lesson. You’ll get someinstructions, but I don’t find them sufficient for some of the morecomplex grammatical concepts.

It’s possible that you could learn all this merely by repetition, but I expect that looking things up and understanding them is likely to make things go a whole lot more smoothlythan getting marked down for usingpor instead ofparaand having no idea why. It gets incredibly frustrating, and Duolingo mostly won’t help, other than just telling you that you’re wrong. So if you find yourself running into grammatical difficulties like these, just look them up elsewhere.

Major problem #3: Lack of repetitive drills

If you’re planning on using Duolingo to learn a Latin-based Romance language, such as Spanish or French, the worst part of all this is going to be verb conjugation. In English, it looks like this:

I go. He goes.

It’s the same verb, but it changes based on who’s doing it, as well as whether it’s in the past, present, or future (plus other factors), including variationslikehe went, hewill go, he is going, hewould have gone, and so on.

In Romance languages, it’s a billion times more complicated, and it’sreally annoying.

Take alook at how many variations there are, just for a single verb, inpast, present, and future:

And that’s not all:

That’sstill not all:

That’s a total of 34 variations, just for one verb.Imagine how difficult it is to have a conversation when you’re trying toremember which of these 34 verb conjugations is correct, and then saying the wrong one and ending up with a ridiculous miscommunication fiasco. You need to remember these quickly, or you’ll stumble all over the place.

Duolingo’s method of dealing with this is toinsert these words into the standardexercises, so it’ll have sentences likehe goes tothe store before 9:00 on Saturday morning,and you’ll translate it, whether from French to English, or vice versa.

But that sentence had 10 words in it, and only 1 of them (goes) was the verb you needed to practice. So instead of bombarding you with highly-focused, rapid-fire verb conjugations drills, it’ll give you full sentences, which, in the case of the sentence above, would be90% useless. It takes up lotsoftime, but only 10% of it was spent learning the new verb form.

Obviously it’s great to practice all sorts of words all the time, but I think in the case of verb conjugation, when you need to memorize 34 extremely similar but different verb formsand know which one to use, with perhaps a delay of 2 or 3 seconds so you’re not just standing there silently, you really need to drill them in, and I think this is where shorter, faster repetition would have been helpful.

If they just fired off phrases for you to translate like “I go, he goes, she goes, we go, they go,” and then repeated that cycle a few times, then switched to the opposite language, and repeatedthat cycle a few times as well, it would drill those words in a lot faster, andthen it could progress to the typical, full-sentence exercises. I found myself just writing these out on paper to solidifyverb conjugation exclusively, because I find the drilling to be helpful in situations like these.

Earlier lessons do this better, by the way.Those beginner exercises use much shorter sentences, consisting of maybe 2 to 5words, which makes iteration super speedy. So they wouldn’t necessarily need to shorten the exercises down tojust the verb, but shorter and faster is better.

If you’renot learning one of these Romance languages, you might not run into this specificproblem at all; but I expect most other languages have their own annoying aspects, and it might not be a bad idea to devise your own repetitive drills if you run into similar problems. Another good example would be any time you have to learna whole bunch of new words all at once. Numbers, days of the week, months of the year, seasons, and so on. It’s helpful to drill these quickly.

Again, this is apotential problem. If you just practice the existing lessons a couple more times, you’ll get that extra practice anyway. But I think speeding upthe iteration time by using shorter sentences would be helpful.

Other minor nuisances

Tiny accent mark letters. Some of these languages require extra letters that aren’t present on whichever keyboard you may have (such as é and ñ), and Duolingo givesyou clickable buttons on the screen so you can usethose letterswithout having tolearn new keyboard commands. But those accent marks are incredibly tiny.

There are four different “e” options and I literally have no idea which is which. There’s maybe one pixel of difference, and it’s such a nuisance that I just don’t bother with the accents at all. They really need to make those letters bigger.

Can’t see masculine or feminine indication sometimes. One of the most annoying things about Romance languages is that nouns have gender, even if they’re inanimate objects, so you have to remember that something is calledhe orshe instead of justit, which also affects the adjectives used to describe those nouns, because they have to match. When you hover over an English word to get its translation, it’ll show you the word, but it won’t tell you the gender, meaning you have a 50% chance of getting the entire question wrong, sometimes because of just a single letter. If they’re going to let you peek at the definition of the word so you can get a hint, they should let you see the gender as well.

Can’t see conjugation sometimes. I say “sometimes,” because for some reason, when you’re going from French to English, you can hover over a verb to see its definition, and there’ll also be a button that says conjugate:

That button brings up that big verb conjugation chartshowed up above, back where I was complaining about verb conjugation.

But when you’re going from English to French, you’re out of luck:

This is actually the time you need it the most, because you have to know how to spell it, too. Ithink it’s because sometimes there might be multiple verbs that would qualify as correct translations, so they can’t have just a single conjugate button at the bottom. But they could havea conjugate button for each verb, just to the right.

Sometimes those hover-hints aren’t correct, either. The hint gives a word-for-word translation, without taking into context the surrounding words, so it’s not always right. But, of course, it’s just supposed to be a hint, so you shouldn’t rely on it all the time.

Some answers should be accepted. Some questions have multiple correct translations, but Duolingo doesn’t know it. There’s a button if you get a question wrong that says “report a problem,” and within that, an option that says “my answer should be accepted.” This is justsomething that will improve with time, but it gets kind of annoying when you providean answer that’s clearly right, and it doesn’t like it.

There should be a silent mode. You can shut off the speakingexercises so you don’t have to talk out loud, and use headphones so you’re not disturbing anyone, but I think there should be a total-silence option, at least for the smartphone app, for those times when you don’t want to put on headphones. This could just be operated by the phone’s silencerswitch, or whatever it’s called. When you switch your phone to silent, the appwould go silent. When you switch your phone out of silent, the app wouldtalk again. A little pop-up in the corner could notify you when you first open the app to let you know which mode you’re in.

It’s mostly just translations. I’ve heard from some people who’ve used other language learning methods that those techniques force you to think in those other languages, rather than just translating, which requires you to go back and forth between multiple languages. Translating is important, but maybe they could add some fill-in-the-blank exercises as well.

Conclusions!

Though it may not be entirely obvious given the amount of complaining I’ve done here, Ilovethe existence of Duolingo, and highly recommend it to everyone I meet who has any interest in learning languages.

The fact that I could go from absolutely zero knowledge of French to halfway-competent with no other instruction whatsoever, entirely for free, is absolutely spectacular. Though I was rather shaky when I first spoke with other French speakers, it was obvious from those conversations that it was just a matter of running throughthe existing lessons to get more practice, especially asI hadspedthrough the latter half. You can really learn a whole language with this, and quite well.

I would say Duolingo does (at the moment) have a fewshortcomings, the most significant of which are its lack of basic “survival” phrases upfront, a lack ofsufficient explanations for complex grammatical concepts, and a lack of repetitive drills; I would recommend resolving these issuesby Googling important survival phrases if necessary,Googling explanations of complex grammatical concepts whenever you need more detail, and conducting those repetitive drills on your own. I think I’d like to see Duolingo add these at some point, but in the meantime, it’s easy enough to supplement it with other content for free, tofill in the gaps. So by all means, use it. Just know how to handlethose potential issues, and you’ll be fine.

Well, I would say it’s off to the next language, but I really need to solidify my beginner French before moving onto the next one.I’d alsoliketo work on my Russian, which is still rather appalling (and Duolingo says they’ll add that later this year), but in the meantime, there’s another site called Babbel which has Russian lessons, and I think I’ll give that a try and see how it compares, and add some thoughts here (Update: Here’s my Babbel review!).

So,go learn something new!

(Quick update: Duolingo just added a huuuuge amount of grammatical explanation to every lesson, at least in French. This was one of my biggest complaints about the service, and it has been immensely improved! I’m still going through it, soI’ll update this article with comments about it as I progress...

I’ve been recommending Duolingo to everyone who mentions language learning ever since I first heard of it, which usually goes something like “Man, I’d love to learn another language.. Each lesson within Duolingo includes several types of exercises, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening, in both directions (both English to French, and French to English, or whatever other language you’re learning).. Lessonsusually start with French words, so you can hover over the word to see its meaning.. You just keep trying, and you’ll get there.. I’ve noticed the program has gone through some major design changes over the last few years, so it’s possible that some of these issues will be resolved at some point (and I’ll try to update this review if I see that happen), but, as it stands currently, here’s where you’re likely to run into trouble:. Obviously it’s great to practice all sorts of words all the time, but I think in the case of verb conjugation, when you need to memorize 34 extremely similar but different verb forms and know which one to use, with perhaps a delay of 2 or 3 seconds so you’re not just standing there silently, you really need to drill them in, and I think this is where shorter, faster repetition would have been helpful.. When you hover over an English word to get its translation, it’ll show you the word, but it won’t tell you the gender, meaning you have a 50% chance of getting the entire question wrong, sometimes because of just a single letter.. You can really learn a whole language with this, and quite well.

(Quick update: Duolingo just added a huuuuge amount of grammatical explanation to every lesson, at least in French. This was one of my biggest complaints about the service, and it has been immensely improved! I’m still going through it, so I’ll update this article with comments about it as I progress, but it already looks like a great update.)

Awwww.I’ve been recommending Duolingo to everyone who mentions language learning ever since I first heard of it, which usually goes something like “Man, I’d love to learn another language.. Each lesson within Duolingo includes several types of exercises, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening, in both directions (both English to French, and French to English, or whatever other language you’re learning).. Major problem #1: No “survival” phrases at the beginning The first few lessons in Duolingo consist of extremely simple words or phrases, so you build vocabulary gradually, one word at a time.. Major problem #2: Very little grammatical instruction Duolingo’s model works by throwing you right into the exercises, so you get started reading, writing, listening, and speaking right away, and the fact that it builds on existing knowledge by adding just one or two words at a time, letting you hover over a new word so you can see what it means, all add up to a system that works extremely well.. There’s also a little button that says “discussion” that appears at the bottom after you get questions wrong, where you can see user-submitted comments explaining the correct answer, and I would highly recommend making use of this as often as is necessary…but you can only see those comments after you submit your answer, and you also have to hope that some gracious Duolingo user has offered a useful explanation, instead of Duolingo just offering more thorough instructions at the beginning of each lesson.. Major problem #3: Lack of repetitive drills If you’re planning on using Duolingo to learn a Latin-based Romance language, such as Spanish or French, the worst part of all this is going to be verb conjugation.. If they just fired off phrases for you to translate like “I go, he goes, she goes, we go, they go,” and then repeated that cycle a few times, then switched to the opposite language, and repeated that cycle a few times as well, it would drill those words in a lot faster, and then it could progress to the typical, full-sentence exercises.. I’ve heard from some people who’ve used other language learning methods that those techniques force you to think in those other languages, rather than just translating, which requires you to go back and forth between multiple languages.

(Quick update: Duolingo just added a huuuuge amount of grammatical explanation to every lesson, at least in French. This was one of my biggest complaints about the service, and it has been immensely improved! I’m still going through it, so I’ll update this article with comments about it as I progress, but it already looks like a great update.)

So I was rather looking forward to using Duolingo, which is a totally-free language learning program that claims to be just as effective as competing (and more expensive) programs like Rosetta Stone, and even comparable to classroom lessons with teachers fluent in that language.. Major publications pay Duolingo for translation services, thereby providing the funding for Duolingo to offer free language lessons to millions.. Awwww.I’ve been recommending Duolingo to everyone who mentions language learning ever since I first heard of it, which usually goes something like “Man, I’d love to learn another language.. So I’m happy to say that I can finally provide a more thorough review than “use it.” After progressing all the way through Duolingo’s French lessons, I went straight to a French language conversational get-together organized through Meetup.com to see how it all worked out, and a very clear picture has emerged of what can be expected from it.. The lessons on the left cover specific words, but the Strengthen button on the right will include words from the entire set of lessons.Each of those lessons includes 20 actual exercises (of one sentence each), so you can get a sense of the scale.. Each lesson within Duolingo includes several types of exercises, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening, in both directions (both English to French, and French to English, or whatever other language you’re learning).. Major problem #1: No “survival” phrases at the beginning The first few lessons in Duolingo consist of extremely simple words or phrases, so you build vocabulary gradually, one word at a time.. Major problem #2: Very little grammatical instruction Duolingo’s model works by throwing you right into the exercises, so you get started reading, writing, listening, and speaking right away, and the fact that it builds on existing knowledge by adding just one or two words at a time, letting you hover over a new word so you can see what it means, all add up to a system that works extremely well.. There’s also a little button that says “discussion” that appears at the bottom after you get questions wrong, where you can see user-submitted comments explaining the correct answer, and I would highly recommend making use of this as often as is necessary…but you can only see those comments after you submit your answer, and you also have to hope that some gracious Duolingo user has offered a useful explanation, instead of Duolingo just offering more thorough instructions at the beginning of each lesson.. Major problem #3: Lack of repetitive drills If you’re planning on using Duolingo to learn a Latin-based Romance language, such as Spanish or French, the worst part of all this is going to be verb conjugation.. Duolingo’s method of dealing with this is to insert these words into the standard exercises, so it’ll have sentences like he goes to the store before 9:00 on Saturday morning , and you’ll translate it, whether from French to English, or vice versa.. Obviously it’s great to practice all sorts of words all the time, but I think in the case of verb conjugation, when you need to memorize 34 extremely similar but different verb forms and know which one to use, with perhaps a delay of 2 or 3 seconds so you’re not just standing there silently, you really need to drill them in, and I think this is where shorter, faster repetition would have been helpful.. If they just fired off phrases for you to translate like “I go, he goes, she goes, we go, they go,” and then repeated that cycle a few times, then switched to the opposite language, and repeated that cycle a few times as well, it would drill those words in a lot faster, and then it could progress to the typical, full-sentence exercises.. I’ve heard from some people who’ve used other language learning methods that those techniques force you to think in those other languages, rather than just translating, which requires you to go back and forth between multiple languages.. I’d also like to work on my Russian, which is still rather appalling (and Duolingo says they’ll add that later this year), but in the meantime, there’s another site called Babbel which has Russian lessons, and I think I’ll give that a try and see how it compares, and add some thoughts here (Update: Here’s my Babbel review !

(Quick update: Duolingo just added a huuuuge amount of grammatical explanation to every lesson, at least in French. This was one of my biggest complaints about the service, and it has been immensely improved! I’m still going through it, so I’ll update this article with comments about it as I progress, but it already looks like a great update.)

So I was rather looking forward to using Duolingo, which is a totally-free language learning program that claims to be just as effective as competing (and more expensive) programs like Rosetta Stone, and even comparable to classroom lessons with teachers fluent in that language.. Awwww.I’ve been recommending Duolingo to everyone who mentions language learning ever since I first heard of it, which usually goes something like “Man, I’d love to learn another language.. So I’m happy to say that I can finally provide a more thorough review than “use it.” After progressing all the way through Duolingo’s French lessons, I went straight to a French language conversational get-together organized through Meetup.com to see how it all worked out, and a very clear picture has emerged of what can be expected from it.. The lessons on the left cover specific words, but the Strengthen button on the right will include words from the entire set of lessons.Each of those lessons includes 20 actual exercises (of one sentence each), so you can get a sense of the scale.. Each lesson within Duolingo includes several types of exercises, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening, in both directions (both English to French, and French to English, or whatever other language you’re learning).. Major problem #1: No “survival” phrases at the beginning The first few lessons in Duolingo consist of extremely simple words or phrases, so you build vocabulary gradually, one word at a time.. Major problem #2: Very little grammatical instruction Duolingo’s model works by throwing you right into the exercises, so you get started reading, writing, listening, and speaking right away, and the fact that it builds on existing knowledge by adding just one or two words at a time, letting you hover over a new word so you can see what it means, all add up to a system that works extremely well.. There’s also a little button that says “discussion” that appears at the bottom after you get questions wrong, where you can see user-submitted comments explaining the correct answer, and I would highly recommend making use of this as often as is necessary…but you can only see those comments after you submit your answer, and you also have to hope that some gracious Duolingo user has offered a useful explanation, instead of Duolingo just offering more thorough instructions at the beginning of each lesson.. Major problem #3: Lack of repetitive drills If you’re planning on using Duolingo to learn a Latin-based Romance language, such as Spanish or French, the worst part of all this is going to be verb conjugation.. Duolingo’s method of dealing with this is to insert these words into the standard exercises, so it’ll have sentences like he goes to the store before 9:00 on Saturday morning , and you’ll translate it, whether from French to English, or vice versa.. Obviously it’s great to practice all sorts of words all the time, but I think in the case of verb conjugation, when you need to memorize 34 extremely similar but different verb forms and know which one to use, with perhaps a delay of 2 or 3 seconds so you’re not just standing there silently, you really need to drill them in, and I think this is where shorter, faster repetition would have been helpful.. If they just fired off phrases for you to translate like “I go, he goes, she goes, we go, they go,” and then repeated that cycle a few times, then switched to the opposite language, and repeated that cycle a few times as well, it would drill those words in a lot faster, and then it could progress to the typical, full-sentence exercises.. I’ve heard from some people who’ve used other language learning methods that those techniques force you to think in those other languages, rather than just translating, which requires you to go back and forth between multiple languages.. I’d also like to work on my Russian, which is still rather appalling (and Duolingo says they’ll add that later this year), but in the meantime, there’s another site called Babbel which has Russian lessons, and I think I’ll give that a try and see how it compares, and add some thoughts here (Update: Here’s my Babbel review !

(Quick update: Duolingo just added a huuuuge amount of grammatical explanation to every lesson, at least in French. This was one of my biggest complaints about the service, and it has been immensely improved! I’m still going through it, so I’ll update this article with comments about it as I progress, but it already looks like a great update.)

So I was rather looking forward to using Duolingo, which is a totally-free language learning program that claims to be just as effective as competing (and more expensive) programs like Rosetta Stone, and even comparable to classroom lessons with teachers fluent in that language.. Major publications pay Duolingo for translation services, thereby providing the funding for Duolingo to offer free language lessons to millions.. Awwww.I’ve been recommending Duolingo to everyone who mentions language learning ever since I first heard of it, which usually goes something like “Man, I’d love to learn another language.. So I’m happy to say that I can finally provide a more thorough review than “use it.” After progressing all the way through Duolingo’s French lessons, I went straight to a French language conversational get-together organized through Meetup.com to see how it all worked out, and a very clear picture has emerged of what can be expected from it.. The lessons on the left cover specific words, but the Strengthen button on the right will include words from the entire set of lessons.Each of those lessons includes 20 actual exercises (of one sentence each), so you can get a sense of the scale.. Each lesson within Duolingo includes several types of exercises, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening, in both directions (both English to French, and French to English, or whatever other language you’re learning).. Major problem #1: No “survival” phrases at the beginning The first few lessons in Duolingo consist of extremely simple words or phrases, so you build vocabulary gradually, one word at a time.. Major problem #2: Very little grammatical instruction Duolingo’s model works by throwing you right into the exercises, so you get started reading, writing, listening, and speaking right away, and the fact that it builds on existing knowledge by adding just one or two words at a time, letting you hover over a new word so you can see what it means, all add up to a system that works extremely well.. There’s also a little button that says “discussion” that appears at the bottom after you get questions wrong, where you can see user-submitted comments explaining the correct answer, and I would highly recommend making use of this as often as is necessary…but you can only see those comments after you submit your answer, and you also have to hope that some gracious Duolingo user has offered a useful explanation, instead of Duolingo just offering more thorough instructions at the beginning of each lesson.. Major problem #3: Lack of repetitive drills If you’re planning on using Duolingo to learn a Latin-based Romance language, such as Spanish or French, the worst part of all this is going to be verb conjugation.. Duolingo’s method of dealing with this is to insert these words into the standard exercises, so it’ll have sentences like he goes to the store before 9:00 on Saturday morning , and you’ll translate it, whether from French to English, or vice versa.. Obviously it’s great to practice all sorts of words all the time, but I think in the case of verb conjugation, when you need to memorize 34 extremely similar but different verb forms and know which one to use, with perhaps a delay of 2 or 3 seconds so you’re not just standing there silently, you really need to drill them in, and I think this is where shorter, faster repetition would have been helpful.. If they just fired off phrases for you to translate like “I go, he goes, she goes, we go, they go,” and then repeated that cycle a few times, then switched to the opposite language, and repeated that cycle a few times as well, it would drill those words in a lot faster, and then it could progress to the typical, full-sentence exercises.. I’ve heard from some people who’ve used other language learning methods that those techniques force you to think in those other languages, rather than just translating, which requires you to go back and forth between multiple languages.. I’d also like to work on my Russian, which is still rather appalling (and Duolingo says they’ll add that later this year), but in the meantime, there’s another site called Babbel which has Russian lessons, and I think I’ll give that a try and see how it compares, and add some thoughts here (Update: Here’s my Babbel review !

Duolingo can help you learn French online. But how effective is it and can you become fluent? Here's my expert analysis of the Duolingo French program.

When people ask me how they can start learning French, Duolingo is usually one of the first resources that I tell people to try out.. Not sure what DuoLingo is?. Learn a language for free.. Since this is FrenchCrazy.com, I’m going to assume that you’ll start learning French!. So what exactly can you learn in Duolingo French?. Duo has a stable mobile app which offers you most of the features that you would find on their site.. The mobile app features a variety of questions to test your French skills!. DuoLingo is certainly changing the way people learn languages; it has extensive amounts of vocabulary & grammar, but it lacks in verbally speaking with others.. Internet CommentI have really enjoyed doing Duolingo over the last year, I have completed the activity tree twice and reached level 21 and 52% proficiency; what is the next level?. I can’t find any way to progress and i can’t get any answer to the questions i post about this under the help section.. FrenchCrazy Commenter“I think it’s particularly useful for learning to read a foreign language and (obviously) for learning to translate from it to one’s own language.

Have you heard about Duolingo before? If you are interested in learning new languages, there’s a chance that you have come across Duolingo. Duolingo is not a new thing on the internet. It has been popular amongst polyglots and common language learners. Does it work for you? What are the perks? Why should you choose ... Read more

Duolingo offers 90 different language courses in 20 different languages.. If you are up to gamified language lessons, you could choose Duolingo.. Its features are helpful for all the new members.. Duolingo aims to help the beginners to learn all of the basics.. Duolingo offers free and paid membership.. You can directly start as a beginner, or join with the placement test to figure out your current level.. Your answers will determine the result of the placement test.. Here you will work around the Skills that you can level up by taking the exercises.. The learners will practice each skill through a series of exercises.. All I can say is that its learning platform is very engaging and fun.. Abundant free resources Gamified lessons for beginners to make the learning process more fun and progressive The short lessons are great for quick learning of the basics The community is awesome. There’s no conversation lessons Grammar instruction is not included Needs some tweaks in the user’s interface. The languages that Duolingo offers

Emil Protalinski@EProAugust 18, 2020 9:09 PMDuolingo CEO Luis von AhnWere you unable to attend Transform 2022? Check out all of the summit sessions in our on-demand library now! Watch here. Language learning has surged during the pandemic. Duolingo, which is synonymous with gamified language learnin...

Within each lesson, Duolingo decides which exercises to give you based on the words and concepts the app believes you need to practice.. “If you’re getting everything right, we say ‘Let’s give you something that we think you only have a 70% chance of getting right to see whether you get it right or not.’ If you’re getting a lot of things wrong, we actually start giving you things that are easier.”. “When you get a challenge right or wrong, at this point Birdbrain doesn’t actually know why you got it right or wrong,” Settles said.. So when you enter and you get it wrong, we try to figure out like ‘Oh it’s because you didn’t know the word for that or it’s because you knew the word for that but you don’t know how to make it go into the past tense.’ And then we have a pretty good idea of the things that you often get wrong.”. But most of the mistakes that people enter, usually it’s like one or two things off.. But then figuring out that this person made this specific mistake — they got the word order wrong or they got the gender of the noun and adjective agreement wrong.. The process requires aggregating all the data about the mistakes that Duolingo users make every day.. We know your activity on Duolingo and then for a given day we’ve watched all the days in the past when you’ve used Duolingo, and then we pick a time when to best send you the reminder and also what to say in that reminder.. Then the AI team got to work training the model using massive amounts of text on the internet so it can learn the difficulty of all 10 million words in the English language via word embeddings and transfer learning.. The Stories team uses CEFR Checker to test whether the difficulty level of what they write is appropriate.. “We say, ‘Okay, we need 10 more stories at this specific language level,'” von Ahn said.. Other teams at the company are also using CEFR Checker and making feature requests to the point that Settles wants to go back and improve it.. We’ve thought about this quite a bit and yeah, that’s something that we have used AI for in the past, but I don’t think we’ve ever done anything that is better than what we currently have there, which is just kind of letting people explore.”

Duolingo levels are a way to gauge how far you have come with the language course you are on and they are measured by how many XP you have completed. On Duolingo, the highest level you can reach in each language is level 25, which is equal to 30,000 XP. Duolingo used to show levels in the app, but t...

On Duolingo, the highest level you can reach in each language is level 25, which is equal to 30,000 XP.. Duolingo Levels are broken down into 25 different levels and a user can “level up” by earning a certain amount of XP.. There are 25 Duolingo Levels total and you go up a level every time you earn a certain amount of XP.. Level 1: 0 → 59 (60 point span) Level 2: 60 → 119 (60 point span) Level 3: 120 → 199 (80 point span) Level 4: 200 → 299 (100 point span) Level 5: 300 → 449 (150 point span) Level 6: 450 → 749 (300 point span) Level 7: 750 → 1,124 (375 point span) Level 8: 1,125 → 1,649 (525 point span) Level 9: 1,650 → 2,249 (600 point span) Level 10: 2,250 → 2,999 (750 point span) Level 11: 3,000 → 3,899 (900 point span) Level 12: 3,900 → 4,899 (1,000 point span) Level 13: 4,900 → 5,999 (1,100 point span) Level 14: 6,000 → 7,499 (1,500 point span) Level 15: 7,500 → 8,999 (1,500 point span) Level 16: 9,000 → 10,499 (1,500 point span) Level 17: 10,500 → 11,999 (1,500 point span) Level 18: 12,000 → 13,499 (1,500 point span) Level 19: 13,500 → 14,999 (1,500 point span) Level 20: 15,000 → 16,999 (2,000 point span) Level 21: 17,000 → 18,999 (2,000 point span) Level 22: 19,000 → 22,499 (3,500 point span) Level 23: 22,500 → 25,999 (3,500 point span) Level 24: 26,000 → 29,999 (4,000 point span) Level 25: 30,000 and up. “Leveling Up” in Duolingo is a huge motivating factor for me (and many learners), so much so that an entire website was created just so that avid Duolingo users could figure out what level they were on and how many XP they needed to get to the next level.. If you want to see your Duolingo language levels for your reverse trees (languages that you are learning FROM other languages than your native language), you have to switch to that language.

Test Prep Insight is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn moreDuolingo SpanishDesktop & Mobile AppFree & Paid Subscriptions Desktop & Mobile AppFree & Paid Subscriptions Our Score7.4 See our full review process ProsLessons are game-like...

Pros Lessons are game-like and fun, and only take a few minutes each to complete The only major language learning company with a totally free version Wide variety of exercises and drills in lessons helps with material retention. Duolingo Spanish App Cost How The Duolingo Spanish App Works Duolingo Spanish Lessons: What Are They Like?. What We Like About Duolingo Spanish What We Dislike About Duolingo Spanish Verdict: Should You Use Duolingo To Learn Spanish?. In addition, as you complete each lesson, you earn experience points (XP points for short), as well as Duolingo currency known as “ lingots .” The XP points relate to your daily goals and allow you to track your progress, while the lingots can be used to purchase additional features within the Duolingo store.. Not only do I like the nature of the Duolingo Spanish lessons, but I also like that the lessons are short and engaging .. I like that the Duolingo lessons include English directions, hints and translations , as not all all language learning language programs do this.

Pittsburgh, PA-based Duolingo is a web and app-based language learning platform that utilizes AI technologies to introduce users to new languages. The familiar meme-ified owl mascot speaks to its fun user interface. It’s not all fun and games; a closer look reveals a fast growing startup that turns...

Pittsburgh, PA-based Duolingo is a web and app-based language learning platform that utilizes AI technologies to introduce users to new languages.. Now, Duolingo has over 500 million registered users worldwide, and provides 100+ courses in 38 languages.. Originally Duolingo provided free language courses in exchange for users translating copy, news articles, manuals, and so forth.. “I wanted to do something that would give equal access to education to everyone,” says von Ahn, “and then I focused on languages because growing up in Guatemala I saw that everyone wants to learn English.” Prior to Duolingo, he had already experienced success in creating and selling software application companies to Google: the ESP Game and Recaptcha.. 2013, earned the title of iPhone App of the Year 2013, 2017, 2018, 2020, Most Innovative Company by Fast Company 2018, Genius Companies List by Time Magazine 2018, Best Places to Work by Inc. 2018, Top Company Culture by Entrepreneur 2018, 2019, 2020, Disruptor 502019 Change the World List by CNBC 2019, Best Workplaces for Innovators by Fast Company 2019, 2020 Best Startup Employers list by Forbes Story-driven Duolingo Podcasts for Spanish, French, and English learners that have reached #1 on Apple Podcasts. This has led to its science-based language learning programs where it is said that spending approximately 34 hours in a language on the Duolingo app is equivalent to a university semester’s worth of language learning.. The company’s user base has reached 500 million in 2020, compared to it’s beta start of around 100,000 users.. Duolingo provides the following services via their software applications: Duolingo, Duolingo for Schools, Duolingo English Test, Duolingo ABC, Duolingo Events (connecting learners in real-time to practice language skills), Podcast (story-driven podcast for English, French & Spanish learners), Duolingo Stories (provides practice with reading and listening comprehension) and Dictionary (provides direct translation augmented with useful examples).. Duolingo makes money via Duolingo Plus (it’s premium subscription), display ads and its language proficiency certification tests.. Series A: 10/2011; $3.3 million; from Union Square and Ashton Kutcher Series B: 09/2012; $15 million raised; from New Enterprise Associates Series C: 02/2014; $20 million; from Kleiner Perkins Series D: 06/2015; $45 million; from CapitalG; valued: $470 million Series E: 07/2017; $25 million; from Drive Capital; valued: $700 million Series F: 12/2019; $30 million; from CapitalG; valued: $1.5 billion Series G: 4/2020; $10 million; from General Atlantic; valued: $1.65 billion Series H: 11/2020; $35 million; from Durable Capital and General Atlantic; valued: $2.4 billion Venture Round: 12/2020 Undisclosed amount from Anton Alikov and Arctic Ventures. Their major registered users by language group are: English 399 million, Spanish 142 million, French 101 million, German 61 million, Italian 40 million, Portuguese 20 million.. This will determine whether they pursue new users in their more popular language groups versus pursuing new users in less utilized language groups.. The company will need to balance growth and monetization with the desires of their users and the users’ willingness to pay for the service so that the company remains profitable.. The bottom line is that Duolingo is pursuing a summer 2021 IPO with the help of bankers Goldman Sachs and Allen and Co. Duolingo will benefit from the current educational industry trends of learning moving beyond traditional learning institutions.

Here we are with Tortuga’s latest travel backpack, the Setout, the middleman of a broad lineup of packs going from light, to medium, to heavy. This one is right in the middle, providing a great mix of features in a not-so-heavy package, in a full-sized (but still carry-on compliant) capacity of 45 liters, with suitcase-style access, plenty of organization, and duffel-bag conversion for checked-bag or shoulder-carry utility.

Starting over on this side we have a nicely padded side grab handle, along with multiple compression straps (with elastic loops to keep the dangly ends from dangling too much), and up at the top you can see a shoulder strap attachment, so you can carry the bag like a duffel when the backpack straps are stowed away (strap not included):. How are the straps?. Secondly, it doesn’t have “load lifter” straps, which are those extra little straps on top of the shoulder straps themselves (visible on the Minaal), which allow you to pull the weight forward, so the top of the pack doesn’t sag backward, which you can see the Tortuga Setout is doing.. Those hip belt cushions are huge, by the way; they’re big enough to fit a passport in the corresponding pocket, along with other small items for quick access without having to remove the pack.. This is partly because of how tall they are, and also how the shoulder straps are set somewhat low in the pack, at a full inch lower (when measuring the distance from where the hip belt attaches to where the shoulder strap is sewn in) than other packs I’ve got, and it feels a little weird to have the “hip belt” fit so high up.. The only pockets that don’t have locking zippers are the water bottle pocket (obviously), and the small front stash pocket.. Moving onto the final compartment, which is one of my favorite features in every pack that has one…the organizer panel:. Final thoughts on the Tortuga Setout Backpack 陈列的所有特性,使它理想for travel, with carry-on dimensions, suitcase-style access, a separate laptop compartment, hideaway straps, multiple grab handles, organization for small items, and a massive hip belt for taking the weight off your shoulders.

Snapchat is all about the mo. · click on forgot password. If you want to sign up for a hotmail account, you can do so through ...

So, make sure you log in through a google account and not from a brand account.. So, make sure you log in through a google account and not from a brand account.. So, make sure you log in through a google account and not from a brand account.. So, make sure you log in through a google account and not from a brand account.. So, make sure you log in through a google account and not from a brand account.. Duolingo Sign In Problems / In fact, you cannot see anything on . . You have to reset a password in duolingo even though you are signing in with google.. So, make sure you log in through a google account and not from a brand account.. If you want to sign up for a hotmail account, you can do so through the microsoft outlook website duolingo sign in .. So, make sure you log in through a google account and not from a brand account.

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