Duolingo Plus Review (2022) - Is The Premium Membership Worth It? - duoplanet (2023)

Duolingo is one of the most popular ways to learn a language. Stacks of courses, easily accessible, well-presented, and a bustling community on-hand to help with any and all questions.

And the best bit? It’s free. Every language, open to everyone, everywhere.

But nowadays everything has a ‘Plus’ — a premium service that seeks to entice you away from the basic membership — and Duolingo is no different.

So what is Duolingo Plus? How much does it cost? And is it worth it?

Let’s take a look.

Update: May 2022

The guys at Duolingo are gradually phasing out Duolingo Plus for Super Duolingo. For all intents and purposes, they’re EXACTLY the same — they just have a different name and style. If you’d like to learn more about Super, click here.

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What is Duolingo Plus?

If you’re familiar with Duolingo then you’re probably already familiar with Duolingo Plus. It’s that thing that puts the owl in a spacesuit and gives the app a galactic blue makeover.

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Put simply, Duolingo Plus is Duolingo’s premium membership.

It opens the door to some fancy new features and gets rid of some annoying ones.

That’s all there is to it.

What is Super Duolingo?

Super Duolingo is a rebranded version of Duolingo Plus.

Duolingo Plus Review (2022) - Is The Premium Membership Worth It? - duoplanet (2)
Duolingo Plus Review (2022) - Is The Premium Membership Worth It? - duoplanet (3)

All the features are exactly the same. The only difference is the name and the theme — Super Duolingo swaps out the spacey, galactic vibe of Plus for a more colourful, futuristic appearance.

How much does Duolingo Plus cost?

The cost of Duolingo Plus depends on a few things, such as where you are, how long you subscribe for, and whether you go for an individual or family plan.

In the USA, Duolingo Plus starts from $6.99 a month.

In the UK, Duolingo Plus starts from £6.49 a month.

In Australia, Duolingo Plus starts from $10.83 a month.

And in Canada, Duolingo Plus starts from $8.91 a month.

This is based on taking out a 12-month subscription. You can also get 1-month and 6-month subscriptions that will cost a bit more per month.

There is currently no lifetime plan for Duolingo Plus.

Duolingo Plus Family Plan

One way to slash the cost of Duolingo Plus is to sign up for a Duolingo Plus Family Plan.

The Family Plan lets you club together with up to 5 other people — friends or family — to save on the yearly cost of Duolingo Plus.

The savings can be huuuuuuge.

For instance, in the UK, a Family Plan will set you back £105.99 for the year.

Spread across 6 people, that’s £17.67 a year — which works out at just £1.47 a month!

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Wait, isn’t Duolingo supposed to be free?

Yes, Duolingo is 100% free. Duolingo Plus is simply an optional bolt-on.

The free membership comes with all the essentials, such as complete courses, stories, audio lessons and leagues.

In theory, there’s nothing stopping you from getting to where you want to go with just the free membership. It’s a brilliant offering. And if you can stomach the ads and the heart system, you probably won’t be interested in Plus.

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Why you might resist subscribing to Duolingo Plus

In my case, I resisted subscribing to Duolingo Plus for a long time. Several years to be exact.

As we’ve just covered, Duolingo is famed for being a free way to learn languages. It’s quite literally their mission to make language learning ‘free, fun, and accessible to all.

Even though it’s billed as supporting free education, I couldn’t see how a premium service was consistent with their mission.

And make no mistake: Duolingo Plus is a very premium service. Unless you go for the Family Plan, it’s pretty expensive, especially when you consider how solid a free membership already is.

That, ultimately, is why I was on the fence for so long.

The free plan gives you access to complete courses across a range of devices. 38 languages in your pocket or at your desk, free to learn anywhere at any time. It’s easily one of the best deals in language learning.

But as we all know, the owl is persuasive, so eventually I gave in and subscribed.

And I have absolutely no regrets.

So should you join me in the land of Plus?

To answer that, we’ll have to consider a couple of things: the features, and you.

What do you get with Duolingo Plus?

As mentioned, Duolingo Plus adds new features and removes others.

However, you’ll notice that Duolingo Plus doesn’t offer as much as it did when I originally published the article back in March 2021.

The additions include:

  • Offline lessons [update: now included with free memberships]
  • Progress Tracker
  • Streak Repair
  • Unlimited Skips (so you can test out of any level if it’s too easy)
  • Free XP Ramp Up entries (IOS)
  • Pronunciation Review [update: disappeared a few months ago]
  • Practice Hub [update: previously Mistakes Inbox]
  • Legendary Levels (unlimited attempts)

The things that Duolingo Plus removes include:

  • Hearts (in the form of ‘unlimited hearts’)
  • Ads

It’s important to note that Duolingo have a habit of rolling out new features on IOS before Android, so some of the above might not be available on all devices.

This also applies to their A/B testing, which selects users at random to receive certain updates.

The core Plus benefits, however — specifically the unlimited hearts and getting rid of the ads — are available to all Plus subscribers, which is ideal because these are the features that make all the difference!

Why you should consider subscribing

Even so, the question remains — do these additions and omissions justify the price?

To answer this, I’ve broken it down into three areas that will affect your experience. This should help you get a better understanding of how these features stack up in context.

Less punishing

Let’s start with what I consider to be the biggest perk of Duolingo Plus.

As great as the free membership is, something that really grinds my gears is the heart system. Duolingo claim that it’s designed to discourage binging. But what it really discourages is making mistakes. Get too many questions wrong, and you temporarily lose your licence to learn your language.

This is problematic because making mistakes is an essential part of learning a language. Exposure, repetition, immersion — these are non-negotiable pre-requisites on the road to fluency. The heart system erects roadblocks that can eventually make you consider turning back.

Duolingo Plus clears the way with unlimited hearts.

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No more worrying about making mistakes. No more avoiding the hard lessons because you’re worried about losing your licence to learn. With Plus, you are free to fully commit to learning your language.

For me, this was the big game-changer. Sure, I could always watch an ad, complete a practice, or splurge gems to refill my hearts. But these are distractions. I just want to learn a language, not mess around watching ads about energy providers I have no interest in switching to.

RELATED: It’s Time For Duolingo To DITCH The Heart System

More convenient

Let’s be honest: Duolingo’s free membership is already convenient. But Plus takes it to a new level.

It gets rid of ads, paving the way for a smoother and quicker journey between lessons.

Getting rid of the hearts is also super convenient. No more 5-hour waits for a heart refill. With Plus you’re free to dive in to your language wherever and whenever you want.

It allows you to download entire courses for offline learning, which means no more waiting for service or asking around for the WiFi password. Even if 90% of the time you have access to the internet, this gives you a welcome safety net for the 10% of the time that you wander into any dead zones.

Individually these perks might not seem like much — certainly not enough to justify the sizeable subscription fee. But together they combine to make a significant difference to the flow and feel of your lessons.

More supportive

The free membership is already plenty supportive (where would we be without Duo’s daily encouragement?) but with Plus, the owl is extra determined to carry you to language learning success.

Granted, some of the premium features are a bit pointless.

If you’re on the fence, I doubt a new app icon is the thing that will convince you to hit ‘SUBSCRIBE’!

But most of the features are genuinely useful.

The Mastery Quiz, for instance, gives you a good sense of where you’re at in your target language. It measures how much of the course you’ve completed and how much of it Duolingo thinks you’ve mastered.

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The Practice Hub is another feature I use a lot. It lets you revisit questions you got wrong in previous lessons and challenges you with some toughies you might not have come across yet.

It even breaks it down into listening and speaking exercises so you can get super specific with your practice sessions.

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Duolingo Plus also puts you at the front of the queue for new features going forward.

Things like Pronunciation Review (which they’ve removed for some reason…) and Practice Hub are fairly experimental features that Duolingo like to roll out to their Plus members first.

This isn’t always the case — they have been known to trial new features with free users as well — but generally, the juicier features get rolled out to Plus members first.

This is why I describe Duolingo Plus as being more supportive. It gets rid of the punishing nature of the heart system and creates an environment in which making mistakes—and being able to practice them—is actively encouraged.

How to cancel Duolingo Plus

If you decide to give Duolingo Plus a go, but then decide it’s not for you, rest assured you can cancel it at any time!

If you signed up through the Apple App Store, then you’ll need to do it through your Settings app. Tap your account at the top of the page, then hit Subscriptions, Duolingo, then hit Cancel.

If you signed up through the Google Play Store, you can cancel through the Duolingo app. Just tap the Duolingo Plus icon, hit Settings, then Manage Subscription, then follow the instructions to cancel your subscription.

If you signed up through the Duolingo website, then you’ll need to do is head over to the website, login to your account, hit Duolingo Plus, and then select ‘Cancel Subscription’.

For more details click here to read Duolingo’s step-by-step instructions.

Over to you

Now for the big one. The thing that matters most. We’ve considered the features. Now we need to consider you.

Why is this the big one? Because deciding if Duolingo Plus justifies the price is a very personal decision. It all boils down to your priorities, goals and circumstances. From this side of the screen I can never know what those are. All I can do is present the facts and share my experiences.

It’s also important to be clear about what Duolingo Plus can do for you. Even though it’s a premium service, Plus won’t make you fluent in your target language. Not by itself, anyway.

That’s because learning a language requires a balanced diet of study and application. You can’t limit yourself to just one thing.

In my case, Duolingo features heavily.

But I also use NordVPN to access thousands of TV shows and movies in my target languages (see how here);

LingQ to work on my reading and listening;

Benny Lewis’s Language Hacking books — available in French, Spanish, German and Italian — to work on my speaking;

And HelloTalk to practice my messaging.

Duolingo Plus simply enhances that one part of my diet. It isn’t an all-in-one superfood that meets all of my language needs.

So, with this in mind, is Duolingo Plus worth it?

As unhelpful as this may sound, only you can decide.

In my case, I think Duolingo Plus is totally worth it. Because I use it so often (every day for roughly 10-30 minutes) it works out at roughly $0.22 a day over the course of the year. As far as I’m concerned this represents excellent value, as it means I can get rid of the heart system and the ads, and take advantage of the Plus-only features.

But, again, everyone’s different. So here are my recommendations:

Stick with the free membership if…

  • You’re just starting out on your language learning journey
  • You’re not ready to commit to Duolingo or your target language long-term
  • You’d prefer to spend your money on other resources
  • You’re looking to cut back on expenses
  • You’re happy with the free membership (e.g. you don’t mind the heart system, ads, always online lessons etc)

Consider subscribing to Duolingo Plus if…

  • You’ve been using Duolingo for a while
  • You use Duolingo every day (and have done for at least 30 days)
  • You’re frustrated with the heart system, ads etc
  • You want the extra features
  • You’re in a position where you can justify it financially

If you’re still on the fence about Duolingo Plus…

If you’re still undecided then I’d highly recommend taking advantage of a Duolingo Plus free trial. Duolingo usually offer them on a 14-day basis, which I think is plenty of time to get a feel for the service and make an informed decision as to whether it’s worth subscribing.

If the 14 days isn’t enough or they aren’t offering free trials, then it might be worth subscribing for a month to give yourself a bit more time to figure out if it’s the right membership for you.

Have your say!

So, after all that, what do you think of Duolingo Plus?

Is it something you can see yourself subscribing to or are you happy with the free membership?

Have you already subscribed to Duolingo Plus? What do you think of it?

Be sure to let me know in the comments!


Is Duolingo Plus worth it 2022? ›

It's quite literally their mission to make language learning 'free, fun, and accessible to all. ' Even though it's billed as supporting free education, I couldn't see how a premium service was consistent with their mission. And make no mistake: Duolingo Plus is a very premium service.

What are the benefits of Duolingo premium? ›

With Super Duolingo, your benefits include:
  • No ads: Learn without interruptions.
  • Unlimited Hearts: Enable unlimited hearts so mistakes won't slow you down.
  • Mistakes Review: Make a mistake? ...
  • Unlimited attempts at Legendary challenges: Prove your skills by earning a Legendary trophy!

Is Duolingo worth upgrading? ›

You can access everything, albeit with some weaknesses, without a paid subscription. I'd recommend sticking with the free plan. I don't think the Duolingo plus will help you learn more or in a better way. This is honestly not worth it.

Does Duolingo have a lifetime subscription? ›

Upgrading to Duolingo Plus for an annual subscription would cost you $83.88. Presently, there are no lifetime subscriptions for Duolingo Plus.

Do I really need Duolingo plus? ›

You do not need to pay for Plus to use Duolingo. Just sign up for the app with an email address and password, and you're set to go. With a free account, you can study as many languages as you want.

Can you become fluent with Duolingo plus? ›

We see this question a lot and the answer is: yes. Duolingo is a free language-learning platform, and every language and lesson is totally free!

What are the disadvantages of Duolingo? ›

  • Its speech recognition software has a long way to go. ...
  • Keeping up with constantly decaying skills can feel discouraging. ...
  • Some of the translations are iffy. ...
  • If you're serious about learning a language, Duolingo does NOT stand on its own.

How much Duolingo should I do a day? ›

You don't need to spend hours on Duolingo each day. However, you must put a reasonable amount of time into learning. If you log in to complete one lesson and sign out as soon as you've reached 10XP, you won't get very far. To optimize your learning, aim to spend between 15 and 30 minutes on the app each day.

What happens if I cancel Duolingo plus? ›

You will no longer be billed automatically once you cancel your subscription. You can reactivate your subscription anytime. NOTE: After cancelling your subscription, you will be able to use Super Duolingo for the remaining days that you have already paid for.

Is there anything better than Duolingo? ›

We have compiled a list of solutions that reviewers voted as the best overall alternatives and competitors to Duolingo, including Rosetta Stone, Lingvist, Busuu, and Mango Languages.

Which is better babbel or Duolingo? ›

Is Babbel better than Duolingo? After thoroughly testing out and reviewing each language learning program, we feel that Babbel is better than Duolingo for multiple reasons. Based on the strength of their curriculum, teaching style and delivery, we rate Babbel as the superior app over Duolingo.

What's better Duolingo or Rosetta Stone? ›

Yes. After thoroughly testing out and reviewing each language learning app, we found Rosetta Stone to be a superior program to Duolingo. While we like Duolingo's gamification of learning, Rosetta Stone is simply more comprehensive and effective.

How can I get Duolingo for free forever? ›

How is Duolingo Free? By using ads to monetize their app (like I use ads to monetize this website and make it possible to continue to write articles!) they can keep Duolingo free forever. Plus, many users choose to upgrade to Duolingo Plus to avoid ads, which also keeps Duolingo free.

How can I get unlimited Duolingo for free? ›

To turn on Unlimited Hearts, follow these easy steps:
  1. Make sure you have the latest Duolingo app version.
  2. Open your Duolingo app and tap on the Super Duo icon (top).
  3. Tap the Unlimited Hearts to turn on.
  4. Now you should be able to make mistakes without losing any hearts.

Can you actually learn a language with Duolingo? ›

Duolingo is not a stand-alone language course, but it's an excellent addition to a language learner's toolbox. It's easy to use, it's fun and it works. Don't forget to do the homework, though. If your aim is to achieve real fluency, remember to read, speak, and truly live the language that you're learning!

Is Duolingo good for your brain? ›

Understanding the study

Duolingo learners and BrainHQ learners both demonstrated improved executive functioning and working memory, despite only one of the apps being an explicit “brain trainer”!

Why do I have super Duolingo without paying? ›

With our referral program, for every 1 person you refer and sign up for a Duolingo account, you receive a free week of Super Duolingo!

What happens when you finish Duolingo? ›

Once you complete all the levels in a unit, you'll complete a challenge to earn your unit trophy. You'll also have the option to earn the Legendary trophy for each unit.

How many hours of Duolingo is equal to a college course? ›

We have a team of PhDs dedicated to this. According to an independent study conducted by the City University of New York and the University of South Carolina, an average of 34 hours of Duolingo are equivalent to a full university semester of language education. You can see a full report of the study here.

How long does it take to become fluent in Duolingo? ›

A note from the Fluent in 3 Months team before we get started: You can chat away with a native speaker for at least 15 minutes with the "Fluent in 3 Months" method. All it takes is 90 days.

What is the hardest language to learn on Duolingo? ›

It means they've gotten the word right every time it has been shown. Anyway, based on this linear regression, French is definitely the hardest language, insofar as it takes more instances of seeing a certain word before reaching the same number of correct productions as one of the other languages.

What is the success rate of Duolingo? ›

The 95% Confidence Interval for the effectiveness is from 5.6 points to 10.7 points gained per one hour of study.

Why has Duolingo changed 2022? ›

Overall, the changes feel like they'll make learning a language even easier and more accessible. Duolingo told me that's by design. Anton Yu, Duolingo's product manager, said the app's redesign was shaped by feedback: Users wanted more guidance and content with less complexity.

How long should it take to complete a unit in Duolingo? ›

Each module is made of up 6 levels, and within each level, there are 3 to 4 lessons. That may sound like a lot, and it is, but know that each lesson is very short, taking only about 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

What is the best way to progress through Duolingo? ›

“Hover” around several skills – spreading your time across a handful of nearby skills – and alternate between gaining crowns and doing new lessons. Hovering across multiple skills helps you maximize learning by practicing what you've already studied while continuing to learn new material.

Can you do too much Duolingo? ›

Our research shows that if people advance too quickly on Duolingo in one day, it can actually negatively impact their learning because they are less likely to remember what they've learned. We know that users learn best when they study every day and take the time to practice and review what they've learned.

What happens after 365 days Duolingo? ›

Once you hit the 365, your streak counter would go dark with a couple of spotlights in the background. But nowadays it's all glam and golden. You really can't miss it!

What happens if you miss a day on Duolingo? ›

Get a streak freeze to make sure you don't lose your streak when you forget to practice for a day. A streak freeze must be purchased in advance of a day of a missed lesson to protect the streak. You can equip up to 2 streak freezes at a time. You can purchase a streak freeze via the app and web shop.

Does Duolingo plus remove ads? ›

Ads are removed as long as you are subscribed to Duolingo Plus.

What are the pros and cons of Duolingo? ›

  • Pros: Comprehensive, clear, and varied lessons that adjust to students. Teach dashboard supports assignments.
  • Cons: Lacks nuances of language, shades of meaning, and colloquial words and expressions.
  • Bottom Line: Duolingo's lessons provide a simple, effective, and engrossing way to learn a language.

How long does it take to master a language with Duolingo? ›

Most of the Duolingo marketing touts “Spending 15 minutes a day learning a new language.” So, if you have 387.5 hours of material to get through – and you practice for 15 minutes a day – that's 1,550 days. (387.5 hours is 23,250 minutes. Divide that by 15 minutes per day, and you get 1,550 days to finish a language.)

What is your level when you finish Duolingo? ›

On Duolingo, the highest level you can reach in each language is level 25, which is equal to 30,000 XP.

What is the easiest language to learn on Duolingo? ›

Overall, it's typically easier to study a language more similar to the one you know best. For English speakers, that means many languages from Europe — like Spanish and German — will be easier to learn on average than languages that aren't related to English at all — like Arabic and Chinese. But even this can be murky!

Which is better Rosetta Stone or Babbel or Duolingo? ›

After using each program for more than a month, it was clear to us that Babbel is more comprehensive and engaging than the language apps from Rosetta Stone and Duolingo. While there are elements of the Rosetta Stone and Duolingo programs that we like, Babbel clearly has a more effective learning framework.

Can Duolingo get you to B2? ›

At Duolingo, we're developing our courses to get you to a level called B2, at which you can get a job in the language you're studying. Reaching that kind of proficiency requires dedication, varied practice opportunities, and a lot of time.

Who is the best Duolingo user? ›

Congrats to John Arnold, who has the highest-ever Duolingo streak of over 2000 days! He's a horse farmer and chemist who's been studying for 5.5 years straight.

Does Duolingo sell your translations? ›

Duolingo makes money through paid subscriptions, ad revenue, and selling translation data. Duolingo started as a way to help websites translate their content into other languages while giving app users free language learning lessons.

How much is Duolingo Plus 2022? ›

Duolingo Super / Plus costs $6.99 per month.

They offer a 14-day free trial (sometimes 7 days) and then charge you monthly. After years of using Duolingo, in my opinion, it's not necessary to upgrade to the Plus version.

Is there a better alternative to Duolingo? ›

We have compiled a list of solutions that reviewers voted as the best overall alternatives and competitors to Duolingo, including Rosetta Stone, Lingvist, Busuu, and Mango Languages.

Why is Duolingo dropping? ›

Despite the mobile app's immense popularity, Duolingo (NASDAQ:DUOL) has dropped over 25% since the beginning of 2022 as macroeconomic turbulence continues to plague tech stocks. Additionally, many bears of the market have been betting against the language-learning platform following this drop.

Is Rosetta Stone better than Duolingo? ›

Yes. After thoroughly testing out and reviewing each language learning app, we found Rosetta Stone to be a superior program to Duolingo. While we like Duolingo's gamification of learning, Rosetta Stone is simply more comprehensive and effective.

Can I take Duolingo 3 times in the month? ›

Once you complete and submit a test, you will need to wait for your results before taking a new test. You may purchase three tests in a 30 day period. This period starts on the day you purchase your first test.

Has anyone learned a language fluently with Duolingo? ›

Plus, many users noticed that they would study and keep their streak up for days and days, and still not be able to speak the language or could only speak at an intermediate level. And this comes from a lack of human interaction and real speaking practice. So, no, you can't become fluent with Duolingo alone.

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