Review: Duolingo

Language learning has an astonishing failure rate; only 4% of English-speaking adult learners who begin to learn a foreign language succeed. Clearly, we need all the help we can get, and that’s where Duolingo comes in.

The app allows you to pick from the following: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Irish, Esperanto, Norwegian, Turkish, Swedish or Ukrainian. The lessons take you all the way up to 100% fluency.

You begin with basic phrases such as, “hello”, “how are you?” and “goodbye”, and then progress to more complex sentences.

Duolingo allows you to form a firm grammatical base that you can build upon to reach a high competency in whichever language you are learning and there are options to immerse yourself in the language online via chatrooms and documents that can be downloaded.

It doesn’t matter if you forget to practise; Duolingo will send an alert to remind you to at least do one lesson to keep up with your learning. You can compete with your friends to earn the most “lingots” (Duolingo money), which allows you to buy extra sessions, bonus points or more importantly, a tracksuit for Duo, the Duolingo mascot.

All in all, Duolingo is our favourite app when it comes to learning languages. It’s fun, it’s free and it’s easy to use.