Is the Duolingo English learning app safe?

Duolingo in the test: the language course all-rounder?

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Cover picture: © Depositphotos.com/nenetus

We tested the well-known language learning app Duolingo for you. If you look around the net, you'll notice that many love them, others completely reject them. In a test lasting several weeks, we looked to see what was true.

Overview: Duolingo in the test

advantages

  • Easy handling
  • Attractive design
  • Motivation factor high
  • User forum for discussions
  • Numerous free functions

disadvantage

  • No grammar explanations in the app
  • Partly absurd tasks
  • Mostly memorization
  • Maximum medium language level achievable
  • Didactically just too many shortcomings

Brief conclusion: Great user interface, didactically rather weak

With its rather simple tasks, the user-friendly interface and the cute mascot, Duolingo not only offers a good app for beginners and those interested, but also ensures constant motivation.

But if you really want to master a language intensively, you will certainly not be happy with Duolingo in the long run. Didactically, Duolingo is still lagging behind better alternatives and advertising between the lessons is certainly not for everyone.

You can find the detailed test report below. We give our Duolingo experiences from four weeks of constant testing and learning.


Contents overview:

>> Page 01: Summary - What was tested - Scope & features
Page 02: Ease of use - didactic concept
Page 03: Target group - Price / performance - Alternatives - Conclusion


Duolingo is considered the ideal program for beginners. Millions of users can't be wrong - can they? You can find out here how good Duolingo really is in the test and for whom it is even suitable.

Duolingo experiences: What was tested

With over 300 million users (as of August 2020), Duolingo is one of the best-known language learning apps on the market. With its cute mascot Duo, which always provides motivation, as well as the mostly beginner-friendly tasks, the popularity of the app is hardly limited.

I already knew Duolingo, but had never tried to learn a language that was foreign to me with it alone. I have now tackled that for this test and started to learn Spanish with it.

I tested the app on an Android mobile phone and in the browser; Duolingo is also available for devices with an IOS operating system. I tried both the normal and the paid premium version.

Scope and features: What does Duolingo offer in the test?

Which languages ​​does Duolingo offer its users and which special features are available that make Duolingo stand out from other language learning apps in the test?

What languages ​​can you learn?

The choice of courses for German-speaking users is quite modest: you can learn either English, Spanish or French. This offer has not expanded in the last four years. An Italian course is currently being created, but according to Duolingo it is only 4% ready.

On the other hand, if you speak English fluently, there are over 35 other languages ​​available, including more exotic ones such as Welsh, Swahili and Latin. Languages ​​with their own writing system can also be learned, for example Japanese or Turkish. However, only with English as the source language.

It is also possible to study several courses at the same time. You are not restricted in this regard and, for example, you can also learn courses for English-speaking users in parallel to the courses that are already available in German.

A course consists of several small vocabulary units on various topics that increase in difficulty. The English browser version also has grammar units, but these are completely absent in German.

Special features in the test

In addition to the classic language course, Duolingo offers other nice features that will make language learning easier for its users.

For example, a list of the best, which is updated regularly, provides a permanent incentive. So you can compare your progress with other users, but also with your own past achievements. You are always motivated by the mascot Duo, which gives the software a more personal touch than many other language courses.

Duolingo provides its users with a discussion forum where they can discuss what they have learned with other users or ask questions to native speakers. Not many other programs offer such a feature. For example, Babbel deleted this feature a few months ago.

In addition, Duolingo offers an extensive dictionary that not only offers literal translations, but also example sentences and a direct link to related discussions in the forum. This is a great way to quickly learn how to actually use a word or phrase.

Duolingo also offers its users an overview of all words they have already learned in table format. This contains additional information such as the part of speech (verb, noun, etc.) and can be sorted chronologically. This list is linked to the dictionary and is a quick and easy way to find translations and more.

The premium version "Duolingo Plus" also offers some additional features, which we will take up in more detail in the section "Price / performance: Is it worth buying Duolingo?". However, these chargeable features are hardly relevant for the actual learning progress.

User friendliness:

9.0/10

advantages

  • Easy handling
  • Attractive design
  • Motivation factor high
  • User forum for discussions
  • Numerous free functions

disadvantage

  • No grammar explanations in the app
  • Partly absurd tasks
  • Mostly memorization
  • Maximum medium language level achievable
  • Didactically just too many shortcomings