Do you fancy learning new languages like German, French, Spanish and Portuguese, all for free and in a fun interactive way? If so, then you’ve got to get your hands on Luis Von Ahn’s latest project, Duolingo. Duolingo is one of the best Android apps to learn or improve on a language you fancy. This ingenious educational app offers extensive language lessons in German, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese and English to help beginner and intermediate learners perfect their multilingual talents.
When you first download Duolingo on your Android device, you will be asked to either sign in through your Google+ or Facebook account or register for free, after which you can choose a language to learn.
Once logged in, the user is made to start off with a basic lesson. The basic lesson starts with a noun in the native language and its probable translations, accompanied by images. This later on progresses to translating the words learnt into the native language and vice versa, differences between masculine and feminine words and learning various verbs.
It gets harder as you start translating sentences into the native language. However as you are not exposed to many words you can always look up the meaning of words while translating by just touching them.
Each lesson is short, engaging and puzzling and tries to improve all skills from your vocabulary to your reading and writing skills. The Duolingo app users have 4 hearts available for each lesson and every time they give a wrong answer, they lose a heart.
Once you run out of all the hearts, you are forced to take the lesson again. The first basic lesson is already available, however, others need to be unlocked by clearing the earlier lesson. And if the user passes the test, he or she can advance to the next level. The users are presented with a variety of themes from animals to food. Each theme helps the user improve its vocabulary and master grammar.
Although a few themes may not interest certain users, the Duolingo app encourages the users to take each lesson sincerely so that they can continue to make progress. Also one has to remember that Duolingo is not just for beginners. If the user feels that he knows the language, then he can opt for a “test out”, which is just like a long lesson. Also if the user feels that he has enough knowledge to take advanced lessons, he can directly take the advanced test, which is a golden colored keyhole, and pass it to start the advanced level lessons.
The Duolingo app also has a leaderboard feature that lets you add friends and engage in a healthy competition with them to inspire you to work harder to reach a good level of proficiency in the language you are trying to master.
If you take the lessons seriously, Duolingo makes sure you learn the language. It encourages the user by giving points and achievements as he progresses. A recent study proved that Duolingo is more effective than university. As they say, “It is the quality of college education that matter rather than the quantity you spend enrolling for it”.
Duolingo’s ingenious design and attention to detail gives it a significant competitive edge over other language learning apps available in the market like Babbel and the pricey Rosetta. It is without a doubt the perfect way to make your breaks and commutes more productive and keep the learning process in a steady flow.
So forget spending money over bilingual dictionaries and just download Duolingo on your Android smartphone to teach yourself your favorite languages at your convenience.