Top Ten Best Things About DuolingoI love language learning. You might have guessed due to the fact I've made a few language lists here and there. The app I always use when learning languages is Duolingo, a free and efficient language-learning website. You can create an account by clicking this link (https://www.duolingo.com) because I really recommend you to try it out. I myself can speak fluently swedish and english, but with Duolingo, I am now also moderate in Esperanto. So I am going to make a list of the best things about Duolingo to show you my love for it. With that being said here is the list.
Seriously, Duolingo wouldn't be the legendary language-learning platform it is if it weren't for the incredibly amazing gamification that the app is built upon. You see, most people nowadays love video games for how they reward you with things such as experience points (XP) and levels. People often dislike studying and learning new things because these activities lack such rewards. Duolingo is the perfect mix between study and gaming. You earn XP when you complete a lesson, skill, etc. The gamification has made this platform legendary.
Many language-learning apps nowadays are incredibly inefficient and uneducational, or just plain bad. Take Mondly, for example, which is not only super expensive but also teaches you the same unimportant sentences with no focus on grammar. Then there's Dropbox, or whatever it's called, which only teaches you basic words. Ling is an inferior version of Duolingo. On the other hand, Duolingo teaches you grammar, how to form sentences, and a good chunk of vocabulary in each lesson. It's awesome.
The gamification and the fact that it's free are what have made Duolingo so successful and lovable, in my opinion. If it had all of the features it has now but wasn't free, fewer people would have tried it for sure. Now, of course, this isn't a super valid reason to love something, but it still counts in a way. Long live free Duolingo!
I swear, if this feature didn't exist, I would have had much less respect for this platform. The only languages initially offered by the staff on Duolingo were the usual popular ones like German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. What the Duolingo Incubator does, which was added quite quickly after Duolingo was released, is that it allows fans and users to create their own language courses. Of course, the staff needs to approve the course first, but you get the point. Thanks to this feature, there have been lots of new learnable languages on Duolingo, such as Russian, Turkish, Swedish, and even Navajo! I have so much respect for this.
I discussed in the Duolingo Incubator item how it has allowed so many courses to be added to Duolingo. English speakers have the best advantage, as we have access to a staggering 37 languages, including four currently being developed in the incubator. You can learn everything from Mandarin, Norwegian, and Indonesian to Japanese, Swahili, Hawaiian, and even fictional languages like Klingon and High Valyrian. (Although, I highly oppose the addition of fictional languages over real ones like Lithuanian or Farsi.) Unfortunately, speakers of other languages aren't as lucky, but Spanish speakers do have the option of learning Catalan and Guaraní as well. So lucky!
One of my biggest complaints with many platforms and video games is that they can be overly complex. I'm not going to bother learning a bunch of game rules that I won't need later in life. Duolingo really excels at being simple yet educational. You just click on a lesson, start it or read the tips, translate some sentences, and voila. The icons are also easily located. There's a shop, a language list at the top, and the leaderboard for leagues and XP to the right. Excellent!
Motivation is important when learning a language because it's no easy task to become fluent in a new language. The motivation primarily comes from the gamification, which is both addictive and motivating. This is also enhanced by the fact that there are lots of languages to choose from. Without these features, it would have been much more boring and uninteresting, at least in my opinion.
Many times, when your translation of a sentence in a lesson is incorrect, you might not understand why, even if you've read the tips before starting the lesson. Thankfully, there's a forum. Each question in the game is accompanied by a page on the forum about it. There, you can see if other people have had the same problem as you, and you might find responses from others that could help you a lot. However, the forum isn't just for that. There's much more you can do with it. So yeah.
This reason is relatively minor on this list and is mainly included because I needed to fill out ten items. Nevertheless, it's worth noting the satisfaction you get from translating a sentence correctly. However, this sense of achievement comes with a downside. The feeling you get when your answer is incorrect is one of the worst. That's because Duolingo doesn't give you a second chance to correct the sentence and instead moves on. When the question comes back and you don't remember the answer, frustration can set in quickly. The irritating sound doesn't help either. Despite these negatives, the joy of answering correctly is still one of the best feelings in the world. So this point serves as a "negative pro."
As someone who loves to study and learn, and even, *gulp*, enjoys school, there is one significant flaw in traditional education: you can't learn at your own pace. Instead, you often have to complete 50-page assignments before you even have a chance to breathe, which can be quite frustrating. Duolingo doesn't impose this kind of pressure on users. While it will send reminders if you haven't made any progress, it ultimately leaves the choice up to you. Fortunately, school doesn't usually interfere with this, which is great.