Duolingo: Learn Languages Free App Poster Image

Duolingo: Learn Languages Free



Plentiful, fun, fantastic, and free language lessons.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn languages by translating routine conversational statements such as "I am doing fine" as well as quirky sentences such as "No, I am not a woman" or "The apple is black." Though kids begin by downloading a particular language, they can add more at any time. Themes cover basics, phrases, animals, transportation, sports, money, and more. Duolingo: Learn Languages Free is a sparkling example of how apps can make learning easy, accessible, and extremely fun.

Ease of play

It's super easy to navigate and use.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are some references to alcohol (which is normal for European language-learning materials).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Duolingo: Learn Languages Free is an excellent language-learning app for middle schoolers and older kids (and grown-ups, too). Kids can choose from many languages -- including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, and French -- using a fun, game-style system that's very encouraging. Email registration is required, but push notifications asking users to keep practicing are optional. Kids will appreciate the gentle, positive approach to mastering a language, and they'll want to move through the levels, gaining skills along the way.

What's it about?

DUOLINGO: LEARN LANGUAGES FREE packs lots of language learning into an easy-to-grasp mind-map layout. After email registration and a quick but detailed level selection, English-speaking kids can select from a list of languages -- including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, and French -- while speakers of these languages (plus Romanian, Turkish, and Polish) can select English (though instructions are still partially in English).

Lessons ask kids to type or select translations for missing words, select a picture to match a word, or listen and type translations. Themes cover basics, phrases, animals, transportation, sports, money, and much more. Feedback is immediate; kids will hear a happy "ding-dong" sound for correct answers. Incorrect answers are followed by a low tone, an x, and, the correct answer. Mini-lessons and hints pop up at appropriate learning moments. You can navigate freely within four groups of themes but must complete the whole group before moving to the next. Kids also can choose to test out when they feel confident about a particular theme.

Is it any good?


Duolingo: Learn Languages Free is truly a fantastic app, packing many European languages plus English and full-sentence learning into an easy-to-grasp visual map. Many themes, immediate and gentle feedback, mini-lesson pop-ups, and hints at just the right moment make for a consistent and meaningful experience. Kids will stay motivated despite the lack of games partly because they can compete with other users anonymously or find friends via email. Kids also can switch to any of the other languages at any time and still maintain their progress in the one they've left.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the process of learning a language and do it together. Learn a language along with your kid and compete on the app, and then challenge each other to keep up a conversation in real life.

  • Watch a film in the language your kids are studying. See how much they can pick up, and then turn on subtitles to check their skills.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, Nook HD, Windows Phone
Subjects:Language & Reading: speaking, vocabulary
Social Studies: cultural understanding, global awareness
Skills:Self-Direction: academic development, achieving goals, personal growth
Communication: conveying messages effectively, listening, speaking
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:March 10, 2014
Size:19.10 MB
Minimum software requirements:Android 2.2 and up; iOS 6.0 or later

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Great handpicked alternatives

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  • Learn Spanish along with title character, mistakes and all.
  • Fast-paced fiesta of language fun for older kids.

What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old July 10, 2015

Awesome! A Must For Learning A New Language

Ok, This Is Easy and Reliable App and Awesome!!!! It has crashed only 2 times in 4 months. I am learning French and it is sooo easy and even has correct pronunciation which is priceless! I ❤ Duolingo and even sent them an email cuz it's sooooo good. I think the only "innapropriate" issue is that you learn to say "wine" "beer" and "achohol" in your selected Language. Only 1 gameplay issue I don't like is that lingots (currency) are so hard. I wanted to learn idioms for 15 lingots, and even though I had saved up I didn't have enough. So, If your child doesn't care too much about incentives and putting costumes on the mascot, This is perfect!!!
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Teen, 14 years old Written byEdwardRech July 6, 2014

Fun. Easy. Addictive.

I myself use this app to study French and German, and it does this WONDERFULLY. It is VERY similar to Rosetta Stone, except free and better IMHO. It is also mobile, so you can use it both on your PC or phone. It is perfect, so I rate it 5 stars. BUT, BUT BUT! If you (or your child) is going to study a language here, PLEASE remind him/her that one should not forget to practice the language with a native speaker on a website such as interpals (highly suggested - very nice and friendly website. The child usually should start the conversation first, though!) It also doesn't have any paid things except more hearts or points, but that's rather useless if you ask me. So, all is good. No consumerism. Privacy? All good with that. And on the website people even translate whole content in the language your child is learning. You will LOVE this.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Teen, 13 years old Written byKdrewk June 27, 2015

Great app for learning languages!

My French teacher told my class to start using this app, and I'm glad she did, because it's great, and an easy way to learn languages (I've learned a lot!) There aren't many social features, and the ones there are, I don't use. The social features are competing against friends, or inviting them to see your progress. Totally recommended for schools and people willing to learn new languages!


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