Duolingo is a website where you can take courses in several languages. Each lesson uses a variety of different learning methods to help make sure the lessons stick.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Motivates through creative gamification
Progress is measured gaming-like by gaining XP, and leveling up. They use other creative gamification techniques to keep you motivated such as making wagers and improving your position on the leaderboard.
Pro Engaging learning method
Each lesson uses a variety of different learning methods to keep it interesting and fun.
The lessons are short so you aren't forced to focus for long periods of time.
Pro Generous free plan
Duolingo is completely free to use, with no features limited to upgraded accounts. If you want to go ad-free, the cost is $12.99/month.
Pro Has a mobile app
Pro Frequently adding new languages
You can check out the courses page to see what languages are "hatching" (being developed) and what languages are in beta.
Duolingo is exceptionally thorough when it comes to teaching the nuances of language. It has plenty of audio material, articles to translate, and a cooperative development made by users.
Con Mobile app is less beneficial because it's too easy
Some of the games available on the mobile app are different from that on the desktop version, and are oversimplified/make it very easy to guess.
Con Little production of target language
Duolingo focuses heavily on reading comprehension and translation into one's own language rather than encouraging production of text/speech in the target language.
Con Available languages are predominately European
Duolingo teaches 23 languages from English at the moment: Latin American Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Irish, Turkish, Danish, Russian, Norwegian, Esperanto, Ukrainian, Polish, Welsh, Greek, Romanian, Hungarian, Hebrew, Swahili, Vietnamese and Japanese (the last currently only on the app). Popular non-European languages such as Mandarin and Arabic are not currently available (although Korean and Indonesian are in development).
Con The hype in the community creates false ideas about what level Duolingo gets you to
Duolingo is a good tool for a beginner, and a good supplement to other resources. But it cannot get you from zero to understanding natives, tv, and books; and their "do the reverse tree and just speak" is usually not the correct answer to "what should I do after finishing the tree".
Con Doesn't take you to an advanced level
Con The health system on the IOS app disrupts learning
5 mistakes and you're out, unless you pay, wait several hours, or use a special review that currently doesn't let you choose what to review. Especially terrible if you're learning multiple or more difficult languages.