When comparing Busuu vs Duolingo, the Slant community recommends Duolingo for most people. In the question“What are the best sites for learning foreign languages?” Duolingo is ranked 1st while Busuu is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose Duolingo is:
Progress is measured gaming-like by gaining XP, leveling up and knowing how many words are learnt. Also, lessons have a limited amount of lives, which you must preserve to pass the lesson. They use other creative gamification techniques to keep you motivated such as making wagers and improving your position on the leaderboard.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Teaches realistic conversation behavior
Since Busuu puts learners in direct contact with natives, the learning is done in a realistic way - not an idealistic textbook way.
Pro Fast response time
For popular languages, translations can be received very quickly from real people.
Pro Teaches by theme
Instead of teaching words by most used, they are taught by case. This way, users can prepare for specific situations.
Pro Motivates through creative gamification
Progress is measured gaming-like by gaining XP, leveling up and knowing how many words are learnt. Also, lessons have a limited amount of lives, which you must preserve to pass the lesson.
They use other creative gamification techniques to keep you motivated such as making wagers and improving your position on the leaderboard.
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 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 Has a mobile app
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.
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.
Con Ineffective "review" section
When a section is over, there is a multiple review session. Many of the questions are totally irrelevant and are not useful for learners.
Con Chat system doesn't support letters with accents
Busuu only accepts regular characters in the text fields, so non-native languages may be limited.
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 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.
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".