When comparing Duolingo vs HelloTalk, the Slant community recommends Duolingo for most people. In the question“What are the best language learning apps for Android?” Duolingo is ranked 2nd while HelloTalk is ranked 4th. 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 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 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.
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 Very large, active community
The community is very large, meaning you'll never have a problem finding someone to chat with.
Pro The interface is very intuitive/easy to use
Despite being feature-rich, the app is very easy to use. It provides a tutorial which you can revisit at any time if you can't remember what certain icons are.
It has a very clean, uncluttered design.
Pro Allows you to share "memories" with the whole community
"Memories" act similar to a Twitter feed. You can post pictures, ask questions, or let the community know what kind of chat partner you are looking for (for example: maybe you want to discuss a specific topic with someone).
You can "love", and comment on memories.
The app is free to use. There are some in-app purchases, but the app is very helpful without them.
Pro Grammar correction
It allows users and native speakers to correct each other's grammar mistakes.
Pro Text, Voice, and Video
Chat with language partners via text, voice recordings, voice calls, video calls, and even doodles.
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 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 Counting only on Duolingo is a waste of time
Con Doesn't take you to an advanced level
Con Dangerously addictive
Con The number of messages can get overwhelming
Because it is such an active community, you may find yourself getting 20+ messages an hour when you are online. It can quickly get overwhelming. However, there is a setting that allows you to hide your profile from search.
Con Keyboard can't be used in landscape
The app doesn't let you rotate to landscape, instead you're stuck with portrait. Using the condensed keyboard when writing long messages can be a pain for some.
Con Free version has restricted search
On the free version, it won't let you change the language of the people you can search, though you can still access the profiles of other language speakers. For example, if they comment on a memory you made a comment on, you can access their profile through that. Even if you can still send them friend requests and chat with them, being able to just search for them would've been so much easier.