Nowadays when we want to learn a language, we normally head to Duolingo. With its bite-sized lessons and gamified learning techniques, it’s a fun way to learn a new language, and the constant notifications and emails remind you to continue practicing. So, does Duolingo have Slovak on its app? Let’s find out.
As one of the most historic languages in Europe, Slovak has been spoken for centuries. Now with around 5 million native speakers, predominantly in Slovakia, it’s still a pretty popular language.
With its capital, Bratislava, being on the main European tourist interrailing route, and the country being home to some spectacular wild, natural areas, more and more people are adding Slovakia to their travel bucket list.
As a result, the demand for Slovak language learning, at least the basics, has risen in recent years.
Does Duolingo Have Slovak?
Unfortunately, despite a large number of native speakers and growing tourist interest, there isn’t a Slovak course on Duolingo at the moment.
There is a Czech course on Duolingo which is similar, with around 75% of the words and phrases being understandable across the two languages, so if you’re looking for something similar, you can start learning Czech on Duolingo instead.
Why Isn’t There a Slovak Course on Duolingo?
No one is really sure why there isn’t a Slovak course on Duolingo, but there are a number of theories that people have developed. Firstly, Slovak isn’t spoken widely outside of Slovakia, so the appeal is limited to a single nation.
That being said, Duolingo has made languages for single countries before with an even smaller reach and niche, such as Scottish Gaelic. There’s also the fact that there are fictional languages on Duolingo, so it’s not a super tight argument.
Secondly, it might be because Duolingo believes that there isn’t a demand for it from English speakers. This is more likely. However, demand for Slovak is growing so perhaps in the future, Duolingo will add Slovak to its huge roster of language courses.
Finally, from a logistical standpoint, Duolingo no longer works with native language volunteers to help develop their language courses. This means that all development is done in-house so the progress is a lot slower.
As a result, there is a lot more prioritization of which courses get developed, so there are fewer courses seemingly being added to the Duolingo app.
Is Slovak Going to Be on Duolingo?
Thanks to the Duolingo Incubator, we can see exactly which language courses are in development and when they’re slated to be released. This is so that Duolingo can build some buzz in the language-learning community, and reassure users that the language they’ve been asking for is on its way.
Sadly, Slovak is nowhere to be seen on the Duolingo Incubator, so there are no plans in the next couple of years for this course to be built.
Who Decides Which Languages Are on Duolingo?
To a degree, it’s the users and the general public who decides which languages get made into Duolingo courses. There is a forum that has the specific purpose of requesting new language courses and users can upvote the choices that they want.
This forum was shut down for a period after Duolingo stopped working with volunteers, this was likely to get their processes sorted out before requesting any more new courses.
It seems like the forum is coming back, so if you want Slovak to feature in the next round of course development, get online and ask for it! History shows Duolingo does take user feedback and requests into consideration alongside the obvious commercial choices.
3 Free & Freemium Alternatives to Duolingo
As Duolingo has let us down by not having a Slovak course, it’s time to have a look at some free apps and resources that can fill that language-learning hole.
First up we have Memrise. Despite not being solely a language-learning app, there are plenty of Slovak language resources across the platform. Memrise is more of a revision app, so you can find resources and information about pretty much anything on there.
The bulk of the resources on Memrise are user-generated. This is either my native language speakers, tutors who want to share their resources, or from former students who are sharing their revision tips.
You’ll find a mix of worksheets, presentations, quizzes, flashcards, and Slovak language media to help you learn this wonderful language.
There’s no formal language course or track to follow, so it’s a lot of choose-your-own-adventure-style learning.
If you’re looking for a more like-for-like alternative to Duolingo, check out Mondly. This language-learning app uses gamification to help you learn popular words and phrases that you’ll use in your daily Slovak-speaking life.
Using quizzes, flashcards, and more, you’ll start to build up a solid vocabulary bank as well as receive tips on pronunciation. At regular intervals, you’ll also be invited to take part in assessment quizzes to see where you’re at and what parts of your Slovak journey might need a little work.
In terms of a free app to help you learn Slovak, Mondly is a pretty great option. Similar to Duolingo, there is a paid version that gives you access to more features especially if you really like Mondly and want to be using it more often.
Another way to learn a language is by watching and listening to a lot of content in your target language. YouTube is great for this and has a wealth of Slovak language teaching accounts. Here, native speakers will share tips and tricks to help you master the basics.
Alternatively, you can watch or listen to Slovak language media, like news shows that often have clips on YouTube.
Immersion is a great way to learn and if you can’t be in Slovakia, listening to Slovak while you’re doing other things will help give you a feel for the sound and flow of the language. You can also watch with subtitles to aid understanding and pronunciation.
Learn Slovak with Stories and Linguarte are good beginner Slovak language learning channels to start with.
4 Paid Alternatives to Duolingo
If those free options aren’t what you’re looking for and you don’t mind paying for your Slovak language learning resources, then there are plenty of paid courses that you can try. Remember, to get unlimited lives, no ads, and other features in Duolingo, you now have to pay a subscription fee anyway!
The most effective ways to learn a language are through immersion of living in a place, or with a one-to-one native language tutor on iTalki.
We can’t all move to Slovakia for a couple of months, so iTalki is the next best thing and in a lot of cases, it’s actually much better than if you just moved to the country and tried to learn from scratch.
Essentially, iTalki connects tutors with learners across the globe. Depending on where you’re based, it might be difficult to find a Slovak tutor in your area, so instead head to iTalki, search through their roster of Slovak tutors, and pick one for one-to-one video lessons.
You can filter by price or by review to help find the right fit for you. This way, you can get tailored Slovak lessons and be corrected in real-time, which can make a real difference.
2. Language Guides on Amazon
If in doubt, stick with the classic learning methods and hit the books. Often, language-learning apps skip over the grammatical rules and nuances of a language in favor of repeating certain phrases.
Getting a Slovak language textbook is going to help you understand the language more, which in turn will enable you to learn words and phrases quicker and more efficiently.
Being such a niche subject matter, you might have to head online or request that your local bookshop order it in – it’s unlikely to be just waiting for you in your local store.
There aren’t a ton of options, but this English-Slovak dictionary got good reviews as well as this Complete Course for Beginners.
An online platform that works largely in the same way as Duolingo is uTalk. It’s essentially a gamified vocabulary course that features over 2,500 Slovak words and phrases.
They specialize in everyday vocabulary that you’re actually likely to use in real life, which isn’t always the case with other language-learning apps.
Using a series of word games, worksheets, and native speaker audio clips, you can learn everyday Slovak using Glossika. They pride themselves on getting you to speak Slovak as quickly as possible and actually aim to teach you the language as a whole, rather than just odd words or phrases.
No Duolingo, But Lots of Other Options to Learn Slovak!
If you’re looking to learn Slovak, sadly Duolingo is not going to be an option for you at the moment. Instead, why not try out a couple of the amazing Slovak language-learning resources in this article and discover what this beautiful language has to offer!