Spoken by over 24 million people worldwide, it’s safe to say that Tagalog is a pretty prevalent language. Predominantly spoken in the Philippines or by Filipino expats, Tagalog is going from strength to strength, and the demand to learn the language is getting higher. Because of this, we need to know – does Duolingo have Tagalog?
As Duolingo is probably the number one place that people go to nowadays to learn a new language, it’s our first port of call. So, does the little green owl offer the opportunity to learn this beautiful language, and if not, why not? Let’s find out more!
Is Tagalog on Duolingo?
Sadly, at the moment Tagalog is not available on Duolingo. This doesn’t mean that it won’t be added in the future, but for now, if you want to learn Tagalog, you’ll need to use another language-learning app or resource.
It’s also worth mentioning that Tagalog isn’t available on Babbel either.
I was pretty sad to see this since my husband actually speaks Tagalog fluently after living in the Philippines for 2 years. I’d love to have an easy way to pick up a few phrases to say to him, but unfortunately, Tagalog is a hard language to find free resources for.
I seriously would not be able to learn languages without italki (I’m taking 3 classes per week right now) try out a class and you’ll thank me later. They’re usually $9 or less!
Is Tagalog Going to Be on Duolingo?
Luckily, if you do want to learn Tagalog on Duolingo, you’re not going to have to wait much longer! It’s one of the language courses that are currently in Duolingo’s incubator stage, so it’s being worked on as we speak.
Duolingo released a rough launch date of September 3, 2022, which came and went and there’s still no Tagalog course. That being said, you’ve got to remember that with any new tech, course, or update, there are bound to be bugs and issues with the Tagalog Duolingo course at first.
There are plenty of language learning alternatives if you don’t want to wait until the release date, or you don’t want to risk any glitches or bugs.
3 Alternatives to Duolingo that Offer Tagalog
Don’t want to wait until Duolingo finally launches its Tagalog course? Well, luckily for you there are plenty of alternative language learning apps that already have their Tagalog courses up and running. Let’s check them out.
1. Master Ling
Want to learn Tagalog in a fun and interactive way? Then hit up Master Ling for a gamified way to learn languages. Master Ling uses quizzes, games, flashcards, and more to make language learning fun and to keep you coming back time and time again.
You can practice your conversational skills with the in-built chatbot that can intuitively reply to and correct your grammar and vocabulary choices.
Love the audio aspect of Duolingo? Well, Pimsleur’s core audio lessons are designed to provide you with that all-important context that you need when learning a language successfully.
Add in some flashcards, quizzes, and some speech practice, and Pimsleur has a great overarching package that’s designed to make your target language stick. If you want to learn Tagalog in a more conversational way, this is definitely going to be the language-learning app for you.
Are you really into Duolingo’s leaderboard feature? Lucky for you, Mondly has a similar setup where you can climb the ranks with each and every lesson. As with the other language learning apps on this list, and Duolingo itself, there are plenty of little games and tools to help make learning Tagalog fun and memorable.
The only downside with the free version of Mondly is that you can only do one lesson a day. However, if you want to splash out for the premium version, you can flex your vocabulary and grammar to your heart’s content!
5 Other Ways to Learn Tagalog
There are other ways to learn a language that isn’t attached to an interactive app. If you’re looking for something a little bit different or more comprehensive, why not check out the options below?
We all learn differently so try out the best learning style for you!
The number one way that you should try in order to improve your Tagalog is iTalki!
It matches you up to real native speakers who you can talk to in real-time and actually get you using the language right away.
They can help you with pronunciation and grammar and you get to immerse yourself in conversation. It’s a much more practical option but it can be scary at first if your language level is low!
Check out each teacher’s ratings and reviews and go from there!
2. Phrasebooks & Language Guides on Amazon
There are plenty of great Tagalog phrasebooks (Lingo Mastery is known for having the best ones) and language learning guides (this one got great reviews) out there for you to pick up and put down at your own pace.
These are a really good place to start, but it’s always good to combine these books with something audio-based so that you can hear the pronunciation.
3. Vocab games
Although at some point you’ll need to learn grammar and sentence structure in order to move forward with Tagalog, learning the vocabulary and practicing pronunciation with odd words is a decent step forward.
In the app store, you’ll find games like Drops which are essentially flashcards, skinned up to look pretty. It’s a basic concept, but it’s an easy and fun way to move your language learning forward.
Immersion has been proven time and time again to be the best way to learn and retain a language. Listening to either language learning podcasts or just podcasts in your target language allows you to get familiar with the flow and sound of the language.
Even if you can’t understand everything yet, you can pick up on sections or words based on context – a skill that really helps when you’re speaking Tagalog out in the real world!
The best podcast for learning Tagalog on Apple Podcasts is “Go Filipino: Let’s Learn Tagalog.” It has 155 reviews and a 4.9 rating, which is much higher than its competitors.
Similar to listening to podcasts, having Tagalog shows or news stations playing in the background on YouTube can be highly beneficial from an immersion aspect. Watching something rather than just listening to a new language has the added layer of visual context.
If you’re watching something, you can either have subtitles to help or discern what’s happening from the actions on the screen.
If you’re watching Filipino news channels, you can also practice your reading as there is normally a ticker tape across the bottom with the day’s headlines. Two language learning elements in one!
One of the best channels on Youtube for learning Tagalog is Learn Filipino with FilipinoPod101.com.
Why Should Tagalog Be on Duolingo?
Well, being spoken by 24 million people is definitely reason enough to be on the world’s most popular language-learning app. When you think that Duolingo has courses in Klingon on its app, but not the predominant language of the Philippines, it’s kind of ridiculous.
In fact, Tagalog is the second most spoken foreign language in California, Nevada, and Washington after Spanish. That’s incredible.
So, with the prevalence of the Tagalog language now outside of the Philippines, more and more people are wanting to learn this beautiful but demanding language.
Why Isn’t Tagalog on Duolingo?
So with all these speakers and the growth of the language, why isn’t Tagalog already on Duolingo? Well, there are a couple of reasons. First of all, Tagalog is a notoriously difficult language to teach and learn.
It’s in the hardest category of languages for English speakers to learn as designated by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI).
Duolingo likes to break down languages into bite-sized, easy-to-learn chunks and while it’s great for basic phrases and vocabulary, it sometimes struggles to teach grammar to a sufficient level.
If Duolingo keeps its trademark structure and style, it’s going to take a while to adapt traditional Tagalog teaching methods to the app format.
Secondly, Duolingo has recently reduced the number of volunteers that it accepts to help work on new courses. These were normally native speakers with experience teaching that specific language to foreign students.
Now, Duolingo is mostly relying on its actual employees which might have slowed down the development and testing process, especially considering how tricky Tagalog is as a language.
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Dayna Brockbank is a travel and language-learning blogger who has lived around the world but has now settled in Nice, France. She speaks 3 languages at varying levels of fluency: Spanish, Italian, and French, and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Spanish Education. She and her husband focus on making travel part of life by living cheaply and traveling on a budget.