One of the most popular ways to learn about something nowadays is to listen to a podcast. So, it’s no wonder that everyone’s language learning app of choice, Duolingo, has launched its own podcast. Learn on your daily commute, while you’re out on a run, or just chilling at home, completely hands-free.
So, what’s the situation with Duolingo Podcasts, and are they suitable for you? Let’s dive in and find out more.
Want to take your language learning to the next level? If you’re ready to go beyond Duolingo, italki is the absolute best language resource out there. Take one-on-one classes with native speakers online for less than $10.
What Are Duolingo Podcasts?
Duolingo Podcasts are audio tracks that are a mix of your native and target language that you can find anywhere you listen to podcasts. They each follow a set story with a specific context, so you’re not going in completely blind with your vocabulary usage.
You can follow along using context clues and the guidance available in your native language, or if you’re more intermediate you’ll be able to follow along and get a feel for the conversational flow of your new target language.
How Much Do Duolingo Podcasts Cost?
One of the best things about Duolingo Podcasts is that they’re absolutely free. You can access them in a couple of different ways, but all of them are free.
You don’t need a Duolingo Plus subscription and you don’t need a Spotify Premium account unless you want to download them so you can listen offline and on the go.
Want to stop forgetting the words you’ve learned and maintain your fluency? Check out this book on Amazon about how to stay fluent in a language over time without losing fluency!
Which Languages Are Duolingo Podcasts Available In?
There currently aren’t a lot of Duolingo Podcasts available right now but it seems like there will be more in development further down the line. At the moment, if you’re a native English speaker there are Duolingo Podcasts for learning French and Spanish.
If you’re a Spanish or Portuguese native speaker, there are English Duolingo Podcasts for both these languages. So, in total, there are four different Duolingo Podcasts that are available right now.
How Do I Access Duolingo Podcasts? How to Listen to Duolingo Podcasts
You can access Duolingo Podcasts in several different ways depending on how you like to listen to your podcasts. There’s a dedicated Duolingo Podcast website which is www.podcast.duolingo.com and you can find them all there in an accessible, browser-style way.
If you prefer to listen on a dedicated streaming platform where you can get alerts for new episodes and download them when you want to, Duolingo Podcasts are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, and more. Whichever place works best for you!
Alternatively, if you want to keep all your language learning in one convenient place, you can find Duolingo Podcasts in the audio tab at the bottom of your Duolingo app. This means you can keep track of all your language learning in one go.
If you want to learn a language faster than ever, I highly recommend reading Benny Lewis’s book on how to learn a language in JUST 3 months.
Are the Duolingo Podcasts Any Good?
This is a great question and is super subjective. On the whole, Duolingo Podcasts have had pretty good reviews from Duolingo fans and have had a decent take given how limited the choices are.
The main thing that people seem to like about it is the authenticity and realism of the content. With each podcast episode diving into a set situation and context, it feels like you’re listening to real-life conversations that you might actually come across.
In the past, jokes have been made about how some of the phrases in Duolingo aren’t exactly useful in the real world, so this is a welcome alternative that feels genuine.
It also helps that there is a combination of sentences in your native and target language so if you’re feeling a bit lost, you can easily get back on track.
Even if you don’t love the topic in a given episode, there are new ones dropping all the time, so it won’t be long until you find one that you’re actually interested in and want to learn more about.
Do Duolingo Podcasts Come With Transcripts?
An awesome extra feature you get, if you’re listening to your Duolingo Podcast on the browser version, is that you can access transcripts to go with the audio.
Transcripts make it easy to follow along with the audio if you’re just starting out on your language learning journey, or it helps you improve your reading skills at the same time as using your listening skills. It ends up being a double whammy.
Unfortunately, if you don’t listen on the browser version, you can’t access the transcripts, even on the Duolingo app.
It does also stop the podcasts from being hands-free, but it depends on how you like to learn your languages, and whether a mix of audio and visual works for you rather than just listening on the go.
Are Duolingo Podcasts Good for Beginners?
This is kind of a difficult question to answer because it depends on the individual. Diving straight into entire conversations as a beginner can be overwhelming as you might not be able to understand a whole lot of what’s being said. As a result, it might put you off learning the language altogether.
On the flip side, immersion is one of the best ways to learn. If you can’t be in a country where the language is spoken, then surrounding yourself with the language through media like music, films, and podcasts can be a way to get familiar and comfortable with the sound, accents, and flow of the language.
Think about it like tuning your ear and brain into the game and getting your head in the mindset for that specific language.
If you’re more of an intermediate language learner, it’s a great way to learn a conversational language in its specific context. This is hugely beneficial if you’re just learning through the regular Duolingo app, which tends to just focus on tidbits of language and odd words and phrases, rather than extended essays and audio clips.
So, Duolingo Podcasts can be good for beginners if you don’t go in expecting to understand everything you hear. Also, you have the safety blanket of the native language guidance within each Duolingo Podcast to bring you back to the true context.
This isn’t a thing in other language-learning podcasts, so it can be really reassuring for beginners looking to improve their speaking skills.
Practice Your Listening Skills With Duolingo Podcasts
If you want to improve your language skills on the go and love learning new things through podcast platforms, these new Duolingo Podcasts are going to be really beneficial for you.
Of course, there are plenty of options for different language tracks right now, but it definitely seems like the Duolingo team is going to expand its offering moving forward.
Whether you want to learn while you’re out and about, want to get more of a feel for authentic local language, or just learn more effectively through audio strategies and techniques, it’s well worth giving Duolingo Podcasts a go.
Remember, they’re available on pretty much every audio streaming platform, the audio tab on the Duolingo app, and even on the dedicated browser site.
Subscribe to Duolingo Podcasts to get the latest episodes directly into your account and download them so that you can access them anywhere. Truly, Duolingo Podcasts are on the go and without having to pay for the Super membership!
More Information About Duolingo:
- Everything You Need to Know About the Duolingo Owl (Including Memes!)
- Is Sign Language Available in Duolingo?
- What is the Happy Hour in Duolingo?
- Is Cantonese Available in Duolingo?
- Can I Learn Estonian on Duolingo?
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.