These Duolingo tips will help you stay motivated and use Duolingo more than ever!
After becoming seriously obsessed with Duolingo in 2018, I learned a lot of things about the app that I think most users aren’t even aware of.
I have 3 Golden Owls, over 40,000 XP, and am a level 18 in Italian! If you did not understand that last sentence, then this blog post is definitely for you!
1. Change your daily goal
The first thing you should do if you want to use Duolingo more seriously to learn a language is to edit your daily goal. You can do this on the mobile app by clicking on the fire emoji that represents your streak.
You should see a place to edit your goal that looks like this:
From there you should change it to the highest XP possible. This should push you to use Duolingo more often!
For a more in-depth guide on how to change your daily goal, check out this post.
2. Duolingo trees, Crowns & Golden owls
When you choose a course on Duolingo, your goal is to complete the “tree.” A tree is basically all of the lessons that are available for the language course that you chose.
Each lesson is divided into 5 “crowns”, which represents how well you know that specific topic.
When you first start a tree, you will only be able to do one lesson at a time. Once you earn your first “crown” then other lessons will become available.
With each topic, you have the ability to earn 5 “crowns” and that will turn the topic gold. After a while, if you don’t go back to practice, the topic will break like the picture below.
All you need is to practice the topic and it will go back to being golden.
This is very important for understanding the end goal of Duolingo (besides practicing your language) which is to earn a Golden Owl. This happens when every topic in your tree has at least 1 crown.
It pops up at the bottom of the tree as a reminder of all your hard work!
3. Leveling up
Once you have gotten your “Golden Owl”, your work is not done yet! The ultimate goal for serious users on Duolingo is to hit level 25 in your language.
This is the highest level possible and takes a LOT of work to get there.
The level is determined by the amount of XP that you have in that language. Duolingo used to show your levels on your profile, but now only shows the amount of XP you have.
“Leveling Up” in Duolingo is a huge motivating factor for me (and many learners) so that is why the next section is one of my favorites!
Head to this post for a more in-depth look at levels and what you can use them for!
4. the Duome
I’m pretty sure I learned about the Duome from Duolingo forums (where people talk about their progress and ask questions etc.)
This website is SUPER cool and really helps if you are serious about using Duolingo to learn a language.
Basically, this website can see all of your progress on Duolingo, including your Golden Owls, how many XP you need to get to the next level, and how many words you’ve learned.
However, because this is an unofficial site, I’m not completely sure that everyone is on it.
I believe that you have to have completed a certain amount of XP to get onto this site, although since it’s not an official site it can be a little unclear what that number is.
The best way to know if you’re on it is to try!
All you need to do is type duome.eu/YOURUSERNAME and see what it says! This is what pops up when I do that:
When you scroll down, you can see all of the languages that you are currently learning, which level you are on and how many XP you need to get to the next level. It also shows the Golden Owls that you have earned!
If you’re also learning languages FROM other languages besides your native language (we’ll talk more about that later), then all you need to do to check your progress there is to go into your Duolingo app and change your course.
For example, for the pictures above, I was using my native language, English, to learn French.
However, I have done quite a bit from Spanish as well, so in order to see my progress there, I just switch to any course from the Spanish language.
I switched to my Spanish to Italian course and then refreshed the Duome website and it changed to showing all the courses and progress I’ve made in courses from the Spanish language:
If you were able to find your profile on Duome, make sure to bookmark it so that you can check it regularly to motivate yourself to work harder!
To see more on Duome, you can type in duome.eu/YOURUSERNAME/progress as well to see specific progress in the language course that you are currently on.
5. Learn languages FROM other languages
One of my favorite ways to use Duolingo is to do “reverse trees.” This means that instead of doing English to Spanish, you could do Spanish to English. Even better, once you know Spanish, then you can use Spanish to get to your next language!
To do that, just click on the flag that represents the course you are currently on and then scroll until you see the “Add Course” button.
After that, scroll down the “More” button to see courses that aren’t in your native language.
Then you can scroll through all of the courses that Duolingo has available. Not every language is available from every language, but this is a cool way to get even more practice in the language!
If you want to learn a language faster than ever, I also highly recommend reading Benny Lewis’s book on how to learn a language in JUST 3 months.
6. Don’t buy plus, just practice or switch to an easier language
If you’ve used Duolingo, you know that the free version can only get you so far. Once you make 5 mistakes, you either have to watch an ad or practice to get your “health” back so that you can keep learning.
Also, if you’ve saved up enough gems, you can buy health back for 450-500 gems.
One thing you could do to get around this is to buy “Plus” which is about $7 per month and it allows you to do as many lessons as you want and even use it offline.
However, I don’t recommend doing that (read more about why I don’t recommend upgrading to Plus here!) It’s so easy to use Duolingo for free that it’s never seemed worth it to me!
Here’s how I get around it:
- Every time there is an opportunity to watch an ad, I do it
- When I run out of health, I switch to an easier language to get my health back
- I only spend my gems on buying back health (not freezing my streak)
Most of that is straight-forward, but I want to go over the second bullet point a bit more. So say for example that you are learning Spanish from English.
You’ve been working your way through the Duolingo tree and the lessons are starting to get harder and harder and pretty soon you are losing health much faster than before.
Instead of giving up, switch courses to a different language for a few minutes! Not only does this help you get a bit of a break by doing something easier for a second, but it also reminds you of how much you have already learned!
If you are currently only learning one language, then just add your course but backward. So instead of Spanish from English, add the course of English from Spanish.
You’ll be back to doing some of the basic things that you learned at the beginning that should be easier for you, and you’ll be able to build back your health before heading back to your original course.
If you’re super into language learning like me, or maybe just want to get into it, you should definitely check out this book on Amazon about how to stay fluent in a language over time without losing fluency!
7. Using the desktop website
When I first started using Duolingo more seriously (in 2018 when I was learning Italian) I actually had no idea that Duolingo even had a website. But this has been such an awesome discovery since!
The two best things about the desktop website: you don’t lose health and you can type your answers!
This means that you are getting much more practice that is more challenging, and you can go faster since you don’t have to worry about making mistakes! When I’m studying during the day, I only use the desktop website.
When I’m watching TV or have already finished studying for the day and just want to spend more time on Duolingo, I will use the mobile app.
The rewards are also slightly different between the two, but the XP (points earned when completing a lesson) is the same so you aren’t losing anything by using the website.
8. Duolingo Podcasts
I have only listened to a few of these in French, but that’s because I’m not really a podcast person! Currently, Duolingo only has podcasts in Spanish and French which you can find on the Apple Podcast App for free!
9. duolingo Stories
Some Duolingo courses (usually only the most popular ones) have an extra tab called “Duolingo Stories.” You earn XP by listening to a conversation and answering questions as it goes along.
10. Buy extra lessons when possible with gems
Although you may be tempted to buy Duolingo a new tracksuit with your sweet gems, the first thing you should do is go through all your courses and check if it’s possible to buy extra lessons.
They usually only exist in more popular courses, like the Duolingo stories. For example, I found them in my English to French course. There were spaces for bonus lessons like this:
You can click on the bonus button and it will take you to the shop which shows you the extra lessons you can buy. I already bought all the “bonus skills” that were available so it says that they are “equipped.”
I hope this list helped you know more about Duolingo than you probably ever wanted to know! lol Let me know if there is something you’ve learned about Duolingo that I haven’t mentioned! (:
Now you can head to this post to learn the best way to use Duolingo and how I used it to learn Italian & French!