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How to Use Duolingo: A 14 Step Simple Duolingo Tutorial

Wondering how to use the Duolingo app? It’s the most popular app in the world for language learning and there’s never been a better time to start learning a new language! This Duolingo Tutorial will walk you through the exact steps on how to set up your Duolingo app so that you can get to learning as soon as possible.

This post is meant for beginners who don’t have accounts with Duolingo and are wondering “How does Duolingo work?!” However, if that’s not you, then check out these tips most users DON’T know or this study plan for how to use Duolingo to learn quickly.

1: Download Duolingo from the App Store

The first step is to head to the App Store and download Duolingo if you haven’t already! It is available for free for iOS (iPhones) and Androids.

duolingo app in the app store

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2. “Get Started” on Duolingo

After you download Duolingo, you can open the app and you will have the option to “Get Started.” If you’ve never created an account before on Duolingo, that’s the option you would choose.

get started with duolingo

3. Choose the Language You Want to Learn

After you click “Get Started”, you will choose which language you want to learn on Duolingo. Right now, you will only choose one, but I will show you how to add more later on.

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choose a language to learn on duolingo

4. Course Overview

The next slide shows you a little course overview of the language course that you chose. You don’t have to do anything here, you can just continue to the next step.

duolingo course overview

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5. Choose Why You Are Learning a Language

Here you will choose why you are choosing to learn a language on Duolingo. It doesn’t matter which option you choose, this is just Duolingo trying to collect data on why users are using Duolingo. It won’t make any difference on the type of lessons/courses on the app.

choose why you are learning a language on duolingo

6. Pick Your Daily Goal (You Can Change This Later)

Now you will choose your daily goal on Duolingo. For me, I always choose the highest option, but you can change your Duolingo daily goal at any time.

pick a daily goal on duolingo

7. Accept Notifications from Duolingo

If you want to be reminded to use Duolingo everyday, you are going to way to choose to accept notifications from Duolingo in your settings. Just click “Allow” and Duolingo will let you know every day that you need to complete your lessons!

allow duolingo to send notifications

8. Choose Your Language Level

Next, you will choose whether you want to start as a complete beginner or whether you think you know a bit more. If you choose the Placement Test, it will give you questions that will test how much you know.

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Depending on how well you do, you may be able to skip certain lessons and start at a more advanced level.

Since I already spoke Spanish fluenty before using Duolingo, I tested out of almost all of the Duolingo tree. I usually don’t choose the Placement Test option unless I feel very confident that I know the language well enough.

I think that Duolingo is great at hammering in the basics and forcing you to repeat them until they become second nature. For this reason, I don’t recommend choosing the Placement Test.

choose to start lessons or take a placement test on duolingo

9. Take Your First Duolingo Lesson or Placement Test

After you choose, you will immediately start your first Duolingo lesson or your Placement Test. The first lesson is the most basic and is actually the first lesson in your Duolingo tree.

You will mostly just be matching vocabulary and translating short, simple sentences.

match vocabulary lesson on duolingo
translate the sentence on duolingo

10. Create Your Duolingo Profile

Now, you finally get to the part where you create your Duolingo profile! Don’t worry, it will save all the progress you’ve made so far and the lesson that you have completed will be included in your profile.

create a profile on duolingo

You will need to give Duolingo your name and email address, and you will create a password for your account. All of this will be saved on your profile and you can go to your profile once it’s created.

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To avoid being locked out of your account in the future, make sure you make note of which email you used to log in and what password you chose.

Then once you have your account, go into your profile (the tab with the head symbol) and take a picture of the username that Duolingo created for you. All of this information will make it so you can log back into your account easily.

add your email address to your profile on duolingo

11. Complete 9 Lessons to Unlock Leagues

Now that you’ve created your account, you will need to complete 9 lessons in order to compete in Duolingo Leagues! Duolingo Leagues are basically a competition against other users who are at the same level as you.

You can learn more about Duolingo Leagues here as well as understanding what points are in Duolingo and how to find out how many you have here.

unlock leagues and leaderboards after completing 9 lessons on duolingo

12. Earn 10 Crowns to Unlock Stories

The next step is to earn 10 crowns so that you can start using Duolingo Stories. Duolingo Stories are short stories that get progressively harder and test your listening comprehension and help you learn vocabulary.

You will need to first understand what Duolingo Crowns are, then you can focus on earning those 10 crowns as soon as possible! Once you’ve earned 10 crowns, you can now learn using Duolingo Stories!

unlock duolingo stories after earning 10 crowns

13. Upload a Profile Picture to Your Duolingo Profile

The next step is to upload a profile picture to your Duolingo profile. You can do this by clicking on the icon of the woman’s head to get to your profile.

change your profile picture on duolingo

From there, click on the pencil icon and it will give you the option to choose a picture or take a picture for your profile picture. It’s that easy! (:

P.S. You’ll also earn your first Achievement by doing this!

choose picture or take a picture for profile picture on duolingo
profile on duolingo

14. Add Duolingo Courses or Change the Language You Are Learning

If you would like to add another Duolingo course or change your Duolingo course, you can do that by click on the flag icon in the top right corner of the app. From there you can click the plus icon and you can see all of the courses available.

courses on duolingo

You can add as many courses as you want and try out all the languages available if you choose to!

change courses on duolingo

If you scroll down to the bottom of the list of courses available, you will see the option to see even more courses. Click on that and you can choose to take a course from other languages besides English.

language courses on duolingo

For example, instead of taking Spanish for English speakers, you can take the English for Spanish speakers course. This is known as a “reverse tree.”

language courses for speakers of other languages on duolingo

Now you are ready to use Duolingo!

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