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Is Duolingo Free? How and for How Long?

Want to start learning a language on the most popular language app that exists: Duolingo? Let’s find out if Duolingo is free and how long you can use it for free.

Is Duolingo Free?

Yes, Duolingo is absolutely free on both mobile and desktop, although there is a paid version called “Super Duolingo.”

All of the lessons available on Duolingo are included for free as well, unlike other apps that have some lessons for free and others that come with a paid subscription.

Learn a language on Duolingo for free forever

Duolingo is free on all mobile apps, including on iPhone and Android. It is also free using the desktop version.

P.S. If you don’t use the desktop version yet, it is a great way to earn XP super fast!

What is the Paid Version of Duolingo?

There is a paid version of Duolingo, which is Super Duolingo, which only includes a few extra features like being able to use it offline and not losing hearts or health when you make mistakes.

You can find out more about Super Duolingo and whether it is worth the price in this blog post.

Want to learn a language quickly and never forget it? Check out this book on Amazon about how to stay fluent in a language over time without losing fluency!

What features do you get on free Duolingo?

Even on the free version of Duolingo, you gain access to a wide range of features and question styles that help to improve your language learning.

These include:

  • Push notifications and emails to remind you to practice
  • Access to the leaderboards
  • Five hearts
  • Access to streaks and some streak freezes
  • Challenges
  • Friend and social features
  • Complete language courses 
  • Access on both app and desktop versions of Duolingo

There are of course a load of things that you can do with the free version of Duolingo. If you’re just trying to brush up on your language skills or want to get the basics down before a big trip, the free version is likely to work just fine for you.

While the ads can be annoying in between lessons, it’s not that bad and if you’re used to free versions of YouTube, you’ll be fine with Duolingo ad breaks!

It’s also worth mentioning that if you get a good streak going on free Duolingo, you’ll get rewarded with free trials of Super Duolingo when you hit day 50 or day 100. This is a nice bonus and helps you take your language learning up a gear!

What extra features do you get with Super Duolingo?

When you pay for Super Duolingo, you get to unlock a lot of bonus features that help you learn a language a lot quicker and take your language learning to the next level.

These include:

  • Unlimited hearts
  • No annoying ads
  • Unlimited legendary attempts
  • Unlimited timed challenge attempts
  • Monthly streak repair
  • Access to a personalized language practice area
  • Full access to the practice hub

One of the best things about Super Duolingo has to be the personalized language practice area. While most people think the unlimited hearts is the best feature, I think having personalized assistance and tailoring your language journey in Duolingo is a game-changer.

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Super Duolingo spots the things you’re struggling with and allows you to focus on those mistakes until you nail them! It’s a great way to improve your language learning and really get into what is and isn’t working for you as a learner. 

Personally, I’m not super into the league and XP-boosting features of Duolingo, but if you are, then Super Duolingo is the way to go. You can get XP boosts really easily, and those unlimited hearts really help you rise up the ranks quickly.

If it’s gold or legendary status that you’re after, you’re going to be hard-pressed to achieve it on the Duolingo free plan!

What is Duolingo Max and how is it better than Super Duolingo?

Launched in 2023, Duolingo Max is the next evolution in the Duolingo journey. The thing that sets it apart from Super Duolingo and many other language-learning apps is the inclusion of OpenAI’s GPT-4.

This means that you can have a much more context-driven language learning experience and talk back and forth with the AI in your target language. One of the biggest issues with Duolingo in the past has been the lack of context when learning new vocabulary. You end up knowing all the words and phrases but not when to use them or recognize them, which is a huge part of traditional language learning.

Of course, AI isn’t without its quirks and the content isn’t 100% up-to-date, so if you want to talk about the latest trends or celebrity gossip in your target language, it probably won’t work, but on the whole, this is a great use of AI in language learning. 

How much is Duolingo Max?

At the moment, Duolingo max costs $30 a month or $168 for the annual membership. Essentially, you get everything you’d have with Super Duolingo, plus access to the AI language learning area. 

However, it is a big jump from the $6.99 that Super Duolingo costs to the $30 that Duolingo Max costs, so you’ll have to weigh it up versus in-person language lessons or tutors, or online one-to-one tutor platforms like iTalki.

Is Duolingo Max available for everyone?

Unfortunately, at the moment, Duolingo Max is not available for everyone. Currently, it’s only accessible on iOS, so if you’re on Android or Desktop, you’re out of luck for now. Duolingo Max is also only currently available on certain language tracks, but more on that in a moment.

What languages are available on Duolingo Max?

As of the start of 2024, you can only access Duolingo Max on iOS-operated platforms if you’re learning French or Spanish. These are the only languages that have the AI features ready on Duolingo’s end. 

It does seem like they want to roll this out to more languages, and starting with arguably their two most popular language tracks is a good place to start – especially while they work out the kinks. 

Will Duolingo Be Free Forever?

So Duolingo is free now, will it be free forever?

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According to their homepage: YES, Duolingo will be free forever. And thank goodness. I would hate for all those XP I’ve earned to go to waste!

You can rest easy knowing that Duolingo plans to stay free forever.

How is Duolingo Free?

By using ads to monetize their app (like I use ads to monetize this website and make it possible to continue to write articles!) they can keep Duolingo free forever.

Plus, many users choose to upgrade to Duolingo Plus to avoid ads, which also keeps Duolingo free.

But why is Duolingo free? Duolingo is the largest language learning app available and they pride themselves in making language learning free and accessible to everyone.

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 per hour!

Is Duolingo Free for Teachers?

Yes, Duolingo is free for teachers! Read this “Duolingo Guide for Teachers: How to Use Duolingo for Schools” to see exactly how you can implement Duolingo in your classrooms for FREE.

As a Spanish teacher myself, I wish I had known about this when I was teaching high school!

Can You Become Fluent Using Free Duolingo?

Realistically, you’re going to struggle to become fluent in any language using just Duolingo’s free plan. Honestly, you’ll struggle if you use their paid platforms too as you need a wide range of language learning tools and techniques to help you become conversational and then fluent.

The issue with many language-learning apps is that they can’t really focus on speaking, listening, and pronunciation with much accuracy. Obviously, when we go overseas and want to use our language skills, it’s our speaking and listening skills that we want to use the most.

Using a combination of Duolingo and other apps that are geared more towards context and conversation, or using platforms like iTalki or in-person conversation cafes, is the best way to become fluent, while still using the free version of Duolingo. 

Can You Try Super Duolingo for Free?

Yes, you can try Super Duolingo for free using the two-week free trial. This way you can see if it works for you before paying for it. It’ll also show the differences between the two plans more clearly so you can make an informed decision.

You can also get free trials of Super Duolingo when you hit milestone streaks on the free version of the app. From experience, this usually happens once you hit day 50, day 100, and day 200. So, the more committed you are to your practice, the more likely you are to be rewarded with free trials of Super Duolingo!

Does Super Duolingo Offer Offline Mode?

Originally, one of the big selling points of Super Duolingo (or the original Duolingo Plus) was that you could access lessons and features offline. This was obviously massive for people who were travelling and trying to improve their language skills, or just for people who liked to get their practice in on their morning commute. 

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However, when Duolingo Plus became Super Duolingo, the offline feature seemed to disappear, much to the dismay of many loyal Duolingo subscribers. So, at the moment, none of the Duolingo subscription levels offer an offline mode which seems like a missed opportunity for Duolingo, considering they already had the infrastructure to offer this to higher paying levels.

Is Learning on Super Duolingo quicker?

Yes, for many language learners, their process increases and speeds up when using Super Duolingo. This is for a few reasons. The unlimited hearts mean that you’re not having to wait around for a refill or pay extra gems to keep practicing. This also means you can complete more lessons in one session, even if you’re making a lot of mistakes.

Having no ads has a similar effect. After all, there tend to be two adverts after each lesson on the free version of Duolingo. Take those away and you’re saving a lot of time. If you only have 15 minutes to practice, you could potentially fit another lesson in with the ad time you’re saving.

Finally, the personalized practice helps you identify and remedy your common mistakes quickly and effectively, making you a better language learner overall. Without this feature, you’ll likely continue to make these mistakes, lose more hearts, and get frustrated with your lack of progress. 

So, there’s a reason why plenty of users opt for Super Duolingo over the free plan if they want to learn their target language quickly and effectively!

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