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Is Duolingo Good or Is It a Waste of Time? My Honest Thoughts

Before you start investing your precious free time in using Duolingo, you’re probably wondering if Duolingo is actually a good app and if it’s worthy of your time.

There’s a lot of controversy around Duolingo and whether it’s a waste of time or not, so let’s get into why I think it’s still worth using.

Is Duolingo Good?

Yes, in my opinion, I think Duolingo is a good app and a good way to use your time if you want to learn a language.

But a lot of people don’t feel that way. A lot of language learning experts will tell you that Duolingo is just wasting your time and that there are much better apps out there for learning languages.

And are they right?

Of course, they’re right, there are tons of better apps out there for learning languages. But I still think Duolingo is good(for some things) and I continue to choose to use Duolingo.

I seriously would not be able to learn languages without italki (I’m taking 3 classes per week right now) try out a claiss and you’ll thank me later. They’re usually $9 or less!

7 Reasons Why I Think Duolingo is a Good App

1. Duolingo is Free

So many people decide they want to learn a language, then they buy books, apps, etc., and use them for a few days and then get distracted and do something else.

Duolingo language learning app

Duolingo is 100% free and has tons of lessons that you can do without any monetary commitment at all.

2. Consistency is Freaking Hard

This definitely goes along with point #1. Consistency with language learning is key, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

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It would be great if you could stick to something every day just because you said you would, but we all know that’s not how it works.

Sometimes, paying for something helps you stay consistent. But sometimes it’s just more money down the drain.

With Duolingo, you can work on consistency without spending money. And if you’re not super consistent, you don’t need to worry about unnecessary spending.

Instead, you can focus on keeping your streak or earning more XP to keep you motivated.

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.

3. Analysis Paralysis

Having way too many choices can stop you from making any decision at all.

Instead of spending all your time trying to figure out which language app or book will be the best and teach you the language fastest, you can just hop on and actually start learning.

Doing something is better than doing nothing.

4. Duolingo is Improving

Duolingo is getting to be a better language resource by the day.

I live in France so I’m currently focusing on learning French on Duolingo and I’ve noticed that the updates Duolingo is making in that course are really good.

Instead of just typing and literally translating sentences, you are answering questions as if you were in conversations. There’s a lot less English involved and more opportunities to speak.

Duolingo chat lesson

Like in the sentence below, they have a “speak to text” button now so instead of typing in French, I can practice speaking.

Duolingo language lesson

There also have been more listening exercises added recently so you can train your ears to hear the difference between words that sound similar.

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5. Convenience is Key

Duolingo is super convenient and easy to use. If you’re someone who is trying to squeeze in time each day to learn a language, those things are super important.

Or maybe you struggle with motivation and you need an easy “in.” Just saying to yourself “I’ll just do a quick lesson on Duolingo” could be the catalyst to you actually starting to study your language that day.

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!

6. Duolingo is Good, But It’s Not Enough

I talked about this a lot in my post about becoming fluent through using Duolingo. Basically, the answer is no, you can’t become fluent through Duolingo alone.

That’s a big reason why a lot of people hate on Duolingo. But the way I look at it, it’s a great resource and has helped me learn vocabulary and grammar as a beginner.

But you cannot just use Duolingo. It’s a GREAT place to start though!

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Here is my exact simple language learning plan that I use in detail.

For me, Duolingo, iTalki, and Netflix are the main things that I need to learn a language.

If you’ve never used iTalki, you NEED to try it. You take classes from native speakers, sometimes for as low as $5 an hour.

There’s basically nothing out there that can help you learn a language as fast as iTalki. Using Duolingo to get a bit of a base, then taking an iTalki lesson every week will absolutely teach you a language.

7. Duolingo is Good for Beginners

Once you get into more complex grammar, you’ll need to probably invest in a good textbook and focus more on consuming materials made for native speakers.

But for beginners and for brushing up on the basics, Duolingo can definitely handle that.

Just because Duolingo can’t be everything doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good app for learning a language.

Here is my strategy for using Duolingo as a beginner. I lay out 14 steps that can teach you how to use Duolingo to learn the basics of a language so you can use it effectively.