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Why is Duolinguo better than other apps?

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This has been bugging me for some time now. I don't understand the popularity of Duolinguo. I used to learn with Busuu and I don't really understand how it happened that Duolinguo has taken over the market... Is it customer care? Better experience? More colors? :-) Can anyone explain?

Thanks

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I guess Duolingo it's more popular than other apps because it often feels as if you were playing a game instead of learning something.  It also helps it allows you to follow and be followed by other people... so you can compete to see who gets the most XP each week or month.  I mean, it can be very fun if you make bets to see who gets the most XP ;) I bet a lot people do that. I know I would if I knew someone close to me learning dutch.

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Huh.... Ok. I guess you're right. I'm a bit old fashioned in this sense (and a bit spoiled as well). I always thought the best way is to learn from books and dictionaries (memorizing vocabulary).

Don't you have a feeling that you could be learning faster without these apps? Let's say you're motivated, you have the grammar and a vocabulary.

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I decided to try out Duolingo, and it's similar to Memrise, which I am using for my Nihongo.  I started out with the Spanish Duolingo, and it is quite confusing, since the Spanish language has specific words for the masculine (boy, man) and feminine (girl, woman) gender.  I have yet to immerse myself with the Spanish language, and so far Duolingo works well.  You get to practice speaking the language as well, and that is where Duolingo holds the advantage.  I'm imagining right now how much I could learn and appreciate Nihongo even more if Duolingo will be finally made available in Nihongo.

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I found Duolingo to be okay but I really prefer Memrise.  Sure it's not as much of a game feeling, but I feel like I learn more from it.

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I think the gaming part is what really hooked people into it. I know I learn more when I'm enjoying rather than plain memorising. I'm always on the lookout for apps that help me learn a language in a fun way. I have found Duolinguo and another one posted here. They are great ways of learning a language without the hassle of like being lectured and such.

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I also think it is the gaming part.  My son, who is 12, downloaded the app a few weeks ago.  He was determined to learn Swedish.  He has done a great job with it and is really learning the language.  I think it is wonderful for all ages.

For me, when I am having fun I tend to learn more.  If I feel I am just doing drills I don't think I retain quite as much.

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I've actually always been rather pessimistic about Duolingo for some reason.. but reading the replies in this thread, I'm starting to slightly change my minds. Some of you made it sound really good, so I'm probably going to try it later. Hopefully it's good like you guys described :tongue:

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So I just tried it and I have to say that it's rather horrible. The words and translations aren't natural and some doesn't even make any sense - what does 'raining cats and dogs' even mean? I'm having a dreadful time on the website so far as I keep failing my tests because of these mistakes. They also keep using super formal and rare words that nobody uses anymore. Oh and some guy (presumably American or British judging from the username) tried to argue with me about my own language in the discussion section when I complained about one of the translations. I'm rather offended by this website.

At least now I know that I wasn't exactly wrong for being pessimistic towards this website.

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We have an endless number of posts about Duolingo on this forum already.

You are well invited to use the search function of this forum to get some more thoughts and ideas about the Duolingo language learning concept.

http://linguaholic.com/search

Regards

Lingua

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I've tried Duolingo but I'm afraid it didn't make much of an impression on me. Maybe because I'm looking for a more comprehensive interface. The app is also quite heavy. It makes your cellphone lag if your operating system isn't updated. I do like the fact that there's a question and answer portion after every lesson. And yes, it's colorful but I guess color alone won't cut it.

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I don't think it's the best app, but it is, obviously, better than other apps. First of all, I think that one of the main reasons is the fact that it's quite complex: they have a web platform, but also a mobile app. The courses are quite long and can definitely help you learn the basics. However, the main downside about Duolingo is the fact that most of the phrases, especially in the first phases, don't make any sense. I've never told anyone I wanted to give the black horse salt, for example. Moreover, a lot of similar translations are often not accepted, even if they are correct.

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It's out of context learning, which isn't always a bad thing in small doses, but shouldn't be the main method of learning a language at any point in your studies, imo. I believe you should try to get words, grammar, etc in context. For example, read a paragraph where you encounter a few new words. If you find it helpful, as many people do especially in the early stages, you can then take these new words and memorize and/or review them. But I wouldn't advise spending most of your time doing this, and I wouldn't advise drilling lists of words and sentences that you've never encountered in context. 

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Duolingo really helps you with repetitive ways of learning vocabulary. It's a little bit like memrise.com, where you can learn just about anything simply repeating the words. Also it does say words out loud for you which is a big help.

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It's out of context learning, which isn't always a bad thing in small doses, but shouldn't be the main method of learning a language at any point in your studies, imo. I believe you should try to get words, grammar, etc in context. For example, read a paragraph where you encounter a few new words. If you find it helpful, as many people do especially in the early stages, you can then take these new words and memorize and/or review them. But I wouldn't advise spending most of your time doing this, and I wouldn't advise drilling lists of words and sentences that you've never encountered in context. 

That was my problem with Duolingo and the reason why I stopped ''learning'' with it. I didn't like all that out of context learning, specially because I was starting to learn dutch, and all those phrases used made no sense at all. So I did learn some words, but  I started to wonder how could those words could be used, or if it was ok to use them in certain way in some phrases... because everything was so out of context. I know they have to keep things simple, but no need to be so random, I'm talking about phrases like: ''ik ben een banaan'' or ''the bear likes to drink beer''. 

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I find that it provides a very user-friendly and fun way to approach the learning of a new language. Sometimes the thought of taking on such a big task could be daunting, but I find that Duolingo brings about a 'game-show' feel to its application. As well, I find myself challenging my friends to learn a new language as well. It is very interactive which can make for a fun experience. 

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I think I must agree with how they made Duolingo's user interface game-like. Not only does it make you listen to each word by word in every lesson, but also it helps you memorize each word, just by listening to each word while reading and tapping a word.

As for me, I'm currently using it for learning Portuguese language. I don't have any background nor familiarity with the said language but thru this app, with only one lesson and that's Basics 1 lesson, I easily familiarize myself with the words, voce, ele, mulher, menina, and sao. The lesson only took 15 minutes and I must say, it's fast. Even tho it depends on the user on how fast you'd want to memorize, you'll surely learn in no time. With its fun-filled environment, you'll surely comeback. Without you thinking behind your mind that, 'ohhh here this boring language again..' when the notification pops up on your notification tray. Please excuse me, but let's all be honest with ourselves, we can encounter that moment of procrastination sometimes in some subjects or courses we're taking. I think Duolingo is better at making its users learn with eagerness and helps them ignore the procrastination when it comes to learning new languages.

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Duolingo is truly popular and the Google Play store ranking stands at 4.6 out of 5.0 and total downloads surpassing the 10 million mark. Those could be pretty standards statistics compared to all other apps in the store but look at from the niche of learning languages, it stands quite tall from the others. That resounds trust and interest from very many users. However that may not spell enough compulsion to resort to it and not the others. There are two properties about Duolingo that I find very unique and that's why it stands out. The first is the game-like learning that the developers integrated into the app in the best possible way I could ever find. So as you build new vocabulary in a new language, it feels like game play which as a matter of fact is the very way children are taught in kindergarten if you can recall. You are bound to learn a language pretty fast with deep interest. The second aspect I adore about Duolingo is the way it teaches the language through what I call "subtle repetition." The human mind does learnt through repetition and that is a property Duolingo explores very richly. For example, in the first step the app presents you four words in a new language you are trying to learn. All the words are supports by recognizable graphic. Then the next interface changes a single word and leaves the rest, and the process continues. If you realize, you will be getting familiar with a number of words at a time because your mind keeps track of the graphic. This is the best form of learning I ever came across more so when learning a totally strange language. These reasons give Duolingo more weight compared to any other apps out there.

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If there's something Duolingo lacks, it's the ability to admit the mistakes they make.
I'm a native Dutch speaker and I did their Dutch course to report errors and help them improve the course.
I only started and I reported loads of mistakes already, but only 1 of those were taken seriously.

"Jullie geven hun de hoed" obviously means "you guys give their the hat", not "you guys gave them a hat".
I know every native speaker will go like "WTF?!" when they read "jullie geven hun de hoed" because it's grammatically wrong.
And yet they told me I was wrong and THEY are right. WTF?!

And even some sentences I answered correctly were counted as incorrect.
I reported them all, but none of which were ever taken seriously.

So that's how I lost my motivation to use Duolingo forever.
I wouldn't even recommend it even if the moderators were dictating me to do so!

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Thanks for the heads up, @Blaveloper   I tried their course in the beginning, I am so glad I didn't continue!  By the way, I also caught a lot mistakes in the Spanish course, I reported some of them, no idea if they tried to fix those or not.   LOL,  I laughed so hard when I read they told YOU  were wrong, YOU, the native dutch speaker o_O  I'm not liking Duolingo at all after this, I didn't like it already  ;)  But I won't be going back there anytime soon :P   

Edited by Trellum

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So I just tried it and I have to say that it's rather horrible. The words and translations aren't natural and some doesn't even make any sense - what does 'raining cats and dogs' even mean? I'm having a dreadful time on the website so far as I keep failing my tests because of these mistakes. They also keep using super formal and rare words that nobody uses anymore. Oh and some guy (presumably American or British judging from the username) tried to argue with me about my own language in the discussion section when I complained about one of the translations. I'm rather offended by this website.

 

At least now I know that I wasn't exactly wrong for being pessimistic towards this website.

One of the big downsides to Duolingo is you can really only use it if your native tongue is English, or you have more than a basic understanding of English and how it works. I personally use it to learn Spanish and to keep up on memorizing the vocabulary.

As for your concern about some of the translations, "raining cats and dogs" is an English idiom. It basically means that it is raining really, really hard outside. A few others that you have probably encountered like that are "it cost an arm and a leg," which means something is very expensive, or something like "It's time to go hit the hay/sack/sheets," which means it is time to go to sleep.

Duolingo isn't usually the best source to learn another language from because, like many of you have said, you are learning words and phrases out of context. I think that the out of context part might eventually be Duolingo's downfall in the language learning market.

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Honestly, I think it's the ease of use and accessibility of the app. Doulingo is extremely easy to get started with, and it eases you in to the language learning process. As with any app, it's not going to be the exact same as learning in a real-world setting, but it's great for vocabulary, phrases, and basics in pronunciation.

The way Doulingo teaches is also very much so like a game, which encourages users not only to get started but also to keep coming back! It's easy to start learning a language when you're excited and motivated, but keeping that motivation going can be rough, so the game-like aspect aids in easing that process. Even the user interface looks not unlike a game's interface.

Overall, Duolingo isn't perfect, and it's not going to make you completely fluent, but as far as language learning apps go, it's (in my opinion) one of the best apps out there. I just wish there were more languages available!

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Duolingo is the only app ive used everyday that turned my language practice into a habit! I recently discovered memrise tho and it looks good too... havent ised bussu... only thing i dont like about duolingo is sometimes my streak gets broken even tho ive finished a lesson that day! Must be because im not onlinr everyday...

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I started with Spanish, a language I've studied in the past but never mastered. I tried using Duolingo to improve my skills, and I couldn't be happier with the results. The Web app is fun to use and gives you real Web content to practice reading and translating.

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i downloaded Duolingo and I started learning Spanish, but as someone of you mentioned above, it usually gives me some words out of context so I end up not really being sure how to use them in a sentence or such. Then, I have to use Google to try to learn more.

However, it is a fun application, allows you to compete with other learners and has a lot of pictures that can really visualize the words, phrases and such for a learner.

I will definitely search for some other sources to learn Spanish, but I will not remove Duolingo from my phone. :)

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