Learning a Language Abroad: Duolingo

Through my travels, I have heard a lot of conversation about learning a new language and for sure, I’ve received many questions on how I learned Spanish (post coming soon). I have heard of Duolingo for a long time now, but it wasn’t until my roommate or flatmate said it had the Czech language (it doesn’t as it’s still in the Beta/invite only stage).

It’s very addicting and I found it very entertaining. I selected to learn French and then, for fun, added Spanish. If you have read some of my other posts, you may know that I speak Spanish at a C1 and C2 language. Much to the app’s annoyance (I am sure), I entered the last level of Spanish in the app. It then asked me how good my Spanish was before I used the app. I can just see it, if it was a person, with its arms crossed tapping its foot for wasting its time haha.


I haven’t taken any formal French classes and managed to score a level or 2 in the app. In actuality, I have taken free online placement exams for French and have gotten B level. I guess that just shows how similar French and Spanish are as much as my native speakers in those languages disagree (all romance languages are similar to me).

The app tests different parts of a language- vocab, pronouns, conjugation of verbs, etc. After studying Spanish for many years, have taken several Czech classes, and taught English, there are things the app can do better such as introducing new vocab. However, what more can you ask for on the free version?

After every level and activity you earn points and you can “purchase” things with them such as how to flirt in French.


For fun, I sometimes switch to Spanish in which I discovered some mistakes, which made me wonder about French- if I’m learning correctly or not. I also see that this app doesn’t really test listening or speaking. At the end of the day, it’s an amusing app, which helps you learn some things about a language, pass the time with some productivity, and all for free.

Of course, the best way to learn a language is to live in a country that speaks that language and make an attempt to immerse yourself. Since English is now widely used, it is easy to hide behind it.

All the best in your language journey! I just found my experience with this app amusing and by no means do I promote it over the tried and true method of learning a language- living abroad (it also gives you the excuse to travel). I simply wanted to share my experience.

Au revoir, hasta luego, and see you next time!


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