Learning a Language for Free While Translating the Web. Does Duolingo Work?

Ignacio Garcia


Duolingo, a free online language learning site, has as its mission to help users to learn a language while simultaneously using their learning exercises to translate the web. Language is learned through translation with, according to developers, Duolingo being as effective as any of the leading language learning software. For translating the web, machine translation is not good enough and relying only on professional translators, far too expensive. Duolingo, we are told, offers a third way, with translation as a by-product of its language learning. Translation which will be, if as promised, almost as cheap as if done by machines and almost as good as if by professionals. Launched in June 2012, Duolingo boasts already at the time of writing 300,000 active language learners ready for the task. This article independently assesses the extent to which Duolingo, at its current stage of development, meets those expectations.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v3n1p19

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)   E-mail: ijel@ccsenet.org

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