Written By Navoneel Sen (Grade 10)
What is language? Language is a mode of communication. We can understand each other by means of language. Now, what if we speak different languages, but do not know how to talk to a person who does not understand our language. Never mind, because America has finally developed an app named Duolingo-where we learn English for free. Not only does it do a free English course, but we can also take courses in many languages like French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, German, and many more. Another thing that really makes Duolingo convenient is that it is completely ad-free, unlike other apps, who remove the ads on premium. Duolingo also has a premium level- Duolingo Plus, but even on normal Duolingo, there are no ads to hamper your course.
The first thing when you open Duolingo is that you will get an option to either login or sign up. If you already have an account you can log in, but if you don’t have an account, you can either sign up or you can log in using Google or Facebook. After you have logged in, you need to choose the language you want to learn. Among these languages, Klingon is a fictional comic language, and you can even learn that.
After you have selected your course they will offer you some goals, such as learning 200 words in 20 minutes, or so on. You can always change these goals whenever you want, or whenever you feel like the course is tiresome. Also, you can select more than one course. For example, you want to learn English at the same time you want to learn Spanish. So, you can select a new course and then click on the language you want to learn. They will also ask you for what purpose are you learning the new language like business, travel, personal use, etc.
Immediately after selecting your language, they will first give you some pictures or sentences, written in their respective languages. The pictures will have the object as well as the word is written in that language, and when you select the picture, then there will be a voiceover that will help you with the pronunciation. In the case of sentences, they will give you the sentence, with an underline, which on clicking, will show you a drop-down list of the word or words. You can either choose the words given below by taking hints from the underline, or you can do your own guess. In case, you answer all questions correctly till question no.6, they will give you a harder level, in which you have to translate an English sentence into that language and believe me, most people cannot pass that level without making mistakes. Then there are also some questions in which you have to speak what you hear. There is a microphone that you press and the pronunciation will come pretty fast. But there is a button next to the pronunciation button, where the pronunciation comes slowly, and you can recite what you hear, more accurately.
Once you have passed the levels, you will earn the Duolingo currency, known as Lingots, and earn XPs.With those Lingots, you can enable new features(which are variable). If you do it every day, it will turn into a streak. If you fail to continue for some days, the streak will freeze. After your XP has increased to probably 18-19 XP (mind you, your XP is reduced every day you don’t practice) in the first few days, they will enter you into the bronze league, and then gradually you will go to the silver league, and then most probably gold league. In Duolingo, you can also search for your friends, and add them to your friend list and play together. You can also invite your friends to Duolingo and get rewards for your shoutout.
Duolingo is really a very good, ad-free (yet with a premium upgrade) app, which is helpful for not only people who want Spoken English classes but also for people who want to learn a foreign language for their own personal use. I would recommend this wonderful app to everyone as it helps a person broaden his knowledge of the language, and also helps those who are weak at English. It is available in Google Play Store and App Store.This is a really useful app, so please install it, and increase your knowledge about other languages.
Featured Image Courtesy – Campaign US