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An idea to improve multiple language learning on Duolingo.

Hey there, Duolingo community. I recently thought of a small idea for this site which I think could minimize confusion when learning more than one language. So I would like to see what you all think. I have no idea if this has been mentioned before, but I haven't seen it around - so here goes. (Bare with me, I know it's a little long xD)

So, a while ago now, I finished my French tree and, after exclusively using Duolingo to learn French for about a year, I decided to take up Italian as well. Now I'm a student, quite young and used to learning and exam revision. I also did another language back in my high school years. Naturally then, I didn't expect there to be too much confusion when switching to learning another language. However, I found that when I did switch to learning Italian on Duolingo, my brain kept wanting to translate things in French. This is pretty normal, but it was becoming a real issue that was making learning Italian quite difficult. You'd probably point out that it's quite obviously because they are similar languages. Although this is true, I realised that this wasn't where the bulk of my problem was coming from. I will explain.

Basically, I discovered that since I'd only used Duolingo for French, I associated the Duolingo website, mainly the colors, with practising it. So the idea is that there could be an option, under your Duolingo settings, where you can switch the main website color to a different one per each language. Of course the default would stay blue, to not ruin the sites aesthetic and so people wouldn't have to use this feature if they didn't want to. It would also enable people to choose colors for a language according to what color reminds them of the language, and helps them learn best. For example, I could set French to default blue, Italian to green, and Spanish to red. This would help people learning multiple languages to not get mixed up as often and would certainly help my brain to get out of French mode, haha.

I find that color can be a powerful learning tool, and the brain can better differentiate between things which are of a different color. The tool could be under the 'learning language' option in the settings, and have a heading such as 'Interface color:' and a range of different colors to choose. I don't think it would be too difficult to implement, but then I'm not a programmer. xD.

Please let me know in the comments, or upvote if you would like to see this idea in Duolingo. Then hopefully this thread might get noticed. Also feel free to add additional ideas to this or just share what you think. :)

May 22, 2017



I've never personally confused the languages I've been learning on Duolingo. (Well, duh, I'd be quite smart or quite dumb to confuse Irish, French and Arabic together :D) But, based on my own reading, I know your suggestion can be immensely helpful in decreasing confusion. Thanks for sharing it. I hope it'll get noticed.


There is a userscript that changes the website background to a different flag for each course (not all courses supported):



Great find! Thinking I might download it, although I still wish that Duolingo would bring out an official version one day. :)


Great idea! I would upvote this, but for some reason right now it is not letting me vote on any post. :(


Thanks! :) And it's fine, I'm just glad that someone agrees, haha.


Oh, the button works now! I actually don't seem to have the problem with mixing the languages up based on colour, but it might help as I sometimes think of the French word for a Spanish lesson or the other way around.


Yeah, that happens to me all the time. When asked to translate English to Italian I always think of the French. And I also have a bit of synaesthesia (and I'm sure many others to do) which is where the colour issue may come from. xD


Hmm, this sounds like something that I would like to be implemented. It'll definitely help you out, so why would it not help out others? I really like this idea. Upvoted!


Thank you! I'm happy to see there's quite a lot of likes on this already, so hopefully Duolingo staff notice this at some point! :)


Thanks for the idea! ^-^ (I'm actually planning to finish the whole French course today so I could learn German tomoro lollllll XD)


No, thank you for your support! xD Goodluck with finishing your French tree, you shouldn't have much problems since the languages are pretty different. :)


Great idea if this is what works! I am fluent in French and have a working knowledge of Spanish. In my attempt to learn Italian, I can identify with what you say since I am stumped when I try to translate and come up with French or Spanish or a combination of both - never Italian.


Definitely! I just picked up Spanish and I must say I'm finding it a lot less confusing than Italian at the moment. Italian seems to share some of the same words as French (like 'il') except it means something else in Italian. So I think the idea would be especially helpful for those learning similar languages.

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