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Duolingo monetization idea: Why not have advertisers sponsor native translations?

I know that Duolingo is currently experimenting with various means of monetizing this incredible platform. I recently started using the iOS app for Japanese, and was shocked to find advertisements that take time and therefore get in the way of seamless language learning. Why not have advertisers sponsor translations? Native advertising is a growing trend that consumers have reacted less aversely too than standard advertising. For example, food companies could sponsor ads in the food section, like: "Coca-Cola is a tasty drink," or, "I like to eat hamburgers at McDonald's." Thoughts?

May 30, 2017



Something similar was the original inspiration of Duolingo and formed the basis of the Immersion functionality. However, it was never going to produced sufficient funds to finance Duo at its current size and I imagine your idea would have similar limitations.


I think they should offer lingots in exchange for viewing advertisements. That would make it easier for new users to afford things like unique lessons, timed tests, and streak freezes, and long term users--who have likely built up a healthy amount of lingots--wouldn't be bothered by intrusive advertising.


And who's gonna do the translations? The users? That's called "unpaid work / free labor" and it's the main reason why immersion was closed. They could pay the users and keep a percentage, but who's gonna do the quality control? It just doesn't work.


Duolingo staff could hire translators with revenue earned.


are you suggesting that revenue earned from user translations would go to hire paid translators?


Advertisers pay for native advertising on Duolingo. They pay Duolingo--users don't do any work for advertisers, they aren't translating for them, they are simply being exposed to advertising in a way that doesn't hamper or disrupt their language learning.


The need to avoid or manage mixing hired and volunteer translation work is probably the biggest issue with this idea.

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