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A Year Of Duolingo

Four years ago, my uncle learned Italian and traveled to Italy without problems communicating with people. He even learned how to cook the original Italian pizza in its native land by native chefs and now he owns an Italian restaurant in an Arab country.

That made me wonder: Does learning a language open more doors for success to you?

I asked him where he learned Italian and then was the time when I discovered this site. There was no course in Arabic at that time and my English was not good enough, so I did not continue my learning and then lost interest in learning a new language. But after three years when I visited the site, I found a course of English for Arabic speakers was added. I then started doing the course right after and got the golden owl in just a few weeks :) I did the progress test, too and this was my result =) (5/5)


This result did not come from the first time, I did the test three times until I came to this encouraging result. This made me immerse even more in English by watching movies, reading books, articles, etc. And this is how my English is now, how do you feel about it? let me know.

At the end, I want to thank Duolingo staff and all those who contributed to Arabic courses especially the English one ♥

July 4, 2017



Your story, and your uncle's, is so inspiring! Congratulations on your "Duoversary"! Your English is amazing as well. :)


You do sound like a native.


Hi IlyaAls!

I’m so glad you decided to share your story, I've always noticed your strong presence in the Arabic forum.

One of the reasons I decided to contribute to this course was knowing how much a second language -especially if English- can change one’s life. If I do my current job in a company that doesn’t require English fluency, I’d have -at best- gotten 2/3 of my current salary.

But I learned English the looong way, reading Agatha Christie with a dictionary and watching 10 seasons of Friends with subtitles was just the beginning. But looking back, I’m so glad and proud that even though I didn’t get the privilege of a proper foreign language education, I still made it!

I started using Duolingo to learn French maybe a year before contributing. When I went to L’Institut Francais d'Egypte to test my French, the examiner was a little puzzled because of my weird vocab, she told me I’ve a strong vocab but it’s not like anything she has seen before from a beginner. My grammar didn’t match the strength of my vocab and so she asked me: “Can you tell me a little bit about your education? Which school did you go to?”, having learned English the hard way I was proud when I told her that I was not a jesuite student failing his French class, but that I’m learning on my own using a mobile app, she graded me Level 5 (middle of A2 in DELF).

Never could I have moved so quickly without the En>Fr course on Duolingo so you can imagine how happy I am to know that the same could possibly happen to the 10 Million Arabs who have taken the Ar>En course , listening to your story makes me believe in that.

PS: I hope your uncle’s restaurant is in Cairo, I’d love to taste his pasta!


wow....I've learn Duolingo 3 years ago...And I've lost 200 streak, 100 streak,...Stay fabulous!



nice story. Very good readable - nice layouted.

Oh nice, you have been learning the German language!

And what are you personal plans as you learned English and you are learning Japanese?
Probably not opening your own Italian restaurant? :-)

Personally I would not know how to live without being able read, listen and write (not necessarily speak) English.
How could you do so for a longer time? ;)
English language applies to even very small things in your life like:

  • RC model flying and where you e.g install English transmitter firmware, join RC model forums to interact with other pilots, go to www.helifreak.com, www.rcgroups.com to check for known Rc model flight controller or receiver bugs, etc.

  • watching wakeboarding / kitesurfing invert trick videos

  • etc.
    When I was in Egypt / El Gouna 2006 for Kitesurfing vacation the European staff were either Germans (kite trainers, station manager, etc.) trainers being from France or at least also speaking French or were communicating quite good (especially staff living in the Arabic country) in English.
    I would not have been able to learn or speak Arabic.
    BTW: There are also many kiters from the Netherlands who visit Egypt regulary :)

I could have been speaking NL, French or even Russian (there was this one girl who belonged to one kite trainer) at that time. Surely, enough people would have been there to practice with me....so I had to only focus on German and English.

So yeah, I think learning multiple languages definitely opens your world and opens new doors.
Actually, I feel quite sad that I did not do so - besides English - before, for the past 10+ years :(

Good luck with your further studying!

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