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Can you really learn a foreign language only using duolingo?

Hi! I use duolingo less than a week and i m wondering if it really helps to learn a foreign language. I am asking because i don't remeber any word of these I have learnt so far and i want to know if i should keep using just the app or i should study from books at the same time??

September 5, 2017



Yes, it helps. No, it won't teach you to speak or write the language fluently on its own. It's an excellent tool, but it's just a tool, it's not a total language learning solution.


One way I look at is is that it is a good primer to get more familiar with vocab. What I mean by this is down the road individuals who use duolingo will likely have higher recognition, and possibly some type of maintaining words. One issue I have found with duolingo is that a lot of the sentences are not really practical, and their isn't really reciprocal-based practice of daily language use...which is kind of important. Their are things you can do to accompany duolingo to help you learn how to tangibly use the language—I know quite few having gotten function portuguese on my own—but I think its mostly vocab, a little grammar, a lot tacilty learned, sentence structure, spelling, and a little pronunciation, but not a ton of tactical use.

I mean the one exception I can think of though is portuguese from Spanish–because the languages are so similar—and having finished that with a lot of suplimental stuff, I can speak portuguese pretty well, just don't understand it great because, like I said, their isn't a lot of stuff based on reciprocal tangible language use. My view.


I agree. Lot's of sentences don't make sense, like not being not understood, but have no use.


As the other people in this thread have stated, no, the app is not enough. Things you can do to boost/supplement your understanding are:

  • Read elementary/preschool level books in french, it'll help you get the culture a bit and some metaphors and expressions

-Listen to french music, it'll help you to tune your ear to what it is supposed to sound like

-Watch some french youtubers with English subtitles to watch how they talk and how they sound, this also helps you pick up slang

-Talk to yourself in french if you don't get it or are having a hard time pronouncing it

-Take the time to physically write down the words you are hearing, this helps you remember them better.

-Speak to other humans who also speak the language or are learning, it's the best way to cement the language as a language and not a bunch of stuff to memorize.

Hope these help a bit and that you have fun learning!


Singers are usually the hardest thing to understand.


Do you have any links up your sleeve to French YouTubers?


Duolingo is the beginning, it is like 2 semesters in a school you will need more during and after Duolingo.


It's great to get you to a beginner/intermediate level and familiarise yourself with the language. But it's no way to achieve fluency. The ONLY way to achieve fluency is to immerse yourself with the language and talk to natives. Besides I find that when you get talking with natives it's interesting to know what life is like in their country etc. and eventually you forget you're practising the language and just start having an enjoyable conversation.


The short answer is, yes, duoLingo will help you learn a foreign language.

I have played with duoLingo for several years; as a supplement to some adult education French classes I was taking. And, it helped, but I was really not committed to learning a foreign language. I did not engage French everyday. So, my retention was not very long.

About four months ago, I had re-engaged duoLingo French, and built up a streak of about two weeks. So I set a goal, initially at 20 points per day and then throttled back to 10 points per day....which may not seem like much, but I have found that I feel much more familiar with French. It is something that I make a point of doing, everyday! Either: first thing in the morning before I go to work; or just as when I get home from work; or right before I retire for the evening....I hit it one of those times...everyday.

I engage new lessons, only if the strength level on all of my previous lessons are at 100%. So I am reviewing several days a week, but usually can take in 2-3 new lessons (or more) per week. And, I have found that when I need to do strengthening exercises, I actually go back and read the lesson material. In fact I now keep the lesson material open in a separate window, so that I can check on some of the grammatical rules while executing a lesson.

I think my casual reading of French has improved the most. The ability to hear French spoken at a native pace is improving, as is the ability to speak it (at least as well as the duoLingo voice recognition function can judge my speech).

I expect I will keep this up for a while, and will decide if I would like to continue lessons to improve my conversational French.

If I do, I feel my experience with douLingo will be an asset...if nothing else, as a confidence booster. Especially, if I engage the classwork on a daily basis as I have with duoLingo.

My advice: create or, as in my case, stumble into a process/schedule through experimenting with what works for you. A process that is easy for you to support/remember....and then enjoy the experience.

I am surprised as to how my feelings about French has changed in the past 4 months! What I really appreciate from my experience, is that I am beginning to understand some of the nuances of the language...I want what little French I can speak, to be mechanically sound...and I get that from duoLingo.

If you stay with it, I think your experience will be similar to mine.

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