Some Needed Perspective and High praise
I just wanted to say a word about Duolingo (¡Te amo!) and the many unbelievable unrealistic expectations some users express here that I see so much of. Well, not so much a word but a list of facts borrowed from the following link, slightly modified, to lend some grounded perspective.
Duolingo has over 120 million students! (and many more by now!)
Just under 3/4 (closer to 60% at that time, not sure what it is today.) of Duolingo's students are taking the English from Spanish course! (Wow!)
Duolingo has 60 employees! (I read 90 on another thread, but still!)
The ratio of employees to students is 1 to 2,000,000! (Yeah, I'm sure this ratio is much greater by now.)
Duolingo is written in a language that is not being taught in its own website!
Duolingo was created by two people: Luis Von Ahn and Severin Hacker!
The website was launched on November 30, 2011!
Duolingo has its own headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA!
As of today [October 15, 2016], there are 20 language courses available for English speakers! (Today, Sept. 3rd, 2018, I counted 30 from English alone!)
In 2013, Apple chose Duolingo as its iPhone App of the Year, the first time this honor had been awarded to an educational application!
In my opinion, for what you are paying for, and let's admit it, most of us aren't, you are getting access to an amazing learning tool, and in a quality you don't find in most (if any) paid applications. What these people have managed to accomplish here, especially in such a small time frame is nothing short of phenomenal and for me personally, a welcome miracle.
So, I, myself, say thank you to the founders and staff of this program without whom I would not have this opportunity otherwise. God bless you all!
...and when all else fails and you can't remember this list, then simply remember this...
THIS SITE IS FREE!!! Stop complaining!
I'm sorry but this degree of fanboying is too much for me.
We are not students. We are users. To called users students is to assert a relationship between the users and Duolingo that does not exist. I'm teaching myself my target languages and one tool that I use is Duolingo, Duolingo is not the teacher in this equation. They are simply a tech company providing a tool that I use.
Even then assuming you don't pay, You still have access to a tool that rivals a lot of paid services duolingo has made mistakes in the past but i would say that currently the platform is a very effective tool for learning,
As a wikipedian, I have a different point of view on this. Of course Duo has no direct personal human to human interaction with you. No doubt about that. But they are in fact the teacher. Computers are machines. Every information you get on the internet has been made available by humans. Even if you use a currency converter that gives you a very specific calculation based on your number input and at the time you decide, someone else wrote a program and told the program the formula, where to get the current ratio and designed the way the ui is displayed beforehand. A human. That's because computers can't make decisions.
Duolingo has over 120 million students! (and many more by now!)
A less unrealistic expectation of DL might be that people on this forum who re-post someone else's list of trivia from two years ago would go to the trouble of actually finding out what the current figures are.
Waves to Garpike :D
Garpike brings up the bit about the data being outdated, here are some updates. I don't list updates for all of it because, well, the Wikipedia page has a lot of info that probably fills the rest in.
300,000,000 registered users worldwide as of this year source.
More than 25 million of those users are "active users". Here is how Duolingo counts "Active users". (Sorry for the vagueness with "more than". I'm working on info provided by the link.)
Duolingo has 95 staff, according to Wikipedia.
While Duolingo opened to beta testers in 2011, it did not launch for the general public until June 19, 2012. (Also Wikipedia, along with several other bits of updated data).
Thanks for that. This recent article in the FT says DL currently has 130 employees (it also says 200m users, which I'll take as a typo/sloppy journalism as I'm sure I saw your 300m figure in an official DL post somewhere). I also think I read a figure of over a hundred staff somewhere linked from this forum quite a few months ago.
FT article is behind a paywall T_T. Staff numbers have been climbing in recent months. But, I didnt have a figure, so, I went with what I could cite. Ty for that!
How fluent are you in all those Languages you've studied? I'd be very intetrested to hear your perspective given you have a streak of well over 1000 days and so many Languages?
They did add something of their own: Liberal amounts of exclamation marks! (Sorry, couldn't resist)
Besides the short times I get to practise Portuguese on my Brazilian family when they visit, Duolingo is the foundation of my learning. It's great to get a basic understanding and I know my Portuguese would be very poor without it, plus the fact that it's free, no complaints!
I really like DuoLingo and appreciate the opportunity to become familiar with other languages in the convenience and comfort of my own home, on my own schedule. I have no expectation that sitting in front of my computer will make me fluent, only immersion can help with that, but I am enjoying my process (and I'm amusing my family with some of the odd sentences I can make with the restricted vocabulary that I've learned so far....) Thank you DuoLingo - I'm glad I found you!!
Here is a link to a TED talk by Luis von Ahn about the creation of Duolingo which gives the extraordinary origin of DL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQl6jUjFjp4
"Luis von Ahn, the man who brought the world CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA unveiled his newest and most innovative project to date: Duolingo. How can you translate the entire internet and do it for free? Duolingo will be a revolutionary product in which millions of internet users from around the world will work together to translate the internet and learn a new language at the same time. All for free.
Luis von Ahn is the A. Nico Habermann Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He builds systems that combine humans and computers to solve large-scale problems that neither can solve alone."
Duolingo is amazing. I recommend it to my friends who are interested in foreign languages.
Thank you for the post. I, too, am a big fan of duolingo. It isn't perfect, but it is nonetheless an amazing, FREE, tool.
By the way, I found this post because I was thrilled that duolingo had added another five levels of stories to its German offerings, and I wanted to put in a good word.
Thanks duolingo, may you ever remain free. (Sadly, I expect that's not what the future holds!)