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Basic Rules and FAQ in Duolingo (If you're new, please read this!) - Help Center Summary

Hello everyone,

Here is a basic summary of how Duolingo works.
Most of the links in this post will link you to the Duolingo Help Center.
The Help Center can also be found in a few different languages.

Would you like to help us keep the forum clean and tidy?

  • For the sake of a tidier and cleaner forum, we kindly request you to scroll, or search for a post or comment asking the same thing you would like to know before posting. Google (or another browser) is also a very useful option.
  • For the sake of a tidier and cleaner forum, we kindly request you to read the "Tips & Notes" before asking a question in the sentence discussions.

Thank you, sincerely!

A Few Notes & Frequently Asked Questions

  • You get an "Owl" when you finish a tree (explained below). You can see your and other users' trees on Duome.eu (explained below).
  • Duolingo will not help you get fluent in a language. You will get pretty far with Duolingo, but it cannot be the only tool to fluency.
  • The Lightbulb next to a lesson (on the Homepage, when you click on a lesson) is called the "Tips & Notes". There you can learn all kinds of interesting facts, tips, and helps for the lessons you're about to plunge in to.
  • The Key next to a lesson (on the Homepage, when you click on a lesson) is a test. Doing that test is called "Testing Out of a Skill".
  • Duolingo is sometimes abbreviated to "DL".
  • There are often XP contests, or competitions, here on Duolingo. You will see them in the Forums. There are a few rules concerning making one. Rule 1 and Rule 2.
  • The Reverse Tree. Let's assume you're learning French from English. Then the reverse tree would be learning English from French.
  • Laddering. Let's assume you're learning French from English. Laddering would be learning another language from French.


A Tree

On the Home Page there are a bunch of lessons or skills (the round balls) in the language you chose when you logged into Duolingo for the first time (or in a language you added afterward (see "Adding a Language (to your profile)"). All these balls teaching a specific language is called a "Tree". So, for example, we have a German tree, a French tree, a Dutch tree, etc..

Also, merkavar posted a funny explanation to the question "What is a tree?" a while back! Here is the link. Check it out!

A Reverse Tree

A "Reverse tree" is when you 'learn' your native language from your Target Language (the language(s) that you are learning).

Say, for example, someone is learning French from English. Then doing the "reverse tree" would be to 'learn' English from French.

NOTE: See "Changing the Language You Speak" below.

Adding a Language (to your profile)

To add a language to your profile:

  • Click on your profile picture (or where your profile picture would have been if you don't have one)
  • A box should pop-up with two headers: "Notifications", and "Account".
  • Under "Account", click "Settings". This will take you to Settings.
  • On the right side there is a list. Click "Learning Language"
  • Then you should see a bubble with the name of the language you are currently learning, click on it, and choose a language
  • Click "Save Changes" in the top right corner of the page.
  • Go "Home", and start learning!

Changing the Language You Speak

To change the language you're speaking, or the language the Duolingo page will appear to you in:

  • Click on your profile picture (or where your profile picture would have been if you don't have one)
  • A box should pop-up with two headers: "Notifications", and "Account".
  • Under "Account", click "Settings". This will take you to Settings.
  • On the right side there is a list. Click "Learning Language"
  • Then you should see a blue bubble button which has "See all language courses" written on it. Click that button
  • Now, in the top right corner you will see the words "I speak:" and the name of the language your page is currently in next to it. Click the down arrow, and change the language

Resetting and Removing Languages

To remove a language from your profile:

  • Click on your profile picture (or where your profile picture would have been if you don't have one)
  • A box should pop-up with two headers: "Notifications", and "Account".
  • Under "Account", click "Settings". This will take you to Settings.
  • On the right side there is a list. Click "Learning Language"
  • Then you should see written (under a blue bubble saying "see all language courses") the words "Reset or remove languages"
  • Click on it
  • Go ahead and reset and/or remove languages, but beware that THIS CANNOT BE UNDONE!

The Crowns

You get a Crown when you completed one level of a lesson, or skill. You can see how many Crowns you have in the top right corner of the Home Page near your profile picture (on the website).

Daily Goal

Your Daily Goal is a certain amount of XP (experience points) that you make in 24 hours. This time goes from midnight (in the time zone that your computer/laptop/phone is set to) to midnight.

To set your Daily Goal:

  • Hover your mouse over the flame in the top right corner of your screen in the Home Page
  • A box should pop-up
  • Click "Edit Goal" in the top right corner
  • This will take you to Settings, where you can choose your Daily Goal.
  • Remember to click "Save Changes" when you're finished!

A Streak

If you complete your Daily Goal every day you make a Streak. Your Streak will be the amount of days that you did your Daily Goal in a row. Your Streak will break when you miss a day.

You can see how long your streak is in the top right corner of the screen (the number next to the flame).

Streak Freeze

If you want to keep your Streak even if you didn't reach your XP goal for a day, then you can buy a Streak Freeze from the Shop. Everything in the Shop can be purchased with Lingots.

You can find the Shop at the top of the screen.

Other things you can by in the Shop will be discussed soon. :)


Lingots are Duolingo's virtual currency.

You can also use them to buy cool stuff in the Store :)

(Scroll down to the bottom of the Store page to see other ways you can get more lingots.)

Plus that, another way to get lingots is to make good and useful posts and comments. Everyone appreciates them! (To give someone a lingot, select "Give Lingot" under a deserving comment or post that they created.(

The Leaderboard (Friends)

On the Leaderboard (Friends) you can see the amounts of XP the people you have followed has gained.

Following & Searching For Someone

To follow someone, you click on the "Follow" button on their profile. You get to their profile by clicking on their username when you see them in the Forums or you can search them up.

To search them you can click on the Search button below the Leaderboard (Friends).

Blocking Someone

If you want to block someone, click on the little gear in the top-right corner of their profile. This won't stop you from seeing their posts and comments in the Forum, but this will stop them from Following/Unfollowing you.

Following Posts

If you want to follow a post someone made, click on the "Follow" button in the top-right corner of their post. This will add their post to your "Followed Posts" section in the Discussion Tab (and send you Emails of all the comments posted on that thread. You can set that by going to Settings > Notifications).

Double or Nothing

Okay. Back to the Store! In there you will find "Double or Nothing". To do this you will wager 5 Lingots, and then try to keep your Streak for 7 days. At the end of 7 seven days, you will get 7 lingots for the 5 you wagered!

Warning: If you lose your Streak after wagering your lingots, you will lose those 5 lingots. You won't get them back!

Timed Practice

Time Practice gives you the option of finishing a lesson under a certain time.
You get this feature once you get 5 Crowns!

Bonus Skills

The Bonus Skills differ in different languages. Some languages have more than others, and some only have some in certain times (e.g. A Christmas Bonus Skill in the Christmas season).

The Bonus Skills only have 1 level, whereas the normal lessons in a tree have 5 levels.

"Search"ing the Forums

There is a Search option in the Discussion Forum, where you can search for words.

In my opinion, it's not that good, so don't rely on it fully, though it can be useful if you're looking for a certain sentence, word or username. Something specific.

Duolingo Stories

The Duolingo Stories now has it's own Tab. It currently has short stories in 4 different languages.


When you hover your mouse over "More" at the top of the screen, you will see "Events", "Podcast", "Dictionary", and "Words".

Duolingo Events

The Duolingo Events lets users connect with other Duolingo learners around you in real life! Practice your communication skills and meet members of the wonderful Duolingo community.

Duolingo Podcasts

The Duolingo Podcasts is only in Spanish!

Duolingo Dictionary

The Duolingo Dictionary can be found in a milliard different languages. I will list the languages (from English) below:



The Words Tab lets you see the words that you've learned in a specific language.

Not all languages have this tab.


The Help Center gives you most of the explanations about things you want to know.

You can find a link to this when hovering your mouse over your profile picture.


Check out the Notifications. They might be useful to check out, and set!


Duome.eu is a "Unofficial, but still amazing" website stemming from Duolingo, that gives all kind of interesting information about people's profiles.

If you want to search for someone on Duome.eu, you can either search for them straight from the website, or you can search for them by

This will take you directly to their Duome profile!

Your and Others' Progress

Your Progress
Others' Progress

The knowledge is thanks to FredrikVC.


Using Duolingo


Technical Problems
Reporting Issues
Duolingo Plus

About Duolingo for Schools


Fun And Important

Formatting Codes in Duolingo (Markdown)

I hope you find this useful, and if you're new here, WELCOME!!!!

Thank you! AP4418

October 28, 2018



I really love the time put into this, but I think there are some things that could be added as well. :)

Again, these are just ideas, but I think these could really help people. (if anyone actually reads this whole post, lol) I'd just add that into something like "Helpful Discussions", "Guides", etc. Anyways, great post, Dessert-Rose. Have a great day!

P.S. Just gave this 21 lingots! So glad you wrote this all out!




Thank you so much, Gwuagle, I'm adding them now. :)


Hey, thanks! Happy to help, and to see the early response. I feel so honored! Happy to see it's there now, thanks again!


^^ Teehee, I had the link to your comment in a notepad for 3 days before I got to linking it...lol! :) Anyway, thank you of linking them. ;)


Well, thank you for inputting them!


Many thanks from a long time mod who's been posting and re-posting bits and pieces of these over time. It's great to have them all in one place.

  1. , Of course, I'm bookmarking this.
  2. I'll be passing it along to learners a lot

Yes, I too wish this could be made available to all learners from the start.

Please could you include this Greek-English - Greek dictionary link?

LEXILOGOS https://www.lexilogos.com/english/greek_dictionary.htm

And remind learners to:

Read the comments before posting Read the Drop Down hints And include a screenshot when they encounter a problem

And once more thank you


I'll passing it along to learners a lot

That will be awesome! Hopefully it will minimize the amount of posts. Thank you very much! :D

Also, I'm curious as to why you would like the dictionary link to be in my post? I don't mind, but I'm rather confused. :)

And remind learners to...

I added them. Good idea!

Have a great day!


Re the dictionary link I now realize what you have are the Duo dictionary links not internet links. Sorry

I should have read.it more carefully. .


No problem! :D Enjoy your day (and thanks for the suggestions once again, they're all great ideas!)!


Awesome guide! I will link this to anybody I find asking or saying "I'm new here!" Thanks for sharing! :D


Thanks and you're welcome!


Dessert-Rose, you may have already done this: if you come across a " MOD's " post, perhaps 'reply' by sharing the link to your Post with them. Ask if it could become a sticky. ?? Just an idea. Really: as soon as someone joins they should be shown this ;) . Blessings to you!


Hi! I would rather not ask for a sticky, but wait until a MOD sees it fit to sticky my post. It feels to me like being too forward! XD
Glad you like it!

Blessings to you too! :)


You probably know about this already, dear, but just in case not...


Now if you think you'd be a great moderator, all you have to do is to fill out our application form :)


*(sure wish there was a way to recommend you!!)


There was a way to recommend people for GA positions, but that's over now I think. I'm very honored! Thank you!

I may apply, but whether I'll become one depends on if there is an open position for one. Anyways, thank you so much! I'll consider applying now.

Have a great day! :D


Please reply here if it works out. I'd be delighted for you! :D


I will! Just have to get a bit more active on Duolingo if I want to be a Mod, because I've been taking a break lately. ;D



Aww, thanks. I hope they do see it!! I've saved your post and various links to refer back to. I'd like to follow you if that's okay? Perhaps that way I won't miss any new Golden Owly Learning Treasures you post :D


Following me won't change whether you see my posts or not. Imagine if we got notifications of the threads the people we follow post! Wouldn't that be nice? It's not the case (yet!!), but you never know what Duo has in store. ;)


UPDATE: I added an extra section to the "Duome" section, which explains how to see your own or another's progress on Duome.

The knowledge and this update is thanks to FredrikVC.


Thank you very much! I needed this!


People are posting as if Duolingo has you talk into a microphone. Is that only for some languages? I didn't realize I could do anything but translate what was written, and type what I hear.


Hi Carmen! Yes, Duolingo has a Microphone thingy for lessons. You can turn it on here. :)


Other people in this thread have commented that Dessert-Rose's post should be made a sticky.

Please upvote https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/31315758 which requests that Dessert-Rose's "Basic Rules and FAQ in Duolingo", which is the post that you are reading right now, should be a sticky.



excellent- Thanks.


Hey Rose! I wanted to know something: when you click on someone's profile, under their name you sometimes see a description put there by the person. How do you add that description?


Hi Miraculous410! Sorry for the late comment.

When you click on, or hover your mouse over your profile picture in the top right corner of your screen, a list will "pop-down". Select "Settings". Then go to "Profile" in the list on the right-hand-side. There you can change your name, location and bio. :)

Have a wonderful December!


His Dessert-Rose. I know this is a whole month late but thanks for helpin'! I hope you had a great New Year's. :)


I am on level 12 in the Dutch course and it seems to have a problem when I type in the words, it is very slow. Is there anything I can do about it? I have checked that my keyboard is working correctly and my computer is also fine. What can I do to speed up the typing, thanks.


UPDATE: I just added a new section to the post "Basic Rules and FAQ in Duolingo (If you're new, please read this!) - Help Center Summary (Updated)".

Check it out and tell me what you think! :D


Even though this post is a couple months old, could you add in the Labs section the Dictionary?


Sure! Thanks for pointing it out, JJ. :D

EDIT: Adding it now (may take a while).


small correction. the dictionaries are not "from English", they are from your current language. So when you are laddering or doing the reverse tree the dictionary will change.


For your information, I believe that there also French podcasts, not just Spanish. You might want to edit...


Thanks for posting this post Dessert-Rose! We need more people like you on Duolingo! :) Many thanks and Happy Learning!


Thank you so much and you're welcome! :)


totally need more people who think about others on websites 1st (like u) <:)


Aw, thank you! There are many more as well. They make Duolingo the great place it is today.


There is a duolingo podcast for French too. I wrote something similar to this and I didn’t know you have written about this. Thank you and please update some informations.


just gave this 10 lingots its amazing!


Thank you! I'm glad it helped you


Wow. Thank you very much. I just managed to delete a language I had accidentally added. Have a lingot or two on me!


Thank you and you're welcome!


I want to keep going, but the program says I’m out of hearts and it appears I’m frozen. What’s up with that?


why in french is the familiar tu used rather than vous, which is spoken more frequently.


Hi, I‘ve been keep it up all the way to level 4 and suddenly I am on the bottom line. Why am I losing my points? This is not the first time it happened, I don’t understand.


Hi! I'm sorry, is this on the leaderboards?


Hi, I‘ve been keep it up all the way to level 4 and suddenly I am on the bottom line. Why am I losing my points? This is not the first time it happened, I don’t understand.


this is amazing, must have taken a very long time to write. Lots of lingots to you from me!


Hi, I made #1 top score last night but I didn’t received my achievement score...


Hi, sorry, I don't know what to do about that. You may want to ask a Mod or post in the Troubleshooting forum. Have a great day!


Hi, I made #1 top score last night but I didn’t received my achievement score...

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