The Pros and Cons of the Duolingo App

Duolingo | Fluent for Free

I’m officially 42 days into my 100 days of learning Norwegian with Duolingo, and I thought I’d take a moment to talk about the difference between using the app, and using the desktop site. Because I am learning Norwegian right now, which is not one of the main languages, there will be some differences. So, if you are learning French, Spanish, German or another “main” language, you will have a few more options in the app and on the site.

I think that in order to gain a full perspective of Duolingo, and in order to master the course to the best of your abilities, it is necessary to use both the app and the desktop site. They both offer different experiences, and can be used in conjunction to provide a fuller perspective.

Pros of Using the Duolingo App

I’ll start this off positively! The Duolingo app is awesome for honing skills while on the go, or if you only have a few minutes and you aren’t near your computer. You can do a review session in under five minutes, and even get a little bit of a confidence boost.

I also really like using the app if I’m becoming frustrated with the desktop site. It’s easier, so I’ll give it a go if I haven’t quite internalized a lesson yet, and become frustrated. Instead of giving up completely, I’ll hop over to the app and do a few “Strengthen Skills” sessions for some vocab building, and confidence.

Finally, I don’t know whether this is just by chance, but I’ve noticed I get some different sentences on the app. This is a nice change, and can be helpful!

Cons of Using the Duolingo App

It’s easier, that’s a big one. Yes, this was also in the “pros” section, but it can defnintely be seen both ways. Using the desktop site forces you to actually type out most responses. The app has far more exercises that have you rearrange word tiles. This definitely helps if you’re struggling with a set of words and just want to build skills slowly, but may not be particularly great for actually learning how to build sentences on your own.

No Tips and Notes section in the app. A huge complaint I often see about duolingo is that there is no explanation of grammar, and zero context for the lessons. This is only true for the app! In fact, the Norwegian course has some great grammar resources and explanations in the Tips and Notes section for many of the lessons.

No comments section. If you use the desktop version, you can interact with the course creators and other users when you have a question about a certain sentence or word. This can be incredibly helpful in cases where the word doesn’t follow normal grammatical patterns, or in the case of colloquialisms. The comments are just so helpful!

Conclusion

The Duolingo app has been a great resource for me in my language learning journey, but I think it’s really important to utilize the features of the desktop site as well. If you only use the app, you’ll definitely miss out on key aspects of the language!

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