The popular language learning game, Duolingo, has finally launched with English courses for Hindi speakers today. Duolingo allows users to make use of their idle time by learning languages efficiently in a fun manner.
Duolingo’s gamification approach allows users of all ages to pass levels, rank against other players, earn points, and buy virtual items. The platform has attracted over 28 million beginner, intermediate, and advanced language learners in less than 2 years.
Apart from the inclusion of English courses for Hindi, Chinese, and Japanese speakers, the latest update that just went live brings you a new navigation bar with a cleaner design. Also, the new lesson end screens are packed with more stats.
The new version also brings exclusive access to the brand new ‘Duels’ feature to iOS device owners. The feature allows users to play against friends or other learners from around the world for increased stakes, and is fully integrated with Apple’s Game Center.
The game was created by two PhDs at the Carnegie Mellon University in the United States – Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker. Luis von Ahn is the inventor of reCAPTCHA, a crowdsourcing technology used worldwide to digitize millions of books every year.
The science-based language education platform was selected by Apple as iPhone App of the Year 2013, by TechCrunch as Best Education Startup 2013, and as Best of the Best for Android by Google. It is the #1 education app for both Apple and Android platforms. A recent independent study found that when using Duolingo for 34 hours, students learn the equivalent of one university semester (about 11 weeks) of language instruction.
The company has a pretty interesting business model. Duolingo is free for the users, but finances its platform using a crowdsourcing model. Users have the option of translating texts as a method to strengthen the skills they learn on Duolingo – for example, after learning food vocabulary, they have the option of translating a menu. Duolingo sells these translations to international media companies like CNN and BuzzFeed.
Duolingo currently offers 23 language courses and is already creating 20 other courses. The app has been downloaded 17 million times on iOS devices and 15 million times on Android devices.