Popular free language learning service Duolingo launched its first mobile App for Android which could potentially double its user base.
In today’s world, knowing a second language is almost as important as knowing how to use the computer. That being said, most people don’t have the time to learn a second language or the money to pay for language software. Luckily, more companies have started offering free language services, with Duolingo emerging as one of the best. Today, they have expanded their reach with the launch of their first mobile App for Android. Before this, Duolingo was only available on the web and iPhone.
The new Android app has many of the same features available on the iPhone. Like the iOS version, the Android app features numerous online-only exercises though there are plans to allow users to cache an hour’s worth of lessons for offline use as well. The lessons are designed specifically with the smaller mobile keyboard in mind. Rather than typing out a word, the app allows users to enter answers by tapping on full words. The current app does not have the speech recognition that Duolingo recently introduced to the iPhone, however the company plans on releasing this feature in several weeks. This feature allows users to go beyond reading and writing comprehension and actually start speaking. The service then uses speech recognition to measure how close a user’s pronunciation is to a native speaker.
Aside from that, the app will also feature all of the standard and effective Duolingo exercises available in Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, English and Italian. How effective are these exercises? According to an independent study, it takes a person with no prior knowledge of a foreign language 26-49 hours to learn a new language with Duolingo versus a full semester of Spanish classes in a university.
Currently the service has around 3 million users. Duolingo hopes that the introduction of the app to Android will double their user base to 6 million, especially in Latin America as this market tends to use the service for longer than any other regions. The app is completely free to download.
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