Duolingo is an American language-learning website and mobile app. Users of Duolingo learn using “trees” tailored to their target language, with specific “skills” to practice vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation using spaced repetition Exercises can include written translation, reading and speaking comprehension, and short stories.
The idea for Duolingo was initiated at the end of 2009 in Pittsburgh by Carnegie Mellon University professor Luis von Ahn and his post-graduate student Severin Hacker. Von Ahn got motivated in Guatemala, where he saw how expensive it was to learn the English language in his community.
The project was originally sponsored by Luis von Ahn’s MacArthur fellowship and a National Science Foundation grant. The founders considered creating Duolingo as a nonprofit organization but Von Ahn judged this model as unsustainable.
On 19 October 2011, Duolingo reported that it had raised $3.3 million from a Series A first-round of financing, driven by Association Square Endeavors, with cooperation from creator Tim Ferriss and entertainer Ashton Kutcher’s contributing firm A-Grade Investments.
Duolingo sent off its private beta on 30 November 2011 and collected a holding up rundown of more than 300,000 people. The stage was sent off to the overall population on 19 June 2012, so, all in all, the holding up list had developed to around 500,000.
On 18 February 2014
Duolingo declared that it had raised $20 million from a Series C subsidizing round drove by Kleiner Caufield and Byers, with earlier financial backers likewise participating.
At this time, Duolingo had 34 workers and announced having around 25 million enrolled clients and 12.5 million dynamic users, though it later detailed a figure more like 60 million clients.
On 4 December 2019
It was reported that Duolingo brought $30 million up in a Series F financing round from Letters in order’s speculation organization CapitalG. The round esteemed Duolingo at $1.5 billion. Duolingo detailed 30 million dynamic clients as of now.
Headcount at the organization had expanded to 200, and new workplaces had been opened in Seattle, New York and Beijing. Duolingo wanted to utilize the assets to foster new items and further grow its group in areas like designing, business improvement, plan, educational program and content makers, local area effort, and showcasing.
Levels, Experience points, Badges
Duolingo courses are built upon the concept of a “tree”. Trees are composed of skills, which focus on a specific aspect of the target language. Trees are usually split into sections, or units, containing a chunk of related skills. Skills can be vocabulary and grammatically based, but other skills relating to color, idioms, relationships, and countries are also featured in courses.
Skills are composed of six levels: levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and Legendary. Users progress through levels on skills by practicing the lessons a certain number of times, usually 2 to 6, depending on the skill. Users also have the option to “test out” into the next level on a skill.
Users also have the option to test out of entire units within a course. When users complete a lesson or test out, they are rewarded XP. Users are also tested on prior knowledge in future lessons as lessons will call back to previously learned words and expect the user to be able to apply them in new sentences. (experience points). The lessons can include matching, translating, speaking, and multiple choice.
Duolingo likewise gives a serious space. In Associations, individuals can contend with their companions or perceive how they stack facing the other world in arbitrarily chosen groupings of up to 30 clients. There are also ranking in leagues which are determined by the amount of XP earned.
Badges are also found in Duolingo which represent achievements that are earned from completing specific objectives or challenges.
Duolingo provides “Duolingo for Schools”, with features designed to allow teachers to track students’ progress in language acquisition.
In 2012, an effectiveness study concluded that Duolingo usage for Spanish study was more effective than classroom language-learning alone, but that Duolingo was less effective for advanced language-learners One proposed reason for this is that the grammar-translation method that Duolingo primarily uses is more applicable to simple words and phrases than to complex ones; simpler ones can translate in a more exact manner from one language to another and thus are more conducive to Duolingo’s method.
Most of the features are free but there is advertising which can removed by subscribing to the premium membership. This feature is known as “Duolingo Plus” and includes benefits such as unlimited hearts, level skipping, and progress quizzes. Forbes reported that Duolingo derived 50% of its revenue from ads, 48% from in-app purchases, and 2% from its Duolingo English Test.
Duolingo utilizes the Amazon Web Services (AWS) product suite, including Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, nearly 200 virtual instances in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). The website’s backend is written in the programming language Python.