Many people ask, just how many languages can be learned on Duolingo?
As of October 2023, Duolingo Languages offers a rich assortment of 39 courses for English speakers to learn a language, covering everything from widely-spoken tongues to constructed languages like Esperanto, High Valyrian, and even Klingon.
You’re also able to learn Catalan if you’re a Spanish speaker, and if you’re looking to learn American English, you have 25 different languages to choose from as a starting point.
This extensive array of duolingo language options ensures that individuals from varied backgrounds and with diverse interests will find the perfect language to master.
Want to find out more about Duolingo? Read my comprehensive Duolingo Review, and see if it’s right for you!
The GoldList Method. Some love it. Some hate it. Some say there is no way it can work. Others, including polyglots swear by it. So what is it about the GoldList Method that works for language learning, and what might not be so efficient? Introduction To truly conquer a language, you must first grasp the…
1. What Languages Does Duolingo Have?
For English speakers, here is a complete list of languages available on Duolingo:
Catalan is also available, for Spanish speakers only.
There you have it—a diverse range of languages, including some you might not encounter every day!
2. What are the top 3 languages in Duolingo?
Top 3 Languages By Number of Learners:
- (American) English – 46.7 million Spanish learners (+ more in other languages)
- Spanish – 39.3 million English speaking learners
- French – 23.3 million English speaking learners
Top 3 Languages by Language Level & Words Taught:
The most comprehensive language courses are those taught from English. Of these, the top three are Spanish, French and German.
|Language:||CEFR Aligned||No. Words||Units|
3. Learning From Languages Other Than English
Presently it is possible to learn a language with Duolingo from any of the following languages:
- Chinese Mandarin
The matrix below shows which languages can be learned (target) from which languages (source):
1Cantonese, 2Mandarin Chinese, 3Swedish
American English courses have been written for speakers of Arabic, Bengali, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese.
The quality and depth of content of the courses differ depending on the language from which you are learning.
- From Spanish you can learn to a B2 level, 4552 words across 221 topical units.
- From Mandarin Chinese it is aligned to the CEFR, teaches to B1 level, 2995 words in 121 units.
- From French, the course is not yet aligned to CEFR, and teaches just 1180 words in 41 units.
Duolingo is making a significant play for the educational English market, and has supplemented their English course with an English assessment that is currently accepted by more than 4600 universities from around the world, and as support for Student Visa applications to Ireland. As a completely online assessment, it gained significant traction during Covid-19 lockdowns.
3. What Level of Language Can I Learn With Duolingo?
Every Duolingo language has a different course, and consequently can be learned to different levels of proficiency.
Recently Duolingo has been reviewing the content of their courses, and aligning them with the ACTFL and CEFR proficiency frameworks.
Below is a summary of the courses available to learn from English at present.
|Language||Approx. Level||No. Words||No. Topic Units|
|Arabic (Modern Standard)||A2||1434||30|
|Chinese (Mandarin)||HSK 3+||1501||57|
|Japanese||JLPT N5 & N4||4434||89|
|Korean||TOPIK level 2||2103||61|
|Vietnamese||Level 6+ (ViLT)||1600||54|
*Properly Assessed and Aligned with CEFR/ACTFL Frameworks. Remaining languages’ levels were estimated
with reference to Milton & Alexiou (2009), except for some Asian languages, which use different scales.
Here is a little more detail about the various Duolingo languages:
(Modern Standard) Arabic (MSA)
The Duolingo Arabic course is a less-formal, spoken version of Modern Standard Arabic. It begins with an introduction to the script for those who need it. The language course itself covers material for achieving a beginner level of A2, with around 1400 words, and appropriate grammar and basic conversational skills.
Taught only from Spanish, the Duolingo Catalan course teaches 1783 words in 42 units. There are no stories, and so it is similar to other courses of this length. Expect to reach a solid A1, moving into A2 level by the end of this course.
The 1500 Duolingo Chinese (Mandarin) words taught will bring you to a solid HSK 3+ for Chinese. As with other scripts, there are tutorials and practice opportunities to learn how to form the characters. Pinyin transliterations accompany the characters in exercises.
The Duolingo Czech course teaches 1864 words across 54 topics to an A1 level, emphasizing grammatical gender, complex declension of nouns and adjectives, and inflection of verbs to convey tense and voice.
Duolingo Danish covers 2100 words from beginner to lower intermediate levels (A2/B1.1), providing a foundation in grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure. The content is solid, offering a wide range of topics including various home and professional life subjects, and exercises to practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.
Duolingo Dutch caters to beginner and intermediate learners with just over 2600 words and 79 units. Hitting around a B1 level, the course content is well-structured, covering essential grammar concepts, such as present and past tenses, vocabulary, and common phrases. Culturally, information about Belgium is included, but the focus is on the Netherlands, and the course teaches standard Dutch, not Flemish.
Despite being a constructed language, or conlang (that is, not a natively evolved one), Esperanto is thought to be spoken natively by at least 1,000 people, and as a second language by as many as 100,000 more. The Duolingo Esperanto course will give you a solid start into using the language. It has 2307 words over 42 units, and can be expected to bring you to an A2 level.
The Duolingo Finnish course is unfortunately one of the shorter ones. A Uralic language, like Hungarian, Finnish can be quite tricky for English speaker to learn. At only 919 words and 23 units, it may just bring you to a A1.1 level, although the course is not aligned to the frameworks.
Duolingo French covers beginner to upper intermediate levels of proficiency (A1-B2). The content is well-structured and has been aligned with the ACTFL and CEFL frameworks. It teaches almost 5000 words in 201 units, and provides a solid foundation in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, making it suitable for learners of all levels. Unfortunately, it is fairly light with regard to culture (apart from tourist and food vocabulary – it didn’t even feature ‘liberté, égalité, fraternité’!!).
Duolingo German is one of the most popular offerings, spanning beginner to intermediate levels. The course is aligned to CEFR/ACTFL frameworks, and covers grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills across A1-B1 levels. The content is extensive and well-developed, with 3583 words in 113 content units, allowing learners to acquire a strong foundation in the language. Users appreciate the depth and quality of the content available, making it a valuable resource for German learners.
Duolingo Greek is one of the longer ones, with 2964 words over 61 units. It is not yet officially aligned with. the CEFR/ACTFL frameworks, but looks to cover up to a solid B1 level. As with other languages with their own script, there is a ‘precourse’ in the Greek alphabet.
The Duolingo Haitian Creole lessons are a very limited introduction of 648 words across 23 units. Despite it’s limited nature, reviews on Reddit.com are generally positive.
Worth noting is that because Haitian Creole is only recently transitioning to a written language, there are some variations with spelling choices. Duolingo relied on some newly-formed standards as much as possible when writing the course*.
*Cindy Blanco, as quoted by Charlotte Hu on Popular Science, ‘How Duolingo added Haitian Creole to its language library‘, 21 February, 2022.
Duolingo Hawaiian is an interesting introduction to the language which will give you a basic exposure to 688 words of the language. I estimate it covers to around an A1.1 level. Obviously it is only just a very basic introduction to the language, but it will get you going.
The Duolingo Hebrew course offers a specific script course, if you need to familiarise yourself with that to start. The language part of the course contains 2644 words in 54 topical units, and covers approximately a A2 level of language. It covers content such as current affairs, and the conditional past.
The Duolingo High Valyrian course was written by the creator of High Valyrian, David J. Petersen. It includes only 805 words in 28 units, and as such is a very brief introduction to the language. It is not aligned to the CEFR/ACTFL frameworks,. Based on number of words alone, I would say no more than A1.1.
The Duolingo Hindi course has apparently been prepared using the CEFR framework, but this is not apparent within Duolingo itself. As with other languages that use their own scripts, the Hindi course includes a “pre-course” on the Devanagari script. With only 633 words across 21 units, the Hindi course won’t make you fluent, but it will give you a solid start with the script and basic A1 language skills.
The Duolingo Hungarian course will take you to a solid A2 and start you on B1, instructing you in 2559 words across 71 units.
However, according to users*, the implicit teaching method of Duolingo means that discussion of cases and other peculiarities of Hungarian are not particularly well covered.
You will probably need tutoring from a Hungarian teacher, or some other form of study, to understand the subtleties of the language.
*Conversation with longtime Duolingo Hungarian Learner, 24 August, 2023.
Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)
The Indonesian course contains around 1800 words, which will give you a starting foundation sufficient for travelling, or further study. The number of words taught approximate an A1 level.
The Duolingo Irish course teaches 1640 words over 42 units, to a solid A1 level. It will get you started learning Irish, but will need to be supplemented with other materials in order to achieve a conversational level.
Duolingo Italian covers beginner to low intermediate levels, offering 51 units and just under 2000 words across a range of topics. The content is effective in teaching basic grammar and vocabulary, but it lacks depth in more advanced language skills like complex sentence structures and idiomatic expressions. The course has not yet been aligned with the various language frameworks but seems to approximate to A2.1.
In Duolingo Japanese you will cover most of JLPT N5 and N4 grammar, and 4400 words. Kanji, Katakana and Hiragana characters are all introduced with tutorials and writing practice tasks. Romaji (transliteration in latin script) accompanies the characters throughout the course.
The Korean course teaches around 2100 words, which is around TOPIK level 2. Tutorials for practising the Korean script are available, and the letter tiles are accompanied by romaji transliterations, but these disappear as you progress through the course.
The Duolingo Klingon course was added when Duolingo was mostly volunteer staffed. It is a fairly basic course, teaching 1299 words over 42 units. It has no alignment to the CEFR/ACTFL frameworks, but will cover most vocabulary for an A1 level.
The Duolingo Latin course is a very basic introduction to Latin for beginners, not even A1.1. It covers just 499 words, and has only 14 units, however given the relative dearth of language learning platforms that include Latin, Duolingo is a good place to start.
The Duolingo Navajo course was added by volunteers, and is not being updated or augmented at this stage. It is more a taster than an introduction, at only 141 words in 7 units. But if you are interested in having a look at a Native American language, check it out!
Duolingo Norwegian (Bokmål) targets beginners and intermediate learners, offering a reasonably comprehensive curriculum of the language’s grammar, vocabulary, and basic phrases. The course has not been aligned to CEFR/ACTFL frameworks. It teaches 3366 words in 111 topic units, so around B1 level. Users appreciate the quality and depth of content available, allowing them to progress steadily and build a solid foundation.*
*From personal conversation with a user of Duolingo Norwegian.
Duolingo Polish provides a strong beginner foundation with 1719 words over 41 units to give you a solid A1 level. Use it alongside other resources for a comprehensive learning experience.
Duolingo Portuguese (Brazilian) course covers beginner to lower intermediate levels. The content has not been aligned with ACTFL/CEFR but it teaches 2200 words in 74 units (approximately B1.1). It is engaging and interactive, providing learners with a good understanding of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. However, it could benefit from more in-depth explanations and cultural context.
The Duolingo Romanian course is designed for beginners, providing an introduction to the language and basic vocabulary of around 2300 words across 40 topics. However, the course is relatively limited in scope and lacks content for intermediate or advanced learners. It serves as a good starting point but will not be sufficient for developing a significant level of proficiency beyond about A2.
The Duolingo Russian course covers a reasonable 2241 words, and 61 units, giving you a start on a B1 language level. It includes a Cyrillic tutorial to learn the alphabet. However the implicit method of learning assumed with Duolingo makes learning the grammar a little difficult.
The Duolingo Scottish Gaelic course contains 2933 words over 69 topic units, and by the end of it, you can expect to have a reasonably solid B1 level of vocabulary.
Duolingo Spanish course is one of its most popular offerings, covering beginner to upper intermediate levels ( A1-B2). The content is comprehensive, including grammar, vocabulary, and cultural insights. It provides a solid foundation in the language with 5256 words across 213 units, aligned to the CEFR/ACTFL frameworks. Additional features like 348 Stories and Spanish Podcasts round out the language learning experience.
You can expect to reach an A1 level with the Duolingo Swahili course. With around 1200 words and 42 units, apart from the typical greetings and introductions, you will also learn farm terms, and past, present and future verb terms.
The Duolingo Swedish course delivers a comprehensive beginners curriculum. The course covers 2264 words, in just 43 units, which is possibly around an A1, possibly A2.1 level. While the course covers essential language skills, some users have expressed a desire for more advanced content to deepen their understanding.
Duolingo Turkish is a relatively small course of 1387 words and 43 units. It is not aligned to the CEFR/ACTFL frameworks, but by the end you could expect to have covered an A1 level reasonably well. It has been reasonably well received by language learners, although some Reddit.com users have commented that their native-speaker family members find some sentences a bit strange.
The Duolingo Ukrainian course is quite limited at 1060 words and 33 units. As with other languages using a different script, there are exercises for learning Cyrillic. If you complete the whole path, you will have covered much of an A1 level.
There is no standardised Vietnamese test at this time, but the 1600 words in the Duolingo Vietnamese course should bring you to Level 6+ (roughly equivalent to CEFR A2) of the Practical Vietnamese Proficiency Test (ViLT) conducted by the Japan Southeast Asia Language Promotion Association (J-TAG).
At 2139 words, 69 units, and around an A2 level, the Duolingo Welsh course gives a basic foundation to the language in both grammar and vocabulary.
Duolingo Yiddish course is relatively new, focusing on introducing learners to the basics of the language. The course covers essential vocabulary of 1994 words, grammar, and pronunciation, in 61 units. It looks to cover roughly an A2 level of language. It serves as a valuable starting point for those interested in learning Yiddish.
Duolingo introduces you to your first 500 words in Zulu. As you might expect, the course has not been aligned with CEFR or ACTFL, and is around an A1.1 in number of words and content. Vocabulary includes domestic and wild animals, food, greetings and other typical word groups, and past and present verb forms.
4. Intrigued? Learn More About Duolingo Languages
If you’re eager to dip your toes into a new language or even venture into the realm of constructed languages like Klingon, Duolingo has languages for everyone.
With such a wide array of options, you’re bound to find the perfect language course to suit your needs.
Intrigued? For an in-depth look at how Duolingo rekindled my attraction to the little green owl, don’t miss my product review, ‘Duolingo Review: How Did The Little Green Owl Win Back My Heart?’.
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