Unpacking Duolingo: FAQ for the Eager Learner

Diving into Duolingo? There’s a lot to take in. From choosing your first language to juggling multiple courses, it’s a vibrant world of linguistic possibilities.

You’ve got questions, and we’re here to provide the answers. Let’s guide you through the essential Duolingo FAQ, and help you make the most of your Duolingo experience.

Ready to navigate the ins and outs? Let’s dive in.”


For more linguistic adventures and tips on mastering your chosen language, hop over to our other Duolingo posts – your next step towards fluency!

How Many Languages Does Duolingo Offer?

Great question! You’re clearly eager to expand your linguistic horizons. As of my last review, Duolingo offers courses for 39 languages when you are learning from English.

They range from the widely spoken ones like Spanish and French to the more exotic picks like Navajo and Klingon (yes, you read that right, the language of the Star Trek universe!).

In addition, you can learn Catalan (as a Spanish speaker) or American English from one of 25 starting languages!

So, whether you’re prepping for a holiday in Spain or planning to negotiate with Klingons, Duolingo’s got you covered!

For an in-depth look at Duolingo’s language offerings, you’ll want to check out our fantastic review post “Unlocking 40 Duolingo Languages: What Hidden Gems Can You Learn For Free Today“.

How Many Languages Can You Learn on Duolingo At Once?

Well, if you’ve ever fancied becoming a polyglot, Duolingo is here to give your dreams wings!

There’s no cap on the number of languages you can learn at the same time on Duolingo.

Duolingo offers 39 languages to learn, all free.
Learn as many or as few Duolingo languages as you would like.

In fact, I am currently registered in six of the Duolingo languages; and I believe my husband has registered in every language at one stage or another, and I can recall him doing exercises in at least seven languages during the past month!

Whether you’re just dipping your toes in two languages or ambitiously juggling five, the app accommodates your linguistic appetite without a hiccup.

So, to answer the commonly asked question: Yes, you can absolutely learn two, three, four or even more languages on Duolingo at once. The world is your linguistic oyster, and Duolingo is your trusty shucking knife. Dive in and let those language skills flourish!

What ‘Fake’ Languages Does Duolingo Teach?

Dive into the world of ‘fake’ or ‘constructed languages’ (known as ‘conlangs’) with Duolingo, and you’ll find yourself amidst some rather intriguing linguistic creations. Let’s take a jaunt through this eclectic mix.

Duolingo Klingon flag
Learn Klingon to A1 on Duolingo.

First up, Klingon. Yes, that’s right, the language of those forehead-ridged warriors from ‘Star Trek’.

If you’ve ever fancied commanding a Bird-of-Prey or simply want to greet your friends with a guttural ‘nuqneH’, then Duolingo’s Klingon course is your gateway.

While it may not be handy for your next holiday (unless it’s to Qo’noS), it’s perfect for your sci-fi convention prep!

Duolingo Esperanto flag
Esperanto is considered an easy language to learn on Duolingo.

Next, Esperanto. This one’s a bit of an idealistic gem – a constructed language designed in the late 19th century with the lofty goal of becoming a universal second language to foster peace and international understanding. It’s a bit like the hopeful sibling in the language family, always seeing the best in people.

Esperanto on Duolingo offers a gentle curve of learning, and you might find it surprisingly practical, with speakers scattered across the globe.

Duolingo High Valyrian flag
High Valyrian was added to Duolingo by its creator.

Lastly, High Valyrian. This language is as majestic as the dragons its speakers were known to ride. Created for the ‘Game of Thrones’ series, High Valyrian is the stuff of legends.

On Duolingo, you can learn this conlang, which is the perfect party trick for impressing those fellow fantasy genre buffs.

So, whether you’re looking to command respect from a legion of Klingons, join a utopian linguistic dream, or converse like the nobility of Westeros, Duolingo has what you need.

What Are The Endangered Languages I Can Learn On Duolingo?

Taking a linguistic leap into the world of endangered languages, Duolingo offers a linguistic lifeline to some of the world’s most precious verbal heritages.

Duolingo Scottish Gaelic flag
Learn Scottish Gaelic on Duolingo.

One such language is Scottish Gaelic, which whispers the history of the Highlands and is steeped in the mystique of lochs and glens.

By offering Scottish Gaelic, Duolingo invites you to play a part in reviving a tongue that’s intimately connected with the poetic heart of Scotland.

Duolingo Navajo flag
Navajo is a new addition to Duolingo.

Then there’s Navajo or Diné, the language of the largest Native American tribe in the United States.

With a complex syntax that could tie your average linguist into knots, learning Navajo is not just about preserving a language but also embracing a rich cultural tapestry.

And let’s not overlook Hawaiian, the melodious language of the Aloha State, which carries the spirit of its islands and the philosophical wisdom of its people.

Duolingo’s course in Hawaiian is a nod to this endangered language, offering learners a chance to experience the Aloha spirit in every greeting and goodbye.

Duolingo Hawaiian flag
Hawaiian is a fun language to learn on Duolingo.

Each of these languages, offered on Duolingo, serves as a cultural time capsule and a testament to human diversity.

By engaging with them, you’re not just learning to string together words in a new way; you’re breathing life into the very words that define entire cultures.

So, ready to be not just a linguist but a linguistic conservationist? Duolingo’s endangered language courses are the perfect starting point.

Does Duoling Have African Languages?

At present, Duolingo delivers two African languages.

Duolingo Swahili flag
Duolingo Swahili contains around 1200 words.

Swahili is one of them, functioning as a lingua franca in East Africa and boasting millions of speakers.

It is a Bantu language with influences from Arabic and has a reputation for its grammatical coherence.

Duolingo offers a brief course in Swahili that equips learners with the basic skills to communicate in this widely used language.


Duolingo Zulu flag
Duolingo Zulu is very brief, but an interesting introduction.

Another language offered by Duolingo is Zulu, spoken by the largest ethnic group in South Africa.

It is known for its rich oral tradition and the distinctive clicks that punctuate its phonology.

The inclusion of Zulu in Duolingo’s suite of languages provides learners with the opportunity to explore its unique sounds and sentence structures. Unfortunately, presently the course contains only the briefest of introductions with 500 words.

Xhosa used to be available, but has not been since September, 2023.

How Can I Learn Another (or Multiple) Languages on Duolingo

Many people start with Duolingo with the purpose of adding a single language to their repertoire. However, there is nothing to stop you at one! With Duolingo you can learn two, three, four, or more languages!

To start learning another language or to juggle multiple languages simultaneously, you simply need to follow a few straightforward steps to add a new course.

Step 1: Choose a new language on Duolingo by clicking on the flag.
Step 1: Click the flag

Step 1:

Firstly, click on the flag icon located at the top of the screen. This will present you with the flags of any languages you’re already enrolled in.

Step 2: Scroll to the end of the Duolingo flags, and click the plus sign.
Step 2: Scroll right until you see the ‘+’ sign, and click on it.

Step 2:

To add a new course, scroll to the end of the list, where you’ll see either a box with a ‘plus’ sign in it (on the phone app), or the same box with a ‘plus’ and “Add a new course” next to it (on the web platform).

Step 3: Select your desired language, and voilà! You’re all set to embark on a new linguistic journey.

Whether you’re mastering one language or several, Duolingo ensures the process remains user-friendly and intuitive.

How Can I Change Languages in Duolingo?

Change the Duolingo language you are learning by clicking on the flag, and scrolling to the flag of the language you want to practise.
To change languages, click on the flag of the language you want to practise.

Once you have added a new language into your course list, it is very simple to change the language you are currently learning in Duolingo.

Simply click on the flag at the top of the screen, and scroll to the language you want to switch to practise.

How To Start Over In Duolingo?

Sometimes we get so far through a language course and we want to start over for some reason. Perhaps we have taken an extended hiatus, or perhaps we just want a clean slate.

So how can we start a language over in Duolingo? In short,

  1. Remove the language you want to restart in (see the next section for instructions),
  2. Add it in again, new.

And voila! you can redo all of your lessons as if for the first time.

How Can I Remove Languages from Duolingo?

It’s not quite as obvious how to remove languages from Duolingo, but once you know the path, it is fairly simple.

Remove a language from Duolingo. Step 1: Choose the profile icon in the Duolingo app.

Step 1a:

Firstly, click on the Profile icon located at the bottom of the screen.

OR…

If you are learning a language with a new script, choose the '3 dots' icon.

Step 1b:

For language courses with the script learning extension, like Arabic and Korean, your profile is accessed by clicking on the ‘3 dots’ icon, then selecting ‘Profile’ from the pop-up menu.


Step 2: Choose the settings icon in the top right.

Step 2:

In your Profile page, select the ‘Settings’ icon at top right (it looks like a cog).

Step 3: Choose 'Courses' from the menu.

Step 3:

In the settings menu, choose the ‘Courses’ option.


Step 4: Choose which Duolingo language you want to remove.

Step 4:

All your languages will be listed on this page. Simply select the language to remove it.

Step 5: Confirm the removal of the language.

Step 5:

An ‘Are you sure?’ window will pop up, to make sure you don’t delete something you want to keep.

Click ‘Remove’, and the language and all settings with that language will be deleted.

What Duolingo Language Should I Learn?

Choosing which language to learn on Duolingo can be akin to a child in a sweet shop – so many tantalising options, where to begin?

Learn Spanish on Duolingo to improve your employability.
Spanish looks good on your CV!

The choice largely depends on your personal interests, goals, and reasons for learning.

Are you aiming for a new skill to enhance your CV?

Perhaps Spanish or Mandarin might be appealing.

Looking for a holiday language for those trips to France? French is calling your name.

Intrigued by the mystique of fictional languages? High Valyrian or Klingon could be your cup of tea.

However, if you’re still unsure, Duolingo offers a brief overview of each language, giving you a glimpse of its cultural and historical significance.

And if you want to get an idea of how much content is in each language course, whether it has been aligned to the CEFR frameworks, and what languages can be learned from which origin languages, I have covered all that information in “Unlocking 40 Duolingo Languages: What Hidden Gems Can You Learn For Free Today”.

Take some time to explore, and remember, there’s no harm in trying out a few introductory lessons in multiple languages to see which one resonates with you the most.

After all, the journey of language learning is as much about enjoyment as it is about mastery.

Can You Learn Sign Language on Duolingo?

So you’re thinking of giving your hands a workout and diving into sign language on Duolingo? Well, unfortunately as of now, Duolingo hasn’t hopped on the sign language train yet.

But don’t let that put you off! There’s a whole world of resources out there, both online and in the real world (remember that place?).

Check out local classes, or scout around online for some top-notch courses.

And who knows? Maybe one day Duolingo will add sign language to its impressive repertoire. Keep those fingers crossed!

Will Duolingo Add More Languages?

In 2022, Duolingo introduced languages like Haitian Creole and Zulu. As for 2023 or 2024? They haven’t made any specific announcements.

We know that they are revising all their content, and aligning at least major courses with CEFR/ACTFL language frameworks. This may be taking their attention for the moment.

They are also focusing a great deal on their accredited English courses.

In addition, Duolingo labelled 2023 as the ‘Year of the Confident Traveller’. Interestingly, they discovered that nearly half of Americans are keen to pick up a language before jetting off. If you’re dusting off your suitcase, Duolingo might have the perfect pre-trip preparation for you.

In summary, it seems Duolingo is not intending to add to the number of courses it offers, and is spending energy consolidating and improving what they already have.

Which Duolingo Languages Have Stories?

Duolingo uses stories to make your language learning more engaging. Think of it as diving into mini-adventures while picking up new words and phrases.

As of October 2023, if you’re learning through English, stories are available on the Duolingo Platform in: French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, and Japanese.

If you’re learning English itself, there’s a wider range of stories coming from: German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian, Hindi, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese.

There’s also a cool project called Duostories, where enthusiasts are adding stories to even more languages.

They’ve already added over 2200 stories in 76 courses.

There are stories for languages that are not (yet!) actually on Duolingo, like Asturian, Frisian and Toki Pona

Duolingo’s stories are about more than just learning. They help you dive into the culture and feel of the language.

Whether it’s through Duolingo’s official stories or the community’s additions, there’s a whole world of tales waiting for you. Dive in and enjoy the journey!

Which Duolingo Languages Have Podcasts?

4 Duolingo Podcasts: Spanish and French, and English for Spanish and Portuguese speakers.
Duolingo has 4 official podcasts.

At present, Duolingo Podcasts are available tof Spanish and French for English speaking learners, and English for both Spanish and Portuguese speaking learners.

The podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Youtube and Spotify, and podcast transcriptions are available on the relevant language Podcast page (see above links) on the Duolingo website.

Can You Fully Learn a Language with Duolingo?

Short answer: No. For most languages on Duolingo there is simply not enough material on the app to support someone ‘fully learning’ a language.

It’s a fantastic stepping stone, but for full language mastery, you’d likely need to supplement Duolingo with other learning methods, like conversation practice and grammar study.

For a start, Duolingo’s courses vary in comprehensiveness based on the language.

Each course aligns with different levels of proficiency, recently being reviewed to align with ACTFL and CEFR frameworks.

For instance, while you there is enough material to reach a B2 level in French, you might only achieve A1 in Czech.

For more information about the level of material provided for each language, check out our in-depth post “Unlocking 40 Duolingo Languages: What Hidden Gems Can You Learn For Free Today“.

However, Duolingo’s gamified approach primarily boosts vocabulary and comprehension skills, not necessarily making you fluent, especially in speaking and writing.

This is especially so if you just ‘play the game’, and never engage in the extra effort of mimicking the language out loud as you hear it, don’t read the grammar explanations, and only do one or two exercises a day.

To find other tools that can help where Duolingo doesn’t quite hit the mark, explore more language learning options in our easy-to-read post, ‘An In-Depth Guide To 21 Top Language Learning Tools‘.

Having said that….

Has Anyone Become Fluent From Duolingo?

There are Duolingo learners who have found that consistent and effective use of Duolingo has helped them achieve a B2 level of proficiency when tested – which is a level at which many language learners feel like they can live in the language.

Reddit user funtobedone has stated that after completing around 75% of the Spanish course including stories and podcasts, a tutor (who prepares students for the DELE certification) gave him a provisional assessment of B2.

And independent reviews of Duolingo French and Spanish learners have found that at least with the listening and reading skills, by completing the French or Spanish course on Duolingo, learners’ skills are at or above those of university students after four semesters of learning.

Duolingo continues to improve its speech recognition software, and has now begun to introduce AI driven speaking and listening only practice opportunities for those who subscribe to Super Duolingo. This is likely to continue, and will only improve as technology continues to develop, which will make Duolingo an even better and more rounded learning platform.

Conclusion

In the wrap-up of our Duolingo FAQs, we’ve journeyed through the tapestry of languages from the fantastical to the nearly forgotten, and across the diverse linguistic landscape of Africa.

Whether you’re decoding the clicks of Zulu or exchanging pleasantries in High Valyrian, Duolingo offers a treasure trove of linguistic riches.

We hope these insights have sparked your curiosity and propelled you closer to your language goals.

Keep an eye out for our future posts where we’ll continue to unlock the secrets of language learning with flair. Happy learning!

Cate is a language enthusiast sharing her language learning journey here. Apart from her native English (albeit 'Strine'*!), as an adult she has also learned Auslan (Australian Sign Language) to approximately a C1 level, Dutch to around B1/2, French to around A2, and has a smattering of other languages.

B.A. (Anthropology/Marketing), Grad. Dip. Arts (Linguistics), Grad. Cert. Entrepreneurship & Venture Development, (CELTA).

Auslan Interpreter (NAATI), and general Language Nut.

*For more information on 'Strine', visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strine