With Duolingo you can learn languages for free! It's fun and effective.
There are a lot of anecdotal and marketing claims about the effectiveness of different language learning methods, but there is usually little scientific evidence to back the claims. We wanted to change that, so we commissioned a study to find out how well people learn a language on Duolingo.
Here’s a link to the final report: http://static.duolingo.com/s3/DuolingoReport_Final.pdf
Some interesting points:
On average, it takes 34 hours of Duolingo to learn the equivalent of one semester of college. Since a semester of college generally takes a lot more than 34 hours of work, this suggests that Duolingo is more effective than a college course.
The study was done by an external research team that previously evaluated the effectiveness of other methods such as Rosetta Stone. It is of note that it took 55 hours of study with Rosetta Stone to reach the equivalent of one semester of college. So not only is Duolingo free-er than Rosetta Stone, the study suggests it’s also better.
We plan on using this data and continually conducting studies to make learning a language with Duolingo even better.
Congratulations! This is well-deserved.
The idea of the individual online clock to measure hours of study in the conclusion had already been advanced by users, which goes to show there are indeed a lot of good ideas flowing around in here. It's a good thing we know you're listening.
I can imagine if Duolingo adds other learning approaches, such as listening / speaking and reading (proper texts), it may very well become the most complete and convenient language learning tool ever. Good interaction design and even marketing advocate, with good reasons, to focus. I would argue that a language learning site is perhaps a bit of an exception. As Kató Lomb said (I'm reading her book "Polyglot"): "The building of language has four large halls. Only those who have acquired listening, speaking, reading, and writing can declare themselves to be its dwellers".
(The other 3 approaches I mentioned have already been brainstormed by users, by the way.)
For me it is the best for people who are beginning to learn a language or want to refresh Of course it not a complete solution no languge resource is.. The translations help you see words in real life context. I actually enjoy the translation part the best. It is also intutive. The idea is to take it and use it.
I agree that Duolingo is effective. I have jumped directly from A1 to B1 for the German language. I was tested at Deutschen Kulturzentrum.
Good to know :) How far were you on the skill tree when you got tested? I would love to know more or less equivalence of Duolingo and those CEFR levels.
A study described in on the following thread found that Duolingo, with a little study in some other small areas will take you up to a B1 level.
Duolingo is a brilliant basis: in school, we have a French student who comes to some of our lessons and when she speaks to the teacher in French, I can understand the gist of what she's saying because of the things I have learnt in Duolingo!
Another thing, the timing of the introduction of new words can greatly ease the burden of learning. For example in German to learn a new word like Erwachsene with four syllables takes x amount of brain power. To learn a word with less syllables like wachsen takes less than x brain power. By learning wachsen first, Erwachsene also takes less than x brain power as the root of the word has already been digested and there’s something to pin it on to.
Bravi! Duolingo is awesome and it is free, which makes a huge difference!
While duo lingo may be great at improving grammar skills I doubt it compares to speaking and listening practice in the real world. Nothing in the report specifically mentioned these vital language skills. I see duo lingo as a support to real world teaching or at least other resources. The AI voice often gets intonations wrong and some of the translations are a bit sketchy. Things that shouldn't happen in a real world language class (provided the teacher has qualifications).
Yup Duolingo is the 'awesomest' language website I have seen and has motivated me to start learning Spanish which was long due. But as @anticlockwise pointed out,the key to learning any language is speaking it in the real world, where Duolingo is restricted owing to the limitations of this medium. Within its limitations though, its the best thing there is on the planet! :-)
As with any tech start-up, I woud think there is a short and long term plan that includes having live conversational elements to it. Perhaps months or a year down the road you will be able to live chat via audio, video, or both, with other people, both native on non-native speakers, on a range of current/interesting topics. Perhaps lessons will be "taught" by willing participants via a crowd-sourcing method. All in all, considering the extremely high-level of polish this web site, the iPhone app, and the pure design everything here looks to have, there is without a doubt a plan to fill in the "real world" gap noted above. Or, when all else fails, we can all start making Duolingo meet-ups.
In response to the live-chat issue, I know that other websites (eg. italki) allow you connect with other speakers and then you set up your own time to practice speaking (for example, on Skype). They could set up something like this here
Is there a way to track our active hours of study? That would be really nice
It is better if you open a new thread for this feature request.
Such a thread already exists: http://duolingo.com/#/comment/27750
That would be really cool!
This study says "Duolingo also allows extracting the exact time of use/study by date and time and
by different activities: time used for lessons, time used for translation and time used for other
activities", but I don't see any way to extract the "exact time of use."
im 14 and this helps me alot im taking german at school and i was failing it thank to this im passing with 98 in german thank you
Just Promise to Keep it Free...
Sehr gut ;)
Good work and thanks! I've only just discovered Duolingo but I am finding it extremely enjoyable.
Just a couple of suggestions. I think there needs to be a box to tick if the voice isn't quite right so these can be redone just as there is the option for ticking a box if the translation you give is right but duolingo hasn't got it in it's database.
To keep duolingo a fun learning experience and motivation high, I would suggest having monitors on individual lessons. These can be invisible to the users. If any particular lesson is en masse taking significantly more attempts to master than others then it could be reviewed and simplified. I know that in another post someone has said that there were lessons where the vocab was overloaded for example.
I took a foreign language in college, hated it, it always felt awkward, and it was impossible to learn at my pace. I have been using DuoLingo now for a few months (some more than others) but have noticed many improvements in my comprehension and vocabulary. While it does not replace speaking to people in person it does help give you more confidence to do that when you interact with people that speak fluently. Speaking to other college classmates who can not pronounce words and speak grammatically correct was a complete waste of time compared to Duo Lingo ( and a more complete waste of tuition money and student loan debt.)
This learning program is awesome. I have never stuck with language learning before, but I am sticking with this, and I love it. I have it on my iPod and I use the app all the time. I find this program so easy to use and understand. I am so grateful for this software and that it's free. I have no complaints whatsoever, except that I can't figure out how to turn off the sound so I can play the radio or Pandora and just type. That's not a complaint against the software, however. I love it, just love it. My husband even likes to sit and watch me study, which means he's learning a bit of Italian as well, and we're spending time together. I couldn't be more pleased with a free learning product that will only enrich my life. Thank you, Duolingo.
You can turn it off in "Settings", I think.
Yes, just turn off speakers in settings. Click on the cog to the right of the bell. This is possibly not available on the ap though.
this is interesting a interesting fact and is quite nice to know as i go on learning french from duolingo
I honestly think this web site and the whole Duolingo initiative (as I can only assume there are bigger plans coming down the pike) is a game-changer for the language learning space. We are all looking forward to seeing Duolingo's user base grow in the months and years to come. If there are any avenues to assist with the company's initiatives, I think you would have many volunteers ready to lend a helping hand.
Wow, I didn't know duolingo was better than Rosetta Stone. To make it even better, it's free! :)
As a personal anecdote, two hours of basic French and I feel I learned more than any week of Spanish I took years ago in high school. Plus the ability to go at my own pace and repeat sections for practice is way nicer than trying to synthesize a textbook by myself or having a professor talk at me. I would like a way to practice with a native French-speaker at some point down the line.
I am currently signed on with Rosetta Stone and Duolingo as I need all the help I can get. Having said that I would like to mention a few striking differences between each program and why I think these differences either work or don't work, for me at any rate. I am finding with RS that I am having great difficulty retaining what I have learned, if I have actually learned anything at all, and I'm not convinced I have. That's really aggravating and depressing considering the time I have put into RS so far. For me, memory retention and ability to respond tells me I have actually learned something. Yet in RS I can't respond to any live speaker for the life of me. I can't actually construct a sentence. I am consistently left unable to open my mouth to speak at a loss for words. I am however very good at "parroting" the recorded speaker's voice though. My pronunciation is exact and almost flawless, so were I able to understand what I was actually saying I would feel I had learned something. But what RS is actually teaching me is how to "imitate" a speaker of the language I want to learn, with stock phrases ans sentences I don't always understand while saying. Part of the problem is that RS doesn't give you any help with parts of speech, nor do they provide any idea as to whether you have made any mistake or not with a corrective translation. Putting an 'X' on the picture doesn't tell me how I went wrong and why. All it tells me is that I was wrong and to try again. Many of RS's pictures are not clear, often vague and confusing, which makes it very difficult to match sentences and/or words and phrases. With Duolingo however, there are sentences and pictures, but there are also translations of eachj phrase or sentence. This I believe is important because having the exact wording in both your native language and your learning language tells you exactly where you went wrong - and how to correct it. You are not left in the dark guessing and never knowing you got it right and then forgetting. Each time I redo a sentence after making a mistake, the next sentence changes slightly, often in such a way that points out exactly how I went wrong and why. I still make mistakes, but at least now I am seeing WHY I made them and HOW I might correct them - I don't feel I'm wasting my time brainwashing my senses with innumerable pictures and sounds I can't make head nor tail of. I love the fact that Duolingo draws your attention to parts of speech and how each works while at once creating sentences that are just slightly different each time; reinforcing your understanding of a word and how it can and can't be used in a single sentence or an innumerable combination of sentences. Being asked to translate back and forth between each sentence I think has been key to help with my ability to retain the information I am rearranging to form accurate sentences. A stuident can only learn if they can detect their mistakes and find ways to correct them, or have them pointed out so as to help the student understand what is wrong and what to do about it. RS claims their 'naturalistic' method is based on the idea that, as children, we learned our first language by something like instinct or osmosis - iow, I interpret this to mean, we learn haphazardly and messily by a sort of confused and emotionally draining brute force, sink or swim method of learning (if that can be descrbed as learning at all). That's fine if you are a desperate child trying to communicate with your parents. A child and has no reference, no prior rational understanding to compare and contrast for definition and interpretation. But many of us who are learning a second language are adults now, we can learn through logical, rational processes as well as brute force repetition and chaotic guess work. As a learner, what works and is satisfying (for me) is observing how something does and doesn't work by deduction and inference, by logic, not by instinct, which is a key problem and weakness in RS's philosophy of teaching/learning I believe. I take great satisfaction in thinking my way through a problem using reason and logic, where with RS one must almost suspend ones ability to think and hope that you will "absorb" after long, VERY LONG, MONOTONOUS slideshows, periods of repitition of unintelligible sounds with many incomprehensible pictures before you make any clear and lucid connection that can be articulated and understood. I'm not saying RS doesn't work for some people, because there obviously are many out there that believe it does for them, but Duolingo has corrected or put to use their technique with learning strategies that RS has overlooked or ignored. I suspect Duolingo is more on track toward a more successful and effective learning program, though once again, I have chosen to stick with both methods for now just to see how each compliments the other, or out performs the other. So far I find Duolingo taking the lead and will likely be the key factor in helping me with problems I'm having with RS, where RS can't or won't help.
Thanks for the detailed write up, but next time could you please toss in a few paragraph breaks :)
I am prepared for the tide of down-votes coming my way for sharing my opinion, so bring it on. I feel like someone has to say it. I love DuoLingo for what it is. It is fun, I get to practice on the go, it is a very beautiful looking polished app, but it does not teach languages. It can't really be compared to something like Rosetta Stone.
DuoLingo does a great job at honing your existing skills in a language for translating (which makes since being its primary way they make money). Sure I have learned a few things and it is fun, but for the most part the vocabulary comes way too fast with too little practice to be practical. Every now and then a word will stick. You need planned repetition. You need to see the same things several days in row instead of typing it out once. You need a lot more speaking and listening to tune your ear to the new words and sounds. Heck, I have passed entire sections without even seeing some of the words I am suppose to already know. I mostly practice sections I have already passed now because I keep seeing words I don't remember seeing before.
DuoLingo is a great supplement, but anyone using it as the backbone of their studies would be making a huge mistake. I am not fan of Rosetta Stone but I have tried it. As frustrated as I get with it, I do remember almost everything it goes over. Rosetta Stone has almost no speaking practice (although a lot more than duolingo), but I do think their method is good. I personally prefer the natural learning style similar to Assimil that focuses on your ability to understand the language first. Although Assimil is a bit fragmented and dull. The method is sound.
I certainly agree with you that using Duolingo alone won't make you able to speak a language fluently. You need to actually talk to be people for that. Or at least, that's the only way I've ever managed to learn a language to fluency. However, I can say that using Duolingo regularly for a few months brought my French up to the point where I can read books written in French quite comfortably. That's no mean achievement in and of itself. As to the Rosetta Stone comparison, the relevant question is not so much whether Rosetta Stone is marginally better than Duolingo or Duolingo is marginally better than Rosetta Stone; it's whether Rosetta Stone is 500 dollars better than Duolingo. I don't reckon it is.
I agree. I don't think it's $500 better than Duolingo. In order to create the "perfect language course" for free, without leaving the country, you could combine Duolingo (for grammar and some vocabulary), Memrise (mainly vocabulary), Lang-8 (writing practice), The Angry Family (or other language show with captions for listening comprehension), and Skype-based language partner course.
For myself, I only needed to be able to read and write fluently in Spanish. After finishing the Duolingo tree, I've written my first children's book in Spanish. I think that alone says something for Duolingo.
I think the truth is that whether a program is truly effective is going to depend a lot on the learner.
I used Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish originally, though that was back in 2003...I think, when I was in seventh grade. When I was using it, it worked great for storing things in your memory, but it had such a hands-off approach with grammar that I probably couldn't have recited one grammar rule. Maybe the difference between el/la. I'm sure Rosetta has improved though.
I've never found any program that was totally effective without supplements (including the version of Rosetta Stone I used).
Since I can't afford Rosetta Stone, I used a combination of Duolingo, Memrise, and other Spanish sites (and books) to brush up on my Spanish.
Duolingo works best if you only really need to know how to read and write grammatically correct sentences (which would be helpful for college students and people who want to translate documents) in a language, but I don't think it would be my first choice for speaking/listening.
I'm still trying to work out how a pilot study with a huge dropout rate goes from "study suggests" to "scientifically proven." Duolingo is a great idea and a great service, but I don't care for the hyperbole in advertising. To scientifically "prove" the efficacy of any system would take a consensus among all the experts, not one study with iffy results and serious limitations.
That is awesome. Although I wonder if the results are skewed by the Duolingo users who are already familiar with a language and can quickly speed through the early lessons. For example, Spanish is very easy for me because I lived in Latin America for two years as a child, so people like me may be skewing the results. College courses, on the other hand, are paced to accommodate people who are starting from scratch, so they may be slower.
Regardless, that's an impressive result, so congratulations, and thanks for the excellent service.
I don't think so: "The participants were [...] not advanced users of Spanish...". Besides, "the test results were measured as the difference between the final and the initial language test results".
That´s why they did not use advanced student if you noticed.
While I agree Duolingo is much better than Rosetta Stone, it leaves a lot to be desired in the realm of speaking practice. It appears that the CAPE test used in the study did not include speech testing.
I know people who can read complicated German books front to back without a problem but still struggle to speak it. While Duolingo helps ALOT with vocabulary and reading comprehension, it can not replace a classroom experience for language speaking practice.
Also - this study only examined the Spanish speaking portion of the Duo Lingo site, I would be curious to see the results if they had used French or German (or the Italian and Portuguese betas)
I started using duolingo at the start of this year as part of my New Year's Resolution to greatly improve my Spanish. I think it is a great tool and I am finding it very useful so far. I feel it should be incorporated into the language learning process which may include a number of other approaches which all complement each other. I included duolingo in a recent article I wrote: New Year's Resolutions - Learn A New Language In 2013
Living in Mexico and having some Spanish, I throroughly enjoyed my time as an early participant in the early days of Duolingo. I was very pleased with the method and my own rapid improvement until my sight failed. At 75, I have had several retinal detachments repaired by a series of surgeries. I now have some sight, but trouble reading for long. Since I cannot enjoy books or drive any more, I will slowly try to return to this program to learn and to contribute. It will certainly help improve my Spabish and help to pass the time. I am also glad to hear that studies indicate that it may be the fastest way to learn, coupled with practice on the street, of course. Do you suppose that, at 75, I might have time to brush up on my long unused French or survival Turkish?
Saludos a todos.
That's really nice. Please let us know when you conduct another survey, specifically among non Anglophones learning one or the other languages offered by Duolingo.
After stumbling upon Duolingo yesterday, I have finally given up on Rosetta Stone. This is so much more fun and effective. Thank you so much
The fact your system is so very engaging could be a part of that. Language learning doesn't seem like hard work, with your system--it's fun!
More antecdotal evidence:
My college minor was German, I had a GPA of 2.5 in it. I have learned more about German using Duolingo than I did in my first year of college. I didn't enjoy doing homework from the book but I spend 2-3 hours a day on Duolingo.
Sorry to say that but studies "commissioned" by Duolingo? That is blatantly uncomfortable. Obviously just some other marketing tricks. To be serious, I have used Duolingo for long, as you can see from my profile. But the more I use it and delve into the actual language(I'm now an exchange student in Chile), the more I feel its methods fundamentally wrong(I know they're out of the need of "translating the web", but people are here to learn a language. They are cheese and chalk). Sure, after all that you might understand a little bit of text extractions and news in the language. But you can’t understand anything by ear and can’t speak anything by tongue. What’s the point? Not to mention it’s really really dangerous to have a grounded English thinking pattern behind new languages which is very very hard to rectify(as I can now testify). Currently I figure there’s still no way to replace solid small-class teaching, and immersive practice. Really. What Duolingo excels at is opening the door and bringing in the interest, for free, for this it should be given due credit. But beyond that? Little more. To say it's comparable to a university class, even an introductory class, is totally laughable, not to mention to strait around hoisting such a brand and attacking others, which I really dislike.
Awesome :) Must keep practicing :D
Holy crap, where are you finding Rosetta Stone at those prices? Amazon has Spanish only level 1 for $179. Compared to a college course of 3 credit hours at $200/hour (relatively cheap tuition), Duolingo is an incredible deal, even if it only teaches up to level 1 Rosetta Stone, and I suspect it goes much higher
I believe the beta version of Rosetta Stone was that affordable several years ago. I don't even think you can find it used for that price today.
When I was in middle school some less expensive version of Rosetta Stone was part of the program that my mom used with other CD's and books. It wasn't an extensive version but I learned level 1 Spanish with it.
Personally, I think Duolingo is a bit easier to learn with. Particularly, grammar. This is the only course that has made me want to learn the grammar rules instead of being afraid to learn them.
My subscription to Rosetta was the online Total-e version - 239.00 for 12 months of access. However, Duolingo is free... and in my opinion is proving to be a much more effective learning tool, for me at any rate. I've long passed the point where I can get reimbursed, or I would. So I use both.
Lets not forget that college language courses teach more than just language proficiency. However the comparison with Rosetta Stone constitutes a real feather in Duolingo's cap.
I saw the story on TechCrunch and was definitely intrigued enough to take a closer look. I've always been scared of "programs" that will teach you a language, but the thought of taking a college-like course for free was compelling enough for me.
Thanks for pulling this study together and taking a fresh look at learning new languages!
Duolingo is not like a foreign language college course at all.
Yeah, I learnt a lot from Doulingo, too.
Not only it is a very useful tool but the design of the application is also very cool that makes me wanna learn and come back.
Molto bene! This is terrific news, and definetly true. Congrats Duolingo!!
I've only been using this for a week, but I have learned so much more in one week than I did with Rosetta Stone. The way this website is designed makes learning a new language easier than in a class or by using Rosetta Stone.
From the moment I started using Duolingo, I knew right away that it was superior than anything in the market and best of all, it's free! Keep up the good work and I hope the team keeps improving the site to make it the even better for everyone.
I started using Duolingo last November, but stopped doing the lessons within a month or so (bored because difficult to hear the spoken material). I now do only the translations and believe my reading vocabulary has increased quite a lot. I think I move through the translations quite quickly now - not always correctly, of course :) . What interests me the most is whether this better facility with reading carries over to the spoken language the next time I'm in Mexico. Am I going to be more fluent? That will tell me whether Duolingo actually works for me.
I'd also like to say that Duolingo is something for the history books :)
Impressive! I agree that a college semester can give you something more in terms of language practice, but Duolingo stands out a hihly fun (and motivating) way to learn.
Kudos to the developers!
This makes me a proud member! Excellent!
Merci beaucoup ! :)
Hugo boss. Good work. Way to revolutionize language education!
Rosetta Stone sucks, Duolingo rocks.
That`s great! I was surprised when i first started duolingo how fast and easily i could get from one level to another! Thanks alot for sharing this Luis!
I've been impressed with DuoLingo's response in accepting alternative translations when I protest that mine should be accepted. I think that's an exceptional feature...another way the software distinguishes itself!
I'm not surprised! I'm rubbish at languages but this is awesome.
Fascinating. I completely believe it as I find this site really addicting and cannot seem to stop doing it.
Duolingo is great and that's why I have been recommending it to everyone I know!
"It is of note that it took 55 hours of study with Rosetta Stone to reach the equivalent of one semester of college. So not only is Duolingo free-er than Rosetta Stone, the study suggests it’s also better."
Good to know, but can you please share a link to that study? If not, was it the same researchers, using the same research methods?
You can open the PDF linked to above at http://static.duolingo.com/s3/DuolingoReport_Final.pdf and search for 'Rosetta' to find mention of the Rosetta Stone data.
On page 21 of the Duolingo study at the above link (page # 22 of the PDF) it says under Cited Literature "Vesselinov, R., 2008, Measuring the Effectiveness of Rosetta Stone®, Final Report, manuscript available through Rosetta Stone®."
This current report mentions that they are comparing 2008 RS software with 2012 DL software, instead of comparing the same vintages (this is in the paragraphs above the 'Cited Literature' section), so there could have been improvements in the RS software the past 4-5 years to narrow the gap (but not the price differential :).
Anyone have a link to the actual report from the Rosetta Stone site? Or maybe they've since pulled it?
Are you kidding? They compared a 4 year old software with a recent one? There have probably been enough improvements to RS in one year to make a difference. ;)
OK, so I looked for the 2008 Rosetta Stone study and found it quickly thanks to Google ... here it is: http://resources.rosettastone.com/CDN/us/pdfs/Measuring_the_Effectiveness_RS-5.pdf
Thanks so much! It's definitely worth it to know that both studies were part of the same corpus of research, Dr. Vesselinov's. Will look forward to comparing the papers. Thanks again!
This is so awesome! And i so agree with the study because i have friends who studied french in high school for about 2 years and they are nowhere near good at it neither talking, writing, or reading. I am amazed at how much i have learned in just 1 month and i login just when i can. I am so glad i found Duolingo! I can't wait until i can talk french fluently. Thank You
"Freeer" or "free-er" doesn't exist in English.
"More free" whilst practically making some sense, cannot exist either: "free" is a non-comparable adjective.
Most adjectives are comparable, meaning that they have a comparative form and a superlative form. For example, happy has the comparative form happier and the superlative form happiest, while intelligent has the comparative form more intelligent and the superlative form most intelligent.
In contrast, extra is a non-comparable adjective. You can say "I have an extra pen" but not "I have a more extra pen."
so your saying spend 500 dollars on rosseta stone and learn it not nearly as quick or type duolingo in the search bar and learn it quicker and have 500 dollars to spare. its kind of a easy answer stop wasting your money.
They are for completely different types of people. DuoLingo is not optimized for beginners learning a language, but for those who are already experienced in the language. It helps them fill vocabulary holes and teaches them to become better translators. It makes sense because that is how they make their money.
If you are learning faster using DuoLingo than Rosetta Stone that is amazing! I am jealous. You probably have an amazing memory or you are already have a strong background in that language. I have completed many lessons without even seeing some of the words in the lesson that DuoLingo gives me credit for knowing. They want to move you down the tree because their target audience will already know most of the words and they will simply be filling in memory gaps. A beginner will be quickly overwhelmed by the pace (that is with mostly practicing and not advancing). Not to mention memory retention for new words (unless you have a near photographic memory) will be very low because you are not exposed to the words enough or at all.
Some of the words they teach fairly early on are not very common and should be moved much further down the tree. A program like Rosetta Stone will teach you more common words first so you get the most use of early vocabulary. DuoLingo has very little word priority. For example, i am about to start 7 lessons of occupations. Most of those occupations I don't ever use in English. I think some of those should be split up and moved down the tree into the advanced area. They are there not there for teaching a language, but for creating better translators.
I think once/if the incubator is released to the public people can design their own courses catering to the language learners, but the existing courses are not.
I found this quite by accident, and I am totally hooked!!!! I grew up speaking the Neapolitan dialect, but I have had trouble expressing in the "proper" Italian. This program has helped tremendously in my quest to become fluent and confident. I love it! I pass it onto all of my friends who are interested in learning another language.
could not afford Rosetta too expensive so duolingo is brillliant now waiting for the polish from the incubator
As a more advanced Spanish speaker looking to improve more, I found that at the higher levels, the error rate increased to a point that I do not believe acceptable.
This article says exactly what I feel when using the higher levels in duolingo:
Basically, duolingo's is great for beginners to start but BE AWARE that it will lead you astray once you start advancing to the higher levels.
Since I started with little more than "gracias" and "dos cervezas por favor" I found Duolingo right up my alley. But now that I've finished my tree (and survived two weeks in Barcelona and Bilbao ... and can read a newspaper like El Pais, "más o menos") I wouldn't mind trying some other sites that are a bit more advanced.
So Jeremy, any suggestions for sites like that?
I don't know of any other websites (haven't loooked) which teach a language. If you are wanting to improve further, my suggestion would be professional classes... or even rosetta stone! :)
I like free things as much as the next guy, but if you are serious about learning another language then you should be willing to fork out a bit.
edit: ...Or find a Spanish girlfriend!
I have been using duolingo for only 3 days now and I already am able to have basic conversations in german. I am really amazed at the method developed here as I can see real tangible results very fast. Keep up the good work!
It's true. One month ago I barely could say "Bonjour". Now I think I could have a chat, maybe with a bit of a hopeless grammar, but I'd manage to get understood.
Duolingo is cool and all but "34 hours of Duolingo to learn the equivalent of one semester of college" is total BS!! Unless you mean some community college in rural Mississippi, someone is going to learn WAY more at a language course at any decent University.