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Duolingo German reviews: why it won’t make you fluent

duolingo german reviews

In this post, we’ll give you detailed Duolingo German reviews. You’ll be able to tell if this app will help you become more fluent as well.

Full Duolingo German reviews

Apart from the extra vowels added by umlauts and other combinations, the syntax of German sentences appears to have been completely reversed. All nouns must have the appropriate gendered article, which also affects the adjective endings and plurals. Numbers are back-to-front. As a new student learning German, there is a lot to keep in mind.

With virtually daily workouts and speaking practice, I advanced from a beginner to an intermediate level in a short period.

But can Duolingo German make it easier for you to get there? Particularly if you reside abroad.

How Does Duolingo Make Learning Fun?

Language learning has been made more exciting with the help of Duolingo; when learning is enjoyable, it is easier to retain information and maintain motivation. Duolingo employs a variety of entertaining and practical elements to entice you to practice German daily.

  • Level Up! You gain points (Lingots), hearts, and level-ups as you finish and repeat each lesson, keep up your daily language study streaks, and achieve your XP goals (crowns). You get achievement badges for every level you complete. The Lingots and hearts can be used to get outfits and access to extra sessions.
  • Smooth Design: The app has a smooth interface and cute, pretty busy artwork that will appeal to certain language learners. The UI is simple to use, quick to learn, and consistent across all Duolingo’s languages. Usually, appealing illustrations are used to introduce new vocabulary, which may help with memory. Unlockable mascot outfits will undoubtedly keep some individuals playing and learning because it isn’t dull.
  • Intelligent revision: The spaced repetition approach helps retain and make recalling the German you learn simpler, even though it doesn’t increase your experience levels. You will be reminded to edit a word or phrase the longer it has been since you last reviewed it.
  • Community spirit: There is a sizable linguistic community surrounding Duolingo that frequently participates in activities and communicates via the active forum. It is inspiring to study with others who are doing the same course. Additionally, you can compete with others in the community and your friends to go up the leaderboards each week.
  • Limited hearts: Unlocking new lessons with hearts is a great incentive, but it might also feel like it interrupts the learning process.

How Does Duolingo Organize Its Lessons?

duolingo german review

While maintaining the same Duolingo formula, Duolingo German has undergone redesigning to be more in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

You will learn a few new words and phrases and review others from prior skills in each brief lesson (referred to as a skill). Since the vocabulary is organized by skill (subject) rather than difficulty, the context may help you remember and use what you have learned more easily.

The program encourages you to learn through exposure in a natural way, which is helpful for native English speakers learning German because the two languages are extremely similar. Duolingo German is a good option for those who want to get in.

Step-Through Duolingo Skills

Each skill builds on the one before, using new words and expressions you acquired in the earlier skill as a foundation. The skills are grouped into loosely related categories. With 133 skills in the complete German tree, you need to complete each skill numerous times to level it up sufficiently to move on to the next skill.

However, you must proceed through the Duolingo German classes in order; you cannot dip into skills at random. This isn’t very pleasant if you only want to learn a few words for a trip or ask a visitor who speaks German a few simple inquiries.

The earlier skills feature vocabulary that an adult learner is less likely to use and are more tailored for German students of school age.

Use German Placement Tests to Skip Skills

You can take a placement test or start with Duolingo German as a complete beginner. These placement exams can be taken if you want to skip ahead to a “checkpoint” at the end of a very long list of skills.

While this sounds great for more skilled students, the test questions are highly constricting, harshly evaluated, cover too many topics, and allow few faults, so you won’t unlock many (if any) abilities or levels.

How Does Duolingo Teach German

duolingo german reviews

  • Receptive Language Skills – Reading and Listening
    Since this is a web browser and smartphone app, you’ll spend most of your time reading and listening to spoken words and phrases. The phrases are spoken at a rapid rate of speed and frequently end abruptly, resulting in poor audio quality.
    Your reading and listening comprehension skills will be challenged more by the stories available in Duolingo German. While the language is not exactly what you need for everyday conversation, stories in the German language tree are rather extravagant and occasionally humorous.
  • Productive language skills – Writing and Speaking
    The two productive skills of writing and speaking are much more crucial while learning a new language than reading and listening. Unfortunately, Duolingo German offers little actual speaking practice beyond simply saying words aloud.

Duolingo compels you to complete several translation exercises that encourage negative habits, such as neglecting punctuation in both English and German work and not requiring the proper capitalization of nouns in German phrases.

Additionally, where there are multiple valid responses, only one is accepted, which can be frustrating. Sometimes, for instance, a literal translation is incorrect, and only an idiomatic or regional expression is accepted.

What Should I Expect (Or Not) From the Duolingo Course?

Each skill (and placement exam) comprises various challenges randomly selected from a pool of just a few constrained categories of problems.

  • Put the words in a phrase that has been translated into their proper sequence.
  • Rewrite an unclear sentence.
  • Translate a full sentence or word into the other language.
  • Tap the words in pairs that match.
  • Write down any German that you hear being spoken.
  • Select the appropriate image to go with a word or vice versa.
  • Pick the word’s proper pronunciation.
  • Read a sentence or a story, then accurately respond to a question.

You will have learned about 2000 words by the time you reach the end of the Duolingo German tree, placing you somewhere between levels A2-B1 for listening and reading according to the CEFR (not quite intermediate).

You cannot practice writing or speak in Duolingo German. Therefore these abilities will be significantly less developed than your listening and reading abilities, preventing you from achieving conversational fluency.

Is Duolingo a Good Option For You?

Every person learning a language has a unique objective and learning style and enjoys engaging in various activities.

I believe that Duolingo German is an excellent introduction for those who have never studied the language before to discover if they enjoy it. It might also be a useful review for students in upper-beginner to intermediate levels.

It was not the app for me, though, due to its lack of grammar explanations, use of incomprehensible language, and subpar audio.

Duolingo German Is Good For …

  • Those evaluating different languages determine which one they want to learn.
  • Novices seeking to learn their first 2000 words.
  • Those pressed for time wish to brush up on fundamental words and phrases.
  • Students who are CEFR language learners at levels A–B1.

Duolingo German Is Not So Good For …

  • Those who favor methodical learning or grammatical explanations.
  • Students who want to practice their pronunciation or who seek good audio.
  • Beginners learn best when they receive pertinent criticism for their spoken and written expressions.
  • Intermediate+ students want to add more than 2000 new terms to their vocabulary.
  • Those who want to brush up on their German before their next vacation.

Duolingo German Review – Is Duolingo Good for Beginners?

It’s fantastic if you want a simple, entertaining introduction to German without taking language education seriously.

You will need to combine Duolingo German with another software, tool, textbook, or instructor if your goal is to speak German fluently, write in German correctly, or even just pronounce words correctly.

Duolingo German app cost

duolingo reviews

Since one of the main draws to adopting Duolingo’s German program is its price, let’s start this review by talking about it. You may already be aware of the free course that Duolingo provides. There is indeed no charge to you.

Remember that the free edition of Duolingo has considerable restrictions before you hurry to sign up for it as your preferred language learning app. You are subject to the invasive sidebar and pop-up advertisements, daily usage limitations, and an overly tight curriculum when using the software’s free edition (as opposed to being allowed to jump ahead).

This means that Duolingo follows the conventional “freemium” software subscription model and that the majority of its revenue comes from premium, paid subscriptions. Moreover, Duolingo Plus, their paid subscription, costs about $84 annually (or $7 monthly).

Unrestricted access, the ability to test out of units and move on, customized lessons that analyze your mistakes, and other features are offered when you upgrade to Duolingo’s Plus subscription.

Does it make sense to buy Duolingo Plus then? It seems worthwhile to me. In my opinion, the premium features provide a far better experience, but you should ultimately consider your budget.

To determine whether you prefer Duolingo Plus’ premium service to the free version, you can try it out for 14 days without spending a dime.

The fact that Duolingo is free greatly contributes to its appeal.

Therefore, why not consider enrolling in one of the top German courses accessible since you would be paying for a course regardless? That is a legitimate concern, given that Duolingo undoubtedly has some drawbacks.

So, if you’re going to pay for a course, I’d suggest doing your research and comparing Duolingo to the alternatives. Please read our reviews of Italki, Rosetta Stone, Babbel, and Pimsleur at your convenience. All four of these German courses achieve far better results than Duolingo.

Conclusion: should you use Duolingo to learn German?

Overall, Duolingo has many benefits to offer. There are numerous exercises and activities available on this free German learning app. However, there are undoubtedly a few drawbacks to using Duolingo for German.

The free edition, in my opinion, isn’t the best for improving your German-speaking abilities and has a lot of serious limitations.

In conclusion, we believe Duolingo should be utilized as an additional study aid rather than a stand-alone language learning program. It would be better if you treated it more like a learning game than a true study aid.

Duolingo is an excellent resource if that’s all you need, possibly because you occasionally want to practice German for fun. Let’s say you’re committed to learning German and are willing to put in a lot of hours to do it. Italki, Babbel, Pimsleur, and Rocket German might be better options in that situation.

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