Duolingo is one of the most popular choices for its ease of use.
It’s also what most beginners choose when trying to learn a new language.
Eager to learn German? Here are some of the best features of Duolingo to learn German.
Duolingo has an easy to use interface
Do you know why Duolingo is popular? It is a fun and engaging learning app that helps you remember words by using flashcards and spaced repetition.
It also has full of images and animated cartoon-like characters that will make you feel engaged and even help you out with the questions during your vocabulary building.
Duolingo is free
Duolingo has a huge database for its 19 languages (including the fictional ones) and it’s available as soon as you sign up for their product.
A language learning app that is free is very important for those who are learning foreign languages for the first time.
If you are starting your journey, many beginners like you will recommend using mobile versions of many language learning apps.
You can skip lessons after a placement test or after taking the first lesson
Another good feature for Duolingo that will benefit intermediate level and advanced level users is skipping a lesson.
If you’ve been learning German and trying out different apps to find out what’s best for you, the right choice is to learn at your German language level.
Don’t try to skip to the intermediate level if you barely know any German phrases or words.
You may find it difficult to get past the German words and phrases by skipping some of the previous important lessons.
But since the app is like a guessing game due to its flashcard system, it will be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on what your goal is.
We still encourage you to learn as your level progresses, but it will be great to challenge yourself with unfamiliar German words or just get familiarized with how Duolingo works.
Duolingo helps you develop a weekly goal
If you lack motivation, then here comes the best part of Duolingo.
You have all the time and freedom to review basic vocabulary or German articles since Duolingo is free (you have lifetime access to everything they can offer).
Since they are based on a gamification system, you can challenge yourself to do daily exercises to add more German vocabulary to your memory bank.
Duolingo drawbacks: features that they need to improve on
The first few steps of learning are a critical stage and when it comes to languages, many will guarantee you fluency in less than a month.
Duolingo is great, except there are many features that it lacks due to how it was built for an intended audience.
Let’s review some of the features that they need to improve on and maybe add in the future.
Their example sentences are impractical
Many apps suffer from this common issue, especially if they teach lots of languages without native speakers or teachers that are part of the app’s development.
In that sense, many of the developers may only rely on a beginner’s understanding of German conversations.
Duolingo never lacks basic conversation sentences and listening exercises.
However, most of them may become too repetitive and a learner may feel a lack of immersive learning when their conversational skills are stuck to business situations or simple casual conversations.
It is very important to find a language platform that takes care of its users. However, no app is perfect, whether it is free or has a premium version.
And so, you must find the right app for each level of your language skills.
Since it’s free, expect some problems with limited tools
Duolingo is a great start if you want a glimpse of what the German language sounds and look like.
But, it’s a free app, and it will not give you great features of other premium apps like a speech recognition AI or accurate examples for each German language level.
It also has lots of languages, many of which are not updated regularly and some can lack reviews, like their German language course, from native German speakers.
What you can do as of now is practice listening and trying to study the sentence patterns of Duolingo and then try to find other resources online such as a Youtube German language learner series or a complete beginner’s podcast.
If you want to experience additional features as an advanced learner, you may want to sign up with their premium version, Duolingo Plus instead.
Audio issues for each lesson or quiz
If you’ve tried listening to a native speaker and observing their real-life conversations, you know they speak fast.
And for that problem, many who really want authentic German pronunciation complain about how Duolingo feels so robotic and unnatural.
The recorded audio for the lessons doesn’t sound like a native speaker.
German listening exercises are essential for an absolute beginner that want to know the correct tonation and pronunciation of very familiar sounding cognates.
Especially if your country’s official language is English.
Not enough speaking or writing practice
Grammar notes are very essential to remember what a correct sentence structure looks like.
However, a native language that is very different from your family of languages always requires you to be familiar with what they sound like.
Even if German may seem very easy for an English speaker, there are many differences between how German sounds and even how it is written.
It is important to master all aspects of language learning: Reading, Speaking, Writing, and Listening to really become fluent and sound like German is your native language.
Should you learn German with Duolingo?
After learning German with Duolingo myself, I find it more like an introduction to language learning in German.
People who have no experience or are still experimenting with different apps may like to try Duolingo.
But it won’t be enough to really get into the nitty-gritty of explaining conjugations and dependencies with the plural nouns and more.
Advanced learners often pay the pricing rate for apps like Rocket Languages or Pimsleur, forums like iTalki, or a premium language course from an online professor or language expert.
And, they get what they pay for and learn based on what they’re familiar with.
If you want a systematic and grammar-focused lesson, you should stick with language learning apps that give more features.
You can even try looking for German teachers on language forums like iTalki and talk via Skype where you can really get your money’s worth.