Languages are something that has fascinated me for quite some time. The ability to communicate, share ideas, and have your voice heard out is something worth having and striving for. My love for learning a foreign language dates back to class 4. At that time, I was learning more and more about the world, specifically the one beyond Pakistan. I had recently learned that a maternal cousin of mine, to who I had a really strong attachment, was studying in Germany, and that German was the language spoken there. At that instant, an idea popped in my head: What if I learnt German and wrote a letter to my cousin in German? In that pursuit, it introduced me to multiple language-learning apps, but it was Duolingo that stuck close to my heart. Even though I would ditch the idea after a couple of weeks, I would never forget the green owl.
Fast forward to October 2022, I once again had the urge to learn a foreign language. The purpose of this time was the notion that one likes to do anything except the task that they are supposed to do. Once again, I turned towards the mighty green owl and chose German yet again. What made me enjoy this time round are things such as:
Streaks and streak societies:
Realizing the fact that the current generation loves keeping streaks, Duolingo has added the streak feature. Indicated by an orange flame, streaks are a testament to one’s ability to be consistent. To further entice the users, streak freezes are buyable, allowing the user to save their streak in case they miss a day. But the foremost thing offered is the Streak Society, by virtue of which users who have kept streaks for 30,100 and 365 days, are rewarded with exclusive rewards.
Leaderboard and leagues:
Duolingo has successfully capitalized on another aspect of the current generation: Competitiveness. To achieve this end, leagues have been introduced, starting from bronze and ending at emerald. Each league sees users face off against each other, with the ranking based on the xp accumulated over the course of the week. In each league, the top players are promoted to the next league and the bottom-most are relegated to the previous league. By doing so, Duolingo is able to make users more consistent and effective.
Ease of use and friendly experience:
The edge that Duolingo holds over the rest of its competitors is that it is friendly to use and is free. The animations, the little tidbits of information, and the funny sentences all makeup for a lively experience that mesmerizes the user.
Although Duolingo is the best among its competitors, it has a few deficiencies that hamper the experience. Advertisements after every exercise are a painful ordeal. Furthermore, the fact that only 5 hearts are available and each mistake results in the loss of a heart means that one cannot learn too much in one sitting. Finally, the excessive promotion of the premium package Duolingo super and the vast array of features afforded to it makes the free version user feel undervalued. All in all, Dylan is a delicious treat that could be sweeter.