Can Duolingo Make You Fluent? • Happily Ever Travels (2023)

Can Duolingo make you fluent? Can it actually help you reach fluency in a new language? Although it may not be able to make you completely fluent on its own, Duolingo can be an important and free resource on your language learning journey and shouldn’t be ignored! Here’s how you can use Duolingo to reach fluency.

Can Duolingo Make You Fluent in a Language?

In my opinion, Duolingo on its own CAN NOT make you fluent in a foreign language. In order to become fluent in a language, it is absolutely necessary to actually speak the language with a native speaker and get hours of practice.

Duolingo can aid in your journey to become fluent, but if you aren’t actively practicing the language with a native speaker or practicing your comprehension skills by listening to native conversations (like using movies, podcasts, Youtube, etc), then you will not become fluent.

I use Duolingo in my language plan which has helped me to become fluent in Italian (and I’m working on French right now).

However, I wouldn’t use Duolingo by itself. I use iTalki lessons and Netflix in order to cover all my bases when learning a new language.

I don’t use a ton of language apps since that helps keeps things more simple, which means I might actually do them.

What is Fluency?

Let’s go over a bit more about what fluency means since it’s a highly debated topic. Fluency means something different to a lot of people, but the official definition is “the ability to speak or write a foreign language easily and accurately.”

I consider myself to be “fluent” in a language when I have the ability to have a conversation with a native speaker without making either of us feel uncomfortable.

(Video) You're Using Duolingo Wrong [10 BEST Tips for Fluency]

This means that there aren’t a lot of pauses and that besides an accent, the native speaker can speak their language without worrying about whether I understand or not.

If you use the Common European Framework of Reference or CEFR, you can look at your level of language proficiency like this:

  • A1 (Beginner)
  • A2
  • B1
  • B2
  • C1
  • C2 (Very Advanced)

If you only used Duolingo and nothing else, the highest level you could reach on this scale is most likely A2. You can test your level by taking a placement test by CEFR.

Can You Learn a Language with Duolingo?

Yes, I think you can learn a language with Duolingo, however, as I mentioned before, you can’t ONLY use Duolingo to learn a language.

It can get you part of the way there, but you won’t be able to completely learn a language to fluency with just Duolingo.

Some language learners consider Duolingo to be a waste of time but considering that it’s free (as long as you use the free version and not the Super Duolingo / Duolingo Plus subscription) and widely accessible, I disagree.

How Much XP to Be Fluent on Duolingo?

There isn’t an official number of how much XP it takes to be fluent in a language by using Duolingo.

(Video) I did Duolingo for 2000 days in a row

However, you can use your language levels and the Duome to figure out how many vocabulary words you have learned which can be an indicator of how close you are to fluency.

In order to find the number of words you have learned on Duolingo, you need to type my case, this

Using the Duome, I can see that I have learned almost 3,000 new words in French, Italian, and Spanish.

According to the Universe of Memory, you need to know 4,000 words to be able to have conversations and 8,000 to be at a native-speaker level.

Can Duolingo Make You Fluent? • Happily Ever Travels (1)

How Much XP I Had When I Felt Fluent in Italian

Although this won’t be true for everyone, I had almost 10,000 XP in my English to Italian Duolingo tree and 13,000 XP in my Spanish to Italian Duolingo tree when I felt “fluent” in Italian.

RELATED: How to Watch Peppa Pig in French

However, you have to keep in mind that I also watched HOURS of Netflix in Italian and took 46 hours of conversation classes on iTalki during this same time period.

How Fluent Can Duolingo Make You by Itself?

By itself, I think Duolingo can bring you to an A1 level of fluency. This means that you understand basic greetings and have learned a bit of vocabulary. If you use Duolingo religiously, you might be able to get to an A2 level.

(Video) Is Duolingo getting more difficult to become fluent? | An update rant with tips

How Many Crowns to Be Fluent on Duolingo?

Since there is a different amount of crowns for each course, this is a difficult question to answer. It’s much easier to use XP or the number of words you’ve learned to judge your fluency.

However, when I started to feel fluent in Italian, I had earned half of the number of crowns available in that Duolingo tree. At this point, I also earned my Golden Owl in that course.

Like I mentioned before, I was dedicating a LOT of time to learning Italian during this period of time.

I used Duolingo to reinforce vocabulary and grammar structures, especially while watching TV or in between conversation classes.

Can Duolingo Make You Fluent? • Happily Ever Travels (2)

If you want to know exactly how I use Duolingo, here is my post on the most efficient way to use Duolingo.

If You Finish a Duolingo Course (Tree) Does That Make You Fluent?

I would say that if you finish a Duolingo tree, then you are definitely getting closer to fluency!

Finishing a Duolingo tree takes a LOT of time (and there are a lot of different ways that you can “finish a tree”) and if you spent that time also watching Netflix or speaking to native speakers, I bet you are fluent by now!

(Video) I Learned French to Fluency on Duolingo

RELATED: How Many Crowns are in the Duolingo Spanish Tree?

I definitely would NOT recommend spending all the time it takes to finish a Duolingo tree without supplementing that with conversation practice and listening practice since Duolingo mostly focuses on translation exercises.

In the end, does using Duolingo harm you in any way? In my opinion, no.

A lot of times we put way too much pressure on ourselves as we learn a language, thinking that if we are going to put the effort in, it has to be in the most perfect and efficient way.

However, any exposure to your new language is good! One of my all-time favorite quotes is “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly” by G.K. Chesterton.

Duolingo is better for your fluency than Instagram or Facebook! When you get a bit more time, use Youtube or Netflix, then start taking cheap conversation classes and you’ll notice you start understanding and improving!

Language Learning Must-Haves


Can you become completely fluent with Duolingo? ›

We see this question a lot and the answer is: yes. Duolingo is a free language-learning platform, and every language and lesson is totally free!

How quickly can you become fluent with Duolingo? ›

A note from the Fluent in 3 Months team before we get started: You can chat away with a native speaker for at least 15 minutes with the "Fluent in 3 Months" method. All it takes is 90 days.

How advanced can Duolingo get you? ›

The levels are labeled A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2, and they cover increasingly complex language needs. Most people don't need to master all, or even most, of the levels. It's all about what you want to do with the language.

What is the hardest language to learn on Duolingo? ›

Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn.

What happens if Duolingo is too easy? ›

If you have previous experience with a language and feel that lessons are too easy, you can scroll to the next locked unit and tap the circle that says “Jump here?”. If you pass the test, you'll unlock that unit! NOTE: This will complete all levels up to that point.

How much Duolingo should I do a day? ›

You don't need to spend hours on Duolingo each day. However, you must put a reasonable amount of time into learning. If you log in to complete one lesson and sign out as soon as you've reached 10XP, you won't get very far. To optimize your learning, aim to spend between 15 and 30 minutes on the app each day.

Which is better Babbel or Duolingo? ›

The biggest difference between Babbel and Duolingo is the approach to language learning. Babbel is a better option if you want traditional language instructions through modules and lessons. By contrast, Duolingo works great if you need a playful, gamified experience.

What is the longest Duolingo course? ›

As of February 3rd 2023, the longest Duolingo streak is 3676 days, held by user christi3. This means that the longest Duolingo streak is over 10 years old!

What percentage of people finish a Duolingo course? ›

An informal study estimates that course completion rates fall as low as 0.01% for Spanish learners (second most popular language on Duolingo), and peak at 0.24% for Ukrainian learners.

What do you get for being top 3 in Duolingo? ›

There is no league higher than Diamond. If you reach the top 3 of Diamond, you will remain in that league.

What is the success rate of Duolingo? ›

The 95% Confidence Interval for the effectiveness is from 5.6 points to 10.7 points gained per one hour of study.

What makes Duolingo bad for learning a language? ›

Duolingo relies too much on translation and indirect learning. Most exercises in Duolingo feel like language learning, but are in fact exercises in “indirect learning” and accumulation of passive knowledge instead of active skill.

What's the best way to progress through Duolingo? ›

“Hover” around several skills – spreading your time across a handful of nearby skills – and alternate between gaining crowns and doing new lessons. Hovering across multiple skills helps you maximize learning by practicing what you've already studied while continuing to learn new material.

Does Duolingo ever get hard? ›

Learning a language is hard, so it's important that we make our app fun and exciting to keep up momentum. At the same time, we think it's important for people to regularly challenge themselves with tougher lessons, even if it might be outside their comfort zone.

Is Duolingo good for your brain? ›

The purpose of Duolingo courses is to teach you to use and understand a new language—so this improvement in executive functioning is an added bonus! Duolingo learners transferred benefits from one realm (language learning) to another (executive functioning).

What age group uses Duolingo the most? ›

Audience composition can reveal a site's current market share across various audiences.'s audience is 50.34% male and 49.66% female. The largest age group of visitors are 18 - 24 year olds (Desktop).

Who uses Duolingo the most? ›

Learners around the globe take up multiple languages

The countries where the most learners study three or more languages on Duolingo are Finland (#1) and the U.K. (#2).

Is anything better than Duolingo? ›

We have compiled a list of solutions that reviewers voted as the best overall alternatives and competitors to Duolingo, including Rosetta Stone, Busuu, Lingvist, and Mango Languages.

Is Rosetta Stone better than Duolingo? ›

Yes. After thoroughly testing out and reviewing each language learning app, we found Rosetta Stone to be a superior program to Duolingo. While we like Duolingo's gamification of learning, Rosetta Stone is simply more comprehensive and effective.

What is super Duolingo? ›

Super Duolingo is a premium addition to the Duolingo experience. With Super Duolingo, your benefits include: No ads: Learn without interruptions. Unlimited Hearts: Enable unlimited hearts so mistakes won't slow you down. Mistakes Review: Make a mistake?

What happens when you hit 365 day streak on Duolingo? ›

You get automatically inducted into the club once you get 365 days logged.

What happens when you complete all levels in Duolingo? ›

Once you complete all the levels in a unit, you'll complete a challenge to earn your unit trophy. You'll also have the option to earn the Legendary trophy for each unit.

Who has the worlds highest Duolingo streak? ›

Congrats to John Arnold, who has the highest-ever Duolingo streak of over 2000 days! He's a horse farmer and chemist.

Should I complete all levels in Duolingo before moving on? ›

The way Duolingo teaches requires users to finish a skill or set of skills before moving on to the next set. The skills are displayed in a way that makes them look slightly like a "language tree ". Users must complete all the skills on each row of the tree before moving to the next row.

How many hours of Duolingo is equal to a college course? ›

According to an independent study conducted by the City University of New York and the University of South Carolina, an average of 34 hours of Duolingo are equivalent to a full university semester of language education.

What is the minimum Duolingo score for university? ›

Universities happily accept students with a score of 7 or more in IELTS, 86 or more in TOEFL, and at least a B2 grade point in CEFR. So, a good Duolingo test score is 110 and above. Anything above 120 is an excellent Duolingo exam score.

What is the fastest growing language in the world? ›

The 5 Fastest Growing Languages and What That Means for Global Industry
  • French. French is spoken in numerous nations on the continent of Africa, which has some of the world's highest birth rates at this time, making it one of the globe's fastest-growing languages.
  • Arabic. ...
  • Spanish. ...
  • Mandarin Chinese. ...
  • Urdu.

How do you access flirting on Duolingo? ›

Flirting is a bonus skill that can be bought in the Lingot store for 30 lingots.

How does Duolingo decide who is in your league? ›

Each user is assigned to a league that consists of 30 random participants of a common rank who earned their first XP of the week at a similar time. There is always one open league per rank, that doesn't have 30 participants yet, where people can join.

Can you turn off leagues in Duolingo? ›

You turn off leagues on the full website (not app), by turning your profile to Private. Go settings > privacy > untick 'make my profile public'.

Who is Duolingo's target audience? ›

Targeted primarily at elementary-level students, Duolingo Math wants to make learning the often-loathed subject more enjoyable with thousands of five-minute "bite-sized" lessons.

What happens if you make too many mistakes in Duolingo? ›

Every day, you get five hearts on Duolingo. If you make a mistake and don't get a question right, you lose a heart. If you lose five hearts, it's game over. You have to wait before you can try again, and it usually takes a pretty long time.

Is it OK to make mistakes in Duolingo? ›

making mistakes is a natural part of learning and should not take away from the process of doing a lesson. I understand what Duolingo is trying to do, but it's really counterintuitive.

Is Duolingo accepted in USA? ›

Ans. Yes, Duolingo English tests are accepted for USA student visa applications. There are over 100 universities in USA that accept DET. Even after the pandemic, the universities are still accepting Duolingo as proof of proficiency.

What is the world's easiest language? ›

And The Easiest Language To Learn Is…
  1. Norwegian. This may come as a surprise, but we have ranked Norwegian as the easiest language to learn for English speakers. ...
  2. Swedish. ...
  3. Spanish. ...
  4. Dutch. ...
  5. Portuguese. ...
  6. Indonesian. ...
  7. Italian. ...
  8. French.
Nov 9, 2021

What is the most useful language to learn? ›

The 7 Best Languages To Learn
  1. Spanish. Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language after Mandarin, and not a surprise at the top of languages to learn. ...
  2. German. ...
  3. Arabic. ...
  4. Mandarin. ...
  5. Portuguese. ...
  6. Russian. ...
  7. French.
Oct 19, 2022

What is sweetest language in the world? ›

According to a UNESCO survey, Bengali has been classified as the sweetest language in the world. As a language, Bengali is widely spoken all over India, including Assam and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The sweetest language in the world is also recognized in the Constitution of India.

How long does it take to become fluent on Duolingo? ›

A note from the Fluent in 3 Months team before we get started: You can chat away with a native speaker for at least 15 minutes with the "Fluent in 3 Months" method. All it takes is 90 days.

What fake languages does Duolingo teach? ›

Duolingo fictional languages

These are High Valyrian and Klingon, taken from Game of Thrones/House of the Dragon and Star Trek respectively. As you might expect, these aren't as in-depth as some of the other courses and aren't as well-supported.

Has anyone learned a language using Duolingo? ›

Tommy has found ample opportunities to practice the Spanish he's learned with Duolingo on a daily basis in communicating with his teammates and coaches.

What happens if you complete a language on Duolingo? ›

The guidebook can be accessed any time, even when you complete the unit. NOTE: Guidebooks are not available for all languages. Once you complete all the levels in a unit, you'll complete a challenge to earn your unit trophy. You'll also have the option to earn the Legendary trophy for each unit.

What happens when you reach the end of Duolingo? ›

When you get to the end, you'll get a cute little trophy wearing a flag that represents the language you're learning. Each node in the tree consists of several lessons.

Who has been on Duolingo the longest? ›

Congrats to John Arnold, who has the highest-ever Duolingo streak of over 2000 days! He's a horse farmer and chemist.

What is the longest course on Duolingo? ›

As of February 3rd 2023, the longest Duolingo streak is 3676 days, held by user christi3. This means that the longest Duolingo streak is over 10 years old!

What is one unit of Duolingo equivalent to? ›

A unit on the Duolingo tree is just a block of content. Each course is broken down into logical chunks, each one cranking up the difficulty as you progress through the course.


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