DuoLingo For Android

Our portfolio company DuoLingo has had one of the top free education apps in the iPhone app store for the past year. If you want to learn a language for free on the iPhone, you can get it here. DuoLingo currently offers courses in the following languages:


The big news is that DuoLingo for Android launches today. Android is much larger outside of the US and this will significantly increase the number of users who can take advantage of free language learning on your phone. If you use Android and want to give DuoLingo a try, go here.


Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    point of order mister chairman/ woman.why does “Portuguese” have a Brazil flag?i’m not even going to attempt to ask about “English”.

    1. Dave Pinsen


    2. John Best

      I was about to go there too. Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese is pretty different, enough that my Brazilian friend can’t understand Europeans.

      1. jason wright

        yes, and “Spanish” gets a Spain flag. what’s the thinking here?

        1. Justin K.

          Spanish would need many flags. For instance, words like “coger” can mean “to catch” in some countries and “to f$^#” in other countries. Grammatically, some countries like Costa Rica only use the formal “you” (“usted”) and using information is considered rude. And, that’s not even getting started on “vosotros” or other conjugations like those.

    3. andyswan

      They might have actually done better if they had just put a picture of a good looking woman for each that “looks like she probably speaks that language”

      1. jason wright

        Proust said that good looking women are for men without imagination

        1. andyswan

          The good news is that they’re great for men with imagination as well.

          1. jason wright

            as always, she decides.

          2. LE

            Truth is that a man would rather have a meeting with a good looking man (or a man he respects) than an ugly man also.A man would probably enjoy interacting with a cute kid of either sex over a homely kid.Same with puppies. Same way you like to look at cars or any object (nice stove for the kitchen, furniture etc.) Good looks work on the pleasure center of the brain. Not necessarily a sexual thing. It’s nice weather here today. When it’s cloudy I don’t feel the same. Women perhaps don’t understand this because I’ve been told they are less visual like that. Maybe because teleologically they had to be because the best hunter or warrior didn’t have “gay” good looks. Or something like that.I was reading this gotham gal post on Sara Blakely the other day:http://www.gothamgal.com/go…She never made it to the Chipmunk job because she left to take a job selling fax machines door-to-door. She thinks she got the job because she had a pulse. They gave her a cubicle and a phone book and four zip codes to work with. She cold called for seven years. She got a business card ripped in her face at least once a week. She would go to sales meetings and see people start to cry because they couldn’t make their quota. Truth is that this job laid the groundwork for Spanx. Truth is Sara got the job most likely because:a) Hiring guy had the hots for herb) Hiring guy knew she would get to see more prospects cold calling because she was good looking and as such she would be rejected less.All this is human nature. When I used to cold call to sell car detailing in rich neighborhoods in high school I would bring my girlfriend along for a different reason. I knew that a guy and a girl would be less threatening and seem “nicer” than a guy alone. And it worked everybody was really nice to us. (I also did this alone obviously).

          3. andyswan

            Of course. You’re just not supposed to say it out loud I guess.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        You…Waldstein… some of you AVCers are just so predictable.

        1. LE

          That’s the formula that improves any sitcom. [2] When you know the characters and can predict what they will do in a situation. Similar to the psychological basis of why kids like Mickey Mouse, Barney, Big Bird et al. In a constantly confusing world it’s something they can call their own. [1][1] My theories strictly, no links to support but I believe it to be the case.[2] You have to agree that that comment was much better because it came from Andy than from some random commenter that you didn’t know.

          1. Matt A. Myers

            I’ve started to hear you in a narration voice ever since you started referencing deeper thoughts.

          2. LE

            LE: “Personally I”m partial to Will Lyman who is the narrator for PBS Frontline:” [1]Narrator: “LE said this taking what Myers said quite seriously..while further contemplating a career in documentary production. He paused and though a bit then continued”LE: “But his tone doesn’t work stylistically for the things that I say..”[1] http://www.voiceoverunivers

          3. Matt A. Myers

            Also, a really amazing short could be made … at some point have FAKEGRIMLOCK eating everyone, or breaking through into something with some 3-5 word epic quotable line of dialogue.

      3. ShanaC

        what about a good looking man?

        1. andyswan

          The magazine rack has proven your argument futile

          1. ShanaC

            but not the growth of feminist porn πŸ™‚

          2. Cam MacRae

            Do we have a James Deen fan in the house?

    4. kirklove

      Well there are over 200 million people in Brazil and only 10 million in Portugal, so I’d say they made the right market choice. πŸ˜‰

      1. jason wright

        i agree. a smart commercial decision.Mexico has 120 million people. why Spain?why not China? πŸ™‚

        1. kirklove

          Most likely they went with recognizable flags that render well at small sizes, since sadly, most folks wouldn’t recognize the flags of Portugal or Mexico :(Don’t know about Chinese. Guess is, it’s harder to pull off. I’m sure they want it.

        1. JeremiahKane

          Crazy – I just bought this yesterday. Also looking forward to tracking down the Ramisco.

          1. awaldstein

            Let me know what you think of it on my post.In NYC only Chambers Street carries this. Speak with Ariana and use my name if you’d like.

          2. awaldstein

            I shouldn’t be but I’m a bit surprised that anyone on this thread knew this wine. Pleased and stay connected through my wine blog.

      2. Ricardo Diz

        Either way, as a Portuguese, it just makes me sad to see it!

      3. William Mougayar

        Yet, several international & European websites show the British flag under “English” versions of their sites, and not the US one.

    5. Donna Brewington White

      Something to do with marketing and target audience?I appreciate when the language choices on a product include UK English or American English.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        What about Canadian, eh?

        1. Donna Brewington White

          That’s more of a patch. πŸ˜‰

      2. Cam MacRae

        You’d be surprised how many millennials here speak American English thanks largely to the cultural imperialism of the idiot box. Pretty soon UK/Australian/Canadian English will be the nominal tongue, perhaps spoken only by upper echelon meritocrats and the classically educated.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          I wouldn’t be surprised and that’s a pity.I have my FB language set to UK English. Anglophile.

  2. Jonathan Nation

    Great.Any idea why it is not avaliable for the Nexus 7?

  3. Matthew Miller

    I’m going to try French. I wonder if this tool is enough to learn a language by itself or if it supplements existing learning. Any thoughts? Recommendations for what to combine this with?

    1. fredwilson

      i have heard it works for both use cases

    2. Jonathan Nation

      I’ve been using the web version for Spanish, doing one or two things most days for about 5 months now.I can generally read anything in spanish and at least understand the sentance structure and what is going on.Hearing it spoken is harder for me at this point, but I am improving.Spelling is pretty good for stuff I know – when I learned spanish is very phonetic it helped a lot (I expect French to be the same, but have no clue).I’m very happy for the android app.

      1. ShanaC

        that’s pretty good. I guess watch more tv?

    3. JLM

      .I would always suggest a nice sincere but not pretentious red wine with anything French. Something perhaps a bit naughty but with a smoothness that makes up for its naughtiness.JLM.

      1. awaldstein

        Or something white from the high Alpine, something wondrous and rare like a Gringet from Savoie. Some skin contact to add some depth and aroma and some tannins to deepen the palate.What I’ve learned is that it is not about the grape it is about the place.Sorry…couldn’t control myself!

        1. JLM

          .I thought that would smoke you out. Haha.JLM.

        2. Donna Brewington White

          So predictable, Waldstein.

          1. awaldstein

            Fallen hard for the Savoie lately. Alpine wines are something special.And of course the Savoie is Jura adjacent (big geek here!)

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Wine. That’s another language in itself.

          3. pointsnfigures

            After the third bottle, I find everyone from everywhere speaks alike.

      2. David Semeria

        More wisdom from the Texan well.Many a naughtiness has been tolerated, even welcomed – when presented in a velvet box.

        1. JLM

          .Good to hear from you.My womenfolk are in Florence for a couple of weeks jumpstarting the local economy.Let me know if you see them on the news. They are prone to misbehaving.JLM

          1. David Semeria

            If it’s their first time it’ll blow their minds.They’ve been a bit unlucky with the weather, but always better to have it too cold than too hot.Would love to spend more time here on AVC, but have been very busy trying to leave some sign of my existence on this planet. A’ la prochain fois, as the Germans say…

    4. CJ

      Alone? No. It’s good though. Mix it with immersion and a couple of good phrase books and you’ll do well. Remember reading a language is one thing, speaking it is another. If you want to be semi-fluent start speaking it as soon as possible rather than just looking to pass exercises.

    5. Matt A. Myers

      Watching movies you enjoy over and over again in the language you’re trying to learn I heard is helpful.

      1. Matthew Miller

        Any suggestions for French films? I’ve got two favourites but still need to use subtitles: AmΓ©lie and The Intouchables .

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I like the Dragon Ball Z series in French. πŸ˜‰

  4. jason wright

    i’ll wait for the Universal Translator, inevitably a Google product.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Pretty sure Google Glass will fill this gap quite well, at least for signage, or well really anything you put infront of it …

      1. jason wright

        i agree. a face to face conversation between two people each wearing Glass, each speaking in their own native tongue, and each receiving instant voice translation to their ‘earphone’.

  5. howardlindzon

    I dont see english to financial english in this product …tsk tsk

      1. William Mougayar

        It’s a good idea to learn a language by being paired with a native over video conf. Clever!

  6. andyswan

    well shit now I can’t decide whether to use DuoLingo on android…or boycott Google

    1. fredwilson

      boycotting google is hardi have been wracking my brain in the past few days figuring out how i am going to do itwhich is my point

      1. andyswan

        I know…mine too….although my Uncle seems to have no problem with it.

        1. pointsnfigures

          let me know what calendar to use. iCal, I give up. no sync.

      2. Vineeth Kariappa

        πŸ™‚ Google never intends to harm you.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          “I only do it because I love you(r money)”

      3. Matt A. Myers

        Including email?

      4. William Mougayar

        Why not have a dialogue with them & ask them directly to participate in a town hall format where you could be the moderator & put them in the hot seat by answering questions from you & the audience. Live streamed of course.Waiting (or hoping) for Amazon or other to stop them is too risky & may not work.Google has many useful products. We just don’t want them to overplay their hand. It’s like a friendly intervention with good intentions.

  7. DuckDuckGoose

    how about some asian languages, like korean/japanese/chinese/vietnamese/thai

  8. Farhan Abbasi

    I LOVE duolingo. Used it to prep for my 4 month backpacking trip to Latin America – people were impressed how much I understood and spoke without having taken years in Spanish. Que Chimba!

    1. fredwilson


    2. Farhan Abbasi

      Here’s why I’m blown away by Duolingo:- Addictive user interface. You can’t say that with many interfaces. It doesn’t require much to learn and you can keep learning for an hour or so. This is key.- has an AMAZING algorithm that repeats words you’ve learned into new sentences to reinforce it, and tracks words you’ve gotten wrong.- it’s free and I don’t know why. – it’s social, you can compare with friends, discuss each question, etc.Key thing is that it’s addictive and smart. Should’ve known Fred was part of this.

      1. fredwilson

        it is free because you are translating the web and other things along with all the other users and that is a revenue generating service that duolingo operates in order to keep the language learning app free

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I read something somewhere awhile ago that some password captchas do similar

          1. fredwilson

            luis von ahn, founder/CEO of DuoLingo, invented the captcha and recpatcha which is what you are thinking aboutthis whole idea came from that experience

          2. Matt A. Myers

            Oooh. Cool. Good person to invest in. πŸ™‚

        2. Farhan Abbasi

          Claaroo…glad to know the crowd-sourced translations generate revenue. Everyone’s happy here.

        3. Donna Brewington White

          oh that’s smart!

        4. ShanaC

          that is a super fascinating business model – how did they come up with it? They’re playing both sides of the network model

          1. fredwilson

            it came from his previous company, recaptchahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wi…

          2. ShanaC

            very very smart

        5. William Mougayar

          That’s a creative monetization model- crowd sourced, peer to peer & in the cloud.

  9. pointsnfigures

    I don’t see American dialects. Even translating from da west side tew da sout side of Chicaga could be useful don’t ya know

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Ya dig?

    2. ShanaC


  10. Donna Brewington White

    Needed this. Merci, DuoLingo.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I can’t get over the name, DuoLingo – it’s just perfect …

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Yep, pretty cool. Definitely gives them cred. But they might want to change it to MultiLingo. I say go big or go home.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I guess I more picture it as your native / first language + 1 other current … but I follow. πŸ™‚

          1. Donna Brewington White

            I was being flip. Of course from a marketing standpoint, the idea of learning ONE additional language makes it feel more accessible and less intimidating. And many will be motivated to use this product to meet a current or upcoming practical need.

          2. Matt A. Myers

            I know, I’m just a bit grumpy and frank today. πŸ™‚

    2. William Mougayar

      I will expect some improvements in your Foursquare Checkins, then. Plus de fautes d’orthographe!

  11. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I’ve gone through a bunch of the French on the DuoLingo web app. It’s SO fun and well-executed. I wish I had more time to devote to it. I tell everyone I know who’s interested in learning a language about it.

  12. Matt A. Myers

    I should show this to my mother, see if they’re using the best methods of language learning …

  13. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I can hardly wait til they add Esperanto ;)http://kafejo.com/lingvoj/a…

  14. Donna Brewington White

    Let’s see… money… education… Interesting direction that USV is taking. These needs will never go away and will always be disruptable. I think you listened to your own message about building a sustainable business. And I know you’ve talked about cracking healthcare… That will be a feat.

  15. ShanaC

    Now I just need a new phone so I can finally learn french

    1. ShanaC

      also -opening up myself to what phone to get: note that I’m on sprint, unlikely to go anywhere internationally in the next year, and don’t know what to get

  16. TomΓ‘Ε‘ KΕ™Γ­ΕΎ

    I’m really not sure about the flags.My guess is they want to attract people who learn second/third languange while working (because for them the alternative is insanely expensive). So flags of countries that are not in G8 (or O5) wont make the cut. That Spanish flag is definitely indecision. :)Deffinitely a bad idea on european market.

  17. William Mougayar

    Who translated this headline?”Duolingo to releases Android app of translation program”http://triblive.com/mobile/…

  18. Scott Barnett

    very cool – a friend has DuoLingo on iPhone and I was jealous because I wanted it on Android. Now that I’m back from overseas, I just downloaded it and will use it. Can’t wait! I could have used it last week in Mexico with my really poor Spanish πŸ™‚

  19. fredwilson

    i’ve heard it will be available within weeks