Can You Really Become Fluent with Duolingo? My Experience and Honest Opinion

If you’re looking to learn a new language, you’ve probably heard of Duolingo. It’s a popular language-learning app that has gained significant popularity over the years. It offers bite-sized lessons, game-like activities, and interactive challenges. And the best part? It’s completely free. But the question everyone seems to be asking is: can you become fluent with Duolingo? 

The answer to that question is not a straightforward one. While Duolingo can be a great tool to help you learn a new language, it is not the only tool you need. You can definitely learn a lot of vocabulary and some grammar rules with the app, but it won’t get you to fluency, at least not on its own. Fluency requires a lot of practice and exposure to the language in real-life situations, such as speaking with native speakers, watching films, and reading books. 

However, that’s not to say that Duolingo isn’t a valuable resource. It can be particularly useful for beginners who need to learn the basics of a new language. It can also be helpful for people who are looking to brush up on their language skills or prepare for a trip abroad. Additionally, with its recent implementation of personalized learning paths, Duolingo can adapt to the user’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing for more efficient learning overall. 

In summary, while Duolingo can certainly be a useful tool in your language-learning journey, it’s not a magic potion that will make you fluent overnight. Fluency requires a lot of dedication, hard work, and practice. Duolingo can help you get started, but you need to supplement it with other resources and experiences to achieve fluency.

The Effectiveness of Duolingo for Language Learning

As an experienced language learner, I have used various online resources to improve my proficiency in different languages. Duolingo is one of the most popular apps for language learning, but the question is, can you become fluent with Duolingo? 

While Duolingo is a useful tool, it should not be considered a one-stop solution for attaining fluency in a new language. Nevertheless, the app has several benefits that make it a positive addition to any language learner’s toolkit. Here are some of the factors to consider when using Duolingo to learn a new language:


One of the most significant advantages of Duolingo is the incorporation of gamification elements. The app uses rewards and incentives to keep learners motivated, making the language learning process more engaging and fun.


Another admirable aspect of Duolingo is its accessibility. The app can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, making it easy for people to learn a new language at any time and from any location.

Structured Learning 

Duolingo’s user-friendly interface provides a structured learning experience. The lessons are interactive, and the user progresses through the language levels as they master key skills. The app also includes listening, reading, writing, and speaking exercises, enabling learners to acquire a broad range of language capabilities.


While Duolingo is a great app for learning the basics of a language, it has some limitations. The app primarily focuses on vocabulary and grammar, making it less effective for developing conversational skills. Additionally, the app cannot replace the immersive experience of visiting a foreign country and communicating with native speakers.

can you become fluent with duolingo

In conclusion, Duolingo is a useful resource for language learners, but it should be used in conjunction with other learning methods. The app can increase a learner’s vocabulary and grammar knowledge, but it does not provide sufficient practice for developing conversational skills. Therefore, to become fluency in a new language, it is necessary to use Duolingo in combination with other resources such as language exchange programs or immersion experiences.

The Role of Consistency and Commitment in Language Learning

Commitment and consistency are the strongest predictors of success in language learning regardless of the method you choose, including using Duolingo. Becoming fluent in a language is an arduous task, and no single language learning tool can get you there without consistent and dedicated practice. Duolingo has become a popular app for learning new languages, but can you become fluent with Duolingo alone?

Duolingo is known for its user-friendly interface and intuitive gamification techniques, making it enjoyable for users to learn a new language in bite-sized portions. However, speaking a foreign language involves much more than just memorizing vocabulary and basic phrases. While Duolingo can help you develop a basic understanding of grammar rules and vocabulary, it cannot replace the value of conversational practice and cultural immersion.

Consistency is key when it comes to developing a new skill, and language acquisition is no exception. Language learning is a marathon, not a sprint, and requires consistent daily practice to build up your proficiency. Using Duolingo as a supplement to your language learning routine can be a great way to keep you on track and motivated. Yet, it’s vital to have a daily practice that includes real-life exposure to a language, such as communicating with native speakers or watching TV series in the targeted language.

A study by Roumen Vesselinov and John Grego from the City University of New York found that 34 hours of Duolingo practice is equivalent to one university semester of language courses. While it’s exciting to hear that just a few hours a day with Duolingo can lead to language proficiency, these hours must involve concerted effort into the app, which solely can be challenging.

In conclusion, while Duolingo can undoubtedly help improve your language skills, it should not be your only source of learning. To become fluent in a foreign language, you must supplement Duolingo’s gamified learning process with real-life practice and exposure. The key for any language learner is to be consistent in your daily practice and committed to your long-term language learning goals.

Supplementing Duolingo with Other Language Learning Resources

While Duolingo is a great tool for language learning, it’s not enough to become fully fluent. The app focuses mainly on vocabulary and basic sentence structure, which is a good foundation, but it’s only the beginning. As an expert in language learning, I recommend supplementing Duolingo with other resources to reach fluency. 

Here are a few additional language learning resources you can use to supplement your Duolingo education:

1. Language Exchange Programs: One of the best ways to become fluent in a language is to practice speaking with native speakers. Language exchange programs like Tandem and HelloTalk connect you with native speakers who are also learning your native language. Through these apps, you can practice speaking together, get corrections, and learn more about cultural nuances.

2. Language Learning Podcasts: Listening to podcasts in your target language is an excellent way to improve your listening comprehension. Some popular language learning podcasts include “Coffee Break Spanish,” “French Pod 101,” and “Learn Japanese Pod.”

3. Grammar Books and Workbooks: Duolingo touches on grammar, but it doesn’t dive deep. To truly understand the structures of a language, it’s important to study the grammar in more detail. A good grammar book or workbook, like “English Grammar in Use” for English learners or “Grammaire Progressive du Francais” for French learners, can help you master the intricacies of your target language.

4. Language Learning Apps: In addition to Duolingo, there are many other language learning apps available, like Memrise, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone. Each app has its own unique strengths, so it’s worth trying a few to see which one fits your learning style best.

5. Language Schools and Classes: While not everyone has the time or resources to attend a language school or class, it’s an effective way to learn a language. You’ll have a teacher who can correct your mistakes, classmates to practice with, and a structured curriculum to follow.

By using these and other language learning resources in conjunction with Duolingo, you’ll be well on your way to fluency. Remember, language learning is a journey, and it takes patience and persistence to achieve your goals. Keep practicing and learning, and you’ll get there!


Learning a language requires consistent effort and dedication. While Duolingo is a convenient app to learn and practice a language, it has its limitations in helping users become completely fluent. However, with the right mindset and approach, it’s certainly possible to achieve a high level of proficiency using Duolingo.

As a language learner, I have used Duolingo for several years and have found it to be a useful tool to build vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure. However, to become truly fluent, it’s essential to learn to speak and write a language in real-life situations. That means interacting with native speakers, reading authentic materials, and immersing oneself in the target language’s culture.

Furthermore, Duolingo’s gamified approach to learning can sometimes undermine a learner’s progress by focusing on repetitive skills without providing enough opportunities for natural usage of the language. It’s essential to balance the use of Duolingo with other language learning tools and exposure to authentic language materials.

In conclusion, Duolingo is a valuable resource for language learners, particularly beginners, wanting to learn a new language. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that consistent practice, immersion, and real-life language use are necessary to become fully fluent. So, while Duolingo can help you get started, it shouldn’t be the only tool you use on your language learning journey.