This Duolingo review will be different from my Russianpod101 review. As I haven’t used Duolingo as extensively as other Russian courses. I only installed it for a couple of weeks. I’ve also seen how my mother used it to learn a bit of Russian.
In general I like the premise of Duolingo. I just don’t think it’s a good way to learn Russian.
The problem with all these apps that promise to make it easy to learn Russian, is that learning Russian isn’t easy.
If you try to game the system by using a fancy app, most people will not put in the effort and focus required to really learn.
If it’s on your phone, you likely are distracted while using it, and that hinders true learning of new words and grammar.
However, there are some good points of Duolingo:
It’s great for people that haven’t committed yet to learning Russian. If you’re unsure if you seriously want to learn Russian, then it’s a good way to test the waters. Install Duolingo, use it for 10 minutes per day for 2 weeks and you’ll have a much better idea of the Russian language.
Also, after Duolingo hit the scene, I’ve seen much more people try to learn foreign languages. I used to travel to work by train for a couple of months, and I saw plenty of people using Duolingo while commuting. That’s a good trend. Because Duolingo promises to make it ‘too easy’ to learn a language, much more people try to learn it.
Most will fail unfortunately, but a select few will persevere and really learn a foreign language. And Duolingo got the foot in the door to get them started.
Another good thing about Duolingo is if you’re traveling just once to Russia for example. You don’t care about really learning Russian, but just want to know the basics of saying hello, introducing yourself and making a bit of small talk.
In that case, Duolingo does the job well.
Duolingo Russian review
Duolingo is an okay app if you want to learn Russian. But it’s only for complete beginners who are unsure if they want to continue to learn Russian. If you’re serious about speaking Russian, Russianpod101 is way better.