Duolingo is a free language­learning program that is taking the world by storm with its

learning website and app that has over 105 million people signed up. Duolingo aims to

help anyone with a smartphone, tablet, or computer to learn different languages. The app

is a huge success and Au’loni Magazine was lucky enough to have the opportunity to

chat with CEO and co­founder, Luis von Ahn, about the successful learning platform.

 

Duolingo is the most popular language­learning platform worldwide, what makes

Duolingo so unique?

“Duolingo is 100% free, designed to feel like a game and scientifically proven to be

effective. An independent study by the City University of New York has shown that 34

hours on Duolingo is equivalent to a university semester of language classes.”

 

What is Duolingo’s mission?

“Duolingo’s mission is to make free, high quality language courses accessible to all.

Selected by Apple as iPhone App of the Year in 2013, by Google as Best of the Best for

Android in 2013 and 2014, Duolingo is the most downloaded app in the “Education”

category on Android and iOS worldwide.”

 

How is Duolingo so effective?

“Duolingo effectiveness is due to its use of machine learning algorithms that understand

user­learning patterns to create personalized lessons. By analyzing millions of data

points, these algorithms are used to constantly optimize the rate at which people acquire

new information.”

 

I’ve read that there is also a Duolingo for Schools, can you describe what that

entails?

“Duolingo for Schools is a free platform that allows teachers, parents, school

administrators, and even governments to teach more effectively with Duolingo. More

than 100,000 teachers use Duolingo for Schools to track their students’ progress, assign

homework and conduct interactive in class activities.”

 

How successful profit­wise has Duolingo been since launching in 2012?

“Duolingo has raised US $83.3 million in investments from Google Capital, Union

Square Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

some of the same investors behind Twitter and Tumblr. Other investors include actor

Ashton Kutcher and author Tim Ferriss.”

Ahn has had much success throughout his life as the inventor of CAPTCHA and

reCAPTCHA. He sold two companies to Google in his 20s, awarded the MacArthur

Genius grant for his accomplishments, selected as one of the 10 most brilliant scientists

in Popular Science, one of the 50 best brains in Science by Discovery, one of the most

innovative people under 35 by the MIT Technology Review, and one of the 100 most

innovative people by Fast Company. Ahn is also a professor at Carnegie Mellon

University and has been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, Forbes, The

Wall Street Journal and other media worldwide. If that didn’t impress you, I don’t know

what will!

 

For more information about Duolingo you can check out the website at

https://en.duolingo.com.

You can also download the free app for your smartphone from

your phone’s app store.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/duolingo

Twitter: @Duolingo

Instagram: @Duolingo