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Duolingo has launched a paid subscription service designed to give language learners a leg-up. Paid subscribers will gain a couple of advantages over free users, all while keeping Duolingo in business. However, Duolingo is committed to continuing to offer free language learning for everyone.

We should all learn a new language Five Free Apps to Help You Learn A Foreign Language Five Free Apps to Help You Learn A Foreign Language Whether you're gearing up to go on your summer holidays, studying for exams, or just want to expand your mind, it's always a great time to learn a foreign language. Read More . Unfortunately, doing so isn’t easy. Duolingo at least makes the whole thing fun, but that comes at a cost. So much so that its CEO Luis von Ahn claims the company is spending $42,000 per day. No wonder Duolingo is launching a paid subscription service…

The Advantages of Duolingo Plus

Duolingo’s new subscription service, called Duolingo Plus, offers two distinct advantages over its free offering. First, it removes all ads from the service. And second, it offers offline learning. Duolingo claims these two features users have been requesting for some time.

In other words, Duolingo Plus is designed to complement, rather than kill, the basic Duolingo offering. To this end the company is taking a soft-sell approach. Duolingo is saying if you have the money and inclination to subscribe, please do so, but if not, please carry on learning for free.

The ability to download lessons to learn offline is a particularly good idea. As von Ahn suggests in the blog post announcing Duolingo Plus, users will now be able to continue learning while flying to a new country, or while commuting to work on public transport.

Duolingo Plus is initially only available on Android, but will be coming to iOS soon. Duolingo Plus, which is priced at $9.99-per-month, is the culmination of Duolingo’s attempts to become self-sufficient, with ads and in-app purchases also helping it bring in the money it clearly needs to remain viable.

You Can Still Learn for Free

Despite these recent attempts at monetization, Duolingo maintains it is committed to helping everyone learn languages for free Duolingo Chatbots Help You Learn a New Language Duolingo Chatbots Help You Learn a New Language Duolingo already offers a fantastic way of learning a new language, but its new chatbots now add a friendly face to proceedings. Read More . The idea is to keep the base offering free while raking in much-needed cash from those willing to pay for extra features. Which sounds eminently sensible.

Have you used Duolingo to learn a language? How far through the course did you get? Is it a good way of learning a language? What do you think of Duolingo’s attempts at monetization? Are you interested in Duolingo Plus? Please let us know in the comments below!

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  1. PJ
    June 22, 2017 at 4:06 am

    I completed the Spanish course, but I only have knowledge of 16% I wish you would offer additional levels to increase proficiency. I would be willing to pay for a more in depth course.

  2. ClivB
    May 1, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I've been using Duolingo for quite a while and find it addictive. I've got a 500 day streak in German and feel I've made good progress and have recommended it to lots of people. I would recommend that Duolingo charges for upgrades such as more idioms, or ideally, something to help with speech interactions - that would be a real step up.

  3. Phil N
    April 29, 2017 at 6:53 am

    I'm still waiting for them to add their most requested language, Japanese.

    • Jessica
      May 14, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      Something as complicated as Japanese should be learned in the classroom. In the first semester alone you will learn its alphabet and its 3 different writing systems. In future classes, it will teach you more kanji. Maybe duolingo could help you learn lingustically but I'm sure that you would like to learn how to read and write, right? It would be complicated to teach you how to read and write on duolingo so that's probably why they didn't make it yet. Cheers

      • Phil N
        May 14, 2017 at 6:36 pm

        Duolingo can teach hiragana and katakana, those are very easy to learn and enough to get by in many situations in Japan. The actual speaking is not really any more complicated than any other language, in fact it's a lot easier than English and many other languages. Where Duolingo can be of the most help is grammar and vocab.

        • Jessica
          May 19, 2017 at 2:04 am

          I wasn't saying that Japanese is hard to learn linguistically (the actual speaking, grammar,etc). I was focusing on the writing system where I was thinking duolingo could do some romanji since the writing itself is complicated.

  4. Angelina
    April 26, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    I've used Duolingo for French and Spanish. Spanish for work and practicality and French for fun. I love the app and find it to be user friendly and on point. I don't recall seeing ads.
    I recommend it to everybody. And yes I would pay for the Plus version.

  5. Michelle
    April 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I've never noticed ads. I've gone completely through the German tree and after 6 months away from it, I've restarted to turn it all gold again. I'd consider the paid model if the ads were more intrusive. I'd also pay for extra modules like idioms and flirting (those seem to be the only extra German ones). it's a fun and effective way to start a new language.

  6. Ernie bentley
    April 25, 2017 at 2:21 am

    I use it to prepare for each overseas trip. Even though I seldom get beyond levels 10-15 it's comforting to be able to read signs and pronounce words correctly.

    I've never noticed the ads, will start looks big for them.

    Being able to download lessons would be a plus. Will wait to see pricing. I'm on Windows and iOS.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 25, 2017 at 8:56 am

      I totally forgot to put the pricing... it's $9.99-per-month. Have updated the article. Thanks.

  7. Jamed
    April 24, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Duolingo is a great tool that helps me feel like I am making some small progress. My budget is crunched so I am not spending the money for Duolingo plus. I am delighted that they are ad supported and I also think it is great that people can pay for the extra options. Ads don't bother me, but offline learning would be great. (I'd consider paying for that and seeing ads.)

    Every company needs revenue, and I like how they're going about it.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 25, 2017 at 8:57 am

      I agree. I think it's a sensible approach that lets people pay if they want to while keeping the core language lessons free.

  8. Rosanna
    April 24, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Have been using for months. I think it is excellent and regularly tell others about it. I will definitely pay for plus.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 25, 2017 at 8:59 am

      What language(s) have you been learning? I got quite far into the Italian course, before switching to Dutch. I'd like to get a grasp on a handful of languages to hold me in good stead while travelling.