Do you want to use your smartphone to learn a new language?That’s what Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker thought would be a good idea. So von Ahn, a computer science teacher, and hacker, a student, decided to do something about it.
Together they invented the app Duolingo and made it available at the end of 2012. One year later the app has been downloaded 10 million times and has just been declared by Apple as its best free iPhone app for 2012. (You can also get the app for Android).
The free Duolingo app has six languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese. It’s designed like a game, so when you open the app you use images, the microphone of your smartphone and video clips to learn new words, repeat them and practice writing them.
It’s likely in 2014 there will be more languages included in the Duolingo app, but the app will still be free. The designers believe that language learning should be free.