Duolingo is free language learning education website that teaches users a new language while they simultaneously translate content across the web. Duolingo’s mission is to translate the web into every language, as well as make language education accessible to the masses. Co-founded by crowd-sourcing pioneer Luis von Ahn, who also developed CAPTCHA, reCAPTCHA and the Google Image Labeler, Duolingo is dedicated to translating the web into every language by having language students translate it while they learn a new language for free.
Making Education & Information Accessible
Access to the internet is growing worldwide, but many visitors are still unable to unlock a wealth of information, simply because of language. Duolingo addresses this problem in two ways: by helping users learn a new language and translate the web into other languages. And most importantly, the service is completely free.
“Duolingo leverages the brain power of millions of people who are currently learning a new language to help translate the web,” says Luis von Ahn, co-founder of Duolingo. “So much of the web is partitioned off by language barriers. With more than a billion people on the planet learning a new language, I knew this was the ultimate opportunity to not only provide accessible education resources, but also make the internet a truly world wide web.”
Language translation is at the core of Duolingo’s educational service. For example, if a native English speaker seeks to learn Spanish, Duolingo will start by giving the user a level-appropriate Spanish sentence from a Spanish website to translate, along with relevant lessons and education examples. Users then have the opportunity to vote on the quality of other user translations – ensuring the most accurate translation, all while helping the user better understand the language.
Samantha Kotey is the editor for AvatarGeneration and has a background in educational technology and virtual worlds. A mom of two, she is passionate about all things related to toys and technology.