December 9, 2014 | Swedish

Duolingo Swedish Day

I finally return to a site people rave about.

For quite a while now, people I know have been going on about how great Duolingo is. I have been told multiple times how addictive it is and how much fun and bla bla bla.

Well, that wasn’t my initial experience. I dabbled in a couple of languages—German and Portuguese—and simply couldn’t get what others liked about it.

Dueling with Duolingo!

It is free, so I have wondered whether that was the draw, but I think there is another explanation as well.

When I first tried Duolingo, I believe they had only four languages, all ones I had previously studied in detail. I tried Duolingo for German and Portuguese, but I had majored in German in college, and I have gone through quite a few Portuguese books and audio lessons in the past couple of years—which probably makes a product optimized for new learners harder to love.

Swedish, on the other hand, is brand new to me. Until the beginning of December, I knew nothing about it. I still know almost nothing about it. And so far I really like Duolingo for Swedish a lot!

It’s colorful and pretty to look at, you get a lot of reinforcement, and there are varied activities. I translated from Swedish into English and from English into Swedish, I typed what I heard in little audio clips, I got corrected and encouraged, and I was introduced to a quite reasonable choice and amount of vocabulary that I appreciated knowing.

Okay, maybe I didn’t care so much about “elk,” “moose,” and “reindeer,” but I can see why those might be in there.

Anyway, Duolingo was a productive use of my time, so as it rained and sleeted outside my window today, I made my way through to Level 5. 

I also spent a bunch of time late last night on, which is one of Antosch & Lin’s substantial collection of language-learning websites. I also enjoyed that—and found the audio very clear, probably clearer than Duolingo’s audio.

Now, if all you care about is reading and writing Swedish and you don’t need to hear it, you can use the site for free, but I would strongly recommend paying $7.99 a month for the sound version. With Swedish you need sound or you could go way way astray!

Comments (3)

Oliver Antosch • Posted on Tue, December 23, 2014 - 7:17 pm EST

Thanks Ellen for the endorsement! We are actually phasing out the old URLs, so best to use the new URLs already. The yearly price is 7 USD/month and the monthly price is 8 USD/month. Decided to go for honest round numbers.
And I agree what you said about the audio of the A&L website. ;)

chris • Posted on Tue, January 27, 2015 - 1:51 am EST

Aha, now I see why you didn’t care for duolingo so much before. I agree with you on the quality of audio on it, though.

Kerstin • Posted on Thu, July 02, 2015 - 5:21 am EST

Hey Ellen, I’m feeling very happy to see that I’m not the only one that doesn’t quite get Duolingo’s appeal. I’ve tried it several times, including with the Swedish and Danish skill trees, but get bored very quickly. The audio components of Duo also feel like a bit of a letdown. I wonder whether it is more useful when seen as a test-yourself device?

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