Duolingo just changed the display numbers of total users for each courses on their websites to "active users" which in Duolingo-ese, means anyone who's earned 10XP in any course in the past year. That alone is ridiculous, but even with that exceedingly generous definition for an "active" users, some of the courses' total dropped exponentially. I don't recall all the stats, but I do know that when I started my SAC at the end of last May, I was looking at that stats and noticed Irish had just over 4 million users. I remember that because I laughed then to myself over how many of those 4 million got through the first lesson and then quit. It now lists just over 1 million "active" users. That's a huge drop, even with very lenient measures.
A few years ago, Duolingo released some partial data about the number of people who actually completed course and Irish had one of the worst ratios of users who started the course to users who completed the course. So I can only imagine how tiny that number of "active" users for the Irish course would be if they had defined "active" more astringently.
Ciarán12 wrote:I don’t know if this is really the right thread, but it’s close enough.
I’d like to hear from anyone who’s actually completed one of the Duolingo courses - how good does it actually make you at the language (supposing Duolingo was your only (or at least primary) method of learning the language)? Are there differences between the courses? (like some take you to B1 level, others as far as B2 etc…)
Kind of late reply so I doubt this will be that useful for you now, but if anyone else is curious...
I've completed 4 of their courses: German, French, Spanish and Irish. And because I'm a masochist, I hope to complete the Welsh course by the end of this year. I've completed the other four twice, in fact--for French, German and Spanish, the second time was due to the courses being updated. For Irish, it was just for review (and because I'm masochist and I just had to remind myself of just how very awful the Duolingo Irish course is). How good does it makes you at the target language? *heavy sigh*
Because of my own personal learning style I only find Duolingo good as a supplement, but as a primary resource, I think it's sorely lacking. Duolingo claims to get you to the A2-B1 threshold, but whether you are actually there at the end of a course really depends on other variables, like whether you've studied the language at all before and if you have been using other resources that deepen your learning. But if you're brand new to learning languages and Duolingo is your only source. I suspect you'd be a very confused A1, maybe A2 learner by the end. While some of the courses cover more intermediate level grammar, they just don't teach enough of the language to get a pure beginner out of what's typically considered A1-A2 range. Sure you do some lessons on the subjunctive in the French course, but by the end of the course you will not have learned enough vocabulary alone from the course itself to read intermediate level reading materials. This is a big problem with their model.Is this the same for all courses?
Duolingo will want to tell you yes, but in practice, clearly it's not. One huge flaw with Duolingo is it was designed around learning Romance languages (namely Spanish and Portuguese) from English, and now it's expanded to applying that model to any other language in the world. It doesn't take a PhD in linguistics to know how that's a problem. For languages like Irish, these means some of the allotted lessons have to be committed to teaching grammar and syntax that isn't like English or Romance languages. For languages like Russian or Japanese, some of those lessons have to be committed to teaching the scripts as well as new grammar concepts and new syntax.
Likewise, for languages like Russian or Japanese, how far do you expect your typical English speaker to get with those languages compared to Spanish or Portuguese, if given the same amount of time to learn each? You see, Duolingo's model doesn't allow for indefinitely long courses, so it's left largely up to the unpaid, volunteer contributors to cram languages like Russian and Japanese into a framework that was designed to teach English speakers X amount of Spanish or Portuguese in X amount of lessons. So naturally, you will not be as advanced in Russian by the end of that course as you probably would be in Spanish by the end of its respective course.