How to develop a language learning app like duolingo?

Vlad Pshenychka
Vlad Pshenychka
5 min read

Find out the reasons why the learning apps like Duolingo are so popular. Think about our own idea how to create the language bot with the most useful features

In the age of high technologies and Internet, people have enormous opportunities. For instance, if earlier they could study in a full-time form, now everyone who wants to get knowledge can just download a necessary app on the phone or tablet. Of course, language apps are the necessary ones, because they help people easily, in the form of game learn a new language. “Duolingo” is a real pioneer in language app development, in which users can do exercises comfortable spending at least 10 minutes per day. This app got an enormous popularity so in the article, we will discuss how to make an app like “Duolingo” and why such apps are so important nowadays.


Before starting the theoretical part of the article, let`s go through the reasons for developing apps for learning languages. First of all, when you have an idea to create a mobile app, you should analyze which apps are really popular and why. That`s is necessary to predict risky moments and profit from work. In case you are interested in educational apps, let`s go through the statistics from 2011 to 2020. You can notice the increase of budget in this area: from 3.4$ billion in the start to 37.8$ billion in 2020 according to the The difference is amazing, isn`t it?

The main reasons for your clients of using such app will be:

  • opportunity to learn more than 20 languages at the same time by choice;
  • being independent from any timezone or place; you can just imagine how important to save the time in our days, so managing own schedule is a huge point;
  • personal approach by levels: users can choose beginner or advanced program study.

How to develop a language learning app like duolingo?


Most of the people are bored with simple grammar material and scrimpy theory. They need to get knowledge in a simple way of game or video course, on which they can spend a lunchtime or a break between lessons or work. Also, users like to see their result at once, to feel the progress in learning every day and they need to get inducement to learn more every day. The popularity of “Duolingo” is in its way of teaching, because developers gave all that people need: a place to chat with friends, easy exercises, progress, which is shown in different levels, short videos and great materials for listening. In addition, people can get quick answers from native speakers and knowledge of high-quality in the trip, on the road to work, at any convenient time for them, which is a big benefit. So, at first, you should make a basis for the application, which must be new and interesting for users. Our special tips for creating successful language apps will certainly help you to get started.


We analyzed all the problems of educational apps and will help you to develop something really useful for users.

Support users and ask for changes

When we start any of the good habits, we follow it with a desire, but in time we often drop it off. This case is about language courses, which have a very high level of attrition. In 2008 Jeff McQuillan studied, which progress have the people, who take language learning books from the library. He noticed, that on average a person reads less than 20% of each book and then gives up. Duolingo’s Spanish courses developers found out that generally, users drop out after less than 2 hours of study. So, to interest people and give them what they really want, language app developer must provide a great support, which will build the connection between app and user, and also work on decreasing mistakes and search special information.

Ease the studying

Nobody wants to spend their free time on learning boring rules, which is not effective. Give the users an opportunity to communicate and share files for studying. Also, provide everyday information, which person reads every day in different languages. People must provide their knowledge at once in their routine to have an excellent result in language learning.

How to develop a language learning app like duolingo? - 1

Get a support of high schools and universities

For instance, to learn Spanish with «Duolingo», a person needs from 26 to 49 hours of studying which is appropriate to first college semester. What is easier for a student: to have an online app on the phone, which can be used at any time of the day or to have lessons at the institution. Besides, a real-time classroom is an interesting idea, which is popular. So, provide different ways of learning for people of all ages and try to unite your affords with universities/schools.

Add new functions

The most popular reason to give up using a mobile app is that a user does not need it anymore. That`s why the functions of the application must be provided for different people. Update the program all the time to make it useful for customers.

Make the studying interesting

Users get used to different exercises very quickly, so try to surprise them adding new ones all the time. Find out your individual feature of the app to interest people.

Create advertisements

From the start, it will be hard to find users for your app, because the amount of different language learning programs in the stores is enormous. Also, usually users choose the most widespread ones. Spread the advertisements, which must be bright and exclusive on blogs and Facebook. Firstly, make the full app for free, then try to sell it for a cheap price.

How to develop a language learning app like duolingo? - 2


Now we move from the theory tips for creating a language learning app to the start of practice. To create a professional bot, you need a great sum of money, a large team of developers and lots of free time. But we offer a cheaper, but not an ideal way to create a bot.

  1. Decide the theme. Find something special and think about what you would like to have in the perfect bot.
  2. Look for adherents, people who can support you from the beginning to the start.
  3. Find the base for chatbot (, Playground by Pandorabots).
  4. Recognize the audience. For instance, Duolingo bot is used to teach beginners and works in a form of short examination, while Mondly is a real companion for people, who want to increase their language level and to get a rich vocabulary.
  5. Full the program with a number of questions and several possible answers for them.
  6. Provide the voice recognition, based on the engine by Nuance. It is a developed system, which has its Custom Application Vocabularies, which can be used if you need a bot for a special audience. The other engines, which are also great are Cloud Speech API by Google, Bing Speech API by Microsoft.


Actually, everything is up to you, so analyze our pieces of advice, develop your ideas and, maybe over time you will succeed with your own bot!

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