"Hebrew, Hungarian, and Vietnamese" sounds like the setup for a rather tasteless "guys walk into a bar" joke. But don't worry, readers of delicate disposition: it's just the latest update to DuoLingo, the much-loved language learning app. The August 1st update posted to the Play Store lists all three languages as additions to its growing list, so feel free to bone up on them if you're planning an oddly specific bit of international travel.
Duolingo, perhaps the best app for language learning on the Android platform, has added yet another option for prospective students: the native tongue of PewDiePie, Swedish. With the latest update, Swedish joins recent additions Irish and Dutch along with Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and Danish as options for English speakers. For now, Swedish is in a beta stage, according to Duolingo's website. You can still use it as normal though, they just don't promise absolute stability.
Swedish is spoken by nearly 10 million people throughout the world, mostly in Sweden and Finland. While sentences like Vad var det för ord – var det långt eller kort, var det väl eller illa skrivet?
Duolingo treats learning a new language like a game, and it has attracted users thanks to its simple way of breaking courses into something you actually want to dive into during your free time. The latest version sprinkles in elements of Material Design, making the already visually pleasing app feel even more at home on devices running Android 5.0.
This release won't have you mistaking it for a Google app, as the shrunken menu button is slightly off, and the side panel slides in awkwardly under tabs that look stuck in transition between Holo and Material. The drop-down menu's corners are rounded off, which, even if this weren't standard fare for modern Android apps, would suit Duolingo well thanks to its overall bubbly and adorable nature.
Irish is hard. Like, really, really hard - as someone who can generally fake his way through Latin-based languages, I was completely lost when I went to Ireland and found that all the road signs were in what I had previously thought of as "Gaelic." It's a good thing that English was also on the signs. But if you're interested in learning it (or if your Republic of Ireland education demands that you do) you can now get some practice in Duolingo, along with Danish. Which, frankly, makes a lot more sense as an addition. Both are marked as "Beta" courses on the website.
Nifty language learning app Duolingo is expanding on its usefulness by adding another course for English speakers. Android users can now click on the green birdy app to learn how to say new words in Dutch. The option is accessible along with all of the other courses, which you can see in the screenshot below.
For people who aren't at all interested in learning this particular language, the latest Duolingo update still comes with an added perk. The team says it has reduced the app's size by 20%. Many phones these days come with storage space to spare, but there remain more than few handsets in circulation that would benefit from this type of optimization.
Update, 7-25-14: A Carnegie Mellon representative informed us that in fact the Duolingo Test Center results will not factor into determining an applicant's English skills, it will merely be used in research to test the exam's effectiveness, at least at the moment.
Carnegie Mellon, a global research university that attracts student applicants from around the world, is the first academic partner of Duolingo for the English language certification exam.
In this role, the university in the coming year will encourage applicants and newly admitted students to take the online exam as part of a research study. The exam results will not be used as the basis of admission decisions during this period; rather, CMU would perform research into the stability, reliability of the test and its correlation with TOEFL iBT, an established English proficiency test.
Language learning app Duolingo is getting an update today, but most of the people who will be excited about it can't read this yet. Maybe someday they will with the help of Duolingo. This update expands the options for learning English and adds some more courses that have nothing to do with English.
Admit it, Glass owners, half the reason you're going to Google I/O is that you want to chat with other Glass people about how cool Glass is (hashtag throughglass). Google has given you plenty to chat about: they've just thrown a dozen new apps into the Glassware gallery, all of them from notable sources. Probably the most interesting is Livestream, the official app for Livestream.com, which was previously available as a side-load install.
Clockwise from left: Livestream, Duolingo, MusiXmatch, Star Chart, The Guardian, and Zombies Run!
Other possibly useful additions include a Glassified version of the Duolingo language learning app, a really cool take on the augmented reality Star Chart app, heads-up versions of the Runtastic and Zombies Run!
Duolingo is one of the most simplistic, visually appealing language learning experience someone can come across, and the fact that it's a mobile app they can take anywhere is just one heck of a perk. Today's update doesn't shake things up for existing users, but it has what it takes to bring in many more. Now English courses are available for people who speak Hindi as their native language, Russian speakers have the option to learn German, and German speakers are welcome to learn French.
Aside from that, the newest release should run smoother and provide a more stable experience all around.
People who have used Duolingo on the web or on iOS may have grown accustomed to a virtual shop where they're encouraged to spend hard-earned points on cool stuff. Now that engaging feature has come to Android. Whenever you complete an achievement going forward, Duolingo will reward you with Lingots that you can spend on all sorts of items ranging from power-ups to bonus language skills.
Duolingo already turns language-learning into a game by breaking down lessons into achievements and giving players a limited number of hearts. With the latest update, players students have more than just the satisfaction of mastering a new language to keep them going.