A couple of tips for learning languages with Duolingo

A couple of tips for learning languages with Duolingo

If you couldn't tell by my last name I'm half Greek. Γειά σου 👋

My dad is the Greek one of my parents but since I was born and have lived in England my entire life I’ve never actually taken to learning Greek. It would certainly make communicating with my family a lot easier when I visit and so I’ve been using Duolingo to learn Greek.

I’ve been using the app on and off for over a year but in the past six months two things have really accelerated my learning. The

The first is a tip one that Duolingo employ as part of the app’s design. It’s called Crown Levels and the company outlined the science behind it in a blog post that’s well worth a read.

Essentially each lesson of the course (e.g. food, family, verbs) has five levels. The trick is to try and stack the numbers in reverse order as you progress through more lessons as you learn better through repetition.

Here’s the concept in my case as I’m working through the Greek course.

You can see how I’ve got a bunch of completed lessons up to level 5 and I’m working my way newer levels but not before completing them up to levels 4, 3, 2, and 1.

It might not always be fun to repeat the same sentences and phrases over and over again but I’ve found the repetition to be helpful in getting new words to stick.

The second trick I’ve found to really help is using the dictate feature in the iOS keyboard instead of typing out answers.

There aren’t any speaking lessons as part of the Greek course on Duolingo—I think the more popular languages like Spanish and French do this however—so I had to figure this one out myself and it’s surprisingly effective.

To install another keyboard language on iOS you go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Keyboards and then Add New Keyboard. Once it’s installed you can switch between the keyboard language by tapping on the globe icon next to the space bar.

Once this is done you can toggle between keyboard languages in Duolingo and dictate your answers in the lessons. I’ve found this is one of the best ways to help me retain words as I’m practicing pronunciations which is especially important with a language like Greek.