At Duolingo, we are constantly improving our courses and teaching methods to ensure learners have all the tools they need to study a new language. Whether it’s adding new features (like conversation lessons) or using data to check how well we’re teaching, we want to make sure that Duolingo supports you on your language learning journey!

We've put our Spanish and French courses to the test in a rigorous research program, and the results show that 5 units with Duolingo is comparable to 4 university semesters, but in much less time! Since French and Spanish are our most popular courses for English speakers, this is an exciting result as we work to make language education free, accessible, and effective for everyone.

But we didn’t just look at the numbers, we also asked real learners to share their stories! Meet Tommy, Corniesha, Peter, Jennifer, and Janet: five learners using Duolingo—and only Duolingo – to learn Spanish and French. Check out the videos to hear a bit more about their journeys and how Duolingo helped them build their confidence and meet their goals in their new language!

Learning Spanish with Duolingo

Meet Tommy Thompson (Learning Spanish for 3.5 years)

Tommy Thompson (@TomThom11) is a professional soccer player with the San Jose Earthquakes in California. He was first motivated to learn Spanish in order to be “a bridge in the locker room” and connect better with his teammates and coaches, several of whom are native Spanish speakers. Tommy has found ample opportunities to practice the Spanish he’s learned with Duolingo on a daily basis in communicating with his teammates and coaches. As Tommy says, “It’s a special feeling to be able to communicate with someone in their own, native language, and I never thought I could do it.” But thanks to Duolingo, he has!

Learn more about Tommy’s story, including how learning Spanish has connected him better with his soccer teammates:

Meet Corniesha Johnson (Learning Spanish for 4 years)

Corniesha Johnson (@Cajohn34) had always wanted to learn Spanish. Growing up in California, she regularly heard the language being spoken, and after taking a DNA test, she learned that she had Hispanic heritage. Now living in Houston, Texas, learning Spanish on Duolingo helps her connect with her roots as well as the large Spanish-speaking community surrounding her. What Corniesha loves most about Duolingo is the ability to learn at her own pace and get instant feedback on mistakes she makes so that she can continuously improve. Thanks to Duolingo, she is able to speak with her friends and others around her community. “I think that’s amazing,” she says. And so do we!

Learn more about Corniesha’s story, including how Duolingo has helped her incorporate Spanish in her day-to-day life:

Learning French with Duolingo

Meet Peter Shields (Learning French for 4 years)

When he was 15, Peter (@peter3.14159) went to France on a study abroad program, and though he immersed himself in a homestay, he struggled with the language. Years later, he picked up Duolingo and thought he’d try his hand at French again—this time, it stuck! When Peter returned to France in 2019, with a much better grasp on the language, his former homestay family was shocked. How did he learn the language so well? Peter’s answer was easy: “Thanks to Duolingo.”

Learn more about Peter’s journey, including how he puts his skills to use at a French cheese shop in his neighborhood:

Meet Jennifer Tsan (Learning French for 5 years)

Like many learners, Jennifer (@tsannifer) was first motivated to pick up French for travel—a friend challenged her to start learning before a trip to Montreal—so she downloaded Duolingo and dove in! A year later, in Montreal, Jennifer was excited to use her French in practice and was amazed at how much she could learn and understand (even with the regional differences between Montreal and France)! Jennifer studied more than 5 hours a day, and managed to finish the French course in 5 weeks. She says that learning French was one of her “proudest achievements” in life, and we’re so proud of her!

Learn more about Jennifer’s story, including how learning French has brought her closer to her husband’s French family:

Meet Janet Randolph (Learning French for 2.5 years)

Since she began learning French, Janet (@JanetRando1) and her study buddy keep each other accountable—it just so happens that her study buddy is her husband! The pair began learning in 2019 in preparation for spending three months in Paris, and they haven’t stopped. Janet credits her consistent routine as key to her success: she studies in the morning for about an hour per day, and has built up a streak of nearly 900 days! “I like getting up in the morning and getting my neurons firing, and solving the puzzle of a different language. It’s a jumpstart to my day.”

Learn more about Janet’s journey, including how she and her husband put their French to use even while at home in California:

We’re so inspired by Tommy, Corniesha, Peter, Jennifer, and Janet’s progress, and hope you are, too!

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