Duolingo, a free language-learning service that doubles as a
crowdsourced text translation platform, is now available for the iPad.
The service, which launched about a year ago, currently has 5 million
users across its web and iOS and
smartphone versions, said CEO Luis von Ahn, and is the fourth most
popular iOS free education app and the number one free Google Play
education app. Duolingo offers language courses in Spanish, English,
French, German, Portuguese and Italian.
The new iPad version includes
a new panel that lets users see their most important Duolingo stats,
such the number of words learned and skill points, and also displays a
leaderboard of friends using the app.
|The iPad provides a more engaging
environment than a smartphone
for acquiring new languages.
version will support Duolingo’s business model, which has so far only
been available for the web version. Students translate words, geared to
their learning level, from documents on the web. Duolingo makes money
from organizations that pay for the translations generated by the
students using the courseware.
When Duolingo was first introduced,
von Ahn said his goal was to get 100 million people to translate the
Web into every language. While he is far short of his goal, he is
tapping into a market of more than a billion people who are learning
foreign languages, and often pay in several hundred dollars for
software. In addition, the iPad is a better target than a phone for
language learners. “About half of Duolingo’s traffic comes from iOS
devices, and about 20 percent of iOS users use the iPhone app on their
iPad,” von Ahn said. “Because of this and because iPads are heavily used
in educational settings, we expect major adoption of our new app.” He
hopes that Duolingo can get to 10 million users by the end of the year.
The company has raised more than $18 million in venture funding, led by
NEA and Union Square Ventures.