How to Choose Your Best Language To Learn On Duolingo

Researched & Written by

Are you struggling to choose the best language to learn on Duolingo?

I’m not surprised! One would think that having a wide range of options to pick from would be a good thing, but for most people, it actually makes the decision process much harder.

When it comes to becoming bilingual, trilingual, or even a full-on polyglot, there are many things to consider in order to cover all possibilities, and that’s no easy task.

But don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find a list of the key factors to take into account when choosing the best language to learn on Duolingo:

The 5 main elements to consider are:

  1. Ease
  2. Availability
  3. Usefulness
  4. Popularity
  5. Similarity to other languages

Read on to start this exciting journey!

#1 Ease

One of the first things you need to consider when thinking about learning a new language is how easy it is to learn. Granted, no language is simple enough to become fluent in it within a couple of months, but there are certainly different degrees of difficulty among them.

English, for example, might seem like one of the simplest languages to learn, but is it really? I mean, put “g” and “h” together, and you have an “f” sound. And the same goes for “sea” and “see”. You might not notice this since you’ve been speaking the language for years, but to newcomers, it can be a challenge to tell the difference.

Other languages, like Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic also have their own writing, which can be enough to intimidate many people looking to learn something new.

Now, this is not to say that you shouldn’t try to learn a language if you’re truly interested, but it’s important that you know what you’re getting into. Provided that you want to learn several languages over the course of your life, my recommendation would be to start with something a little “easier”, like French, Spanish, or Italian.

#2 Availability

Since we’re talking about learning a new language through Duolingo, it’s also essential to consider that not all languages will be available on the platform. Now, don’t panic. This is not to say that the list of courses is short.

As of September 2022, the service has 39 different language courses available for anyone to learn, so you’ll be hard-pressed to struggle to find one you like.

That being said, the most popular courses will always be the most complete and the ones that have more 1-1 classes you can join.

At the time of writing of this article, the 5 languages with the most learners are Spanish (30.9M), French (18.5M), Japanese (12.9M), German (10.8M), and Korean (10.7M).

I should clarify, though, that just because other languages have a smaller number of learners, it doesn’t mean that the courses are bad or poorly structured. It just means you might have a harder time finding additional resources to boost your progress as you advance.

At the end of the day, being invested in something always helps to learn things faster and better. So, when choosing the best language to learn on Duolingo, be sure to keep that in mind.

#3 Usefulness

Next, let’s discuss usefulness.

Before going deeper, I want to clarify that every language is interesting, important, and beautiful. But if you’re looking to start this journey for business purposes, it’s worth considering how popular each one is when striking a deal or attracting new customers.

It might come as no surprise to you that English is still the leader in this regard. As time passes and the world evolves, more and more businesses are conducted in this language. This is why schools keep updating their lesson plans every year to include it as a foreign language in non-English speaking countries.

Now, if you’re reading this, you’re obviously already a native speaker or someone who has complete mastery of the language, so studying it again on the platform is probably not what you’re looking for.

My recommendation to choose the best language to learn on Duolingo is to consider your needs. You wouldn’t believe how many aspects of life can help drive this decision.

If you’re planning to move to a non-English speaking country, that matters. If your significant other speaks a foreign language, and you’re sure they’re the one, that matters too. And if you own a business or often deal with clients from countries where a foreign language is spoken, that is also important.

Every little detail should be taken into account.

#4 Popularity

Moving on, let’s talk about popularity. In the previous section, we discussed the importance of selecting the right language for your professional and personal life, but what if you’re just looking to learn as a hobby?

Maybe you’re already bilingual for your job and are simply looking for new ways to communicate with people. If so, then I’d recommend focusing your efforts on “casting a wider net”, so to speak.

Since English is already the most popular language around the world, perhaps you could start learning Chinese. This is the second most spoken language on the globe, so it can definitely open many doors for you.

Now, bear in mind that it is a difficult language with its own writing, so unless you’re looking for a real challenge, I’d try something else first, like a Romance language, for example.

#5 Similarity to Other Languages

Finally, let’s talk about language similarities.

Believe it or not, there are several of them out there that share the same root and basics. One of the greatest examples of this are Romance languages.

In case you don’t know what these are, I’m more than happy to give you a brief explanation.

If you ever studied Latin in school, you know that it was spoken by the Romans, and since they conquered most of Europe in the early centuries B.C., the language became very popular. As the centuries passed, this linguistic root spreaded across other countries and evolved into different forms, which later became what we know as Romance languages.

These days, you might recognize them as French, Spanish, Romanian, Portuguese, and Italian.

And while they might not look it, they’re actually very similar in many ways. Ask any native Spanish speaker, and they’ll tell you that they can understand almost everything someone says in Portuguese or Italian, even when they have not studied the languages.

Funnily enough, the same thing happens with England and its colonies, but the language variations are much less noticeable than in countries with Romance languages.

The bottom line is, that if you’re wondering how to choose the best language to learn on Duolingo, you should go for one that interests you. It can’t hurt to pick one that overlaps with others, but if that’s not something that piques your interest, that is also ok.


That about covers it!

Learning a new language is always challenging. Especially considering how hectic life can get and how little time we can dedicate to the process sometimes.

When weighing your options and choosing the best language to learn on Duolingo, it’s important that you consider how your new knowledge can prove useful in every aspect of your life, whether it’s personal or professional.

At the end of the day, you should base your decision on what interests you the most, as this will make for the best learning environment.

That being said, learning can only take place if Duolingo is working normally. If you’re ever having audio or sign-in issues with the platform, be sure to take a look at our other articles showing you how to address this.

Thank you for sticking with me all the way to the end. If you found this article helpful, it’ll make you very happy to know that we upload new content every week. While we pen our latest work, why not check out our other wonderful resources below and become a Tech Detective yourself?

I wish you nothing but the best!