Can your smart phone really help you to learn a language?
Duolingo is a language learning app that does not charge for lessons and it doesn’t have ads. Instead it generates revenue via a service in which users practice language skills by translating articles for clients, such as CNN. It also makes money through a certification system in which users can take a test to prove their language proficiency – a multibillion-dollar industry, according to Von Ahn, to which Dulingo aims to become the gold standard.
Among the investors who have pumped $38.3m of venture capital into the company has been actor Ashton Kutcher. The investors are committed to not charging for the teaching content, says von Ahn.
After languages, he says, the next move may be to teach literacy, which can also have an immediate impact on employment opportunities. The ambition is to have a range of apps which teach a number of subjects intuitively, he says.