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Duolingo Vs Mondly: Neither, But I’d Recommend Duolingo First

Duolingo is probably the most used language learning app in the world. Although Mondly isn’t as widely known, it’s grown in popularity over the years. Both offer a range of courses for learning a language, although neither really provide the level of in-depth practice required.

Mondly and Duolingo may appear to be quite similar, but there are actually some important differences to be aware of, most importantly…

  • Duolingo is free to use, whereas Mondly can only be accessed if with a paid subscription. Duolingo is also more gamified and, in general, more fun to use.

If I had to choose between these two platforms alone, I’d definitely recommend Duolingo. It’s free, so if you decide it’s not for you, you won’t feel obliged to carry on. I also think that it provides more enjoyable lessons than Mondly.

While Mondly may actually be a bit better when it comes to things like grammar and voice recordings, it’s not as good as similar apps like Babbel and Lingodeer.

It’s definitely worth spending some time looking into more language-learning resources to determine which one is going to work best for your requirements.

What I like about each program:


  • With daily lessons, weekly quizzes, and monthly challenges, the course provides a user with motivation to practice regularly.
  • The vocabulary that is used is relevant and useful for practical situations.
  • The price of learning one or several languages is fairly inexpensive, especially if you pay on a yearly basis.


  • The exercises include game-like features which make them more fun and engaging.
  • It’s free to use.
  • The course’s leaderboard feature encourages competition with other language learners.

What I dislike about each program:


  • Mondly’s interface could do with some work to improve its visual appearance and usability.
  • The lessons and topics could be put in a better order to make more sense to the user.
  • Content is all the same for every language, which will get repetitive if you’re looking to learn more than one language on the program.


  • Sometimes teach words and phrases that aren’t practical.
  • Grammar instruction is either ignored completely or minimal.
  • Text to speech audio could be of better quality.

Languages Available

Mondly’s courses cover over 41 different languages, while Duolingo offers courses for over 40 languages.

Some of Mondly’s more popular languages covered are Italian, German, Russian, French, Spanish and Chinese. You can also learn languages that aren’t covered by many other resources including Hungarian, Hindi, Croatian, Afrikaans, and Thai.

Duolingo teaches the usual popular languages such as Spanish, French, German, etc. You can also learn Swahili, Czech, Scottish Gaelic, and Esperanto, or for something a little out of the box, there’s the option to take lessons in fictional languages such as Klingon and High Valyrian.


Mondly offers three different plans that give access to either one language or all of their languages. Prices vary depending on whether you opt to pay per month or per year.

The monthly subscription fee for one language is $12.49 per month, or you can pay $59.99 for a year’s access. Alternatively, you can pay $2499.99 (currently $124.99) for Lifetime Access to all the languages offered.

Duolingo is totally free to access its lessons, but it does offer a few extras and an ad-free experience with Super Duolingo. You can choose to pay $3.99 monthly, sign up for a yearly subscription for $1.99 a month. You can also subscribe to the Family Plan for $2.99 a month.

How languages are taught with Mondly

Mondly’s content for learning languages is pretty broad-ranging, but if you’re looking to learn at a more advanced level, it’s probably not for you.

You’ll be able to get to grips with the grammar, vocabulary and spoken elements of a language using Mondly’s lessons. There’s a suggested path for you to follow, but you can choose to go your own way if you prefer.

The lessons are split into different bubbles, with each bubble representing a different element of the language you’re learning. When you click onto a bubble, you’ll be taken to a range of lessons, which each offer a variety of exercises.

One good thing about these lessons is that they give you a star rating out of three once you’ve completed them, helping you to track your progress. You can redo the lesson at any stage if you want to improve on a certain aspect of the language.

Lessons are aimed at drilling and prompt you to choose the right word or create the correct word out of a number of random options. You can share your progress on social media once you’ve reached a certain milestone or obtained enough points.

Aside from the lessons found in the bubbles, Mondly offers separate daily lessons that offer something slightly different.

If you’re looking to learn multiple languages on Mondly, it’s worth being aware that the resource doesn’t differentiate with content from one language to another. You’re probably going to find it boring to go over the same vocabulary topics from one language to the next.

Read our full review of Mondly here.

How languages are taught with Duolingo

Duolingo‘s approach to language learning is similar to that of playing a game. Once you’ve chosen your language, you can either take a placement test or opt to start as a beginner.

Your progression through Duolingo is fairly simple. You’re given a set of skills, which you can build up as you advance from level to level. You might find that sometimes you’re not moving forward as quickly as you’d prefer, but if you’re feeling the repetition, you can get out of this by testing out of skills.

A user can practice their language skills in a range of basic but engaging exercises. Below is an example of a vocabulary test. Once you pick a color, you’ll hear a voice saying the word out loud, and you’ll then be prompted to type what you hear. It’s worth being aware that audio quality isn’t always the best.

Duolingo vocabulary test

There are also translation exercises that prompt you to type out English translation of a sentence on the screen. You might come across some pretty random sentences, some even philosophical, but they keep things interesting. If spelling isn’t your strong point, you’ll still be awarded points for minor misspellings if the translation is correct.

Lessons aside, Duolingo also offers a number of extra features on its home screen. You can access the Duolingo forum, which is pretty enjoyable, and spend your Lingots on fun topic lessons.

Read our full review of Duolingo here.

Final thoughts

Mondly isn’t the most comprehensive language learning tool, but it’s decent enough. If Mondly and Duolingo were the only two resources to choose from, I might actually recommend Mondly due to their better grammar instruction and higher-quality audio recordings.

However, there are other apps such as Babbel and Lingodeer, that are very similar to Mondly but do most things better. For that reason, it’d be hard for me to recommend Mondly to anyone really.

I wouldn’t rate Duolingo as the best language learning tool either, but because it’s free to use, it’s much easier to recommend people to give it a shot. It can be a good way to learn some of the basics of a new language, without needing to fully commit, making it more accessible to casual learners.

You should definitely compare Mondly and Duolingo to some of the better language learning resources available before you decide which is best for you. Take a look at our top recommendations for each language in the table below.

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