Mango Languages vs Duolingo: Which Platform Wins?

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Written By Francesca Stephens

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

In today’s article, we will compare two popular language platforms: Mango Languages and Duolingo.

Both programs are a solid option for beginners and casual learners.

They will provide you with useful tools and engaging content.

But how much will they actually teach you?

And which platform is a better option for you, Mango Languages or Duolingo?

Let’s find out!

Mango Languages vs Duolingo Review

Mango Languages is a fresh-looking language program that can help you brush up on your language skills in a very easy way.

However, you won’t reach proficiency levels with Mango Languages. It’s a good learning tool for beginners though.

Mango Languages review

And the same goes for Duolingo.

Duolingo is, on the other hand, very game-like. It’s also incredibly simple and convenient.

So, it comes as no surprise that it’s one of the most popular language apps. In fact, it’s the most downloaded education app in the world.

Duolingo review

Nevertheless, Duolingo and Mango Languages have some important differences.

Let’s start with their pricing and subscription plans.

Pricing and Plans

Mango Languages offers several learning plans:

  • Single Language for $7.99 per month
  • All Languages for $17.99 per month
  • Enterprise (custom price)

Regardless of what you choose, your account will be charged on a monthly basis.

So, it all depends on whether you want to learn one or multiple languages.

Duolingo works in a slightly different way.

For starters, you can use Duolingo for free. And that’s great – you just need to sign up and start learning.

But their Duolingo Plus version is much better.

With Duolingo Plus (which costs $7 per month), you’ll have unlimited Hearts (you can lose Hearts by answering incorrectly too many times) and unlimited test outs (you can complete a skill test to jump to the next level.)

Also, Duolingo Plus is ad-free, and you can use it offline.

So, in terms of pricing, Duolingo is obviously a cheaper option.

However, if you take into account what you’re getting in a Duolingo free plan, that shouldn’t affect your decision.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, Duolingo is the way to go.

Structure and Features

And how does Duolingo work?

Well, everything is simple and straightforward. And very game-like.

You’ll be completing levels, and collecting Hearts, XP, and badges.

And you’ll be able to learn something new every day. Duolingo lessons are very short and simple.

Duolingo lessons

Each lesson is about 5 to 10 minutes long. And they are tailored to help you learn at just the right level and pace.

They are mostly based on translation. Some translations might be kind of weird though. Don’t be surprised if you come across a sentence that doesn’t make any sense.

The app also features all kinds of drills and short exercises. Drills include fill-in-the-blanks, matching pairs, listening drills, and so on.

Generally, people seem to like Duolingo because it’s very practical and easy to use. You can use it every day and have a feeling that you’re making progress.

The app is also full of graphics and animations, which is good news for visual learners.

However, there are some concerns about their crowd-sourced translation model. Apparently, while you’re doing Duolingo fill-in-the-blank exercises, you’re actually submitting translations and they’re partnering with other companies and selling them.

Also, Duolingo outsourced its translation services for years, and according to some online sources, that’s why there are so many awkward sentences in there.

But despite all of these drawbacks, Duolingo has grown and evolved over the years.

There are many different Duolingo sections now. There’s a Duolingo podcast, a cool and updated Duolingo blog, and useful Duolingo Stories.

There are some other free features as well. For example, you can take a free English test. As they say on their website, thousands of universities around the world accept the Duolingo English Test.

Plus, you can attend live events and get in touch with fellow learners.

All in all, Duolingo has a reputation for being a simple translation app. And while that might be true to some extent, it’s actually more than that.

Either way, it’s a fun and affordable app that can help you expand your vocabulary and learn basic grammar concepts.

And what about Mango Languages?

Compared to Duolingo, Mango Languages is more complete and well-rounded.

Unlike Duolingo, it will provide you with more detailed grammar explanations and cultural notes.

Otherwise, Mango Languages is also very simple and game-like.

Mango Languages lessons

And it’s also based on all kinds of exercises. In short, the app is a mix of listening and reading activities, audio tracks, and proven methodologies.

Mango memorization exercises use repetition to challenge your recall of learned material through quick review sequences.

Critical-thinking activities encourage you to apply new vocab to learned material.

And insightful cultural notes apply cultural context to what you’re learning.

Mango Languages also features high-quality audio tracks. Native speakers will guide you through the nuances of pronunciation and implied meanings.

You can also record your speech and compare it with native-speaker audio.

It seems like Mango Languages is very proud of its approach and methodology. The program is based on the so-called intuitive language instruction. That means it covers four important areas: pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and culture.

And there’s also the building-block approach. So, lesson material is presented by native speakers in a conversational context, broken up as the lesson progresses, and built back up by the learner.

All of this might seem a bit complicated, but it’s actually not. The Mango Languages app is very simple and easy to use.

And it actually doesn’t offer in-depth lessons. Yes, you’ll learn the basics and build solid conversational skills, but you won’t reach advanced levels.

Levels and Topics

As we just mentioned, Mango Languages won’t take you to proficiency levels.

And the same goes for Duolingo.

Duolingo might be a good learning source if you want to expand your vocabulary and learn how to structure basic sentences. But that’s not enough, especially if you want to become a fluent speaker.

The app covers popular topics, but it’s not always like that. Sometimes you’ll come across words and phrases you’ll probably never going to use in real life. Unless you want to drink whiskey with the Loch Ness monster.

But even though people tend to make fun of Duolingo’s silly sentences, they can actually help you memorize some things better. There’s no way the picture of the Loch Ness monster with a glass of whiskey won’t stay in your brain for a while.

Moreover, Duolingo describes that as a quirky sense of humor and lighthearted learning.

Either way, you won’t get bored with the Duolingo app, at least not very quickly. And it definitely won’t overwhelm you with complex grammar rules or too much information at the same time. Quite the opposite.

When it comes to levels, you go up a level every time you earn a certain amount of experience points. And at some point, Duolingo introduced Crown levels.

Crown Levels give you tougher exercises at higher levels. Now each skill begins at the introduction level (level 0) and when you complete all the lessons, the skill is leveled-up and the next row of skills is unlocked.

How many levels does Duolingo have?

The point of the leveling-up system is to allow learners to see more challenging content without forcing them to go through it.

Mango Languages, on the other hand, promises to take you from beginner to intermediate level.

According to Mango, their most popular language courses can take you to a Skilled 3 proficiency level and are broken down in the following structure:

However, if you want to build strong conversational skills, you should practice outside the app as well as surround yourself with your target language.

What’s really cool is that Mango offers additional resources for daily language immersion, such as Mango Movies, Mango Reader, and Specialty Courses. 

Nevertheless, you need to do the extra work if you really want to reach an intermediate level. Learning a new language online is very convenient and effective, but it can also be tricky. You need to have self-discipline and stick to your schedule if you want to see the results.

Luckily, the best language learning apps will track your progress and keep you interested and motivated. And Mango Languages and Duolingo are no different.

What about design?

In terms of design, both apps have a video game vibe. And they are very simple and neat.

In fact, Mango Languages has a very slick, appealing design. Especially the website.

Mango also has an all-in-one interface and streamlined navigation for a simplified learning environment. 

Duolingo, on the other hand, has an iconic design and mascot. Duo the Owl became a real Internet (and Tik Tok) star.

Benefits

So, which app should you choose, Duolingo or Mango Languages?

Well, Mango Languages seems to be more thorough and versatile.

It uses effective methodologies and techniques including intuitive language construction and spaced repetition.

It also uses colors (semantic color mapping) to help you draw connections between your target language and your native language. This will give you a deeper insight into the grammatical structure and mechanics of both.

The app will also teach you idioms, figures of speech, and non-translatable concepts.

You’ll get pronunciation practice, high-quality audio tracks, reading activities…

And you’ll get access to additional resources for language immersion.

Mango Languages vs Duolingo

Last but not least, Mango covers more languages than Duolingo. In fact, Mango Languages includes classes in more than 70 languages, and that’s quite impressive.

You can learn Danish, Swahili, Croatian, Ancient Greek, Pirate… Yes, Pirate, you got that right.

But Duolingo also has a very interesting selection of languages. Apart from standard languages, you can learn some fictional languages such as Klingon and High Valyrian.

Duolingo is also incredibly simple and it has many gamification elements. And people generally love that.

But turning language learning into a game isn’t necessarily a good thing. It all depends on your goals and expectations.

In a way, Duolingo managed to blend fun and productivity. Because despite all its simplicity and gamification, you’ll still going to learn a lot. Maybe you won’t become fluent, but you shouldn’t expect that from an app anyway.

So, if you’re looking for something fun (and free), you should opt for Duolingo.

But if you want to get more grammar notes and cultural insights, you can give Mango a try.

Either way, you’ll have a chance to learn a new language in an easy and relaxed way. There’s no pressure at all – you can learn at your own pace and learn anytime, anywhere. And that’s a huge plus.

Mango Languages vs Duolingo: which platform wins?

On the other hand, with apps like Duolingo and Mango Languages, you won’t get real conversational practice. So, you should find another way to practice (find an online tutor or a language partner, for example.)

You also won’t get personalized feedback, which is an important part of developing language skills.

If you want to take your language learning seriously, you should opt for an app like Rocket Languages.

But if you’re just looking for a fun and engaging way to master the basics, both Duolingo and Mango will do you just fine.

What Do Users Say?

And what do user reviews say about Duolingo and Mango Languages?

Well, people generally like Mango Languages. They find it simple and easy to use.

But they also don’t like that courses don’t progress past an intermediate level.

Also, Mango has a lot of content, but it can also become a little repetitive and tedious after a while.

And it’s actually a similar case with Duolingo. Duolingo is a great learning source for beginners and people who simply want to take it easy.

The app feels like playing a game, so it won’t provide you with thorough, in-depth lessons. 

Nonetheless, many users complain about Duolingo’s incorrect translations and unnatural sentences. So, even if you just want to learn the basics, that might be a little discouraging (or even annoying.)

But if you don’t have unrealistic expectations, you’ll probably enjoy using Duolingo.

Final Verdict

As you can see, neither Duolingo nor Mango Languages are the best choices for language learning.

But they are convenient, simple, and affordable.

After all, Duolingo is the most popular language app for a reason. So, it’s definitely helpful and practical.

And Mango Languages is an effective and versatile app with a slick design. And it includes much better grammar instructions than Duolingo.

It also has more cultural insights and variety in terms of exercises.

So, if we had to pick a winner, we would give an edge to Mango Languages.

But generally speaking, there are some other platforms that will ensure you a far more productive and immersive language learning experience.

That said, both Duolingo and Mango can be good extra learning sources.

If you want to check them out, you won’t be disappointed – as long as you don’t expect to become a fluent speaker.

Either way, we hope this article cleared things up and helped you make the right decision!