Mondly vs Duolingo: Which Platform Wins?

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Written By Francesca Stephens

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you looking for a cool, game-like app for learning languages?

Well, both Duolingo and Mondly are a great choice.

They are affordable, interactive, and fun.

But they also have important differences. Each platform is created with a specific type of learner in mind.

In this Mondly vs Duolingo comparison article, we will tell you all about their main features and highlights.

And then you’ll be able to make an informed decision and opt for an app that fits your goals and learning style!

Mondly vs Duolingo Review

We don’t have to make a big introduction for Duolingo. It’s arguably the most popular learning app. Moreover, it’s the most downloaded education app in the world.

And that comes as no surprise – it’s practical, simple, and effective.

Duolingo app review

But Mondly is actually a great alternative to Duolingo.

It’s an award-winning language app that will immerse you in the language and help you create a solid foundation to build on.

Mondly app review

But is Mondly actually worth the hype?

Before we dive into Mondly’s content and features to give you an answer to that question, let’s look at the pricing and subscription plans of each platform.

Pricing and Plans

First of all, both platforms offer free versions. But as you might assume, they’re quite limited, at least compared to their paid versions.

If you want to upgrade to Duolingo Plus, you’ll have to pay $7 per month, which is really not a lot.

With Duolingo Plus, 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.

And if you want to upgrade to Mondly Premium Plan, you can choose from:

  • $10 per month
  • Around $48 per year

So, in terms of pricing, Duolingo and Mondly are quite similar. However, Mondly’s annual subscription seems like a really good opportunity (if you’re serious about your language learning.)

Structure and Features

Duolingo has loyal users from around the world because it’s affordable, simple, and engaging.

And in a way, using Duolingo feels like playing a game.

The app features short exercises and quizzes, verbal practice, fill-in-the-blanks, multiple choice questions, and so on.

Duolingo app: is it worth the hype?

Lessons are very short and simple, and they are based on translation. So, the app is great for expanding vocabulary.

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

But Duolingo describes that as a quirky sense of humor and lighthearted learning. So, despite the popular opinion, Duolingo seems to do that on purpose. Well, it’s true that people memorize weird things and information more easily.

However, this can be very discouraging and even frustrating for some learners.

There are also 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.

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

Nevertheless, Duolingo has grown and changed over the years. It feels like more than just a game-like translation app now.

There are many different Duolingo sections. There’s a Duolingo podcast, an active and fresh-looking Duolingo blog, and helpful Duolingo Stories.

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

And how does Mondly work?

Well, in terms of structure and format, Mondly is somewhat similar to Duolingo.

But the app does have some characteristics that Duolingo doesn’t.

Mondly app

First of all, Mondly puts emphasis on interactive exercises and conversational practice.

And you can improve your speaking skills thanks to the app’s Chatbot. It’s a smart computer program designed to be your conversational buddy.

Having a conversation with the Chatbot is not the same as interacting with a teacher, but it will undoubtedly help you improve your comprehension and communication skills.

Mondly really took advantage of technology to ensure a productive and engaging learning environment.

And one of the proofs is Mondly’s VR and AR language learning.

Mondly VR (virtual reality) is a special app that will allow you to learn a new language in virtual reality.

You’ll engage in real-life conversations and learn useful, practical vocabulary.

And you’ll get instant feedback on your pronunciation as well as suggestions to enrich your vocabulary.

Without a doubt, Mondly VR will ensure you an interesting and immersive learning experience that will help you build strong conversational skills.

Mondly VR look

Mondly AR, on the other hand, is included in your Premium Plan subscription.

The app uses augmented reality and animations to create a new world within your own.

From life-sized lions in your living room to the most unexpected scenarios, you’ll undeniably have a fun ride with Mondly AR.

And you’ll learn quite a lot – after all, immersion is one of the best ways to learn a foreign language.

Mondly AR screenshot

But even if you stick to the standard version of the Mondly app, you’ll get a gamified language learning experience.

You’ll take game-like exercises, earn points, and learn with dynamic visuals.

You level up by completing exercises, and there’s also an in-built leaderboard.

All things considered, Mondly is a fun and interactive language app focused on common topics and practical vocabulary.

It will also teach you grammar, but the app covers only basic grammar concepts. If you want to dig deeper into grammar, you should look for another learning source.

A lack of cultural context is another potential drawback.

If you’re looking for a well-rounded, thorough online course, you should opt for a platform like Rocket Languages.

But if you’re looking for something fun and simple, Duolingo and Mondly are among the best-gamified apps on the market.

Levels and topics

In terms of leveling, both platforms are based on completing levels.

With Duolingo, 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.

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

The app covers popular topics, but it’s not always like that. As we’ve already mentioned, you’ll come across some sentences and phrases you’ll never going to use.

Duolingo lessons

So, Duolingo will teach you the basics and help you reach an intermediate level at best. But you’ll still have to do the extra work.

And with Mondly, you can choose the difficulty level: beginner, intermediate, or advanced. But for some reason, they don’t seem to be very different from one another.

Although you will feel like you’re making progress, lessons don’t really advance beyond the basics. So, even the advanced level on Mondly looks kind of basic.

On the other hand, you’ll learn practical vocabulary useful for traveling.

And you’ll learn how to talk about popular and relevant topics.

Mondly topics

Things are pretty clear by now: both platforms we’re talking about today are good learning sources. But they won’t make you a fluent speaker.

You’ll learn how to pronounce words, expand your vocabulary, and learn basic grammar. But you won’t get valuable cultural knowledge or be able to talk about more complex topics.

So, if you want to reach proficiency levels, you’ll have to combine them with another learning source or find an online tutor.

What about design?

As we already mentioned, Duolingo and Mondly are based on gamification elements. Therefore, they are also full of graphics, animations, and visual aids.

Duolingo, however, has a more recognizable design. And the app’s mascot, Duo the owl, became almost iconic.

But Mondly looks great and engaging too. Especially if you opt for Mondly VR or Mondly AR.

With Mondly, you will feel like you’re surrounded by words and concepts you’re learning.

And the app’s images will help you memorize new words more quickly.

Benefits

So, which app is a better choice, Mondly or Duolingo?

As you can see, they have many similarities.

Duolingo is probably more popular.

It’s simple and effective, and it offers bite-sized lessons that allow you to make progress every day.

It’s very convenient as you can learn on the go. That way, you can easily incorporate language learning into your daily routine, even if you have a busy schedule.

Duolingo also has a good speech recognition engine. It’s very accurate (most of the time.)

Plus, the app has many extra resources. Duolingo is not just a simple app with translations – it actually offers a lot more. From Duolingo podcast to Duolingo Stories, there are many useful and interesting sections for you to explore.

And there’s an active forum and Duolingo blog to explore. Content is always fresh and relevant.

Not to mention Duolingo’s social media. You can always count on Duolingo’s comments about recent events.

All in all, it’s a cool app with an active community that will make you feel involved and motivated.

You can use it for free, but you can also opt for Duolingo Plus and get more features and benefits.

Either way, Duolingo became so popular for a good reason. It’s far from perfect, but it’s neat and effective.

Mondly, on the other hand, has a more innovative approach to learning languages.

In fact, it’s one of the most innovative language apps on the market.

It uses virtual reality (Mondly VR) and augmented reality (Mondly AR), and it features the Mondly Chatbot which will help you strengthen your conversational skills.

Mondly vs Duolingo: which platform wins?

Compared to Duolingo, Mondly pays a lot more attention to conversational practice and the development of speaking skills.

It also uses more natural sentences and language uses in real-world situations.

That said, it’s a great tool for travelers or people who want to brush up on their language skills in a fun and simple way.

And just like Duolingo, it’s incredibly practical. Perhaps even more than Duolingo – Mondly’s iOs version comes with a hands-free mode. Therefore, you can easily learn on the go and reduce your screen time.

Mondly is not our absolute winner, but it’s a solid option and a reliable, interesting program.

And if you like video games, you’ll enjoy Mondly’s simulated environment and game-like features.

So, in terms of effectiveness and originality, we have to give an edge to Mondly. The company utilizes smart technology and innovations to create a more engaging and immersive language learning experience.

What Do Users Say?

And what do user reviews say about Duolingo and Mondly?

Well, people generally enjoy Duolingo’s fun features and completing levels.

They like the app’s simplicity and bite-sized lessons.

But many users made a complaint about incorrect translations and unnatural sentences. They find it silly or discouraging.

When it comes  to Mondly user reviews, most of them are excellent.

People find it fun and easy to use, and they like Mondly’s customer service.

But some users had problems with canceling their subscription. However, there are no major complaints about the program’s functionality or content.

At the end of the day, it all depends on your preferences and learning style. What works for you might not work for someone else.

Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to check users’ reviews because you might come across some important details. But you need to be careful – people have different expectations and unique learning habits.

Final Verdict

Now, which language program is better, Duolingo or Mondly?

Well, it’s important to determine which program is a better option for you.

If you’re looking for a simple way to expand your vocabulary, you can try using Duolingo. The app will teach you the basics and ensure you a fun, gamified learning experience.

But Mondly is definitely more innovative and immersive.

If you want to improve your communication skills, you should opt for Mondly.

The Mondly app is focused on conversational practice. And thanks to Mondly’s Chatbot and interactive exercises, you’ll learn how to communicate in another language in no time.

Also, if you’re a fan of virtual or augmented reality, you should definitely try Mondly VR and Mondly AR. For a moment, you’ll forget that you’re taking lessons – you will feel like you’re playing a game. But you’ll learn a lot along the way.

So, it all comes down to your preferences and goals.

The thing is, we don’t think Mondly and Duolingo are the best language apps. But if you believe that they fit your learning style, you can’t go wrong with either of them.

However, if we had to choose a winner between the two, we would give a medal to Mondly.