How To Make A Language-Learning App Like Duolingo In 2024?

10 Steps To Make A Language-Learning App Like Duolingo In 2024

Fluency in multiple languages unlocks a world of opportunity, yet traditional learning methods can be cost-prohibitive and inflexible. With the aim of creating a way to learn languages for free, Duolingo, a top free language learning app worldwide, demonstrates a clear demand for accessible language learning solutions. In 2022, Duolingo made $369.7 million in revenue, a 47.3% year-on-year increase, mainly from subscriptions to the company’s premium service. This blog post explores the process of creating your own language-learning app, equipping you with the knowledge to leverage cutting-edge advancements and empower users in their pursuit of linguistic fluency.

1. What is Duolingo?

About Duolingo

Duolingo is a top e-learning software or language-learning application with 500 million downloads and 40 million active users worldwide. It offers a platform with 100+ courses in 40+ different languages. Duolingo aims to provide free language learning. In an interview with The Guardian in 2014, Luis von Ahn, CEO of Duolingo, said: “There are 1.2 billion people learning a foreign language and two-thirds of those people are learning English so they can get a better job and earn more. The problem is that they don’t have equity and most language courses cost a lot of money.” According to Statista, as of September 2023, Duolingo had established itself as the leading language learning app. This achievement was fueled by impressive user growth, with over 16 million app downloads recorded in February 2023.

Duolingo’s highlights

2. A 10-Step Guide to Creating a Language-Learning App Like Duolingo

10 Steps to Your Duolingo-Like App

Step 1: Market Research

Before diving headfirst into app development, conducting thorough market research is crucial. Think of it as scouting your location before building a house. This research uncovers existing apps, identifies what users love (and loathe) about them, and pinpoints any gaps in the market your app can fill. Key questions to answer include: 

  • Who is the target audience?
  • What are their language learning goals and preferred learning styles?
  • What features are most desired in a language app? 

To gather this information, surveys, app reviews, and competitor analysis are powerful tools. Don’t be afraid to get creative – exploring language learning forums and social media groups can provide valuable user insights. 

By investing in market research upfront, you’ll gain a roadmap to developing a language-learning app that stands out from the crowd.

Step 2: Get a Clear Idea of Your Language-Learning App

With your market research complete, it’s time to zoom in on your app. Here, competitor analysis takes center stage. Dive deep into popular language learning apps like Duolingo, Memrise, and Babbel. Dissect their features:

  • How do they structure lessons? 
  • What gamification elements do they use? 
  • How do they handle progress tracking and personalized learning?
  • How do they teach vocabulary and grammar? 
  • What motivational techniques do they employ?

Look beyond the mainstream – explore niche apps to discover innovative features or cater to specific learning styles. This will spark creative ideas and help you identify features that might be missing in the current landscape.

Once you have a broad understanding of the market, brainstorm what will make your app stand out. Will it focus on conversation practice? Will it be integrated with AI for personalized feedback? Maybe it caters to a specific age group or learning style. Sketch user journeys to visualize how users will interact with your app, and consider using free wireframing tools to create a basic visual prototype of the interface. 

Through this process, you’ll gradually refine your vision. You’ll move from a broad concept to a clear understanding of what your language learning app will look like, how it will function, and the unique value it will bring to the market.

Step 3: Finalize the App’s Features

Now that you’ve explored the market and solidified your app’s core concept, it’s time to brainstorm the features that will bring your vision to life. Consider some potential features:

  • Learning Content
    • Languages courses
    • Curriculum & Levels
    • Language Exercise & Revision
    • Cultural Insights
  • Engagement & Personalization
    • Personalized Learning Paths
    • Gamified Learning
    • Social Features
  • Production & Feedback
    • Speech Recognition
    • Audio and Video Streaming
    • AI-powered Conversation Practice
  • Additional Functionalities
    • Progress Tracking
    • In-app Purchases
    • Certification

Disclaimer: Carefully consider the features you incorporate, as they will directly influence the development cost of your language learning application.

Read more: AI In Education: What Are The Benefits And Applications?

Step 4: Selecting the Platform for Your App

This crucial step establishes the foundation upon which your application will be built, ensuring its accessibility and optimal user experience. There are four primary platforms to consider for your language learning application:

Native DevelopmentiOS (Apple) – Develop a native app for iOS devices using Swift or Objective-CAndroid (Google) – Develop a native app for Android devices using Java or Kotlin
Cross-platform DevelopmentReact Native – a framework for both iOS and Android using JavaScript XML.Flutter – Develop apps for both iOS and Android using Dart Language
Web App DevelopmentThe most budget-friendly option, available on any device. However, the functionality of the application might be limited compared to native apps, and an internet connection is always required for utilization.
Hybrid DevelopmentCombination of web app technologies (CSS, HTML, JavaScript) and native app components.
Language Learning Application Platforms

Step 5: Embracing Modern Tech Stacks for a Cutting-Edge App

After determining the platform that will serve as the foundation for your language learning application, now turn our attention to the very building blocks that will bring your vision to life: the modern tech stack. Within this phase, you have to pick a mobile app tech stack according to the development platform you have previously chosen. Now let’s take a look at Duolingo’s tech stack.

Frontend developmentCSS3 and Bootstrap, backbone.js, jQuery & Twitter Bootstrap
Backend developmentJavaScript, Python (Django, Flask), Ruby
Android appJava
iOS appSwift
Data StorageCombination of Memcached & Redis
Cloud hostingGoogle Cloud Platform (GCP) and Amazon Web Services (AWS)
For cachesCombination of Redis and Memcache
DatabasePostgreSQL or MySQL for structured data storage
Authentication & AuthorizationOAuth 2.0 for user authentication
Content deliveryContent delivery networks (CDNs) like Amazon CloudFront or Cloudflare for serving media files
Push notificationsFirebase cloud messaging (FCM) Apple push notification or some third parties like OneSignal
APIs and IntegrationThird-party language translation APIs for language courses.
SecuritySSL/TLS for data encryption
Duolingo’s Tech Stack

After determining the tech stack for your app, you can hire a team of language learning app developers to achieve optimal results.

Step 6: Crafting an Engaging UX/UI

The success of any application hinges not only on its functionality but also on the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design. A poorly designed or visually unappealing application will inevitably lead to user frustration and ultimately, uninstallation. Therefore, it is imperative to prioritize the following key elements:

  • Wireframing: This initial stage involves the creation of low-fidelity layouts that establish the app’s core structure and user flow.
  • App Usability: Usability testing ensures that the application is intuitive, easy to navigate, and facilitates a seamless learning experience for users of all levels.
  • Visual Design: The visual design encompasses the application’s overall aesthetic, including color palettes, typography, and imagery.
  • Information Architecture: This facet focuses on the organization and presentation of information within the application. It ensures that content is readily discoverable and fosters a logical user journey.

If you pay close attention to these things, you can make a language-learning app that’s engaging and easy to use. This will help people learn languages better and enjoy the process more.

Step 7. Execute the Development Phase

Having navigated the previous steps, app development commences. However, educational app development can be expensive.

A cost-effective solution exists: a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This stripped-down version focuses on core features, gathering user feedback with minimal investment. By analyzing MVP usage, you gain insights to refine your app and ensure market fit before full development.

Read more: SaaS MVP: An Efficient Way to Stand Out in Your Market in 2024

Step 8. Quality Assurance (QA) Testing

No application is complete without thorough testing. In this step, you’ll implement a rigorous quality assurance (QA) process to identify and rectify any bugs or functionality issues within your language learning app before launching it on the App Store and Google Play. This ensures a smooth, stable, and enjoyable user experience before launch.

Step 9. Unveiling Your Language Learning App to the World

Following successful quality assurance, the moment arrives to unveil your language learning app to the public. This dissemination phase signifies the culmination of your efforts. To maximize the reach of your language learning application, release it on popular platforms like Google Play and App Store. Follow this with a carefully crafted marketing strategy to generate interest and attract your ideal users. Witnessing the widespread adoption of your app by enthusiastic learners will be a well-deserved reward.

Step 10: Ongoing Maintenance and User Support

The journey doesn’t end with launch. This final step emphasizes the importance of establishing a robust maintenance and user support strategy. This ensures the long-term stability and functionality of your language-learning app. By proactively addressing bug fixes, implementing feature updates, and providing responsive user support, you can cultivate a loyal user base and foster a positive user experience. Remember, a well-maintained app is an ever-evolving entity that continues to meet the needs of your language learners.

3. What are the key roles of a team developing a Duolingo-like app?

Key roles of Duolingo-Like App Development Team?

To create a language learning app like Duolingo, you’ll need a team with expertise in various areas. Here’s a breakdown of the essential roles:

  • Product Manager: Oversees the overall vision and strategy for the app, ensuring it meets user needs and aligns with business goals.
  • Project Manager: Plans, organizes, and manages the development process, ensuring the app is delivered on time and within budget.
  • UX/UI Designer: Designs the user interface and user experience, creating an intuitive, engaging, and visually appealing app.
  • Front-end Developers: Translate UI/UX designs into functional code, building the app’s user interface and interactive elements.
  • Back-end Developers: Develop the server-side logic and data management systems that power the app’s functionality.
  • Content Developers: Create high-quality language learning content, including lessons, exercises, and gamification elements.
  • Linguists: Ensure the accuracy and cultural relevance of the language content, adhering to linguistic principles.
  • Quality Assurance Testers: Rigorously test the app to identify and fix bugs, ensuring a smooth and error-free user experience.
  • DevOps Engineer: Automates and streamlines the development and deployment process, ensuring efficiency and reliability.
  • Marketing Specialist: Develops and executes marketing strategies to promote the app, attract users, and drive growth.

Remember, the specific team structure and number of roles may vary depending on the app’s complexity and the company’s preferences.

4. How much does it cost to create a language-learning app like Duolingo?

How much does a Duolingo-like app cost?

The cost of an app development project is highly variable and depends on a multitude of factors. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and the cost can fluctuate significantly between different apps.

Here’s a range to consider:

  • $15,000 – $20,000: This is a ballpark for a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with essential features on a single platform.
  • $25,000 – $100,000: This range applies to developing a more feature-rich app for a single platform.
  • $75,000 – $150,000: This is the estimated cost for a complex app with features like podcasts and speech recognition, likely developed for a hybrid platform (working on both iOS and Android).

Factors influencing e-learning software development cost:

  • App Development Platform
  • App Features
  • UX/UI Design
  • Location of Developers
  • Number of Hours
  • Testing

For an exact figure specific to your vision, consider seeking consultation from experienced software development professionals.


The rapid success of Duolingo showcases the potential of language learning apps to transform education. These apps have disrupted traditional learning methods by providing a free and accessible way for people around the world to acquire new languages. This presents a significant opportunity for those interested in this growing market.

However, creating a successful language-learning app requires careful planning and execution. This guide serves as a roadmap, outlining the essential steps to navigate the development process. By following these steps and prioritizing a user-centric design, you can build an effective language-learning app that caters to a specific audience.


AgileTech – Your Realiable Technology Partner

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