My Duolingo Year in Review for 2021

At the new year, Duolingo released a year-in-review report for users that broke down minutes learned, XP earned, and other interesting stats. In today’s post, I’ll be sharing my numbers for 2021 (through November 30th) and also reflecting on my Duolingo usage for the past year. Let’s go!

First off, I have to say that I really enjoy using Duolingo. Many language learners on social media often say that using Duolingo is an ineffective waste of time, but I really think that depends on what your goal is when using Duolingo. And not every language on Duolingo is created equally. I think Spanish-learners actually have a lot of great content to learn from. There is a TON of content in the main learning section, the exercises in the lessons are extremely varied, and there are also extensive story lessons and podcasts to listen to. Korean on the other hand, has much less content and fewer exercise types, so the learning experience is not quite as enjoyable.

I don’t think I could learn a language to fluency from scratch on Duolingo. But doing bite-sized lessons in my target languages every day is a great way to get my language muscles warmed up. The social aspect of Duolingo is also cool. I don’t follow tons of people or participate on the discussion boards, but giving “high-fives” to other users and competing on the leader boards are two fun social aspects of this platform.

Nowadays I mostly use Duolingo to practice Spanish, but previously I used it mainly for Korean. After I completed the entire Korean tree, I noticed that Duolingo added a hangul course, so I decided to do that too, just because I like completing things. And recently, they also introduced the new “Legendary” level, so even though I’m focused on Spanish, I might have to return to Korean just to get those fancy purple crowns.

I only briefly dabbled in Chinese and Japanese on Duolingo, just to see what the content was like, but didn’t really do any regular learning for those languages last year.

Being in the top 4% is quite an honor! I think I use Duolingo quite a lot more than the average casual user, but I see so many other more determined users who rack up so much more XP than me every week. It definitely motivates me to keep going.

I try to do at least one Duolingo session a day. Sometimes it’s a short review lesson prompted by notifications, and other times I try to make progress on my current unit. I rarely spend more than a couple of minutes a day on the app, but once in a while, I do get sucked in and do a bunch of lessons in a row.

If you break it down, 1206 minutes divided by 334 days (calculating through November 30th) amounts to approximately 3.6 minutes a day, which really isn’t a lot. Daily language study doesn’t have to be time-consuming!

This is a slightly annoying statistic! I’ve been trying to earn the Level 10 Scholar badge (“Learn 2,000 new words in a single course”) for a long time now. I thought I could earn it by finishing the Korean course, but apparently the Korean course doesn’t even teach you 2,000 words! I’m hoping that the Spanish course will help me to finally get the badge this year.

This streak is not technically accurate. Duolingo offers “streak freezes” which you can buy with gems earned from completing lessons. I used streak freezes several times in 2021 to protect my streak, though I know deep down it’s not a true streak. I’ve thought about letting my streak go so I could start over fresh, but I recently hit 500 days, and I just love that big huge number! I’m not quite ready to let it go yet.

The Diamond League is the top league that Duolingo has. I strived really hard to get into the Diamond League and to rank #1 while in it, but only because I wanted to get the Level 10 Champion Badge (“You made it to the Diamond League”) and the Legendary badge (“You finished #1 in the Diamond League”). I’m not super obsessed with staying in a top league all the time, but it’s fun to compete once in a while.

Like I mentioned, I don’t follow a ton of people as “friends” on the app, just because I don’t know many people, neither in person nor online, that use Duolingo. But you are always welcome to follow me! And if we become acquaintances I’ll be happy to follow you back!

My username: itsveronicaguys


So that was my Duolingo year-in-review for 2021! Like I said, I enjoy using Duolingo every day so I have no plans of stopping in 2022. I hope I can make a lot of progress in Spanish, and maybe dabble in a few other languages like French or Japanese for fun. I’m still trying to earn enough gems to get those Legendary purple crowns in Korean, too!

I hope seeing my stats and getting some of my personal feedback helped you to learn a bit more about what using Duolingo is like. If you haven’t signed up for an account yet, you can use my link to try it out! (For every new user who signs up via my link, I can earn a free week of Duolingo Plus.)

Thanks for reading, and happy language learning!

2 thoughts on “My Duolingo Year in Review for 2021

  1. That’s how I feel about it too. Will Duolingo alone lead me to fluency? Heck no. But doing a couple minutes per day can be a nice quick review of vocabulary and sentence structure for sure, and I’m much more likely to do a few minutes of Duo than I am to pull out a 10 min+ activity on days where I’m not feeling super language motivated.

    I’ve also noticed that now that I decided that I don’t care about my streak, my streak has survived longer than ever (I’m at 108 days I think). I buy streak freezes so that if I end up having a busy day or am hanging out with friends late at night, I can relax and have my priorities in order without some dumb streak crossing my mind. It is fun to see that number tick up though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congrats on your streak! There have been a few times where I started a lesson before bed but I fell asleep before I finished it and the streak freeze saved me. 😅

      But yeah I wish people could just enjoy Duolingo for what it is rather than criticizing it for not being the “silver bullet” to fluency.

      Liked by 1 person

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