Transparent Language Online vs. Duolingo

Transparent Language Online vs. Duolingo

Duolingo provides many enticing, well-presented attributes and features for learners – including its free cost. But, with more than twice the number of languages, including script languages, professionally created and reviewed content that truly prepares the learner for everyday conversations, and the flexibility for learners to choose what, when, and how to learn, Transparent Language Online provides a more comprehensive, controlled, and customizable learning experience than Duolingo. These benefits, along with a more robust teacher portal, mean schools and libraries that use Transparent Language Online can rest assured that they are providing their teachers, students, and community with a program that will truly meet their needs.

More Languages

233 language pairs vs. 112 language pairs

233 total language pairs
Transparent Language Online
  • 110+

    110+ languages for English speakers

  • 30+

    English for speakers of over 30 languages

  • 83

    83 other language pairs

112 total language pairs
  • 37

    37 languages for English speakers

  • 27

    English for speakers of 27 languages

  • 48

    48 other language pairs

Duolingo offers 37 languages for English speakers, English for speakers of 27 languages, and 48 other language pairs for a total of 112 total language combinations.* Transparent Language Online offers over 110 foreign languages for English speakers, English for speakers of over 30 languages, and 83 other language pairs, for a total of over 233 language pairs. Both programs continue to add new languages on a regular basis, but with such a difference in the total number of languages, it is clear that Transparent Language Online offers more for learners to choose from.

Alphabet Learning

More In-depth Alphabet Courses

While both Transparent Language Online and Duolingo offer alphabet courses for learners, there are some fundamental differences. Transparent Language Online's alphabet courses help learners understand the full scope of the alphabet: they learn the order of the letters within the system, which is an important mental tool when trying to learn to recognize and memorize them, while also learning the letter names, which is important in a class setting. The Transparent Language Online activity set is more interactive and challenging, as opposed to the passive, instant gratification style approach taken by Duolingo. Transparent Language Online also keeps the alphabet information around as a reference, so learners get the "full picture" and can access related information anytime.

Better Content

Print, Pronounce, Learn

Print it Out.

Print Vocab on Transparent Language Online

When learners access a unit in Transparent Language Online, they are presented with goals for that unit, and have the option to export and print its vocabulary.

Printing Features Not Available on Duolingo

Duolingo presents a basic list of the words that will be learned in each lesson, but it does not have a print and export function for the unit vocabulary or present true goals for what learners should be able to accomplish at the end of the lesson.

Sound it Out.

  • Authentic, Native Speaker Pronunciation In addition, all content created by Transparent Language helps set the stage for conversing in the real world by providing learners with authentic, native speaker pronunciation for every word and phrase, as opposed to the text-to-speech options provided by Duolingo.

Learn Relevant Words and Phrases.

  • Professionally Created Courses are Included in Transparent Language Online The professionally created courses included in Transparent Language Online teach useful, relevant words and phrases for everyday tasks and conversations a learner might encounter.
  • Duolingo Creates Courses with Crowdsourcing In contrast, Duolingo uses crowdsourcing to create their courses, which means that users may come across irrelevant, nonsensical sentences and even questionable phrases that may be inappropriate for younger audiences (a particular concern for schools).

More Robust Teacher Abilities

Complex Reporting, Author Content, Add Due Dates

Duolingo launched a teacher portal at the beginning of 2015, while Transparent Language has had one since 2009. Both programs offer teachers the ability to organize students into groups or classes and run summary reports on student progress. However, the reporting features in Transparent Language Online go beyond just simple summaries to drill into the exact content that students have been working on, allowing teachers to better prepare for in-class activities. Teachers are also able to assign any content, including custom-created content, in Transparent Language Online to their classes with set due dates. Plus, teachers who want more custom material can author their own content within Transparent Language Online, complete with audio, and then assign it to their students. All of the tools for authoring are included within the teacher edition of the program.

While cost is always a factor in choosing language-learning resources, it's important to consider the return on investment. The quality and quantity of content available in Transparent Language Online provides a more reliable and robust learning experience that's worth every penny.

Robust teacher abilities
Transparent Language Online
  • organize students into groups or classes
  • run summary reports on student progress
  • assign content with set due dates
  • see exact content students are working on
  • author own content, with audio
Limited teacher abilities
  • organize students into groups or classes
  • run summary reports on student progress
  • assign content with set due dates

More Freedom

Custom Learning Path

Customize Your Learning Path to Better Suit Your Needs

Duolingo provides a fairly strict path for learners to follow, but learners are able to test out of different units based on prior knowledge. Transparent Language Online not only offers a customizable learning path, but also allows learners to select activities to focus on a particular skill (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), move between units, and take assessments at any time, as often as they'd like. In this regard, Transparent Language Online gives learners greater flexibility to learn what they want, when they want.

Want to learn more? See how Transparent Language Online helps bring language learning to libraries, educational institutions, and corporate organizations.

*As of February 2021

This page necessarily includes subjective opinions of the author, Transparent Language, Inc. The foreign language market seems to generate more than its fair share of hype and overstatement, so we encourage readers to verify our assertions, and take the time to look and compare for themselves.

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