Since late August, I’ve been learning Spanish through the popular app Duolingo. I’ve tried Duolingo before but didn’t manage to keep using it every day. This time, I’ve had a good motivator; I visited Barcelona for work in late September, so I wanted to learn at least a few conversational basics before that.
Duolingo uses gamification elements; everything renders experience points (XP), and successful learning is rewarder with lingots, an in-app currency that can be used to buy extra lessons or power-ups. Unlike most other microcredit systems, there is no way to buy lingots.
The one thing one can do if the ads, which only appear in-between lessons in a very non-intrusive way, are bothering you, is to use Duolingo plus. It is available at a fixed rate per month and it rewoves all ads, plus it enables offline lessons. Other than that, Duolingo plus is a big waste of money imho, and the price is not proportional to what one gets in return. At the time of writing, I’ve used Duolingo plus for a month, so it is expiring some time soon. If I end up missing some feature that turns out to be plus specific, I’ll post an update.