For those attempting to learn a new language(outside of the programming variety), Duolingo is one of the better options around. It brings a casual feel to what can be a daunting task, and mixes methodology throughout the plan. With growing popularity and impressive utility, the team behind the language app have raised $20 million in Series B funding.
This adds to the $18 million they previously gained in funding, giving dueling room to grow. Rather than add more languages or other incremental changes, Duolingo is set to take on a much bigger task. They are aiming to create a proctored exam, in which you use your device camera and microphone to take the test. The testing service will com via a separate app, keeping Duolingo as charming as we currently find it.
Duolingo is also tackling translation services. Duolingo wants to offer text translations for publishers, wherein Duolingo will have a team of translators on staff to make sure whatever is printed in one language reads correctly in others. CNN and Buzzfeed are currently the only clients of note.
While a casual approach to learning may seem unintuitive, it’s not. “We figured out that we have more people learning language on a given day on Duolingo than in the whole U.S. school system” said Duolingo CEO Luis von Ahn. “People say they ‘play Duolingo’. Our users aren’t hardcore. They are procrastinating and don’t want to feel as bad, so they open our app.”