Duolingo vs Rosetta Stone – Are They Worth Your Time?

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Duolingo vs. Rosetta Stone: is it an unfair battle? If we consider the revenues of each company, probably not. But their models are vastly different. Duolingo is well-known for being completely free, while Rosetta Stone is a premium service with steep prices and much more immersive experience.

In this regard, it’s quite hard to compare the two because they are the exact opposite of how they teach. Duolingo is for quick and casual learning, where most of your learning is gamified. As such, it provides a fun experience. Rosetta Stone goes much deeper, but it’s also more expensive.

Which one is better? Read on to find out.

Can’t Wait? Here’s Our Favorite…

We believe that if you’re serious about learning a new language, you should go with Rosetta Stone. It’s far more in-depth than Duolingo, although it’s also more expensive. However, if you’re after casual learning for free, then go with Duolingo. It will teach you the ropes of new language, and you’ll have basic knowledge of a language when you complete a course.

Although we like Rosetta Stone a bit more, our favorite option for language learning is still Babbel. It combines what makes both Rosetta Stone and Duolingo good, and it’s also an affordable language learning platform for serious learners.

Duolingo Review

Duolingo is the newest of the language learning platforms. It was established in 2012, although it is today one of the largest and most popular services for learning new languages. It’s free to use, and it’s available as an Android and iOS app, as well as a website.

It’s fun to use because it encourages you to learn in a painless way through various games and interactive tutorials. Duolingo is great for learning new phrases and sentences, as well as for upgrading your vocabulary.

One of the better things about Duolingo is that it encourages you to dedicate your time towards learning a new language every day. When you start learning, you set your daily learning goal, and Duolingo reminds you on a daily basis to stick to your goals.

Learning with Duolingo

So, how do you learn with Duolingo?

Before you start, Duolingo will assess your skill level in a language of your choice. Based on that examination, it will provide you with basic lessons that will give you an outstanding fundamental knowledge level.

Most of the learning, at least at the start, is based on building your vocabulary. Slowly, it moves towards new phrases, while you will also get some knowledge about the culture of the language you’re learning.

All of it is done in a fun and low-pressure way. You won’t feel forced at any moment, although you’ll get daily reminders to learn the new language. And the more you learn, the more XP you can get, and with more XP, you can climb up the leaderboard and make your way to the top if you’re really a power learner.

Duolingo Price

Duolingo is completely free to use. You’ll be able to learn all of the languages on the platform without paying a single penny. This makes Duolingo a very popular platform for those who like to try out new languages and maybe stick with it for a couple of months.

There’s also the paid option, Duolingo Plus, which gets rid of ads, and it allows you to download the content so you can access it offline.

Duolingo Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Completely free to use
  • More than 30 languages to learn
  • A fun and engaging experience
  • Daily reminders to get back to learning

Cons:

  • Not very in-depth
  • A lack of face-to-face interaction
  • Ads

Rosetta Stone Review

You could argue that Rosetta Stone is the exact opposite of Duolingo. It’s much more in-depth with its learning, but it’s also much more expensive. You can expect to pay at least $150 for lifetime access to a single course, which is a lot, but you do get a lot for the money.

Rosetta Stone has been around for a while now. Since 1992, they have provided courses for language learners worldwide, although they were initially present only in the English-speaking world.

Today, Rosetta Stone is available to you online, or on your mobile device (iOS or Android). So you can learn anywhere and anytime, although for speaking with live tutors, it’s better to use your computer.

Learning with Rosetta Stone

Here are some features you’ll get when you buy a course with Rosetta Stone:

  • Live tutors
  • One of the best speech recognition engines around
  • A unique learning plan tailored specifically for you
  • Reading materials
  • Downloadable lessons
  • Compatibility for all devices

The option to learn from live tutors is amazing, in our opinion. It allows you to go really deep with learning, unlike Duolingo where you mostly stay on surface level. So if you’re serious about learning a new language and are willing to stick to it, then we definitely recommend Rosetta Stone over Duolingo.

Rosetta Stone Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Very deep learning experience
  • Immersive
  • Live tutors and support
  • A great speech recognition engine

Cons:

  • Very expensive

Want a Better Option? Try Babbel

If you’re not convinced by any of the two options, then we have a better recommendation for you: Babbel.

We wrote the following articles:

And Babbel won both comparisons!

Duolingo is free to use, but it’s not for serious learners, because it doesn’t go in-depth, and it doesn’t teach you how to use a new language in conversations.

Rosetta Stone, on the other hand, is too expensive for many. You can expect to pay anywhere between $150 and $400 for a single course, which is a lot even though you get some nice features with it.

Babbel is the perfect combination of the two. It offers a very in-depth learning solution for an affordable price of under $10 per month. You’ll learn how to speak a new language and use it in conversations instead of just learning new words like you do with Duolingo. It actually teaches you how to use the language efficiently for the long-term.

And for under $10 per month, you’ll get access to all of the courses, unlike with Rosetta Stone, where you have to buy each course individually.

You can give Babbel a try now and see what you think for free for two weeks – and then you can decide whether you want to use it.

About the author: Hey there! I’m Vince. I’m a trained and practicing teacher with experience in e-learning and course design, along with having an extensive background in building and maintaining websites. I started EduTest Labs to help course creators and students find the best resources (without the BS).