Comparing Duolingo and MosaLingua: what is the best app to learn a language?

Duolingo is a very popular app that you most certainly know. Today we decided to write this article comparing Duolingo and Mosalingua, because we recently discovered that many of our users have been also trying Duolingo. Many of you actually use MosaLingua at the same time as Duolingo, or have used it after taking some first steps on the Duolingo app. In all cases, they are linked. So let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two apps to learn languages! Here is our take on comparing Duolingo and Mosalingua


Comparing Duolingo and Mosalingua: What are the Differences?

Between us, it would be easy to speak ill of one of our competitors. Although we do not consider Duolingo as such because we have a totally different approach. The idea of comparing Duolingo and MosaLingua is therefore not to try and hurt Duolingo, but rather to show you what are the two approaches used on MosaLingua and Duolingo and above all to show you the positive and negative aspects of these. We have made sure to stay objective so that comparing Duolingo and Mosalingua is useful.

Duolingo: The Fun Application

The Positive Points:

Duolingo is a fun application. It allows you to learn vocabulary through different games. The course of the lesson is fluid, and the application intuitive. The app is really nice to start playing with the language. The graphics are well done, playful, visual. It’s a good way to take your first steps in a foreign language. It is accessible and suitable for beginners.

Duolingo’s approach is therefore to learn a language in an educational and playful way. Indeed, the creators have put a lot of emphasis on the gamification of the learning process: competition between users, the release of bonuses and the proposed activities are built to take on the addictive elements of video games and so we must admit that from this point of view it is a success. The application, centered on gaming, is fun and gives the impression of progressing well in a foreign language.


The Negative Points:

The negative point here is that the application gives you that impression of progressing … But is this really the case? Indeed, the exercises are relatively simple, to give the sense that you are rapidly progressing, but the  real pace of learning is quite slow. Research by A. Bjork of the University of California showed that the more difficult an exercise was, the more it required concentration and the more it helped  in memorization. In other words, one remembers well when one makes a cerebral effort. But if we take this idea in reverse: an easy exercise is flattering, but does not effectively enable one to memorize a word.

Although it brings playful elements, it’s mostly just entertainment. These distractions do not allow the brain to focus on memorization and learning. On the contrary, memorization is disrupted. When you play, your brain is more focused on playing and less on memorizing and learning. The polyglot Kerstin Cable, from Fluent Language, comes back fairly critically on (among other things) on the gamification of the Duolingo app and the fact that it does not necessarily help in the world of language learning.

On the other hand, another unfortunate element to emphasize in this comparison between Duolinguo and MosaLingua is that you cannot choose the phrases and vocabulary words you want to learn. You may therefore need to learn words that will not be useful to you or may not be appropriate for your learning objectives, also, the learning path is predefined, and does not really depend on your personal needs.

MosaLingua: The App of Efficiency

The Positive Points

To perfect this comparison of Duolingo and MosaLingua … Let’s talk about MosaLingua now. This app to learn languages has not been created to distract you or to make you learn by gaming. Thus, the interface graphics are less playful and more sober and serious. You can see by the graphics that the idea is to get to the essential basics of learning. This is because indeed MosaLingua has chosen effectiveness as its approach to learning. Comparing Duolingo and Mosalingua, MosaLingua is definitely the more serious of the two.

The goal is not to distract you, but to spend as little time as possible on it. This will give you more time to practice and actually enjoy the language.


1. Learning the most useful words and phrases

Firstly, MosaLingua allows you to learn according to your learning objective. You choose your goals from the beginning. You choose the goal from the beginning. For example, if you want to learn or re-learn a language before a trip, you will not learn the same things as you would if you wanted to use the app to learn a language professionally.

But that’s not all ! You can always choose vocabulary words and phrases you want to learn. Simply explore the lists that are categorized: food, housing, tourism, language exchange, etc.

These words and phrases were not chosen at random. These are the most useful and most frequently used words according to frequency lists. This means that you do not waste your time learning words or phrases that may never be useful to you! You focus on the essentials (there are still more than 3000 words and phrases, more than enough for advanced levels)


2. A personalized program based on your level, preferences and needs

With MosaLingua you always have the option to skip an exercise or a phrase that does not seem useful to you in your personal case. Imagine, for example, that you learn the tourism cards, but you do not plan to sleep in a youth hostel. Well, you can choose not to learn vocabulary related to youth hostels, so you do not waste time unnecessarily.

Same thing for the activities you carry out: while in many applications the course is set in stone, MosaLingua lets the user freely skip exercises that he or she will not need. If, for example, your priority is to be able to speak, you may well not need to learn to write the words … With this same concept in mind, we have recently added the choice of learning priorities (ie working, socializing, communicating …) A small test to evaluate your level (to offer you the most suitable content) as we know your time is precious.

We talked to our users about their opinion…  so we’ll give them the floor!
Some testimonials:

omnisteve  ★★★★★

I love to travel in France, and I like studying French. I like small group classes and I think Rosetta Stone is terrific. But what I really like about this app is that it keeps reminding you to review the flashcards and to learn new ones. It’s a great way to keep on track and improve EVERY day. There’s a lot of depth here. Not the only way I would try to learn a language, but a fantastic companion along the way.

Budget-wise, Comparing Duolingo and Mosalingua:

Because we know that the price point is also important in your choice of apps to learn languages. You should probably know that in the world of applications there are two possibilities: integrate advertising and offer free access, or choose not to advertise and offer a paid app.
At MosaLingua, we always choose not to advertise. For us, this seems to be contradicting to an educational app where it is important to concentrate. We do not offer a subscription but a one-time cost of $4.99. At this price, you can use the app for life, and enjoy +3500 cards. Afterwards, if you want to access more content or specialized content, you can purchase additional packs (available for life as well).
Duolingo on the contrary was until now still an exception in the panorama of the language apps. Indeed, it offered a 100% free offer (rather tempting … which is perhaps part of its popularity) with ads and other paid features. However, Duolinguo has just launched a paid offer this time at $ 10 a month. So you can choose between the basic free app and a paid application with subscription. 

Comparing Duolingo and MosaLingua: two apps, several features


What if we used two apps to learn a language at the same time?

Some of our users have decided not to choose between the two. They chose to use these two apps simultaneously to learn the languages and why not ?

If you are planning to go this route, we recommend that you make your revisions on MosaLingua first. Then use Duolingo to have fun and to relax during your learning. We will go even further by suggesting that you take the time to distract yourself in the language you are learning. Whether in front of a good English-language film, with or without subtitles, in front of a good series or a good English book.

Do not forget that learning has to be fun! A good movie, a series or a conversation with a native friend will make you progress while making you have a great time.

I hope that this comparison between Duolingo and MosaLingua has been helpful! Happy learning and do not hesitate to share your experience in the comments!

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  1. People vary. I am still enjoying Duolingo. It a at my current mood and learning preferences. Only it is not completely offline. I shall later resume my Mosalingua.

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