At Duolingo’s virtual conference, the company is announcing that it will add a family plan to its app, along with new games and puzzles to help people learn languages that use non-Latin alphabets, such as Japanese or Arabic. One of the main new features is a tab that will appear for some languages, which shows users a grid of letters in an alphabet, along with the sounds they make. (If you’re an Android user, the feature may sound familiar as it’s been available on that platform, but now it’s coming to iOS and the web.)
The family plan will give six people (the subscriber, who becomes the family manager, and five others) the benefits of Duolingo Plus, which includes no ads, unlimited hearts, mastery quizzes, and more. It costs $120 a year, which isn’t bad compared to the individual Plus plan, which costs $80 a year when paid annually, or $12.99 a month, though there’s no monthly payment option for the family plan.
Duolingo says that the ability to tap on symbols and hear their sounds will be coming to languages like Korean, Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, Arabic, Hindi, Hebrew, and the newly added Yiddish (Japanese has had some of the features for a few months). In addition to the chart, there will also be lessons, and some languages will include games that involve tracing non-Latin characters or even building the character like a puzzle.
It makes sense that Duolingo is adding a family payment plan, which has been repeatedly requested by users, and new reasons to use its app given that the company just went public at the end of July. As someone who’s bounced off the company’s lessons for Russian and Japanese, though, I appreciate the additional lessons for the characters that I’ve struggled to learn.