|Image from Karyn Christner, under a CC|
Duolingo is a free language site, that leads users through online modules helping them master French, German or Spanish, with more languages promised in the future. This freebie language-learning isn't totally altruistic, as users translate websites and documents as they progress through the lessons. It effectively means users are doing translation work for free, but learning in the process. So everyone's a winner, eh?
Signing up to Duolingo is simple, and can be done via Twitter or Facebook, the latter providing a social aspect as learners follow the progress of friends. The interface is clean and easy to follow, with lessons utilising your computer's microphone to allow for learners to give spoken answers to be assessed. Lessons highlight and explain new words and phrases, and at the end of a lesson there is a test that allows you to progress to the next.
It would be interesting to see if anyone ever becomes fluent in a new language through Duolingo, but in the meantime it's a fun way to start learning a language, and do your bit translating the web in the process.