Rocket languages vs Duolingo

Rocket Languages vs Duolingo: Which Language App is Better?

Dennys Caldera Boka Published on December 16, 2023
Rocket Languages vs Duolingo

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Want to find out if Rocket Languages or Duolingo is better to help you learn a new language effectively? You’re in the right place! As a language instructor, I can tell you that learning apps can be very helpful when learning a new language. In this detailed comparison, I’ll take a look at two popular names in the industry: Rocket Languages and Duolingo. They can help you get started easily and make progress quickly. Which one’s better in my opinion? This time around, Rocket Languages is the big winner.

Editor’s Choice

Rocket Languages Overview
Rocket Languages delivers five-star content with a conversational approach that keeps you engaged. The lessons are easy to follow, and it focuses on your target language’s cultural background, giving you a well-rounded learning experience. 
Rocket Languages logo
Price $149.95
Free trial 7 days
Try Rocket Languages

Rocket Languages and Duolingo both offer interactive lessons, bringing together audio, visuals, and practical exercises. But their approach to learning languages is very different. In this article, I’ll get into the details to help you make an informed decision. 

Rocket Languages vs Duolingo: A Quick Breakdown

Rocket Languages offers an immersive learning experience with lessons that integrate audio from native speakers and practice activities. It encourages you to think and speak in your target language from day one. It also has several tools to reinforce what you learn. Its culture lessons are full of valuable tips to understand your target language better too. 

Duolingo provides an extensive selection of languages that you can begin learning at no cost. It has very short lessons with interactive exercises that help you learn vocabulary easily. Its gamified interface makes language learning a lot of fun, but not necessarily the most effective.

The table below shows you a direct comparison of Rocket Languages and Duolingo based on the number of languages they have, price, and free trial offers.

Rocket LanguagesDuolingo
12 languages39 languages
7-day free trial14-day free trial
Try NowTry Now

Rocket Languages vs Duolingo: Cost Comparison

One level of Rocket Languages costs $149.95 for lifetime access. A few of the languages, like English and ASL, only cost $99.95. You can also choose a combo package, which includes two levels for $299.90 or all three levels for $449.85. It  always has discounts where you can save up to 60% by using the coupon code ROCKETDEAL. Additionally, there’s a six-month payment plan that starts at $20.00 per month. It also has a free trial that gives you restricted access to a few of the modules. Finally, Rocket offers a 60-day no-questions-asked full money-back guarantee on any purchase.

Duolingo also offers a ‘freemium’ model with a free version containing ads. It also features a Super Duolingo plan at $12.99 per month that is ad-free with offline access and progress tracking. If you get a yearly subscription $83.99 (or $6.99 per month). There is also a Duolingo Family plan that costs $199.99 per year for up to six accounts.

While Duolingo’s freemium model is more budget-friendly, the ads quickly become annoying. Rocket Languages, on the other hand, offers a lot of value for your purchase. Its additional tools to help you practice and reinforce your learning, as well as its immersive learning approach and comprehensive content are outstanding. Its well-organized language learning method and additional practice tools make it an excellent choice. 

If you’re looking for other options to learn different languages, here are some similar alternatives.

Duolingo vs Rocket Languages: How They Work

Duolingo has a user-friendly interface and easy-to-follow lessons. Its gamified experience makes learning easy and fun while keeping you engaged. It has 39 languages to choose from, and it helps you learn grammar and vocabulary from the start. Rocket Languages is heavily audio-based, with lessons that help you practice your conversational skills. It offers several tools to reinforce your listening and reading comprehension, adding cultural tips as well. 

Check out the table below to see how the apps rate across the web.

ReviewsRocket LanguagesDuolingo
Apple Store4.34.7
Google Play Store4.74.6
Total Average Score4.03.6

How Rocket Languages Works

Rocket Languages courses begin each module with an interactive audio lesson that lasts 15-40 minutes. A moderator guides you through a conversation and helps you understand the context of the dialogue. Every lesson builds on the vocabulary of the previous one, as a way to review what you already learned.

Rocket languages German lesson

The mobile app helps you practice keywords from the conversation, as well as their pronunciation. The speech recognition software then grades your pronunciation on a scale from 1 to 100. Also, there are language and culture lessons, where you learn relevant grammar and useful cultural insights. Here you learn about important cultural aspects about regions where it is spoken. Most language apps don’t include any cultural elements!

It offers survival kit lessons that feature vocabulary lists on day-to-day topics, which are especially useful for travelers. You can find customized writing lessons for some languages, like Mandarin Chinese, Japanese or Korean. You can also connect with other learners in the language forum and ask questions.

If you want to know more about the app, you can read this complete Rocket Languages review.

How Duolingo Works

You can start learning a language on Duolingo for free. Simply set your native language and the language you want to learn. Then, choose how long you want to practice (5-20 minutes per day). Units have between 5 to 8 lessons, which you can finish in just a few minutes. The new path structure focuses on lessons that build on one another. This helps you work with the program in an orderly fashion. 

Duolingo lesson

Duolingo lessons are easy to follow and have different kinds of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation exercises. You can begin even if you’re starting from scratch, using its organized plan to learn many words quickly. There’s a Leaderboard, where you can move up with the points you get after completing each lesson. Additionally, there are challenges you can join daily or weekly to compete with other learners. You earn gems, lingots and points, so you can always stay competitive!

In the free version, you have five “hearts” (or chances to make errors). Once you lose them, you have to wait until they refill so you can continue practicing. However, if you have the paid version (Super Duolingo), you can make as many errors as you want. Depending on your target language, you can also find Duolingo stories and podcasts to practice reading and listening.

To learn more about the app, check out this complete Duolingo review.

Rocket Languages: What We Like (and Don’t Like)

What’s great about the Rocket Languages program is that it offers culture lessons with the modules. They help you understand grammar and vocabulary differences while keeping things simple. The lessons are easy to follow, and the conversations are fun and engaging. You can also practice both sides of a conversation using the Play It! feature to practice speaking skills.

Another thing I like is that Rocket provides transcripts for every conversation. While not everyone would use this, it can be helpful for people who learn visually. And they go into detail about grammar, which is something I appreciate as a teacher to help the learning process. 

Rocket Russian dialogue

However, there are a couple of things Rocket Languages could improve. They don’t offer as many languages as other apps, mainly covering the most commonly studied ones. Also, some language courses only have one or two levels – beginner and intermediate – which can be disappointing if you want to become an advanced learner.

Still, Rocket Languages is good for building a strong language foundation and improving your conversational skills. After you finish a Rocket course, you can try other resources to keep learning.

Duolingo: What We Like (and Don’t Like)

Duolingo’s gamified experience is something I enjoy. Its interface is colorful and interactive, which makes learning a lot of fun. The different characters and motion graphics along the courses are eye-catching and the leaderboard is definitely engaging. Another important advantage is the built-in practice. In its latest version, every few lessons you have a practice session where you review what you’ve already learned. This new emphasis on spaced repetition can help you internalize the new language.

One of Duolingo’s main advantages is the pricing. You can still enroll in any course at no cost, and keep learning without committing to a paid subscription. If you’re a casual learner and are on a budget, Duolingo might be a good choice. In addition, it has almost 40 languages to choose from, . Talk about convenience!

Duolingo German lesson

I think Duolingo is good for learning the basics of your target language. You can start from the beginning and learn simple words, sentence structure, and proper pronunciation. For languages with a different alphabet like Japanese or Korean, Duolingo has exercises to introduce you to the new writing. In my opinion, Duolingo might work better for people who just want to try learning a language, without necessarily committing to it.

On the flip side, after using Duolingo to learn German, I noticed its voice recognition system is not very accurate. Even when my pronunciation wasn’t that accurate, the speaking exercises were still counted as correct. As Duolingo uses spaced repetition to help you remember vocabulary, you’ll see words again and again. Therefore, lessons can become repetitive, and over time, this can make Duolingo a little boring.

Rocket Languages or Duolingo: Which Language App is Better?

If you’ve come this far, you know that both Rocket Languages and Duolingo are engaging apps. Their interactive lessons and user-friendly interfaces make them popular options in the market. However, I must say Rocket Languages shines in a few key areas.

Rocket offers a unique advantage by adding culture lessons to its modules. This approach helps you understand grammar and vocabulary nuances while keeping a simple and enjoyable learning experience. Its lessons are straightforward, and the interactive conversations add an element of fun. Its audio lessons are top-shelf, and the additional features to reinforce practice make you run the extra mile.  

While both platforms are great for beginners, Rocket Languages stands out with its broad approach to learning. It lets you explore all areas of the language, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In contrast, Duolingo’s approach mainly focuses on foundational basics. While it does offer grammar tips, they are a bit scarce.

Duolingo might have a partial advantage with regard to pricing because you can use it for free. One of the downsides is that ads can become annoying. Another issue of the free version is that when you lose all your hearts, you can’t move on with the lesson. Therefore, Rocket Languages’ more comprehensive approach, cultural insights, and diverse learning tools make it a better choice and the winner for today.

Rocket Languages and Duolingo: FAQ

Can Duolingo make you fluent?

Despite having well-structured courses, Duolingo doesn’t provide a full path to achieving fluency in a language. Duolingo might be a better option if you’re a casual learner. It is an excellent complementary resource to a more comprehensive language program. 

Does Rocket Languages have a free trial?

Yes, Rocket Languages provides a trial that’s not based on time but on content. You have restricted access to just the first module of every level, but the rest is locked. While the trial never expires, the amount of content you can explore is limited. 

Which app is better for beginners, Duolingo or Rocket Languages?

Rocket Languages is better than Duolingo if you’re starting out. Its audio-based lessons help you develop your conversational skills. Its broad approach to learning lets you explore all areas of the language, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing. And its culture lessons are an interesting bonus that Duolingo doesn’t offer. 

Is Rocket Languages Spanish worth it?

If you’re a beginner or intermediate Spanish learner, Rocket Spanish is definitely worth it. It helps you build a solid foundation in grammar, vocabulary, and speaking. The cultural notes help you understand the differences of Spanish according to the region where it’s spoken.

Dennys Caldera Boka

Dennys is a content writer at Langoly. He’s passionate about language learning and has been helping others achieve their goals and develop their language skills for many years. He’s interested in emerging technologies and how they can help people reskill and upskill. He loves cooking, watching sci-fi movies, and listening to podcasts. Connect with Dennys on LinkedIn.

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