The idea that learning another language should be free is the core idea behind Duolingo. Over the past few years, the app has strived to make learning a new tongue convenient, portable and fun. Now the company’s trying to turn its free language learning tools into a profitable business by introducing a premium service. Don’t worry, though — Duolingo Plus doesn’t take away your free language course, it just gets rid of its ads.
For $10 a month, subscribers to Duolingo Plus will get access to an ad-free version of the lessons they already use on the language platform, plus the ability to download those lessons for offline use. The company says it’s ideal for users who want to be able to practice during their commute or on plane flights — but stresses that it’s purely optional. Free lessons won’t be going away. Technically, a subscription model contradicts the company’s original promise for a service that both teaches language while simultaneously translating the web, but the firm says it’s an important step. If everything goes to plan, the company will finally be able to break even by the end of the year.