Fluencia vs Duolingo: Which is the Best? - Online Course How

Fluencia vs Duolingo: Which is the Best?

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Learning a new language can be exciting but overwhelming. Not everyone got the opportunity to learn a language in school. And having the time and funds to go to lessons as an adult seems next to impossible. 

This is one of the reasons sites and apps like Fluencia and Duolingo have become so popular. But, unless you are a teacher or language expert, it can be difficult to know which learning style is best for you. Here’s our guide to the differences and similarities between Fluencia and Duolingo. So you can make the best choice for you. 


Fluencia is a great website if you’re looking to learn Spanish in a traditional format. The style of the lesson will likely remind you of your high school Spanish textbooks. But, this definitely isn’t a bad thing. There is a science to learning a language. So, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

This is great for a more mature learner who will feel more comfortable with this traditional format. It’s also much less cartoonish than Duolingo. So it allows for much more serious learning. It does, however, only teach Spanish. 


Even if you have never looked into learning a language before, you will have heard of Duolingo. (You will also likely recognize their green owl mascot). Duolingo is arguably the most popular online language learning app and website. 

But it is also well-known for being very tenacious. As well as mentioning how easy it is to use. Users also often comment on how often they are sent notifications and emails if they miss a day of practice. But, that does mean Duolingo is a great option if you struggle to stick to new habits.


Pricing OptionsFree basic website access and app.Duolingo Plus: $12.99/monthDuolingo Plus: $49.99/6 months.Duolingo Plus: $79.99/year.15 lessons free.$14.95/month.$95.40/year.$166.8024-month deal.
FeaturesAvailable in website and app formats. Learning tailored to the user.
UsabilityAvailable as a website.Available as a website.Available as an app.
ConclusionBest for formal learners.Best for learning on the go.



Overall, Fluencia can be described as a paid subscription. It does offer 15 lessons for free but these can better be considered as a free trial. Rather than a module or a way of developing the language properly. 

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For a relatively affordable price, Fluencia offers a great range of resources. Fluencia provides a more formal curriculum that you will be dedicating your time and energy to.

Rather than something you can dip in and out of. When the learning materials, learning style, and overall holistic learning experience are considered, the price is very affordable. 


Duolingo is primarily a free service. The overall style of both the website and app is very simple. But, when you consider the fact that you can become fluent for free, the service becomes incredibly impressive.

Learning a language is a difficult task that usually requires a great deal of free time and money. But, Duolingo will save you both time and money. 

Duolingo does provide a paid subscription. This offers additional benefits but, overall, it is not very different from the free version. It does, however, offer a 14-day free trial for you to see the difference for yourself.

The additional benefits provided with the paid Duolingo Plus are:

  • An ad-free experience.
  • Ability to download lessons in the app for offline use.
  • Unlimited hearts.
  • Unlimited skill test-outs.
  • Monthly streak repair.
  • Progress/Mastery Quiz.


One of the biggest differences between Fluencia and Duolingo is the pricing. Both are free to an extent. But the number of learning resources available for free are very different between the two.

As you can see from the table above, Fluencia is only free for 15 lessons. The learning materials included for free are very good. But you won’t be able to become fluent for free. This is very different from Duolingo.

The prices for using Fluencia regularly are very good for the resources available. Duolingo provides more of the same for free. But Fluencia will provide a wider range of resources. This will allow for greater variety and diversity of learning. 

For a monthly subscription, the prices between Fluencia and Duolingo do not vary very much. When the paid subscription for Duolingo Plus is compared to Fluencia’s paid subscription, Duolingo does not offer very much more.



Fluencia offers a wide range of features in its curriculum. The curriculum is very broad and covers a range of conversational and formal vocabulary. 

The lessons primarily focus on translation. This can range from simple words to sentences to long paragraphs. The lessons also involve images and audio. These lessons are not just translating long lists of vocabulary.

Lessons also include conversations. So, rather than just learning the words and phrases of a language, you will also be taught how to respond. This means that you will be taught how to interact and apply your learning in a practical setting.

Some people enjoy learning a language for the sake of it. But, often people want to be able to use it in real life. This can only be done if you regularly practice conversations. 

Context and the relationship between language, culture, and people is also emphasized in the lessons. The vocabulary and phrases are learned within specific contexts such as “Summer Plans”. Rather than simply learning individual words in more structured themes. Fluencia’s lessons are guided around the kind of language you are most likely to use in real life. 

Other useful features of Fluencia is the ability to set your own goals and receive personalized feedback. The feedback comes from Fluencia’s feedback system. The goals can be set by yourself and you can also set your own reminders. This puts the student in control of their own learning.


The language courses offered by Duolingo are all relatively similar to others. However, some courses have more features than others. This mostly depends on the popularity of the courses. For example, popular courses such as French and Spanish have more resources available than for Cymraeg or Gaeilge

As Spanish is a very commonly spoken language, the resources available are much larger than other options. But, the style of learning is still very similar to other courses. The standard learning style includes starting with very basic grammar and vocabulary.

Rather than a set curriculum, Duolingo provides a series of modules displayed as small icons. These icons have a strength bar that builds up around the module until you complete it. After you have completed it, you can move on to the next stage.

Modules are mostly organized into basics such as “man”, “woman”, “boy”, “girl”. Then the language advances onto other basic vocabulary such as “dog”, “cat”, “horse”. Once basic vocabulary has been developed, the learner then moves on to more complex modules that include full sentences. Eventually, they will begin to be tested on speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish.

An additional feature that is very useful is the option for advanced learners to skip the basics. When you first begin a course on Duolingo, you are provided with two choices. These are “Learning Spanish for the first time? Start from scratch!” and “Already know some Spanish? Check your level here!”. This is an excellent way to bypass the basics if you already have some Spanish. 

As well as this test, Duolingo Plus has regular testing points. As you progress through the lessons, you will be given the option to test how much you have learned. These tests will cover random topics from the previous modules. Similar to the pop quizzes you did in school. But, unlike those quizzes, you have the option to skip the test and keep going.

Duolingo tasks include translation, filling in gaps, correcting grammar, and even listening and speaking exercises. But, if you aren’t able to speak or listen at a certain time, then you can easily turn these features off. (This is great for learning on your commute).


For the features of Fluencia and Duolingo, it is easier to compare Fluencia with Duolingo Plus. They have much more in common.

But, comparing the free features for both is also important. It is easy to say that Duolingo provides more learning opportunities for free. This is because a learner can learn an entire language for free.

But, on the other hand, the 15 free lessons provided by Fluencia will be more exhaustive and will provide more resources. If you’re only interested in the free options, then Fluencia is a good choice if you plan to take more formal lessons in the future. Whereas Duolingo is the best option if you want to dip in and out whenever you want.



As has already been mentioned, Fluencia has a more formal learning style. But this doesn’t mean that it isn’t enjoyable. Simply that it doesn’t have the same cute cartoons and silliness as Duolingo. But, it does mean that Fluencia allows for a slightly more realistic approach to learning a language.

Fluencia provides images of people, areas of Spain, and other features that make the language more human. It also provides a better understanding of Spanish culture. It is impossible to separate a language from its culture. So this course provides a more holistic approach to learning a language.

In terms of physical usage, Fluencia is only available as a website. It can be easily accessed with any device, such as a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. But, this does make it a little more difficult to use than an app. An app allows for easy access. It also means you can easily flip between the app and other apps and windows on your device.

But, this format does suit its overall learning style. Fluencia promises fast learning. But it is definitely not suited to the short attention span that is usually associated with an app. This means that you can sit down specifically with the intention of learning a module of Spanish.


Duolingo is very simple and easy to use. But not in the sense that it is overly basic or unimpressive. Rather that it provides almost the same learning style for every module. From beginner to intermediate, the learning style often revolves around using cartoons and other fun features.

But, when you begin to learn more complex grammar and vocabulary, the learning style becomes more formal. This is sensible as it is a more mature style. When someone begins to become more fluent, they will stop needing to learn short words and sentences.

But, that said, Duolingo tailors its learning style to the user. This is very impressive for a website and app. Rather than have real tutors providing you with their specific teaching style, Duolingo is able to recognize the best way that you learn. And then it keeps on providing that learning style for you.

If you have used Duolingo before, you will be familiar with the streaks and hearts. The learning style of Duolingo can often be more easily compared with other phone games, rather than learning experiences. As you progress with Duolingo, you will be added to a leaderboard with others.

You will be encouraged to practice as often as you can in order to climb the leaderboard. Although learning the language is the main aim of the app and site, there is the added incentive to keep learning so that you can be the winner. With every lesson you complete, you gain more XP which takes you up the leaderboard.

The streaks relate to the number of days you spend learning. If you skip a day, then you will lose your streak. You will also begin to receive regular notifications and emails encouraging you to get back to learning. These emails and notifications can sometimes be sent a little too often.

Although you can technically learn at your own pace, the app doesn’t like this and will encourage you to keep learning. Even if you have completed a lesson that day.

The hearts are essentially lives. Similar to those in most other phone and arcade games. You will lose a heart every time you make a mistake. This does add to the game-like learning style.

But it can cause you to give up before you would normally. This is one of the reasons paying for Duolingo Plus is a great option. Duolingo Plus allows for an unlimited number of hearts so you can continue playing.  


Although Fluencia is not available as an app, it still has a similar user experience to Duolingo. The simple style of learning purposely interacts with the digital environment. Although Fluencia is slightly more formal, you won’t just be copying down vocabulary and grammar.

Both Fluencia and Duolingo provide the user with a variety of learning styles. Both allow the learner to translate using provided words. Both are interactive and both have very obvious learning styles. You won’t be confused about what you’re doing. 

Both Fluencia and Duolingo also allow the learner to work at their own pace. If you quit a lesson on Duolingo, you won’t be able to save your progress. But every lesson is very short so this isn’t a common occurrence.

Duolingo, however, allows the learner to choose their translation style. Depending on how confident the learner is feeling, they can choose between typing the translation out themselves or by choosing words that are suggested below. 

Fluencia only allows the learner to select from words listed below the translation. This is a small difference but it does have an impact on learning. This is because, in reality, you won’t be able to choose from a handful of suggested words. Typing the sentence out will also allow the learner to remember the language more.


For Fluencia and Duolingo, it’s difficult to draw a comparison between the two. They are two very different tools. The learning experience is very different. Especially in terms of formal learning vs learning in snippets. Fluencia provides a very structured and high-quality curriculum.

Duolingo also provides structured and high-quality learning. But in a much more limited style. 

Overall, the main conclusion to be drawn is that Fluencia is the best option if you’re looking to dedicate your time and money to learning Spanish. If you are looking to learn Spanish in order to properly converse in Spanish and prefer a formal learning environment, Fluencia is the best option.

If, however, you just have a mild interest in topping up your high school Spanish, Duolingo is the much better option. The lessons within the modules will usually only take a few minutes. And you can easily come back to them. 

Overall, one isn’t necessarily better than the other (although Duolingo does provide a lot more resources for free). The main differences are learning styles. So, if money isn’t a problem, you simply need to choose the learning style that works best for you. 

About the Author Jacob M.

Jacob has a background in finance and engineering. Outside of his day job, he is a lifelong learner, who enjoys reading, taking online courses, and writing about what he's learned.

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