Duolingo, like a pro.

another new Duolingo feature... ๐Ÿคณ๐Ÿ‘€

Published 23 days agoย โ€ขย 3 min read

hola ๐Ÿ‘‹


when Duolingo isn't messing around with its subscription tiers ((๐Ÿ™ƒ)) it's also been bashing out a bunch of interesting new features

we've already looked at Radio and Adventures in recent weeks,

but there's one more still to look at,

one that has the potential to be the best of the lot... ๐Ÿ‘€

smile, you're on camera ๐Ÿคณ

so what is this new feature? ๐Ÿค”

Duolingo is calling it 'Video call with Lily'

it's currently available for some users on the French and Spanish courses on iOS

a lot of users received it a few weeks ago... but have since lost it ((myself included))

however, a new batch of users started to receive it in the last few days, so it seems that Duolingo is experimenting with the feature across different groups ((they really do love an A/B test don't they ๐Ÿ™ˆ))

fortunately I played around with it a fair bit before Duolingo removed it from my path, so i've still got some juicy details to share with you ๐Ÿ™‚

how to get it

as I mentioned, Video Call with Lily is currently only available to select users on the French and Spanish courses

so if you're learning one of these languages and you want to find out if you're one of the lucky users, all you need to do is flick through your learning path and have a look for the following level symbol...

after you've completed a video call you can then complete it again, either from the path or from your practice hub.

how does it work?

basically, it works like a real video call, kinda like FaceTime or Zoom.

the only difference is you don't have your camera on. It's just Lily.

each video call centres around a specific topic.

Lily will ask you a series of questions, to which you then respond...

you might be thinking that this is very similar to the Roleplay feature on Duolingo Max. and that's because it is.

however, there are a couple of big differences -- one being that, rather than using text, you're using your voice

((so it's less WhatsApp and more Zoom))

the other big diff is that there aren't any hints or prompts, which makes it a lot more challenging.

it also makes it feel a bit more authentic in the sense that it plays out like an actual face-to-face conversation

early thoughts ๐Ÿ’ญ

video call with Lily is an interesting new feature

it's very different to Duolingo's usual modes, which generally focus on reading and listening.

it's the latest feature to leverage some of the AI technologies that Duolingo started using back in 2023 ๐Ÿค–

like in Roleplay, Lily responds based on what you say, which gives you a lot of room to be creative with your responses

and while it certainly seems to fall under the Duolingo-Max umbrella, it's currently unclear as the whether this is a Max-exclusive feature

a number of non-Max members have received video call, which suggests it might be coming to all subscription levels. seems a bit weird ((especially with Duolingo bizarrely moving unlimited hearts to Max)), but it would definitely be welcome!

room for improvement

however, there are still a few creases to iron out, which could be why Duolingo has recently removed it from some users' learning paths.

the main issue for me is that the conversations can be a little bit robotic at times, with Lily not always grasping what you're trying to say

for instance, you could say something about your favourite colour and she'll just swiftly change the topic of the conversation without fully acknowledging what you've said... ๐Ÿซค

I guess this is pretty consistent with her indifferent attitude, but in terms of practising conversation skills it's not really that helpful

some users might also struggle with the lack of hints, tips and direction that are available in Duolingo's standard lessons

it would be helpful if Duolingo adds something similar to what it's got in Roleplay: a selection of prompts that the user can use to guide their responses...

you can choose to hide these if you want a bit more of a challenge, but having the option there will make it a lot more accessible.



after last week's unlimited hearts debacle, it's been nice to get back to something positive ๐Ÿ’ช

Video call with Lily has the potential to be a really useful feature... but still needs a bit more work before it's rolled out to all users and courses

((it's definitely not gonna be replacing the need for real-life convos anytime soon!))


but what do you think of it? something you'd use? ๐Ÿค”


โ€‹feel free to let me know over on X.โ€‹

Ciao for now,


eat ๐Ÿฝ๏ธ sleep ๐Ÿ˜ด streak ๐Ÿ”ฅ repeat ๐Ÿ”

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