Does Duolingo Have ASL? (2022 Update)

If you’re considering learning ASL (American Sign Language) you might be wondering if the popular language learning app Duolingo offers ASL as one of its languages.

Unfortunately, despite being one of the most popular language-learning platforms with learn more than 30 languages worldwide, Duolingo doesn’t have ASL. This means that people who want to learn American Sign Language online will have to consider other language learning platforms and applications. 

Keep reading to find out why Duolingo doesn’t offer ASL, if they are going to have it in the future, and which similar apps allow you to learn ASL.

Duolingo Logo
Duolingo Logo

Why Does Duolingo not have ASL? 

To start with, the platform operators have not given any reason why the language learning platform does not have ASL. The most likely reason why Duolingo does not have American Sign Language is the way the platform is designed. Duolingo is an interactive application where students can input their answers or responses to tests and practice questions. 

Using the same system for people learning ASL becomes hard. This is because there is no way to input responses to questions and exercises in sign language on the platform. Therefore, Duolingo does not have ASL because it cannot work on the app. 

Is Duolingo Going to Offer ASL in the Future?

Will Duolingo Offer ASL in Future?
Will Duolingo Offer ASL in Future?

At the time of writing this article, there is no announcement or indication that Duolingo would incorporate the American Sign Language into the available languages that users can learn. However, seeing as the yearning for the inclusion of ASL has been growing over time, it is possible that the platform bows to the pressure and finds a way to make learning sign language on its apps possible. 

What are the Best Alternatives to Duolingo for Learning ASL?

While we wait on Duolingo to incorporate ASL on its platform, other language learning applications and platforms offer ASL. Some of these apps are free, while you may have to pay to use some of these apps. 

SignSchool

SignSchool
SignSchool

SignSchool is one of the leading apps for learning American Sign Language or any sign language for that matter. While the app is free like Duolingo, it only allows you to learn sign language, which is a bit, unlike Duolingo. In essence, you can only learn sign languages on this app. 

The application was developed in 2014 by three friends, one of which was a deaf person. The app is visual only, which means that you can only learn, it is not interactive, and you cannot input information into the app. Nonetheless, SignSchool comes with numerous sign topics, a dictionary for learning sign language in different dialects, and multiple choice games. 

The app has a lot of educational content as it has about 4000 signs and 200 subtopics. If you are looking to expand your vocabulary in ASL, this application is best suited for you. The same thing goes for people who are intermediate learners and have understood the basics of ASL. 

While the application works on both Android OS and iOS, it has a web app version that can be used on desktop computers. 

Lingvano

Lingvano App For Learning ASL
Lingvano App For Learning ASL

This is another visual-only app for learning ASL and other forms of sign languages. According to the statement by its operators, the application is operated by a diverse team that consists of deaf and hearing people. Despite being a visual-only app, Lingvano provides unique icons that let you know that you are learning a new sign. The app also allows you to use your phone’s front camera or your computer webcam as a mirror so you can see if you are doing the sign right. 

You also get to enjoy a searchable dictionary that allows you to enhance your learning. There is also a well-structured test or quiz program on the app which shows the similarity between Lingvano and Duolingo. 

This quiz program allows you to practice hand positioning, spell out your answers and also explain facial expressions. The app allows you perfect hand positioning before moving to grammar. 

Lingvano is free for the basic subscription; but the basic subscription only allows you access to a few classes. The comprehensive lessons on the app are only accessible through the paid version. The paid version also allows you to enjoy features such as the vocabulary trainer and the searchable dictionary. The fee for the monthly subscription is $17.99, but there is also a 3-month and a 12-month subscription plan.  

The ASL App

The ASL App
The ASL App

This is one of the most popular sign language learning apps in the world. The ASL app was built and operated by a company known as Ink & Salt. Ink & Salt is a company founded and run by deaf people, so it is no surprise that they have an app for learning ASL. 

The app has more than 2500 signs and phrases. It also enhances learning with features such as the slow motion option that allows learners to watch how signs are made carefully. There is also the favorites folder option and the search index features. 

Essentially, the app makes learning ASL easy and fun, and in the same fashion as Duolingo, it is free. However, there are features known as Sign Bundles which are used to learn certain themes and topics in pop culture. These Sign Bundles cost $0.99 each, but you can get a lifetime purchase of all Sign Bundles at $9.99. 

Hands-on ASL

Hands-on ASL
Hands-on ASL

To start with, this app is free to use, like Duolingo. But unlike Duolingo and many other ASL learning apps, it uses 3D model hands. Hands-on ASL is built specifically for perfecting finger spellings. Therefore, instead of using videos and still images, the app uses 3D models so that users can zoom into the hands from any angle and get the signs very well. 

The tests and quizzes on this app do not follow the standard quiz type. Instead, it uses a game style that makes learning and practicing ASL more fun. If you enjoy playing games on your phone, you will like Hands-on ASL. 

As much as the app is free for all to use, it comes with in-app purchases and ads. 

ASL Dictionary

ASL Dictionary
ASL Dictionary

Like many ASL learning apps, ASL Dictionary is a visual-only app. The app allows you to learn ASL through more than 5000 videos that you can rewatch by accessing the history feature. Other features on the website include the slow motion option, the fingerspelling exercises, a favorites list as well as quizzes through which you can practice the signs that you have learned. 

The major selling point of the ASL Dictionary app is the fact that it allows users to download videos on the app so that they can learn ASL offline. This is a great feature for people in areas without stable internet connections. With the ASL Dictionary app, you can learn ASL offline. 

The ASL dictionary is not free. It costs about $7.99 to use the app. Thankfully, it is a one-time purchase and not a recurring subscription. 

ASL American Sign Language

ASL American Sign Language
ASL American Sign Language

This app bears some form of similarities with Duolingo because it uses pictures to teach language. However, unlike Duolingo, the ASL American Sign Language focuses on ASL only and includes no other language. 

One of the major advantages of this app is that it seems to be best suited for children trying to learn ASL. The educational content on the app includes nursery rhymes and picture matching games, which are perfect for children and younger people. 

This application was not built for only deaf people as it has an audio feature for people who can hear and want to listen to the video as they learn ASL on the app. Having said that, it is important to mention that the video and audio quality are not that great. Some users have complained that the instructor in the videos seems to fade away at some point. Others mentioned that they hear music playing in the background, and that messes with the quality of audio gotten from the app. 

ASL American Sign Language has a basic subscription that is free to use. But the basic subscription does not allow you access to some features. These features can be unlocked by a once-in-a-lifetime payment of $2.99.  

Conclusion

While it is one of the most popular online platforms for learning languages, Duolingo does not allow people to learn ASL. This is most likely because of the inability to make the learning process interactive on Duolingo. Because there is no indication as to whether Duolingo will incorporate ASL into its platform anytime soon, we reviewed some of the apps that allow learning ASL. 

While some of these apps are free to use, most of them require a regular subscription or one-time payment to access full lessons or special features. All of the applications reviewed are compatible with Android and iOS devices, and some of them even have web applications that run on desktop computers. 

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