Luis von Ahn, the founder and former CEO of ReCAPTCHA, Inc., and an associate professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, recently introduced the world to his newest project—Duolingo, where web users can “learn a language for free, and simultaneously translate the Web.”
This is where Duolingo comes in. Users are “learning by doing,” von Ahn says in the video. The site gives beginners simple sentences in whatever language they want to learn, and as the user translates them they learn what the words mean and are subsequently given more advanced phrases to translate.
“The crazy thing about this method is it actually, really works,” he says. “People really can learn a language with it and they learn it about as well as the leading language software.”