Duolingo vs. Thinkific Comparison Review 2023



Are you looking to create and sell your online courses, or are you looking to learn a new language? If so, which platform best fits you? We’d like to help you with our comparison review between the popular language learning app Duolingo and the hit learning management system software Thinkific.

This article will dive deep into Thinkific and Duolingo and compare their similarities and differences. From user-friendly interfaces to interactive exercises, we’ll cover it all. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of what each platform offers and which is the best fit for your needs.

Would you be interested in knowing more about each of them at a deeper level? Keep reading to find out! Let’s go ahead and get started.


What is Duolingo?

Duolingo is an interactive and gamified language-learning platform that offers a fun and effective way to learn a new language. If you have heard about this app before, you know it’s for anyone who wants to learn a new language, whether for personal or professional reasons.

Duolingo provides a wide range of interactive exercises and activities designed to help users learn and practice the basics of a new language, including vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. It also offers a variety of interactive stories, games, and exercises that make learning a new language feel like a game.


Duolingo has useful features to help users track their progress, such as setting daily goals and tracking progress over time. It also offers an analytics section that allows users to see their progress, what they need to work on, and what they have learned.

Duolingo takes on a very interesting spin on teaching adults and kids alike the languages they are eager to learn and those they may need to learn about. In short, its interactive exercises and activities make learning a new language a little more fun, and its analytics and tracking tools allow users to track their progress and stay motivated.

What is Thinkific?

Thinkific is an all-in-one platform that allows educators, trainers, and professionals to create, market, and sell online courses. It is comprehensive, user-friendly, and offers many tools and features to help users easily create and manage their courses. If you’re into teaching people with your content, your friends and acquaintances may have suggested you try this platform out for yourself.

Thinkific’s course creation tools allow users to easily build their course content, including text, images, videos, and quizzes. It also offers a variety of customizable and mobile-responsive templates to make course design a breeze.

Thinkific provides powerful marketing tools such as landing pages, email integration, and affiliate marketing options to help users promote and sell their courses. Its analytics tools can help manage and track students’ progress, such as the ability to set up automated email sequences, create custom certificates, and track metrics such as engagement and completion rates.

Thinkific is a powerful, easy-to-use, affordable online LMS that enables educators, trainers, and professionals to create and sell online courses. It’s a one-stop shop for creating, marketing and selling online courses with various features and functionalities. It is ideal for educators and professionals looking to build an online business.


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What Are The Similarities Between Duolingo and Thinkific?

While it’s clear that Duolingo and Thinkific are fundamentally different from one another, it’s hard to deny that both have become increasingly popular online learning platforms in their respective right. But besides the point, what other similarities do they share?

As you’ll soon discover, both are best suited for any skill level, even beginners. They also know a thing or two regarding providing engaging exercises and activities and accurate analytics and tracking tools.

User-friendly Interfaces

One of the key similarities between Duolingo and Thinkific is that both platforms have user-friendly interfaces that make it easy for users to navigate and use the platform. 

Both have clear and straightforward layouts and intuitive designs that allow users to easily access their content with as few distractions as possible, making navigating through either platform a pleasant experience for any user, especially those who are completely new to using it.

Interactive Exercises and Activities

Another key similarity between Duolingo and Thinkific is that they both offer and encourage engaging learning activities that make the educational experience more fun. Suppose you’ve been exploring the two platforms long enough. In that case, you’ll notice that they both offer a wide range of interactive exercises, such as multiple-choice questions or quizzes, enabling students to quickly grasp new concepts without becoming disinterested in the process. 

Duolingo’s language-learning exercises and activities help users learn and practice the basics of a new language, including vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, with the help of cute mascots, graphics, and sounds. Meanwhile, Thinkific’s course creation tools allow creators to build interactive quizzes and other activities to maintain engagement among their students.

Analytics and Tracking Tools

If there’s one thing that either Thinkific or Duolingo cares about, it’s how well you’re succeeding in the content you’re learning from. Both platforms have robust analytics and tracking tools that allow users to track their progress and stay motivated. You can monitor your progress in real-time whether you’re an instructor or a student of a brand-new language. 

Additionally, both platforms ensure maximum accuracy when delivering results, so best believe they’ll keep track of you no matter your learning stage.

While both platforms provide accurate analytics, the audience that engages in this will be fundamentally different. On the one hand, Duolingo’s analytics section allows learners to see their progress, what they need to work on, and what they have learned. Thinkific, on the other hand, also has tracking features for educators to monitor and evaluate not just the students’ performance but also their financial gains and conversion rates.

Gamification and Engagement Elements

Thinkific and Duolingo keep their user bases engaged no matter what, and one such way to achieve this is by incorporating interesting interactive elements to make learning a little more worth the experience.

Although the goal to keep people hooked is shared between the two, how they execute it will be quite different from each other. Duolingo takes advantage of this through leaderboards, achievements, and rewards, so users can stay motivated each time they accomplish something within the app, like completing a certain difficulty level in Korean, for example.

Similarly, Thinkific also incorporates several achievement-related features into its core lineup of tools. Yes, if you’re an instructor, you can reward your students with custom-made certificates after they’ve completed your course, for example. You can even integrate Thinkific with other third-party apps specializing in gamification if you like! Additionally, Thinkific allows educators to add quizzes, multiple-choice questions, and other interactive activities to make the learning experience more engaging.

Multi-device Accessibility

Besides being web-based by default, you can access Thinkific and Duolingo across different devices, such as mobile phones and tablets. Each provides enhanced portability options, giving students full control over how they access & interact with the content they’re actively learning from, no matter where they are.

Duolingo has a mobile app, free for download on iOS and Android devices. Meanwhile, Thinkific’s course player and the website pages created by the LMS platform are mobile-compatible. Students can access them despite needing a specially-made smartphone application (as of today, Thinkific has yet to release its dedicated mobile app).


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What Are The Differences Between Thinkific and Duolingo?

Duolingo and Thinkific have a few factors in common, especially regarding the ability to encourage engagement and access to multiple devices. These similarities make the two learning platforms more engaging and accessible, increasing the chances of people completing their courses or achieving their learning goals.

While Duolingo and Thinkific share some similarities, this ends here as they have a lot of distinct differences that set each other apart, particularly regarding their purpose, target audience, and types of content offered. Let’s take a deep dive into what these exactly are.

Purpose of the Platforms

One of the key things you’ll ever notice from both Duolingo and Thinkific upon first impression is the objective of each platform. While the two platforms provide learning experiences to students online, the purpose is starkly different from one another.

Duolingo is specifically designed for language learning, while Thinkific is a more general platform for creating and selling online courses. Duolingo’s main focus is to help users learn and practice a new language. Specifically, it focuses on language proficiency, helping online users master foreign languages efficiently.

Meanwhile, Thinkific’s objective is to provide a platform for educators and course creators to create and sell online courses – it’s more than just a place for students to learn from since we’re talking about a full course marketplace here. Experienced instructors share their knowledge conveniently with their students.

Target Audience

Another difference that you may notice between Duolingo and Thinkific from the surface is their target audience. Duolingo’s main goal is to be an effective language-learning tool, so it makes perfect sense for the platform to primarily aim at individuals who want to learn a new language.

Thinkific, on the other hand, is primarily aimed at educators and course creators who want to create and sell online courses using the knowledge and skills they know. Suppose instructors want to provide their audiences with some extra enlightenment. In that case, they can always come over to Thinkific and build a product with learning material based on their existing skill set.

Types of Content Offered

With all that in mind, Duolingo and Thinkific are expected to offer different types of content that fit their objectives. Duolingo offers mostly interactive language-learning exercises and activities, including exciting visuals from its impressive lineup of mascots, as well as helpful sounds for you to be able to better understand whatever you’re learning. However, as for what type of questions it provides, it’s mostly going to be simple ones, like multiple-choice, matching, and completion questions.

Meanwhile, Thinkific offers an expansive range of question types, so you can provide multiple-choice questions, full essays, and even the option to submit your works within a course. Unlike Duolingo, Thinkific lets you explore different lesson types, including video lessons, quizzes, and other engaging learning activities. You’re not limited to traditional courses; you can also build memberships, coaching programs, and communities within the course management platform.

Cost and Pricing

If you’ve been on either of the two platforms long enough, it’s clear that one of them is accessible for (mostly) free, while the other may require you to pay a lot. To put it into a student’s perspective, you must purchase most courses through Thinkific. Unless the course offered is a freebie, you’re more likely to pay to gain access to those learning materials. The cost of these courses will depend entirely on the instructor, so that they can range between $15 to a whopping $500.

As for Duolingo, however, it’s free to use even for students worldwide. Keep in mind, though, that you may have to sit through the ads, although most of you won’t mind. But, if you’re eager to learn a new language without the distractions from ads, you can always opt for the Super Duolingo plan.

As for course creators, Thinkific offers four pricing plans, each with a wide variety of course-building, marketing, and reporting features that creators can use at their disposal. It also offers a free trial plan, but you can only create one course.

Meanwhile, you can use Duolingo to provide language learning to your students at no cost, but only if you’re a school teacher. If you work in a business or company and want to take your teammates on a unique Duolingo experience, you can check out Duolingo for Business and pay as low as $49.99 for each of the 500 learners per year.

The Focus of the Learning Experience

Finally, as for the scope of topics, Duolingo’s content leans toward language learning, while Thinkific is more varied and can cover many topics and subjects – even beyond languages.

Duolingo focuses on providing an efficient way for learners to acquire a new language through interactive and fun tests. That’s because, as already mentioned, the platform is intentionally designed to help users practice and improve their language skills. Whereas Duolingo focuses more on language learning, Thinkific is more general, as it aims to provide a liberating platform for educators and course creators to create and sell online courses.

You’re not limited to learning different languages. Thinkific’s focus is broader and can cover a wide range of topics and subjects, especially depending on what the instructor wants to share. As an instructor, it’s totally up to you whether you want to teach your students advanced math, woodworking, or even yoga. Whatever topic or niche you have expert skills in, Thinkific can always find convenient ways to accommodate you.


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Thinkific vs. Duolingo: Pros and Cons

Before we bring the review to a close, let’s compare Duolingo vs. Thinkific in terms of the list of pros and cons that either platform has.

Thinkific Pros

  • Wide range of features and customization options for creating and delivering online courses
  • Built-in payment system
  • User-friendly interface
  • Analytics and tracking tools
  • Variety of options for monetizing your course (course bundles, subscriptions, memberships)

Thinkific Cons

  • The slightly steep learning curve for those not familiar with creating and managing online courses
  • Does not have a mobile app since access to courses is limited to a mobile web browser

Duolingo Pros

  • Fun and interactive way of learning languages with gamification elements, interactive exercises, and engaging activities
  • Mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices
  • Beginner-friendly and expressive design and layout
  • Provides easy-access analytics and tracking tools to monitor progress

Duolingo Cons

  • Limited to language learning, does not cover other subjects
  • The free version includes ads and a limited amount of activities

Conclusion: Should You Choose Duolingo or Thinkific?

In conclusion, the choice between Duolingo and Thinkific ultimately depends on your specific learning needs and goals. Both platforms offer user-friendly interfaces and interactive exercises, but their purpose and target audience are the main difference.

As mentioned, Duolingo is primarily for language learning, while Thinkific is an online LMS offering more than that. With diverse content delivery options and flexible pricing, Thinkific makes for a great choice for course creators and businesses. On the other hand, Duolingo’s approach to teaching new languages and 100% free access make it fun and easily approachable to individuals looking to learn just that.

Ultimately, it’s important to consider your learning preferences and goals before deciding which platform to use. Duolingo and Thinkific are great options for online learning and can help you achieve your goals in their unique ways.


Can I use both Thinkific and Duolingo for my learning needs?

Yes, you can use Thinkific and Duolingo for your learning needs as a student simultaneously. You can go to Duolingo whenever you want to learn a different language. Although the content may vary, you can also use Thinkific for the same thing. 

Are there any free options available on Thinkific and Duolingo?

Thinkific and Duolingo offer free options, but the features available on Thinkific’s free plan may be limited. Thinkific offers a free plan that allows you to create and sell your courses, but with certain limitations. However, with Duolingo, you can access nearly all the core tools and features even with your free account. It will come with ads and limited access to a few features.

Is Thinkific or Duolingo better for monetizing my course?

Thinkific offers more options for monetizing your course as an instructor, such as course bundles, subscriptions, and memberships. We can’t say the same about Duolingo, as the opportunities to make money there are severely limited.

Is Thinkific or Duolingo better for tracking my progress?

Both platforms provide analytics and tracking tools for users to monitor their progress. However, Thinkific offers more advanced features, such as progress tracking for course creators.

Are there any other similar platforms like Thinkific and Duolingo?

Yes, many other similar platforms like Thinkific and Duolingo, such as Udemy, Coursera, and Khan Academy. It’s worth researching and comparing different options to find the best platform for your needs.

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