Since the start of the war in Ukraine, the popularity of the language learning app Duolingo has skyrocketed.
Luis von Ahn, CEO and co-founder of Duolingo, announced on Monday that the number of users learning Ukrainian has increased by 485 percent. According to Morning Brew on Wednesday, the increase is global, but most of it originates from the U.S., where the majority of its users are located.
Additionally, there has been a 1,800 percent increase in users in Poland, “which is probably due to the fact that people in Poland are welcoming and hosting refugees,” said von Anh.
Duolingo will donate all ad revenue from people studying Ukrainian on Duolingo to Ukraine relief, Von Ahn announced. The funds will go to the United Nations Refugee Agency, the International Rescue Committee, and other organizations helping refugees in Ukraine for “at least the next year.”
These partners will also provide codes for a free version of Duolingo Plus for refugees and hosts, and the app says it will offer fee waivers for its English proficiency test, which university applicants use.
Duolingo was also prompted to freeze learning streaks by users in Ukraine who were worried about maintaining their daily progress. As for availability in Russia and Belarus, the app is “still operating as a completely free app,” said von Ahn, but they are disabling monetization in the two countries so that they will no longer be paying taxes to the Russian government. About one percent of Duolingo’s revenue came from Russia in 2021.