Press Release for Duolingo Launch in Indonesia

An example of a very early press release I produced at Duolingo - it’s an interesting artifact because of the early stages and scrappy nature of the company at the time.

Gina Gotthilf
VP of Marketing / Growth @ Duolingo

Duolingo Launches In Indonesia

High-quality English education now available for free

Pennsylvania, USA (July 15, 2014) -- Duolingo is the popular free language learning app selected by Apple as iPhone App of the Year 2013, and by Google as Best of the Best app for Android. Today, it has announced it is launching in Indonesia, offering a free course to learn English from Indonesian. Now, everyone in the country can have access to high-quality free language education for the first time.

With over 30 million users worldwide, Duolingo is the #1 education app for iOS and Android devices around the world. Duolingo uses science and technology to teach languages more effectively than American university language courses. Best of all, it makes learning very entertaining.

In a recent independent study, professors from the City University of New York found that when using Duolingo for 34 hours, students learn the same material taught in one university semester of language classes. Link to study:

Currently, more people learn languages on Duolingo than in the entire United States public school system.

Duolingo was created by Luis von Ahn, the well known computer scientist who sold two companies to Google in his 20s, gave a very popular TED talk (watched by over 1 million people), and received the MacArthur Genius award.

The platform is built like a game, so it makes studying feel like a useful substitute for mobile games. Users compete against other players, earn virtual points, and advance levels as they learn.

Duolingo is and will always be 100% free to its users. The platform has helped users worldwide improve their lives by helping them get jobs requiring English.

The company has received investment from some of the most prestigious investors in the United States, including actor Ashton Kutcher, and best-selling author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss.

The app is now available for Android, iOS devices, and on the Web.

An Unusual Business Model

Duolingo will always be 100% free to its users. Instead of charging users, Duolingo finances its high-quality education platform using a crowdsourcing model. Users have the option of translating texts as a method to strengthen the skills they learn on Duolingo - for example, after learning food vocabulary, they have the option of translating a food menu. Duolingo sells these translations to international media companies. Everybody benefits: students receive free language education and real-world practice, while websites get collaborative high-quality translations. Duolingo's first clients include CNN and BuzzFeed.

Duolingo by Indonesians, for Indonesians

Duolingo currently offers 31 language courses and is already creating 13 others.

To expand the language offerings in a scalable way, Duolingo developed a platform that enables bilingual volunteers to apply to create new language courses collaboratively called the Language Incubator. Over 20,000 volunteers have already applied and very few were selected by the Duolingo team to participate. The Indonesian version of Duolingo was created by 8 bilingual community members from Indonesia.

For more information and images, please contact:

Gina Gotthilf

Head of International Communications, Duolingo

+55 11 98574-7473

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