A new Year's resolution to learn a new language may feel like a dim memory by now. Yet what better motivation to learn a foreign language than the prospect of using it while on holiday – for such essentials as ordering good food and wine off a menu. Duolingo is a free language-learning and text translation app, designed so that as users progress through their language lessons and learn new words, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents.
Duolingo was launched for the public on June 19, 2012, and as of last December more than 16 million people, keen to brush up on their language skills, for travel and business, were using it. Apple chose Duolingo as its iPhone App of the Year 2013, the first time this honour had been awarded to an educational application. Also, as of last month, Duolingo offers Latin American Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, and Italian courses for English speakers. It's available on the Web, iOS, and Android platforms.