Duolingo is an anticipated website, currently in development, that aims to crowdsource language translation at a massive scale. The incentive for users to contribute is that the system teaches them a language at the same time as they translate. With this project of Carnegie Mellon Professor Luis von Ahn and his research team you learn a language and simultaneously translate the Web.
Von Ahn notes that over the past year and a half, his Carnegie Mellon team has been quietly working on this new idea. It originally arose from a single question: how can you get 100 million people on the web translating everything into different languages for free?
One problem is that there aren’t that many people that are truly bilingual. Another problem is the whole “free” thing. Instead of getting people to do something that felt like unpaid work, why not spin it as a learning experience? That’s exactly what Duolingo does.
Luis von Ahn, the man who brought the world CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA unveiled his newest and most innovative project to date: Duolingo.