Does Duolingo Have an ASL Course in 2024?

Key Takeaways
  • Duolingo does not offer American Sign Language (ASL), despite its wide variety of language courses, including rare and fictional languages.
  • Alternatives for learning ASL include YouTube, with numerous resources and channels dedicated to ASL, Memrise, which offers ASL alongside other languages, and Lingvano, a subscription-based app focused on sign languages.
  • Learning ASL in-person from fluent speakers within the deaf and mute community is highly recommended for a comprehensive understanding and practice.

Living in an era where everyone owns a smartphone and mostly have access to the Internet, gathering information is just a matter of a few clicks. One huge advantage that comes from this is that the language barrier has been nearly broken. With the help of translation apps like Google Translate, you can easily translate any foreign language and get instant results.

Another similar advantage is that we can now learn any language very easily, as there are all kinds of apps that offer to teach all kinds of languages. One such app is Duolingo, which offers to teach nearly every language, including some fictional ones like High Valyrian from the popular TV show Game of Thrones. But does Duolingo offer ASL amongst the wide variety of languages available on it? Let’s find out.

Duolingo is one of the most popular language-learning apps | Duolingo

How Does Duolingo Work?

There’s a reason why Duolingo is one of the most popular apps for language-learning. It’s freemium in nature, meaning that it offers both free and premium-based features which are locked behind a paywall. However, the main reason why Duolingo is so successful is its user-friendly interface, innovative way of teaching using fun games, flash cards and multiple rewards based on your progress.

When you start up Duolingo, it’ll first ask you which language you want to learn and whether you’re learning it for the first time. Regardless of what option you choose, the app will now plan out your journey, filled with milestones called levels. Each level includes several lessons. Multiple levels combine to make up a unit. Each unit aims to teach you a specific aspect of the language.

Duolingo also inquires about your daily learning limit | Duolingo

The whole learning experience is designed like a game that features all the classic elements like hearts, XP (experience points), etc. This helps keep you motivated and interested and enhances your learning ability.

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What is American Sign Language (ASL)?

The American Sign Language (ASL) is a language that makes use of hand gestures, facial expressions and bodily movements to communicate. This is the primary mode of communication between the deaf and mute people in the US and some parts of Canada. It’s a great tool in bridging the gaps between the deaf and mute community and your everyday person.

ASL is the sign-language used in the US and some parts of Canada | Wikipedia

However, ASL is still a language, and like any other language, it must be learnt. Hence, there’s still a minority in the deaf and mute community who aren’t able to communicate properly as they don’t know ASL. Furthermore, not everyone is fluent in ASL as most of us have been blessed with the power of speech and use it everyday without knowing its value. That’s why language-learning apps should offer ASL.

ASL is used in the US only, with hundreds of sign languages being used around the world by different communities, countries and states e.g. Spanish Sign Language, Italian Sign Language, British Sign Language (BSL) etc.


Does Duolingo Offer ASL?

Unfortunately, Duolingo does not offer ASL. This is very disappointing, as it’s one of the most popular language-learning apps out there, and even offers courses for obscure languages like Scots Gaelic (which has only about 60,000 speakers). Also, as mentioned earlier, it also offers courses for fictional language like High Valyrian from Game of Thrones.

Duolingo offers a vast amount of language courses, but there’s nothing for ASL, or any other sign language | Duolingo

While there are an indefinite amount of sign languages in use in the world, Duolingo being American-based, should have an ASL course. This will not only benefit your average American, but also allow those in the deaf and mute community who haven’t learnt the language, an opportunity to do so.

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Alternatives to Duolingo for ASL

Since Duolingo does not offer ASL, here are some alternative apps where you can learn ASL:

1. YouTube

YouTube has a lot of resources of all kinds for learning ASL

While it may not be a language-learning app, YouTube is one of the largest online learning platforms in the world. There are videos covering every subject’s every topic, both in detail and comprehensively. ASL is no different with many videos from different channels available to learn from.

The best part is that most of these channels are run by people in the deaf and mute community, so you get the first-hand experience of learning it from a fluent person. Dr. Bill Vicars‘ YouTube channel is one of the most highly recommended channels to learn from.

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2. Memrise

Memrise is a great alternative to Duolingo | Google Play

Similar to Duolingo, Memrise is another language-learning app. Although the amount of languages being offered might not be as extensive as Duolingo, it does offer ASL and BSL. Memrise is also a freemium app, offering both free and paid resources, which you can be sure are more than enough. It’s user-friendly too, so if you’re looking for an app-based experience, Memrise is a great alternative to Duolingo.

3. Lingvano

Lingvano may be a bit pricey, but it is definitely worth it | Google Play

A sign-language learning app, Lingvano is subscription-based, and a bit expensive too; $120 for the yearly plan for ASL. They also offer a monthly and quarterly plan, with prices varying based on your location, currency and course. Regardless, it’s totally worth the cost, as it offers a vast amount of resources, multiple teachers who’re also deaf/mute, and interactive lessons.

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There are a lot of online options out there, but the best way to learn ASL is in-person who is deaf/mute and knows the language fluently. You can reach out to your local deaf or mute community, as they’re usually offering courses for teaching ASL.

It’s a mystery why Duolingo, with all its popularity, still doesn’t offer ASL, or any other sign language. Anyways, it’s really great that you’re thinking of learning ASL, and we hope that you have a great teacher who makes your experience worth it!


What is ASL?

American Sign Language (ASL) is a language comprising of hand gestures, facial expressions and bodily movements to communicate. It is used by the deaf and mute communities in the US.

Does Duolingo have ASL?

No, Duolingo does not offer an ASL course.

What are some alternatives to Duolingo for learning ASL?

The best free resource for learning ASL would be YouTube, although the Memrise and Lingvano apps are great paid options too.


Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.