Ask any Duolingo user what their favourite feature is and I guarantee most will say Duolingo stories.
They’ve been around for a few years now and are available in several languages for English speakers.
And now, with the rollout of Duolingo’s new learning path, they’re fully integrated into the learning experience.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Duolingo stories, including what they are, which languages they’re available in, how to unlock them, and why they’re so good.
Let’s dive into it!
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What are Duolingo Stories?
Duolingo stories are mini-stories that “challenge your reading and listening comprehension.”
Back in the day, you could also use them to practice your speaking. However, this feature is currently unavailable.
Each completed story is usually worth at least 10 XP, which goes towards your daily goal and league position.
You can also review previous stories for 5 XP, review the recommended story in your personalised practice section for 20 XP, and complete the story at legendary level for 40 XP.
The goal of stories is authenticity and immersion. They’re designed to get you stuck into your language, taking everything you learn from your lessons and putting it into practice.
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How do Duolingo Stories work?
Duolingo stories involve at least two characters having a conversation about various topics. Your goal is to follow along and answer questions about what they’re talking about.
The exercises include, but aren’t limited to:
- Select the missing phrase
- Multiple choice about the conversation
- Click on the option meaning…
- What comes next?
Each story ends with a Tap the pairs exercise, in which you revisit some of the main bits of vocabulary encountered in the story.
Like in the ordinary lessons, if ever you find the questions are getting too hard, you can always tap a word to see what it means.
As of February 2023, stories only have a couple of levels: the standard level, and the legendary level.
Legendary is pretty much exactly the same as the standard, the only difference being that you don’t get any hints.
Once upon a time, stories used to be split up differently.
As well as the standard level, they also had a speaking and listening level.
The speaking level was basically just a repetition exercise. It wasn’t that difficult — you basically just repeated what one of the characters was saying…
The listening level hid some of the written dialogue, so it was really good for your listening comprehension…
Check out this video to see a story from the Spanish course!
Duolingo new learning path update – what happened to stories?
With the launch of the new learning path, Duolingo have made a few tweaks to stories.
The stories themselves are basically the same as they were before. However, the way in which you access them is now a little bit different.
The main way to access your stories is along the learning path. These are now included as individual levels, alongside your standard lessons, personalized practice sessions, and chests.
Once you complete a story, you’ll be able to access it via your personalised practice tab. Simply tap it, then head over to stories, where you’ll find a list of all the stories you’ve unlocked.
This way you can go back and review previous stories any time you like!
Which Duolingo courses have stories?
As of February 2023, Duolingo stories are available in 6 languages for English speakers:
Stories are also available in the following languages for anyone learning English:
How to read stories on Duolingo
Duolingo’s new learning path update has changed the way we read and access stories.
Before the update, you needed to earn 10 crown levels in your target language before you could read the first set of stories in your course.
Now though, stories are baked into the learning experience. You no longer unlock sets of stories, but instead, you read one at a time as they appear along your path.
Depending on your language course, you may get to read your first story after completing just a few levels.
For instance, in the Italian course, you get to read your first story after completing the first 3 levels.
On the Spanish course, however, you only need to complete 1 before your first story!
This means you get to dive into your stories much earlier than in the previous version, however, you now only get one at a time, as opposed to a set of 4 all in one go.
You can also read all of your unlocked stories via the personalised practice tab.
Are Duolingo Stories free?
Yes, Duolingo stories are completely free. So long as they are available in your chosen language course, you’ll be able to access them without charge.
Are the stories the same across all languages?
Some language courses get more stories than others. This is because Duolingo prioritise updates and features for their most popular languages, as these have the most users.
The French and Spanish courses, for instance, have hundreds of stories and are regularly updated.
The Italian course, however, only has 51. The characters also sound a lot more robotic and lifeless in the Italian stories than they do in the French and Spanish ones.
Are Duolingo Stories good?
Getting to grips with a new language can be really daunting in the beginning.
The thought of one day being able to understand authentic content in another language can be exciting, but it can also seem distant, or even impossible.
Duolingo stories change all that.
They get you engaged with your target language in an authentic way from the very beginning. You don’t have to spend months or years acquiring loads of vocabulary and grammar. You can dive in pretty much straight away.
The stories are simple enough that you can understand what you’re reading regardless of your level, but challenging enough to keep you engaged and interested.
If ever there’s a word you don’t understand, you can just tap it in the normal way to reveal a hint.
The questions ensure you’re understanding what you’re reading and keep you focused. It’s so satisfying when you get them right. It shows that you’re following along, and this has a massive effect on your confidence!
Best of all, the stories are *really* entertaining. It never feels like you’re ‘studying’ the language when you’re reading them!
In my case, I often find myself binging the French and Spanish stories because they are so well written. They’re genuinely hilarious!
As far as I’m concerned, the only downside to Duolingo stories is that, unless you’re learning one of the popular language courses, there simply isn’t enough of them. Hopefully, Duolingo will introduce stories to more languages moving forward!
For more on Duolingo stories, as well as other Duolingo chatter, feel free to follow me on Twitter.
You might also be interested in some of these articles:
Duolingo’s New Learning Path – Honest Review
Duolingo stories have changed recently. I am no longer able to practice speaking. I am automatically taken to the listening level. There are no longer options. Is this a glitch or an update?
Yeah looks like Duolingo have removed the listening and speaking levels for some reason. No idea why. Hopefully it’s only temporary!
I’m new to Duolingo. Looking for guidance on when to start audio lessons and stories. For example, I’m still on unit 1 in Spanish. Should I wait until I advance further before moving on to audio lessons and stories? What’s most complimentary for learning? Thanks!
I would love to read Indonesian short stories from Duolingo But I guess I need to wait yearrss! Anyways thank you so much for your website, I found so many interesting stuffs!
There is a community project to create stories (https://www.duostories.org/). They have 24 stories in Indonesian.
I can not tell you how good their stories are because they are none in my target language of Spanish 🙁
I’d love to have this feature in my Korean lessons and I would have thought that Korean was a lot more popular on Duolingo. Obviously, it’s not popular enough to get a story feature. I’ll stay patient and hopefully we’ll get some in the future.
I really enjoy the stories with my Spanish lessons. They do actually make me laugh out loud sometimes 🤣 I wish I could do stories with my Chinese lessons. When will there be stories in Chinese?
I would love it if Duolingo would add more stories to the Italian feature. I found them very helpful.
Ciao, mi si è sbloccata la seconda serie di storie, ma non si caricano, perché?
Hi have completed all the stories in Italian to English and the English to Italian, the English to Italian has removed some of the stories & added new ones but they just don’t unlock ?
Also why aren’t new stores added to the English to Italian ?
Hello! I have been practicing Dutch for a while now and I think it would be amazing and very helpful if Dutch had stories. Thank you!!
truly love the stories in french! i’m at level 72, and i have a message which says, ‘more stories coming soon,’ which has been there for a few weeks now. do i have to reach a certain level? what activates them now since it doesn’t say? thanks!
I’m jealous of my kiddos learning Japanese and Spanish and enjoying those (great!) country culture adapted stories!
I’m learning Ukrainian, Norwegian and Hawaiian and would love to have the stories too :)))) fingers crossed to us!! oh I forgot the magical word: “please?” e ‘olu’olu, vær så snill, будь ласка 😀 Hopefully Duolingo masters read the comments on Matt’s website 😉
The new version of duolingo,(November 2022),gives just 5xp , instead of 14xp, 28xp, even 30xp, I had before. for the storie I want to review. Is it normal?
I am learning Welsh. It would be enormously helpful to have Duolingo Stories for this language, if they get some real Welsh speakers. I find myself churning through YouTube to get some native pronunciation and conversation. The auto pronunciation for the Welsh course is sometimes “off” in how a word or phrase sounds when spoken by actual speakers.
I couldn’t find this article in the normal homepage, but I did find it in the top bar in an article, so I was confused.
It turns out that this article was originally posted in 2021 and this is an update.
I’ve looked around for a transcript of the Spanish learning (in English) stories so that I can essentially memorize them so that I have a more intuitive sense of grammar etc. I can’t find them anywhere so I’m starting to collect them on my own – unless someone else has them already posted somewhere?? If someone has them, perhaps they can share where to find them? Here is what I mean (line by line copied from the stories).
Duolingo Stories #1
Buenos días (Vikram and Priti)
V: ¡Buenos días, Priti!
P: Buenos días, mi amor. ¿Dónde están mis llaves?
V: ¿Tus llaves?
P: Sí, necesito ir al trabajo. ¡Necesito las llaves de mi carro!
V: ¡Ja, ja! ¡Priti, tus llaves están aquí en la mesa! ¡Ja, ja, ja!
P: Perdón, mi amor, estoy cansada. ¡Trabajo mucho!
V: ¿Quieres café?
P: ¡Sí, por favor!
V: Aquí está, mi amor.
P: ¿Dónde está el azúcar? Ah, aquí está.
Ella bebe su café.
P: ¡Ay, no!
P: ¡Eso es sal!
V: ¡Priti, estás muy cansada!
P: Sí, necesito más café… ¡con azúcar, no con sal!
Duolingo Story #2
Una cita (Bea & man & woman)
Bea está en una cita en un restaurante.
B: ¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás?
M: ¡Bien! ¿Qué quieres comer?
B: Una ensalada. Hoy tengo un partido importante.
M: Ah, ¿te gustan los deportes?
B: Sí, yo juego al fútbol.
M:¡ Yo también!
B: ¡Súper! ¿De dónde eres?
M: Soy americano. Mi padre es de Cuba y mi madre es de México.
B: ¡Me encanta Cuba!
M: Cuba es muy bonita.
B: ¿Tienes mascotas?
M: Tengo dos gatos y un perro.
B: Yo también tengo un perro, José.
M: ¿Eh? Yo me llamo Daniel… ¿Tú no eres Gabriela?
B: ¡No! ¡Yo me llamo Bea!
Una mujer camina hacia Daniel.
W: ¡Hola! ¿Eres Daniel? Soy Gabriela.
M: No, lo siento. Soy José.