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Hey Duolingo lovers! Today on my blog I’m sharing everything you need to know about the 10 Duolingo characters in 2023! I’m such a Duolingo NERD (I’m learning French and Modern Standard Arabic on the app), and today I thought it would be fun to do a little bit of a deep dive on exactly WHO all of these Duolingo characters are!
This blog post is all about the 10 Duolingo characters in 2023!
The 10 Duolingo characters are BELOVED by millions of Duolingo users all over the world (my favorite character is Zari, real talk!) and the characters can make such a difference in finishing Duolingo faster — and learning more.
Sometimes it feels like the Duolingo characters are my own personal cheerleading squad, lol! They really help me to do my Duolingo every day.
As of February 2023, there are 10 Duolingo characters:
The Duolingo characters have been designed to show a variety of experiences. They also help language learners (like me! and you!) learn a new language, as we can listen to a language in voices of different ages, genders, etc! So rad, right?!
Below, I’ve shared as much information as I’ve been able to find on these 10 fabulous Duolingo characters. I don’t promise to know EVERYTHING, but I hope my blog post and research (and experiences!) bring you some joy today! <3
Real talk, I treated this blog post like an academic research paper, lol! There’s no ONE spot to learn all about the Duolingo characters, so I pulled from DuoCon (did you know that Duolingo holds a conference?! I had no idea), Twitter, fan sites, my own in-app experiences, etc!
Real talk, I treated this blog post like an academic research paper, lol! There’s no ONE spot to learn all about the Duolingo characters!!
Let’s get into it!
How the 10 Duolingo Characters Were Designed
Something SUPER interesting about the 10 Duolingo characters is how their names were chosen. In an interview on Duolingo, designer Emily Chiu shares how the names for each Duolingo character were chosen to work across all of the languages on the Duolingo App:
“We wanted to keep the names pretty similar across languages for consistency. For example, if you’re posting about a character on social media (“I’m such a Bea!”) you wouldn’t want it to be Bea in one language and Beth in another; it would be hard to create the connection that it’s the same character.
Because of that, we had to do a lot of cross-referencing to make sure the names didn’t have weird meanings in any language while keeping them fairly close to the names we’d chosen in English.”
Fun Fact: The Duolingo Characters are Quirky — On Purpose!!
I thought this insight from the Duolingo blog was very fun: “So how does a set of characters fulfill both needs? We explored all kinds of design solutions. While characters like vikings and space aliens were interesting, they felt too far removed from the reality of language learning. We decided they should be modern humans but possess very quirky personalities.” (Source)
Diversity of Duolingo Characters
In the same blog post on Duolingo, Greg Hartman shared, “Since language is not only global but also deeply rooted in culture, we had a responsibility to highlight those cultures. We especially wanted to showcase those that are typically underrepresented in Western media. There was a lot of care taken in making sure the characters were relatable in their struggles and affections, but endearingly askew in the Duolingo way.” (Source)
Who are the queer characters on Duolingo?
Officially, Bea, Lin and Oscar are queer characters on Duolingo — or part of the LGBT community. (Source) Interestingly, Duolingo didn’t assign labels to each character (ex: bisexual), rather sharing who the character is attracted to (“Oscar is attracted to men.”)
Fans have come together in a lot of respects, tho, to decide that Zari and Lily are dating. There is a TON of fan art out there for this shipped relationship!
Heads up! At the very end of this post, I link to all the Duolingo blog posts I could find that talk about the Duolingo characters!
#1 Duolingo Character – All About Bea!
Bea is the Black woman character on Duolingo, wearing a yellow top and jeans with red shoes and a red belt. She also as a yellow headwrap!
In the same interview that I shared above, Duolingo character designer, Emily Chiu, describes Bea as very ambitious. She also describes Bea as “neurotic.” Also, as I shared above, Bea is one of the 3 official LGBTQ+ Duolingo characters.
Bea’s Official Duolingo Character Bio:
“Bea, pencils down everything in her planner — dates (check out the story, “Bea’s Date”!), detailed vacation plans (down to the hour), and even alone time. Adventurous and capable, she’s always trying new things, which serves her well as a travel blogger and aspiring writer. The epitome of lawful good, she’s driven by what’s right and loves to “help,” even if you might not think you need it. Is she a control freak? No — Bea’s just always right.” (Source)
A New Look for Bea in 2021
On June 21, 2021, Duolingo release a new look for Bea, saying “In response to feedback from our Black coworkers, we reevaluated Bea’s hairstyle. To better represent her identity as a Black woman, we replaced her previously ambiguous hairstyle with something that feels authentic to the community she’s a part of.”
Duolingo went on to share that the company gets feedback from internal employees, as well as sensitivity readers, as they design characters.
- Official Fun Fact about Bea: “She has never enjoyed a massage.”
#2 Duolingo Character – All About Lin
For our next Duolingo character, Lin is described as “very laid back.” Surprising jsut about no one, Lin is also an official queer Duolingo character, described as “dating women.” (Source) Lin is very androgynous, and, as a queer blogger, I appreciate this!
Lin’s Official Duolingo Character Bio:
“Never having been on time, Lin’s never held down a full time job. That’s fine with her because she’s been crashing at her grandmother’s apartment for a few years now, and she’d be happy to stay forever. It allows her the freedom to watch true crime series until 3AM and cruise on her motorcycle when she wakes up at 3PM. She dates sometimes, but only when it happens to fit into her busy schedule.” (Source)
Something I didn’t know when doing research for this blog post is that Lin is the granddaughter of Lucy — how fun is that?! I know a lot of people do Duolingo to be able to speak the languages their parents, grandparents or ancestors spoke — and I love seeing this dynamic shown on Duolingo. I’m sure a lot of Duolingo fans relate to Duolingo characters, Lin and Lucy!
In her interview on Duolingo, Emily Chiu shares that she also wanted to show this granddaughter/grandmother relationship because grandparents can be seen as teachers in Asian cultures. “in other cultures, grandparents play a large role in raising children–especially in Asian cultures, I know a lot of people who were raised by grandparents. I thought it was an important idea to depict in our world.”
- Official Fun Fact: Lin loves sandwiches!
#3 Duolingo Character – All About Zari!
Zari is my personal favorite Duolingo character, I love when she’s shown with the sparkling “anime eyes.” Zari’s best friend is Lily, and Zari is described as very outgoing and type-A. (Source) “Zari” means “flower” in Arabic. (I wrote a post about learning Arabic on Duolingo here!)
Zari is shown with a pink scarf on her head, and is a confirmed Muslim character. Zari is “an absolute ray of sunshine – is always up to something! Never afraid of what people think, Zari loves pineapple on pizza and spending time memorizing formulas for calculus.” (Source)
- Official Fun Fact: She’s probably in 10 clubs at school and president of 8 of them. (Source)
#4 Duolingo Character – All About Lily
Next up, our fave goth or emo Duolingo character, Lily. Lily is the 16-year-old purple-haired Duolingo character known for her flat affect and eye rolls (I love her). She’s also BFFs with Zari, and in many online fan communities, Lily and Zari are dating (but that’s not official! Unfortunately.). Her favorite color is purple (surprise)!
She’s described by Emily Chiu as “laid back,” going on to share these other attributes:
- Self-protective sarcasm
I love that Lily has these characteristics, because I often relate to her when I’m doing my Duolingo practice for the day, and I really don’t want to, lol! (Gotta keep my Duolingo streak alive, tho!)
- Official Fun Fact about Lily: She only listens to bands you’ve never heard of. (Source)
#5 Duolingo Character – All About Lucy
Lucy is Lin’s grandmother, and this Asian grandma is hard to impress! She has a fun top bun with gray hair, a unibrow, and a yellow outfit. There’s not much known about Lucy — and that’s on purpose! 😉
From the Duolingo Twitter: “Lucy isn’t like other grandmas – she’s a ~cool~ grandma. Milk and cookies? Nah. Lucy would rather talk about the times she hitchhiked!”
- Official Fun Fact about Lucy: “Lucy… has a mysterious past.”
#6 Duolingo Character – All About Oscar
Oscar is one of my fave Duolingo characters, and it’s no surprise — he’s one of the three official queer Duolingo characters (he’s described as “into men.”) Oscar is the Duolingo character with a mustache and thick curly black hair! He’s wearing a pink button down shirt and jeans.
I love that Duolingo included different body types in their cast of Duolingo characters!
Oscar’s Official Duolingo Character Bio:
“Oscar is a high school art teacher. He may not have imagined teaching as his calling, but he takes his charge of shaping young artists seriously. He spends his free time painting in his studio and dreaming of the day he and his work will be rightfully recognized. Until then, he languishes as the only person in town who knows the difference between an americano and a long black.” (Source)
#7 Duolingo Character – All About Eddy
Ok, real talk — Eddy has real cutie “himbo” energy, and I love that for him! This duolingo character is a sweet jock, shown with a sweatband, red zip up jacket, gym shorts and running shoes. IDK if he “officially” has a mullet, but his blond hair looks like a rad 1980’s inspired mullet to me!
He’s also a dad, to Duolingo character, Junior!
#8 Duolingo Character – All About Junior
Junior is the cutie blond kiddo on Duolingo, and I love his sassy and fun stories in the app. One of my fave Duolingo stories is when Junior tries to convince Zari to go get his textbook he forgot, so he can play while she’s gone. Little scamp!! Junior is blonde and I picture him IRL as having a bit of that cute kiddo chub! Junior is officially 8 years old (per Fast Company).
“While Eddy lifts weights all day, Junior prefers talking your ear off about frogs!” – Duolingo on Twitter
#9 Duolingo Character – All About Falstaff
Falstaff is the sassiest cartoon bear, and he’s such a fun Duolingo character! I love his blue scarf.
Not a lot is known about Falstaff, and he doesn’t seem to interact with the other Duolingo characters.
#10 Duolingo Character – All About Vikram
Vikram is an almost-always-smiling Duolingo character, and I love the Duolingo stories where he gets exasperated (like the time he goes to a clothing shop and REALLY needs to use the bathroom).
Lookin at Vikram, I thought he is portrayed as a practicing Sikh, wearing a dastar (more broadly known as a turban). I couldn’t find info anywhere that this has been *officially* confirmed by Duolingo HQ, so if you have a source – lmk!
This blog post was all about the 10 Duolingo characters in 2023!
Duolingo Characters – On the Duolingo Blog
- Art meets technology: the next step in bringing our characters to life | This blog post was all about how the design team created the mouth movements of Duolingo characters
- How Zari, Bea, Lily, Lucy, and Lin came to life | This blog post is all about the women and girls Duolingo characters
- Giving our characters voices: This blog post is all about how the Duolingo team chooses the voices for the Duolingo characters in each language
- LGBTQIA+ representation in Duolingo Stories and characters | This blog post is all about the queer and LGBTQ+ Duolingo characters
- Building character: How a cast of characters can help you learn a language || Specific design decisions made for the Duolingo characters
- YouTube video from DuoCon where Emily Chiu introduces Duolingo characters
What to read NEXT?!
I have written a LOT of Duolingo posts (lol, I’m a huge Duolingo fan and NERD), which I have linked below!
- How to Earn XP Fast on Duolingo – Duolingo XP Hacks
- My 5 Tips on How to Learn Arabic on Duolingo
- Duolingo Chinese Tips
- How to Give A Duolingo Gift Card
- 28+ Duolingo Gifts for Language Lovers
- How to Change Your Daily Goal on Duolingo
- How Much Does Duolingo Cost in 2023?
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