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https://www.duolingo.com/paul714

2 Year User, Very Frustrated

paul714
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I've finished the entire Spanish tree. I'm on Level 20. I don't have time to practice every day, but I do NOT need to practice basics. There is absolutely NO POINT to duolingo if it can't tell what I know and what I don't. If that's the case, I may as well go back to teaching myself.

2 years ago

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

There is a great big world full of Spanish learning resources apart from Duo. Once I graduated high school I went on to college rather than hang around high school and hope that I'd keep learning there. I still check in on the Duo forums every day, but my "learning" is done elsewhere.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ove_sundberg
ove_sundberg
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You are basically saying, albeit in an upbeat way: Duolingo could be better, but it doesn't matter since there are other ways to learn. In my opinion, that's setting the bar pretty low.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
sloggerPlus
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Duolingo presents very good introductory courses, providing enough material for a person to continue study on his own. More would be great, sure, but the site costs absolutely nothing. What it provides is wonderful, for a free service.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ove_sundberg
ove_sundberg
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I like Duolingo, but your implication that we owe "gratitude" to this company depresses me a little. Duolingo needs us more than we need them. If we users lost our Duolingo accounts, we'd be sad, but if Duolingo lost all of us... out of business they would go! It's a symbiotic relationship.

Maybe you're still convinced we owe the company gratitude. Fortunately, it's a moot point because user feedback, including enhancement requests, helps everybody. Improvements informed by the needs of real users are good. They're good for users themselves, good for Duolingo's user retention, and therefore good for Duolingo's investors.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
sloggerPlus
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Where do you read in my note that I think we owe Duolingo gratitude? I did not say that nor did I imply it. I've said my piece. Take it for what you will.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ove_sundberg
ove_sundberg
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No worries, I misunderstood the intent of your post then.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carolyn250

You are having the same debate with yourself that I am having. At what point do you outgrow the tree? I have been re-guilding my tree for some months now, and I still catch myself making a few errors, but not too many, and I am going faster and faster. Duo. will never tell you that you are done- it is just not set up that way- but it is something you can realize for yourself. I have personally decided to abandon the french trees when I reach level 25 in both. It will be more than time to move on to other things.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StevenWath
StevenWath
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Congratulations! It took a lot of hard work and determination to get to level 20. However you shouldn't expect Duolingo to be something that it isn't meant to be. It is a course aimed at people learning the language for the first time. You should be well prepared to go look for other ways to work on Spanish outside of Duolingo.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ove_sundberg
ove_sundberg
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Do you have a reference for your statement about the aims of Duolingo? As I understand it, having listened to his TED talk, Louis van Ahn intended Duolingo to take new learners and develop their skill to the point where they could translate web documents. Do you think Duolingo is currently good enough to bring new learners to that point? I don't; not for anything but the most basic texts.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

He said at one point that he would eventually like to take people up to B2.

http://www.npr.org/2014/06/10/319071368/translating-the-web-with-millions-luis-von-ahn-answers-your-questions

"With our current courses, users can go from having no knowledge of a language to becoming 'high intermediate' in that language. Within the Common European Framework, this would be the equivalent of a B1/B2 level."

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/duolingo-the-future-of-language-learning-that-puts-a-tutor-in-your-pocket-9110192.html

"According to von Ahn, reaching the current goal for the app is to help you achieve roughly the B2 level ("upper intermediate user") in the common European framework of reference for languages. "You won't sound native," he says, "and when you're talking you'll do a lot of simplifications. You'll probably mess up the subjunctive form. But you'll get around. You'll understand what you hear very well. You'll be able to read books and watch movies in the language."

While I like Duolingo, I do think it has its limitations and falls short of the goal of getting a beginner to B2 especially in listening and speaking.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sgt.Hammer
Sgt.Hammer
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You sound very grateful for the free learning you have received from Duolingo. Did you think Duolingo was reading your mind for the past two years? What is your frustration? Did you think you were never going to complete the beginner's Spanish course on Duolingo?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ove_sundberg
ove_sundberg
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Companies aren't your friends; not even Duolingo. Having said that, if a company is at all customer-focused, providing user feedback is the most helpful thing a user can do for it. And it's usually negative feedback, like feature requests and bug reports, that help most. So, as I see it, this guy's specific and "actionable" complaint is worth more than a dozen vague "I love Duolingo" posts.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sgt.Hammer
Sgt.Hammer
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I guess "Tree decays too fast posts" are slightly more valuable than "I love Duolingo" posts.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheQueenZerelda

Like with the fluency feature, you can't be too worried about if your tree is gold or not. Obviously is you've finished the tree you have a pretty good handle on the basics. Duolingo isn't worried about how well you know the words as it is about how recently you've practiced them. If you practice skills further up the tree you should be able to strengthen the basics while practicing words that need more review. But if you don't have time every day and your tree continues to degrade, just don't be worried about it. Duolingo is a game. You know better than it what you've learned. Understand why the site does the things it does and find some sense of peace in knowing what you've learned isn't lost because your skills stop being gold, but don't be frustrated with the system working the way it's supposed to. I know this is coming out with a tone, but it isn't meant to, I just can't think of how else to word it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/paul714
paul714
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I think maybe I need to be a bit clearer.

I'm not a beginner anymore, but I haven't outgrown Duolingo either.

Lately, I've been too busy to practice everyday (Defense in advance: It's my life, I decide what too busy is). So now, I practice Duolingo on the weekend.

But every weekend Duolingo knocks me all the way back to where I was the week before. It does not take a week to forget how to pluralize words and conjugate in the present tense.

As a result, almost none of my tree is gold. I don't know what I should be practicing. And the worst part is that I'm starting to forget things that I used to know.

All of the tools are there. Duolingo's primary function is to determine what I know and what I don't and use that as a platform to challenge me. But Duolingo has undefensibly lost confidence in my mastery of the basics.

If you need beber translated in the present tense, I'm your guy. But until they realize that people don't have the memory of a gold fish, I can't learn anything here.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
sloggerPlus
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> As a result, almost none of my tree is gold. I don't know what I should be practicing. And the worst part is that I'm starting to forget things that I used to know.

Since you find that you are forgetting certain things, practice them. Become self directed. Don't depend solely on Duo.

> I don't have enough time to practice very day.

Then you may not have enough time to make progress. That is something Duolingo cannot help you with. Your choice may simply be: practice every day or don't make progress. 10 minutes a day, at Duo or using other materials, may be all you need.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/qwertylaal
qwertylaal
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Just abandon it for a week, and spend a little bit of time regilding from the top down, so more skills will be regilded at a faster rate.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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It's a computer. It doesn't know anything. As long as you know what you need to practise, that's OK. You must have some idea of which bits of the tree now seem like old hat and what you haven't yet internalised.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ray444788

I've found if you use the website from a computer,click on words then review flashcards.You can burn through these really quickly,while been honest with what you actually know.Then click home and strengthen skills.You'll do one exercise and depending how many rounds of flashcards you did, it will regild many skills at once. I generally do the lessons I think I need and use this technique to top up..And it saves alot of time and frustration.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaseLoQuePase
PaseLoQuePase
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I see your point. Maybe Duo could stop degrading each checkpoint after reaching a certain level. Level 15: no repeating skills within the first checkpoint unless you choose to; Level 20 no skills in the second checkpoint, level 25 no skills in the third checkpoint. I feel like that would be reasonably easy to program and would keep advanced users form boring of their tree. The "strengthen skills" goes directly to the earliest skill that is not golden, so you must pick and choose if you don't wish to review them. Also, what person with a modicum of pride would want the system to tell them that they don't remember how to say "buenos días"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/draquila

Level is completely meaningless, though. It isn't even related to progress up a tree.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrookeLorren
BrookeLorren
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I'm sure that your tree is probably mostly gold. You're probably very well prepared to do other things in Spanish. Even if you were taking a college class, you'd eventually have to use it the way that real Spanish speakers do in order to advance.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
Mereade
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Well, since you finished Duolingo, than returning to other sources might be a much more rewarding and enjoyable path now. :-) Even without the opportunity to practice everyday, you can move forward, unless you decide to get stuck on the beginner stuff. There are many other courses, grammars, vocab tools, and fun native media to help you continue. Spanish is an extremely rich language in resources for learners of any level, no need to stay with Duolingo forever.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/paul714
paul714
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Update: Something's changed.

After a recent update, my skills have'nt been depleting at anywhere near the same speed as before, and my weak skills aren't just basics anymore. There's still a couple basics in there, but a little revision can't hurt.

Finally back to enjoying it again, thanks guys

2 years ago