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https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

I feel like Duolingo is becoming more of a chore than fun. Help?

As in, I have a lot of Russian exercises to do to keep my tree gold, and I feel like I have burnout. The grammar has also become pretty hard, and I often have to cheat on the strengthening exercises. I'm not as motivated to learn anything new.

I feel like the 600 XP streak I did Wednesday where I tested out of a lot of skills because I had nothing better to do wasn't worth it (I typically do ~50 XP per day).

How can I learn new vocabulary and grammar more efficiently? I'm doing rote memorization at the moment.

I feel terrible. I've been thinking of possibly going back and actually resetting my tree, or continue on with new lessons, continuously suffering from the lack of gold.

I kind of regret the 600 XP streak.

2 years ago

44 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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It's not a race; there's no point in learning lots of new skills or finishing a tree if you're only going to forget it all. And there's certainly no point in cheating on strengthening exercises as they are supposed to tell Duo what you're not good at.
I raced ahead when I started Turkish and soon found that I was marooned in the middle of the tree, having lots of things thrown at me that I didn't properly understand. So I went back and looked at every past lesson until I found the ones that I hadn't learnt properly, and practised them a lot until I did. Without doing that I couldn't have got any further.
Remember that duolingo skills build on previous skills. I find the best motivation to learn new skills is being bored of the old skills because I already know them.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

Okay. I guess I did the course incorrectly.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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There's no 'correct' way, merely what works for you. I just told you what works for me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/erykzim

Variety. Try different learning materials. Reading exercises. Make Duo one component of the Russian learning experience.

Reading about Russian history and culture can strengthen your desire to learn the language.

Don't Duo when tired. Don't over-Du it. The brain needs a rest to form memories.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

I see. I might lose my streak, but perhaps I need a rest from Duolingo. Especially with school going on.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/erykzim

Keep adding 10XP per day, so you won't lose the thread of the course. Slow and steady wins if your free time is limited.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

I have it set to 30 XP per day. I'll lower it to 10.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tessallation

Regularity is the key to long term success. Little but often. It's the old tortoise-wins-the-race thing. It may sound counter-intuitive but slowly-and-often is the fastest way to reach 10 000 hours, or a savings goal, or write a novel--without burning out. And in between take time to do stuff you enjoy that involve Russian. Movies. Magazines. News. Sport. Dance. Playing scrabble on your phone with a Russian speaker. Online chess. Talking to native speakers. Researching travel. Or art. Or reading history--as someone suggested. Find something that makes it fun. I know I sometimes forget about the fun--when I get back to dates with fun stuff and I slow down (set aside the tunnel vision) things go much better for me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/erykzim

This thread got me thinking. The cool thing about DL is not just the gamified learning. It's the community, the support system for self-learners. I'm enjoying this whole thing more and more.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

Hm. I see your point of view. Perhaps I just need motivation... after I finish my long-term school project that I hate (if I ever get motivation for that).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wildfood
wildfood
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I never worried about memorization or keeping anything gold, I just plowed ahead until the tree was finished. Many times I had to look things up but I just kept going forward. By the time I got to the end all that work had begun to sink in and then I began the reverse tree and finished that too. It was then that I bothered to go back and re-do everything until it was finally golden.

Sometimes I got burned out and I only did one exercise just to keep my streak alive but soon the old flame rekindled and I was off to the races again.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

Perhaps I need to adopt your learning style?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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It's worth trying different ones, and also allowing yourself to shift between different styles at different times.

That will actually teach you much more than just the language you are learning -- it will teach you how you can be the most effective under different circumstances. The Duolingo community is great for helping you with ideas on how to learn, but in the end you have to find out what works for you.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amaratea
amaratea
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Don't bite off more than you can swallow. You will make the whole tree golden eventually. Even if you don't push it too much. So sit back and just enjoy the ride.

Firstly, Duo relies on previously learned skills so you cannot just plough through without finding out eventually that you need to check every single prompt in the sentence to translate it. And secondly, there are these tricky processes between short-term and ong-term memory, they cannot be faster even if you finish the whole tree in one go. So - take your time.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

Apparently I have forgotten that I am a human. Thanks for that. I won't repeat that mistake again.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amaratea
amaratea
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it happens even to the best of us sometimes, so don't worry :)

I caught a phrase somewhere...don't remember really where but I find it useful when I find myself chasing too many achievements: "It takes nine months for one woman to bear a child, but will nine women bear it in one month?"

So yep, any kind of learning takes its "9 months", be it language, some specific skill or general knowledge.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

Okay, thanks. I need to stop beating myself up.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Remembering you're human and not beating yourself up are both vital life skills :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chirelchirel
chirelchirel
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Although there's a lot I like about Duolingo, this is one of the things I dislike. It's a trap for people with perfectionist streaks (and I'm one of them). I too had to go through this phase, trying to finish the tree and keep it golden at the same time. And I had lots of prior knowledge on Swedish. Still it was impossible for me and trying to achieve everything really took the fun out of learning. But the most important thing is learning, isn't it? Not the streak, not the tree, none of this addictive stuff Duolingo has that work wonders on bringing people back every day. If you push yourself too hard, you won't be able to learn, if you switch your goal from learning to golden or completed tree…then the game has become more important than the learning. It sounds to me, that you'd prefer the learning to be more important, so just let go of the game and learning will be fun again :) (And those who prefer to just play the game, can of course do so, but then there's no reason to stress about not learning.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/b05aplmun.ca
b05aplmun.ca
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Keeping the tree gold is not a requirement. I suggest doing a mix of review and learning new material regularly, without worrying too much about whether your tree is staying gold or not. You can always go back and regild the tree (at your own pace) when you have finished the tree.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

Yeah. I feel like non-gold items are items that I'm forgetting.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrookeLorren
BrookeLorren
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Don't regret your streaks... just slow down for a bit if you get a little bored.

I have a 325 day streak; if you look at my points for the month, you'll see that it's over 6000. It would be easy to say "Wow, she's really dedicated" and think that I get 6000 points every month... and if you knew that I haven't done any immersion for that 6000 points, you might be even more impressed... but this is not the entire picture. This is only what I've done this month. This massive amount of non-immersion points is only because I'm trying to get the Russian tree done this month.

I've had months in this past year where weeks would pass by where I would only get 10 or 20 points per day. Language learning can get tiring at times. Sometimes you can be super motivated... and other times you just want to sit on the discussion boards and talk.

So... I don't suggest that you reset your tree. You worked hard for the progress that you've gotten so far, and so what if every single skill in the tree turns color? My Russian tree at the moment is quite colorful myself. If you're overwhelmed, keep what you've earned, go back to the early stages of the tree, and practice things that you are having trouble with.

Another thing that might help, that other people have suggested, is going outside of Duolingo. If you're burned out on Duo right now, do 10 points a day. Then if you want, do something else in Russian. Sometimes it helps to hear or see concepts described in another way. I've been doing some Russianpod101. They have all sorts of levels, from absolute beginner to advanced. It might help to listen to some of their podcasts at your level or perhaps even at a slightly lower level than you are at. I started out with their Beginner Series. I also have a couple of books. If you want to review some stuff, you might want to take a look at The New Penguin Russian Course.

Also, don't be too hard on yourself if you don't remember everything all at once. At the moment, I'm like that all of the time. I'll be doing a listening exercise, and I'll recognize как, собака, and кошка in a sentence; I might know what the other words mean but have no clue how to spell them. That's okay. There's a lot that I know now that I didn't know at the beginning of the month. Earlier today, I was all happy because I could conjugate a regular verb without help, LOL. Of course, I can do more than that, but that was a specific skill that I had trouble with at the beginning of the month.

Learning a language is a marathon, not a sprint. There may be days/weeks/months where you get that extra wind and want to go full blast... but there are other times when you just want to slow down to an easy jog or even walk for a bit, and that's okay. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

Thanks for the lecture.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EricaHarley

Whenever I find my motivation is dropping, I dig out some old books of French history and culture and read them up. It really helps.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

Connecting back to heritage might help. I remind myself that I am Russian. It helps.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EricaHarley

Good luck. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

Thanks.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Prgmstr
Prgmstr
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Don't worry about gold or XP, worry about language comprehension. If you don't do well with a particular lesson review it and keep coming back to it. Also, learning languages is sometimes a chore, and a little boring, but you have to push through if you want the satisfaction of being able to speak it fluidly - trust me, it's a great reward :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

Thanks for that.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/headlesscookie
headlesscookie
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I agree with erykzim, variety (as in things outside of Duolingo) is the only real way to learn any language efficiently. My suggestion, although quite stereotypical:

Propaganda.

The thing with learning Russian, comrade, is that you have a language that's got almost a century of excessive amounts of propaganda circulating around, especially on YouTube. Just listening to songs with subtitles (Russian Cyrillic is IMPERATIVE) is a great way to learning the alphabet, and also gives you some obvious cognates to help you along the way. (After all, about 10% of the words in Russian are cognates to English ones, so you'll be racking up a decent vocabulary in no time!)

Here comrade, take a Lingot for your hard work to learning our Motherland's glorious language!

Coming from a non-communist, ура, товарищ!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

Спасибо.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SquirrelFriendJ

I think you should,d see if you can try and find a Russian movie, and try to follow along, put up captions and read along to try and immerse yourself in the film. It may spark your inner genius so you'll think to yourself. I'm going to try and be able to watch this movie by such date and understand the general plot, or something along those lines. Don't be discouraged, you got this!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

Thanks. One problem. I'm not a movie person.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SquirrelFriendJ

I know how you feel, maybe songs or other ways to just hear the language, reading can get very boring after a while. Or if you like reading, try to find some children's books online.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

I often listen to children's songs in Russian. As a teenager, is this weird?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/b05aplmun.ca
b05aplmun.ca
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Given that listening to children's songs has an educational purpose for you, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GlennaSol

No, that's not weird. Children's songs and programs are easier to understand. I highly recommend using children's materials when learning a 2nd language. I watched a lot of children's programs when I was learning Portuguese in Brazil. I especially liked programs for preschoolers because they used more repetition and taught new concepts to small kids. Maybe you can find children's books, or children's videos with the words on the screen to make learning fun. A childlike attitude is healthy when it comes to language learning. Children are more open to learning new things, and they're not afraid of what other people think. They are not afraid to try and make mistakes because that's how they learn.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
A_User
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I listen to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star in various languages still, so I don't think so. :-) If you want some good Russian folk music, check out this post. Especially Theron126's comment. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maninak

I hear Russians got some sick rap scene going on.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sueefo

I recently felt the same way as you do. I have a lot going on in my life and I was using Duo as kind of a respite. I finished the German tree and had an almost 200-day streak. But one night I let the streak lapse and then it just didn't matter very much. I was excited when the new, improved German tree came out but when I got home from work I was too tired to care. I did a lesson here and there. Last week I decided that since learning German is something I want to do, I was going to put the effort into it. I started a new streak and I'm turning the tree gold again.

I agree with those who say to broaden your horizons. There are other sources of learning Russian out there besides Duo. I like to read German magazines and newspapers. I bought a biography in German of a German Resistance-fighter and my goal is to be able to read it eventually with minimal help from a dictionary. (It helps that I already read about her in English.) I've also made several recipes in German–it helps with learning the words for different foods. I also follow a few German YouTubers.

So there are all different ways of learning besides Duo. Viel Glück.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2016LucasLv99999

Read some manga in your target language and you will be motivate to keep yourself learning

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/finn.fr
finn.fr
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This happened to me too, I would suggest just sort of waiting it out as I did...it feels unproductive, but give yourself a break and it'll get better :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ontalor
Ontalor
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For new trees, I just commit to doing two reviews and one new lesson a day. Gives me time to review the stuff I'm still learning, but introduces enough new vocabulary that I don't get bored with it. Don't stress yourself out about the reviews, just commit to doing one or two a day and then don't worry about them afterwards.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MemesRus

ayy lmao

2 years ago