Questions for those with a health bar
If you have a health bar,...
Can you redo skills, as in make your tree gold even if your health bar is at zero?
What device do you use? As in iPad, android, website?
I'm asking because my children have to do a certain amount of duolingo ever day and I'm wondering If they wouldn't be able to because of the health bar system.
I have it and I hate it.
You cannot redo a skill as far as I can tell, you can only do 'practice' from the health area to earn more health. It means you practice what they want rather than picking anything in particular. This is maddening. I have it in my second account that I have for Japanese alpha testing on my iPhone. I really hope they don't use it over time. All my past lessons are golden, so even in their opinion, I don't need to practice, but that is the only way to get more health. I really hate that you have to do a whole extra practice just to get one bar when I really want full health for a language as challenging as Japanese as it's very easy to get 5 wrong. It is horrible to be so completely penalized for what may well have been a typo. It takes away from it massively if you can lose out so hugely for something so minor. I fear to get things wrong now, which is really taking away from my learning as the reason I liked the old Duolingo was it gradually went in very naturally, whereas this demands I understand at once or receive a penalty. It also means that persistence doesn't pay, but rather perfection. There are Hungarian lessons I could have never finished with the new structure. They were very hard, but being willing to go up to item 45 or something meant I could still slowly, surely, with repetition get through it. I think I would have given up by now with the health system.
Your children will be able to do the same XP, but it might have to be review chosen by Duolingo rather than something they can choose or you can choose. Basically, it takes away quite a lot of user choice unless you want to pay for these gems, which given how easy it is to lose a whole bar, seem quite expensive. I'd be happier to pay a lump sum to not have to deal with health as it's getting in the way of my learning.
Such a good point about Japanese and Hungarian. I feel like whoever dreamed this up never gave a second thought to the fact that Duolingo teaches plenty of languages a lot more confusing than French and Spanish. There's a boatload of difference between the three or four word sentences that seem to predominate in the Spanish course and the 15 word translator's-imagination-required Hungarian specials.
So much this! Trying it out for with first time with Spanish is probably very different from trying it out with Japanese or Hungarian or even one of the Slavic languages. I can't imagine I would have noticed either way with a Latin or Germanic language, but I am flunking lessons on a daily basis now with Japanese despite starting with massive enthusiasm as I had studied a year of Japanese about 4 years ago. and have been quietly waiting for Duolingo to get it so I could resume it Duo-style. I really want to get on with it, but this is making it very hard to even get past things I basically already am familiar with, but can't recreate perfectly. I think I am also 'better' at language learning than your average joe. I speak 3 second languages well with a degree in two of them and have taught ESL and studied linguistics and many second languages. My friends consider me 'good at' this. I can't imagine how hard the gem system would be for some poor fellow who, for instance, wants to learn Polish to speak to his in-laws as his first second language just to keep being defeated by this system. It would be so easy to give up. If anything, I have nearly exclusively learned things through Duolingo for the last 2-3 years because it's such a solid system that it has been worth waiting for things, but not with this gem system. At least with my rubbish old Japanese textbook, it's not going to flunk me for 5 mistakes.
Looks like at least for alpha and beta courses the health system will be gone soon enough! https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22361747
Hungarian is still in beta, but its clodhopper sentences + unfamiliar structure aren't going anywhere any time soon. I'll agree some of them in that course specifically seem unnecessarily difficult (and they make timed practice all too undoable), but one obvious consequence of health will be promoting "sentences" that are nothing but fragments or tiny subject + verb (+ an object if you're lucky) affairs. Meanwhile, the courses I qualify as "well designed" on Duolingo largely earn that moniker by not taking this easy way out.
I hope you are right. I prefer a properly challenging course, but that persistence pays. I am happy to spend 20 minutes on a single Hungarian or Japanese lesson, but actually learn something. I love the quality of the Hungarian voice with her sleek, properly recorded sentences. I wouldn't give that up for it to be easy. And there is no way to make Japanese easier. It just is complex and utterly foreign from a Western language. It just has to be as hard as it is. I don't think health and Japanese can mix over time. It will alienate the many people who will come flocking her where it's ready.
So a small, but important note. I feel quite sure last week when I tried to review a specific lesson with no health, I could not. I went back in to double check what I said above was right. It is not. Everything is true except that. You can go back and review with no health. I still don't like the health system as, especially early on, there is often benefit in going on, rather than reviewing just to get health, but your student should be able to review specific areas they have already successfully finish once. What you can't do it go back into lesson you had unsuccessfully completed without health. If you get five wrong on any given lesson, you will need to review first or purchase these gems in order to redo the lesson. Once you get enough gems, I suppose you can buy a redo, but this could get costly fast with even a few mistakes.
Something I also realized is that multiple language courses appear to share health. I do not like this one bit. Just because I am not up to a new X lesson doesn't mean I am not fully ready for a new Y one. If I am understanding right, if I wanted to do a new Norwegian lesson but had done poorly in Russian, they affect each other. I can imagine a conflict with this: you could practice to get health in the language you are already better at to get health in the harder one you want to do or, loss of health in one that is quite hard could cause you to need to pointlessly review something else easier in order to do something new in it at all, which defeats the purpose of what they are trying to do at all.
If they insist on foisting this on us, they need to at least separate it out by language. My Swedish skills have nothing to do with my Polish skills. It would be like saying you had to review history to study anything new in chemistry.
Yep, you are correct. You can go back and practice any skills from the past with zero health. You just cannot do anything NEW with zero health. Also, the only way to gain health with practicing is through the "Health" button. Practicing a lesson from the past won't add to health. Also, it is worth noting that health system (at least for me) does not apply to the website. So I do all of my new lessons on the website (which is better since I can see course notes on the website site) and then do all of my practice on my app (since it is more mobile). Rarely does the health feature bother me if I do it this way. And if I run out of health on the app, I can just switch over to the computer (which isn't affected).
Yes, that was what I found especially maddening. It's not like I could even review what I most felt related to the problematic new lesson that I just flunked out of. I have to review whatever Duolingo chooses. While I am struggling to make sense out of Japanese word order and remember which particle goes where and with what, they are making me review things like hiragana, which I know well enough that that's not helping, but rather further frustrating.
I think if I were studying Danish (which I have and still do sometimes), it would be fine, but Japanese with health has been very hard. I think with the languages more similar to English like Spanish or Danish, I just about get it, but with languages that are much harder, it becomes a pain quickly.
I assume health will come to the computer some day if they decide to make it permanent, so that won't always be a way out.
I agree - learning anything with health is frustrating. And also really adds a damper to learning progress if someone doesn't have a lot of time. I took Japanese years ago, and I can imagine that only 5 mistakes makes it impossible to progress. Have you been able to do your new skills on the computer? Or is that not feasible for you? It is the only way I have been able to get around the health.
No, it's not ready on the website yet. It is really only a full course on iPhone/iPad, so it's app or nothing. I have had a look at what they have on the web and it's a skeleton, basically unusable as a learning tool at this time. I mean, it's a course in alpha. I will keep trying to alpha test, but it is slowing me down a lot. At this rate the way it's been going is me actually taking notes on the lesson, which is so un-Duolingo, flunking out, doing a review lesson, leaving it a day, coming back and possibly being able to pass with my notes. Japanese is so so complex and of course, being in alpha, the course is far from perfect, sometimes it will be lacking things that would have helped me get something right anyway, so I think i will make 5 mistakes every day no matter what. I know in theory I could pay for more gems, but they are so easily lost in Japanese that I don't want to. It's not like it would be occasional. I'd be paying for each failure individually and there would be many.
The Health system is linked to your account, not to the app. I gave up in frustration and went back to my original account (which is still Lingot based): it works fine! Just remember to select another language before going back to the web for anything, or you'll get sent to a default home screen.
Having used the Japanese hack, I think that even if you do get that default home screen, it's not really a problem. You can either just select a language you're not doing (ok, not an option available for everyone! ;) or just pick e.g. the placement test for one you are doing, and then just click out of it. Everything will be as it was.
I have done both, to no ill effect. Of course, it could feasibly be different with the alpha test set-up. I obviously make no guarantees about any of this!
Oh man, that's a great (well, I mean, actually awful, but you get what I mean ;) point about the Hiragana. The Greek tree has a similar issue: a bunch of skills to learn the alphabet that it takes a lot of time to keep strengthened enough that the overall Strengthen Skills / Health Practice (I surmise they're really the same thing, just moved) will give anything else.
Obviously Ukrainian and Russian have the problem too, but this might be one area where their relative lack of focus on the alphabets makes those trees less aggravating in the longer run.
- Yes, you can redo your tree even if your health bar is at zero.
- I use an iPhone and the web. The Health only applies to the iPhone, not the website. So if I run out of health on my phone, I just use the web. Also, I find that using the website is better for new lessons anyways since I can't read course notes on my phone.