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https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien

The Health system prevents and discourages learning

ISpeakAlien
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If you think about it, you will notice that the Health system (which only exists for accounts created on the app) not only discourages, but also prevents language learning. Losing health because of wrong answers is one of the best ways to discourage language learning, and not being able to learn new stuff unless you practice/pay is not only preventing language learning, but it also violates the "Learn a language for free. Forever." basic purpose of Duolingo, which basically means that Duolingo is lying to its users who create accounts on the app. Please remove the health system to encourage and improve language skills!

UPDATE!!! Duolingo has started an A/B test to remove the Health system. Thank you very much, Duolingo. You have finally begun to accept common sense.

Previous edit: I just realized that I have 137 votes! Thank you SO MUCH for showing that the health system discourages language learning, and please give lingots to all users who make nice comments!

1 year ago

115 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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One clarification: it only exists for accounts accessed via the app. My account was created on the web, and I do the vast majority of my Duolingo-ing on the web, but I have the health system on the app.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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I created my account on the website, and I don't have Health when I use the app.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jimnicholson
jimnicholson
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It is currently an A/B test, and membership of the test groups is random-ish. It is not decided by where the account was created (as the OP claimed). If it is going well then they might enable this for all new accounts, but it won't matter where they were created.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bill147479
Bill147479
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Duolingo Manifesto: Data should be used to personalize education, not just personalize ads. NOT!!!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Matt830749

I've been a Duolingo user for around 2 years and the introduction of this health system is awful ! If it's not removed soon I am going to have to find an alternative application !

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wilms4

Same...getting annoyed ...it’s a hobby not a job. also don’t like the crowns

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xctico

It not only prevents learning of new skills, it also prevents redoing of old lessons. It's a terrible incentive against people trying to get back on duolingo after leaving for a few months... since it blocks you from redoing lessons.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JOAT2B
JOAT2BPlus
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How does it block you from redoing old lessons? I haven't run across that.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JOAT2B
JOAT2BPlus
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I love how I get two negative votes but nobody can be bothered to answer the question. So something hasn't shown up on my phone yet. Sue me! rolls eyes

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/diaskeaus

Something I discovered today - doing practice sessions will automatically do old lessons (whichever lessons are not at "full bars" - and making mistakes in practice sessions doesn't remove any health, but finishing a practice session does award XP and does count for daily streaks.

The only thing is you can't "choose" which old lesson the practice session will use - it's done automatically. It's also not the entire old lesson, but a refresher on those words and phrases.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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It always chooses the skill that needs to be practiced the least.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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You're right. Duolingo should understand that.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndyOSC
AndyOSCPlus
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I hate the Duolingo health system passionately, but it doesn’t do that. It is the opposite, in fact: only by redoing old lessons can you regain health without paying.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/diaskeaus

I concur completely with everyone here. The health system needs to be either removed or reformed.

Some ideas for reforming the system as well as some other monetization models:

1) More health "bits" for increased levels, meaning learners who invest more in a particular language can make more mistakes before being prevented from learning.

2) Different health "systems" for different languages, because if I monumentally screw up in my Russian learning that should not affect my French learning.

3) Do not remove health "bits" from the voice recording questions, as the system commonly fails even if the user pronounces the word or words perfectly.

(If the health system were implemented on the website, I wouldn't even be able to finish a single lesson because of all the background noise in my house. With my phone the microphone is a little better so there are fewer mistakes but it does mean I cannot use Duolingo in outside areas or else I need to turn off the voice system.)

4) Practicing once should restore all health for that particular language, not just one "bit", but only if and when the practice is completed - meaning practices need to be lengthened and varied depending on how many "bits" need to be restored (instead of doing the same thing over and over again 4 times).

5) The cost of restoring health "bits" should be lowered if gems are used. Gems are precious commodities and need to be monetized honorably (if used at all). One gem for one "bit" or 5 gems for a full restore.

6) Allow gems to be used to unlock more advanced modules without the need for a test.

7) Award gems for achievements (or lingots on the main site). Allow learners to then customize their profiles and display achievements as badges as they level up in certain languages. The higher the level the more badges/achievements they can show-off.

8) Award gems for inviting friends to Duolingo.

9) Sell profile customizations through gems, like different colors, backgrounds, borders, as well as more advanced profile unlocks such as lifetime progress, leaderboards, and so on.

10) Require gems to purchase and open clubs. Joining a club would not require a fee, but opening a new club and unlocking more member slots, and various functions would require community purchases of either gems or achievement-based club activities to unlock.

Just some ideas. You may hate these ideas or think them great, but it's clear that Duolingo needs a better system for self-sufficiency and expansion of services. Implementing a fair model which encourages learning and encourages community should be a priority.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Why include Heath at all? Also, requiring Gems for clubs is a really bad idea.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/diaskeaus

Duolingo seems compelled to have some kind of stamina system. Of course it would be better if it could go, but if not then the current system needs to be reformed.

Honestly as to your second comment, I don't have a lot of experience with clubs. The only reason using gems might be useful for setting up clubs would be if there were club achievements which in themselves awarded gems to club activities or shared achievements. More for balancing the "gem economy".

But I'm with you on both.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Searlasmane

No, you're like someone bargaining with the Commissar in a 1930s Communist show trial, @diaskeaus. The 'Health' system in itself is essentially evil, anti-fun and anti-learning; the only thing it's about is money. The mere idea that Duolingo's makers would think this rap-on-the-knuckles method is something related to their original learn-for-fun light-heartedness shows that they have utterly lost their way. There is no way within it of making it work - it is in itself hideous and anti-life. What you're suggesting is like bringing caning, cold showers and compulsory rugby into Summerhill!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulKlenk

Searlasmane . . . love your characterization and I find it accurate. Might also be tantamount to having journeyed through the Catholic Education system. And, you had better "pray" that you're not left-handed. Nuns frequently found a use for the ruler on the left and we all know why . . . the sign of the devil. Such nonsense and that is precisely where Duolingo is heading so take some advice.

  1. Since I've provided relatively accurate calculation regarding a yearly cost of $5.00 or less, those that are buying gems and purchasing ad-free media are clearly not thinking logically. So, don't buy that stuff.

  2. If you're using the mobile app, then DO NOT attempt any new lessons because you will be penalized and punished. I spoke directly to a psychologist who was appalled by the diminishing health system.

  3. You can do the review on the mobile app, but stick to the summary reviews. I believe I was chastised for making mistakes while reviewing a single lesson in a section.

  4. Do not buy into the health concept as a means of discouraging binge learning. It discourages all types of learning and is NOT selective to binge learning.

So, beat them at their own game! That's my plan.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Duolingo is starting to turn into a "government" with a dictatorship. The users must be heard!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/diaskeaus

So it happened - finally - I started with full health, started a lesson, and couldn't even make it halfway. True, the kids were screaming in the background, the TV was blaring, and to add to the mess the microphone wasn't registering my voice properly (yes, I did wait until the kids had stopped screaming and there was a lull in the TV commercials), but still.

So now I need to wait an entire day before using the app again.

Oy oy oy.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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There goes the "language learning" part of Duolingo...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulKlenk

Does not matter what the kids were doing and it doesn't matter that you might have been distracted. However, it does matter that you at least attempted to ascertain correct responses and were punished for that behavior. That is an integral part of learning and Luis does not grasp the relationship between penalization and motivation. So long as Luis is absorbed by metrics, this nonsense will continue.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulKlenk

I would like some numbers and how many people can actually make it through an entirely new lesson without getting shut out. I'll wager it is only a couple of percent at best.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoenSo
JoenSo
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I agree completely. I was so happy when they removed the old health system years ago, and now suddenly there's this one that is even worse. It's just the kind of thing that could make me stop using Duolingo unfortunately. So I hope it's only a temporary thing or something that will at least be made optional. Because it's just plain bad.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Listen to this, Duolingo. You are losing users.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/estudianteMTI3

So far it is only on the iOS app, so they will probably remove it shortly since only a small percentage of users are actually using this feature.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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It should at least be possible to disable Health.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/estudianteMTI3

I totally agree. If every time they added a new feature, they would allow the user to turn it on or off from their settings,and would then monitor it to see how many people actually used the feature, they would save everyone a lot of time and grief.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/psionpete
psionpete
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But that would invalidate any results the tests generated because only the people doing the tests would be those who liked the idea.

Nexts daft idea please ....

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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They seem to have rolled this out to a lot of users, including many with longstanding accounts. I doubt they even would have taken that step if earlier, much smaller tests hadn't gone somewhat ok (which probably means generated revenue while inflicting "sustainable" damage to user engagement).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DonFiore
DonFiore
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While they rolled it out to more users, my understanding is that penalising for every mistake is something the previous version didn't have and you lost health only for completing lessons. So at least we can hope they revert back to that system which, while not ideal, sounds miles better than this one.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duonks
duonks
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Previous previous versions had the hearts system, which was then abolished in favor of the life bar. The health bar and its forced timeouts of hours is another two steps backwards in my opinion. I prefer not to be afraid of making mistakes and to learn from them... Limiting the number of mistakes one is allowed to make in a given time period is simply putting arbitrary limits on learning.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DonFiore
DonFiore
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True. I know it's in the name of money, there is no other justification, but it's still weird to see them test this when the milder version already failed, presumably because it was too restrictive.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Duolingo seems to want to get rid of the "Learn a language for free. Forever." idea.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jimnicholson
jimnicholson
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Perhaps it failed because it didn't raise enough money? I'm not saying that is the reason - but we don't really know what their objectives and priorities are anway, so it's difficult to say. I'm just throwing that out there as an alternative.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DonFiore
DonFiore
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I meant the three hearts system was scrapped in favour of the progress bar. Neither system raised any money. Three hearts allowed you to try as often as you liked and it was replaced with no-restart-required so I really don't see how three hearts with a time limit could be any better, except in making money.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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I gave you 2 lingots. This is a VERY good point.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mattbod
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Yea this idea is ridiculous and a bit underhand and is a) de-motivating and b) severely tests the goodwill of users.I am going to quit using Duolingo because of this. I hate having the brakes slammed on and the lesson abandoned for making a few errors.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chordata96
chordata96
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Sorry to hear it. I will use Duolingo for as long as I find it likeable. If they roll out annoying features on the Web version, I may begin to find it unlikeable. Hopefully, this will not happen.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tine175312

Lovely analogy! :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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I agree with you. Good news! Duolingo has finally ended the Health system.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElJalepeno
ElJalepeno
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IOS Health System?! What is this crap!? Time to find a new application.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Searlasmane

I had a six-month streak going, and was enjoying learning so much that I'd taken on new languages and even new alphabets. This punitive, old-fashioned, unpleasant method stopped me in my tracks. I doubt I'll ever use Duolingo again; I don't trust it or its makers any more.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chordata96
chordata96
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It must have been horrible to lose your 6-month streak. I don't know how I'd react in that situation but it wouldn't be a good reaction. I'd only just decided to really take my streak more seriously, but now I wonder if I should? Maybe I should just learn when I have time and I really want to, like several days a week or whatever, and not bother myself about "streaks". That way, there's little chance of me working hard only to suffer such an insult.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JustinArntz
JustinArntz
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I agree with all of your points. As a result of the health system I have pretty much stopped using Duolingo altogether (Memrise finally got its chance on my phone). What's adds insult to injury is the "We miss you!" emails that I regularly receive from Duolingo. I get it, you miss me; but you did this Duolingo. It's you, not me. On a serious note, I'm about to change my notification settings, which'll take care of the annoying emails, but still it's the principle of the matter.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Duolingo sends "We miss you" emails‽ That's spam! With 25% less users, not sodium. With 25% less users, not sodium.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/luke914515

I just rated the app a 1 and deleted it. Went from tons of fun and a 30 day streak to a disappointment. Just give me an option to pay per month.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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You can pay per month (Duolingo Plus), but it doesn't remove Health.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/luke914515

Then it's worthless. Totally counter productive to learning. If they want to prevent a binge then set some other limit. The concept is flawed from a logic perspective as well.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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I agree. Hopefully, Duolingo will lose millions of users and then they will know why Health is a bad idea.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulKlenk

Frankly, Luis is not listening to users and that could be fatal flaw.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/luke914515

I contacted the founder.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Sadly, that won't do anything. Duolingo doesn't care.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/luke914515

Send some tweets too

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rupert543595

Totally agree. I only use the IOS app and have progressed on to a higher level of Italian, where I am now being punished for getting one letter wrong or a word not quite right in the right order by eventually losing all health and having to wait until I am let back in.

I wouldn't mind a bronze/silver/gold star rating at the end but not being able to continue until the clock runs down is absolutely ludicrous and surely against the ethos of the site! Makes me want to delete the app... which is a shame as I really find it useful and have promoted it to everyone I speak; won't do now until that is fixed.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lemonyc

I totally agree, i have been waiting over 24 hours to gain just one bar, it has been at 1 hour for the last 7 hours! I dont have internet, therefor i cant refill it

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulKlenk

You just received another lingot because trial and error is an integral part of learning. And, the health system, because of diminishing health when users attempt to answer, is absurd and is counterproductive to the educational process. Luis loves to examine metrics, but fails to consider motivational techniques. Punishment and penalization for trial and error are foolish.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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I agree with everything you said. Thanks for the lingot!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jclujan8

Absolutely, I entirely agree with this statement. I urge Duolingo to please reconsider their health system!. Guys you are loosing all the great job which you did before. Now is not cool, not fun, is just stressful and it strongly discourages new learners.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Reisclef
Reisclef
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I completely agree with this.

I am more than capable of pacing myself. Furthermore, some of the answers can be ambiguous (Greek, specifically letters, for a Greek G in english, is it G or Gama?).

My wife and I are enjoying learning at our own pace on the Android app, and my 7 year old wanted to get involved. She really enjoyed it, until she stumbled on a few things (a couple levels in, mostly related to the letters), and the app refused to go further until health was filled.

I completely understand what Duolingo is trying to do here. I find sometimes that I'm getting overwhelmed with the amount of new vocabulary, and refer back to practising.

This is my choice, as I am learning at my own pace. I originally thought Duolingo stood for learning at your own pace. Now I'm not so sure...

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tivolinick

i agree. This is an awful thing! I have changed my review on the apps tore from 5 stars to 1 following this change. i suggest everyone else should do the same

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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You're right! Everyone, please give Duolingo nasty reviews!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Keith272620

I agree completely. I loved learning Italian with Duolingo, but when I started Spanish I discovered this discouraging and disagreeable health system. I've pretty much stopped using the program now; every so often I check and see it's been updated and I try it again but it's still there like a hostile schoolteacher with a cane punishing typos, mispronunciation and genuine mistakes. The silly thing is that I'd be happy to pay in some way for Duolingo, but not this way.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulKlenk

Keith

A very accurate assessment of the health system literally punishing you and others for mistakes. The alleged rationale of the prevention of binge learning is a sham, a ruse.

You mentioned payment and you are correct; I have done my own metrics. With the total number of users it would be possible to charge $5 per year and the profit margin would be in the millions of dollars. And we would need to be exposed to any of this superfluous nonsense.

Any alleged educational program that punishes trial and error learning is WRONG, but the dopes at the helm refuse to listen!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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I wish I could upvote you more than once.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gjbro7
gjbro7
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As a (non-binging) plodder - I've been on the German tree a long time (!) - I did not appreciate 'Health' when it appeared on my ipad a few months ago - so I deleted the app and focused on only using the web version and my phone - which is Android. Horror this week when my phone had swapped over to gems and health....only to swap back to lingots by the evening??? I think the end is in sight for lingots on Android as it too gets drawn into the Duolingo health clinic of language skills punishment....

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Milo871307

I downloaded the app on my iPad and subscribed for $9.99 to avoid the ads so that my wife wouldn't have to listen to the keyboard on my computer (I use headphones). I learn from my mistakes and don't hesitate to make them when I'm unsure of an answer. A couple of lessons and reviews in I was blocked by the health system and could only continue if I spent more $ on gems.

Today I cancelled my subscription and feel ripped off for the one month I paid for!!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Why add a subscription if it doesn't get rid of Health?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rich195288

So true... loved the app untill the health system came in, it’s become like having an angry teacher at school ... I’ve gone to Babbel now

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Babbel advertises on practically every website, so I'm sure they have a lot of users.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/allengitel

REMOVE THE HEALTH SYSTEM ON THE APP. IT IS ANNOYING AND I FREQUENTLY NEED TO STOP PRACTICING.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/notjustaknitter

I agree. I am a long time language learner and am capable of pacing myself. That is what self-learning is all about. I know when enough is enough. I do not need Duolingo stopping me just as I am beginning to catch on to my errors.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Thank you! I hope Duolingo listens...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElJalepeno
ElJalepeno
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I do to. I think they lie when they say "a free learning website"

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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They do lie. "Learn a language for free. Forever." means that they will never charge money, and you will be able to learn a language. Duolingo now charges money to remove ads, and you can no longer learn a language. If the purpose of Duolingo is to learn languages, then people have to be able to actually learn languages. For something to happen, it has to happen. You need some common sense, Duolingo.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElJalepeno
ElJalepeno
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I mean they are just trying to earn money. That's their true goal. They don't care if people learn or not.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Good point! I hope Duolingo finds out that we know that about them.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HarryKnight456

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OebgtUjLg4

"Completely free, no annoying ads, no misleading in app purchases. Free at last"

Also remember "Free forever"

Oh wait-

This is AWFUL. You shouldn't be punished for making mistakes or progressing for that matter. I would post my friends message about it but it contained too many swear words. They have uninstalled the app because they said the whole idea of Duolingo is ruined, and it is. If someone from Duolingo is reading this, change it now before it is too late. Whoever came up with this needs firing. Immediately. Before too much damage is done.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Health is the worst feature in Duolingo history. By the way, you can replace the swear words with something like "[removed]".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulKlenk

Harry . . . sound much like fake news does it not. If you look at the majority opinion, most are absolutely opposed to the current "health" system and for good reason. Why? Because users are punished for trying, for attempting to develop a correct response. And, from an educational perspective, that is absolute nonsense.

The second part of the equation relates to money. People who now pay to get rid of advertisements are not thinking clearly. It's playing into the hands of Luis, the CEO. This program was created by a professor at Carnegie Mellon. The whine of financing has gone on quite some time, but the resolution is simple and CHEAP. The whine consisted of revealing the daily cost of $60,000.00 in overhead. Yeah, but Duolingo has OVER 100 MILLION users. Okay, so charge each user ONLY $5.00 per year and forget the nonsense of "free education." Here is the math.

The gross intake would be $500, 000, 000.00, while the operating cost would be $60,000 x 365 days per year. The product is $21,900,000.00. Now let's calculate net income by simple subtraction. That is a PROFIT margin of $479,000,000.00. Think the company can make it on that? So, I am tired of hearing the nonsense from Luis!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Searlasmane

Or maybe $5 for Americans and people in the EU and other wealthy regions, and less for any users in poorer countries where $5 would represent way more.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Now that I think about it, I don't really want to pay because Duolingo has been removing so many features... Maybe they could disable Duolingo for all users until then earn some amount of money. That would encourage donation! By the way, Duolingo only needs 6 cents a day (about $22/year) from each of its users to get enough money.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulKlenk

It doesn't need a donation. Duolingo has received OVER $100 million in donations and has a current value of over $700 million! And Luis is pulling this nonsense with gems and buying ad free time? What ever happened to honesty?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chordata96
chordata96
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Disable it for all users? Photo*t tried that and it didn't really work out for them...It's blackmail. I react very badly to blackmail.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Luis said that Duolingo had enough money before Health. Enjoy your 5 lingots!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Keith272620

I've said some time ago in this thread that I enjoyed learning Italian with Duolingo, but found the experience with Spanish so discouraging thanks to the health system that I gave up.

Since then, finding I needed to try to get some Japanses under my belt, I thought I'd go back to Duolingo and see what the relatively new Japanese course was like, and whether I could handle the frustration of dealing with health. I had my doubts.

Amazingly, I don't have Health operating on the Japanese course on my iPad! And it throws into stark relief just how infuriating Health made the learning experience. The Japanese course is hard; it still has something of a beta feel to it, the hints provided by clicking on the test sentences tend to suggest constructs (sometimes using Kanji) that aren't available as options, there's almost no useful explanation of how the language works, and you have to work entirely in the Japanese scripts (Katakana, Hiragana, Kanji - no Romanji at all). But despite this, I've persevered, and I've found it very useful. (I don't think you'll learn Japanese from scratch from this app on its own, but it's been a useful counterpart to other things.)

But because it is so difficult, and because you make so many mistakes, this course would be impossible with Health. I would have given up by the third lesson.

And when you think about it, it's inherent in the way the app works that the only way you learn is through mistakes. The app has very little teaching content - it doesn't explain the concepts of the language directly, it just presents you with examples and lets you learn by trying and you learn from your mistakes even more than from your (often lucky!) successes.

And at the risk of belabouring the point, that's a fine way to learn. Duolingo is at heart a teaching method based on trying, and then learning from both your successes and your mistakes. If you discourage people from failing, you're subverting the whole of the teaching method. If your teaching method is the old school way of a teacher explains something, then tests you on it, then penalises you for getting it wrong, then I don't like your method, but at least it makes some sort of sense. If your teaching method is Duolingo's, namely get someone to try something, tell them if they're right or wrong, and expect them to gain understanding on that basis, then penalising failure subverts that method.

Just to rub it in, I just made three mistakes in a row on sentences like "Let's do the laundry and then clean up". And Duo cheerily popped up from the side of the screen and said "Mistakes are the best way to learn!".

I completely agree with Duo. I thank him for the Japanese course, and I thank him even more for keeping it Health-free. (I'm even thinking of signing up for the Pro version for a few months, as a way of putting something back. It seems only fair. But I'll cancel the moment Health rears its ugly head.)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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I agree with you. Tips & Notes need to come to the app. What's wrong with people knowing about grammar? This reminds me of when Duolingo got rid of Activity Streams, saying that the purpose of learning a language is communication. Why would you get rid of a very helpful method of communication? If Duolingo won't bring back Activity, then they should at least add Clubs to the website, but do they care? Probably not. I think a million users should delete their accounts in protest. Really, why does Duolingo not only ignore its users, but actively avoid teaching languages when that's the whole point of Duolingo?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duonks
duonks
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It has nothing to do with Japanese: Luis thankfully listened to usagi's suggestion a while back, not to use the health system on courses that are still in beta...

Chinese suddenly got health a few days ago. Unfortunately (;-p) it is already out of beta.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ClamBistro1

I agree with this 100%; the health system seems utterly counterintuitive. "Mistakes are part of learning-- TOO MANY MISTAKES, NO MORE LEARNING FOR YOU"

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/magpie678

I can live with the new update as it is good to revise but the health system could be a deal breaker. I will never allow myself to be forced to buy additional health. It has spoiled the fun of learning on Duolingo.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GarethWJ
GarethWJ
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2 years on duolingo mostly ios now, I make stupid typos all the time even in basics 1 even thought I can recite it backwards - lost health straight away driving me nuts along with these crowns - put me on level 2 of Basics 2???, doing Italian for over 2 years now. Not happy as I have my own system of learning which I can't do now as I will lose health to easily ahhhh.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pentaan
pentaan
Mod
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A popular workaround to avoid the "Health" feature

Use Duolingo's web version on your phone/tablet (www.duolingo.com), because it .......

  • does not have the "Health" system and gems

  • will work in the newest version of the Chrome or Firefox browser on your phone or tablet, if you have rather good Wifi (or LTE/4G with an Internet bundle)

For the best typing experience:

  • set the browser to mobile mode
  • use the phone in portrait mode
4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Great idea! I'm sure that this will be appreciated by many users. By the way, it also works on a laptop/desktop if you change the window size.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iveheger
iveheger
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Just getting more and more business from this at the beginning awesome app is so sad. The people who were creating languages were not doing that for getting some money, but they did for free, because they wanted. I think it is not fair even because of them and even because of the originate aim of Duolingo.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeonieWils

I find this is very misleading advertising for a person i their 70's.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StuartTric1

I'm finding the health system means I'm using Duolingo a lot less and I'm finding it less fun and more stressful. It tells me mistakes help me learn and then shuts me down and stops me learning unless I buy more health. I guess it's time to find another method of learning but a pity as I've enjoyed Duolingo I've the last 2/3 years.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pentaan
pentaan
Mod
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A popular workaround to avoid the "Health" feature

Use Duolingo's web version on your phone/tablet (www.duolingo.com), because it .......

  • does not have the "Health" system and gems

  • will work in the newest version of the Chrome or Firefox browser on your phone or tablet, if you have rather good Wifi (or LTE/4G with an Internet bundle)

For the best typing experience:

  • set the browser to mobile mode
  • use the phone in portrait mode
4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SolneMinna
SolneMinna
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Yes well, thank you very much for the tipp, but the navigator also uses more datas. So instead of finding some kind of band-aid solution, could the duolingo team finally react and remove a system that does not please to anyone from the app? Losing users there, and betraying your own values...

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lindsay16954

Just get rid of the health system-- what is the point of preventing me from doing more lessons just because I get a couple answers wrong? You're going to make mistakes--- that's how you learn. I will probably look for a new app too if this isn't fixed soon

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GuusKeder

I agree that the health system actually prevents you from advancing. Because of my work I can not practice every day and I get punished for that. It is not evident in the app how you can rgain health, other than paying cash. I enjoyed using Duolingo but now consider looking elsewhere. I recently considered going without ads, but if the health system applies even when I pay for removing ads, that doesn’t sound like a logical incentive to learn a language.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FowlLanguage

You can regain health by practicing.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JimRoller

The new Duolingo approach is a huge step backwards. For those who once cherished the habit of practicing language study every day in their spare time (from the cell phone) it has become a bad habit of cheating to avoid outrageously expensive errors at all costs. No longer language learning at all. Hopefully someone will form a "Duolingoist Anonymous" organization soon. SHAME ON YOU DUOLINGO.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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What would Duolinguist Anonymous be for?

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NancyDaRos

What is "the health system"?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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It's something on the app that doesn't let you use Duolingo after getting 5 wrong answers.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JOAT2B
JOAT2BPlus
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You can still use it to practice older skills; you just can't progress through new lessons or skills.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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That's what Duolingo likes to do. My Portuguese skills only stay fully strengthened for about an hour. Then, I have to practice again.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/diaskeaus

Seems like they removed it.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Really? I recently found out that it doesn't affect Android, but I'd be shocked if it really was removed. Update: I was informed that it was removed on 8/30/2018, about one year after this comment was originally created.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StormtrooperSWE
StormtrooperSWE
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I've used Duolingo on Android, iOS and the web and they don't have the health system. Only the Win10-version has it, and I agree, it makes learning less fun.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rhackerd

I agree.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/atikshsingh10

Dang! The downvotes 137 to 47! Let's get this back up guys, I upvoted!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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Thank you very much! Enjoy your three lingots for saying this.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pilgrim2k
pilgrim2k
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you say that Duolingo has removed the Health System, but it is still alive and well on my IOS Duo App. I too wish that it would be removed. I don't get to study as much when i'm traveling and have to wait until I get back to my computer to study more. If the Duo-lingo Moderators are reading this PLEASE REMOVE THE HEALTH SYSTEM... and let the learning continue.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
ISpeakAlien
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I am sorry to say that the Health system has not been removed for all users, but its removal is an A/B test.

1 week ago