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  5. The "life" version of Duoling…


The "life" version of Duolingo is awful and a non-sustainable business model.

We are going to Germany in a few months with the possibility of moving there. I was a Duolingo user and don't have that annoying "life" issue. Now that my whole family is using it, they all have that problem to deal with, and the App is virtually worthless for them. They still play around with it, but it is no longer useful as a learning tool. At this point, it is just a game until they run out of lives. There is ZERO chance as a parent I'm paying $5 per clip for my kids to continue to have lives. Moreover, we were trying to all use the App as a family to learn on the same platform, but the App frustrates my family more than it engages them.

We're hiring a German tutor.

Duolingo needs to fix this "lives" format or else I can't see how it will lead to a lot of traction on the app. In my house alone we have 4x new users and are about to have 4x new app abandonments.

May 10, 2017



It would be frustrating and stressful to try to learn a language without making any mistakes. I know that I learn the most when I write an answer without using any hints and get it wrong. After I make a mistake, I like to stop and think about it. That works best for me. I would probably give up very quickly if my app stopped me learning when I made mistakes. However, I also know that there is a limit to how much I can learn at one time. I guess Duolingo is trying to help its users by not allowing them to do too much at one time. Clearly this system needs some adjustments.

When I was learning Turkish, there was one lesson that took me more than a week to master. I would start the lesson, make many mistakes and give up because it was clear that I hadn't understood it. In this case, I checked words, I read the tips and notes, and I accessed other resources. I did everything I could, but it was still difficult for me. I would make mistake after mistake in the lesson before I closed it. I decided when I had done enough. I cannot imagine how I would have felt if Duolingo decided to stop me learning after just a few mistakes. I am sure that I would have stopped using the app quite quickly.

There have been other times when I have made mistakes because American English sounds wrong to me, and I can't remember the correct way to word the answer, so that it is accepted by Duolingo. I would have hated to have to stop learning new materials, not because I don't understand my target language, but because the source language was unfamiliar.

I don't have the life system in my app, so I don't know what it is like, but I remember the hearts. I hated having to start again because I had made mistakes. It must be even worse to lose the option to continue learning new materials.


I don't agree with sirhalos, Duonamix and Mereade.
Learning methodes like Memrise are awfully boring for people who don't like to learn a language (Like me. I love science).
And Readlang is not the language usage in the real world. The real world is thinking, writing and speaking directly in the foreign language.
Duolingo's teaching method, both in the Android App and the web version, is really motivating, also for non-language lovers.

In my experience Duolingo's web version is perfect for increasing your knowledge of a foreign language. But for difficult languages it is much more motivating to start in the Android App and read the Tips and notes in the web version.

Luckily I can use the Android App instead of the IOS App, otherwise I had quit brushing up my school German and French. Maybe I can switch to the web version when I have reached level 25 in the Android App.

For brushing up my school English Duolingo's webversion was more suitable.
For reading and writing in English I use the discussion forums of Duolingo. That helps me much more than Readlang, reading books/newspapers/websites, looking at videos with subtitles and yearly vacations in England.

So I fully agree with jon574534.


I really think that Duolingo does help, but you have to take the time to do it and practice. As for the app, I almost never use it unless I am away on a trip an don't have access to a computer. So far, I have found the web version so much better, and I can understand so much more Dutch then I could before!


They probably won't remove the "life" system. Hell, people have complained about how easy the app is (it's only tapping rather than typing, and a novice can easily complete a course via the app than the desktop), yet they are never going to improve it. Dumbing-down learning ftw ¬_¬. I just hope they don't do that to the desktop.


You do know that you can review and gain back your health, don't you? You don't have to pay any money.

Generally speaking, if you miss five questions in a session it's an indication that you're moving too fast and that you need to take a step back and refresh your memory.


No. If you miss five questions in a learning session because it's new material that you don't know yet, then it's just an indication that it is new material that you don't know yet ;) The right way to handle this would be to continue learning the new material, to repeat the questions, to reinforce it until you know it. Basically, just like the current system, without the hearts. It does not make the slightest sense to stop learning the new material, and review different material instead. Later, trying the session again, you are coming back to exactly the same collection of new material, without having learnt much from it, basically starting from scratch. In fact, this is exactly the opposite of efficient learning. It makes sense, of course, from a monetary point of view by duolingo, because they can display more ads this way. Please, people, this thing about "too much progress" presented by duolingo as an excuse for the health system is just marketing ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤!


Generally speaking, if you miss five questions in a session it's an indication that you're moving too fast and that you need to take a step back and refresh your memory.

If you've tried it with a language you don't have a level 25 in and believe this to be true, well, I can't contest your experience. But I know I burned through my five health bars in the lofty Ukrainian skill... Alphabet 2 in about ten minutes mostly because I was getting two words (that were I think only one letter apart) confused, two words that were introduced in the lesson I burned through my health attempting (and ultimately failing) to complete, so I don't know what reviewing already completed skills more could have done to help the situation.


That's a fair point. I've only tried it with those two courses, and also the courses are mature, with a lot of errors reported and fixed. I can see how it would be different with a new beta course.


What happened to portofan's comment?


Portofan has made two comments in this discussion and they are both visible.


Both still visible - but I have seen entire discussions that give me a 404 and others are clearly seeing them and commenting on them (because comment counts are increasing in the discussion list).


Could you leave and come back and tell me if you still see it? It disappears for me. For instance, right now it is gone.

I just left and came back... it said their were 17 comments, then when I downvoted, then upvoted the post to refresh, it showed 34 comments. Strange.


I cannot see them on another account, unless I do what BelgianStr describes - down- and upvoting the whole discussion, then this discussion suddenly has more contributions.


Neither is visible to me. From the outside, this post lists 35 comments. Inside, 25 are visible to me. Nothing is marked as hidden.


..... if you miss five questions in a session it's an indication that you're moving too fast and that you need to take a step back and refresh your memory.

Maybe for an "easy" language like English (I am Dutch)
But not for German with its "strong, weak and mixed Inflection" of German adjectives. You don't need to know that kind of grammar perfectly to help yourself in the daily life in Germany.
The Android App is perfect for the first stage of learning German, the IOS App and web version absolutely not.


In the web version, though, you're almost entirely translating into English, at least until you reach a pretty advanced level. With "hard" languages and the pre-health iOS app, I've found it to be a mixed bag: good for Turkish, but well nigh impossible for Hungarian without a lot of review on the web first. With super unfamiliar languages, sometimes you just really need the hints for every single word.


Take a look at Babbel.


Here's what I would do, Duolingo would only get you to an A2 level if you completed the tree. Notice: You can make basic conversations on this the mobile app is for practicing on the go. The hearts are for monetization. Like Wikipedia this is AD free and needs support to keep going. If you're serious about learning use the website version without any hearts. Personally I like using the website but its your choice. All in all have a nice day and good luck in Germany!

Link for State of Monetization : https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22426779

Cheers !


AD free


The old website is ad free; the new one is not, and obviously the apps aren't.

Using the website instead of the health-infested app is obviously a good idea.


Quit. That is the only way your opinion will be counted.

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