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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sionell

Please get rid of "health" it is HORRIBLE

First - I am a huge duolingo fan so far. My 800+ day streak should show that. But!!!

I don't like the health bar that only gives you five chances to make a mistake. When I'm learning a new skill for the first time- often it doesn't define the word before expecting me to know what it is. Also - I'm not going to remember all the new vocabulary right away so I WILL make mistakes. It's completely assinine to slap me on the virtual wrist each time and then force me to go do something else because I didn't get it right 5 times.

I will NOT pay you money to make the health bars renew. The gem system seems completely over the top as well - I will not be buying gems to refill health bars. As soon as I saw how expensive the gem system is making everything I have resigned myself to losing my hard-won streak.

I thought maybe subscribing and paying some money every month would get rid of all of these annoyances - but apparently it doesn't. I don't mind the ads - Ive even clicked on a few of them.

This health bar has got to go. It's demotivating and preventing learning.

Based on several other threads I'm not the only one to feel this way. How can we make sure Duolingo hears us and takes away this useless "feature"?

May 26, 2017

53 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrenchFireBird

I'm on the web, so it doesn't affect me yet. But it sounds horrible. I hope they remove it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PolyglotPearl

I'm on the website too. My cousin has the app, though, and apparently she has it. It does sound terrible.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Holsen4

I use both. Isn’t that fun?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndyOSC

The Duolingo community hates this change.

No matter how many times we hear "it works if you do this," "you don't have to pay if you try this," or "you don't lose all of the progress you're making in a lesson if you try that," this update is universally reviled. That's where this conversation starts and where it ends.

The Duolingo community hates this change.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeremyKeenan

Agreed. I've followed this thread in case something changes, but since this 'feature' was implemented (I first encountered it a few months ago), I have stopped using Duolingo entirely. Tried using the web version but the interface was quite unsatisfactory on my phone (always having to switch input language manually depending on translation direction, for example) so I gave up.

I don't have the time to 'try this and try that' myself when before the change it was working wonderfully for me, I was making progress, then it suddenly became far too much of a hassle to bother with.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Casper_duo

Downvote the app at the google play store, and write your reasons for doing so.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ocf781

I would but the crafty buggers don't let you actually save bad reviews - so annoying I spent ages listing all the rubbish things wrong with Duolingo now and pressed send and nothing happened - no error message, nothing bet that wouldn't have happened if I had written a good review! What a con!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DagnyEikli7

I absolutely HATE this heart system and I honestly really hope they get rid of it. Duolingo is great other then that. I found out that if you use duolingo over google/safari it gets rid of it!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bette693331

I hate health too. How can it be gotten rid of. It is unhealthy and unfair if one is already paying.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marieke448481

Yes please, get rid of that awful health feature! Don't ' punish' me when I am learning new lessons and have to deal with new words! The punishment is that I have to repeat a lot of lessons from the very beginning; very demotivating!!! Let me make my own mistakes so I can learn from them. I consider to quit Duo Lingo because it's no fun anymore.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/papajon0s1

Agreed! The health idea is so bad and disappointing! I was so happy doing my one little lesson a day and now its like I am being punished! Hate the new health thing. I am probably out until it gets changed. Frustrated!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lolaburic

well I am thinking about canelling app all together! health bar doesn't have any motivation! get rid of that!!!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoNoEsImposible

Sorry if I'm misunderstanding, but gems actually cost real money? You had to pay real money to get more health? I thought gems were the same thing as lingots except one lingot is worth about twenty gems. Is this true?

By the way, thank you for being bold and posting your feedback to Duolingo. Others may not have your poor experience in the future.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sionell

You can buy 1000 gems for $4.99 USD, 2500 for 9.99 and 6000 for 19.99. I read on another thread someone paid $6.99 to regain full health. A bonus skill costs 1000 gems. Not sure how many gems a streak freeze will cost as I already have one. I believe you can pay gems to buy full health too but don't know how many it costs.

Ratio of Lingot to gem is not 1:20. I had almost 4000 lingots and it was "converted" to 4410 gems.

You can "earn" gems similar to lingots, but it doesn't seem you can earn many very quickly. I got around 5 for meeting my goal. It shows you three treasure chests and you pick one.

I'm not a child - you don't need to try to entice me to learn languages by giving me fake treasure chests full of not very many gems. To me it's another bunch of clicking I need to do before I can move on to the next screen and the number of gems you get from it is minimal.

I've loved learning German on Duolingo, but the changes aren't great. First they add images that make it more like a kid's app, now they are turning into candy crush to try and pull money from people. I'd rather pay a small fee per month or a yearly fee vs this crap.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stripedkitty

$ 6.99 for the privilege to make 5 more mistakes while learning a language is steep! : l


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camilla-danesa

that's an outrage!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoNoEsImposible

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I should probably delete my comment since most other people won't find it helpful.

So basically you can earn gems by doing lessons, but not many. To really get gems, you have to pay money. I can really understand your frustration now!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camilla-danesa

yours is a helpful question, please don't delete it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichelleLinguist

I agree so much with this. I am deleting the app off of my iPad and only doing the web version. The health system is terrible. I am a long time user too. I didn't mind the ads and dealt with them but screamed at gems and health


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sionell

I'm definitely going to be using the web version now - especially when I want to do a new lesson! The features on the web are far superior anyway. (Except I don't have as easy access to a German keyboard like I do on my iPhone).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YassiEm

I'd suggest adding another keyboard layout on your computer. It's pretty easy to do, and it's only annoying for a little bit while you're learning the layout. I've got a Swedish layout, and it makes using the web interface much easier.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexHKaiser

Agreed, I was willing to subscribe to the offline access but I will not pay a cent until this ridiculous "health" feature is removed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JindeLune

I agree. Isn't this just discouraging people from using duolingo? Stop trying to make money!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KayeQue

Duolingo are you listening? This is not helpful or healthful and now you have ads too. How about a reasonable monthly charge


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

Hi sionell,

How can we make sure Duolingo hears us

By writing to them. The forums are a "for the users, by the users" place. Staff sometimes post things (and read) but it's not the way to reach them and you can't know if they read your message.
The only way to report/feedback something directly to them,is to use the green button at the bottom of the Help Page.

How can we make sure [...] takes away this useless "feature"?

You/We can't. Absolutely no way to make sure about that.
And since they've started to test (a first version of) health system more than one year ago and keep going with it, I'd say it's highly unlikely they just take it away.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KayeQue

I agree....do away with "health". My health is just fine. I'm trying to learn a language here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sionell

Also I just realized today that the stupid health indicator on the tree view page replaced the overall "practice" button on the top right. Aiiigh! Now you can ONLY practice one lesson at a time. The overall practice would let you refresh 1-2 lessons if you weren't that weak. Plus I liked that it was more random on what words I was being give vs me knowing exactly what lesson it's from.

Saw on the health page I could pay 350 gems to refill the full health bar. Even though my health is currently completely full. Also I only got 10 gems from completing my goal today. I don't know what economics article on the internet that Duolingo read to come up with the gem based economy but it seems way out of whack.

Still hating health.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarolDawso1

Got the message that whatever lingots we had would now be "gems." Didn't mind it UNTIL my iPhone froze on that screen and it's impossible to get it to go back to the home page. Anyone else having this problem? Will I have to uninstall and reinstall? Have no clue what "health" is as it gave me accolades when it showed up on screen. Don't mind the changes, but not the frozen screen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ocf781

totally agree with you - they do everything they can to demotivate you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/savannahba832898

I think you can refill health by strengthening old skills. It is more to help than hurt you although I dislike it as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Todd837098

I had to register to say this is a horrible way of monetising a product.

I understand you guys need to make money but this really is a poor way of going about it. It is clearly an extremely lazy implementation of the candy crush way of making money, which is ironic because it would've most likely taken a lot of backend work to implement this.

PLEASE remove it. Unlike candy crush, doing duolingo isn't a habit forming activity, or at least it isn't any more. Having health really makes the user more nervous and less confident in their choices. This makes me at least not want to learn the language for fear of failure, which is the worst motiviation tool (positive reinforcement being the best). Based on this, and the many other threads relating to this it's clear to see that I am not alone.

I used to enjoy using Duolingo. The design of the app was literally perfect for what is was and ironically I was saying to my wife how I would actually pay to use it.

So with those complaints in mind, here are some suggestions to help monetise your product:

Charge an optional subscription. On the surface, this seems like a stupid idea to charge for something you've been getting for free(soundcloud) but I think Duolingo actually has (or had) some brand loyalty as their product was excellent. Also, If I was paying 5 or 10 bucks a month, it would make me much more likely to use the product.

Charge for a premium Teir of Duolingo, that puts people in contact with the language they are trying to learn. I dont know how many times I've failed modules because I dont understand the context of the words I'm saying, and I would've loved to have been able to talk to a person to get an explanation.

Then theres always small ways of getting money, like microtransactions through bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

So duolingo PLEASE get rid of the motivation killing heart system and think about other ways of monetising, otherwise I will certainly find another system to use, and I doubt it'd be the last.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ocf781

well said! - I use it so much less now I hate it so much - I just want to get to level 25 and then you won't see me for dust - though I don't know if I can stand it that long - its just not enjoyable any more without the friends and the translation and all the other nice stuff they got rid off


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emily650466

What is the status of this? I have health in my app, how can I get rid of it? Why is this still a thing? Please stop! Can you help me remove it from my account?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sionell

I have no idea if Duo will ever change the health system, but I hope someday they do get rid of it. For now, I've stopped using the app for learning new vocabulary. I use my phone's browser and use the web interface now. It's a slight bit more awkward, but I don't have to deal with with being punished when Duo asks me to translate words it hasn't ever shown before (happened in at least 3 recent lessons over the past week).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TomSeipert

I fully agree with all the comments I’ve seen about the HEALTH issue. I have decided not to play these fools game AND WILL be leaving this app in the dust. Too Bad such a great product uses such stupid tactics, and I was a PLUS USER. I joined the PLUS program to show support for such a wonderful tool. This use of Health absolutely disgusts me. !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ragnarak

The health feature is a demotivating for young people! I do not have it in my app but my daughter has it. I would never consider investing any money in Duo, if i know the risk exists that the health feature will be there or pop-up.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neferchitt

Hello: I feel the same way. I have been using duolingo for a couple of months and I was so happy with the app until health appeared, and I honestly don't want to use it anymore. I find the health system very discouraging and annoying, I don't think it is useful at all. I am uninstalling the app, I don't find it good anymore and I feel I am being forced to pay.


[deactivated user]

    I have absolutely no clue why Duolingo thought "health" was a good idea. It makes me not want to learn. So instead of doing the actual lessons, I end up just doing the stories on the desktop version. I cant even do a lesson on the desktop version because it takes me back to the app!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael543146

    This was just introduced on IOS yesterday and it’s really demotivating. For the first Tim in my 1000+ streak I find myself wondering if I want to continue spending time on Duolingo.

    The biggest issue is that Duolingo keeps adding new words to existing lessons I’ve already completed (which WAS awesome as you got to learn more) or you can say things in a different way, which is not yet accepted as a correct answer (that’s what the report “my answer should have been accepted” is for). That these makes you loose the hearts really fast. Furthermore, if you really try to learn writing the language by typing on the keyboard rather the using the word bank you get more mistakes from typos and autocorrect which makes the heart system really annoying!

    If you want to have some sort of heart system at least make it more forgiving! You could make it so if you make mistakes in a lesson (regardless of number) you loose one and ONLY ONE heart. If you complete a perfect lesson with no mistakes you gain one heart. That would motivate to go for perfect lessons. Furthermore, you know you would be able to complete a lesson if you had at least two hearts when you start, even if you make mistakes. With a more forgiving system like this you might also be able to motivate people to go back and review old lessons to gain one heart more to be sure to be able to finish the next lesson without being kicked out because you’re out of hearts.

    It used to be a really great app and I loved using it, but now with the health system I find it hard to motivate myself to continue using it. I had other languages I wanted to start on after the one I currently learn, but now I think I’ll just finish the one I’m doing now, if I can find the motivation and then I’ll look for alternative apps to learn more languages.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WolfeyMagic

    I completely agree. It is so annoying when you mess up and then you have to either work for hearts or wait a total of 25 hours for full hearts.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GiuGiu290512

    Man I have the health system on my phone, it sucks. That's why I just use on the computer


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeremyKeenan

    Agreed. Deleted the app, and have abandoned web interface as well as I don't trust that some other poorly conceived change will not occur - not really worth the time investment when there are other methods that exist. Perhaps not as 'fun', but just as effective.

    In languages that are in beta, only very narrow translations may be accepted, and out of several equivalent English translations, only one may be accepted which is now immensely more frustrating because it locks you out.

    I will likely delete my account after taking some notes on what I've already learned. Was fun while it lasted.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duonks

    Health has already been deactivated for beta courses, in case you didn't know :-)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sionell

    Even when a language comes out of beta - part of the learning process is trying a translation and finding out it's considered incorrect. However, even once a language is out of beta you can say "My answer was correct" and they will consider adding it to the list of correct translations. I've done this several times for German which has been out of beta for a really really long time. Meanwhile you're still dinged a health bar for having dared to not know the exact translation expected.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeremyKeenan

    Precisely that - was going through the motions and suggesting corrections, etc. for both the course that is still in beta and the one which no longer is.

    Anyway the whole thing doesn't work as a model for me really - would have much preferred to pay for the app than having this weird system suddenly dumped on me.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeremyKeenan

    Ah - I just checked and it looks like one of my courses has left beta. Oh well.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/smolseeds

    SAME. It's very discouraging and keeps users from learning a useful life skill. Also, for me, the timer for gaining a life doesn't count down unless the app is open?? What's up with that?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/justinlthy

    i dont like health too lol


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/defsoulgae

    yes health doesn't give you enough chances to learn. it would be better to use the web (there's no health for the web)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brian995481

    I completely agree. I'm nearing 700 days in my streak (one week to do) and I just saw this today for the first time. It was confusing and maddening. I hate it. I've tagged Duolingo in a Twitter rant about it, but since this has been going on for longer than I realized, my hopes aren't high.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TomSeipert

    I echo that 720 days for me. But I pay now and I still think it’s a wonderful program. Well worth the price BUT I hate this Health feature too.


    [deactivated user]

      Once I had to spend almost of my gems just for hearts.

      Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.