https://www.duolingo.com/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

44 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchFireBird

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

May 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/PolyglotPearl

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

May 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Holsen4

I use both. Isn’t that fun?

July 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Casper_duo

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

May 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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!

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

July 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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

July 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Bette693331

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

May 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal

but the interface was quite unsatisfactory on my phone (always having to switch input language manually depending on translation direction, for example)

You had to switch due to autocorrect? If so, nothing to "try", simply turn off auto-correct on your phone(*).
In any case, the web version is (IMO) far better: you're asked far more to actually redact answers and not just "type the pair", "put words in order", "select the correct word", etc. really easy exercises.

If not due to autocorrect and/or you don't want to use Duo anymore, then fare well. ;)

(*) either once for ever or turn off before using Duo and turn when finishing your daily practice. The latter is still a little bother but far less than having to switch keyboard various times during your daily session.
In addition, no auto-correct will make you concentrate more on spelling correctly as the phone will not correct things for you.

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JeremyKeenan

No, I was not interested in autocorrect - the app would automatically switch the language input on my phone.

For example, if the exercise required me to translate from English to Hebrew, it would switch my input method to Hebrew so that I had access to the Hebrew characters.

If the next exercise required me to translate from Hebrew to English, it would automatically switch it back to the English keyboard so that I could type in English.

The web interface didn't do that, and changing keyboards every time it went from Hebrew>English and back to English>Hebrew interrupted the flow enough to dissuade me from using it.

I have to admit I found the whole change sufficiently irritating enough to put me off expending much effort on it, and maybe there is a way to make it work as I've described that I haven't discovered.

There were other more minor problems with the web interface on my phone, like awkward zooming behaviour, but the keyboard input was the one that got to me the most.

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal

Sorry, I didn't think about the case of distinct scripts.

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sionell

It's not autocorrect that is the issue - it's the desire to use the correct keyboard for the language you're typing in. For example, the German keyboard gives me the special characters ü ä ö easily. In the app - it at least recognized which language you were expected to type in and switched the the proper keyboard for you; if you use the browser on your phone you have to manually switch. I have three keyboards on my phone so that means English -> German -> Emoji; so several taps each time.

I've switched to doing new lessons on the computer (and have the German keyboard available there), and doing refreshers on the app when I don't have time to sit down at the computer. It's still horribly annoying that I can't use my app to work on new material though given the punishment waiting for me if I get something wrong.

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal

For example, the German keyboard gives me the special characters ü ä ö easily.

I have three keyboards on my phone so that means English -> German -> Emoji; so several taps each time.

The german keyboard covers all the English characters, no?
Hence stay on the German one. Don't switch back to the English one when you have to answer in English. (Of course, it applies to DE<->EN only, but similar will be for FR<->EN (stay on the FR one when answering in English), ES<->EN (stay on the ES one), etc. as long as it's latin script, the non English languages cover all English characters for most of the non-English languages with latin script).

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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!!!

September 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/lolaburic

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

August 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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!

May 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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

May 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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).

May 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

May 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/claredalune

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

July 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

August 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KayeQue

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

August 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

May 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

May 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/stripedkitty

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

May 26, 2017

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

that's an outrage!

May 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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!

May 26, 2017

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

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

May 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

May 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

May 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

May 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ocf781

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

June 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

June 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KayeQue

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

June 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

December 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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).

December 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

June 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/duonks
  • 1906

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

June 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

June 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

January 7, 2019
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