Please remove the Hearts system.

I am an old user who came back, but this recent feature change is driving me away again. I left duolinguo a while ago because the hearts system was super discouraging. Losing hearts and having to restart a lesson was always frustrating. My mom eventually convinced me to use it again, and I was super happy with it for a few months. I was especially encouraged because this feature was finally gone.

Now, today, while trying to keep my streak up I was really upset to see that the hearts are back, and they are way worse. You get five chances to make a mistake. these mistakes are shared across languages, so that if you fail in, for example, polish, you can't practice russian. Not unless you do one of the following:

1) Wait five hours

2) Pay with gems. This is so obviously the ultimate point of this feature that I feel insulted as a user. Just let me pay a subscription with clear terms and limitations. Sabotaging the usability of your app will not make me want to pay to keep using it.

3)"Practice weak skills". Practicing weak skills might sound like a good idea, unless you are a user on a bad internet connection. Seriously, it takes over 1 minute for me to get a response that i got a question wrong on some wifi connections, and im based in a prosperous country. to do the "practice weak skills" option takes a painfully long time. I tried. Bonus: This is just as bad as it was when I was using the app a year or so ago. This is not motivating.

The emotional response to getting penalized like this is not good, and it's so obvious that this feature isn't to benefit me as a user, it's to get money out of me. I feel like making mistakes while I'm learning is too expensive, both literally and emotionally. Ultimately I feel penalized for learning and it sucks.

May 26, 2017


That explains why my son's account looks different from mine! He started Italian yesterday and got fed up almost immediately as his health ran out very fast as he is a complete beginner! What a pain! I hated the old system. Mine has not changed yet, I have still got the old version.

May 26, 2017

I lost a lot of motivation when they announced this was coming, and it finally hit me today. I immediately uninstalled the app. I hope they get that information in their tracking metrics.

May 27, 2017

Hi YuliaStart,

If you want your message to reach staff for sure(*), the only way is to report/feedback directly to them by using the green button at the bottom of the Help Page.

(*) 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.

May 26, 2017

Thanks. I was searching for a way to contact them before posting this, as I do not like being public in my complaints. For example, they only have a bug reporting system, not a feedback button. As a user, I would not report this as a bug. What should I do? (I have now reported this as a bug, because I had no other choice.)

So this is another feedback issue -- they have not made themselves available enough for community feedback. You can see also in the community discussions people are posting bugs. This is why, in exasperation, I posted here as well. I suggest that if you find it frustrating that people are posting bugs and feature complaints in the community section, that you also report it. I have reported that as well now.

May 26, 2017

WHAT. You have to wait five hours???

I remember the hearts from before, I had just joined and I didn't like them either. It was always super frustrating to me. I hate to hear that they're back...

I'm afraid with all the different features that eventually Duolingo will not be free anymore, and even then it might be too annoying to use. Which is such a shame, because it's a fantastic resource (or it was...). I was planning on doing a lot of trees after I finish French. I don't know if I'll be able to afford it by then.

May 26, 2017

Not five hours total. Five hourse per heart bar. So, 25 hours. If your internet/WiFi connection is working. Great, huh?

June 3, 2017

Ugh. I came here to complain about exactly this. I complained when they added a thing that wouldn't allow you to get past the ad at the end for several seconds. That was bad. This is terrible.

I said then and it's just as true now that the real problem here is that instead of focusing on user experience the team is now focused on maximizing ad revenue and to hell with the user. Honestly if I wasn't nearly done with the Spanish tree anyway I would just delete the app.

Sure you can use the web but part of the attraction is mobile convenience.

May 27, 2017

I agree the new system is terrible. I dealt with the advertisements when they were added but I cannot abide by the health system. I am going to rate the apple app a 1. I will still continue on web browser and use the app on my droid but this new system ks terrible. It's a real shame because Duolingo is such an effective learning tool.

May 30, 2017

"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.

Also while you are at it, add Tips and Notes to iOS

June 3, 2017

I thought they removed the heart system last year but it seems some users still have it. It really discouraged me in the past which is why it took me so long to finish my trees.

May 26, 2017

The heart system just started for me when I was on today. I have been using Duolingo for years but this will stifle me I feel. I haven't quite worked it out yet but as I have been through the complete tree three times I want to be able to work on areas that I need.

May 27, 2017

Absolutely. The health atrocity has totally ruined Duolingo. Was doing really well with my Spanish and now I'm stuck and have totally lost the will to use it. Nice work, whatever dolt came up with this piece of genius. Get shot of it now, for goodness sake.

May 28, 2017

I absolutely hate the heart system and have complained about it before. Punishing mistakes is what makes people turn away from language’re SUPPOSED to make mistakes, that’s how you learn! They really need to remove this awful feature, it just gets in the way and doesn’t aid learning at all.

October 17, 2017


November 5, 2017

Agreed that people should not be penalized for making mistakes as they learn new skills. It's incredibly demotivating and demoralizing, and poor pedagogy.

November 16, 2017

I find the hearts very frustrating though I can understand (kinda) why they did it. I think it would be more beneficial to use the hearts as a grading scale rather than a health meter, so we won't get kicked out of the lesson for too many mistakes. Instead, we just wouldn't be able to do a new lesson until we received a passing grade. That's my biggest problem with it; I'm getting booted mid-lesson. If they got rid of that frustration, I'd be more happy with having to redo a lesson to get a better grade.

May 27, 2017

Please please please remove this awful hearts system...Whoever thought this was a good idea they were woefully mistaken!

June 7, 2017

My second post on this subject. Does anybody from Duolingo actually read this stuff? I have a really busy day ahead and I just wanted to do a quick couple of lessons. Ran out of stinking health and so didn't complete it. I'm on the verge of quitting this now, after almost a year of really enjoying it. HELLO!?GET SHOT OF THIS, YOU IDIOTS.

June 12, 2017

Soooooo sad about this, seriously. This app is loosing their main goal and essence....

August 19, 2017
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I find this system is really bad too. Yesterday I was happily moving along through the Ja-En course, until the app suddenly switched over to the new system and I got halted in my tracks on a new lesson. Practicing the older skills is all very well, except they were still golden and I wasn't learning anything new, and getting charged 350 gems at a time to refresh is pure extortion. Losing a heart on a sentence the very first time you come across something new is ridiculous... How can you be expected to know it if it's new?

The end result? I voted with my feet and switched over to android and the web.

I really hope the hearts system doesn't survive, at least in its present form. When it comes to duo, I'm not a very happy donkey at the moment! :-)

May 26, 2017

DL was once about learning, now it's about monetizing. I am seriously disappointed in what this so called 'health' brings to the user experience, perhaps some health is in someone else's pockets. And, I don't think the iOS version is so fabulous that new users are going to jump onboard the game at those prices. I had recently leveled up to Greek 11. (although it is hard, very hard for my near 64yr brain) I was getting into it! Then, last night, I came to a full stop thanks to the iOS a/b test. There is no way to keep this so called 'health' ... and 450 'gems' were extorted in order to carry on in the same lesson. Sure, I have lots, but, with my need to repeat, they will quickly deplete. And then I won't be able to afford Russian.

May 26, 2017

Just use the desktop system then. It's much better than the mobile. It doesn't have the gem garbage.

May 26, 2017

Same with me when I was a newcomer the heart system was driving me crazy because I didn’t know anything and I️ just started and I started to get stressed a lot because of the wait and paying gems

December 2, 2017

I completely agree. The heart system discourages learning.

June 29, 2018

Surprisingly I don't have Duolingvo Plus or anything else but I don't have the heart system or anything like that! I remember when I just started I had it but now it is gone! Can anybody explain this?

March 2, 2019

I wish I could upvote this more than once...

May 26, 2017


January 13, 2018

Amen! It’s so erratic. I left for vacation and had nearly full heart health. When I came back I had none so I can’t resume. Yet the stupid owl keeps telling me it’s time for my lesson.

July 21, 2018

Duolingo seem determined to ruin it and didn’t reply to me on Twitter. I had set up the “streak freeze” and when the latest ipdate came on, I just nearly a year’s streak. Seems childish, I know, but it just discouraged me even more. Their remit is making this fun and it’s not anymore.

July 21, 2018

Don't care for the heart system either, but are any of you getting multiple factoids about duolinguo before you can even start your lesson? I haven't bought any add ons and wonder if this is the reason I'm being tortured with the same 5 plus facts before each session. I keep persisting pecking away at the x's but now occasionally get a white screen and have to start all over. Is this duolinguo's way of getting rid of people who don't add to their revenue stream.

December 11, 2018

I'm afraid that these factoids are a new "feature" of the iOS app (I don't know about the Android app). It's completely annoying, and I have submitted a bug report to Duolingo. However, this problem exists for both free and paying customers.

December 11, 2018

I've stopped using the iOS app at all because the hearts system is annoying and I don't want those factoids. I use Safari on my phone to do my practice there.

Although recently I lost a 3400 day streak, so now I'm not really using duolingo much at all. (I'd prefer if the streak just counted the number of days you practiced total instead of days in a row - but nobody asked me :)

December 11, 2018
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