Not happy with the new update
Just got the new version of the app- what is this "health" stuff? I am doing this for fun and don't need another impediment to learning. If I lose health points I have to start all over again- it's discouraging instead of motivating. This is a crappy update- please return the previous version.
I HATE this update with PASSION. I sometimes lose for little mistakes like typos, not reading carefully, wrong noun gender in German, etc... things which don't really impact my learning too much... but now I have to walk like on eggshells because otherwise I lose health and I can't continue studying!!!
I just was stopped from doing a fourth lesson because I got the gender of a new german noun wrong.... the options are practicing like three lessons to get enough health to try again (because once you run out you get stopped and lose your progress), pay a lot of money (I don't mind paying U$S 5-7 a month for Duolingo, but paying to get health back is highway robbery), or wait until tomorrow.
First day with the update and I'm already frustrated out of my gourd... unless things change I will no longer recommend Duolingo to anybody and I don't think I'll go on using it.
i personally hate everything in this new update, i have been really enjoying my german learnings and i will say, the old system was a bit tough to maintain while still trying to move forward, but it kept ne motivated, made me want to work harder. but now its imposible to move forward without buying my way through? i hate to say it, but i think my learnings end here. i have spent anywhere between 15-60 mins a day earning my lingots & now they look worthless with the inflation of streak freeze & other shop items. it sucks to be a person who loves to learn & then the system that was working suddenly becomes something that is just stupidity. i actually thought the developers cared. wow.
by not getting 1 question in a section right. you have 5 health bars at the start. if you get 1 question wrong, lose a health bar, get 5 wrong, it makes you quit the section of pay money to continue. if you mess up one 1 question, but then ace the rest of the questions & do awesome, you dont get rewarded with health bars...they are gone until you pay of wait 5 hours per health bar. even when you leave the section and go to a different category, you still dont have full health bars. you CAN do a whole section of "practice" to regain 1 bar back, but if you have zero bars, you need to do 5 practice sections to get back to full health, then pray you dont screw up on something stupid like making your word feminine or hitting the space bar when you meant to type the letter b. rediculous.
It will only continue. People want to get paid. While Luis' efforts may be nobel there is a board and they want money. Investors are not interested in "free language education. " They want to see a path to monetization. Now.
As of 2015, the company has been valued at USD $470 million with a total funding of USD $83.3 million. Venture capitalists, private investors and other investor firms that hold a stake in Duolingo include Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Ashton Kutcher, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Google Capital, and Tim Ferriss.
It's understandable but not every monetization strategy is the right one. The Farmville / Candy Crush model COULD not be the best for language learning... The fact that they're alienating a lot of people indicates their idea was probably not the best. Companies have done stupid things and went broke in the past.
Sorry this is discouraging for you! If you want to learn more about the why and how for these changes (currently only on iOS and not affecting web users), we have been trying to clarify many questions (and clear up some misunderstandings) in a mega-post, to keep it manageable: Gems and Health FAQ -- if your questions are not answered there, please add to that thread. =]