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  5. Au revoir, Auf wiedersehen Du…


Au revoir, Auf wiedersehen Duolingo. Thanks for un-golding our memories.

When the Duolingo app recently refreshed on my phone, it switched me over to the new version. I was the only one in my house with the older version and I have no problem with the hearts/lives issue, although that's what drove my wife and kids to stop using the app altogether.

My problem is with this new version is the inane rolling back of lessons you've already completed, requiring you to do them again or (and this is the real reason for it) PAYING to have them remain gold for 30 days. While I'm absolutely fine with going back and freshening up lessons, what I'm not fine doing is having to go back and go through 6+ basic lessons a day (Der Mann, Die Frau, Das Brot....) when I'm 30 or 40+ lessons down the road. It is distracting from advancing up the learning tree, it is insulting to the progress you're making advancing in the language and it brings growth at a moderate/fast pace to a crawl.

I get it. Duolingo needs to monetize. That's fine, and I would have been HAPPY TO PAY FOR THE SERVICE! But to do so in the cheap, money-grab way they're doing it is an insult and does more to drive away users than to endear them. I'd gladly pay a monthly fee to use Duolingo, ad-free and hold my progress in place, while only practicing those lessons I actually need to practice. As it is, I just gave Rosetta Stone $400 for French and German software.

Duolingo had my family of 5 using their app daily, and now we've all walked away from it because of the way they've chosen to insult those who actually want to use the app as a tool to learn a language and not just something to tinker around with before they move onto something else.

June 2, 2017



You paid for Rosetta Stone? My sympathies in advance. I hope you like Duo's picture rounds, as that's most of what you'll be getting for your money.

As for keeping your tree gold, it's unnecessary. I usually recommend that people use Memrise's DuoLingo companion courses to refresh their vocabulary, as they allow you to ignore words you know well and focus on those you don't.

You know you've completed the lessons, you know which words you've memorised and you know which words you need to focus on. A combination of flashcards and Duo is one of the best ways to learn the basics, and I think an external flashcard app / site is even more important with the current changes.

Of course, you could always use the web version on your mobile devices. Not only is it free from the app's current problems, it also features copious grammar notes with every course which aren't present on the app. These are pretty much a prerequisite for learning your target language, and I've no idea why they're site-only.


My company reimburses my payment. I'm spending an extended time abroad for professional reasons and none of it is a personal expense. And I disagree, keeping the tree gold is necessary, once you've gone through dozens and dozens of lessons it is very difficult to keep track of which ones you've mastered and which ones need brushing up. Besides, un-golding them and making you pay to go back and reaffirm that which you've already done is a lowest-common-denominator, cheap money grab and it is an insult.


Again, you could always use the web version on your mobile devices. The app version has been vastly inferior since its launch, and the web version is also free of all the current problems the app is subject to.

As for keeping track of what you've mastered, the previously mentioned Memrise companion courses do a much better job of this. It's a great tool for vocabulary to complement Duo's grammar-based approach.

Good job the company's paying for Rosetta Stone- it won't be quite as painful if it's not coming out of your own wallet. :)


The mobile site doesn't fit very well with my phone sizing so when health hits Android I'm gone


Ah, I didn't think about phone sizes. I use a tablet when browsing away from home.


Paying to override a forced time out or to stay golden for 30 days are both just ways to get around saying we are charging for learning, while doing exactly that.


Just use the web version of Duolingo. No gems, no health, and you are going to learn more effectively.


The gems and health aren't the issues, necessarily. The issue is the undoing of things I've already learned and then they make me trudge through the most basic lessons again to re-gold them, only to un-gold them the next day....BUT, if I pay for them, I can gold them for a month. Just charge me, and it'll all be good. Instead, Duolino has chosen this sleazy money grab.

Also, lugging around a computer eliminates the convenience of a smartphone. I'm often not in a place where I can use my laptop, but frequently I am in a place where I can use my smartphone.


Well, the web version and the app version are very different, and maybe the algorithm to reinforce skills too.

In the app, in the majority of exercises you have the words already written.
On the contrary in the web version you have to write the entire words in the majority of the exercises, so you have to think well every letter of every word before typing.

They are completely different processes, therefore it makes sense that they have completely different algorithms too. It is just my opinion.

Another possibility: it is an annoying bug. So you have to tell the staff of Duolingo about that.


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