Gems and "Health" update is the worst App self-destruct I've ever seen.
I just asked my kids (my son is on a 140-day streak, my daughter on a 15) what they think of the new DuoLingo. "I hate it!" they both exclaimed. I couldn't agree more. And then they proceeded to pepper me with the fundamental unfairness of their hundreds of Lingots being converted into near-worthless Gems (because of the 60x price inflation). Outrage would put it lightly.
What a mistake, DuoLingo. You have a fantastic product -- one I would gladly pay for -- but I just won't do Freemium. Freemium is a way to punish your best customers; even worse, the way you've implemented it in DuoLingo actually PUNISHES your users for trying to learn. Outrageous!
We've made DuoLingo an active part of our language learning plan with our children, and now we are looking for something else. Any suggestions on a replacement? I'm happy to pay, but I absolutely refuse the Freemium scam.
Use the web version on your mobile devices. No freemium features, better teaching methods and massive amounts of grammar notes on every course which the app is missing completely.
If you insist on moving, stay away from Rosetta Stone, Buusu and Babbel. Hoopefully you won't have to, as the web version both removes your issues and adds more functionality.
Thanks for this. It's a suggestion that will perhaps work for me (although I suspect it is just a matter of time until they wreck the web platform, as well). For me, I can use the web version, but my kids are pretty iOS-centric. It a much more integrated platform, and generally (IMHO) works better for kids.
The shame is that it used to be so good, and what a mistake to wreck it like this.
The more I use such programs, the more hesitant I grow to base any conclusions for any one language on things that happen to be true for any other language. Both Duo and Lingvist have Russian, for example. The Duo Russian course is a stand-out, really well conceived and implemented, and there's no way I'd recommend Lingvist Russian to someone without a good bit of Russian under their belt already.
$175 that I can easily buy an Assimil course (depending on the language you want to learn) for like $45. Or buy teach yourself or colloquial series for about $50 and learn way more vocabulary.
Read these reviews: http://tinyurl.com/y9johtbz
Note: Had to use a url shortener because this site likes to mangle url addresses.
Lots of people are dissing Duolingo for the Gems and Health functionality and, to be honest, I cannot see why they generate such heated debate. They increase the gamification element, which lots of people have commented that this has decreased over the years. It improves some educational elements that help to slow down the progress through the tree by getting people to practice more and it even provides a source of income and all this while keeping the learning element free.