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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianPlatt

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.

June 2, 2017

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr_Eyl

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianPlatt

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeiferB

Ikr? I'm mad enough about the web version, but the app clearly takes the cake on this one. Can't we just keep our lingots in peace? Can we just have an option to turn off health? PLEASE?!?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianPlatt

Honestly, the whole thing feels like a money-grab, with zero concern for what has been an amazing platform, thus far.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeiferB

Ya, it has. Some people said that they'd prefer to pay a monthly fee instead of having this freemium crap. If anyone agrees, upvote this comment and this discussion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raans
  • 2219

but my kids are pretty iOS-centric

And? iOS devices have browsers, too. They may want to request the desktop website within their browser.

dd2927a3e0


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KenBookmye

Memrise has a lot of user content based courses so some aren't very good. I looked at the paid option and can't see where it's decisively better than the free. It definitely does not do grammar as well but it's good for vocabulary.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

Casper_duo makes a pretty convincing argument here for some of the Memrise official courses (I think French would fall under that umbrella). It definitely seems like they are trying to take on Duolingo on the whole sentence turf. I am in no position to evaluate the claim, however.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

For French, I think lingvist is pretty good, certainly if you have a grasp on the basic grammar. Unlike most Memrise courses, it teaches using complete sentences, always recorded by professional speakers, which is a major benefit.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimmohB

Lingvist is really great, I like to use in along with Duolingo for German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PunkJesus

I've used it, too. The Spanish is way better than the course on here. I didn't use the German much, but if it's like the Spanish and French. It's better than the ones on here. Sadly, not many language choices, yet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PunkJesus

Weird. I've heard bad things about the Russian Duo course.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PunkJesus

Use the desktop. It's way better.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianPlatt

Yes, using that now except for "strengthening" on the App, which is health free.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PunkJesus

Strengthening is on the desktop, too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hollymcloughlin

Yep. I just returned here on a lark after I got an email from an old discussion I was following. Health killed Duolingo for me. Waiting hours to continue learning? Ridiculous.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gary195325

I totally agree and would like to hear any feedback from Duolingo on this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_-lostgirl-_

rosetta stone worked for me, its just a little more expensive


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Horako224

Rosetta stone is a joke lmao. Just download it and see how bad it is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_-lostgirl-_

the one you can buy that is on a cd is good


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PunkJesus

You can find many many many reviews about how garbage it is. It's an overpriced flashcard app without any English. The only ones that think it's great are paid reviewers and people who don't know anything about language learning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_-lostgirl-_

dude calm down, i'm talking about the one you can buy from Costco that costs like $175 That one has great reviews. Its on discs that you stick in your computer and its really good. A lot better than duo right now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PunkJesus

$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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/psionpete

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.

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