1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. Duo has made the site worse


Duo has made the site worse

Dear Duo: Your recent changes have made the site objectively worse. Removing the access to conjugation built into the drop down suggestions for verbs, eliminating the gender identification from the drop down hints, removing the text box to allow us to report "other" problems -- I have to assume that this is all part of the monetization strategy: taking away little things that made the site better to encourage more users to pay for them. Well, thank you for that.

June 7, 2017



I concur with all here! :( I have a sneaking suspission my 500+ day streak is about to end :( I was having such a fun time learning here since i started. I find now that learning is much more difficult and not as fun for sure. I understand the slow down learning pace but, speaking for myself I'm a big boy now and I like to choose my pace thank you. Sometimes I purposely went through lessons fast as possible to test my short term memory skills. Improve on my brain injury symptoms. But I will say thank you Duo for the ability to help me learn new languages up to now at least. I appreciate it very much. As I can see the future of Duo in the distance (payment required) I cherished my building blocks of language learning here. Currently starting other sources of language learning out there. One being actual books! :) the books I own never seem to change format on me suddenly ;) Ahh, c'est la vie je suppose. À plus tard?


I am also looking elsewhere for language learning services. Clearly Duolingo was not considering adult learners when they made these decisions. If they no longer care about providing free education to anyone, they may aswell just start charging for use.


Thank you my friend! This is exactly how I, and perhaps many others, feel. Your post has given me the courage and sense of purpose what to do next. I learned English to an expert level by reading The Economist magazine, and Russian by reading books. Literature and Poetry. Counter-intuitively, learning through non-fiction books has been much harder. I wish you luck, and would have given you some Lingots, but I have the feeling you won't need them..


They claim the life heart is to slow down people who are learning "too fast," What kind of reason is that for a site that purports to be enabling learning foreign languages. Apparently, someone has not thought this out carefully.


It's a good idea but bad in practice. Reminds me of playing Candy Crush. When you miss, you're punished with a time delay (or have to pay actual $$$) which made me drop out from the game entirely when the time delay exceeded 20 minutes. This "gem"- and "health"-thing might perhaps be something similar?


That's exactly what it is. They did create an option to review existing lessons as an alternative but paying is the easiest way to continue practice and I'm sure that was the intent otherwise the limit would be skills learned not mistakes made


In general:

Have you also maybe noticed that in general it looks like 90 or more percent of the new posts on the Duolingo forum have now basically become some sort of complaint. That is certainly a trend now.

Like this does not work (anymore) and that does not work (anymore) and that has been removed and so on....

Instead of getting e.g. real language learning posts (e.g. about grammar, ...), which might be more useful maybe for the average learner.


the site is still great, i don't know why people are whining so much :-(


Once I thought it was the best site that has everything, but there're better ones out there.


Like for example (e.g. free)? Thanks.


To me, duolingo at the moment is a broken product as the review part is not handled appropriately.

Examples you requested: Memrise, Lingvist, Readlang, FluentU, Yabla.

ReadLang has a small subscription fee $5, if you really want to utilize it. The last two are about triple that.

I really like ReadLang at the moment. I'm just getting more and more pleased with it with every passing moment.

I can say that some Memrise courses are also better and it has a lot more material and variety. The sentences that they teach are also much more real and useful.

Lingvist is interesting too, but it is missing at the moment some functionality that it once had. I've yet to spend there a lot of time. It looks to have much better-organized grammar tips and notes. The premise there is to teach you the 5000 most frequently used words, so at the end, your vocabulary will be much bigger than after finishing a duo course.

There are also some cool apps that I found, but it will take me some additional time to get myself familiarized with them before I can pass judgment.

  • ReadLang: I am subscribed to ReadLang for $5 per month, but I consider it more a flash card based system and dictionary. Less structured approach than DuoLingo I would say. Totally supports 60 natural languages.
  • http://www.readlang.com

  • Memrise: I studied e.g. Romanian there. But that had always e.g. frequent returning speed tests and endless repetition of simple words. Very many natural languages.

  • http://www.memrise.com

  • LingVist: Not bad, e.g. as an app but more of a flash card and vocabulary building system. Only 4 natural languages were supported (French, German, Russian, Spanish).

  • http://www.lingvist.com

  • FluentU: not tried in depth yet. 9 natural languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish

  • http://www.fluentu.com

  • Yabla: not tried yet. (6 natural languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish)

  • http://www.yabla.com

  • Duolingo (22 languages (for English speakers): Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Welsh)

I would at the moment still say that there is not a (free) equivalent for Duolingo (yet). Maybe MemRise comes closest (in my opinion).


Maybe. Duolingo is mostly good just to get your foot in the door but you will still remain a beginner at the end of a course, even though you put a lot of time in. It's too basic and your acquired vocab isn't sufficient.

There are apps like HelloChinese that looks almost exactly the same as duolingo (tree, skills).

You should really have a look and use the ReadLang Library! It is the best part. I've just uploaded a lot of content there. It is really fun to personalize your learning and the tools it provides helps a lot with understanding and assimilation.

frequent returning speed tests and endless repetition of simple words.

That should not happen. If you don't make mistakes the words are pushed further down until their next review. It can be up to 180 days before you see them again. If simple words return it just means you made mistakes and the review clock is rested back to zero. It is indeed a bit boring all the repetitions, but that is a necessary part of learning languages. At least it works and the speed you progress is super fast too.

Some more information about Lingvist.

Fluentu is fantastic but the content can be better. Too random and sporadic. They need lengthier content which you can follow. You just get short peeks of many different things every time.
That is why I feel ReadLang is more fun for me.

Yabla has consistent, and presumably, better content, but I heard it can be a bit boring, and the fee is the highest of them all (as you need to buy a separate subscription for each language you learn at their site). That is why I prefer FulentU over it. Much more economical and the value you get out of it is about the same.

[deactivated user]

    This is absolutely true. While I was doing one of the lessons, I realized that the conjunction table for verbs was gone. I personally think this is one of the worst changes made to the site beyond all of the other changes as well.



    Post your complaints on the facebook page , they review them first, that should get their attention!

    [deactivated user]

      I agree my friend i hope duolingo improves its platform


      there are also other annoying bugs in last week.

      spacebar functions same as enter. (instead page shift) audio don't play sometimes in audio-only questions.


      Audio errors really annoying


      first, i would like for someone on duolingo to explain to me what monetization means or is, secondly i agree that duolingo has gotten worse, i agree 100% on everything you said. In addition to that, it has been having some weird glitches


      I'm not with duo but this sums it up App monetization is a means of making money from a mobile app without charging for it. Users often balk at paying for apps because the vast majority of them are offered free of charge. ... One of the most common ways to monetize an app is to collect user data and sell it to third parties, usually advertisers.


      Another way to make money from apps is to offer a basic, no-frills, version for free and then to charge money for premium services and extras -- like the extra info in the drop-down hints.


      Or add content beyond A2 level. Exercises with video to watch followed by questions and charge for the advanced content


      Yes, all of this. I am so far very unhappy with how the site has been taking away these "little things" that have a big impact on my learning, like having the drop down verb conjugation.

      My iPhone app has been on the hearts system for a little over a week, I'd say, but just today it started to implement losing hearts during a lesson instead of lowering the green bar.

      This is absolute nonsense, especially when it comes to starting a skill one has just started to learn. Instead of "slowing down" fast go-throughs (which is a problematic idea on its own), it is actually preventing progress and learning.

      If I start a new lesson in order to learn the content, but lose my health in the process, then I'm stuck practicing my already golden tree. This is 1) inefficient, and 2) stupid.

      I'm not going to be using the iPhone app anymore because of this. And I do hope that when reviewing the retention of users who, like myself, got stuck on the AB testing, Duo doesn't look only at the accounts XP across all platforms. Because my use of the browser or my android app that do not have the crappy hearts system should make it obvious how terrible it is, instead of me having to quit using duo altogether to get the point across.

      As far as money goes, I would be more than willing to have full size ads at the end of my lesson, that make more profit than the small size they use now, instead of going through these crappy designs and testing.

      And if the site continues going as downhill as it's going now, there are other options available for learning. And I'll happily switch to those to supplement my German.


      I agree totally. There are also more subtle differences now that make it no fun at all and it is so less cool. It is sterile now, there are still so many problems that remain as well. After 400 plus day streak I keep daily practice going but it is no fun at all and I do not even care to go to thousands of XPs anymore-- same tiring sentences, still too many glitches and as I said more sterile....why make it worse? The microphone still does not work correctly and now it is even worse. MONEY ruins everything or rather the greed of money......


      I'm fortunate that I still have the old version... but I teach a Spanish and a German class based on Duolingo, and I don't know how well that's going to go. If they don't fix this, I may have to change my class. What a pain. I already agreed to teach the Duolingo Spanish course for the 2017-18 school year, but if it's too annoying the students won't sign up for the spring semester. If this is still a problem next spring, I'll teach language differently for 2018-19.


      I concur, no fun anymore, too many glitches especially with spoken; it gets old not being given credit for correct answers and this has gotten worse. Basically what was once fun and time worthy is now no fun and seemingly a waste of time- same old stuff over and over.....what a pity

      Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.