Health/Gems Feedback + Updates
I want to circle back and thank you for your feedback on recent product updates, specifically those related to Health and Gems on the iOS app. We had a great deal of strong opinions and interesting, constructive ideas come from you – some supported tests we had already initiated and others inspired new experiments.
The themes that surfaced were (1) adding more explicit teaching tools to prevent mistakes, (2) allowing learners to finish the lesson, (3) letting Health levels and/or strictness be unique to each language, and (4) allowing users to target what they want to practice to regain Health.
We are running several tests around these themes; the first set are targeting different ways to practice. Examples include allowing users to strengthen specific lessons to regain Health and removing the Health requirement from old lessons. We are currently testing these and a few other iterations, and we will soon learn how each change impacts engagement and learning.
The Health mechanic and Gems experiment are only being tested on iOS for now, and we are continually testing, tweaking, and listening to ensure that we provide a fun, effective, and sustainable learning tool for the long haul. Please trust that both your support and constructive feedback are heard and appreciated.
In other news, we recently released the new website to 100% of you. While mainly an under-the-hood change, it’s a big deal because it allows your lessons to run much faster and allows us to work on new projects for the website. (In fact, we just announced Duolingo Labs and Duolingo Stories yesterday!) I am very excited about these recent releases, as well as the many projects that are to come.
Thank you for learning with Duolingo and for your continued support as we try new things.
First off, THANK YOU!!!
Second off, I hate bringing negativity to this, don't get me wrong, I'm glad Duolingo is listening and all, but as a huge Duolingo user, I feel greatly left out on a pretty much app-changing feature just because I have an Android.
I'm reading through these discussions and giving so much care into them, but truthfully, I have no advice to offer other than blind opinions. I don't know how Gems and Health work and only understand from what people say it's like. The only cents I can put in are my opinions of other tests, apps, tools and their effectiveness. I guess those aren't exactly useless, but they are still blind, I don't understand exactly what features you're targeting (I'm a visual learner) because I simply don't even know how the process works and looks.
I hate to be that kid who just keeps the argument going that the Android App gets a lot less attention than other devices and that there are still so many features that are so important that are no longer here; but now I just feel like a kid behind a mosh-pit. I want to know what's going on, with more detail, be heard, etc. I love Duolingo so much, and I am so glad with Stories and Labs and the huge increase in listening, but all this listening still seems very one-sided.
I get that running this website is hard, and I get upset seeing so many people bring negativity all the time when new features come out, I feel like I should say, "Give them a break!" I feel for the people behind Duolingo, but it just feels like they feel for everyone else but me and the Android Community.
What's the point of Clubs without genuine discussion (all the reactions are staged/pre-written). What's the point of having Bios and Follow Buttons when you can't even see anything that they do, how can you follow without any interaction between each other (other than in discussions I guess).
I also feel like I am less important just because I have low levels in my languages, but I've actually already finished some courses and have been on Duolingo for a long time. So, I'm still waiting on a quick feature that shows which courses we have finished next to our profiles names.
Man, it kills me to write this because Duolingo, you guys mean the world to me, and I love all these new features (the ones I can try at least) but I can't even try the other half of them that could potentially change the whole experience of Duolingo.
Things I hope are happening with Health & Gems (because I have no knowledge of them otherwise): Only having to re-strengthen lessons if it's NOT-GOLD AND BEYOND the halfway area of the power/memory bar thingy (because of that article that showed all of the results saying that this is the best time to re-golden skills); less restriction overall (I feel like this feature should only be applied for people who shouldn't binge, perhaps, if binging is present, there can be a test that the person must take, either the day of or the next day, about all the material learned during the binge session?); etc. I really don't know what else to add because it seems you guys already listened and I have no clue anyway.
I always give my full opinion on here and if anyone cares to read it, great, I'm more than happy just if you read it. These aren't even sometimes my full thoughts, but a majority of them. I really hate myself for being so verbose and extra, but it makes me feel like I matter in this community. I'm here to give my exact criticism, especially to a site that I love and "advertise" all the time. Thank you Duolingo, hopefully someone hears me. I'm already so happy with the new Labs and Stories feature and look forward for more to come!
Trust me, Gems + Health system isn't that good. It's annoying when you start a new lesson and when you make 5 typos, it means that you have to start the lesson all over again AFTER you have regained your health by practicing. I wish the Lingolots would've remained Lingolots. And the conversion and the prices in the Lingolotstore are different too. I get that it should make me more motivated to earn gems, if the "prices" are higher in gems, but maybe I know that I might not be able to earn my XPs and I can't afford the streak freeze?
Yeah, although I do feel left out, I'm also thankful I don't have it because all I've heard is negativity. I guess what I could do is watch YouTube videos on it, if there are some. Lingots (not lingolots, sorry it urked me) are a pretty good currency, however, I understand why they made gems so expensive now. I have so many lingots with nothing to do with other than buy things over and over again and give away and it doesn't do much but make me feel rich. In some ways, this part of gems make sense. But Health, like you said, it should make you more motivated, but it doesn't. Because Health just apparently sucks. I feel like if they made this feature, it should just be for people who choose to have it (but I don't think anyone would tbh). I like the idea of helping Bingers (because some do need help), but the way they approached it seems so badly done.
While we are irked anyways ;-), i'd like to comment that having an adverse opinion on something isn't the same as 'negativity'. Especially not when invited to comment in the first place.
Having said that, health should, in my opinion, not be a commodity. There's plenty of things duolingo can offer for lingots (or gems). If the they are out of ideas, start a contest for new ideas in the forums.
Yeah, I agree. I guess I'm the same way in that I care so much about how Duolingo already is and I may come across as negative, but I'm really just caring about the experience staying the same.
I don't know how Gems work, so if whatever you're talking about, it sounds bad already. I do think Duolingo shouldn't shy away sometimes from experimenting, especially about currency because tbh, who really cares so much? We have so much and it's not like finishing a course or a streak. I haven't seen anyone brag about their lingots nowadays. It's too easy to obtain and I feel like no one would really mind a fresh currency start. I mean, most of us who do care, are truly here for the languages, and that will just push us more to get those new currencies.
I do totally understand in that Duolingo, although they have been doing a lot more listening lately, this seems like their most stubborn subject.
I mean, there was even an article talking about how skills should only be strengthened once the strength is half way and that the best results come from practicing before sleep. I mean, not saying, only allow Duo at night, but at least a disclaimer before opening the app or something. Also, better methods for strengthening. And people are still waiting for better rewards for finishing courses. I know many people who are let down at the end of a course (including myself). They should make a Hall of Fame, give a Course Finished Badge for each language, maybe even a native speaker video at the end of the course congratulating you in the language rather than just a small certificate, or at least, alongside the small certificate. There's so many things people actually want. Taking away freedom, idk, you're totally right, Duolingo, as much as I love it, is changing too much. I really hope they stop this feature and listen to more rewards, better execution for methods, and securing our freedom with our language learning. :))
Hahaha, well look at me making mistakes and acting like I know things. X'D Thank you for the spelling correction.
However, tbh, I think the term "negative" doesn't always have its bad connotation. Especially with new products, it's common to hear the people who produced it, say that they've "heard nothing but positive comments on it". Although it's not a big deal, I think how a word is used, and how freely it may be used, should at least be a respected acknowledgment. I'm a huge Descriptivist, and the communication factor and the connotation/denotation factor, both, each have their appropriate times to be used. :))
It's true that bringing opposing opinions isn't always bad nor negative. But surely, there are many who come bringing opposing opinions in such ways. People who complain to the point where it seems they are ungrateful. And if that's truly how they feel, I mean, I guess it all depends on the outside opinions if that's negative or not, and while that could be a whole topic, I think it's better left unsaid for it's too long to address and argue about.
Now back to what we were saying, I totally agree. At this point, Health & Gems just seem so unnecessary. Although we have so many Lingots and it would be an outrage to restart everyone currency-wise, I think it would be necessary if they wanted to start adding new features. Unless, perhaps they use high prices first to get people to be poor, make lingots harder to achieve, yadayada, then make it lower priced once everyone's basically broke, I think that would be a more fun experience. Especially with all the new ideas that could totally stem from this. :))
I don't think ungratefulness plays a big role. But because people genuinely care about duolingo, they tend to react vehemently.
I have a little experience with 'local' currencies. It can be hard to find a good balance between earnings and prices. Duolingo should not be shy about getting it right and just experiment with the values until they find a balance, and stop make it harder to do so by introducing a new currency and then use weird, arbitrary 'exchange rates'. (Like the streak freeze, that costs 200 gems, around one euro, or 10 lingots. I'm pretty sure I got way less than 20 gems for my lingots.)
I really hope they come to their senses soon...
Whatever changes you've made have been a big frustration to my 11 year old son, who is trying to learn Spanish. He used to enjoy using duoLingo, and now he complains and says he either has to wait several hours, pay money, or go back and do some frustrating review. You've lost a customer. Such a bummer.
given the new website i think it would be nice to add some way to test skills. right now all you can do is go back to a section to strengthen but it would be interesting if for each checkpoint section that button became say a test section that created a strengthen set of questions but using only that sections words.
i feel this would allow people to practice and strengthen words without just doing individual sections giving a wider range of different questions a person could get at one time rather than just practicing 1 section.
It still seems like there's either a lack of UX research around such a radical change or there's purposeful ignoring of UX feedback. I know for me, the iOS app experience has been ruined and the one delight the app gave me — I had a gold track suit, which was stupid but also highly amusing — has been removed. The system on my phone is now confusing, unnecessarily complicated, and I feel repelled by it so much that I've deleted it from my phone.
If the website takes to these changes, I will also need to stop using it, because while there are plenty of ideas I have for Duolingo, there is no place for myself or others to constantly submit feedback while feeling that this both the correct channel and a channel being listened to. And based on my experience submitting other kinds of feedback to Duolingo, the people who care aren't given the chance to respond.
I have the money for lots of other ways to keep my fluency up or learn a language, but I chose Duolingo because it was different. And now that difference I loved is being removed.
I have to be honest, the health system is probably the worst thing duolingo has done. I was incredibly psyched when way back when you guys switched from the "three hearts per lesson" system to the dynamic progress bar because it meant I was allowed to make mistakes (an important part of learning!) without the anxiety of failure causing me to redo an entire lesson. Health has essentially brought that anxiety back and as a result I have stopped using the iOS app completely. If this """feature""" ever finds its way to the website I guarantee I will stop using duolingo entirely. It'll suck to find another language learning resource as convenient as duolingo is but I really do feel that strongly about the health system. I hope it's phased out of the app soon so I can get back to learning on the go.
Same here. And it's not just the bots also my iPad would correctly "understand" me in speeking exercises while my Android phone almost never does. But health is so discouraging and annoying that I stopped using Duolingo on the iPad and would have to do so on the other platforms would it be introduced there.
hi. I find the gems confusing... what was wrong with the lingots in the first place? A bit gimmicky, no? Really enjoy this app enormously. I just wish there was not so much "sliding back" so much. I am totally fluent in french and spanish, and completed all the units and it still takes me back to the very basics. Even if you test out it still slides you back.. So you get all the circles done in gold, then the next day you find old ones to redo.... I can see some repetition but I think if one is always ace-ing it why redo the super easy stuff, i'd rather be challenged ahead. thanks, again I LOVE this app!
I really want to have health as an option, not a forced crappy feature on every lesson. I hope that Duo gets better with all these new updates, not worse. This is one of the better updates. I think now Duo has it's head screwed on now and is making the app more user-friendly. In other words, congrats!!
Venting: I hate the new Health/Heart feature on my phone app. It's been very discouraging. I stopped practicing Russian all together because Russian is tough to do as is because I use English letters to write Russian words and it's hard to match what the system thinks is the correct spelling. I also slowed my practice for Spanish and French. I used to do a little bit of all three every day during my spare time. I thought the app was great for that, but the health feature is really stupid because it discouraged practicing. I stopped using for a week or two, now I'm trying to get myself back into it and it's hard with that stupid heart feature. Not all mistakes are the fault of the user. Sometimes the audio picks up background noise and counts it as a mistake. I liked relaxed learning and I liked practicing a little bit each day.
I don't know what research you did where you discovered the health feature would be beneficial, but that's bs in my opinion. Please get rid of the feature. Find some other way of making money. DON'T CREATE A SYSTEM THAT DISCOURAGES USERS, CREATE A SYSTEM THAT ENCOURAGES USERS.
Thanks for the update!! Reiterating the main points of feedback on the Health/Gems (which, to be honest, has been pretty critical, and it seems for a good reason) tells even an old cynic like me that you guys are listening.
Which, together with the new Labs and Stories, makes Duolingo's future look great again!
I seem to be in a test group where health feature is only on new lessons and I get my health back practicing the lessons I choose. I have found it quite good. I would have practiced the old lessons anyway. I think I am a bit more careful doing the new lessons not to lose my health. I like the Bots too. I think it is a good way to simulate real life situations and to learn to make sentences in a foreign language. To me there is no big difference weather the currency is called Lingots or Gems. As a name I like Lingots more, as it is Duolingo specific and I like Duo a lot. I am happy to hear that stories are coming. It is great that there will be more variety. Stories might also offer a good way to introduce more advanced content. Thanks Duo staff and all the volunteers for working hard to give us even more possibilities to learn.
Well, I think that there is a good thing in stimulating repeating old lessons. I however fully agree with two of the insights you already got - it is highly frustrating when you do something difficult and you are not able to finish the lesson (and thus are not gaining points for the daily streak) because you make too many mistakes: learning is about making mistakes and learn from that - also, when you are at a high level already it is VERY frustrating to have to repeat a "basics" lesson. You switch from e.g. past perfect constructions to translating "the man". GRRR. So, practicing whatever you like would be much better. One thing I would like to add: - When your mother tongue is not English you sometimes make small mistakes in the English (at the stage versus on the stage and that type of thing) - this is punished as much as when you didn't get the Italian. I think Duolingo should take that into account, especially when making mistakes is "punished". It feels unfair somehow. - The streak freeze is relatively MUCH more expensive. Lost all of my gems on that in two purchases, where with the lingots I could buy at least 20 with my stock. My solution is now that I buy the streak freeze on the computer :) - I just started to work on the pc version, there you have to write everything (rather than selecting words) - I learn much more from that (my fluency went from 10% to 29% in just a few weeks), but I also do make more mistakes. This means I learn MORE, not LESS so I need LESS repetition. Something to think about when introducing the health.
Thanks for the updated information. I find the "Health" penalty frustrating for both me and my three young kids who do duolingo. It feels like you are being punished when trying to learn new concepts and vocabulary, and sometimes you can't get any traction to move forward. It discourages my kids from wanting to do it at all for fear of messing up, and I currently have it as part of their daily summer "homework."
It's very frustrating to have a lesson end midway through (especially if some of the lives lost were for slips or typos rather than genuine mistakes). However, I also see the benefit in stimulating practice lessons. Sometimes I have a tendency to race through new lessons, even I've been making basic mistakes, and not taking the time to practice.
So, I would instead propose: instead of stopping the current lesson, the next lesson in the tree would be locked until I practice (or purchase Health).
Just checking in to say that I still hate the health system with a burning passion. Just ran out of hearts using the app on my phone, looks like I don't get to learn any more new Russian today unless I do it on my desktop....why do you want to make learning a language MORE difficult, and why would you penalize people for daring to get things wrong? I seriously don't understand.
Actually I've taken this advice and have started using Memrise again, I had done before but Duolingo was always the default in my mind...not anymore. I'm using them in tandem at the moment, but if Duolingo continues to get either more gimmicky or monetized, I just might stop using it altogether.
Had to uninstall the app entirely from my aunt's iPad because it wouldn't even allow access to the web interface with the app installed! Now she uses the web interface only, at least until she's finished the tree so she won't get caught up in the absurd health nonsense for refreshing lessons after that and would be able to install the app again. Until she wants to learn another language and will have to uninstall it again, etc, <sigh>.
I have very strong reservations about the Health system as I currently understand it, and while it may be transformed into something I would consider acceptable, in its present form it I do not feel it is educationally beneficial.
I only recently started with Duolingo (9th April 2019) having picked it out of several online candidates (including Babbel) when I decided to learn Spanish.
I have ASD.
(Simply deciding to write that down on a public forum, rather than speaking it quietly to a very trusted friend, has caused anxiety. It took several days to actually post this.)
The form of ASD I have would previously have been described as Asperger’s Syndrome; it means I have an exceptional memory that borders on eidetic/photographic, but also dyslexia. That, coupled with educational trauma during my schooling because I am in my mid 50’s so when I was at school dyslexia was virtually unrecognised and certainly not catered for, means that I have found learning languages in the past so challenging that I have never been successful. That makes my learning curve very personal and specific, and way outside anything Duolingo are likely to be testing for; or able to test for.
Learning Spanish with Duolingo has, I believe, begun to change my ability to learn a new language. I found to my very pleasant surprise that I could work very well with it, and that it seemed to bypass my dyslexia.
My understanding of the Health system in its current form I believe will be detrimental to the progress I am able to make with Duolingo. To put it simply Duolingo as I am using it on the Chrome browser works for me: I am able to control my own rate of learning for the time I have available, while balancing my ability to genuinely absorb the linguistic knowledge. I find the ‘rebuke’ from receiving a failed exercise sufficient incentive to examine why I made the error and carry out any remedial work I feel is necessary to try to avoid repeating the error. I should also say that if I need to use the exercise hints (mouse-over an underlined word) that is a similar level of ‘failure’, but of course that results in a correctly completed exercise – and would not incur a Health penalty.
I do not believe that any algorithm that Duolingo can create will fit my very particular requirements. Requirements that are currently satisfied by the system as I am using it. I do not need any further disincentive other than receiving a red mark during a lesson or practice and I am certainly in the best position to assess how to improve. Duolingo are not in that position at all.
On a final point, I find your justification for the Health system completely disingenuous.
Underlying it is the new Gems system. This turns Health in to a ‘Pay-to-Win’ system that I have seen many times in ‘Free-to-Play’ online games. In other words, despite you presenting the educational merits of Health, the reality is that it is a way to further monetize Duolingo as a ‘Free App’. It allows anyone who is prepared to buy Gems for real world currency to circumvent it.
Louis, I am not arguing against what might be your business need to finance Duolingo; that is only a decision you can make.
If the Health system negatively impacts my ability to learn with Duolingo then I am likely to look for alternatives. If one alternative is Duolingo Plus without the Health system then I am very likely to consider that my best option, but then I will directly compare Duolingo with your competition with a small added bonus because I am ‘used to it’.
If you feel your business model needs additional revenue then you have to look for ways to obtain that revenue, but please don’t try to tell a well educated community that it is for their educational benefit.
I am so disappointed (to say the very least) with the latest "upgrade" to Duolingo. I will learn to live with star system and extra levels that are tedious but the "5 strikes and you are out" feature is awful. It can do nothing to improve my learning experience and in fact it prevents me from learning. It is too easy on iPad or iPhone to accidentally let one' hand or finger touch the wrong part of the screen and another life is gone. To be thrown out in the middle of a module unless you pay money is simply outrageous- I feel this especially as I have subscribed to the plus version. I constantly get screens telling me what a wonderful resource Duo is, especially as "best of all it is free" and I would have agreed until 3 days ago. It seems clear it is an effort by Duolingo to make extra money as is evidenced by health lost on one language being applied to all languages being learnt. It can have no relevance to my french learning that i am stumbling through Norwegian possessives and losing health! The product I signed up for and paid money for is definitely not the product now foisted upon me. It is such a pity that you have - in my view - destroyed such an excellent product at a stroke. I have two suggestions: 1, Get rid of the health feature altogether 2. If you are desperate to retain some part of it then keep it for new modules only. 3. Please explain to your users how it benefits them to have this feature.
A popular workaround to avoid the "Health" feature
Use Duolingo's web version on your phone/tablet (www.duolingo.com), because it .......
does not have the "Health" system and gems
will work in the newest version of the Chrome or Firefox browser on your phone or tablet, if you have rather good Wifi (or LTE/4G with an Internet bundle)
For the best typing experience:
- set the browser to mobile mode
- use the phone in portrait mode
Link to the official help text in the English Duolingo Help Center
I don't care for coaches, health bars or gems and I'm still hoping to see an update that brings actual improvements to Duolingo. The best way to improve health bars in my opinion is to remove them.
Here are the things I think Duolingo should be working on:
Stop accepting typos in answers or at least make this optional
Improve support of foreign alphabets. The Greek team is spending a lot of their time manually adding transliterated answers to their database, which could have been done much faster by a software update.
Use more natural TTS or human voices
Reintroduce hearts (3 lives) as an optional game mode
I do still love the Services Duo provides. I would generally use the Application when I was shopping, waiting for someone or when I was traveling. With the health bar feature I can no longer do this especially with my phone as it gravely penalizes you for such errors. And in short I will never pay for such a convoluted update. It also encumbers the learning process for people making it feel more like an exam and less like practice.This can add a psychological impediment to learning. Adding adds I understand, and as long as the adds are not cumbersome that I am totally fine with them. From now on however until this application is fixed I will have to use Tinycards when I am out and about.
While I don't want to get into the Health / Gems debate, I'd like to point out that this feature doesn't work well at all with beta courses. Since these courses still have many mistakes, it is counterproductive to be punished for what are in fact errors in the course. And I guess this is bad for both learners and the course creators, who will end up receiving less feedback.
The way I understand Luis' post is that they are running several A/B tests. So it's not all rolled back yet and not for everyone.
Though tbh I don't understand why they bother to waste time and money on these tests and not simply roll back all the points mentioned by Luis all at once.
Yet another example of why the Health feature is not fit for purpose... In Portuguese, the only accepted translation for 'Há risco de temporal na terça-feira.’ was 'There is risk of thunderstorm on Tuesday.’!
This is not natural (nor correct) English. There are many possible ways of translating this correctly with natural English, but none are possible with the tiles.
I answered 'There is thunderstorm risk on Tuesday' which whilst not ideal, is better than the only accepted answer. Of course, better would have been 'There is a thunderstorm risk on Tuesday' but there was no 'a' tile available. More natural would have been 'There is a risk of a thunderstorm on Tuesday'. Alternatively, it should have been 'There is (a) risk of thunderstorms on Tuesday'. 'There are risks of thunderstorms on Tuesday’ would be another possibility.
Yet another example of a poorly constructed course question losing me another Health point/life. Very irritating!
Cool would be to terminate the health system in total and stop discouraging people from "trial and error" learning. It is a valid form of learning and you should know that. When a user's lesson is stopped because of depleted health, what do you think that does to motivation? It shouldn't be a mystery. Also, if one goal is to achieve consistency in teaching methodology, then why is the health system integral only to the mobile version and not the web version?
We're probably subjects in a study that they're conducting. The problem is they didn't tell us or let us choose to participate in it or not. I think that's why it was done on the phone app. I didn't choose to update the duolingo app; it updated automatically and the heart system appeared out of nowhere. I can't stress how much I hate DL for the heart system and for doing that. I'm already looking into other learning apps. They killed my momentum and motivation.
There are a lot of comments so I apologize if this has already been said somewhere.
I absolutely love Duolingo. It's been my first port of call for learning any language for years now, starting with German, then Turkish, then Russian, all three of which I'm proud to say that I've made a large amount of progress in (my German particularly is a strong B2 now).
I'm really worried, though, about the concept of health and how that's affecting the experience. I use both my desktop computer and iOS to learn, and I absolutely think that this system as it is on my iPhone is a HUGE hindrance to learning.
I think language learning is something that should be encouraging, not punishing people for their mistakes! In fact, making mistakes is the crucial part of learning a language, because it gives you an opportunity to learn from it. In other words, it's SUPPOSED to happen, but making people redo other lessons just because they're having a bit of trouble with the current one is something that really gets in the way, and I can see it discouraging a lot of users, especially ones that haven't been so familiar with Duolingo as some of us who have been using it for years.
I'm just saying the experience should continue to be positive, and I don't think a health system based on right/wrong answers does that. I think it does the exact opposite. Thanks for reading.
I think no one is reading these, but I have to post this somewhere: I still HATE the hearts system. WHY DO YOU WANT TO PUNISH PEOPLE FOR MAKING MISTAKES!? Not all of us have the time to sit and redo practices just because we're trying to learn new things on the app.
Seriously, this is getting very frustrating.....what on Earth is stopping your team from just making it optional? Or removing it altogether? As I've said several times before, all this does is hinder your learning and discourage you from trying to get things right. PLEASE REMOVE THE HEARTS SYSTEM.
Frankly, all evidence suggests that no-one from Duolingo reads these criticisms of the health system and if they are, they simply dismiss/ignore them. As a result, I have long given up trying. Duolingo/Luis appear to think that since some people are still using the iPad/iOS app, it means there is no issue. However, I have significantly reduced my use of Duolingo as a result.
Using the web version is not really a suitable option since they have never optimised it for iPad (actually, never even attempted to take it into consideration), making it unnecessarily difficult to use. The recent changes, using two-column layout for the Hints and Tips have made it even worse. This is especially annoying since it is a relatively trivial matter to use CSS to present a friendly version for an iPad.
Even more annoyingly is the removal of the Chat Bots, which although not perfect (and they appeared to lose all interest in soon after their limited release), were very useful. Their demise has removed a feature that provided something otherwise lacking from Duolingo.
A popular workaround to avoid the "Health" feature
Use Duolingo's web version on your phone/tablet (www.duolingo.com), because it .......
does not have the "Health" system and gems
will work in the newest version of the Chrome or Firefox browser on your phone or tablet, if you have rather good Wifi (or LTE/4G with an Internet bundle)
For the best typing experience:
- set the browser to mobile mode
- use the phone in portrait mode
Link to the official help text in the English Duolingo Help Center
I have to say I REALLY dislike the 5 mistakes and you're done with a lesson aspect of the iOS client. You're going to make mistakes while you're learning.
The Android app is so much better. I really like how it replays the same question when you make a mistake. That really helps you to correct your mistake and cement the correct words/phrases in your head.
Try Memrise Jo-Ann. Like you I had enough of DL, especially when mistakes were false. On my 3rd week of Memrise and I really like it. Funny quirky video clips of spoken words, more fun and better opportunity to learn, practice and progress on your iphone without this health penalty nonsense, and also no more false mistakes or lost practice sessions. DL is finished as far as I am concerned.
I just want to mention, it seems like Duolingo is turning up for the better (no offense). I mean, you finally added new things (what with the Immersion and Activity gone) and you even improved the Health! (No offense.)
...allowing users to strengthen specific lessons to regain Health and removing the Health requirement from old lessons.
What do old lessons mean?
It means the way health works is, you use (and lose) health every time you do ANY individual lesson, not just the new ones.
Strengthen and practice don't use health but every mistake made in a singular unit does, from a typo done in a review of [Basics 1 Lesson 1] a lesson that you first finished 2 years ago, to a complex grammar mistake made in [Subjunctive Imperfect Lesson 1] that you just started 2 minutes ago.
All of these will make you lose health equally, which is very frustrating because it means you're not allowed to REVIEW individual lessons if you run out of health.
Removing this is a VERY good change.
Let me give you (Luis/Duolingo) an example why the Health feature is so incredibly annoying and counter-productive to learning. In Portuguese, I was just required to translate: ❛Ele deverá estar na ambulância logo.❜ I entered: ❛He should soon be in the ambulance.❜ which is perfectly good English and a correct translation, but it was rejected and I was docked a 'life' / 'Health point'! The only accepted answer was: ❛He should be in the ambulance soon.❜
Mostly, I find the Health system just penalises learners for errors with the courses, or poor English or lack of imagination of the course creators. It is particularly annoying with Portuguese since they do not appear to have corrected any errors, even the most outrageously nonsensical and ungrammatical English, for over two years.
This is not the most egregious example by any means, but I think it does serve to illustrate the point that the Health feature is ill-conceived and damaging to the enjoyment of learning languages with Duolingo. I don't believe simply tinkering with it will help, it should be abandoned.
It is a little weird. Since I first started with Duolingo there had been steady improvements, firstly removing the 'Hearts', which Duolingo acknowledged hindered learning, but then they go and introduce the Health feature, which is far worse. The Bots are great and they recently introduced improvements making them even better, but sadly they are still not available for Italian and show little likelihood that they ever will be. I've not looked at the new story feature yet, but I hear that it is good.
Another sentence I had to translate today was: ❛Os insetos querem aprender português com Duolingo.❜, ❛The insects want to learn Portuguese with Duolingo.❜ A charmingly quirky Duolingo sentence. However, soon, they may be the only ones doing so. With the Health feature fewer humans will wish to. ;-)
This I find is a very important point! Different languages are maintained differently. The time it takes for new suggestions to be accepted varies strongly. All of this work is done by volunteers and we are all infinitely grateful for the time and energy they put into the courses! You wouldn't have much of a platform if it wasn't for them. But now since you, Duolingo, leave the quality of the courses in the hands of these (wonderful and capable) volunteers, over which you nonetheless have no control, you also have no real control over the quality of the courses.
And then sure there are bindge-learners who go through the courses faster than is good for them. But there are also people who already have a solid foundation in the language they chose to do on Duolingo. They would also go through new lessons rather fast - simply because they already know the language. They would - more often than others - give answers that are not yet in the database but are correct. They would lose lives and be hindered to go through the course although they actually contribute to the improvement of the course.
However, you want to apply the same health system to all the languages in the same way and to all types of users in the same way. Doesn't make sense to me.
Addition to my previous point:
The French-from-German course started off as a translation from the French-from-English course. Some time AFTER this course had left the beta status a lot of new sentences were added, which is great because it made the course a lot more interesting. But of course all the new sentences are in a kind of beta state: there are still a lot of possible answers not added to the database yet.
Should I be punished for giving a new solution? (I can only report "my answer should have been accepted" after my answer was not accepted.) Should I only ever give the "safe" answer, and not try out some more exotic interpretations, for fear of losing health?
Exactly. I also made a similar point elsewhere. It is frustrating not to be able to experiment with answers you think might (or should) also be acceptable which can expand your knowledge of a language. I now find I answer only what I know will be accepted, rather than risk losing a life which may prevent me continuing. It also means I am forced to provide answers I know are wrong/bad English since I know that is all that will be accepted, rather than use the opportunity to report it as an error.
I started a parallel discussion under Troubleshooting in the hope that this would better highlight the ridiculous nature of the consequences of errors or ambigurities in the courses with Health, to Duolingo: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23277078
Because I'm currently concentrating on Portuguese, all my examples, thus far, have been from that course.
I completed the Welsh tree some time ago. I imagine that would now be very difficult to progress in. Welsh has many different dialects which makes things very difficult. It also still has the old clip-art picture questions. When the course was created some mishap meant the pictures don't match the required answers and there is often ambiguity with more than one picture being potentially correct. This means, that unless things have changed, all five lives could be lost in the first few questions, If the topic is restarted/re-done, different pictures appear - so that doesn't help either! It will be even more difficult for speakers of the American dialect of English, since the Welsh course was based upon existing Adult Education courses and is firmly wedded within British culture.
Just to give a flavour of the particular challenges the Welsh course presents; depending upon the dialect:
❛I looked at the car.❜
could be translated as either:
❛Edrychais i ar y car.❜
❛Mi wnes i edrych ar y car.❜
A different example where confusion may occur:
❛yn Hydref❜ or ❛ym mis Hydref❜ means ❛in October❜
❛yn yr hydref❜ means ❛in the autumn❜.
'Autumn' is English for 'fall' in the American dialect.
That makes me think of the following: French generally has three ways to construct a question. The one that is regarded as the highest level of speech (inversion) can be tricky at times and I like trying out if I manage to put it together correctly. The health system might stop me from doing such experiments and have me stuck on a lower level of French instead of improving.
I don't mind the health feature. I do miss the proficiency test. One thing that irks me is that the number of gems we get for completing a lesson varies based on the chest we pick. I could understand awarding the number of gems based on complexity / number of new terms in the lesson, but not on luck.
I speak three languages and what I have discovered so far is a language learner struggles when s/he tries to speak in the language s/he learns. Therefore, I think it is better to practice from mother tongue to target language. Exercises that are presented in duolingo are mostly focused on translating from foreign language to your mother language, just saying!
I am very optimistic that Duo will be better than ever with this type of interaction and listening to the audience.
My ultimate wish, and I guess it is one that many would be willing to pay money for (the ones who appreciate it), would be to make a game again among users and allow for some chat among us. Two main reasons from my opinion would let this go viral:
1- There is a gap in the social media for communication between different users, despite the ease to execute it, but no applications are facilitating it under the umbrella of 'learning and practicing a language only'.
2- Games and competing with others are so much fun. (Duo have done this few years ago but then stopped it). Perhaps a better and more secure version can be back, and can cost some money for people that enjoy gaming and/or chatting.
I have to say I would prefer to go back to the unobtrusive ad at the end of a lesson to the irritation of the jems. When I'm trying to get a phrase right and have to stop because I'm out of lives it stops being about learning the language as a challenge and becomes more about the silly game. It's become so Annoying I'm looking for alternative learning methods. Please dump the jems back in the ground where they belong!!
Why on earth would DL remove the option to communicate with friends within DL? Or remove the progress quiz, for that matter.
Look, I can appreciate the complexity I presume may exist with regard to rewards systems; and I get that DL may be struggling with finding a financially viable business model.
But you're not going to want to lose a large portion of your users who are into a good run and a good routine, for -- what?
I entirely stopped using DL on my iPad because I was worried my hard-earned lingots would be replaced permanently by those blue stones to a terrible exchange rate. I saved up lingots to use them on progress quizzes - just not yet, because I wanted my trees to be golden once first. Now, nothing to spend them on.
What is it supposed to achieve, to just disallow users to communicate with eachother, without providing an alternative? I used that opportunity to encourage friends who didn't necessarily attend DL too often. You think I'll do that on facebook instead? Forget it.
I am like probably most duolingo users, in that I seldom even look at the forums. I'm normally not going to read through long threads to search for answers when the game is arbitrarily changed for no apparent reason and without forewarning. I'll be one of the thousands that just stop using the platform.
Just -- just minimize the turbulence for the users, please! Don't be like facebook.
The health system has totally ruined Duolingo as far as I am concerned. I know that I can bypass it using the web site but the iPad/phone app was more convenient. I now score Duo as zero. I will not recommend it to anyone. To the administrators of DuoLingo: You have introduced a feature that has absolutely no advantage to users. Please spend your effort on real improvements and dump this irritating and depressing feature
The latest trick Duolingo has pulled on me is telling me I had full health but only giving me three bars. It really has descended into a second rate app which I cannot recommend to anyone. Can anyone tell me how I claim a refund on my years subscription because what Duolingo have now given me is certainly not the application I signed up to and paid for. Sorry to be grumpy but now instead of enjoying Duo I just get stressed as I see my health disappearing for trivial obvious typos like hitting the u key rather than the i key on my iPhone 4
I have enjoyed using Duolingo, and find it an incredibly useful platform for learning new languages.
That said, the new "health" system has completely ruined duolingo on iOS. If rolled out to other platforms, I can pretty much guarantee that I'll no longer be using Duolingo.
Having a lesson - or even a series of lessons for that matter - interrupted because I've run out of "health" is more than just an annoyance. It completely disrupts the learning process.
Can you imagine being in a classroom, in the middle of a lesson, and just because five questions were answered imperfectly, the teacher just stops the lesson? And the only way to get them to start the lesson again is to watch commercials or "pay up"? Any real educational entity that operates in this fashion would be shuttered within the first few months.
There certainly must be a way to generate the required revenue without sacrificing educational quality.
I absolutely hate the health feature in its entirety, and I can guarantee that I would abandon the program if it was brought to the desktop. As it is, I almost stopped duolingo because the health hits were completely undermining my enjoyment and progress on the program. Once I realized that that the desktop version didn't have health, I've nearly stopped using the phone app (Android, btw) entirely.
There are several threads on the subject, all nearly universally negative. I wonder why the developers insist on continuing this feature when it is so widely despised. I think they're handicapping themselves, imagine how many more people would use the program who may have stopped because of their frustration with health.
This is a classic example of tech people thinking that they know what's best for their users, despite massive negative feedback. They obviously care nothing for their users.
Hello: I have been using duolingo for a couple of months and I was so happy with the app until health appeared, and I honestly don't want to use it anymore. I find the health system very discouraging and annoying, I don't think it is useful at all. I am uninstalling the app, I don't find it good anymore and I feel I am being forced to pay.
I'm very happy to hear you've been listening to feedback and you're testing new ways to deal with the new system.
I still think the whole Health thing is a horrible idea that discourages learning and absolutely needs to be scrapped. It seems to be a badly disguised attempt to make money, although Duolingo keeps insisting that users are supposed to benefit from not being able to "binge" on lessons.
I understand that Duolingo needs to make some money in order to keep running, but I do not understand why this has to be implemented in such a dishonest way. Let us make our own decisions about the speed with which we like to learn, and just add ads, a way to buy a premium version without ads and a way to make donations, and I'm sure many users will be happy to pay for what I perceive to be one of the best language learning apps out there (or at least it was until the Health feature showed up).
Well put. I would also like to put in a plug for flexibility in learning styles and/or situations. For instance, at times when I know I will be out of internet range or so crammed for time that I can't move forward steadily, it makes sense to get in a few more new lessons, then do reviews of each one bit by bit when I can. I find that this actually works quite well for me - not as my basic pattern, but as the best way to deal with interruptions. I know it all looks like "cramming" from the outside, but we should be able to vary our strategies when we really need to.
Hello, I agree with nearly the entirety of your answer except your proposed premium version and the elephant with the room that would be to introduce ads. I'm a student at only 17 who's only working part time because I'm still in school, simply on my behalf (can't speak about other students) I wouldn't be able to afford it and if anything just discourage me from using the app, I'm saving up for university I haven't got money just to throw away in that sense, so I think they should keep it the way it is other wise marginalising the audience through income because I'm sure plenty other demographics would not be able to afford the premium version, would just mean less users of the app as people would just get sick of ads as it'd ruin their whole learning experience. I get Duolingo need to make money but not like this
TBH, I disagree. On the Android App, we already have ads and it's not that bad. I mean sure, it's annoying to get at the end of every lesson, but it in no way disrupts learning or discourages me to learn on the app. The only annoying thing about it is having to move my thumb up across the screen to click on the exit button. The ads are honestly no problem, and a premium feature for no ads isn't a required feature, it's all optional. The premium feature that's already there on the app (for Android users at least) is fully optional and I don't need it in order to learn. I gladly still learn at any pace I want. Although I want to understand Health Gems, I'd much rather have ads and freedom than money and restriction. Also, I'm 16 and I'm going to have classes in a community college AND high school (it's a long local story) next year. I totally get what you mean. Money has always been the biggest red flag to me when learning a language and I avoid it as much as possible with hobbies like this. Ads are no problem, they're annoying, but not enough for me to buy Duolingo Plus. I would love to buy it just to support Duolingo (it's not only ads that get removed, there are also downloads and stuff included in the deal, and Duolingo's my favorite language site), but I'm 16 and have no money as well. :))
Exactly! If Duolingo suddenly made it mandatory, I wouldn't be able to use Duolingo anymore. Any money in turn for learning a language to me, is such a turn off for learning that language or getting that feature. I would love to do it if I did have enough money but I don't have a credit card, nor money to do so. :)
I totally agree Mr Caesar- actually I've said several times when reviewing the apps that I'd gladly pay for a premium version that didn't have all the silly bugs that we currently have - and as said elsewhere here - they seem to focus on silly gimmicks at the expense of reliability, which is a shame as the initial premise is a great idea. What could be worse to your learning progress than to see the app forget periods of study, tell you you're wrong in your own language when you know otherwise (and here the health system rears it's ugly head) and suddenly lose n-day streaks due to the system (or maybe it's the app not syncing correctly with DB) forgetting your recent progress - I've lost up to 100 day streaks, but refused to pay out of anger at the unreliability of the service - I would rather pay for a premium less buggy service. As most entrepreneurs including Steve Jobs have said - focus on doing one thing and do it well - don't rush off midway to start something else.
Honestly, if I need to "binge," as you put it, I go to a language I'm pretty good at already, such as French, and do the reviews until I'm at full health again. Honestly, I'm not sure if that's gaming the system or not, but it works for me for right now, so I'll do it until they change the system.
It is not gaming the system. You are making use of the system so that you can continue learning without interruption. Binging may not be the best method of learning, but it is certainly an initial familiarity with vocabulary. Luis is MUCH too concerned with "metrics" rather than human interaction and impressions of the users. Reminds me of Brown U. medical students who talk about the Harvard death. The Harvard MD works to keep the "metrics" within the homeostatic boundaries, but the patient is still terminal.
Absolutely. The problem about metrics is that it is all about the interpretation put upon them and the conclusions that are then drawn.
However, I think it is simply the case that they decided what to do to make money and then set out to trump-up a justification for it.
I tend to progress through (Western-European language) course trees steadily, even quite quickly. However, I seem to absorb and remember vocabulary very easily. It is conjugation where I slow down, but the structure of the lessons on Duolingo often means it is easy to guess.
When I did the French tree, I already had quite an extensive vocabluary, mostly gained by watching a lot of French TV. When I completed the French tree and started Italian, the knowledge I had gained from French made most nouns easily guessable and where there were anomolies or false friends, it simply made them more memorable.
Most times, any mistakes were typos or mistakes in the courses. This is why I find the whole concept of 'binging' complete nonsense. In any case, being forced to go back and redo basic vocabulary makes no sense if the errors were made with more advanced conjugation skills. My main criticism of the Health feature, is that the courses and Duolingo simply have far too many, often basic, errors and bugs to implement any system that punishes anyone for making a mistake - often incorrectly. The voluntary nature of the contributions to creating courses means that this will always be a major issue.
Just want to submit that I hate the health thing. The lessons now challenge me enough that often lose all my health before I get through. Since this update, I am skipping more and more days due to the frustration.
I can live with some ads and I don't really care about ingots vs gems but health might be the end of my participation.
I love the labs and stories! However, it would be nice if they were offered in other languages as well, such as Italian.
Another great improvement would be to provide more uses for our lingots. There used to be an option for a graded quiz, which I found helpful. Any chance of bringing graded (but not timed) quizzes and tests to Duolingo?
Otherwise I love you website and have learned so much so far, so thank you! :]
To support my case that the health punishment is not efficacious I quote from the book Complete French by Gaelle Graham - "As you study, do not worry about your mistakes or the things you can't remember or understand. Languages settle differently in our brains, but gradually the language will become clearer as your brain starts to make new connections. Just give yourself enough time and you will succeed." Gaelle is a native French speaker. She has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics and has taught French for 25 years in London.
All 4 points mentioned are extremely important to me. I have a strong desire to continue using this app. Fluent in Spanish, learning German, and I have plans to pursue Greek, Japanese, Swedish, Irish, Danish, and more. However, these 4 major problems took me to a breaking point, and I let my streak of over a year die due to demotivation, frustration, irritation, and budding contempt. Please fix so I can actually enjoy this app again. Thank you so very much for listening to us all! That is highly promising.
I am constantly annoyed and upset by the STUPID HEALTH BUSINESS(hearts appearing and disappearing).It is so unnecessary and absolutely disturbing,at least me for sure.We all want to learn,nobody forces us.so I hope each one of us tries our best.I DO NOT NEED HEARTS,or any such garbage to entice me,or punish me for errors.PLEASE STOP THIS NONSENSE!!!I hate it!
As far as the health thing goes, I feel it encourages me to "cheat." You can click on the words to see their meaning sometimes, but I find that I learn much better if I try to guess what new words mean based on context and word structure. If I know that doing this will cause me to have to retake the lesson many times, I will take the easy way out and I won't retain what I've learned. I'll also have to answer a bunch of questions I already got right over again, which is frustrating. Also, if I don't know the answer, I'd rather get it wrong, see the answer, then come back to it later and repeat if necessary until it's drilled into my brain. My experience of the heart system is based on the version of duolingo that is on the Windows 10 app Store, I don't know if the IOS version is different. It seems that you get a radically different duolingo experience depending on which device you own.
I'm an Android user, but I did try to access Duolingo through my sister's Apple phone. I have to say that I really hated it. All those lingots for that many gems?? All that time for one health bar??? I wish this never reaches Android, or I'll have to use the web version only and that is pretty inconvenient for me. I thought the bots were pretty cool though.
I don't like the new iOS health thing. It makes the learning portion too much like a game and if I get too much wrong it's not going to let me continue to learn? That will kill my enthusiasm to be here. There was nothing wrong with the lingots. Speaking of which, now that iOS has gems, my Lingots don't get updated when I'm on the computer. That is rather annoying. Additionally, when I do use my phone, I can't just choose Practice like I can on the web site version. It is more convenient to press the button than hunt through a bunch of lessons to find ones that are low on the "score".
Speaking for myself, i reached a screeching halt in my use of DL on iOS once health reared its head. I do not enjoy worrying about maybe not being allowed to finish my current exercise because i make a mistake or two. When i feel like repeating previous lessons i do so, and when i feel like grinding through errors in new lessons i find it incredibly annoying to be told that i'm not allowed to.
As for now i've sought refuge on my Android device, but as thats a "stay at home" device i no longer drop in for a quick exercise when i'm on the bus and the like, which was one of my favorite use cases for DL.
If i wanted to worry about being punished for my mistakes i would've signed up for some actual exams. A premium ad-free iOS version without the supposed wonders of "health" would be much appreciated.
If I weren't getting a Rosetta Stone subscription for Christmas, I'd buy a cheap-o Android to avoid the ridiculous "health" system on DL. [That should probably not have been in the subjunctive because I am getting one!] As I just gave a lingem/gemgot (whatever) to someone at French level 20, I must send one your way aussi.
Being new to DuoLingo, and only on iOS the health system is all I've known. To be honest, it works. When I run out of health, it forces me to go back and practice (being able to practice from various specific areas is helpful) to get more help. I am absolutely one who would binge this to the finish line, and the forced practice is helping me retain more.
Also, having no health requirement on old lessons is essential. I wish they would actually add a health point when completed, that would be awesome.
Wait until you're further advanced in a language and 50% of the time it marks you incorrect when you're not. If you used it before the health update, you'll have an idea why there is so much angst. In addition most of us already practiced as much as dong the lessons, and do not need a penalty system.
I completely agree with you, adrian855995. I hate redoing lessons that I've already completed and completely understand. For some reason Phrases and Basics has been popping up... "?"; the funny thing is that I don't need to work on previous skills if I am completely confident with them. I think they should just let us choose which lessons we want to relook at if we have any.
I'm really mad about one of the latest updates. Honestly, Duolingo, you're punishing us for getting stuff wrong. If your hearts are really set on keeping health, then at least make it that for every three questions you get right, you get another health. Also, it would be great if we could practice old lessons without burning health. My friend and I are learning Italian, and I've gotten so much farther only because I haven't updated and I don't have to deal with health! I wish I could update, since I really want to learn Latin, but I don't think it's worth the trouble, which is a shame, since it's a language learning app!
As I have done many times, I recommended Duolingo to a friend as a free app and while she seemed to love it at first, when the popup saying she couldn't continue unless she either bought gems or waited however many hours, she was confused and put off. (So was I, for that matter!) Conclusion: this update is just awful! Put up more ads if you have to, but the health update is just obnoxious!
I'm now in my second week of using Memrise, and have to say that now I'm past the slight weirdness of it, I don't really miss DL any more. Yes there are ads, but you aren't penalized for silly or false mistakes. Plus there are certain fundamental verbs introduced much more early on than they are on DL. Sorry Luis but you've ruined it for me.
It's all very well users recommending on here to use the website, but the reason this discussion exists is because a large group are using the app on their iPhone, for which accessing the site in Safari is a sub-optimum retrograde step when there was once an app that did the job very well, and is also slower. Maybe we might use DL on a website when we are at a computer, but for all those free moment times when an app is the most accessible method, then thankfully there are other language learning apps out there. Memrise might be the closest, early for me to say for sure but it might be better than DL given there are also other subjects besides languages.
I'm interested in how these new changes will work out. Also, I don't see the logic in having Gems on the iOS version and having Lingots on the web version. I think both versions should either have only Gems or only Lingots. Having two separate currencies on each platform makes Duolingo seem un-unified and doesn't make much sense in my opinion. I know the Gems system is being tested out, but I really hope when the time comes, the decision is made to have a single currency across all platforms.
Not cool: I was using Duolingo on my iPad, my Android phone and on the web and when Gems were introduced my Lingots were converted to Gems. Although it seemed to be a higher amount after conversion I think I lost a lot of Lingots when I bought a streak freeze with Gems ... I have entirely stopped using Duolingo on the iPad because of the health feature - it simply took the fun out of it. I don't have a problem with ads and also Duolingo Plus is fine with me, could be a little cheaper though. Or maybe at least something like a discount when you pay for three or six months or a year in advance?
Seconded! (or Thirded or whatever) Why all the differences between the platforms in the first place? Please get all the versions together first, then experiment with features with people that volunteer for experimenting.
As for a business model: I'd happily pay a modest fee for using (whatever version of) Duolingo. Just keep a basic free version and move most bells and whistles to the paid version. That way language learning itself can stay free, while the more advanced features provide a decent income.
Seconded. Or have some extras on a paid for version which doesn't detract from learning on the free one, like the "extras" you can buy with lingots - I mean, a lesson on flirting in German isn't something I need to know in order to be able to learn the language, but I bought it because there's very little else you seem to be able do with lingots. But it's an extra bit of fun to know. Then again, that's perhaps not much of an incentive to subscribe. XD
I think there should be more leeway with mistakes and the resulting consequences of me losing health, there have been multiple times where I have miss placed a word in a sentence- maybe as such as a one word space difference, this leads to me losing a life and its a little frustrating because it is such a minor thing- it'd be like at school if you spelt one word wrong then the teacher marking it all as wrong even though you got the rest of the complicated sentence spot on correct that'd leave you feeling quite hard done by, give me the foundation to learn rather than just critique. I'd feel it was better if it was a minor mistake (which it nearly all of the time is), correct me on my mistakes and show me where I went wrong then test me again later on in the lesson (what you have always done) not taking a whole life away, on the terms of taking lives away I feel you should introduce a percentage system so if you do not get over lets say 80% you will have to try again and you will lose a life or another system that's more efficient and user friendly because I feel only giving them 5 lives then if they run out, they run out and it's game over essentially is quite harsh, Also I would like to point out the waiting time for the health is ridiculous it's like 5 hours a piece, if you guys want to implement the system then make it an hour tops for the whole thing for the more avid learners who just want to learn and not mess about with this health system. Lastly I feel this update was a little too money orientated in the sense that yes you can buy gems to buy health if you run out, but give me alternate methods to accumulate gems through my lessons or practicing (I'm proposing a different system to the current receive health through practice) I feel if you got 100% first time or something related to a sense of achievement you should reward it as it gives more incentive. I'm not saying the new health and life system is bad, it just needs a bit of work. I hope you didn't see my comment as too negative I'm trying to constructively criticise so the developers can make this brilliant learning platform even more brilliant. Thank you for your time.
Yes, I truely miss this feature! After all: why do we learn languages? To be able to communicate! Why do you, Luis, want people to be able to learn languages for free? Is it just for better chances on the job market? Or is there more to it? Intercultural exchange maybe? Better understanding between peoples? Less hate in the world? World peace? Even if this should not be your original intention it is a wonderful side effect of Duolingo. I started getting interested in Musik/Films/Theater and also News from the countries of my target languages, interested to see the world from their angle. Learn what they think about my country...
But most of all I started making friends with people in those countries through the messages on the profile, talk about more than just grammar, getting tips for books that are easy enough for beginners, exchanging thoughts on our favourite actors, exchanging views on what is going on in the world. I was thinking about visiting them, meet them in the real world. Now I am cut off from them and that feels really terrible. Please give me back my friends!
However, on the same token, usage of social features of this website is not a requirement. Not only were all sent and received messages public, but by using the services, you are assuming the risk that you may be coming in contact with not-so-nice people. The solution to that is not a shroud over everybody. I don't believe that the perceived viral safety of the young is the real motive here.
All I want is communication with others because it truly is a part of your learning process. It doesn't feel great when you don't have anyone else to talk to about your learning. They should just let users report others if they're being bad, and possible penalties if the person reported someone for nothing.
Sorry, but I'd still rather you get rid of health and return to the old Practice system which allowed ME to decide whether to try new things or bolster old ground. I'm sticking with Duo for now but I'm really not liking this system and I can't see the above tweaks causing me to like it as much as I did or to give you more funding.
Can you just remove health? It's stupid and I'm not being rude but making mistakes is part of learning a language and when I make a typo it removes health! You need to change it, I'm begging you!!!!!
Luis. It is heartening to see that you have been listening to the feedback. That didn't appear to be the case. It is good that you are going to attempt to mitigate some of the worst failings of the Health feature.
However, I still think the entire concept is flawed and counter-productive to learning. As much as I still enjoy using Duolingo (for now), I find the Health feature doesn't provide any benefit to learning and simply find it annoying and irritating. It would be much more positive to reward success instead of punishing failure. Especially, when such errors are most often of the typo variety or failures of the course itself (frequently ungrammatical English leading to ambiguity or confusion). The courses need a much higher level of accuracy and correctness before you should introduce a feature that punishes people for making mistakes.
So far I'm not really hard of hearing, but I seem to show first signs and have difficulty to differentiate between certain similar sounds (maybe it's because of the quality of the TTS, maybe because of the new way to play audio - it's gotten worse since the update of the website). I don't want to turn off listening exercises, but I'd hate to lose a health bar just because I can't differentiate between these two sounds, but have everything else correct. (And no, there's no way to find out about the right word by context; they both work.)
I don't use the iOS app, but I'm sure there must be more people like me.
This is an absolutely ridiculous idea that de-motivates people, eapecially as you have the lesson abandoned halfway through. I think this is a way of charging through the back door.If you need to raise cash ask for donations or charge for the app (I would pay) but don't try underhand methods like this. The owl will be unhappy as I have uninstalled and am boycotting Duolingo until this is binned.
I agree with @julie Caesar. I have so little time to do my lessons. I also do them on my commute and if I lose health I am unable to practice as you need to be online to go back to previous lessons. You cannot know how annoying and frustrating the health option is. Learning used to be fun. Now it is gruelling and I approach each lesson with fear and trepidation. I thought the modern way of learning was to encourage practice rather than punish poor performance. I will happily pay for the application rather than having to abandon my lesson for the day. Please get rid of this punitive health thingie. Reminds me of my convent school days in the 60's when we were rapped on the knuckles with a ruler when we made mistakes. A terrible decision Duolingo!
I agree with all your ideas, but I still feel having Lingots was better. I use Duolingo with my iOS device, Android phone, and my laptop at the same time, so having Lingots in Android devices and Gems in iOS is pretty weird. And 'double or nothing' was a good option to me which motivated me to keep visiting Duolingo on a daily basis. What's the most inconvenient is that, on my iOS device (namely iPod), I connect internet once a day and then use Duolingo offline outside, and I keep discovering that the health is not charged by the time it is expected to be (e.g. it says 25 mins is left but 25 mins later it says 1 hour is left) and I cannot get a health offline. it is a big problem to me so I think it'd be nice if you remove the Health And Gem system or fix this.. apart from that this is perfect, you know. This is perfect. I've seen many apps and websites for language learning but this was the best so far. I thank you for all the progress and improvement and new courses.
Since the ios application has no help function I have had to figure these things out by experimentation. Here is what I believe, can you confirm I am correct: 1) Health is to encourage learners to work steadily and practice as opposed to running to the end of a tree in binge sessions? 2) Learning new skills reduces health? 3) Or is it making mistakes when learning new skills that reduces health? 4) Health regenerates with time? 5) Practicing increases health?
A number of things I have not figured out yet: 6) Does practicing on the web application increase health given that the web app has no concept of health? 7) Does purchasing a streak freeze on the web app with lingots still work given that the ios app has gems instead of lingots? 8) Is it true that gems are much harder to earn than lingots?
Your first point about the lack of a help function, or notes and tips within the app is particularly important. Without those, it makes learning a new language almost impossible. But even those available on the website, in some courses, are often minimal, incomplete and/or poorly explained. Often the corresponding lessons require knowledge that isn't covered. It then comes down to pure guesswork and getting answers wrong to understand what is expected. With some courses, five 'lives' is insufficient.
As great as Duolingo is (or rather, was), it only really provides the basics of language learning and is just a start for learning a language. The chat bots are a great addition, and they have improved those since they were first introduced, but they are still only available for a few languages. I am desparately keen to have them available for Italian, in particular.
It is one of the failings of Duolingo, that they appear to get easily distracted. They dabble with changing lots of features but rarely seem to complete anything properly or roll things out to all courses.
I have the answers to some of my questions from experimentation:
1) I still think the main point of health is to encourage practice and discourage running to the end of the tree too fast to actually learn.
2) Learning does not reduce health, errors while learning a new skill do.
3) This is correct 4) yes health regenerates with time 5) practicing increases health, 1 point of health per practice session 6) It appears that only practice done on the IOS app increases health 7) Don't know the answer to this since I have an equipped streak freeze in place. 8) It appears that gems are cheaper than lingots. I get a hundred some for every new skill. On the other hand things like a streak freeze are much more expensive in gems. If there is a way to convert one to the other I cant find it.
I'm curious how it will work out.
I sometimes make typos. Duolingo is sometimes generous with them. "teh" is accepted as "the" for example and other typos are sometimes accepted and often I don't bother to correct them especially when translating to English (my native language).
I find it more important to get the spelling right of the language I'm trying to learn. I know how to spell in Englsih (mostly - and typo not corrected to make my point.).
I can't think of which word now, but there was a Spanish word I misspelled a few times and it was allowed to pass and I didn't even realize I was misspelling it until I looked more closely.
Admittedly I sometimes blow through lessons as fast as I can without really paying too much attention. My fault there, really.
I wish Duolingo would accept "hosue" as an acceptable typo for "house" though. My fingers seem to have trouble with that one and I got that wrong 3 times in one lesson once - because my typing suffers when I go too fast.
Or perhaps I should be penalized for going too fast.
I just translated "Quiero tener dos patos" as "I want two ducks". Sure, I left out "to have", but is the meaning very different? I would argue it isn't and I've seen plenty of professional translators make similar...."adjustments".
While I accept that it's not entirely correct, it shouldn't affect my health all that much. I deserve a B or maybe a C on that, but not an F.
I didn't get this far in Spanish without actually knowing what "tener" means.
It isn't right being a new student to have any kind of things in the way that will stop you from learning! I was excited when I first came onto this site beginning at "Page 1" and I was quite optimistic about it but now since a lot of things have occurred in my learning process I may have to just leave this site behind me. I don't like the fact that as I am progressing I am stopped because I need more health or something else to hinder my progress and it is super frustrating to me. I say fix this website without having the hold on ones progress otherwise this website is useless.
In a way you already have that in you list of "friends". This is obviously limited to your "friends" but actually, I think anything else wouldn't make sense. There are many millions of users on DL. What would it mean to be ranking on place 78.624.145 of 103.245.734? How would you even find yourself on the list?
Also, some of these users have been here for many years (like you probably, judging from the number of languages you have on level 25). If XP is what you want to count, these users have a head start on any newcomers. I doubt such a ranking would motivate anyone.
So all I can assume is that you hope to find yourself on #1. ;-)
The Duolingo team told me yesterday that in the near future there will be a rank. And it does not make sense what you said, "how are you going to find yourself on a list of 100,000,000 users?" If you have ever played online games like "Good Game Empire" or "Memrise" (this teaches languages) Similar, place where you have millions of users, you will see how a rank works! And the idea of having a "Rank" is not only mine, but several users! And I do not expect to be in 1st place! Even because I have a little more than 160,000 XP and I know users with 200,000, 500,000, 1,000,000, 2,000,000 and the "David" with more than 5,000,000 XP. I probably would not even be among the top 10.000 placed!
I am not into games so have no experience of this. And tbh I couldn't care less about ranks and think the team should focus on more important things like fixing bugs (still not possible to start a new sentence discussion on the web), get activity/communication back, and real improvements (role out bots to all languages, labs/stories for everyone, interesting features for advanced learners).
I really like a new feature that has been added. I was doing a timed practice and wanted to read the discussion that went with one of the sentences. I noticed that it made the discussion a new tab so that I could continue with the strengthening exercise. That is a GREAT FEATURE. I really like the timed practice, but hated to not be able to take advantage of comments others had left. Thanks so much for this change.
I don't think I have ever seen a tip on a lesson on the [Android] app. That's something I really feel is missing. When only using the app, you don't learn how to conjugate verbs except by trial and error and hoping you can remember it, so unless you already know how it's done in the language you're trying to learn (or use the website) it's really difficult. I already knew how to do it in German (having done a beginners course previously), but I still have issues picking the right one in Dutch, as I almost exclusively use the app. The app has never explained stuff like "-er verbs end in -e, -es, -ent, -ons, -ez, -ent: Parler = je parle, tu parles, il parlent, nous parlerons, vous parlerez, ils parlent". Apologies if I got that wrong, I haven't done French since 1998 - but the point is that how to conjugate verbs was drilled into me by my junior high French teacher, and I can still remember it today, 19 years later. In fact, it's one of the few things I still remember about French! Granted, some languages don't differentiate between I am/you are/she is" (in Swedish, everything is "är"), but for the ones that do, that's a pretty important thing to have explained to you rather than having to figure out on your own that the difference between me and you talking in French is that -er verbs end in -e for me and -es for you.
I have seen it sporadically on iOS, usually a popup note on a new word and usually with contractions of words. For me since I finished the French tree, I have seen it in Spanish, Italian or Portuguese. I have seen it less after the app moved to health, but then I have only recently started to do lessons on the app again after it moved to health. Instead of reading the sentence and trying to figure it out without looking at the underlined word, I know check everything so I have a better chance of finishing a lesson without losing all my health.
Since the update on the mobile app to include the health aspect, I've had issues with the two different currencies on web and app and I'm not getting my daily reward on the app if I use the web and the currencies don't seem to really match up in the store on web/app. Things are very expensive on the app, but I can get them on the computer with the lingot currency. I don't know if this is a bug or just something else but it's frustrating me and making me not want to use Duolingo currently when I've been using it nearly daily for over a year. On a side note, what does the health feature actually contribute? The changes weren't very well explained and don't do anything to enhance my experience of Duolingo. If it's supposed to go down or do anything, it hasn't on my app? Not really sure about that one, if anyone could explain I'd appreciate it a lot.
Thank you for listening to our feedback, but I am in the Lingot camp, where I still cannot get used to, and like the new Health + Gems system... I've started using the iOS app less and less and try to learn on the website more just because of this. Please bring back the lingots, it's such a cleverly named currency, whereas gems just make the Duolingo app look ever so more like any other freemium games that collect money from the oblivious players. I'm not saying that it is, but it only feels like it. Thanks again.
A number of people have suggested/recommended using the website as a work-around to avoid the Health feature.
The big problem with this suggestion is that the website doesn't play at all well with the iPad. I certainly don't want to have use it in landscape mode - too uncomfortable. There are a number of annoying issues, among which are:
- The site doesn't re-size properly to adapt to the metrics of the iPad.
- The font is far too small, especially for distinguishing letters in Russian, for example.
- As a result of the above two points, it is necessary to be constantly using pinching gestures to zoom in and out to make it readable. As a consequence, one can often accidentally tap Continue before completing the answer.
- The keyboard doesn't automatically switch between languages, unlike within the app.
- Pop-up hints require double-taps before working, as does the Continue button.
- The audio doesn't work as well.
A number of these issues apply to using anything on the website, including discussions. The irony is that a couple of years ago it used to work better.
Incidentally, with both the website and the app, the font used often makes it very difficult to distinguish between an uppercase 'I' and a lowercase 'l', especially problematic with the website with its miniscule font. Particularly problematic with Welsh, which would run Health down very quickly.
At least these issues were the case the last time I used the website to do a lesson (when Russian and Welsh were in beta) - so some of these may have been fixed - but given Duolingo's record, and the fact these issues are still manifest within the discussions, I very much doubt it.
Παρακαλω – let me pay you £9.99 a month to leave the iOS version the same as the lingot-make-as-many-mistakes-as-you-like version.
Pedagogically speaking by not allowing unlimited mistakes to finish a lesson you are removing the humanistic and constructivist learning experience and chopping it down into a basic Pavlov's dog gaming experience. It's super cheap.
Sure, eventually your ML/AI algos. will be able to guess where I need to improve and what kind of mistakes I tend to make, but it's a really long winded way of doing it. I already know where I make the mistakes - because I am the one making them. Having me wait around until you system knows me so it can pat me on the head with the reward of completing something is short sighted.
Now if you were to level up your learning game a bit and break out of the app and give me audio to practice when I am out and about, then I'll take that £9.99 and move it up to £19.99 a month.
When are you removing the mandatory timed practice that people are screaming about? (Android App) Although we don't have health & gems, I'm guessing that's one of your "targeting different ways to practice" ... but I'm shocked that you haven't aborted that test yet, as people absolutely hate being forced to rush.
Where can I find a DuolingoFAQ? Check Duolingo's official Help Page and if you don't find what you're looking for there, check out the these awesome Duolingo Wiki guides:
The Wiki's unofficial Duolingo FAQ
Mod or No Mod Guide to Reporting Posts and Incidents
Non-mods pointing out Guideline violations Community Guidelines Clarification
What does the inside of the Incubator look like?
What are some common forum faux pas that I can avoid?
How to best utilize the Sentence Discussion forums
I want to create an XP competition, what should I know?
I would like a new course: What should I do?
All of this and more on the unofficial Duolingo Wiki.
The wiki too big? Getting lost? Just go to Google and type Duolingo Wikia and a search term such as Clubs, or Streak Freeze and find exactly what you're looking for. Or, use a key word in the Wiki's search bar.
Need a moderator or refresher on the Guidelines? Check out this list of Moderators, and this link to the Guidelines, which can be found at the bottom of any page.
You can find the mods here: https://incubator.duolingo.com/
There is no list with all mods, but you can choose a cours and there is a list of the mods.
Scrapped the timed practice. Go look at the newly updated reviews in the Android App Store (like for the last 3 weeks!). We're all hating it and giving the app 1 star. If you want to test "new ways to learn" you need to do it with a select audience. Ask for beta volunteers. Don't just toss it out there like a cow pie and then be surprised when we're not using the app and you're not getting the Ad Revenue you seem to so desperately want.
I've been using Duolingo for 105 days and have not missed a single day as the system was very encouraging. I started using Duolingo on my Android phone and would occasionally use it on my iPad. Today, I encountered the "health" system on my iPad and it made me want to quit using the app. I resolutely hate the health system. Your animations encourage learners to not feel bad about making mistakes and then you penalize us for those mistakes. All I'm learning to do is give up in frustration.
For now, I'll only use my Android phone since I don't want to be de-incentivized by a health system that only rewards the perfect learner or the people willing to spend money on gems.
I understand the need to make money, but taking punitive measures to do so is against all learning standards.
I must say thank you. I was about to give up on Duolingo - but now allowing me to regain health by strengthening my old strength bars has made a HUGE difference.
Pre-update I was struggling to make any real progress down the tree at all, now i'm back up to speed and progressing at my own pace and i'm enjoying the app again.
It felt like a chore to do everyday before, but this has brought the fun back again.
A simple, but meaningful change. Please let it stay.
I wish that the website was synchronized with the app, meaning: there are gems in the app but lingots in the website. There are chests when you meet your goal in the app, but nothing on the website. There is the health bars in the app but not in the website. There are clubs in the app, but not in the website, etc. I wish Duolingo came out with an update to the website that made the app and website work together.
I agree. I hope that too.
I am even glad that for a strengthen and learning session there are no "hearts" on the website and just a normal progress back which can go forward and backwards.
I very much prefer it on the website, how it is right now.
I guess it is not that problematic, that for intro comprehension test, tree checkpoints and skill test outs the hearts are still there on the website?!
I can live with that thinking about my English test outs.... But it is not that easy, and I had to try checkpoint tests multiple times for some more special (not regulary used / known) English vocabulary.
For Portuguese I can very much live with that as I had to start from scratch in that language with no test outs at all.
Please leave the website progress bar as it is right now.
I don't know if that's the reason, but this change has solved a previously common technical problem for me in which my lesson crashed after a crash in trying to write a post in discussion mode. Since this happened to me all the time, I really appreciated the new change. In my case, before the change, I had virtually stopped commenting during lessons, usually annotating the phrases I wanted to comment on in order to search for them after the lesson was over.
I really like the idea of Duolingo Stories and I think that will be quite helpful for the intermediate learners wanting to expand their knowledge in their language of interest! I am personally not a fan of the Health Bars in the mobile version. I understand that by doing that you can get more revenue that way, but for me, it almost demotivates me from learning new lessons via the mobile app. From me, I hope that the computer version stays the same in that sense because for me it's better to learn the language without restrictions.
I am definitely in the "the health bar has to go" club. For me, it is a mere annoyance (usually because I'm typing too fast haha) as I can easily hop between desktop and mobile to study, but this summer my 7yo expressed a desire to join in study with me.
It is absolutely disheartening to see him terrified to answer a question because he's afraid of being penalized for not knowing something he is trying to learn. He gets really nervous when his life bars are getting low and he's not enjoying it at all if he's on mobile (which is usually the most convenient for him, as I find the exercises to be more child-friendly than desktop).
As an adult, I can maneuver this and push through what isn't fun, but for children (as I KNOW my child is not the only child using this program), so much pressure should not be put on them for a free extracurricular activity. I want to encourage him to want to learn, not dread it.
Plenty of people have explained how counter-productive this new restriction is and I agree wholeheartedly. It makes me feel like it's a "game" and not an actual education that people are trying to pursue.
I would happily pay a monthly subscription if this is what it would take, or even making the app itself paid while keeping the website free. I'm not here because it's free; I'm here because it's effective and fun, but with this new health bar business, it's steadily becoming neither.
It is good to know that Duolingo is responding to the criticism, but judging from Luis' post here, it seems that some central points are not being addressed. Two of the most often mentioned problems with the health system were that 1. the system makes people afraid of making mistakes, which is neither fun nor beneficial to learning and 2. Learners want to decide for themselves how they want to use the Duolingo resource and not be nannied by a schoolteacher with a stick. These were the "themes that surfaced" to my ears.
Again, I would like to raise the suggestion of offering more ways to increase health. If you want learners to be engaged, health can't just spiral down! How demotivating is that? If users were rewarded for getting 5 or 10 in a row right with increased health, that would be a positive motivation.
Because I listen on the iPhone via bluetooth necklace that communicates to Sivanto (Siemens) hearing aides, most of the audio clips are truncated and I have to replay them a number of times to avoid the countdown timer of various parts of the hearing aid apps mode switching. I was wondering if on the iPhone if we could add a brief "ummm" or some modest signal at the start of each audio clip inside of the duolingo app so as to allow the audio relays in the hearing aid comm link to fully make?
I'm really missing being able to see how many XP I am to my next level. I can only see it for one tree in each language. Since I have three Italian trees, two French and two Spanish, there are a lot of trees I get no feedback on. Since the extra practice of studying the languages from different languages is important to me, I really miss this. On the other hand, it is now easier to switch from French from English to French from Spanish etc.. Please keep that new feature.
I still find Duolingo forgets a practice session and suddenly a whole module or several parts reappear as undone, and I've lost 100 day streaks due to this. Would be much better to improve stability of the system rather than gimmicks such as health/gems. I would gladly pay for a duolingo service that worked without these silly bugs and regular freezes during grading.
Thanks - I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one bothered by it! I used to do a lot of open source development in the early days of php, and most important was user experience = reliability, which always dominated over gimmicks. It seems these days developers don't care about reliability and get carried away with any flight of fancy. But how de-motivating is it for a new learner than to see record of what they've learned disappear, or the apparently arbitrarily calculated "fluency rating" which seems to show the more you learn, the less fluent you are!
I like the new update, but I am really getting annoyed of redoing skills that I've mastered a long time ago. I always try to make sure I completely understand a skill before I get to another, so the health part of the update isn't helping me.
Improving is always good, but I don't see what I can improve on in Food, Basics 1, Clothing, etc. I've had to redo two different skills many times (Passé Composé 1 and Present 3 on French duolingo), and it's gotten to the point that I want to scream. If you guys can find out a way to lessen this annoyance, I'd be so happy.
I think what they should do is make it that every lesson that has been completed prior to a certain checkpoint should remain in the gold for the rest of our time on that language, or perhaps it could be streak related? Keep up your streak or don't miss more than one day of completing it and everything prior to said checkpoint remains gold? Something like that seems more feasible than constantly making us redo skills that are beyond mastered at this point.
Edit: Though they did recently open up the option on the app to keep individual lessons in the gold. Unfortunately, they charge money for this, which defeats the purpose of what makes DL so great, and that is free education. There should at the very least be a way to purchase this option with Lingots online or Gems on the app.
I like where your thinking is. It would be really nice if it could stay that way. This update just makes you redo a skill if you get one question wrong, possibly accidentally. Some people also have other resources like books and other online ways for language learning, but Duolingo can't keep track of what you already know and what you failed at because of something stupid (I'm not saying that Duolingo should be doing that because that's way too much work on their part.); I already knew some of the skills I hadn't reached when I was reaching them.
I get one's like these almost every lesson and also thanks to this wonderful new "health feature" end up losing a life. The fact is, it was a platfrom built by volunteers, as such is not perfect. Making deductions on the basis of faulty translation and buggy code is taking the enjoyment out of learning or practising a foreign language in Duolingo. I'm considering turning back to my old language cassettes and converting them to mp3 - at least then I can practice whilst on the move.
I often switch between the app and the website, and have a few questions about their differences and how they integrate together.
What is the difference between the Lingots and Gems? How many Gems are the worth of one Lingot? When completing a lesson on the app versus on the web, do we still receive the same number of such rewards (i.e 2 Lingots vs. it's Gem equivalent) or would it be more lucrative to use one over the other to receive a more substantial reward? How does XP wager into all of this? When completing a lesson on the app, do we still receive XP toward the next level of that language on the web? And finally, the rewards we earn, no matter their equivalencies or device they were won on, do they transfer and/or show as an increase in the opposing device's reward system?
I know that's quite a few questions, but I'd very much like to know cos personally I'm more interested in the level increases than the streaks cos for me having some times where I'm far too busy to maintain it makes streaks fleeting, but levels are forever. Not to mention receiving the Lingot and XP equivalencies when I complete a lesson through the app. Thanks for keeping up this amazing site and constantly looking for new and interesting ways to keep people coming back!
I can't continue my tree if I waste my time on things I've already learned. I'm not even going to redo some of them because of how ridiculous it is. I'm pretty sure I don't have to redo Numbers 1 and Questions and Irregular plurals for the French tree. Redoing the Passé Composé twenty times more than those ones is super annoying, because I have to be twenty times more careful with answering or I'll have to redo it again and again and again and again and again. Please stop this!
Just wanted to let you know that once implemented Health and Gems, my kids ( Generation Z ) just quit practicing duolingo; since they do not have money to buy and got disappointed of loosing their advance if they do not have enough Health to achieve the lesson... so you lost 2 customers..
I have been studying Hebrew, and recently I noticed that my iOS app is still using hearts, and the website is using Lingots... however, when I complete a practice session on the iOS app, I am not getting any hearts (even though it says it will give me +1), thus I can't start any new lessons on the app, regardless of how much I practice.... please advise as I prefer to use the app for practice as it is easier to type in hebrew on my phone.
In my In my opinion, I do not like the gems at all. Lingots for me, please :D And as of right now, I feel like the health feature severely restricts my language leaning. Ever since my account has been pulled into beta on iOS, I haven't been using Duolingo nearly as often, and when I do I'm on the website. I feel like only having the health available for new lessons is one step closer to the situation getting better :D But, ultimately, I feel like there should be much easer ways to earn back health for FREE. After all, Duolingo's motto is language learning, for free forever, right?
I'm late but I've been wanting to post about this change since I first saw it on my phone. I was away for a couple of weeks and am just now seeing this post. Maybe what I have to say has already been said many times but I'll write it anyway.
Thanks for this amazing website and application! I've learned so much since I joined. I love the new Duolingo app and in my case the change had a great side effect: it actually pushed me to learn much much faster. I'm a perfectionist and like to repeat skills over and over, even when they're all gold. That means I tend to move very slowly and get bored. But with the new Duolingo, I didn't see the point in doing that anymore, because my health was full, and I felt like reviewing was a waste of points. I thought it was very fun to strategize like this, and I learned a lot of Dutch as a result.
As I always say, Duolingo for me is a game. When I focus on lingots, gems, streaks or whatever, instead of learning, I end up learning much more because I'm not stressed about my (often unrealistic) language goals. That's why I think Duolingo is so effective.
I don't think my comment posted so I'll write a short version of how much I dislike the heart feature. CREATE A SYSTEM THAT ENCOURAGES USERS, NOT DISCOURAGES USERS. Not all mistakes are the user's fault. Because of the heart feature, I stopped practicing Russian all together and slowed down my practice for French and Spanish. I think my fluency dropped down to 6%. Anyway...please get rid of the feature and find some other way of making money.
these lingots then healths then gems then... too many things. why can't we stick to one thing? then, the conversions are fair? why the sudden inflation of gems/lingots? i remember when buying the "double" option was very affordable. now i need 10 days (and god knows which luck) to buy myself that... while it was just 5 lingots. the lingot system was fine, focus on the core competence of the app (language + interaction), make it easier for us to talk to each other like IRC rooms with languages (instead of the stupid bot that asks me the name of its dog) and instead of hopping onto features that crowd the product (yeah, i know many back-end comments coming through)
Langmut: you're translating or will translate text that's why duolingo was free (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQl6jUjFjp4). Now they're charging, but the health system is stupid and it sucks. Duolingo needs to find another method and apparently they're very hung on keeping this feature. Why? I have no idea. Find another way of making money. It's stupid. Why discourage people with negative reinforcement? Negative reinforcement may work in the short term, but it's going to annoy and discourage people from long term use and I'm very close to switching to a different app. I'm not sure what study duolingo based their decision on, but clearly the findings of that study don't work in this environment. DL needs to stick with their initial big goal.
Thanks Luis, I am not really sure why the app was changed to incorporate the health/gems. I really don't think these additions/changes are really beneficial to learning. It is a punitive system and takes control of the learning process out of the hands of the user and gives it to Duolingo. If you answer questions incorrectly then Duolingo tells you that you have to practice and that you lose health. Some learners, me, my kids and friends like the old app because we could progress at our own pace , learn new material and practice when we wanted to. It made us want to continue -to keep a streak going , gain more lingots, to learn new material without fear of losing. Some learners learn by being competitive; either with themselves or others. Now , it feels a little too much like a school that isn't fun and like a game that isn't fun. Please change it back or at least give users a choice. Thanks Please respond to my post as I would really like to know why.
I'm sooooooo frustrated with Duolingo. I stopped using it for months because of the heart feature. I complained when they created the heart feature and got no response from them. I signed back on recently hoping that they had enough complaints by now to get rid of the feature and it's still there! Why won't you listen to users?????? Why kill the learning experience??????? So disappointing and frustrating. Using the app is more convenient. I know the desktop version doesn't have that feature, but I don't use the desktop version.
Luis said in an interview that listening to users "...can be one of the worst things one can do." While this is true in some cases, when the entire community hates the feature, or hates the removal of a feature, mayhaps it is time to rethink that as a forever mantra, as it most certainly should not be.
I’ve spent an hour reading year old comments at this point. I don’t really mind the health thing or the gems or no health and lingos, but I am bothered by the lack of consistency and how a company that “cares for its users” could ignore such unanimous hatred of a feature. Really either way I’m just pretty convinced you guys aren’t reading these. I love the site though.
I don't have gems yet, so obviously not sure what it's like. Currently I take my learning very slowly anyway. My tree is always golden and I will spend many days repeating lessons before I feel ready to begin a new topic. It sounds like this is the kind of behaviour the new system intends to encourage, BUT I'm worried that on the new system I must not let ANY errors slip into my translations and transcriptions for fear of not being allowed to practice... Maybe I'm misunderstanding what others have been saying about the new system - but that would be a real deal breaker for me. Like many other I would happily donate or subscribe, but having to buy health for something that is not a browser game just sounds a bit ... for lack of a better word ... naff!
Could you keep the rewards for streaks, whether the overall streaks, or features like double or quits? My boyfriend and I both have considerable streaks (I'm at over 340, he's at over 370). It's an incentive to keep going, no matter the circumstances, do our Duolingo everyday. Under the Gems system though, there's no reward for that. We are still continuing to accumulate rewards for this on the website.
Can someone explain what's going on? I was away from Duolingo for a while and someone seems to have messed around with it and removed some stuff I was used to. If I don't know the meaning of a word I can no longer hover/click on it to check, and have to use a dictionary. I don't see any advantage in wasting time with a dictionary every time that happens. Also, when I finish a task I can no longer check where I am on the level in question (for example level 14 in German). And there's a lot of new stuff that I don't understand, and don't particularly want to. Why do they do this when it was OK before? Previous changes to Duolingo have been helpful, as when they stopped failing you when you made a certain number of mistakes. But this seems like a step backwards. Also they have introduced ads which I think is a fatal mistake. I'm sure a lot of people would support Duolingo through contributions, like they do with Wikipedia.
It appears Luis (Duolingo CEO) decided that too many people were using Duolingo and were enjoying using it far too much. So they've done all they can to put a stop to that, especially on the iPad! ;-(
They also decided that there were far too many errors in the courses. So learners are now penalised for finding mistakes in the courses, especially those involving ungrammatical English. ;-(
It's not entirely clear why or when strength meters go down, because many lessons for specific topics still use words from other topics and are reinforcing these words as well. If you've completed a lot of lessons it soon becomes impossible to progress forward without many of them significantly degrading.
My husband does his duolingo exercises every day on his computer and has a great many lingots. When we now are on holiday and he wants do use his Ipad, he is stopped because of bad health. Why is there no connection between the web and the app system? What can he do to continue on the iPad? Paying money is not an option.
Hi! So, this update also works on the Apple devices, right? I'm not getting this update. But, on the same device, my dad got it. Is there something I need to do to update it? I went to the App Store and I don't think there's any button to press on there. Anyway, PLEASE let me know, I am eager to try the update.
I have two main concerns with these updates.
First, and most significantly, my lingot to gem conversion was basically just the theft of most of my lingots. At the time of the switch over I was given maybe 1300 gems for my close to 900 lingots... based on the new cost of streak freezes, outfits for Duo, and bonus skills, I should have received somewhere between 17,000 and 24,000 of these little "gems". If this change is to become permanent, I am going to need someone to correct this gross miscalculation on my account. If we are going to change currency, it would be nice if it happened at a consistent rate please. I also submitted a bug report about this.
Second, I cannot keep anything strengthened, even though I may have just practiced that skill multiple times.
I just spent 3 days setting up DuoLingo on my aunt's iPad and showing her how to use it. She is already quite proficient in French but wanted to start from the very beginning as a novice to do a proper refresh of her knowledge before progressing to the more tricky stuff. We didn't want the Health system but it turned up on our installation and didn't seem to cause any problems so we carried on with it. The day after I left (I live a long way away), she was presented with a screen which said "No health left, you need health to continue this test", no info about waiting for health to return, just an option to buy it back for 450 gems (she had earned a total of 530 by that time) and she took that option. Minutes later in the middle of the next lesson, up popped the "No health left" screen again and of course she has insufficient gems left to buy health, AND can't get into the Health tab to earn any more. So it seems the app is basically dead. She is not particularly proficient with computers, so it's extremely difficult to guide her through removing the app and trying to reinstall it in the hope of getting a non-Health version at random. We really REALLY want to get rid of the Health system. Another family member will be visiting shortly, and I need to know what the procedure is for removing the app and reinstalling it to have a chance of getting a non-Health version. Is it sufficient to uninstall the app, and then install it again? Or do you have to disable the account first before uninstalling? Or do you have to install with a completely different email address? Or what? I just need a clear process to follow to ensure she gets a new clean installation. Unfortunately she has only one email address, so if that needs to be changed then we need some method of completely removing her from the Duolingo database so she can start afresh with the same email address. Thanks.
I can't show her anything unfortunately as I'm far away now. I tried to get her to load the web version in Safari but it still blocked her, she only has the iPad for accessing both versions. Are you CERTAIN it's possible to access the proper web version without the health thing on an iPad or just guessing?
Kindle fire doesn't have health - bc it's android. All iOS have health now - it's out the testing period. If she can get google translate on the iPad that's one way to double check a guess before loosing health. Just googling guesses also often works. Most sentences have answers on duo's comment board. Google will usually bring that right up. I feel bad for her - and everyone else. I double checked with google translate for a bit, but now I usually do a section first on the iPad web site, then switch over and redo that lesson on the iPad app. It's takes longer but there's no health loss when redoing lessons on the app. At least they fixed that.
There are so many people objecting Health system here that according to my opinion you should stop "experimenting with Health".
There is very simple solution at hand: Just include switch on/off button to the Health system. If anybody wants to compete with him/herself, let him/her stay within strive for health. If anybody (like me, of course) just wants to learn and make mistakes, let us free without loosing health.
Health system is not gamish, it is frustrating.
The health system successfully stopped me from being a regular user of Duolingo. I used to only use the iOS version and ran up around 1000 days usage. Every now and agin I drop back in to see if the health system has been eliminated ... but its still there .... so I leave again ... not sure why you persist with it ...
I have spoken Con Veleno about the health sytem many times, so no point reiterating. I totally relate to your comment about quitting, which I have done several times. Rather than encouarge me to learn ( or pay for gems ) it has just pushed me away. Everytme I opened the ios app I just couldnt be bothered anymore. Ultimately I have just switched platforms to Android. Its a pleasure again is all I can say. Duolingo team, wake up, why have you not realised that its a big failure that turns people off, is a barrier to learning, and now most of us have switched platforms. Give it up throw in the towel admit defeat.......
Hi there. I love Duolingo and I use it daily. Recently I recommended the app to two people and both of them downloaded the iOS app and signed up. Both of them have accounts with the Health feature and both of them stopped using the app after day 1.
The health feature is restrictive and discouraging. I was so disappointed to see that they couldn't get the same learning joy out of the app that I had gotten. I really think it needs to be considered. I understand the theory of wanting to discourage binge behaviours but currently it just discourages learning altogether.
Mistakes are part of learning and I think that, especially for the beginning stages of learning a language, the tree should not have the health feature. You have to hook people into the language learning process before you start punishing them for getting things wrong. It's a really disappointing addition and I can't recommend the app to anyone else as a result. not unless this feature is removed or drastically improved.
Dear Luis, A clarification please. Lingots still exist more than a year later, along with gems. Other than streak freezes, health and sharing on the forum, there are no additional ways to utilize either gems or lingots. Lingots also had a monetary value for about a year - 35,000 gems were priced at 100 USD! Now that value has also been removed. Even the very low grade ability to dress an owl has been deleted. A great use for those that have earned numerous gems might be the opportunity to purchase subscriptions with ad free learning and deeper content. Otherwise, both lingots and gems fall into the same category as a decaf latte with skim milk ... a “why bother.”
I am confused. I just got switched to gems this week on the iOS platform. I can tell I am going to hate it. I pay for plus and now am being punished for the mobile app. It, of course, happened right after I paid for this year. If it had happened before I would not have paid. Making mistakes is a part of learning, now you want me to pay twice to buy more gems if I make a mistake, and the plus. I am so frustrated and disappointed. I used to do levels when I was out and about on my phone, but now that option feels lost to me, because I will be locked out unless I pay more money. I get this costs money to create, but making us pay twice isn't the way. So much for a "free" learning platform.
t a great tool to learn, but when there are the hearts, and you have no more gems left to buy hearts, it's pretty annoying. And it keeps on forcing you subscribe to them in order to continue learning, I learned pretty much, and its this thing stopped me on continue learning on my phone.
In the "speak this sentence" questions, could we please, please have turtle mode like in the "write what you hear" mode. Speaking slowly and clearly is still speaking. I sometimes really want to hear the subtle sounds of each word, and learn how to say them properly and slowly before saying them at full speed.