1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. What happened to duolingo? Wh…


What happened to duolingo? Why did it get worse all of the sudden?? *Question**Not Answer*

First of I loved duolingo for years and have been using it accordingly as long, but the recent changes to it made me doubt the direction it is going...

3-Major issues with Duolingo:

  1. Why should the progressbar decrease when one gets something wrong? Who decided upon that and why is there no option to deactivate that "sadistic-sub-optimal" function? It is in no way helping one learn anything, besides how to give up midway in.

  2. How and why did an update turn duolingo spell-check engine into such an spelling-nzi? One gets one character wrong and all of the sudden it wont recognize it anymore? I remember a time when it was a bound-lot friendlier.

  3. Why does it not highlight the error clearly, anymore? When one gets back home after a long and hard shift and just wants to do one lession right before bed; I think everyone would agree that one would not pay 100% ney even anything close to 35% the attention to detail in such a case compared to someone with hours over hours of free leisure time at any other time of the day... so a bit more "nighttime-help", maybe even in form of a NIGHT-TIME-MODE would be very much appreciated! Like highlighting the errors even more obvious, give easy to remember tiny help-bits of informations and or mnemonics to remember them better during sleep

July 9, 2017




I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can:

  1. I think that the decrease/increase feature of the progress bar has always been there and that is to motivate users to learn what they get incorrect. I think it is a good idea in my opinion, as if there was no punishment for an incorrect answer, most users wouldn't bother to improve on what they need to improve on, and it wouldn't be as satisfying to finish a lesson. I have found most strengthening lesson take around 20/21 questions, so if you find your end amount is higher, use Tinycards or Memrise to help drill in the vocabulary. It works very well for me. Duolingo isn't enough on it's own to remember vocabulary in my opinion.

  2. I have never found Duolingo to be to strict on spelling for me. I type quite fast so there are sometimes a few typos in my answers, but they are almost always accepted as 'You have a typo in your answer'. If you find it to be strict, you could be part of an A/B test, or maybe I don't realize how strict it is.

  3. I do agree that the errors could be highlighted a bit more clearly. I notice that the usual bold highlight is fine throughout the day, but once I'm squeezing in a strengthening session later around night, I would much prefer a highlighted option. Duolingo actually did research and found that the best learners learn at night, so maybe they are working on something to take advantage of that?

I hope this helps clear at least one of the questions for you:)


Why should the progressbar decrease when one gets something wrong? Who decided upon that and why is there no option to deactivate that "sadistic-sub-optimal" function? It is in no way helping one learn anything, besides how to give up midway in.

That's been there since hearts went away. Hearts would force you to repeat the entire lesson. This is better. As a matter of fact I find that it's improved recently - previously for every wrong answer, you had to translate two new sentences which didn't necessarily relate to the one you got wrong - I found that it was usually words I had no trouble with. Now, all you have to do is repeat what you got wrong. This is much more helpful for your learning - and if you want to learn it you will have to repeat it, so having an extra sentence at the end of the session rather than having to start another 20-word session is much more preferable in my opinion.

I haven't noticed any changes to the spellcheck, though I'm not learning any of the languages you are. In my experience with German, it'll only mark you wrong for a single letter if that single letter means that you entered a completely different word - and even then it won't always.

I agree with you on error highlighting. However, there are helpful tips displayed (again, at least with my experience in German) that point out common errors if you've made one - the trouble is that they're all added manually, so it's a lot of work to cover every possible situation.


Yes, this feature has been working like that for the past 244 days even on the old portal Python code!

Actually I like that progress bar on the website too.

Somehow it has to take into action that/how often you answer a question wrong (no matter why)?!?
Well, there is still room for improvements, isn't it?

  • Maybe the system should vary the next question from it's sentence database for those typos / words you answered wrong.
  • Or the progress bar should make a logic difference between a) learn a new skill/lesson vs b) strengthen skill.
  • I have seen it several times that e.g ONE unique question get's asked up to 2-3 times, no matter if the answer has been answered correctly for the first time (speaking on the old portal, I have not yet deeply tested the new portal).

  • It has been known that there may be differences on the website vs IOS/Android app how/when question will be reasked again and if that happens a few next questions (e.g 3+) later or if all incorrectly asked questions will be pushed to the very end of the session.

Progress bar is much better than hearts or health like counting how many errors you make and IF you are ALLOWED to progress any further / including finish the new learning session because of those many errors done.
Mondly in comparison uses 4 hearts even on (normal) learning excercises (there seem to be no strengthen reviews / spaced repetition SR for redoing excercises).
And DuoLingo using 3 hearts gave me difficulties in the intro comprehension / tree checkpoint / skill test-out tests.
So NO, I do not like hearts at all to learn a new language and start new skill lesson excercises.


Duolingo is very strict about spelling if have spelled another word by accident. Let's say you type She hat gone to Italy instead of She had gone to Italy. Duolingo will give you an error although only a single character is wrong, but that character changes the word to another English word Duolingo knows. If you had written Ittaly, Italie or Itaaly, I'm sure the answer would have been accepted.


Most times when I have a typo in my answer, Duolingo marks it as correct and just says "You have a typo in your answer".


I also feel that recently the spell checker has been stricter, but I notice that this seems to be when the typo produces an actual word i.e. ear instead of eat. If the typo produces a nonsense word it still seems to be accepted. I would really like the review lesson brought back so I can study all my errors in a lesson at the same time and take my time over understanding my mistakes. Of course if you are not doing timed sessions then this doesn't matter as you have all the time you need.


To 2) and 3) spell checking / errors:
The Android app (latest from the past 2 days) highlighted an error with "... word?"

The "translation sentence" was formulated as a question and I just typed ".... word" without the "?" question mark.

Actually this "error" was highlighted as a red error, and the word including the missing "?" was underlined in the Android app.
I may retest on the web portal GUI...

The new Scala error checking BETA code really needs to be further enhanced and bugfixed.
Unfortunately the developer team started from scratch writing the new code.
So stuff which may have worked before, does not necessarily work anymore.
New server backend code, new BETA phase, new bugs / problems, different working behavior...

Really guys, I can NOT remember getting ever displayed any of "those issues" with the old web portal or on older Android app versions (learning new lessons and completing some skills) when using the old (Python) portal backend code.


About highlighting, such a feature is listed as "planned" on the list of issues with the new website: https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002969903-Duolingo-s-New-Website (yes, it's "planned buy low priority" but given that things even on only the "under consideration" list have actually already been done, I think it might not actually be too long)


Glad that you link the FAQ here.

Why does it not highlight the error clearly, anymore?

Because the DuoLingo developer team dumped their old Python code and have rewritten the old website from scratch in Scala.

It has NOT been a 1:1 clone rewrite by replicating ALL existing old portal features... ....but it has been IMHO rather a (basic) portal rewrite at this stage where many things might still be missing at this time (including XP level up and course progression bars - provided by old user scripts).


Hi, you got tricked into auto counting "edit feature".

double 1)....three is 2) and 3) is missing.

The good news is that the old discussion forum still provides an edit button ;)

......until this one might be eventually removed in the new forum when they rewrite that code from scratch (instead of relying on proven existing powerful forum software) and publish beta code to production systems :-) :-)


I do not know about you guys, but I have had it with this stupid bug aka regression mode. It is just way too frustrating. I at least am switching to memrize, as duolingo starts to suck, big time! Sure I have to pay for memrize, but they at least try to help you to learn a language and do not just try to spam you with ads and remove practical functionality and add stupid repetitive ones..

I might be overreacting as it it 2 past midnight and this bloody punishment mode keeps me from blissful sleep and instead just keeps on pilling aggro; but enough is enough


O me miserum!!!! I had almost completed all the skills and was heading to Level 18. Now Duolingo has sent me back to Level 1! Contemplating quitting the site. Can't bear going back over Level 1-10 again

[deactivated user]

    It used to have less lag and boot up more timely

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