changes not for the better
i hate this new layout, what a waste of time,
I completely agree. They've changed the layout just to facilitate the addition of Korean and Japanese to the website, even though the vast vast majority of users won't use the Korean or Japanese courses, but these changes still end up negatively impacting German, French and Spanish courses, as well as all the others.
I used to always recommend using the website because the app was overly simplified with its drag and drop exercises which I feel require little to no effort or concentration, but now the website reflects the app so much, it's becoming increasingly difficult to recommend Duolingo at all. The only redeeming feature of the web version are the tips and notes, but even at that, it's a hard sell.
I think the main problem with Duolingo now is that they are so obsessed with data and not the actual learners behind the data. They are more interested in getting people to stick around longer (by simplifying the exercises) rather than actually teaching the language. I mean, sure, they need people to stick around so they get more ad revenue, but they have to decide if they want to be a credible tool that actually teaches people languages well, or a mini game that fools people into thinking they can speak a foreign language by constantly doing over-simplified, meaningless, contrived, obvious exercises. (Sure that's an extreme example, but the reality isn't much better)
The fact that they are neglecting the most dedicated and language-driven userbase (the web userbase) in favour of the mini-game style of the app just shows that they would rather be the latter than the former.
I know I will get downvoted for saying this, but oh my gosh, the new layout is not that bad. Why is everyone overreacting with a minor change?It doesn't even look that different, and I've had no problems whatsoever with it! And ikwilvertalen,
''vast vast majority of users won't use the Korean or Japanese courses'' What the heck? Have you even seen how many posts have been begging and begging for Japanese and Korean? How much time do you spend on the forums?
''a mini game that fools people into thinking they can speak a foreign language by constantly doing over-simplified, meaningless, contrived, obvious exercises.''? Please explain then how I haven't even finished the Spanish tree and I can already converse with only a few very minor mistakes in Spanish? AND Repetition helps keep the words in your memory, I'm sorry you haven't realized this.
Y'all are drama queens.
I have found duolingo extremely helpful. If you hate it so much, why do you even go on it?
What the heck? Have you even seen how many posts have been begging and begging for Japanese and Korean? How much time do you spend on the forums?
Yes, I have seen the amount of posts, and there are a lot, but it certainly doesn't equal the 100 million users that learn Spanish, the 60 million learning French or the almost 200 million users who learn English from Spanish or Portuguese. Luis even said in an AMA that the actual demand for Mandarin, Japanese or Korean is not nearly as much as people would expect, and doesn't equal the demand for European languages. I have no problem with adjustments being made to accommodate additional courses, I just don't think these adjustments should negatively impact other courses. I stick by my statement because I am certain that Duolingo's user base won't completely switch from majority learning European languages to majority learning East Asian languages any time soon.
Please explain then how I haven't even finished the Spanish tree and I can already converse with only a few very minor mistakes in Spanish?
I don't really know what your definition of "converse" is, or what topics you feel you can "converse" in, but I'm sure from doing only part of the Spanish tree there is no way you could have a meaningful conversation about, say, today's independence referendum in Catalonia or discuss someone's relationship woes in Spanish, or maybe follow a talk on Spanish history, and aside from speaking, I doubt you could understand an article in El País or similar. I'm not trying to insult your Spanish skills, I'm just trying to be realistic in saying that Duolingo alone is not enough to give you the skills to do the above. Duolingo will only ever get you to an uneven A1 or A2 level, whereas what I mentioned above would probably require at least a good B1 level, if not higher.
AND Repetition helps keep the words in your memory, I'm sorry you haven't realized this.
I never said repetition doesn't help memory, but there's more to language than just remembering vocabulary. My worry is that since the website is becoming more and more like the app, we could eventually lose the tips and notes section, which is basically Duolingo's only attempt at teaching grammar, just because their "metrics" show that they're better off without them (which has always been the reason quoted for not adding them to the app)
If you hate it so much, why do you even go on it?
I never said I hated Duolingo. In fact, I have enjoyed it as a supplementary tool for many years. I just feel that this latest development has been a turn for the worse for the platform (not to mention the removal of immersion or the activity stream). I continue to visit here though to offer help to people in the forums and sentence discussions because I feel like I can help them where Duolingo doesn't.
Now, of course, with a username like "Duo.Addict", I'm not surprised you are defending the site so much, but I just feel like I was expressing my opinion and was labelled as a drama queen for it, even though I feel like my original comment was quite measured and fair.
What doesn't bother you much bothers others a lot. There's no external criterion defining what is "minor" vs. "major." Sure, the functionality isn't really different, but depending on one's essentially entirely subjective taste in user interfaces, the experience can be. In my case, for instance, I have long preferred the "experience" of Duolingo to the experience of a real, concrete competitor, Lingvist. But you know what, Lingvist is better on substance in a lot of ways, and even better for me personally, and Duolingo's experience advantage just plummeted - in my completely subjective but obviously shared by many view - with this "minor" change. The reasons I haven't much liked Lingvist - yes, actually kind of trivial, but I've used it a whole lot less than I might have if I'd liked it just a little bit more. Things that can seem trivial can still really matter.